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What's happening at the bottom of the Gulf?

You've got an uncapped oil well a mile beneath the sea. As the Times points out, this is like fixing Apollo 13 when it's almost to the moon. A wellhead a mile deep is not exactly a place you can send a handyman, so they're doing everything robotically. The Blowout Preventer has failed. What's a Blowout Preventer? We're all just now trying to figure this stuff out. The leaks are in three locations, the third leak apparently having developed sometime around the middle of the week. All this after initial reports from BP suggested that this was no biggee.

See this excellent graphic in the Post for an explanation of what's happening at the bottom of the Gulf and what can be done about it. Here's the Post story reporting that BP claimed this kind of event wasn't possible. .

Here's a description of what happened, in industry language:

On April 20 a loss of well control occurred and resulted in an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon. After the rig sank, ROVs confirmed that the riser was bent over and still attached to the BOP and that oil was flowing from leaks in the riser above the BOP. Numerous attempts to actuate the BOP have failed, MMS says. The well is still not secured.

BOP is blowout preventer. ROV is remote operated vehicles. MMS is Minerals Management Service, part of Interior, and it has a special web site with bulletins on the Deepwater Horizons disaster.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 1, 2010; 3:13 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gulf oil spill: Worst-case scenario
Next: Deepwater oil spills and the limits of government


Well, because I really didn't want to mudge myself last kit, I shall respond to the Mudgekins in this one.

Thanks ever so for the offer, but I think I'll pass.

Ain't got no room, ain't got no operable player (and where on earth does one get phonograph needles in this day and age, eh?)

Posted by: -ftb- | May 1, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Here is what I wonder right now.
Is drill pipe in the hole?
Is hydraulic (or other) power hose still connected to blowout preventer? Or is manual effort by submersible required?
The hole had already hit a hydrocarbon zone. Was the rig going to drill deeper? (standard procedure if more zones expected, deeper)
What "plug" is Halliburton referring to? (casing is cemented outside the casing pipe; no separate "plug" of cement is placed except for abandonment)
What exact activity (well logging, cementing, drill pipe tripping, circulating while drill pipe at bottom, or drilling) was going on at time of accident? What occurred between that time and rig sinking?

"A loss of well control" is a very squishy statement. It could mean any number of things and is a very imprecise statement.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 1, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 1, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Jumper that's a good link...very informative...

Posted by: joelache | May 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I think they said, "We had lots of awful controls."

Posted by: Bob-S | May 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"Yet a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP. " NY Times

Well, Joel, we know what's NOT happening on the Gulf Coast. Appropriate Federal response.

Hmmmm, when GWB was in charge, the "Boodle" snarked incessantly.

I see The Messiah had time to fire up his Teleprompters at the People's Republic of Ann Arbor. Ahhh, how do I love me, let me count the ways.

But, the LA-MS-AL coast is governed by Republicans, I guess.

10 days in, and BO is finally waking up to it.

Sure, Blame BP. You remain a loyal Democratic automaton.

When GWB called for offshore drilling, the Dems curled up in the fetal position, wailing it was the end of the world.

When BO called for it last month, it was "logical" and well thought out.

When GWB took 2 1/2 minutes to finish a story on 9/11, it was horrible lag in response, per Dems.

But when The Messiah, the God of Political Correctness, spends two weeks to respond to a spill, it's "well thought out" and a "measured response."

The hypocrisy of Obama and "The Boodle" never ends.

I'm sure the BP engineers and Coast Guard could use your opinion, from DC, the Black Hole of Morality and Common Sense.

The Democratic Party should buy a Blowout Preventer. Before November.

A really, really, really big one.

Those Goldman Sachs contributions ought to buy the finest available.

Posted by: sdsds | May 1, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

*scratching head over the "rigorous analysis" by sdsds*

Posted by: -ftb- | May 1, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Less seriously the Times' Sunday Magazine got to visit Dave Barry's house:

They're even looking at Washington social life.

My backyard is nowhere near so vegetated, though a fast-growing feather palm from Queensland is making an effort. It's about to drop its third leaf in as many weeks. I've only seen it unfurl one.

