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Abby Sunderland rescued

Pondering the rescue of the teen sailor Abby Sunderland, who was attempting to sail solo around the world, my first thought is that I barely trust my girls to operate a blender. I will let one of my kids sail solo around the world the day I let my ancient cat Phoebe drive my Honda.

Let's do the checklist of yes/no/maybe when it comes to teenage daughters:

1. Use the oven. Yes, with advance warnings about burning down of house.

2. Ride bike to video store. Yes, with stern commandments involving helmet, looking both ways, returning before dark, and avoidance of slasher movies.

3. Go to "mixer" at distant preppie-sounding school full of rich kids. Depends on parental mood and results of protracted interrogation about who will be there and what will be the purpose and why it's not more fun to hang out at home with Dad.

4. Go to what sounds like a teenybopper concert. Yes, but only after obligatory dismissive comments on quality of music from parent (followed by parental discovery later that it's actually a Metallica concert).

5. Talk to boys loitering on sidewalk. Yes, but only if boys agree to play catch with Dad first and then watch ballgame with him in brotherly solidarity against tyranny of the matriarchy.

6. Drive car. Yes, but only if Dad can keep hand on emergency brake at all times.

7. Wear that dress. No.

8. Wear those shorts. No.

9. Discuss rules with Dad. No.

10. Roll eyes and sigh dramatically as Dad speaks. No.

So you see, there's just nothing in there about "sail solo around the world." I mean, as I understand it, Abby Sunderland was doing this whole thing in some kind of BOAT. Like, on the ocean. Right? Insane.

I bet she didn't even wear a helmet.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 11, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
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Next: Oil spill pushes sharks, giant squid, sea monsters to shore


But she DID wear her life vest and survival suit (at the appropriate times, TFSM).

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Let me just go ahead and say what everyone is thinking: This was all Obama's fault.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Believe it or not, there are 16 year olds that are capable of doing the near-impossible. It displays sheer contempt of young people when a supposedly responsible columnist comments on the capabilities of a teen who is a complete stranger. "I barely trust my girls to operate a blender?" I feel sorry for your children. P.S. I am not sixteen. I am a grandfather who let his children live their life...and they are doing quite well, thank you.

Posted by: lgsonoma | June 11, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

And in sadder water-based news, at least a dozen reported killed in flash floods @ remote Ark. campgrounds... :-(

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I saw this Kit at the top of the front page and I thought at first, "uh oh." Then I thought, "now what could someone say about this Kit that would be ridiculous and crazy?"

Now I know.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

One thing that's interesting is that EVERYBODY in my building is talking about this, and everbody is ANGRY. We're as angry as we are about the spill. The spill is depressing (rather than angrifying) to many people...but this is making people angry.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I once trusted my teenage son to back his mother's car out of the garage without sheering off the passenger side mirror. I won't make that mistake again.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

One thing that's interesting is that EVERYBODY in my building is talking about this, and everbody is ANGRY. We're as angry as we are about the spill. The spill is depressing (rather than angrifying) to many people...but this is making people angry.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Very funny. I enjoyed your comments. In all seriousness, are her parents completely insane? How much money did it cost her parents to set her up on this trip? And how much is this rescue effort going to cost and who's footing the bill? When I think of all the people in the world in true need of simple things like clean water and medicine, the money spent on a dangerous attempt to break a record makes me very sad.

Posted by: jbcjd | June 11, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

After I graduated HS, I turned 18 and went to Germany, since I could speak a little, a Stearns County MN thing, ($200 round trip, remember those days)? I hooked up with a 17yo girl and after staying with her parents awhile (it was the free love decade and the Germans took that very seriously), we traveled all Europe, the UK, you name it, like Zelig, we were there.

I daresay, having also spent a great deal of time offshore in boats of various sizes, traveling while poor is the more dangerous, by far. Why? People.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope Abby Sunderland packed condoms, but I think the last thing on pirates' minds is wearing protection.

Posted by: skinky_1999 | June 11, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Joel is quite right in that this Abby Sunderland story highlights the balance all parents must find between being protective and encouraging independence.

The difference is that with most kids the independence being fostered is something like, you know, going to the mall alone. Or making dinner. Or, heavens, operating a motorized vehicle. You know, stuff that most people must manage to do if they are to become fully functional adults.

On the other hand, if my children are forever denied the ability to sail around the world by themselves. Well, I think there is a possibility they still might have productive lives.

Of course, that's the argument I made about X-Box 360, and look where that got me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. *&%$# movable type warning...lies.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

This article is rubbish. I agree completely with Igsonoma. Frankly I can't understand why this is news, except as a testament to a remarkably adventurous young person from a country of people beginning to fear life beyond their houses, cars and cubicles.

Posted by: jonhoye | June 11, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Jeepers. Who let the trolls in.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, must *snort* TBG's excellent 2:22.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I remember how irate my oldest was when she was a teenager and I grabbed her hand when we were crossing a street in town.

Posted by: Manon1 | June 11, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

So the rest of the world's reaction to this story is not, "what crazy, indulgent thing will American parents allow next?"

Instead, they see it "as a testament to a remarkably adventurous young person from a country of people beginning to fear life beyond their houses, cars and cubicles."

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I really don't need to hear anymore about children of the rich doing something that requires a lot of money to do, that lots of people have done before.

There was recently a child that summitted Everest. That was the, what, 1000th person to stand there? Yes, there is physical difficulty, but it takes at least 50k and lots of equipment to try that.

A 40 foot sailboat? That's 100k+ right there. Let's hear about some adventurous cheap things.

Posted by: djoelt1 | June 11, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's the other half of the unspoken question: Who paid for this?

Answer: Us and them. Saving idiots from themselves is a big burden on our public safety system. Many places assess fees for the cost of rescues.

The balance is tricky because you don't want to keep people from signaling for help if they really need it, but something needs to be done about folk whose back-up plan is dialing 911 for a ride home.

Perhaps people doing stunts like this need to post a bond to insure against the waste of taxpayer dollars rescuing the foolhardy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel, when my son is away at school I am also outnumbered by womenfolk. Who gang up on me. Evidently, a profound bonding experience between mother and daughter is pointing out the incompetence of the remaining male in the household.

That these accusations of incompetence are often well-founded is not the point.

My daughter's favorite complaint is that I cannot cook properly. This is because once, in, like, 1998, I started a modest fire heating up frozen pizza. And yet, evidently, the memory haunts her still.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Let's not let Tony Haywood off the hook that easy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I blame global warming, actually...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I really hope that distant preppie-sounding school full of rich kids wans't Landon.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | June 11, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

All right, it's a fair cop, but society's to blame.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

TBG, you know I *heart* you for your 2:22. And all those other things, too, yanno.

Posted by: -ftb- | June 11, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Solo sailing around the world at 16? Hah! At that age I was riding motorcycles, smoking cigarettes, and having completely unprotected sex every once in a great while. So there.

Posted by: kguy1 | June 11, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Curious on peoples thoughts on this - too dangerous, too young?

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

When in doubt, blame Canada.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

In the US we give a lot of latitude to parents to raise their kids as they see fit. That means there will be lots of parenting styles and great disagreement about them.

If laws were broken, then it becomes a more public matter. There are experts in this sort of thing who'll make that call, and I'm not one of them.

I'm glad she's OK. Other than that, not my business. Even the matter of who pays the search and rescue bills is none of my business.

Sorry to be so boring.

Anyone want some ice tea? Unsweetened.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Indian ocean is full of friendly Somalian sailors who would have been happy to help her in case there were any trouble.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, I accidentally contributed to a story doing a great job of distracting us from actual news. Do you really think the world cares about Americans being rescued for wrecking their boats in the Southern Indian ocean after US warplanes bombed any residual holiness out of Gaza city, and US built warships are still blockading that same city 18 months later? As for cost, really? You're debating the cost of this vs. the aforementioned needless violence?

Posted by: jonhoye | June 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Some parents will do anything to keep their teenage daughters from car-dating. Like sending them on solo around-the-world sailing trips. Most of the haters out there are just mad they didn't think of it first.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach: You are so far off-mark, you makes me ill. I agree completely with what Igsonoma said: I fell sorry for your kids. I have the utmost respect for the Sunderlands -- her parents, and her brother Zac, and for Abby. Teenagers should be treated with respect and be granted the freedom to experiment and learn, provided that they have shown evidence that they possess the maturity to be trusted. CLEARLY Abby Sunderland has demonstrated that maturity, and well beyond. I wish I had had parents like Abby's.

Posted by: worldrimroamer | June 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

For all you people who are angry and think this girl's parents are irresponsible, I want to you look in the mirror and say "I'm the reason our country is a mess and Western Civilization is rotting away, sitting in its hammock."

This trip was a calculated risk--but one she was trained and equipped for. If we, as a people, are so risk-adverse that we can't see the worth of what she was attempting, we might as well turn out the lights and leave the stage for better, braver people (China?).

Posted by: scott_in_DC | June 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

In 340, when Philip assembled a large Macedonian army and invaded Thrace, he left his 16 years old son with the power to rule Macedonia in his absence as regent, which shows that even at such young age Alexander was recognized as quite capable. But as the Macedonian army advanced deep into Thrace, the Thracian tribe of Maedi bordering north-eastern Macedonia rebelled and posed a danger to the country. Alexander assembled an army, led it against the rebels, and with swift action defeated the Maedi, captured their stronghold, and renamed it after himself to Alexandropolis.

Two years later in 338 BC, Philip gave his son a commanding post among the senior generals as the Macedonian army invaded Greece. At the Battle of Chaeronea the Greeks were defeated and Alexander displayed his bravery by destroying the elite Greek force, the Theban Secret Band. Some ancient historians recorded that the Macedonians won the battle thanks to his bravery.

Just like Alexandar, this girl was not raised to prolong childhood far longer than needed.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | June 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Her brother circumnavigated the globe at at 17 in a sail boat and was the record holder until a 16 yr old Australian did it a couple years later. I think she comes from a seafaring family and obviously knew enough to make it to the Indian Ocean and knew when to call for help. This is all being blown well out of proportion. Hey a 13 yr old boy from the US just summited Mt. Everest a few weeks ago, so where is his share of the parental themed outrage?

Posted by: ozpunk | June 11, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

How's the bunker supply situation, anyway?

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse from Aug. 18, 2009:

Thirteen-Year Old Dutch Girl's Solo Sail Around World Delayed By Dutch Court

"A Dutch court has taken the wind out of the sails of the 13-year old girl who wants to be the youngest person to sail solo around the globe and her enabling parents.

"The court gave child welfare authorities temporary guardianship of Laura Dekker and has ordered psychologists to assess her to see if she is mentally up to circumnavigating the globe alone. That effectively delays here trip which was supposed to begin Sept. 1 by two months.

"As the Associated Press reports:
"Judges said Laura Dekker would face both mental and physical risks if she were allowed to go ahead with the two-year trip in her 26-foot (8-meter) boat named Guppy.
The court said she could continue living with her father, but would become the responsibility of Dutch child care officials for two months while an independent child psychologist evaluated her case.

"The court battle in this traditional seafaring nation has attracted attention around the world, raising questions about parental responsibility when children want to set off on perilous adventures.

"Laura was out sailing Friday and did not attend the District Court hearing. Her father, Dick Dekker, was in court to hear the decision from the three judges, but made no immediate comment.

"Richard Bakker, spokesman for the Council for Child Protection, welcomed the ruling.
"We are satisfied with this decision," he said, appealing to the father "to cooperate with the investigation and ensure Laura's safety."

"The court did not remove Laura from her father's home nor did it rule out the possibility of her eventually going on the round-the-world trip. For those reasons, the family's lawyer, Peter de Lange, felt it was an acceptable ruling.

"(It supports the idea that) you are not a bad parent if you try to help your child fulfill her dream," he noted.

"The court will issue a second ruling Oct. 26 on whether to extend the council's responsibility for the teenager. By that time she will have turned 14.

"In case you're wondering about where the mother is, Laura's parents are divorced but her mother has reportedly given her approval for the hazardous voyage.

"This case has opened a fascinating debate. On one hand, isn't a parent's role supposed to be to protect his or her children from obvious dangers as much as possible so they can reach adulthood?
But, then, isn't a parent also supposed to encourage a child's dreams and allow her to take risks in order to gain the independence to navigate adulthood with the greatest success?"

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeez.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Joel, contrary to the typical liberal rant, we are not all the same. There are explorers and there are the folded hands types who sit on their rumps with folded hands, and cry about the dangers out there in the real world. Most of us in America come from explorers who ventured out of the open seas never knowing if they were going to find land, or the edge of the earth, but they wanted to take the risk to see what was out there. Abby is obviously of that genetic ancestry. To many, what she was doing at the mere age of 16 is crazy, but her brother sailed around the world at 17, and there is an Aussie girl who is also 17 and she is making the attempt now, as well. I have to wonder if your children have drivers licenses, or will by the age of 16, Joel. Will you entrust them with two tons of high speed steel that could, if misused, result not only in their death, but the loss of others, too? What if at 17, one of your children wanted to join the military? Imagine the risks there! So, we let our kids do many things that are very dangerous, but since those things are part of normal life, we don't think about the risks so much as compared to an adventurer who embarks on a global trip all alone. Abby was well trained, and knew the risks, but she also knew lots of other people including her brother have made it and are alive to tell the tale.

Tracey in Texas, the land of adventurers in space.

Posted by: Tracey12_12 | June 11, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tea, MsJs, just exactly what I need right now!

Bunker is open, wine is at the appropriate temperature, as is beer.

That kid who climbed Everest, was he 13 or 14? He wants to climb to the highest point on every continent, IIRC. Now there's an ambition. I wonder what he'll do when he grows up?

If Abby Sunderland's parents want to cough up the money for her trip, good for them. It sounds like the emergency was not her fault and she did what she should have done. I'm okay with charging her parents for the rescue, that's not unreasonable at all.

There are worse things in the world to be known for, than trying to sail the globe alone.

Posted by: slyness | June 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Next thing you know, a barely pregnant woman will sail around the globe and...

No, wait, that wouldn't be solo, would it?? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"barely pregnant" ?


Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there is much to be said for fostering and encouraging sixteen-year-olds to attempt and accomplish big undertakings, even risky ones. The schtick about, hey, that means backing out of the garage, is silly. The issue here isn't that they didn't stick to going to the mall. The issue is that this went over the line not only for a capable, skilled sixteen year old, but for a capable, skilled adult.

It's not getting much play out there that this kid's older brother successfully sailed around the world by himself in his own boat a year or so ago---but with a partner boat sailing parallel to him, and with him (the brother) being the one of the two paralleling the shore at a rescuable distance. Of course, he didn't break the big record, and grandiosity trumped safety and common sense in the case of the sister.

There was no need for what happened here, and no professional adult boat pilot would sail alone in the indian ocean or any other spot at a stormy time of year in areas unreachable in under forty hours. A pro would tell you that anyone doing that was a d*****t. This was wasn't about encouraging your child to be resilient, adventurous, etc. This was about encouraging your child to think about "breaking the record" and "winning the big prize." It was about grandiosity. These parents didn't encourage character or bravery. They encouraged their child to be a d*****t, and they made d*****ts out of themselves.

Posted by: elizabethbennett | June 11, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Uruguay-France, nil-nil at the half.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Gosh.. I can't believe we're discussing this when there's important news like this out there...

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I started cooking at age 10. I did the laundry and ironing as well. In return, my parents let me and my sister share a paper route and use the money on what we wanted. For me, that was theater tickets and I attended plays, concerts, classic movies, and ballets on my own from the time I was eleven. I told a parent this recently, and she said, "It was more innocent then."

No. It wasn't. The crime rate in the 1970s in DC was much higher, and we didn't have cell phones and GPS.

The kids I tutor today are in the seventh grade. They've never been to a movie without their parents, never been to a play, never been allowed to venture out.

How sad for them, and how terrible that Achenbach is perpetuating the stereotype of girls living circumscribed lives.

Posted by: Fabrisse | June 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Joel: I'm sure your helicopter-parenting will be much appreciated by all the scuzzy men on whatever college campus you leave your daughter on in the not-too-distant future. All those lessons she'll get to learn as an 18 and 19 year old that she should have learned as a 12 or 13 year old? I'm sure the people teaching them will take into account how sheltered she's been and go easy on her. I wish her luck.

Posted by: scott_in_DC | June 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Bunker stocked with tea, sweet and -non.
How are we for rescue flares?

Posted by: talitha1 | June 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

When did we become On Parenting? Can we discuss the pros and cons of public breastfeeding and the laziness of stay-at-home-moms?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

elizabeth, You've made the best argument against this I've seen so far. There absolutely should have been a support boat. So I'm moving from the "this is fine adventurous activity" camp back to the "this isn't news" side of things.

Posted by: jonhoye | June 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't that long ago that a 16 year old was considered an adult in society and would marry, fight wars, and raise a family. Now, parents are afraid to let their children out of the bubble wrap.

Just because you are scared of what might be out there in the big bad world doesn't mean others have to be paralyzed by that same fear. Some choose to face it head on and become better people as a result. Abby Sunderland will be a much wiser and more accomplished person than this author's daughter or even he could ever fathom.

Also,tax payers are not paying for the rescue, it was a joint French, Australian effort. And they would rescue any person, commercial, private, or military in that part of the ocean no matter what. That's what compassionate people do for each other, they don;t nickel and dime each other about the bill.

And for the idiots crying about pirates, they do not travel down into the furious 40's with their small boat craft. There are 40 foot swells down there. Try another excuse to hide in your home.