The oil well blowout is looking like something that couldn't happen, so the arrangements that we now know were needed (from an acoustic shutoff valve, as reported by the WSJ to sufficient slick-management supplies) weren't arranged.

This drilling project seems to have been at the edge of technology. Twenty years ago, a 25,000 foot well on dry land in the Rockies was a Big Deal. This was a far deeper well, including that 5,000 feet of water. So it looks like a huge challenge for reporters, who haven't usually worked on rigs, likely don't have petroleum geologists as friends, and can't readily go visit the assorted equipment operators.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 1, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Instead of trying to digest some of these comments, how about digesting this?

I just made this amazing stuff... "ice cream" made out of frozen bananas... nothing else.

You cut a banana into chunks and freeze it for an hour or two at least (I spread them out on parchment paper on a paper plate). Then put the chunks in a food processor and watch it eventually turn into "ice cream." It's mind-boggling... and incredibly delicious.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 1, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

What I can't figure out is the apparent inability to, well, figure out the difference between a natural disaster ("God's will" if you will) and a disaster solely at the hands of hugely wealthy corporation, one that apparently did not take the measures in advance to either prevent or ameliorate the disaster because it might have meant that the executives would not have been able to afford their private jets.


Hey, TBG, that banana stuff sounds terrific.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 1, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The Chickens have come home to roost for the Gulf coast and GOP Drill-Baby-Drill crowd. You leveraged yuor future on Oil lease Royalties instead of education and technology for broad based employment and success. Now you can use the Oil royalties received over the years to clean up what was once God given Pristine Beaches and breeding grounds for Shrimp and Oysters. We Told You So just doesn't seem like enough.

The first few days of this spill the Oil companies, Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and GOP allies said it was nothing, don't worry about it. We all knew different so don't Whine and Cry now. Man up to BP and Oil Industry lack of Safety Practices, and GOP lack of support for safety regulations that caused this. This is a GOP and Oil Industry made Disaster. Stop Crying and Whining for your Mama and face the reality that veterans already know: that we must develop alternatives to Oil and Coal and Create Jobs in other Industries.

Right now, Alabama Senator Shelby and other GOP leaders are stalling Energy Legislation that will fund our Alternatives and Free us from Oil and Coal Dependence. Call them now and tell them to stop Stalling. Our Beaches, Industries, Military, Environment and Health cannot afford Waiting and Stalling on the most important JOBS and Energy Independence Legislation we need NOW.

BP and the Oil Industry should pay for the full cost for Cleanup of the Gulf Oil Spill environmental disaster; For the Jobs in Tourism and Commercial Fishing lost; For Military, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, FEMA support; plus a $500 Billion dollar Negligence Penalty to fund Oil Replacement Technologies. Cutting corners and creating disasters like this should have a devastating effect on the companies responsible and not just the local economies and resources. The Taxpayer should not be bailing out Oil Companies.

Oil companies should be required to install remote Shut Off Valves on all Seabed drilling operations and drill Secondary Relief wells. So far they have fought against these requirements which are common in Canada, Norway and Brazil.
All Clean up costs and lost revenue expenses plus $500 Billion for Negligence is the least we should Mandate.

Posted by: liveride | May 1, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmmm, I like the way you think, liveride.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 1, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I like the analogy to Apollo 13. I just hope the analogy continue. Including, I hope, the exhaustive postmortem conducted afterwards and the aggressive steps taken to prevent similar accidents. And, it is my understanding, that a big part of this was rejecting the phrase "that could never happen."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 1, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

We really do need to have a better capability to operate in deep water. The Navy, of course, has a lot of cool tools which, even now, might very well be coming to help. But such tools, I am led to believe, aren't really well suited to this kind of problem. We can't allow ourselves to be this vulnerable.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 1, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Good comment liveride and RD, I hope you are right. If we don't learn an awful lot from this, we are worse than fools.

The Boston area has its own little spill going on right now. A 10' water pipe has broken west of the city and something like 37 cities and towns are under a boil water order. We aren't affected here, thankfully.

Great day and very nice evening here. I am a bit sore from playing tennis outdoors in the sun and wind, but it was a lot of fun. That banana ice cream sounds like the perfect recipe for #2 to use on her excess bananas in Costa Rica, thanks TBG.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 1, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Oy, gevalt! Virginia's Attorney General has decided to channel John Ashcroft and deJanetJacksonize Virginia's state seal:

John Ashcroft went to meet the press
He faced the microphones.
His heart was full of righteousness
His voice like God's trombones.
But then he saw the statue
That was set behind him there.
She was 'The Spirit of Justice'
Yes, but one of her breasts was bare.

John Ashcroft looked with horror
At this gleaming marble globe.
It thrust itself upon him
From a loosely falling robe.
It was so hard to concentrate
On those he there accused
With that marble breast behind him,
Poor John Ashcroft got confused.

Each time he saw that marble breast
The poor man was appalled,
He quickly gave the order
And a curtain was installed.
Now when he makes a statement
You can see him on the tube
He has curtained off the statue
But you'll still see one big boob.

©2002 Pax Music, ASCAP

Posted by: -pj- | May 1, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I get the strangest bugs. the Sun auto reload stopped. it didn't happen with Firefox only Safari. but it stopped.

The other buggy is my desktop is bigger than my desktop. as I move my cursor to the left the desktop moves to the right and vice versa. top and bottom, same thing

Seems to be a six centimeter dif

Posted by: omni3 | May 1, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

That is fantastic, pj. I was completely unaware of this Paxton oeuvre.

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there is a front page alert. I suggest that if need be, we get to that vault in the bunker (the one with the, um, "dumb" waiter (or is that "dumb waiter") so that we can have ready access to the comestibles)).

So far, outside of the incredibly not well thought out piece above, I think we're safe. But, yanno ...........

Time to watch the Kentucky Derby, methinks.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 1, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

O.M.G. Coo-coo Coochie has done it again! I love the Larry Sabato quote...

“When you ask to be ridiculed, it usually happens. And it will happen here, nationally,” he said. “This is classical art, for goodness' sake.”

I've always been so proud that our Virginia flag has a t!tty *and* a dead guy.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 1, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki. Here's a list of some of Paxton's short shelf life songs (his description):

His 9/11 song is quite impressive considering he wrote it two weeks afterward.

Like Pete Seeger he does songs that are either decades old or about five minutes old.

Posted by: -pj- | May 1, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I love old movies. just watched 'It Happened One Night' with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert

Sniff, a great romantic comedy

Posted by: omni3 | May 1, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that Sabato quote jumped out, TBG. I can imagine him sitting at his desk, shaking his head, and thinking "WTF?"

Posted by: -pj- | May 1, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments on the Cuccinelli story are hilarious...


Honest-To-God, I thought I was reading a headline from the Onion.

Posted by: SwellLevel5 | May 1, 2010 5:07 PM


This has got to be a month late April Fool's joke. He can't be serious. After all, the state is called Virginia--as in virgin!! Can you get anymore sexually oriented than that?

Posted by: PepperDr | May 1, 2010 4:24 PM

Posted by: -TBG- | May 1, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to get a grip on what happened there. Sounds like a "perfect storm" of events happened in unlikely sequence. I will not venture blame now.

The true historical record of the Ixtoc I blowout has been of interest to me for some time. I wish I had clipping service like high-dollar news orgs, to go back and look at some actual dead-tree Houston Posts or other papers from the time of Ixtoc I because the memory hole seems to have devoured a lot of info on which U.S. companies were partnered with PEMEX at that event. Some politicos were involved on our side of the border. I could swear Zapata Offshore were the ones leasing the rig to PEMEX. But if so that's sure been erased. I know the governor of Texas had some connection to it at the time.

Tar balls were nasty and persistent for about a year on Padre Island, and various species of beach life disappeared, including crabs, shellfish, seabirds, and who knows what else. At some point there was a huge deposition of sargasso weed on the beach above the tideline and THAT rotted and the beach was again a bad experience but soon thereafter life recolonized the beach. I think the seaweed acted as a mulch or bacterial nutrient which assisted digestion of the oil/tar balls which by that time had been buried a foot or so under the sand. Remember the estuaries were behind Padre Island, unlike most of the gulf now exposed to the latest spill. It's going to be ecologically very very bad.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 1, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Was there a point about 10 or 20 years ago where students stopped learning how to think critically? That's the only sane reason I can think of for why people now argue that Obama deserves the same condemnation Bush received after Katrina. Just because a) a bad thing happened in the Gulf does not mean b) the president is to blame, simply because a different president was condemned for a different failure after a different bad thing happened in the Gulf some other time.