Posted by: grogan19 | June 11, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Here's one rule for stupid WP reporters who don't know what the hell they're talking about (or writing about) like Joel Achenbach. SHUT YOUR MOUTH LEST YOU STICK YOUR FOOT IN IT.

If you have ever read read Abby's blog, she was WELL PREPARED to live her dream of a solo round the world adventure. Her parents are BOTH EXPERIENCED in the boating industry.

CONGRATS Abby on your ATTEMPT to live your dream. I am glad you made the attempt as far as you did but sadly it has come to an end.

You and fellow teen navigator, Jessica Watson of Australia, are the world's newest HEROES.

Posted by: memyselfI1 | June 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Note to Wilbrodog:
If someone suggests China,
Growl, then bark, "No way!"

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

So does the new moon have the same effect on drive-bys as a full moon?

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

My reaction is the same as Ian Kiernan's (see WaPost story): what on earth was she doing in the Southern Ocean in wintertime? If she's so knowledgeable about things maritime, she certainly ought to know that's no place to be in a sailboat, single-handed. At least, not if you have any choice in the matter...

Posted by: lee54 | June 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow. These critics of Joel have me completely convinced. Here I thought that as a parent my job was to protect and guide my teenagers into adulthood.

Now I see that this was presumptuous.

I should have realized that the 16-year-old brain is fully developed and completely capable of making nothing but good decisions about risk. Heck, if they feel immortal this means they must be immortal.

And who are we, as parents, to prevent the world from watching someone not even old enough to vote risk death? So their so called "young" lives might be snuffed out. What could be more inspiring than a drowned teenager?

I mean, who are I to stand in the way of the dreams of our children? How else can they learn their own limits except by pushing themselves in potentially lethal ways?

After all, just because modern 16-year-olds can expect to live 70 years more doesn't give us the right to be more protective of them than they did in the olden times. When dead 16-year-olds weren't considered such a big deal.

Aye. Those were the days.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

But, alias some parent somewhere told you you were mature enough to use a keyboard. Do as I say not as I do.

Posted by: dcperspective | June 11, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse


Two words: Bryn Mawr.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

She'll make millions on the inevitable book and media tour.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG. I needed that. So did the boodle, though unfortunately I don't think it will help. I would not have predicted this, but now that yello's reminded me of On Parenting, I realize that I should have.

Posted by: -bia- | June 11, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Different plumbing, same MO

Posted by: scott_in_DC | June 11, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Re: #3 - You have to be talking about the Landon mixer that two of my teens HAD to go to and that the police busted.

Posted by: jetcat45 | June 11, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I sure wish they'd put the word "humor" back into the blog's header.

Here's how "overprotective" Joel is: his kids go to DC public schools.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing that men are crying about a 16 year old highly trained girl sailing her boat?

Abby will be incredibly inspired for the rest of her life. She may take on other risks, or raise up some fine children and encourage them to follow her lead, and not sit at home playing video games and updating their Facebook pages.

I have climbed mountains, sailed the seas above and below the surface, and much more. Doesn't that sound like fun? It is! Abby is a great American! Yeaaah for Abby! I am so glad that she took the risk, took the trip, and will return home to tell us all about it.

You are fantastic, Abby!

Tracey in Houston Texas, the home of space explorers!

Posted by: Tracey12_12 | June 11, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like nothing more than a tacit acknowledgement that you are a cowardly, inferior parent.

Posted by: Seymour1 | June 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

ok I have never in my 50 years written in one of these on line blogs but some of these posts have made me angry. your nuts as is the author of this article. You say 16 is two young to fallow her dreams or for her mom and dad to support her in them.

We let kids drive at 16, fly airplane at 16 and we send them to war at 18. She had a dream to sail the world and her mom and dad supported her in it. I applaud them for raising a daughter who has shown she is capable of great things. They have shown she has been raised with respect for her wishes for her own life, They have made sure she received the education she needed to make this trip and had the best equipment to do so. I might also add that at every turn Abby has showed maturity beyond her years on this trip including now. That said in my opinion you judging her parents and her for their chose to make this trip shows me and the world you are at least mentally less mature then Abby is.

God gave us all one life and a free will and it is OURS to do with what WE chose as long as we honor him in doing so. I have no double Abby has no regrets,she maybe a bit battered or bruised but no less fine. I also believe it is far better to DIE living life then it is to live letting life pass you by shut up in a safe place at all times.

I prayied for her but in my heart know that she was fine all along as she was prepaired and ready.

Posted by: azrayman | June 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a high-scoring game, Scotty.

What Elizabeth bennett said, especially her last graf. I am perversely enjoying comments from people who know absolutely nothing about the dangerous of transoceanic sailing in small craft.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

So, what do you think she does next? I am betting Dancing With the Stars.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 11, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse


My son saw his first Broadway show at 10. He was 13 when we saw Avenue Q complete live on-stage puppet sex. For his fifteenth birthday we took him and his friends to see Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. The only R-rated movies allowed in our house were the ones directed by Kevin Smith.

In short, I did my best to corrupt him but he still got good enough grades to go to a college way more expensive than I can afford. Where did I go wrong?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Dear lgsonoma ("June 11, 2010 2:22 PM"), Jonhoye ("June 11, 2010 2:34 PM") and Worldrimroamer ("June 11, 2010 3:05 PM"): You three should have kept your sails furled. You've shown that none of you is old enough to venture into a treacherous sea of WaPo irony.

Well said, Joel Achenbach. Please keep writing for those grown-ups among us who enjoy a giggle every so often.

Posted by: LeighOats | June 11, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

*wondering why so many people are apparently taking Joel's kit seriously*

*wondering why such people do not appear to have a sense of humor*

I once read somewhere that deliberate literal interpretation of words and events can be a sign of schizophrenia or other organic brain disorder.

Okayyy, then. Let's see how things are in the bunker since slyness has returned from her international venture.

Posted by: -ftb- | June 11, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

*clapclapclap to LeighOats*

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations. You have earned you secret boodler decoder ring. Report to the bunker for a passkey and your choice of lladros.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Uruguay-France still scoreless with about 20 minutes of regular time left...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

LeighOats, please don't forget to take a Kinkaide when you're finished in the bunker.

Take as many as you'd like, actually.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Not much scoring, but fouls aplenty...

In the World Cup match, I mean. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, does Uruguay-France have a first name? Why can't he get a date? How long has it been for the poor guy since he scored last? He must be very....okay, never mind.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I wonder if my neighbors whose daughter goes there knows. Probably.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen this in my seven months on the boodle, but Mr. A mudged himself on the last kit.

Now that's a daring feat few folks survive, mudging yourself on your own blog.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and ditto to the rancorous, intemperate, capital-letter-abusing, unclassy MemyselfI1 ("June 11, 2010 3:28 PM"): All of you under-age and unlicensed keyboarders who've failed to read Joel's drift (in the world outside the USA it's called humor, irony, good journalism, whatever) are out of your depth in this thread.

If we were playing association football (= soccer) then we would say you've collectively scored an own goal.

Posted by: LeighOats | June 11, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

There's always Agnes Scott and College of Notre Dame-Maryland. Shame that nunneries are so unpopular nowadays.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's something no one here has mentioned: My daughter is 16. She goes to school for more than 6 hours a day. She is part of the school in-house TV station and must spend a lot of time in the afternoons writing, editing and shooting video for the next day. She works two jobs. She has friends and a social life. She likes to write and loves to read. She's very funny and incredibly smart.

Even without the two jobs and the after-school activities, when would she have time to study enough about round-the-world sailing AND go to school?

What else is has Abby been studying, besides sailing, while preparing for this trip? English grammar and writing? Literature? Government? Math (I'm sure she's good at math since that would be important in her calculating and navigation, so 'yes' to that)? Chemistry? Biology? World History? US History?

Do you suppose she's had the time to learn, say.. the difference between a news article and a humorous column or blog? Because there are obviously many people who never had the time to learn that and they didn't sail solo around the world when they were 16.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess most of the available sense of humour is locked up with us in the bunker. For cryin' out loud.

Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

And, Scotty, don't forget a lladro and/or a Kinkade for zlizabethbennett and a hearty bunker welcome to her, too. She's got a lot of pride, yanno, and as for fighting prejudices...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse


And who paid the salaries of all those generous French and Australian rescuers?

And I particularly like the reasoning that she was perfectly safe because the waters she was sailing in are too treacherous for pirates. Cognitively dissonant much?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah.. I know I didn't have to mention that my daughter is very funny and incredibly smart, but I just couldn't help it.


Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

And hey, din I tell yuns people were really angry about this sotry? Din I? Din I? You hearded it here firstest.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Quite true, 'Mudge. Plenny Kinkades to go 'round.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Careful, Joel. A lot of USAians don't _do_ irony.

Posted by: LeighOats | June 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, please check the bunker's cask of Amontillado -- 'Mudge is regressing again.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It's not Abby's fault that you haven't had the time/patience/interest to teach your girls to be extraordinary - GO ABBY! Sometimes you have to fail a few times before setting the world on fire and the rest of us could be gracious enough to applaud the intrepid.

Posted by: abql | June 11, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

And doilies. We got us plenty of doilies.

Take two; they're small.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If you're looking for it, Yoki, it's in the second drawer of the file cabinet in the shop steward's office. At least that's where I saw the irony last...

elizabethbennett, I was in Bath last week and loved the town. Do you and Mr. Darcy visit there often?

Anybody got appetizers to bring to the bunker? I'm pulling out the frest goat cheese and crackers. That I will share is an indication of how much I love you folks.

Posted by: slyness | June 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Uruguay's had a man sent off with about 7 minutes of regular time left...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

About all the comments about letting our kids follow their dreams--my kids can have all the dreams they want, they just have to wait 'til they're at least 18 until they get to follow them. And even then, I have a pretty solid veto power (e.g., a place to live, college tuition, etc.).

Posted by: capsfan77 | June 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

abql, the difference here is that failing very likely meant the end of her life. She is very lucky that it wasn't so. You can be extraordinary without almost dying because you didn't plan for contingencies or for weather well.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | June 11, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

'Mericans don't do irony? How else to explain the 2004 election.

Posted by: kguy1 | June 11, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

- schezwan shrimp, chilled (shrimp are from Baja, btw)
- fresh asparagus and brie in blankets
- holy moly guacamole and chips

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Does the irony come with a built-in steamer apparatus, Yoki?

*I* think it's simply lovely that we have got all these new boodlers among(st) us.

As for the others, well . . . . *choke*.

Anybody see the Celtics win over the Lakers last night? Even if Kevin Garnett couldn't quite get his shots to drop, Robinson and Davis (who I think is simply adorable) did plenty off the bench to take care of matters. And even to see Rasheed Wallace in a Celts uniform was kinda fun.

Hey, don't look at me like that -- hockey season is over. I gotta have *some* sport to curl myself around besides MLB. And futbol doesn't exactly give me the screaming abdabs like it does the rest of the world.

*muttering while considering whether to open that new cabinet in the bunker. Might need some protective gear first. Snuke? Got any?*

Posted by: -ftb- | June 11, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Nil-nil final for Uruguay-France. France's Henry appealed to the ref for a handball against Uruguay and was denied. Poetic justice, anyone? *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I wander off after lurking awhile on the last kit and the discourse takes an ugly turn.

Who knew a kit entitled "Abby Sunderland rescued" would produce such vitriol? And for God's sake, why?

Posted by: cowhand214 | June 11, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Only the oven mitts hanging off the fridge door, ftb. Sowwy.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 11, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I just want to point out that in ONE way, her sailing around the world solo is a parent's dream come true. NO BOYFRIEND ON BOARD.

She's very lucky so far. Even with all the safety precautions available and taken, she still could perish. But yes, that is true of all of us. Particularly when we get behind the wheel of our autos.

Posted by: Skowronek | June 11, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Sailing and life in general is dangerous...I think people who hold that opinion have lost their zeal for life."
(Daddy, insisting he did the right thing)

OK. Well in that case, your daughter doesn't need any help.

Everyone go back home. After all, why should rescuers risk their lives
to save your daughters sorry a@@ when you and her obviously don't care?

Posted by: Azarkhan | June 11, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What some kids will do to get into an Ivy! Jeesh.

Posted by: rickoshea11 | June 11, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

2 games and no goals yet. That is screaming start to Mundial 2010. According to what I read in the French press their team suçe big time. The coach Domenech is scheduled for a ride to the guillotine the minute the Les Bleus are out.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 11, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

cowhand, this happens every so often. S'ok.

Some folks take the seriously, some get the giggles. Some do both. It's bound to create tension.

The regulars tend to shrug it off, looking for virtual food and drink to share. They know they can disagree without the mast falling down.

I'm going to have some more ice tea. Anyone else thirsty?

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I wish to issue a complaint to the Washington Post Company. And, sadly, I am not being ironic.

I just learned that I, a long time subscriber to the Washington Post, will not receive the Strasburg poster in my home delivery Sunday paper. If I wish to get this poster I must buy a second paper at a retail outlet.

This, to me, seems like a rotten trick to play on us loyal subscribers.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Says MoftheMountain ("June 11, 2010 4:14 PM"):

"You can be extraordinary without almost dying because you didn't plan for contingencies . . ."

Give BP a break.

Posted by: LeighOats | June 11, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Some folks take the kit topic seriously, some get the giggles.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

SCC no çédille necessary: suce

I'm watching the F1 coverage in Mtl. Should have pulled that trigger when there was plenty of tickets available.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 11, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, between us, I think we'll have enough to consider it all dinner. I know *I* won't need to eat anything else afterwards! Yum!

ftb, are you talking about the old cabinet that was in the kitchen pantry? With all the cables and tape on it? I had Scotty and bc take it out on the back porch. They managed to drop it, and oh what a mess. We shall not discuss the response from the hazmat team, or the fines the shop steward had to pay.

Posted by: slyness | June 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

lol. LeighOats, exactly. "Just go for it and let someone save you when it gets rough, or you're in over your head" is apparently an admirable trait for a teenage sailor, but not an oil exec or even banker.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | June 11, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I really like this LeighOats. Stick around!

Tomorrow: no one understands what's funny about death and taxes.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Sailing around the world at 16 is pretty nutty, but she has the very best kit in available, the ability to be in contact 24/7 (barring this disaster) and was evidently capable. I would NEVER allow my kid to do it.. but.. not my kid. The bigger problem is the route taken and the time of year. As noted the Southern Indian Ocean is incredibly dangerous this time of year (not to mention her earlier passage through the perilous Straits of Magellan) and her route took her thousands of miles from any rescue station. That is very poor judgement. She is incredibly lucky she didn't go in the drink or she'd have been dead in less than an hour. Whoever was worried about pirates, don't be, they only troll near shore (which is likey why she took such a remote route). Poor planning and poor judgement on the route to be taken.

Posted by: dgb100 | June 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Holy Toledo!

Went for a long run and now my 'puter screen is spattered with parenting advice, which is always worth the price when it comes in from the World Wide Web.

Every once in awhile a rich kid almost gets killed as the world watches in mock horror.
This is a variation on the missing blonde meme, Greta van S is going to all over this, like a fly on...white rice.

Then there is this, "I once read somewhere that deliberate literal interpretation of words and events can be a sign of schizophrenia or other organic brain disorder."

Not true, but get rid of the word deliberate and it becomes true.

Concrete (inability to appreciate abstraction, hierarchies of meaning, attribution of intent, etc.) cognitive operations are a sign of brain damage, a symptom of schizophrenia and worse. The Nun Study has suggested a paucity of idea density in communicated content (story telling) at an early age predicts dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Abby Sunderland's messages were concerning to me, she may be rescued, but she needs to cram more ideas into her impending disaster messages.

Affirmative take home message for the day: Be Dense.

The more depth, complexity, more deeply articulated humor baked into three layers of meaning...the less likely you are, not just to come down with Schizophrenia, the less likely you are to lose your marbles before your heart stops.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, you're right, shrink. "deliberate" is what, well, many in your profession like to do. Alas, my mom, who was funny as heck (really) and quite imaginative, ended up with Alzheimer's. *sigh*

slyness -- *see!* *see!* I *knew* I'd have to have some protection around those guys. Potholders, my you-know-what Snukie!

Yep, my instincts are pretty good.


Okay, anybody see SYTYCD last night? It's becoming more a show about all the choreographers patting themselves on the back (not that many of them don't deserve it, but still, it gets old), and less about the talent in front of them. But there was still some good dancing.

Posted by: -ftb- | June 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Personally I don't get why people need to perform these stunts - yes, stunts. Hopefully the Aussies will send the SAR bill to the parents. That'll shock them into reality.

Posted by: maus92 | June 11, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

That's a comfort Shrink as Alzheimer's scares the carp out of me. It's always the wealthy who do these sorts of things because, duh, they can afford it. Proving once again that the rich are different from you and me, or something.

I don't know why I'm always surprised when the humor impaired show up here. I think I'm just happy the German speaking has stopped ;-) Dank

Posted by: badsneakers | June 11, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Back in the Gulf, a bit of the top cap seal has apparently torn. This seems to have led to a lower collection rate through the mile-long straw.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Today's story reminded me of a Blue Oyster Cult song

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Over in baseball, my understanding is that TBS is picking up the Sunday afternoon Nationals-Indians broadcast nationally so all of America can watch Mr. Strasburg in action.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

You've obviously did not do your research on this situation. Abby Sunderland's brother, Zach, broke the record last year for being the youngest person in history to sail around the world. He was 16.

His sister Abby wanted to go out and accomplish the same thing. I've written my thoughts about this at It just seems to me that people are failing to see the positive side of this and being way too cynic from sheer ignorance. Again, her brother Zach broke two world records at the age of 16. Was this something you did not know before you wrote this article? I venture to say, "yes".

Posted by: kkobashi | June 11, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Says TBG ("June 11, 2010 4:50 PM"): "I really like this LeighOats. Stick around!"

Thanks for your support. I'll wear it always. And I'm being serious, for a change.

Now back to my usual mode: Let's hear it for the selfish recklessness of one Christopher Columbus, or whatever he called himself, for his various against-all-the-odds jaunts across the Atlantic Ocean. He has a lot to answer for.

Posted by: LeighOats | June 11, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

kkobashi... you might do a little research yourself. Not to get too picky, but his name is Zac and he was 17.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"I'm just happy the German speaking has stopped."

Well, I will stop. Sorry about that, someone said there were lots of German speakers here. But I imagine it would be really annoying if suddenly everybody broke out into side conversations in a language of which I had no clue (keine Ahnung) ooops it happened again.

It was all worthless prattle anyway.
Before, I think I said,

Hell yeah, back in the day, too long ago, I thought, well if I don't know German I won't really get Rilke. Don't believe it? Well you're wrong. No not really, but maybe it was a little bit true. It was 1974, the girl at my side, first love. She taught me everything that matters.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The genocide of Hispaniola and the introduction of slavery to the Western Hemisphere for two. Oh, was this a humor thread?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Is it permissible for newbie me to issue another invite? *Shaking hands with LeighOats* Hearty soup and sammich fixings for rescue workers added to MsJS and slyness delicacies in the bunker fridge.

What a Friday!

Posted by: talitha1 | June 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I've got to comment on all the nay sayers. What do you think happen here? Are you thinking that Abby was playing on her game boy one day and suddenly envisioned herself sailing around the world? This is an exceptional family. Abby has been spoon feed confidence, courage and character her entire life. Here sailing around the world was simply to validate her place in this very special family. Please, please bring us more Abby's.

Posted by: ballinger2000 | June 11, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, you're right. I guess I was lulled into a false sense of security by the title. No politics, humorous, point of departure for the kit is good news, etc.

Ah well, hopefully the tempest will die down shortly.

Posted by: cowhand214 | June 11, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I've got to comment on all the nay sayers. What do you think happen here? Are you thinking that Abby was playing on her game boy one day and suddenly envisioned herself sailing around the world? This is an exceptional family. Abby has been spoon feed confidence, courage and character her entire life. Here sailing around the world was simply to validate her place in this very special family. Please, please bring us more Abby's.

Posted by: ballinger2000 | June 11, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel - what are you teaching your children? Are you teaching them to be self reliant, world changing adults? Are you teaching them to assess risk and manage a crisis? Are you teaching them what it takes to be brave and strong? Or are you just teaching them to be as fearful as you are. Or perhaps you have decided that they are too precious to you to be allowed to be anything but your child.
Extended Childhood is a modern invention. And I don't think we have invented anything very helpful to the world.
The Sunderlands have taught their children to be self reliant, risk takers. And they have the courage to allow something they love so much to live the lessons they have taught.
Life is only precious if it is lived.

Posted by: sjdavis1925 | June 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@badsneakers - the Sunderlands are NOT wealthy. Look into it before you write it.

Posted by: sjdavis1925 | June 11, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure what I would say to Abby were she my daughter, first instinct No! but I cannot be positive. I happen to think solo trips around the world are crazy, but then it has been crazy risky adventurers that have brought so much to this world.

If anyone is interested, Abby's blog, she was writing while sailing, I would think she prepped for her trip learning geography, biology, weather patterns, perhaps some astronomy, maybe some science and math, all worthwhile and perhaps well advanced of what she would be learning in school.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

shrink, based upon some of the humorless (read: clueless to this blog) comments here, it brings to mind the lack of humor density of which you spoke earlier. To that end, the incidence of resulting dementia and related illnesses is likely to grow exponentially.

And I shall step outta the way.

If you guys do insist, however, to flex your brainpower by expressing yourselves auf Deutsch, I shall do same, although in Swedish. Spent some time on the phone earlier today with a dear, dear friend in Stockholm. She's in her mid-80s and she is, alas, disabled with skeletal issues. But her mind is still sharp. Part of our conversation was about our mothers. IIRC, her mother was a twin. This woman is so special to me, and that we've kept up a conversation spanning almost 35 years is simply wonderful. She also provides me with the opportunity to practice my Swedish. She's a doll, and I do hope I'll be able to get over there to see her again.

And to the others who have seen fit to pontificate here, oh so judgmentally -- this is a *humor* column.

*flying into the wind like a seagull in a hurricane*

Posted by: -ftb- | June 11, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I prefer my kids to gain confidence, courage and character on their own. I can do what I can for them, but certainly spoon-feeding them doesn't really help them, now, does it?

And what kind of kid feels like they have to circumnavigate the globe to be validated?

Why do people think they must do INCREDIBLE and RISKY things to be amazing and wonderful people? It's the everyday heroes who make me proud. Give me a good teacher or writer or editor or mechanic. Those are the folks who inspire me.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Then there's the growing array of more or less alarming sports: skateboarding, riding assorted vehicles on various kinds of terrain, street luge, parkour, riverboarding.

Surfing is reasonably safe, but here's an 18 year old professional from Florida crashing at an infamous California break (he was fine, the sponsor-provided board broke):

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Azarkhan: If you are truly concerned about rescuers risking their lives to save people, perhaps you should consider not going outside anymore for fear someone would have to help you. Oh. I see. Only sixteen year olds ever need help? And only on the high seas?? No 30 something has ever been rescued from a mountain or a bay???

Ever consider her parents actually care about her more than you could ever conceive, which is why they let her go?

Posted by: lgsonoma | June 11, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure TBG, but would we have gone to the moon if people didn't want to try really incredibly risky things?

Not sure they need to do it to be amazing, but have an inner drive to break the boundaries. Although some may be influenced by making a name for themselves but that is not limited to risky activities.

Her blog is interesting and she does address the issues of being in the Indian Ocean at that time of year.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I see your point, and agree with you, dmd. There should be amazing and remarkable people who do amazing things.

But no one went to the moon at 16. They went to school, joined the military, worked hard, had great ideas, took risks.

They didn't start by going to the moon.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

According to Sunderland's website, she has more than two dozen sponsors.

Her father is reportedly a shipwright and has a yacht management firm.

It appears the Abby and her brother have been immersed in things nautical from the get-go and her father's connections allowed them to recruit sponsors.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

All caught up, a little back-posting to do.

TBG, the sync button is a very good thing. It was having to click the SYNC MUSIC box at the top first that stymied me. And if you hadn't written how wonderful Athena is, one of us would have.

kguy, for me, 1 out of 3 ain't bad.

shrink, != and <> also.

I have nothing to say about raising children because I'm afraid someone would make me take one if I did.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 11, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

As for the older brother, Zac, he reportedly just finished high school and may go climb Mt. Everest or sail to Antarctica.

It sound as though he likes the idea of lining up sponsors to bankroll his adventures. I doubt he's had much training in extreme mountain climbing, but hey, if he wants to do it and someone's willing to sponsor the trip, he should do go.

Posted by: MsJS | June 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I know, I ment it in the "spirit of adventure" persona, not so much the age. My only disagreement with you would be in the getting an education area, I really believe her experiences are a great education in many different facets -it is just not traditional education.

I admire her spirit, her drive, her intelligence but not necessarily her decision at this point in her life.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with 16 year olds taking risks, in fact that's the minimum age I set for Mr. F to take the dott skydiving (she ended up not going, but not because we wouldn't allow it). What I do have a problem with is the quest for fame that really seems to be the goal behind the risk taking. But, what do I know. I spent my 15th year much as K-guy spent his 16th, minus the smoking.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 11, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Heres a new phrase: "Literary Hyperbole"


sjdavis1925 - Extended adolescence is when your children live at home at 25, not letting a child born in the Clinton Administration assume the risks of an adult. Come on. Antibiotics are a recent invention too, but that doesn't mean I am keen on letting my children die from strep throat.

Look. We all know Abby Sunderland is a unique child in a unique situation. Gotcha.

But I think it is the very fact that she is such a unique case that so alarms many of us with teenaged children. We fine relating to this situation exceedingly difficult.

I can't imagine shipping my child off on such a life threatening trip for *no* reason except as a stunt.

If this makes me a bad parent, I'll risk it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

If you had a son, Joel, would you trust him to operate a blender? This column came off as sexist. The brother did it. Why can't she?

Posted by: graphchick1 | June 11, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

MsJS in a former job, we dealt with one of the more adventurous Canadian sailors, the idea of individual sponsors for these adventures never sat well with me, I could understand why corporations would want to be involved, if his trips were successful it would bring attention to their products and the people who follow those events seems to accept the risks, large possibility for things to go wrong and at times end in tragedy.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

You are right there, too, dmd, about her education. It not only appears Abby is getting a fine education, but most learning occurs outside the classroom anyway.

I just don't see why suddenly everyone wants me to opine while actually knowing facts! :-)

Posted by: -TBG- | June 11, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert (I am Queen of the Obvious Proof).

Posted by: -dbG- | June 11, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"it brings to mind the lack of humor density of which you spoke earlier"

Someday, being humorless will be appreciated not just as a neurological deficit but as a bad prognostic indicator. Semiotics are not a toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I always wanted to do that.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 11, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

The absurd thing is that I have no doubt that Joel could have easily written a kit taking the absolutely opposite position. Something like "Abby Sunderland goes around the world and I can't even get my daughters to go into the shed because of spiders." You know, except, funny.

Heck, it wasn't too long ago that Joel wrote a very funny article bemoaning the concept of extended adolescence.

Of course, if he had written such a kit then all the humor-impaired *true* helicopter parents would have come out of the woodwork.

Tragic is the plight of the humorous commentator.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, frosti.

It was funny. When I was 16, safe sex was the last thing on my boyfriend's mind. When we re-dated for a while a few years ago, it was the first.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 11, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Well said RD. Aren't teenager's brains still immature? I believe there was some study(s) referring to this but as usual I don't remember details. I'm sure this young woman was well prepared and all, but that's a heck of a trip, even for a 30 year old. Doesn't matter now as I just heard on the news that she is going to quit, of course she hasn't much choice now that the boat is damaged.

Again, what percentage of the population is humor-impaired?

Posted by: badsneakers | June 11, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

We should be asking what did these parents do to raise such a brave, skilled and extraordinarily accomplished young lady? Have gotten so used to not expecting greatness from adults (politicians, etc.), much less our young people, that we look with distain on great accomplishments? Well I for one believe that, if he were alive today, one of this country's greatest individuals who was an exployer, environmentalist, adventurer and President would say of Abby Suderland and her family and friends,"Bully." Yes Abby and her parents are people even Teddy Roosevelt would look up. "Bully Indeed."

Posted by: tren | June 11, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Graphchick - if Joel had a teenaged son the point about the blender would have been moot. I have a teenaged son. My son seems incapable of operating any machine in the kitchen that requires electricity. Making toast is beyond him.

As far as sexist? Good golly are you off base.

Now, If Joel has indicated support for the brother you would have a point. But I have a feeling Joel isn't too keen on what the brother did either.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

RD, my first thought when I saw the story were how do you say goodbye the day she starts the adventure, how do you keep from focusing on the fact that is might be the last possible goodbye.

As for making a name for yourself is it any different than someone wanting to write the Great American novel, be CEO, Star Quarterback, the scientist for finds the secrets of the universe? It is about being the best, and being known for that. A trait I do not have - but know those who do.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

To me, a truly impressive accomplishment for a young person is something that really improves the world or, at least lays the foundation for that. You know, like a 16 year old who is forced into a caregiver role, or organizes an effective grass-roots movement for good.

That would make me say "wow" much more than a risky stunt.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

graphchick, you want a gender war?
Go read Haxfiles. *blech*

Posted by: talitha1 | June 11, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I give up.

Posted by: LeighOats | June 11, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps, the foundations she is laying/learning will result in her studying ocean sciences or any other related field that may help many.

I believe she is being judged harshly because people do not see value in what she does.

By your criteria RD very few people are worthy.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Part of this is achievement fatigue. Since at least Lindbergh, all the good records have been taken. There is really no place left to go so the only alternatives are faster, younger, and more foolhardy (climbing Everest with oxygen, etc.). That is why the Universal Record Data Base is such a godsend.

If you or your offspring don't have what it takes to sail around the world or break the land speed record, you can invent your own record. Or pick one of the existing categories like Tallest Soda Can Tower or Longest Time To Balance a $100 Bill On Your Nose or Most Times Singing "Happy Birthday" While Jumping On A Pogo Stick (38, held by a 8-year-old).

So you don't need sponsors or months of preparation or any particular skill to make your mark on the world. Just do it. For wide values of 'it.'

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

yello: they could make that into a reality show.... or a game show. Frankly, it sounds a little too much like the Gong Show. They could have 2 segments each show and call it "15 minutes".

I think Warhol would have loved it.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line. I wouldn't want my son or daughter to undertake something at *16* that could easily end their lives for *no* reason other than fame. And not fame for accomplishing something useful to the world, but fame for accepting a double dog dare from the fates.

There will be time enough for that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Right again RD. Was she sailing for the love of sailing or for the fame? I'm also tired of all these 'records'. The world is going to heck in a handbasket, can't we think of things that would satisfy our egos but do some good too?

Posted by: badsneakers | June 11, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

For you daughter's sake I hope that this column is sardonic.

Posted by: smihalus1 | June 11, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

But she did wear a first-world, middle-class, expectation of rescue!

Personally I reckon we should simply let them sink. As soon as two of them go to the bottom we might be rid of the curse of kiddies in boats...

Posted by: jamesmmoylan | June 11, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Is organic brain damage better than chemical-laden brain damage, shrink? ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 11, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

"Someday, being humorless will be appreciated not just as a neurological deficit but as a bad prognostic indicator."

Hmm. Mitch McConnell is toast.

Posted by: rashomon | June 11, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

As is Cheney, rashomon. Although I suspect he emitted maniacal peals of laughter while supervising the waterboarding, don't you think?

Posted by: -ftb- | June 11, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"Aren't teenager's brains still immature?"

Yes. But then, one terrible year, the tipping point tips.

Older brains (over 30) are degenerate, what did someone call it, interstitial empty places? Relaxcunae might work.

The immaturity of the teenage brain is not pervasive. All kinds of executive capacities peak in the teen years.

Fortunately, there were no parties featuring kids she wanted to impress going on, as the storm came up.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Here is my dilemma, we teach are children to be their best, to find a passion, and when they excel and find a goal - we say wait. I think it is important for people to do what they love, not everyone can save the world, some have talents that will bring them fame, do they do something else because their aquired fame is not virtuous enough? How do you separate the drive for success from the drive for fame when those paths collide and does that make it wrong.

Most sixteen year olds would be way too young to attempt what she did, but there are exceptions, who willingly would take the risk. I hope she inspires other young women to work towards their dreams whatever they may be, and that there is more to life than WII games and parties.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi Wilbrod, hope you enjoyed your day.
Better damage? Neurons are precious, don't make me choose.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling having proved futile, I surrender.

Sonchild and dear husband are screening Hurt Locker on the hometube. Apparently I have no dog to hunt, though I made sure they were nourished before they bought their tickets.

Fortunately, I read boodlers and knit/knot while comprehension dawns.

I've shifted 90 degrees in my old age.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 11, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

It is the very fact that Abby is doubtless unusually mature that makes me uncomfortable with this. It is hard enough to get teenagers to pace themselves and not rush into risky behavior typically associated with legal adults without having examples like this to encourage them.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Another good episode of "Friday Night Lights." It's for teenage daughters.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, I actually didn't, but I got a passive-aggressive friend to finally state he no longer wanted me as his friend.

Progress for him in getting out of the excuses mill to express his wants, and I'm now out of the constant guessing sweepstakes.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 11, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

"...more foolhardy (climbing Everest with[out] oxygen..."

Reinhold Messner.

This man is unique. There may be Sherpa who could have done what he did, but he is just some Italian with a pushy father.

He is like frikin' God to me. I think about him all the time when I am running, skiing, drowning under a sail, whenever I am out of breath, when I want to make excuses.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I keep envisioning this:

"Abby Sunderland's Dad let *her* sail around the world by herself and you won't even let me take a semester off to follow MCR on tour."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"Progress for him in getting out of the excuses mill to express his wants, and I'm now out of the constant guessing sweepstakes."

But let me guess, you will follow him into the weeds.

Not being critical, we do this thing, it is difficult, like sailing your parents' boat.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I've been trying to stay out of this because any comment I can make is a sort of "on one hand this and on the other, that," but FWIW.

I'm in the middle. I think I have always been inclined to be encouraging of my children's passions and risk-taking. I have been much less protective/helicoptery than the media now paints most parents of young teens/adults. I am certainly less protective than RD_Padouk, but only because I have that luxury. Wanna go to Japan for a year on your own? Go! Wanna risk yourself and your emotional centre by taking a hard role on stage? Go for it. Wanna get up and sing like a pro on a stage for which you are paid (even though I know your voice is accurate, but not strong)? Most certainly.

I guess my mothering instinct was to if not encourage, then not oppose, the taking of psychic/intellectual and emotional risks, on the theory that a) it stretches us as menschen; b) if we fail, we have a strong support system to pick you back up and there are lessons to be learned by failure; and, c) I believe we are fully capable of slaying this particular dragon.