Or maybe anytime in the future somebody tries to assasinate the president, we should just arrest the first person we find named either Lee Oswald, John Hinkley or John Booth. After all, they were guilty before.

Posted by: simpleton1 | May 1, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

That is a very good sentence, simpleton1.

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

There was never a point, ten or twenty or two hundred or two thousand years ago, when most people thought rationally & critically most of the time. It's always been a scarce resource. Treasure it.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 1, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Initiatives to produce a much more reliable underwater oil blowout preventer have been in progress for six years now. However, such a device has yet to be proven. Devon Canada began in 2004 with its AWK system, described at Apparently little came of it; there has been no follow-up report. In 2009 Chevron and Cameron advertised an AWKS project, at, to develop a similar concept. The photos suggest that Cameron has made a prototype.

Blowout preventers now available do not function reliably under many circumstances. Devices that can seal off a wellhead cannot shear piping when it includes casing pipe, a drill pipe joint, a drill collar or other downhole equipment. There are "super shears" designed to do those things, but they do not seal off a wellhead. Cameron's AWKS intends to combine all-purpose shearing with a reliable seal. Installed in duplicate and automatically triggered, it claims to offer failsafe protection against worst-case blowouts. The Macondo 1 well disaster of April, 2010, should spur Cameron into full-scale testing and production.

Posted by: AppDev | May 1, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Yoki. Bob, you're absolutely right of course. After all, if I learned anything from Monty Python's Holy Grail, it's that a woman is a witch if she weighs more than a duck. Or doesn't float. Or something.

Posted by: simpleton1 | May 1, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Probably the single thing that angers me the most is that BP started building containment structures *after* the spill. I suspect that the reasons that they weren't already available as a precaution are: 1) they cost money to build and maintain, and 2) their existence would have given the lie to the oil industry's claims that a spill like this could never happen. Political approval for the drilling was probably, at least in part, contingent on those assurances. The damage could have been considerably reduced had the industry not been playing politics with the possibility of disaster.

Posted by: rashomon | May 1, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

OK, so everyone's in unchartered territory now. No one thought an incident of this sort was possible.

Remember Mr. A's recent article about how government contests offer a different way to solve tricky problems?

I suggest the government hold such a contest now.

Posted by: MsJS | May 1, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

And s1 is so wise in the ways of science!

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"No one thought an incident of this sort was possible."


Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 1, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

BP is using the same deepsea drilling technology as the other majors. It could have happened to any of them I believe. Maybe it is BP's smug ads that are making people mad.
It makes the tar sands look better, that's for sure.

Thank you for the suggestion Entenpfuhl but the orchard has to go to make place for Mount Sanitation. We had to relocate plants as well. I moved 4 clumps of peonies and a rhododendron. The big project was a magnolia. I could not have done it without the energetic shoveling of the Fungi. Not sure the tree will survive though. It was pretty big and we had to seriously bonsai its roots.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 1, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

So no one watched Calvin Borel win his third Kentucky Derby in four years by riding the rail? AGAIN? :-)

Welcome, simpelton1! You're in good company here. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 1, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Mudge, everyone knows that complicated mechanical things can't fail. Every space mission is a success. Well made cars last forever. This is a repeat of Ixtoc 1, 30 years later. The BOPs on those super deep rigs are most likely a whole lot better than they were 30 years ago but perfect they ain't yet.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 1, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

We saw it Scotty. But I admit to not having paid attention to what horses were running so I couldn't root for any particular one. Of course, with all the dirt, you couldn't tell one horse from another after a while. Boy was that track muddy. Worse than our vegetable garden even ;-) Kinda cool that Calvin won again.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 1, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

My working hypothesis, rashomon, is that because the containment structure would have to be designed to fit the specifics of a particular situation, it would not be practical to have such a doodad built in advance. I do not know if this is true; but I would like to withhold blame until legitimate possible excuses have been retired by evidence.