And while I did want my girls to take on the High Monkey Bars as pre-schoolers, physically, I will try hard to veto or at least influence any behaviour that could cost their lives or health; thus the safe-sex conversation over years, the refusal to let an uncoordinated 17-year-old scramble the most dangerous scree-face in the Canadian Rockies, etc. When they're 25, I have no say. While they are in my custody, I most certainly do and, in fact, have a legal obligation to speak and be heard.

Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"Aren't teenager's brains still immature?"

Sure, but she has developed to the point where she is a tremendous sailor -- it seems she has dealt with the problems of her journey in exemplary fashion including sending SOS when needed. The issue is the decision to do the trip in the first place, which I would pin on her parents.


Posted by: Jim19 | June 11, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Well said Yoki.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 11, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

And the body art discussion? :)

Posted by: -dbG- | June 11, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Man, Wilbrod, if all your anecdotes/personal vignettes are true, you know a bunch of deeply dysfunctional people, and feel very much more vulnerable in the world than I ever have or could or will. And you also know a bunch of hearing people who (while you don't acknowledge that they may have 'issues' of their own that are not apparent to you) are really glassbowls.

And that makes me sad.

Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It occurred to me over dinner, Kitchen Sink Lo Mein (every vaguely appropriate left-over with noodles fried in a mix of oyster and soy sauces) that Abby probably wouldn't have gained much fame outside of the sailing world had she not needed rescue. Who even knew she was making the attempt? So, I was a bit hasty in conflating her motivation with the woman in Michigan who weighs 600 LBS and is eating her way up to 1,000 so she can be the world's heaviest woman. Her I've heard about. Have fame and its pursuit always been so strange? Mudge, you've been around the longest. What say you?

Perhaps the family business has muted my worry gene into extinction, but if I have ever lain awake because a loved one was in harm's way in a war zone it's been because I was full of envy. I daresay Abby's parents felt a good dose of that, along with pride. Perhaps that's how they let her go. In my case, if either child had asked me to sign the paperwork allowing enlistment at 17 vs. 18, even with a Commander in Chief I loathed, embroiled in a war I never supported, I would have. Not "against my better judgement" because I admit I have none in this arena. And in that I think I'm more like the Sunderlands than different.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 11, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I have no leg to stand on, in that discussion, dbG, given the piercings (you have no idea) and tattoos (more, now). However, I can say that girls always had control of their own hair, on these terms.

I don't care one bit if your hair is bright blue or right, mohawked, shaved, if *if* you are certain you are not being judged on your persona, but your person. If you are respectful and kind to other people, engaged in good citizenship, getting great marks in High School and university (since I and Himself and the grandpas are paying for that), productive, helpful, fun and interesting to be around.

The thing about hair is, of course, that it is temporary. Fortunately here in AB, nobody under the age of 18 can legally be tattooed (piercings seem to be on a case-by-case basis, so I always had veto-power over the shop; it needed to be certified clean by AB Health *and* show me their stations, autoclaves, practices. Two piercers actually thought I was a Health Dept. inspector. Hee hee.

But all that outward stuff? Couldn't care less. All about the kid's personal expression and safety.

Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I've got a little factoid to lay out here, but it's from the "way back machine" and probably doesn't apply amongst our enlightened drive-bys.

In 1942 my father was 13 years old and had learned to pilot a Stearman biplane. He wanted a license. His dad and uncle had flown in WWl and barnstormed their way through the "depression". They also bootlegged and dirtfarmed . . . . . anything to survive, I reckon.

My PaPa fudged my daddy's birthdate on a forged birth certificate, apparently (without malice but with forethought) so that the license was issued. Folks far and wide are still thankful for air rescues, parachute jumps, photographic opportunities, fantasy flights and just plain fun.

That having been said, this young woman has captured my imagination for her attempt, her at-sea dilemma, her fortitude.
I AM (one little shout) with Joel on the "keep 'um safe until they can't endanger the family" joke though. Lollapaloosa concert, anyone?

Posted by: talitha1 | June 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, she could have set sail for Haiti with a boatload of supplies ;-). I'm not against adventure or 'going for it' but her young age and the scope of the 'adventure' are what give me pause. I almost literally pushed #2 onto her plane for Australia when she got cold feet before her semester abroad. I do believe that it's the things you *don't* do that you regret. But I still think 16 is far too young an age, regardless of the maturity level and expertise. And I like Frosti's point about her achievement (had she completed the trip) not being much known outside of sailing circles. Remember the seven year old girl who was flying across country to be the youngest to do it? Would we have remembered her at all if she hadn't tragically crashed? News cycles being what they are these days, nothing sticks in the consciousness for long, except this darn oil leak!

Posted by: badsneakers | June 11, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, I just learned the fuller definition of passive-aggressive today. I just saw it as a shyness/repressed anger thing.

Hadn't had a guy friend like that before, but many female friends (usually short-lived) did.

One stayed friends for years, but that was because I gave her conditions for my friendship: one was that she MUST tell me when she was angry at me, even for the littlest thing, and I would listen and not get mad back at her. I did. She progressed.

This one took a different course. In the end, I complimented him and congratulated him on taking such an important stand for his own sake, and wished him well. I will take him at his word today, even if he recants.

Well, no weeds for me.

Open waters beckon.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 11, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I think these young people have the Wow factor, RD was speaking about, and I do agree, I just happened to be wowed (no capitalization) by other feats as well.

Top 20 under 20, click the links to read out the achievers in the various categories.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 11, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I had read about her trip before the accident. She was held up making repairs and missed the record because of that but wanted to finish, regardless.

Yoki, figured you'd say something like that!

Taking the age out of it (although even I know 7 is too young) because I haven't raised children, there are just things you do because these things are an expression of who you are.

While it's nice if they benefit others too, that's not a criteria to judge the actions someone else takes to express herself.

We're more than the sum of what we do for others.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 11, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

And for anyone who's feasted chez Yoki:

Posted by: -dbG- | June 11, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, what do you mean by "Lollapalooza anyone?

Abby's story reminded me of my younger daughter who learned to drive at age 12 (in the driveway). She told me that the state should give kids a driver's license if they were smart enough and tall enough!

I think that many kids overestimate their competence.

Posted by: rickoshea11 | June 11, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the thing that I find most disturbing about this is the business about the "youngest" record. It seems likely that the reason Abby Sunderland is sailing at the worst possible time of year is because she would no longer be eligible for this record if she had waited until austral summer. In pursuit of a trivial and evanescent "record" she was dealing with 30 foot swells and 70 mph winds. She could very easily be dead.

So, yeah, her parents were incredibly irresponsible. She may very well be mature enough to undertake the trip. Some teenagers are far ahead of their years -- and there are some 25 year olds whom I wouldn't trust with a barbecue grill. I also think there is more than a hint of sexism in all the umbrage. But her parents should have told her "Wait six months, and forget about the record." The fact that they didn't puts them a few steps below the balloon boy's parents in my estimation.

Posted by: rashomon | June 11, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow! And I'm about as far away as can be.


But I do, do love it. More than Champagne.

Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

When I'd just turned fifteen I talked my folks into letting me do a crazy solo hike in the Rockies, virtually all of which was going to be far from any convenient rescue. I was moderately experienced and moderately well-prepared, and obviously survived it. But an unpredicted late spring blizzard of once-or-twice-per-century ferocity made it scary & unpleasant for several days. Digging a path out of the tent, stamping down a semi-level spot, then lifting the tent onto the new higher spot every few hours for two days. Putting myself on half-rations because I had no certainty how long that part of the adventure was going to last, or whether I'd be able to find the cache of supplies (which I'd previously left for myself about five miles away) under several feet of new snow. Whoopie, the great outdoors!

My mom was not happy about the sleepless nights that she had between my earliest estimate of when I'd be finished, and my actual completion two days later. But I'd made her promise not to call out the search parties unless I was three days late (especially if bad weather came up), and after I came through that one she felt more at ease when I did similar things later.

We had this same discussion here when these young ladies were gearing up for their ocean treks. It would be insane for most parents to allow most of their children to consider attempting such things. And the suspicion that media hype leads to misplaced priorities is almost certainly valid in many cases.

But sometimes people, even very young people, gotta do what they gotta do. And some of them can be pretty darned good at doing it. I suspect that most of us nearly died in our youth. If I'd bought it while hiking or rock climbing, it truly would have been while doing something that I considered worthwhile. [Driving like an idiot, which also nearly killed me several times, not so much.]

Posted by: Bob-S | June 11, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I may have posted this several days ago, but it is even more apropos today:

///They can seem so distracted it's sometimes hard to believe teenagers have brains at all.

But they actually have too much grey matter, scientists say.

Despite looking like mini-adults, adolescents have developing brains that are similar to those of young children, making them less organised and more susceptible to distractions than older people.

Large amounts of the grey matter - the cells that crunch information - lead to chaos in their growing minds, the researchers add.///

Read more:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in a time and a place (Yoki knows it; Montana and Alberta are closer than Montana and Wisconsin, spiritually), we had many occasions of every day adventure:

hobos on the Great Northern grain spurs into town,

a warning to NOT venture on the rock banks of the Missouri when rattlers were active (temps marked by paint on Ralston Feed thermometer),

drilling on the no-run, act big technique in the small canyons where cougar would hunt,

inner tubing on both summer rivers and winter hills with the air valve side down...

About the sailing, many make good points. I have two to add:

some people -- children included -- follow an inner soul quest from an early age. As if they have no choice The soul beckons in many ways other than sailing around the world. One dot's soul lend itself toward mythology. By ten, she knew enough mythology of say ten cultures that she read Joseph Campbell and truly understood. She did not go to conventional school for this reason. INSISTED on autodidactic ways. Serious illness also made the path clear.

Point two: modern children may need to live in nature more because we are rather removed from nature. A's trip is simply a curious and risky expression of this, made possible by luck, some material comfort and stars aligning.

Last comment: as an open water lifeguard between 76 and 84 or so, I will say that people do not always acknowledge the gift and risk that rescuers provide. Rescue work is one expression of adventure and sacrifice. One of CPBoy's friend, deeply distrustful and disdainful toward school is now an EMT at 18. Fully qualified, I might add. He is on an adventure. And, I would want him on call if I called.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 11, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

COuld not proof, mea culpa; must now give computer to CPDude. Enjoy the evening and God bless each and all.

This is a good prayer for the content of the boodle:

Dear Lord, do watch over me: Your stars so high, and the ocean so large. And me, in my boat, so small, so very, very small.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and yes, and yes, CqP. #2 held a fully informed discussion of "Evil" with me, when she was barely three years old. She is what me old Mum calls an "old soul." A seeker. Why do I recognize her with a shock every time we meet? I would never refuse her the chance, if I could grant it, to explore her knowledge.

And #1 was an intellectual, rational (Himself's kid), amazing child, as soon as she was able to articulate and read fluently at about 4. Would I take away any moment in which she could be learning?

No, no I wouldn't.

But, I would still veto skydiving (which I've done) at age 12, because they don't have the organizational (frontal lobe) brain to foresee and plan for catastrophe.

Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"I suspect that most of us nearly died in our youth."

True. And before and after, again and again.

"I give up."

Meh. Join the club.

"Open waters beckon."

Healthy people think this.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Yoki reminded me that we still don't have a picture of our son with his blue hair.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, they're all true (minor details changed to protect privacy etc.), and more.

I could explain why I meet so many more of those people, but I think I shall refrain.

Basically, if you're rushing over to meet the outsider, you're hoping for a kindred soul for your own dysfunction.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 11, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

My son's goal in life is to make one of these:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | June 11, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

"Basically, if you're rushing over to meet the outsider, you're hoping for a kindred soul for your own dysfunction."

You should get paid for this.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

yello - What's so terribly sad is that while your son has the excuse of youthful exuberance, I (with no similar alibi) now feel honor-bound to make it (with slight modifications that will only make it worse) for a group of folks my own age who will (momentarily) worship me sometime next football season.

Some kids never grow up.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 11, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Wilbrod, ain't it the truth. I think everybody feels like an outsider -- that everyone else (besides me) has some secret knowledge about how exist in society.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite Jules Feiffer cartoons:

Posted by: rashomon | June 11, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod (& shrink) - That really IS a superior thought!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 11, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"I think that many kids overestimate their competence."

No doubt, they are emulating their elders.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 11, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

He has all the ingredients including the five pounds of hamburger but the frat oven is on the fritz.

And we did get pictures of the hair. It's more of a purple than an anime blue. Not bad looking but as it's faded, the bleach has given him blond patches. I told him that college is the time for doing stuff like that. Then I told him about Abby Sunderland and the kid that climbed Everest. He said he's never going to be that impulsive.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 11, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing more dangerous to a teen age boy, or an adult man, than a teen age girl. Give them half a chance in the wrong circumstances and they'll get you shot dead just for the entertainment potential & drama.

Posted by: Nymous | June 11, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, if everybody waited until they were sure that they were competent to do everything to attempt anything, then...

Ouch. It wouldn't be good. Enough of us old farts fall into that trap. Please, please don't encourage the young to follow that example. As unnerving or annoying as (seemingly) pointless and dangerous endeavors can be, I hope that I live long enough to witness plenty of them and even undertake a few more myself.

Lords, deliver me from that safe destiny!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 11, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, thanks for asking my opinion, but after my initial post, I've been trying really hard to stay out of this, even though I suspect I know more about open-ocean sailing than any other boodler or commenter, even though I was myself an adrenaline junkie for many years, and even though I suspect I understand the mentality of the sailor and the desire to go to sea in a small boat more than anyone here. I have even myself done dangerous and stupid things on boats (mostly recently five years ago) that I should never have done, and endangered other people as well as myself.

But my opinion is the majority of comments here are substantially wrong-headed or incorrect one way or another.

Also, please, please, please stop referring to 30-foot swells (rashomon) and 40-foot swells (grogan19). In the open ocean swells are generally harmless, regardless of their height. Virtually no sailor and no boat has ever been endangered by a swell, per se. A swell is very different from a "wave," however, and a 30-foot swell is harmless and a 30-foot wave will kill you most of the time (in a boat). If it doesn't sink you, it will come awful d@mn close.

The only time swells become any sort of problem is if the sea becomes what is called "short and steep," that is, when the period between swells becomes very short, and/or the height of the swells becomes extremely steep. Both conditions imply the sea is getting worse, and if it doesn't moderate pretty soon you're going to be in deep doo-doo, and swells will turn into waves when they start to crest and then break. And then you're in a world of hurt (depending on the size and seaworthiness of your boat/ship).

No matter the height of the swell, if the period is long enough, you foten don't even have to change course; you just ride along comfortably on whatever heading you have, and the swell gently lifts you up and a little while later it sets you back down. If they get too short, you simply steer into them but otherwise they aren't a problem. It's the waves ya gotta watch out for, not the swells. I'd rather ride a hundred 40-foot swells than two 6-foot breaking waves.

The other thing many people don't seem to understand is that when you sail solo, about one-third of the time you are unconscious (asleep). No one is standing watch, and only the autopilot is steering the boat. This is how you get run down by freighters and tankers and icebergs. (A few years ago a guy ran into an iceberg, in broad daylight, in latitude 50 south. Thing was a couple miles long and a hundred feet high, but he missed it. Kinda embarrassing, but he got lucky and escaped with only minor damage.)

So no more swells, please. Thank you.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 11, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Rash, Bob S, and Shrink. On that note, I'll go to bed feeling better than I did this morning.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 11, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, Nymous, boys & men regularly manage to kill themselves & each other with little input from the gals. But I did make the mistake of attempting to intercede in an argument-becoming-a-fight between two young women one night, and they essentially decided to injure me before they got back to fighting each other. I still bear the scars, and didn't really stop the fight.

I'll grant you that they're dangerous critters!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 11, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Open water lifeguarding seems to attract smart people, like a hydrologist I know.

Back, for a moment, to the Gulf. Here's a news story (99.4% certain it's open-access) at Science. It seems about 40% of the stuff coming out of the BP well is methane, which sets up a natural experiment to examine the possibility that huge methane releases some 55 million years ago had an abrupt and drastic effect on climate:

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 11, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

mudge, articles about this have used the terms 30 foot "swells," "seas," and "waves." I used the least alarming description. Lacking more specific knowledge, I found the 70 mph winds to be the truly scary figure.

Posted by: rashomon | June 11, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

for error, and very indirectly on kit, regarding the thin ice upon which i always tread.

Posted by: -jack- | June 11, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Love that song Jack.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 12, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I would be extremely shocked if the horrible, horrible events in the Gulf don't lead to some great science:

(1) DaveoftheWeirdlyNamedCycads notes the possibility of climate science derived from the unintentional and vast release of methane.

(2) The water column is being swept by a vast cloud of toxic or asphyxiating materials, which I might reasonably expect will kill a lot of deep-water critters. As of a few years, multiple species of entirely new-to-science large quid were discovered (in the Gulf, I think) on a single scientific cruise. I imagine that there are, or should be, squadrons of marine biologists out there sweeping the surface for the bloating bodies of recently-dead organisms, searching for new species.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 12, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I have one silly thought about the comment from the 'mudge above: "... and even though I suspect I understand the mentality of the sailor and the desire to go to sea in a small boat more than anyone here."

Everybody here knows plenty of things, many of them better than anyone else conveniently at hand. But I would not (and would urge you not to) to casually assume knowledge of the desires of other folks. There are probably people who've never gone more than twenty miles from Gaberone, Botswana (or Leadville, Colorado, or Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) who read "The Old Man and the Sea" as a kid, and would give the rest of their lives for a chance to go to sea in a small boat. Their desire is easy for even landlubbers to understand.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Tim, now remind me: The large quid is worth four bob, eight shells, & tenpence, right?

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I've rather steered around a portion of this kit and skipped over some of the rest so forgive me if I'm repeating someone else.

My concern isn't that there's an essential problem with having a 16 year old set a world record. On the contrary: it's a f%cking world record, everyone gets a shot.

However, my concern has its being with breaking a world record. These repeated teen sailing achievements worry me. It's an asymptotic line that, I fear, people won't be afraid of challenging.

Posted by: cowhand214 | June 12, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps I am being swayed by the fact that Abby Sunderland survived healthy, as post-facto evidence of her competence, but it sounds like she did everything she could possibly do to be ready for her attempted circumnavigation. The ocean overcame her boat, something not unknown in news related to other deep-water sailors. It happens, but she kept her boat afloat and survived and made the SOS call and got herself rescued, just like lots of older people have done in similar situations. When she's in college, or in a career, it will be much tougher to come by the most important supply -- time -- needed to make a voyage like this.

Somebody mentioned that she could have more usefully gone to Haiti with a boat full of food. Well, yeah, I suppose. Or she could just send the food. Or better yet, send the money to buy food, which is the most efficient way to do it. Which would leave her still looking for something to do with the process of turning herself into the adult she wants to be.

Of the adventures that a young girl with a boat might undertake solo, sailing to a definite destination and encountering people, some of whom have good reason for desperation, strikes me as far scarier than solo sailing around the globe. Nature is harsh and uncaring, but understandable; you can prepare for nature, and you can have backup plans, like the ability to send a distress call to international maritime authorities. Nature is not cruel, or vindictive, or mean-spirited, or evil. People sometimes are, and the minority of people who are like that, are capable of looking for opportunities. People scare me a lot more than the ocean.

Which explains so much about me, and why I didn't date much during high school. Or college. Or graduate school.

Posted by: ScienceTim | June 12, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

You dated -just- enough in graduate school, dear.

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | June 12, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

On a related but lighter note:

This one's for jack

and lighter, still

Posted by: rashomon | June 12, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Well, not related to SciSpouse's post.

Posted by: rashomon | June 12, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I was gonna tell Tim that, but better that it comes with more authority!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

So if the DOT is seriously considering banning [shelled, Mylar-packaged] peanuts as potential snacks on commercial airline flights that typically only have a measly few hundred souls on board, I assume that the days are pretty much done for vendors flinging them with abandon at baseball games with tens of thousands of attendees who regularly toss the shells on the ground.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

What is the Unified Command?

Does anyone know who decided to create it, to name it, who says what is true and what is not, what becomes true, or ineffable, or an object of intense focus (one bird, for example) in the name of the Unified Command?

BP says they only inform the Unified Command. Anderseits, oh, I promised, no more of that...the Unified Command seems to be BP's information product. The USA says it is in charge. So, what is it? W T F is the Unified Command? Hello? Does this thing work? tap tap hello?

I've asked this in so many ways and I already know what the answer is, but, for fun, does anyone know who runs the Unified Command?

Is it a taxpayer product, or is it a BP product? Is the Unified Command a "brand"?
Will we see Unified Command recruitment posters?

Citizens United may allow the Unified Command "free speech" rights as the Founding Fathers would have had it. Soon the Unified Command may be able to collect and distribute money I meant free speech.

The Unified Command needs to make sure everyone understands how no one could ever know how hard everyone worked to fix things and because of all that hard work...maybe no one will ever know anything...because no one wanted this...The End.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Mind you, I'm not complaining about the peanut ban. I hope that next they'll do something for my people. It's intolerable that we sometimes have to but up with sneezing fits when obviously something could be done about that bright sun.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

"put up with", darn it.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer:

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Actually, you should start here:

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I have no desire to sail, other than on a glassy smooth lake. She hasn't actually been rescued yet, has she? Seems like a crazy thing to do, or let your teenager do, especially alone, as Mudge said.

Don't want to climb mountains either. Someone died in an avalanche on Mt Rainier the other day.

Speaking of survival, how are the Science kids doing after the rabies incident? Good, I hope!

Posted by: seasea1 | June 12, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

You laugh, I am laughing too, but *darkly* mark my words, the Unified Command is going to get parsed, litigated, dissected, there will be a crime scene investigation, replete with the who knew what and when did they know it dramas.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

seasea - Aww heck, she's fine. It's just like driving a little north of Calgary, then having a flat tire. If there was a series of earthquakes and floods occurring. And all of the traffic on the roads was closed for a couple of days. In the winter.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Mountaineering gets hazardous fairly quickly. Of course there's plenty of nice mountains accessible to nearly anyon. I'd nominate the Bighorn Range in northern Wyoming as a really nice recreation area. Nicholas Kristof has recommended hiking the Cascades.

Instead of peanuts, could we have little refrigerated & irradiated packets of raw oysters? Or packets of pickled herring?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 12, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Heavens! I lived in Revelstoke in the middle of the Rocky/Yoho range, drove my 4x4 both winter and spring (one can't count on leaving town in winter because there are avalanches, and sometimes not in summer 'cause of mudslides) and the Cascades terrify me. If you can handle them, dave, you're a better man than I.

Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Or cheese!

Posted by: rashomon | June 12, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

My best friend actually suffers photic sneeze. It took me a while to understand, but now I do.

Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Well lets see.....

Joan of Arc
Alexander the Great
Anne Frank
Louis Braille
Ryan Hreljac
Alex Scott
Nick Vujicic

Just a few other teens who have done extraordinary things.

Way to go Abby!

Posted by: juberoos | June 12, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - It took me years to realize that most people don't have the "bright light sneeze' reflex at all. Since it doesn't happen to me all that often, I just figured that it comes and goes for everyone. Apparently, that's not the case.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

OK, when I say it took me years, I mean it took "two score and a couple of years".

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Bob, quite so. No.

I think it is a reliable reflex for them what's got it.

Since I am somewhat taller in heels and wear them always and he doesn't mind, it seems (and I am quite a bit broader just naturally than my dear friend), I've learnt to shade him with my bulk.

Everyone should be such a good friend as I have and am.

Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

You are a pal! It's definitely a specific and predictable set of circumstances that triggers it. Moving from "fairly dim" to "quite bright" is the basic setup.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Quite. Fairly dim describes me perfectly.

Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Sure, that's it! -.-.-.- I'm gonna guess that particular description of you hasn't been overworked. Wouldn't have been near the top of my list.

[I just deleted a long, heartfelt comment about transit system funding, and the gaming of the federally-provided dollars that ebb & flow. Just to save myself, I may go out tonight and steal a canoe and try to paddle around the world. Unless someone's willing to do it for me.]

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

40 (I counted them) STARS helicopters just flew over my building.

Thanks on behalf of all insomniacs. I was asleep. No longer.

Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

You don't trust your daughters to operate a BLENDER? That is really sad. They are growing up knowing dad thinks they're incompetent idiots. When they don't accomplish anything, you have only yourself to blame. This is a pathetic excuse for humor that is really hurtful to your kids.

Posted by: crimsons1 | June 12, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

Says MsJS ("June 11, 2010 3:49 PM"):

"clapclapclap to LeighOats"

Oh. Sorry! At first this hasty and remedial reader, yours truly, thought you said "claptrap".

But, now, I'm trusting that you don't wish that I'll come down with a triple dose of the once popular disease . . .

Anyway, you're one of us smile-addicts. As Donald O'Connor doesn't quite say in the movie _Singin' in the Rain_, sometimes WaPo's job is to make us laugh.

That reminds me: Where is the _Punch_ of yesteryear?

Posted by: LeighOats | June 12, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

There I go again, reading what I want into things. I thought the article was a statement on how we hover over our kids so closely that we can't conceieve of them doing something as risky as sail around the world. I recently went to watch Jessica Watson sail past on her way home and the shoreline was crowded with well wishers and people who are quite simply thrilled with the whole adventure. Nobody could give two hoots whether she's rich or poor. I'm richer. It's a great story and so is Abby's. Her mum said, "We don't live in a box". Well it appears a lot of people do and in every sense. Abby, it was a fabulous effort and as an Australian taxpayer, I'm happy to foot the bill. You're a great country. Don't let them wear you down.

Posted by: ecoug1 | June 12, 2010 5:57 AM | Report abuse

When fishing for large quid, a pro quo lure is sufficient to the task.

Posted by: -tao- | June 12, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

I remember, as a child growing up in Hawaii, we would get dried quid and chew on it as if it were candy.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 12, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Juberoos, do you think that in 100 years when some 13-year old attempts to be the first person to walk solo through a lava field someone will post a similar list, but add Abby Sunderland?

I doubt it.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

sd-was wondering if your bear trouble season had begun. Sorry to read of the destruction of your bird feeder.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 12, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Did I mention tis swim season? Enjoy the day. Off to moderate the splashy, splashy, splashies.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 12, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Here is a question: does anyone know (without looking up) who the five youngest people are to circumnavigate the globe solo in a boat are?

If not, is it a big deal? Obviously it is for Abby, as the task is impressive. I dunno if they'll be revising the history books about this and knocking Joan of Arc down the "most impressive female teens in history".

This feat, and it is admirable on a level, is one that a miniscule percentage of people really care about.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't she just fly her boat home?

Posted by: Boomslang | June 12, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Shrink2, I can answer your question about unified command. It's a concept that came out of the experience of the California fire service fighting large wildfires, in the 60's and 70's. It is a process of identifying and assigning the tasks and responsibilities for a large event, beyond the capabilities of a single organization to mitigate. The beauty of it is that it can be used for any incident. DHS picked it up from the fire service and now has established a process and procedure to be used nationally.

Good morning, all. Great discussion overnight on Abby and risks.

SciTim, I'm with ya. Fortunately, it only takes meeting the one right person.

Hi ScienceSpouse!

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Dear Steveboyington ("June 12, 2010 7:26 AM"), you say:


Here is a question: does anyone know (without looking up) who the five youngest people are to circumnavigate the globe solo in a boat are?

If not, is it a big deal? Obviously it is for Abby, as the task is impressive. I dunno if they'll be revising the history books about this and knocking Joan of Arc down the "most impressive female teens in history".

This feat, and it is admirable on a level, is one that a miniscule percentage of people really care about.


And by devising that cloudy conundrum you show that you're one of the allegedly min_u_scule percentage who do so care.

Without contradicting yourself again, do you care enough to have another go at telling the world which minuscule thing you're going out of your way to try to say against female teens as opposed to male teens?

Give reasons for your answer.

Are you a male teen? Please answer "without looking up", or even down.

Anyway Nº1: Which completed "feat" are you trying to talk about? Is one of your feet in your mouth?

Anyway Nº2: Circumnavigate in a _boat_? Whatever next?

Posted by: LeighOats | June 12, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

LeighOats????? Wow. Try to look at little more deeply into that post. You may find some more personal axes to grind.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I thought about this somewhat un-Vonnegut-like story by Vonnegut:

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 12, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning everyone. I guess topics like this, which Joel clearly intended as gently humorous (No crimsons. I am sure Joel's daughters can use the blender all they want. So long as they don't remove their tracking collars.) are why blogs like "On Parenting" became such maelstroms of rancor.

People take parenting, and parenting philosophies pretty seriously, as well they should.

And some good points have been made.

Which is why the next time either of my children ask me if they can sale around the world I will answer in the affirmative.

But only if they clean their rooms first.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The rain will probably play havoc with the qualification session in Montreal this afternoon but chances are the track will be dry tomorrow for the F1 GP.

Yes frosti, a bear is back. It busted my good feeder and broke a pole (1.5" steel pipe broken in the thread). The feeders will be moved inside the fence. The day before the bear turned over a neighbour's fancy gas BBQ and did some serious damage. We are not amused anymore. Never had a bear in the yard in 12 years but now that we are surrounded by suburban-type development we can't keep the darn things away. We never see deers anymore but the coyotes and the bears have moved in.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 12, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Sail around the world. Although a world wide Sale could be entertaining as well. And probably a lot cheaper.

Speaking of commerce (yes, that typo was just a clever segue) I am pleased to observe this morning that the Washington Post Company has now agreed to send a free Strasburg poster to those of us with home delivery. This is right and proper and doubtless directly related to my complaint registered in this very forum last evening.

Hey. We all gotta dream.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

If your kids are like mine RD, that may be the safest answer, as their rooms being clean, like that would happen :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | June 12, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Good work on the scoop, Joel, and is that correct that they've rescued Abby (please, dear Lord)?

Getting ready to head to the track for qualifying and poutine.

Have a great day, all.


Posted by: -bc- | June 12, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Ok thanks Bob and sly, now we have established the provenance of the concept (as well as the name) of the Unified Command.

Still want to know who runs this one, who decides what is real, who is tasked to do what, it must have a command architecture, right? What is the relationship between the US government and British Petroleum within the UC structure? Who is powerful and what positions are weaker than their names' might suggest?

Every organization has politics, everyone command structure is political. Politics is a word we use to reference ways in which we transact power.

For something this enormous, it seems like we should be able to get the names and titles of the people who actually operate the Unified Command. An org chart, certainly it isn't a secret, or is it? Any oceanographers? Attorneys? Public relations specialists? I heard BP brought in a guy from Angola, not the prison, the country, then I never heard another word. There is a book going to be written about the Unified Command, someday, after everything they have done is parsed and litigated.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Just read that they have rescued Abby, French shipped picked her up.

Have fun bc.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 12, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. SD, they must be following a greenbelt in and ending up at your place. Yikes.

People always have and always will crave to live a little on the edge. For some of us, living on the edge is sailing around the world alone and for others, it is forgetting to pack the long johns when you go high country camping in June.

Posted by: --dr-- | June 12, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Are you Murricans type all excited by the USA-UK game to be played later today?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 12, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

LeighOats and a couple others who showed a lovely sense of humor yesterday...welcome to the neighborhood bar...stay a'll be fun, promise...unless you walk in intending to pick a fight...well then we'll just pay you no mind.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

SD - Yes, we all want the 'mericans to win. Which isn't to suggest that large numbers of us will be watching the game. We just want the 'mericans to win.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

There's a United Command structure also set up for medical disasters. I believe the structures are already in place, people in place, I'll see what I can find out.

Today is my community-wide yard sale. I walked around, didn't see many sellers out yet, but there are a number of signs directing reservists to some sort of exercise.

Since the reservist signs didn't show up until after the yard sale ones did, the inescapable conclusion is the Pentagon is looking for bargains. I hope I don't end up having to take Mrs. Williams' ballerina tschotchkes from a person in uniform.

LeighOats, welcome. steveb has been a reliable and interesting poster. I'm not following the logic in your post, am neither a teenager nor male, but I didn't see anything sexist in his post.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 12, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"The open palm of desire,
wants everything..."
Paul Simon

Sure, I'd love to watch the game.
But it is Saturday, my wife is running a 10k, I don't have TV (going to a Sports Bar is a non-starter, though it sounds like fun) and there are two little boys who enjoy every minute with their Dad, for now, before they grow up.

Indeed, I want everything, I want to sail around the world and always be in school and be rich (work and fun are distinguished by two different words for a reason) and to be a talented musician, if not a singer to boot. Yeah, I want it all. So is self abnegation one of the pillars of happiness? Yes, it is isn't it.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

FIFA Fo Fum,
I smell the blood of an English man.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table. I baked, brewed, and squeezed extra on account of all the people posting.

LeighOats, it's OK you misread my applause post. I'm just glad I didn't mistakenly type claptrap.

Not going to comment anymore on the kit topic. How others parent their kids is nunna my bidness.

The local Irish pub is having a beer and munchies fest during the England-Merika match. I just may go over and enjoy the feast. It's a big outdoor patio area so come on by.

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not following the logic in your post..."

What a gentleman you are.

"I'll see what I can find out."

Really? Awesome. How? The website is so mysterious, things appear and disappear (all those photos of tankers spraying dispersant). Sometimes they attack "media" reports (in re the significance, existence of, size, etc. of "plumes", for example), but you can't tell who is generating the flow of information, who is generating the reality. Everything we know is controlled by the Unified Command.

Here is a crucial question, for all organizations. Is decision making authority and outcome accountability explicitly linked? Related, do the people on top who say they are accountable, do they make any decisions?

Down in the weeds, how exactly was the decision to accept the risk benefit analysis of chopping off the riser taken? We have all read the rationale, that isn't the question. Who generated the 20% flow increase estimate and what was the basis for *floating* that number? If it was terribly wrong, would that matter as they face many more similar decisions in the coming months?

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Bummer Ireland is not there due to France's cheating, MsJ. Nigeria v Argentina up, should be a goodern.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

On our cross-country road trip last year, Son of G and I met a man (he was the owner of one of the motels we stayed in) who had taken his family to Germany for the 2006 World Cup. They didn't have any tickets to any games, but hoped to find some once they got there.

What they discovered was that every town square had a large screen showing the games and that it was more fun to stay in town and watch with all the people there. He said the camaraderie was wonderful and they had such a great time.

On one occasion, they were in a restaurant before the USA-Italy game and had planned to finish up eating and then go out to the plaza to watch the game. The restaurant was full of Italians, who encouraged them to stay and watch on the TVs set up there. He told me the Italians ended up buying all of their food and drink and it was an experience of a lifetime.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

GO ________?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

cloudy conundrum...sweet.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Shrink2, here you go. As government publications run, this is fairly brief. I will admit I merely skimmed it.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. JA, Amen, Amen, to the kit. You said it so much better than I could, and a whole lot saner. As the mother of a daughter, who is fully grown, and who I sometimes still want to throttle, I agree with your wisdom and take on this situation. No way!