I appreciate AppDev's post about the limitations of blowout preventers. It sounds like the industry is aware of the problems with BOP's but is not willing to put sufficient resources behind creating a superior replacement -- or, possibly, they are willing to put the resources behind it, but have not been able to arrive at a technological solution that is workable at an economically viable price.

The notion that a "controlled explosion" would solve the problem is, um, stupid. Desperately stupid. We have a low-density fluid leaking from a squished balloon of rock, sitting beneath a mighty layer of higher-density fluid. Explosions make holes and make things fall toward their natural physical equilibrium. In this case, the natural physical equilibrium is for the oil to be on the top layer (i.e., at the surface). This is a problem that cannot be solved by the appropriate application of high explosives. The appropriate application of high explosives is to keep them somewhere else.

Several posters today have suggested that we should not be drilling today with the current generation of blowout preventers. Their prescription is that we should put a multi-billion dollar business on hold, laying off thousands or tens of thousands of employees, while we deal with preventing a problem that has arisen as the result of what Jumper has pointed out is the unlikely (but not impossible or implausible) result of a series of unfortunate events (someone should write a book with that title). That is perhaps the wisest course of action, though I doubt it; but it does not strike me as terribly likely to be put into effect.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 1, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I watched, but it was a disappointing race, from an equinofeminist point of view :-`

I don't think it is just the ads. I think BPs history of serious environmental, social, and OHS violations (see, Texas City Refinery Fire) and infractions opens it to particular scrutiny and, perhaps in time, condemnation. Lord Brown made it one of the top two most profitable companies in history, and he didn't do that by spending every penny he could dedicate to safety measures.

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see that Obama made time for commencement speeches and the Correspondents' Dinner laughfest.

Celebritology will carry live tweets!!!


Our Commander in Chief.

Hard at work.

Ten days into an environmental disaster, he and Michelle are preening for their buddies in the press.


We have a disaster in the Gulf.

And a bigger one at 1600 Pennsylvania.

But both are oh so slick.

Posted by: bobigoilbuddy | May 1, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your expertise Science Tim. I had been wondering if some sort of 'bomb' would be helpful, now I see that the answers is a most definite 'no'. I surely hope someone is smart enough to come up with a solution that doesn't take three months to accomplish. The potential scope of this disaster is too scary to contemplate.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 1, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I saw the Derby, Scottynuke, hatless but sipping an appropriately mint-containing beverage. It was nice to see Calvin B win again. I was fascinated by the mud.

I can be as partisan as the next pony, but at this point I think blaming party politics for either the spill or its aftermath is uncalled for.

Sure, GWB encouraged offshore drilling and it is part of Obama's policy. Major oil companies have been drilling in the Gulf since well before either of those presidencies. The offshore fight has been about the scenic shores of the Pacific and Atlantic, not the workaday low-rent Gulf.

Sure, Republicans have been the party of Big Oil and Small Regulation. However, if you think Democratic politicians in oil-resource states (including Louisiana) haven't supported Big Oil, you are living in a dream world. If state revenue comes with a corporate price, then most state leaders of all stripes are willing to pay it.

I won't defend BP policy and practice decisions. I guarantee, though, that no matter what the front office corporate thinking is, there are plenty of BP employees on the ground who are desperately trying to fix this as soon as possible. Let's not forget that this all started with an explosion in which people died.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 1, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

*Now* we need simpleton1's raillery against illogic and a lack of critical-thinking skills.

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I love it when wingnuts suddenly get all indignant about an environmental disaster. Reminds me of last summer when they become champions of Medicare.

Posted by: rashomon | May 1, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

sdsds, so sad you think you know us so well and don't join in except negatively. Have you posted previously under another name?

I spent all day downtown, walking around with my cousin, lunch at the Famous Fourth Street Deli. We know enough to take a cooler because nobody can eat those portions in one sitting.

TBG, sounds great and I've done it with frozen strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (all separately). After you process the frozen fruit into small crystals, you may add a little milk. Mmmmm. homemade sherbet.

The oil spill is truly frightening. Who signed off on that disaster recovery plan prior to the spill?

Posted by: -dbG- | May 1, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Katrina was a natural disaster. It is the government's job to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters.