Happy Birthday to me! God has seen fit that I see another birthday. I am thankful. I will try to stay cool. I told my nephew, even the animals are hiding, it's so hot here!100 degrees or hotter!

I attended the graduation of the grandsons from middle school on Wednesday. It's on to high school, and hopefully, college. Time does fly. I couldn't stop kissing those guys. I know it was embarrassing(?)for them, but I couldn't help myself. I think they understood.

A friend's father has passed. He was a great educator for 44 years, and was well known in a number of places. He will be missed. For those that are interested in reading his obituary it can be found at the Richmond County Journal in Rockingham, NC.

I have missed all of you for the past couple of days, but really haven't been feeling well, just pushing myself to move forward. I hope everyone is well and families are doing ok. I love you guys, and want good things for you always. Have a wonderful day, and a great weekend.

Slyness, you back yet? Hoping you and Mr. T. are having the time of your life.

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse


I heard so many versions of that story out of Vancouver last Winter. The place to be was pretty much anywhere but at the venues. We were skiing at the Big White resort over in the Okanogan during the Olympics and as you say, giant hi-def screens were everywhere and the atmosphere, the collective feel good was perfect. We even got the normally very stuffy ski patrol into a snowball fight.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Lord who's cup?

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Letting a 16 year old try this is, IMO is child neglect. The parents should be in jail. After all if a poor person let his kid try this in a bath tub, they would be in jail. How does the craft cost negate this? They knowingly let her put herself in harms way. Where I am from that is called Failure To Protect.

Posted by: poliltimmy | June 12, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Cassandra! I hope you have a lovely day. And I hope you're feeling well!

Mr. T and I had a great time, but I'm very glad to be home and back into my normal routine.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, your friend's father looks like he was quite a guy. Nice to have had him for 96 years.

Please send along our condolences and best wishes, if you can explain us, to your friend and her family.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

cmyth, i just wanted to say that i appreciate and admire your faith.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

So slyness, you get my point. If I get out a stack of CMS rules and regulations, that tells me nothing about, not just who runs Saint Elsewhere, but whether I'd want a loved one to go there for a risky procedure.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Hoppy birdies, Cassandra!

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Cassandra!

I'm disappointed that LeighOats has revealed itself as a troll and not a Boodler.

I've got two happy things today (though one is bittersweet); will go to a play the hair and makeup for which was designed and executed by #2 (and she is also assistant stage managing) and dinner with... #1! She and Physics-boy are due to arrive in Calgary late this afternoon after driving across the country. This is a mixed pleasure because they leave for 4 years in Australia in 6 days.

Posted by: Yoki | June 12, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Cassandra!

World Cup Recap: Yesterday there were two games, two goals, and two ties. Catch the excitement!

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, congratulations on love's sweet sorrow and that to you too birthday-girl-I-don't-even-know, I'd fax you a chunk of pineapple laden ginger and cardamom carrot cake...but, well, I'll blame the kids. Y it sounds like you are going to be going to Australia too, not soon enough. Hey, what is with people who go around on the Internet acting as if they care for the people they talk to and then...just explode on them? Is this some kind of sub-culture? It doesn't come across as a psychiatric issue, but maybe it is. It seems to be prevalent enough to contemplate.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I wouldn't be that hard on LeighOats. Many of us have our charming moments and our not-so-great moments.

Happy birthday, Cassandra!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I think LeighOats is just having a hard time figuring us out. It must be strange to post a comment on a blog for the first time and have it kind of come alive.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't we just issue a yellow card? TBG is right about how it takes a bit to get used to the boodle. I mean it usually appears that people read each other's comments before responding, and that could be a bit disorienting. Kind of like coming out of the transporter expecting to be in one place and..

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 12, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Yoki... enjoy your wonderful day. I hope #1 and P-boy had a great cross-country drive. Enjoy them while they're here.

I know you... nothing makes you happier than seeing your girls becoming grown up women (and they have!). Launched! (not sure about launching so darn far!)


Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, where are you?

*taking a monkey wrench down to the transporter room again*

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

MsJS-If I knew that I wouldn't be so disoriented. But, I'm not wearing a red shirt so there's time to get it figured out.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I read it as an attempt at humor myself, not trollery.

Actually wishing somebody the clap thrice would be called gonorrh3a, I think.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 12, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait until Joel posts a World Cup Kit and then we're bombarded with soccer snobs.

"I can't believe the Washington Post pays this idiot to write articles about somthing he nows nothing about!" [sic]

What do you think the comments will include?

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

TBG 10:06, that is a great story. It's easy to associate riots and hooligans with the World's greatest sport.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If you don't give a hoot about the Unified Command, PgDn please. I can't get past the need to know who is doing this.

Whether wild fires, terrorist attacks, storms, the UC idea makes great sense, but for this? There was no BP behind 9/11. We did not make Αἴολος (son of Helen and Poseidon) decide how to mitigate Katrina.

Yeah, I know, BP rents the ROVs, everybody wants the gusher stopped...but there are many matters involved, crucial matters, wherein BP's long term interests and the interests of everyone else are not aligned, not in the least. Just one spectacularly obvious example is the volume of the oil coming out of the ground. They have every reason to misunderestimate it, or even better, make in unknowable. To sample another POTUS, plausible deniability works better when facts don't exist.

Don't go Monday morning quarterback; way back in the first days of May, as the dispersant was flowing and BP declared the only oil that exists is that which can be seen floating on the surface...lots of people were openly wondering how the volume of this disaster was going to be benchmarked, so to speak. We knew it was not North Slope crude floated, mixology style, out of a ship. We knew it was being emulsified both naturally and by design.

Ok, that is it. No mas. Sorry to seem obsessed.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Anybody got any advice for home-healing on a blocked ear? Last Sunday morning I woke up deaf in my right ear. It started to clear up on Monday, but when I took a shower Tuesday morning it filled back up and has been blocked ever since. I'm assuming it's no big deal, since there's no particular discomfort, and the sudden onset didn't follow any trauma of which I'm aware.

I'm not averse to seeking professional help, but if somebody's got some bright ideas, I'll give 'em a shot.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Well that was fun!
I've got my cute boys to watch for list all set for the next month (started with Paolo Rossi in the 1982 cup).

Lionel Messi

could score with either foot…or

hand in number 10,

in the 'beautiful game';

there are more ways to play ball?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 8, 2010 1:27 PM |

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

In Rome they put jumbotrons on the Circus Maximus grounds where the ancient Romans had chariot races. I don't know if anybody dresses up in gladiator costumes or not. I suspect so.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

BobS, here's some info that may help.

Lots of different advice depending on the presence/absence of other symptoms.

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

That happens to me every once and a while BobS. I'm told it is because I have a narrow ear passage that swells closed now and again. I found that Ibuprofen works well to get the swelling down.

Whatever you do, don't stick stuff in there. You know, like cotton swaps or pointy sticks. That'll just make it worse.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Somebody asked my thoughts about the upcoming approval fight over "ella", a counter-pregnancy medication.

I pointed out that I'm a childless near-fifty divorced male with a vasectomy, and my opinions on this issue are of relatively little import to me, let alone anyone else. I'd be pleased if most of the debate about it was civil and rational, but I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Darn it, RD, and I was just sterilizing a needle. I figured maybe a little-bitty hole in my eardrum might help...

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

//What a gentleman you are.//
Actually, I'm of the female persuasion and was writing to LeighOats as a woman who didn't take the same umbrage as she to steveb's post.

When I wrote that I'd see what I can find out, I'm sorry I didn't make it clear that I was referring to the hospital UC setup. I have no ties to the oil industry and no knowledge of their disaster recovery plans. From slyness' post, it looks as if the disaster recovery structure has migrated to different industries.

//Hey, what is with people who go around on the Internet acting as if they care for the people they talk to and then...just explode on them? Is this some kind of sub-culture? It doesn't come across as a psychiatric issue, but maybe it is. It seems to be prevalent enough to contemplate.//
Us? Remember when we said that we do get trolls and sometimes roll our eyes at each other? Still true. LeighOats is new, can't remember her posting before, some of us have had issues with Shiloh in the past.

Anybody else we've beaten up on lately, or aren't we the sub-culture in question? We're human. It's our greatest triumph and biggest failing.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 12, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh go ahead and do it, Bob. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing, except for why the nation is wary of Washington:

I think the Constitution should be amended to make all cabinet members elected directly by the people.

There also needs to be a new amendment to ban the privatization of government jobs to be given to unqualified political appointees or contractors.

Shrink, there are so many political appointees at the top levels of almost every Washington agency, it's actually pretty disturbing. This and increased contractors actually means that the Civil Service Act is being undermined from underneath and has been for decades.

Bush's administration was pretty darn corrupt, largely because he could put in so many political appointees in jobs that should have been filled by qualified employees. I don't know how every incoming administration can root these all out. I doubt they do.

Bob S, try tilting your ear and massaging behind it, folding the lobe over to seal it, and yawning to alter the pressure before releasing the earlobe to pop it. Then try it by massaging the front of both your ears and shutting them closed and yawning as wide as possible, a few times, and release for a mild "pop."

Those moves shift your ear bones and jaw bone to change the configuration of the ear canal, and the pressure change (popping) may help get a little fluid out of the middle ear.

If you've already tried it, never mind.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 12, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

TBG :)

Posted by: -dbG- | June 12, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Bob,I had similar symptoms once, they appeared after swimming in a lake. I went to the doctor and the nurse used a water-pik to hi-pressure blast out the blockage. They did the other so i wouldn't be lopsided.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

A propos of the the poison ivy discussion of a few days ago, our personal crop has now been thoroughly sprayed. And a bumper crop it was. We need to buy more roundup. I think I'd better put poison ivy even before dandelions on the list of plants to deal with earlier in the season next year. At least we don't have any children or dogs running around in it. I grew up around the stuff and have never had a reaction, but I'm not looking to push my luck.

I made a few happy discoveries in the process. We've got lots of little baby redbuds, so hopefully some of them will grow up successfully. And around the side of the house where we rarely go, we've got a big healthy gardenia! I didn't recognize it until I saw it blooming. Most of the flowers are past their prime at this point, but I cut a few to bring inside. The house smells oh so sweet now. It's a bit embarrassing not to know what's growing in my own yard, but it does make for some nice surprises.

Posted by: -bia- | June 12, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob-S I have had ear issues most of my life, I generally use Polysporin when I have ear issues, I am currently using the type with a pain reliever in it. If problems persist it is good to get it checked, in university I ignored a recurring problem because the searing pain would go away after a day or two then come back. After several weeks, and realizing I really had almost no hearing in the one ear and unbearable pain I decided to visit a doctor - who informed me I came close to permanently damaging the ear.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 12, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and good thoughts!

And yes, TBG, he will be missed a lot. And I will certainly pass on the condolences from all of you.

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse


I'm going to send you an email at some point today, so be on the look out. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, but happy you're back!

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, Happy Birthday from me, too. And congratulations to your grandsons on their school progress! I still think of them as little boys -- it really brings home how long I've been boodling.

Posted by: -bia- | June 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Did he just call England our one-time colonial master?

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 12, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse


Sorry, juggling and such, not reading tightly; heck no! I didn't mean the boodle, I meant the in like a lamb out like a lion individuals zooming around the Internets, with their gmail derived, nome de guerre de jour, dropping stink bombs on good people.

This, the collective you, is one of if not the most reliably civilized, unmoderated blogs I have ever encountered.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra I forgot when I posted earlier,

Happy Birthday!

Posted by: dmd3 | June 12, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clearing that up, shrink. And special thanks to dgG for asking you to clear it up.

Yeah... we all think that, too. That's why we enjoy this space so much.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Cassandra. Have I told you it is my mother's birthday also? I just returned from her party which was also shared this year with my niece who is having her h.s. graduation ceremony today. My mother is 84. She had two candles shaped like an 8 and a 4. We pretended to have mis-read them as 48 and razzed her for no longer being 29 which she claimed to be for quite a few years.

I wandered onto a new forum over the last few days and was roundly attacked for no real good reason. I held my temper and some others came and defended me. Still... Anyway, 3 cheers for the Boodle.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 12, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it's important to remember that the earth is slow, but the oxen are patient.

Or something along those lines.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse


de nada

"And special thanks to dgG for asking you to clear it up."

Ah, good, so self-aware you understand clearly, this is how it works.

Love fest alert....

So you know, I am honored to have been assimilated (even though the scaly gear growing out of my temple may have something to do with Bob's otitis media)...Lookit' if any of you ever, ever take umbrage, ever wish me to tone it down, back off, go into time out, or vanish altogether, I'd still be honored.

Ta ta, back Monday, don't forget to enjoy your gifts.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

bia, a little fertilizer will do wonders for baby trees. I don't know why so many have some sort of ironclad do-not-fertilize rule for them. A teaspoon of tomato fertilizer in a gallon of water once a year for each little tree does a lot.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 12, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

That's great, Jumper, thanks. I figured that since they planted themselves, they knew what they were doing, but I'd love to help them along.

Posted by: -bia- | June 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

*basking in the light of the collective us*

Happy Birthday, Cassandra!!!! And an unending supply of congratulations to the grandsons. May they continue to thrive under your guidance. And just so the G-girl doesn't get her nose outta joint, give her a humungous hug from me. Just because.

I generally try to ignore the trolls, few as they may be generally. But there was one WaPo blog I scanned (big mistake, that), where some guy (I *knew* it had to be a guy) wrote that if an animal is in water all the time, it's a fish, d@mmit! Including whales and dolphins. Now, one has the choice to interpret that as the sign of an uneducated twit, but it also coulda been just the opposite, merely to see if anyone was paying attention. Cracked me up, nevertheless.

TBG, I loved that story about your friends in Italy watching the games. There is generosity everywhere, indeed.

Found out that my African brother is coming over for a meeting in a couple of weeks, so I have to straighten up the "hotel" (or at least his room), and he thinks he'll be over again in July. Very exciting. We'll probably stock up on the infant stuff for the expected baby and plenty of toys for the guy who's already there.

I may watch a bit of the futbol game, but, frankly, it's just a buncha guys running back and forth kicking a ball. Now, if they did it on skates, I might be more willing to look.

Dearest Yoki -- I understand that Australia is simply lovely to visit. Besides, when you are up to your veritables in snow, down there it's summertime. And, of course, emails and telephones work, too. But visits are much, much more fun. Start packing, my dear . . . .

Toodley Boodley for now.

Posted by: -ftb- | June 12, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, shrink, for expanding on that. You juggle?

Wasn't StorytellerTim looking for a juggler to add to his act?

TBG, saw dozens of LPs today while yardsaling. Would Athena consider going to a flea market or two? I'll bring mine when I see you.

Cassandra, happy birthday. slyness, welcome home. dmd, hug all those hockey players for us. sciencespouse, Hey!

And now, time to go clean out the garage for the lawn guy's mowers. Ruthless. I am ruthless about getting rid of "stuff."

Posted by: -dbG- | June 12, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday Cassandra, I hope you are having a fabulous day. And also congrats to your grandsons, yes time is flying as I think of them as younger also.

Yoki, you have to go to Australia. One of my biggest regrets is not going when #2 was there. We (the ex and I) were supposed to go and he decided he couldn't spare the time from work and I (stupidly) didn't want to go without him (did I say I was stupid?). Stupidest decision I ever made, absolutely.

Just helped #2 wash a horse. It was fun and I think the horse enjoyed it too as I kept feeding her apples and peppermints.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 12, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhhh. A newly washed horse is simply delightful. I remember doing that when I was in camp (oh, let's see now, maybe 50 years ago . . . . ) (*aged brain cramp alert*). I hope you and #2 didn't forget to manicure those hooves. You know how those other mares in the barn are . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | June 12, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

shrink - It ain't our party (no matter how accustomed we've become to thinking of it that way) and no one need go too far out of their way to assimilate. Achenbach himself asked only that folks not be too loud & hostile. Heck, I think many of the long-timers still miss the Lone Mule who generally offered only this wisdom: "This blog stinks!" (Or variations thereof.)

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Did he just call England our one-time colonial master?"

That's why I watch on Univision teddym.
I don't understand a word, but no hay problema; they yell at the same moments my heart jumps.

Like right now!!! Yeah!

Am I being unpatriotic?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Horses need baths? Who knew?

I'll bet s/he enjoyed it, not only for the treats but for the coolness of the water.

Mr. T got up well before the crack of dawn to finish putting the raised bed he built for me where he wanted it. He was wringing wet when he was finished. Then he mowed and I clipped the spearmint and artemsia so they don't take over the lot. We were both wringing wet when we were done. After lunch, I potted a couple of plants and clipped my peace lilies in the carport and was wringing wet yet another time.

It's hot.

Posted by: slyness | June 12, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

TBG, DNAGuy and I walked Paris streets for hours the night France won Euro 2000. It was magical.

And an extra special hug with a candle on top for Cassandra.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Cassandra! Best wishes for many more! Take care of yourself in this hot weather.

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

OK, I did forget to concede that humorless jerks are typically not treated warmly here. I'm sure there's a place for them, but this probably isn't it. We got jerks with a sense of humor, we got really nice people with only a little sense of humor (we're teaching them), we got any number of folks (my hand is raised) who think they're awfully funny but probably should get a second opinion. We've got (given the relatively small number of regular commenters, under a hundred, right?) a startlingly wide cross-section of bright folks with an almost mind-bogglingly broad array of interests & expertise.

What we don't have is a lot of folks who feel the need to be gratuitously hostile. That's a very pleasant thing, and somehow, with a very light hand on the tiller, Joel Achenbach steered it that way.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

ftb, the horse lives alone altho' she does have nearby goats for company. We used #2's shampoo and conditioner (for her mane and tail). Apparently Slyness, horses should be bathed once a month or so. This horse is elderly, 29 I think, but has a nice life with lots of people dropping by and sharing the duties of feeding and grooming as her owner had a stroke a few years ago and can't do much horse care. I rode her bareback once a few years ago. She is easy to ride which is nice as I am not an experienced horse person at all. I take all my cues from #2, who knows what she's doing.

I tried to watch the soccer match but the noise drove me insane. It's just not a sport I can get into but YMMV. Kinda rainy and not very warm here today. We're going to a dance tonight, need to practice tango.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 12, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Tommy, can you hear me?

Best right hand (and the most deranged drummer) in rock'n'roll:

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Hang on, let me turn my head to the good ear...

Oh yeah, DNA_Girl, I hear you just fine!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

As long as that rich-sounding preppie school is not Landon, maybe I'd let her go. But I wouldn't let my ancient cat go to class or any event at Landon.

Posted by: kennedy6500 | June 12, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, now that I think about it, humorless jerks are far too often met here with... humorless jerkiness.

I may have to draw up a new plan.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Not watching the futbol is going to be hard around here. Mrdr seems to have succumbed.

We listened to the final Stanley Cup game on radio. The only channel we could receive was scratchy and very hollow sounding. Very Foster Hewitt. It was a the Flyers radio feed. We had a lot of fun listening to the very biased coverage. Soccer style calling goals for the Flyers and a 'oh, they scored' sort of call when Chicago got one. If you weren't listening hard, you missed it. Very funny. It was nice to get the game the old fashioned way, though I am certain mrdr would have broke camp had I looked like I really wanted to watch the game on the big screens back in town.

Cassandra, have a very, very Happy Birthday.

Posted by: --dr-- | June 12, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Careful Bob-S, sometimes a good ear can get you into trouble,

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

kennedy - Well, where do you live? Even ancient cats need to get out every now & then. I've got a feeling that Landon is (at least temporarily) a better job of keeping tabs on inappropriate shenanigans.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

1-all at the half (or "level" as the Brit announcer says). Gotta get back in case the 2nd half has started.

Happy Birthday, Cassandra.

Soccer and ice hockey: the two games of frustration, where the most frequent event is that you almost get somebody almost in the right position where he can almost score.

Posted by: woofin | June 12, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"doing" a better job...


Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Cassandra! Take it easy and stay cool.
Also best wishes to yello's mother. Love those number candles . . . . lots of gentle ways to tease the birthday celebrant.

Will someone remind me not to stay up until 4:30am trading music selections with my son. I love having him here but I'm getting too old for such things.

rickoshea, to answer your question from last night regarding Lollapalooza. The first time I *really* cut the apron strings as a parent was the day my son attended his first Lollapalooza concert alone at the age of 13. It was blazing hot and I had heard they turned firehoses on the crowd to cool them off. I don't know why I was all that worried considering I did similar things myself at that age. It's just that after the worry of that day I was better able to let his wings carry him to where his heart desired.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 12, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

So the US gets perhaps their only goal of the World Cup on what would be called in baseball a fielder's error. With such low scores, victory seems almost random. I am already nostalgic for the strategy and drama of curling.

And that incessant buzzing as astoundingly annoying. Who do sporting event producers feel the need to mike the crowd louder than the announcers.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

woofin - That of course, is the maddening appeal of golf. You don't even get to blame teammates or opponents. Once a certain level of competence is reached, the game (theoretically) is trivial. Smack the ball once, twice, thrice (maybe a few more times, depending upon the hole length and the player's strength & technique) and be done with it. The ball doesn't move when you try to hit it. The hole doesn't move when you try to hit AT it. Nothing to it.


Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt - That stuff is always a work in progress. If the same tournament was held at the same venue each week, with the same equipment in place, and the crowd the same size and temperament, and the weather conditions essentially identical, then you probably wouldn't have that unbalanced crowd-noise thing going on. Stupid world!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I realized long ago that I was, at best, the eighth funniest boodler but that I made up for that shortcoming with my cogent reasoning and impeccable grammar.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

yello... I'm going to repost something from yesterday. Dr G and I nearly lost it laughing because we actually followed his directions and it really does!

Comedian Joe Mande has tweeted: "Watch the World Cup with your eyes closed. It sounds like British men commentating on a beehive, and giving the bees really ethnic names."

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse


I told my kids when they were little: "When you are older and finished with school and want to do something like tramp around the world, remind me that I'm telling you now to DO IT. Don't let my sense of responsibility kick in and tell you stay home and take that really good job offer."

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

So, being a soccer novice, would somebody please explain the red and blue lines?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I remember that and it made absolutely no sense until I turned on the TV today. Over-micced crowd noises is part of the reason I am banned from watching sports in the bedroom. I get exiled to either the 13" in the den with the computer or down to the living room with the 48" flat screen and the wifi laptop. Both are mighty uncomfortable briar patches.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

TBG - Very funny futbol advice, and your early message to the kids is saint-like. You truly are a gem.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

And I owe yellojkt an apology. It occurs to me that I've been watching soccer matches occasionally for over thirty years, and that crowd noise thing is just what they do. If they didn't want to do that, they'd certainly have borrowed a leaf from the books of the NFL, NBA, or MLB league broadcasters.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I can't, yello. But I think Fermat had it written in the margin of one of his notebooks. In the main text, he did explain the infield fly rule.

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Nothing is worse than a broadcast from Cameron Indoor Thunderdome.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey.. can someone look at the flag next to England on this page...

Is that the English flag, as opposed to the Great Britain or United Kingdom flag?

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Cassandra!

Posted by: Moose13 | June 12, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Yup, that's right, TBG. The UK flag combines the flags of England, Scotland, and (Northern) Ireland. They each have their own soccer teams (at least I know Scotland does; anyone know about Northern Ireland?), so it makes sense they'd be represented by their own flags. I just found this nice little slideshow explaining it all:

Posted by: -bia- | June 12, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

That's the English flag, TBG, with the St. George's cross on it. That's St. George of dragon fame. The same cross that appears in the middle of the Union Jack.

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

8th? I think you're underestimating yourself, yello. I'd say top five.

Do we need to set up a poll for this?

Posted by: -dbG- | June 12, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

BP has their own reporters chasing claims of tarballs. They haven't found any yet, just miles of happy delighted beachgoers.

And who invented the acronym SCAT? Really?

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Ireland does indeed have a team but not in the World cup; curse the ball-handling French!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse


The U.S. soccer team is very gladly taking a 1-1 draw with the U.K. Although they almost won it when Altidore streaked down the left wing and almost snuck one past the near post.

In American sports, the Sawx started a Pawsox callup, Daniel Nava, in left field today. The bases were loaded for his first at-bat. Nava promptly put the first pitch offered into the Sawx dugout in right center.

Hey, it's not a Strasburg-level welcome to the majors, but I'll take it! :-))))

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 12, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

There's a dugout in right center?

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Oops you meant northern ireland; they failed to qualify.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 12, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

So, am I to understand that this tie with Great Britain is supposed to fill me with an adrenaline rush of delight?

Okay. I'll do my best.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

And many happy returns of the day Cassandra!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the replay of that hit, scotty. Very, very nice.

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, DNA girl, but that's the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland, right?

*Wikipedia-checking break*

OK, it looks like each political division of Ireland has its own national team. Northern Ireland has qualified for the World Cup three times, but not this year.

Posted by: -bia- | June 12, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I guess I spent too long Wikipedia-ing.

Posted by: -bia- | June 12, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

That happens a lot to me, bia. That's why I rarely follow YouTube links unless I have lots of time.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't the same kind of thing occur in the Olympics where the different parts of some united countries field teams?

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

WOW! GOSH!! USA level w/ENGLAND!!!!!

My body parts are aquiver. Wait, that's not right. They're just starting to recover from being atremble. Hmm... that's not exactly it either.

Anyway, I wish to send my sort-of-heartfelt congratulations to the personnel employed by both teams for not embarrassing themselves or their respective sponsoring national football organizations.


This is certainly the greatest moment in the most recent events of the England-USA futbol rivalry, and I'll cherish it always.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different...

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Only a tool or a fool would misspell minuscule. Only a tool or a fool would misspell minuscule. Only a tool or a fool would misspell minuscule. Only a tool or a fool would misspell minuscule.

Though wait, as of late, miniscule a judge would sate.

—Usage note
Minuscule, from Latin minus meaning “less,” has frequently come to be spelled miniscule, perhaps under the influence of the prefix mini- in the sense “of a small size.” Although this newer spelling is criticized by many, it occurs with such frequency in edited writing that some consider it a variant spelling rather than a misspelling.

Cheesy goal given up by the Brit keeper, eh?

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, the bullpens @ Fenway include dugouts.

Don't they? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 12, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

And a human-interest followup...

Mr. & Mrs. Nava flew in from NorCal to see their son's first major league game. Or should I say they survived flight delays and then gave up on their luggage in order to get to Fenway on time.

Yes, they did see the grand slam. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 12, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Each political division of Ireland has its own national team, eh? Well then, I'll be donning my Social Democratic and Labour Party colors (I'm sure you'll be surprised to find that they're red, green, and orange. ) and hoping for a joyous outcome.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of baseball, in trying to preset my tv programming for the Nats/Indians game tomorrow afternoon I discovered that TBS is blocking the broadcast "in your area". We have Dish Network satellite because it's about all we can get out here in the boonies. If the game is in Cleveland why are they blocking it in the Shenandoah Valley? Grrrrrrr.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 12, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Just back from a great munchfest at the local pub. We all decided the Merikan goal was unearned and Dempsey shouldn't get credit for it. Had a blast at the party and stayed for a wee bit with a pint.

*pause to put on accountant's green visor*

Lemme see: 5 games, nearly 8 hours of play when stoppage time is included, 3 ties, 7 goals. No wonder the sport has trouble attracting a large fan base in this country.

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, steveboyo, you know how lacksadaisical people get in these hot Washington summers.


Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Aaahh, MsJs, you are a true American! We need more like you. None of that silly static trench warfare, let's get some darned goals accomplished!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I had a lady friend with whom I'd spend hours playing a game where we both came very close to...

Hmmmm... might not be the right time for this.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Alas, the White Sox and Cubs seem to be playing soccer at The Friendly Confines. A single goal, er, run by the White Sox in the 1st and they're now in ...

Make that 2-0 White Sox in the top of the 7th.

Now Nava, he understands goals. A grand slam in his 1st MLB at-bat. Kudos!

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

During Nava's next at-bat, they showed his dad filming it. Great story that they were able to get there.

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Had an enjoyable 3-yr birthday bash for the boy. He made quite a haul.

It is worth noting that the adults of the party played CandyLand four different times, and were playing for keeps each and every one of them.

The boy just played with his new trains.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

steveb, a good friend of mine and I agreed about a year ago that life can be very much like CandyLand.

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Chutes and Ladders, actually... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 12, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Could be, Scotty. Those kiddie game inventors knew what they were doing.

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Mousetrap. Rube Goldberg is one of my heroes.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 12, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

The toys of our childhood are always special. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

The pre-electronic era had to be better than today, right? We have a firm "no electronic toy" rule with the boy. I don't think he misses what he is missing.

Baby Einstein indeed.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't usually go for long cut & paste comments, but I'll hope that you (especially those of you who receive the paper paper and have presumably already had a chance to read this) will indulge me. The following from today's paper is not quite my all-time favorite letter-to-the-editor, but it's bumped most of them down the list:

(If you wish to read the art review in question before you read the letter, it's here: )


"My Kids Could Match These Color-crazed Artists"

I read with much interest Blake Gopnik's review of new exhibits at the Phillips Collection [Arts & Style, June 6].

I can't help but compare the artists' work with that produced by some artists very close to me. While Mark Rothko's blacks at the National Gallery invite "deep immersion and profound explanation" and Yves Klein's blues at the Hirshhorn are about an "astonishing gesture of reduction," my sons' graphite on blue-lined white backgrounds invite profound explanation about the astonishing number of orcs a person can depict being killed in one scene.

Like Robert Ryman at the Phillips, my sons inject "activism" into their work, although they consciously eschew the paternalistic approach of labeling their activism and telling the viewer what to think. My sons would rather smudge their work with grease and let the individual decide what it means -- a minimalist slap at oil paintings, a nod toward a more organic approach to their environment, too much fondness for bacon?

As for Richard Pousette-Dart's "upright thrusts that could be people," I am sure that he could not surpass my sons in this department.

It's too bad that their philistine, art-hating father has destroyed so many of their works; otherwise, the Phillips Collection might have had a whole new exhibition.

Greg Beatty, Springfield


Never met him, never heard of him before today. But I gotta think Greg Beatty is one of the good ones!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Happy Birthday to steveb's son. Wow, three boodle b'days!

Posted by: talitha1 | June 12, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

More denying journalists access to Gulf spill

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 12, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Last time I had a poorly-functioning ear, it turned out to be full of sand, due to not reacting quite the right way to a wave at the beach. The doctor took a couple of minutes to clear it out.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 12, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Science has a neat news story on the possibility that Polynesians reached South America about 1200 AD. They might have brought designs for stone clubs, a hockey-like game, New Year observances, and maybe even chickens. Mocha Island, Chile might turn up more evidence.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 12, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Dave, the only other time something similar happened to me, that was exactly the issue. I was talking to my father on the phone about ten days after I'd visited them (where I'd several hours on several different days in the water) and mentioned that my ear was somewhat clogged.

I kid you not when I tell you that, as I was discussing this with my father on the phone, I heard a "plop" and sand & salt water ran down my ear. Problem solved. Who knows what was holding it in there, who knows why it chose that moment to let go? The ways of the FSM are mysterious beyond comprehension.

No reason to think that's the issue this time. I was golfing most of last weekend (very poorly, trust me), and I'm pretty sure it's not a golf ball or a tee stuck in there.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Four hundred and how many comments?! I can't keep up. But wanted to stop by and say ***Happy Birthday*** to Cassandra

,,.and greetings to all and best to everybody celebrating events and otherwise.

Plus I feel like saying that Joel's daughters are very lucky young ladies to have the family that they have. I know kids today often have "everything" EXCEPT someone in their life who will tell them "No." I don't picture Joel as any kind of stern authoritarian but at least he knows the concept of "No." and that's a valuable gift.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 12, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Hi, kbert! Thanks for popping by!

I'm heading off for the evening in a few. enjoy it, wherever you may be.

Posted by: MsJS | June 12, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the Sawx put a few active-duty soldiers right behind home plate to see Papelbon close out the 9th. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 12, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, the Old Towne Team is on a bit of a roll, and without Mr. Ellsbury or Mr. Beckett. Bodes well for the summer.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 12, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

kbert, great to hear from you!

But of course, you're dreaming if you think that JA would really have the stones to tell either of his daughters "NO" if they presented a rational case that they were committed and prepared to become the youngest to perform some feat. He would counsel caution. He would very probably withhold funding (easy call there, given his incessant whining about the meager living he ekes out as one of the few remaining non-Pulitzer-winning scribes at the local rag). He'd probably get desperate enough to use his contacts to bring in experts from around the world to bolster his argument that the endeavor was unwise and irresponsible. He might even pull the old burst-into-tears and sob, "Where did I go wrong, that you should want to do such a thing to your mother and me?" routine.

But if and when he believed that she/they was/were committed & prepared, I'm gonna guess he'd swallow a huge lump of fear and offer his support, whirling blender blades be damned.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

bertooch! Great to see you again!

Posted by: -pj- | June 12, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Cassandra and Boodler relations! It's my brother's birthday too.

Hi, kbertocci!

I haven't been able to keep up with the Boodle either, but I'm nearly done with the Census (or it's nearly done with me). Yay!

Posted by: seasea1 | June 12, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Kbertocci! and happy returns of the day to Cassandra and all the boodle relies.

Here's something I've been wondering for 400+ comments, if Phoebe were younger would JA let her drive?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 12, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

If Heidi Montag were a bit older, would we want her to be a mother?

Stuff happens, with and without our approval and assistance.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

KB! Come around more often. I miss you.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Ultimately, it's all about cell replication. And (pause for herbal infusion... ...) a Somali pilot is as good as a Gulf Coast shrimper as long as they both pass on their maritime Levi's. Or Gene's.

Anyway (death Al Qaida bomb threat passport anthrax) [they don't actually monitor this stuff, do they?] Joel's already created some drivers. He can try to point them in the right direction, but the world has to deal with 'em now.

( silicone Scarlett Palin Obama Kenya )

Rove Rove Rove your boat on top of an oil spill in Louisiana ( where you used to be able to find an underage pretty baby prostitute ) Mississippi ( not burning so much now that riverboat casino free meals are available ) and Alabama ( Grammy award winning Martin Luther King bus jail home ). Lewinsky cigar is a tasty Clinton treat. Hillary climbed Everest with a Zapruder film by CIA director Roman Polanski Caligula.

[Don't bother to thank me. It's just one of those services that I offer from time to time.]

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Hippo birdies in the fax machine, with rhubarb compote in baggies.

Bob-S, thanks for the many funny and true things today.

Frosti, this is likely the penultimate swim season, so I am enjoying it all, even the sun-induced hives and major headache. I react to sun with hives, which makes me a vampiric sort of person.