Deepwater Horizons isa slow-rolling industrial disaster. As Joel points out, at first nobody even realized how bad it was done because BP's reporting was ambiguous. Further, as an industrial disaster, the initial responsibility rested with BP.

The thing is, the real disaster hasn't even begun yet. This storm, so to speak, is still gathering steam. So let's see how the government deals with the entire mess before jumping to conclusions.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 1, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't me, I swear.

I have an alibi. I was at David Burke Townhouse eating bacon wrapped rabbit loin.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 1, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Where is everybody? Oh, that's right. Having a social life.

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

So glad the many voices of reason have chimed in here. Thank you. I just keep thinking of the 4,000 other rigs in the Gulf that are still running along fine.

I certainly don't know details, and I'm not defending anyone's wrongdoing if there was any, but there's a reason some things are called "accidents."

My sister's wedding day, many years ago, was on a May 3. She and my dad realized as they were stepping into the sanctuary to walk down the aisle that it was also post time for the Derby. I think Dad said something to her like, "And they're off!" so they both came down the aisle giggling. It was a nice touch.

dbG... try the banana ice cream recipe. You'll be amazed that what develops is truly creamy without a bit of milk. It's funny... suddenly the crystals just become a big clump of what you would insist is ice cream.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 1, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I wish, Yoki, I wish.

I'm here. I'll keep you company. Whatcha wanna talk about?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

We just watched the WH correspondents' dinner. The president did a good job and mentioned remembering the people on the gulf coast as well as our troops, nice touch and necessary too. Leno was pretty lame, but then he's always pretty lame.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 1, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so do I, 'mudge.

Dialectics? New school criticism? Film noir?

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Baked goods?

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Greetings from fantasyland, all.
I really enjoyed the tap-dancing chipmunks, btw. Very entertaining, and they deliver a heck of a closing argument.

One of the things I haven't seen mentioned much (and if we did, I flat missed it) is the pressure of water at the bottom of of the Gulf. If this stuff is rougly a mile under water, we're talking something like 2000 PSI, or one ton of pressure per square inch. Yeesh. That will require some very special equipment to operate down there. An awful lot of presure for lawyers to operate under, too. Even little bushytailed ones.


Posted by: -bc- | May 1, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

MsJs, funny you mentioned the contests; Innocentive (the invention contest operation Joel mentioned) has been running some idea contests on the matter for several days now.

And now it indeed looks to me like Haliburton screwed up the cementing job.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 1, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Facebook: no more.

And so to bed.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 1, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I can do film noir (which I love) and also baked goods (ditto). Not zackly up to date on dialectics and the New School criticism. Myself, I kinda like that "new school" smell when a brand spanking new school opens. I've never understood why people criticize it.

Did you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I want to advance a theory, which is that when Larsson began writing the trilogy, he had Blomkvist in mind as the main character, and Salanader as secondary. Not, for instance, that although he bgins describing her in the second chapter, she really doesn't do much until page 205; everything before that has been background, and all the "action" advancing the plot has been Blomkvist. So my theory is that larsson started with Blomkvist, and that by the end of the first book he had switched his primary attention to the girl. (UI find it curious that the dragon tattoo of the title not only has nothing whatsoever to the plot, it isn't even described very well. I don't think he gives it more than a single sentence in the entire book: oh, yeah, BTW, she has this massive tattoo of a dragon. Okay, moving on... (And in fact, the original Swedish version is title "Men Who Hate Women," a title I don't much like, although it does at least have something to do with the actual plot, unlike the tattoo.

It would be interesting to know who came up with the English title. Perhaps Larsson was already dead when it came out, I don't know.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 1, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Promises, Promises lived up to its promise. It was light-hearted, funny, well-acted, and featured Kristin Chenoweth in a black slip. that was worth the ticket price all by itself. She was a show stopper singing 'Say A Little Prayer'.

After the show, Kristin played mini-diva waiting 45 minutes before signing autographs at the backstage door (a full diva wouldn't have bothered at all) but she was very gracious and fun when she did come out. And at 4'-11", she is every bit as elfin as I expected:

Not a diva at all was Sean Hayes (aka Jack from 'Will and Grace') who not only signed autographs, but jumped on a tourist bus to say hi to fans.

As the Jerry Orbach/Jack Lemmon character (the show is based on 'The Apartment'), Hayes had loads of funny lines and deftly executed all the hilarious physical slapstick.

The scene stealer of the talented supporting cast was Katie Finneran as the girl who drunkenly protests too much that she is NOT a pick-up.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 1, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Haven't read it. Your theory (ahem) sounds plausible. Let's see if ftb is around and can comment.

ftb? ftb? Pick up. Pick up!

But speaking of tattoos, have you read John Irving's "Until I Find You" (?) (I usually hue to the British style of punctuation, but didn't want to imply that Irving had a question mark in the title, which he didn't.)

Posted by: Yoki | May 1, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nellie4 | May 1, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Hugh hews to the huge hues.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 1, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh yello, hew are funny!

Posted by: nellie4 | May 1, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Resolved: The destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico were both man-made disasters eminently predictable by those Cassandras who were not heeded.


Good night.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 1, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Just in case yello's link slipped by you, looks like Times Sqaure dodged a serious car bomb bullet last night...


It's a good thing some skills AREN'T easily imported.

The Front Page Alert is still in effect. And all our visitors need to remember that even with today's marvelous technology, it takes time to get specialized resources where they're needed. There's no such thing as an "instant overwhelming response" to an oil spill. And as others have mentioned, a Presidential visit only distracts responders and takes resources AWAY from the job at hand.

The Sawx and the Nats have mirror-image records -- with the Nats on the plus side of .500! :-O And that's why they play the games on the field instead of on paper. *SIGH*

Yeeesh, already 71 out here in almost West-by-God, with almost a matching dewpoint! Good thing I got the A/C out of the garage yesterday. I even remembered to clean off the ceiling fans before turning them on.

*If-this-is-a-preview-I-think-I-really-CAN-wait-for-summer Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

O M G scottynuke, yer talking about basball and footbul, when the hockyplayofffs are on!

What is wrong here?

*Snowing today*

Posted by: Yoki | May 2, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. Ivansmom is correct, people died for this mess, and we should remember them and their families. Yet it is a mess, a big mess. I can't help thinking last spring and summer these folks were counting their profits, and big were their profits. Now the lawyers are circling and between the cost of fixing and what the lawyers leave, they will be counting the cost.

Very rarely do people refuse money, wherever the origin. That was someone's job and the states impacted by this mess received money too. And let us not forget our shareholders. And just in case I left anyone out, a lot of folks crying in their soup.

Getting ready for church this morning. Legs are terribly stiff and sore this morning. Perhaps the warm water will help.

Slyness, it's steaming down this way. Feels like spring in the morning but by twelve, it's like a real hot summer day.

Have a good day folks, and love to all.
(No offense to the great lawyers on the boodle).

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 2, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

"people died from this mess....

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 2, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!! *HUGSSS*

Yoki, AGAIN with the snow??? Yer still makin' me jealous... *L* *HUGS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse


Very sad news from frosti's neck of the woods:

I don't know if these widely scattered events (Seattle area, the foiled wackjob militia plan) are related, but I certainly hope not.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I just love these hats from the derby

Oh and Paddy O Prado did finish in the money

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 2, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

So the Blackhawks didn't do so well last night. Things will change.

Derby attendee headwear is always so fun to see. Thanks for the link, green.

Nothing more to add this morning. Off to tackle the to-do list.

Posted by: MsJS | May 2, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say earlier that nobody had ever thought something like this could happen? Ay caramba. This exact thing (or things just like it) happened, what, a year ago near Australia?

If they didn't think this could happen, why do we have "blowout preventers" at all?

People need to avoid the urge to say things quickly and opt for the preferred option... to say things that are accurate.

Regarding any heat Obama should or shouldn't get.... that will come in time, and should be based on what organizations under government control do within their responsibility spheres. If we send nobody to do cleanup, he should be jumped on. If we do no coordination at all, he should be criticized.

People are too partisan and too silly.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Indeed they are, steveboyington my fellow Granite Stater...

And NEW KIT! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Mr. T and I were late rising, and I think it will be a laid-back day. I hate missing church, the anthem will be a solo of A Simple Song, my all-time fav.(It's the introit of Bernstein's Mass, if you didn't know.) One day I would love to hear Ivansmom sing it.

Lotsa laundry to do, but the outside work is done. The mulch is on the bank, so we're done for this year. I'm getting too old to climb on the cross-tie wall without a harness.

IMHO, it's a bit early to be assigning blame for the disaster in the Gulf. Let's get this mess under control and then analyze it. Deal with the problem at hand and take care of the bereaved, then worry about how it happened.

Posted by: slyness | May 2, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse


New Kit (our Boss is active these days).

I will respond to the Mudge-Yoki question in the new Kit. K?

Posted by: -ftb- | May 2, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey Scottynuke. I am up at the folks with the boy this morning, in the lovely Mt. Washington valley.

I'll be headed over the river and through the wood to grandmother's house this afternoon, then back down to the old homestead. I hope the Boston water pipe blowout hasn't built a sinkhole large enough to get me down there.

I was at a lunchtime "talk and learn" at our Boston office a few months ago that detailed the work we have been doing to support the MWRA's efforts to refurbish the old water line from the Quabbin. That one is/was to be rebuilt/repaired to add redundancy to the new pipe that has broken.

Every so often we get a few stories about how antiquated and dangerous our major cities' infrastructure is. Seems like the Boston blowout was in a 7-year old system. Doesn't fit the stereotype, by any means.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 2, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

sdsds wrote "Well, Joel, we know what's NOT happening on the Gulf Coast. Appropriate Federal response."


Wel sdsds -- please provide your view as to the "appropriate" government response to a hole in the ground 5,000 feet below the surface of the water.

I supose you're a Drug Limbaugh supporter who sees a clear relationship between this disaster and Katrina. That would explain why I view you people as beneath contempt and certainly you are incapable of using GOD's gift to man -- the ability to reason.

Posted by: Freethotlib | May 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It's the GOP Drill-Baby-Drill defeat of Safety Regulations that is to Blame. BP Bribary of the GOP party and funding of the Tea Party (by Koch Industries that is responsible for Hundreds of Oil spills). The GOP and Tea Party supported the Oil Industries defeat of Secondary Safety Well, and High Quality Cement Sealing requirements that are standard in Canada, Brazil, and Norway.

The first few days of this spill the Oil companies, Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and GOP allies said it was nothing, don't worry about it, and Waited a Week before Declaring it a Disaster. We all knew different because you always down play the damage so the Oil Industry isn't restricted. Don't Whine and Cry now. Man up to BP and Oil Industry lack of Safety Practices (Relief wells on Ocean floor), and GOP lack of support for Safety Regulations that caused this. This is a GOP and Oil Industry made Disaster. Stop Crying and Whining for Obama and your Mama and face the reality that Veterans who served in the Middle East already know: that we must develop Alternatives to Oil and Coal and Create Jobs in other Industries.

Right now, Alabama Senator Shelby and other GOP leaders are stalling Energy Legislation that will fund our Alternatives and Free us from Oil and Coal Dependence. Call them now and tell them to stop Stalling. Our Beaches, Industries, Military, Environment and Health cannot afford Waiting and Stalling on the most important JOBS and Energy Independence Legislation we need NOW.

Question for GOP Drill-Baby-Drill and Tea Party crowd: If Lake Tahoe, which generates Millions for it's natural beauty every year; had 100 Million gallons of Oil underneath, would you Risk drilling there?

That is the decision that had been made by Gulf Coast Oil supporters and GOP Gov Bobby Jundal for the God given Pristine Coasts of Liousiana, Alabama, Texas and Florida. No Secondary Relief Wells and Poor Safety records equal a poor choice. You all have great resources for Biomass and Biofuels but sacrificed your resources for the quick Royalty cash from Oil companies who then channel that to GOP and Tea Party activists. "Biomass and Biofuel" development would have saved you from this disaster.

Posted by: liveride | May 2, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure the tree will survive though. It was pretty big and we had to seriously bonsai its roots."

Rule of thumb, Shrieking, prune the top back hard to match the roots. Fair warning: I am not an arborist though I play one on blogs.

Posted by: Entenpfuhl | May 2, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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