Little doggie needs a trim; but the back yard has be fluffed with a powdered mix of diatomaceous earth (carefully, and with an old flour sifter).

Neighbor with a fascinating midlife crisis will have five contraband chickens delivered on Tuesday. Am to be godmother.

Inherited a rickety glider from the fifties that needs paint and before that, de-rustification work. Makes me think I will sleep outside in September. On my bucket list: sleep in a john boat on a small circumscribed lake someday.

Hydrangeas everywhere need a drink; they will bounce back, this hydrophillic lovelies....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 12, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

CP - when I was a boy my brothers and I used to often spend hot summer nights sleeping in the back yard on army surplus cots.

It was pretty nice.

BobS - I wouldn't presume to speculate about others, but my role when it comes to significant decisions regarding the children is essentially advisory.

In other news, I would like to announce that I just observed the first firefly of the summer.

Which never fails to make things just a little bit better.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 12, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

And, yes, SCC = self castigating confession on the typos and etc. Am beat.

RD, two fireflies yesterday up very high in the sourwood tree....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 12, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

We've been watching the fireflies this week every night... so high in the trees and above us on the deck they look like shooting stars.

I also have a tiny tomato on my potted plant. Summer is here, isn't it?

Posted by: -TBG- | June 12, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, the other day I suggest Yoki and Shriek, apply to entertain G&M writer Ian Brown as he attemps to eat his way across the country.

Here is the article with links to how the story will be updated.

Yoki, would it help if we sent suggestions, also recommending you, how would we do that.

I note the Scone Witch the Shriek refers to has been recommended. For all those who love food on this boodle this might be of interest.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 12, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

CP-I do not miss the skull crushing headaches induced by summer swim meets spent on the deck. Take comfort that you have shade at the end of the tunnel.

One advantage of our strangely warm spring followed by a cool, thus far, summer is that Chez Frostbitten sleeps like a tree house. The sleeping loft is squirrel nest height with nothing to see or hear but forest on one side and river and lake on the other.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 12, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm about halfway through cleaning the garage and among much junk, have found things I misplaced 6 moves ago--including almost every photo I have of my dad. Most of them were taken in the Philippines (another Philly) during WWII, but a few are here and include other family members. I have two where he and I are in the same photo. I am unspeakably grateful.

And because everything comes with an opposite, I also found system magic, documented by a friend. Beats me how I've been able to keep everything running without it, but the ways of wizardry aren't always clear. So, on Boodle, herbal infusions:

Incantation for Repairing a Downed Server
Hemlock, henbane, jimson weed,
with nasturtium and hickory seed.
I've got my wand. I'm in the nude.
Now fix the server or we're screw'd!

Posted by: -dbG- | June 12, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

You know, there was a time in my life when I seldom had to expend much mental or emotional energy on major life decisions. I merely asked myself, "What would Al Franken do?" In short order, Al Franken usually told me what he would do, even without any direct prompting from me.

I'm not sure what you cool characters in Minnesota have done to him, but I can hardly ever rely on a timely outburst from the man anymore. I'm sure it's nicer this way, but I'm not convinced that he's pulling his weight in our relationship.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I was a charter member of the Al Franken fan club back in 1980. Two girls I had classes with wrote him to become the co-presidents. We all gathered after school one day and talked to him on the phone. He even sent some signed pictures that would be considered inappropriate if he known he was sending them to to sixteen year girls.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 12, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... well... By 1980 I was no longer a sixteen year girl. Wasn't even consorting with many of them.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 12, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I was all over sixteen-year-old girls in 1980. Wait, that didn't come out right.

Times were different. It was the Al Franken Decade.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

little queenie.

Posted by: -jack- | June 13, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

BobS, inhaling steam can help unblock the eustachian tube. Use a cup of boiling water to which you can add eucalyptus/menthol/mint oil.


Posted by: Jim19 | June 13, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

in my typical belated way, i wish you a happy birthday, Cassandra. stay cool. it's still about 80F outdoors. the dog days are upon us.

Posted by: -jack- | June 13, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

That sounds like a nightmare to me, jack. However do you survive such heat?

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Sure Yoki, for someone who had snow on the ground 2 weeks ago 80F is Heck. For others, not so much.

bc's man has done a good flying lap in yesterday's qualification and will start on the first line today in Montreal. My man Kubica wrung what he could from a car that didn't like the tires that were available. Hopefully the track will be hotter and the soft/prime will stick as well today as the supersoft/option were yesterday. I hope the rain will hold off.

The Fungi is a calory-burning machine. I made 6 chicken enchilada yesterday. Mrs D, Witch no.2 and myself had one each for dinner last night and the fungi had the other three (with guacamole)this morning for effing breakfast.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 13, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, the heat is why we have air conditioning and iced tea. Does that make sense?

The forecasted high today is 95. Yup, summer's here. It's so nice to go outside to do something and then come back in where it's cool.

My BFF's husband tells the story of the time their A/C went out. It was a Sunday and she was 8.75 months pregnant. He called a repair person, who told him the charge would be triple the normal fee. When he said his wife was big pregnant, the technician came immediately, no other questions asked. He obviously understood!

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

For some BP propaganda and ship pr0n, try these two videos:

The first video shows work on board the Discover Enterprise. Drink every time you hear a blatantly ironic phrase like "infinite care" or "we report anything that could potentially affect the environment."

Plus there is Ken Wells showing off the ships they are bringing in to up containment capacity to 45,000 barrels a day plus have a spare ship. Add to your trading card list the Toisa Pisces, the Helix Producer, the Loch Rannoch, the Evi Knutson, the Juanita, and the Discoverer Clear Leader. He doesn't quite go into why it's taking until the end of July to get them all in place.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all.

Predicted high for us *only* 88 degrees. We don't have AC, however. This old farmhouse was built for decent cross ventilation but can get quite steamy nevertheless. Fans everywhere, including those of the hand variety, and lots of icy beverages.

yello, I'm putting my money on the Loch Rannoch. I picked it like I do horses - by the name. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Do they list captain's names for those vessels? I bet Blacque Jacque Shellacque is at the helm of the Loch Rannoch. I don't know if he is someone to be trusted.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

So I am watching ALG and SVN play soccer. The play seems rather languid, but this could just be my naive eye. Still, it is fascinating in a "Movie by Warhol" sort of way. From the sound of it I initially thought FIFA had released a huge swarm of killer bees in an attempt to make things more interesting. I've since learned that this is some kind of plastic horn.

Although I think the killer bees idea is worthy of serious consideration.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 13, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The Vuvuzela:

Words fail me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 13, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

My favorite matchcast entry of the day so far is "Bougherra makes a superbly timed tackle as Novakovic burts into the penalty area." [sic]

I think about a dozen members of the Slovenian team have surnames ending in "ic".

Ah, the word "burts" has now been altered. Shucks.

Much baking to do today. Looking forward to it.

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

RD, I had one of those plastic horns as a kid. Once I learned how to actually produce noise from it, I found it indispensable for several years.

In today's security-conscious world this design as the advantages of being one-piece, lightweight, cheap, all plastic and totally useless as a weapon.

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, the matchcast seems to be suffering from the same doublepost problem as the boodle.

"Koren scores!" shows up at both minute 79 and minute 81.

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

All true MsJS. But as someone working hard to develop a greater appreciation of this game, that sound sure isn't helping.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 13, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

To those that have access to watch the matches, my largely novice opinion is that the Serbia/Ghana match is going to be the most exciting one yet.

That wouldn't be too difficult, but the Serbs can score, and tend to be risk-takers.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

An assault on the eardrums (131 decibels !) sounds like a weapon to me, but I understand what you mean, MsJS.
I like the alternate name, lepatata, but will not elaborate.

steveb, Blacque Jacque's poster says he's wanted for pogo sticking. Maybe they haven't abandoned the junk shot altogether and need him to ram the golf balls home?

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Predicted 90° here. The attic fan is useless until the sun goes down. I believe lemonade is in order.

I read an article in Harper's yesterday about the recent commodities bubble and how it will happen again barring some controls in place. Yeesh.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 13, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree, one or two of the horns isn't a big deal. Several thousand as constant background noise is a whole nuther story.

I'm beyond developing an appreciation for the game. I tried with the last 3 World Cups and still have only a glimmer of a clue.

I am in a bracket pool, but chose my teams without any analysis or forethought. If push comes to shove, it is in my financial interest to root for the Netherlands.

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. Der Boodle appears to be schlaffen.

Did the laundry and watered the plants, and now resting the back for other inside errands. As I had to get up ungodly early this morning to grab one of the washing machines first thing in the morning, I really do feel like climbing back into bed for a nice, long nap. Alas. . . . .

Have a good rest of the weekend, fellow Boodlers. . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | June 13, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I somehow found out about, and read, Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" before he became a celebrity. Dirda's review of Bourdain's new book indicates the celebrity can still write.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 13, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I bought Bourdain's new book Friday night and it is so well-written it is almost exhausting to read. As a Bourdain groupie (I have seen him in person three times in the past year) a lot of the material is well-worn, but so fascinating.

Somehow I missed the review in the dead-trees I guess that is what the internet is for.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Bourdain's novels are very good also.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Some funny tweets from Paul of Paul and Storm in reference to the vuvuzela:

[P] This makes me long for the relative peace and harmony of Thundersticks.

[P] Yet, still oddly not as annoying as a single 4-year-old with a whistle.

[P] I see these horns are called "vuvuzela," popular at matches in South Africa. It's apparently Zulu for "drunk dude shouting 'WHOOOOOOO!'"

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

2 more matches.

2 more goals.

That's 9 goals in 7 matches.

Just for yucks, I checked the 2006 World Cup stats and during the round robin phase of the tournament there were, on average, about 2.4 goals per match.

What's Zulu for "let's kick the offense up a notch"?

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

MsJS: it is even worse. The two goals were scored only after one side lost a player. That is zero even-strength goals today.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

frostson and I bonded over Kitchen Confidential (pre-fame when it was being passed cook to cook). It's the one professional arena we've shared, though froston kept at it for his career. Will pick up Bourdain's latest since it has the DotC stamp of approval.

Never got to talk to Al Franken in his SNL days, but he called me a couple times when he was running for the party endorsement for senate. After the first time I told him "you had me at hello, spend your time on people who are still undecided." We talked for a bit at our county convention and he impressed me with his smarts (hard to do, I hang out on the boodle after all), but his State Fair walk about is probably what got him over the top.

Speaking of the MN State Fair, the food lineup was announced this week and added to the fare are corn dog pizza and deep fried avocados (on a stick of course, the avocado that is).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 13, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

60ish and no sun for a few days. I need to be chugging down the vitamin D.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 13, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Deep fried avocados?????????????????????

I like my avocados straight. Deep fried anything is ghastly IMO. Especially deep fried twinkies. The last time I saw a stand for them was the last time I hit the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in Howard County maybe 8 years ago or so. The people in line must have been at least 400 pounds *each*. I had to look away.

That being said, I suspect it's time for lunch. Won't let the growling stomach get the better of *me* tho. Some lovely nuked salmon, a buncha fresh veggies from the farmers market yesterday (including some stupendous garlic scapes for extra flavor) and maybe a handful of sweet cherries for dessert.

Posted by: -ftb- | June 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Today is the 35th anniversary of my high school graduation. I only remember the date because it was Friday the 13th, always a good omen.

Son of G was Al Franken's "Smithers" at a Democratic fundraiser in DC for a Virginia Congressional candidate a few years ago, before Franken was a candidate himself.

He said he was lots of fun to hang out with, incredibly nice, hilariously funny, exceedingly smart and his favorite beer is, if I remember correctly, Miller Lite (I'll let you know if that is not correct).

When Son of G had first heard about the event, he emailed the organizers and told them he was a poor student who would love to be there but couldn't afford the expensive ticket and would happily volunteer to help out in any capacity. He was thrilled with the job he ended up, of course.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 13, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Hippo berated birffy, Cassandra.

From wiki: "In early 2010 members of the Nazareth Baptist Church claimed that the vuvuzela belonged to their church, and threatened to pursue legal action to stop fans playing the vuvuzela at the World Cup."

Here's the story:

Unholy row over World Cup trumpet

By Jonah Fisher
BBC News, Kwa-Shangase, KwaZulu-Natal

Members of a traditional South African religion say they have begun legal action to stop a controversial plastic trumpet, locally known as the vuvuzela, being played at this year's World Cup.

Football's governing body Fifa has given its backing to the vuvuzela but there have been widespread complaints that the incessant noise is both irritating and a distraction to players and spectators during matches.

Now part of South African football tradition, the vuvuzela can trace its non-sporting origins back to the early 1900s.

In 1910 Isaiah Shembe founded what he called the Nazareth Baptist Church, a religion now better known just as Shembe.

A loose combination of Zulu culture and Old Testament Christianity, it is built around the special healing powers of the founder and the direct line of communication he claimed to have to God.

"It is partly African culture and partly Christianity," says church elder Reverend Goga.

"Jesus was for Israel, we believe Isaiah Shembe is an African prophet and on a higher level than Jesus."

Walking the walk

Each year, spurred on by the throbbing sound of the vuvuzela, followers of the Shembe Church retrace the footsteps of their founder.

It is a gruelling three-day walk barefoot to the holy mountain of Mount Nhlangakazi north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.


Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 13, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse


And it is that pride and sense of identity that has put the Shembe at odds with South African football.

The deep tone of the religious vuvuzela is very different from the way it is played by football fans.

That sound has been unflatteringly compared to a swarm of wasps, even an elephant passing wind.

"Football is stealing pleasure from Shembe," an elderly follower tells the BBC.

"When people are playing football and hearing the vuvuzela, they are getting the power of our Holy Spirit," he says.

The Shembe say they "lost" the vuvuzela back in the 1990s when a supporter of South Africa's biggest football team, Kaizer Chiefs, visited the church.

Unable to take the long metal trumpet inside football grounds he re-modelled it in plastic.

A decade later it is set to be the most popular souvenir at the 2010 World Cup -which of course means there is money at stake.

"We are very serious about this. Before the World Cup we are going to instruct our lawyers to stop them playing the vuvuzela at the World Cup," says Shembe spokesman Enoch Mthembu.

"This thing [the vuvuzela] belongs to the church."

The Shembe's pleas are likely to fall on deaf ears.

Last year at the Confederations Cup there were complaints from both players and international TV broadcasters about this plastic trumpet.

But Fifa head Sepp Blatter has already given the vuvuzela his backing, saying the sound is an important part of South Africa's football culture.

It looks like the Shembe may have to settle for Africa's first World Cup throbbing to their "holy" sound.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 13, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Sounds delicious, MsJS. Dinner tonight will be pasta (gemelli, maybe) con pomodorini with proscuitto chips, and a zabaglione with fresh berries.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki! How's #2 doing?

Posted by: -TBG- | June 13, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

She's great; tired after the show closed last night :-)

#1 is in fine form and doesn't seem in the least intimidated by the coming adventure. I'm very proud of her.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I meant to ask about both! Yikes... what happened? I had another sentence about #1. Boodling Without Paying Attention.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 13, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hi, TGB and Yoki. Yoki, it occurs to me that your daughters would most likely take all adventures in good stride.

Mudge, I think the Shembe took "make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise . . . ." quite literally.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Fine, if the ump says it was a ball, I guess it was a ball. But not by much.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Five Reasons to Love Soccer

5. You played it as a kid
4. Brazilian players go by one name
3. The ball
2. Ah! ah, ah! Noooo!

And the number 1 reason to love soccer:
Tall sinewy men of all colours with athlete's-bum running around in shorts.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

For them what's interested, Stephen Strasburg just gave up his first career walk, followed immediately by his second. He then struck out all comers to close out the fourth inning. Nats lead 2-1.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I developed a fondness for the game for a reason similar (but different) to/from your #1. As a teenager I met some soccer gals. Immediately became big fan.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, that reason used to be the attraction of basketball too before they started wearing those baggy bloomers.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 13, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are sooooooo right about them athlete's bums.

*thinking that a cold shower might be in order now*

Posted by: -ftb- | June 13, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse


Off to lunch with the young ladies on a beautiful early-summer afternoon. Enjoy yours, all.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I played soccer on my college women's team, but I still find it annoying on TV. I'm watching the Nats.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong... I was a runner, swimmer, and erstwhile gymnast, and had great fondness for all of those sports and developed some fine relationships with many participants. It turned out that the soccer ladies were among the few that weren't runners, swimmers, or gymnasts that could keep up with me (as it were).

Later, I discovered female rugby. Yowza. They could definitely keep up!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ooops... Cleveland shouldn't have done that!

With two out in the sixth inning, the Nationals were at bat with two men on base and the Indians pitcher gave Pudge Rodriguez a fat first pitch.

Nationals ahead 4-1. Cleveland's bringing a fresh pitcher in... Ooops, hit, runs. Nationals ahead 6-1. That's gonna sting a little in the land of the Tribe!

I'm glad to see Strasburg get a little more run support, he's pitched pretty darned well for a rookie we've never heard of before.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Joel got a mention in a Deadspin item about the media frenzy around Abby Sunderland:

///"I barely trust my girls to operate a blender," wrote the Washington Post's Joel Achenbach in a column that makes Dave Barry look like H.L. Mencken. ///

At least include the punchline guys. Jeezy peezy.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Excellent! The Cleveland fans boo Strasburg as he's relieved for a new pitcher. I gotta feeling he might remember that. (He's given up several walks and is leaving with the bases loaded, but he only gave up two hits for one run. Yeah, he's just a rookie, but not necessarily a guy you want piss off this early in his career.)

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

As a highly cultured male-type person I must say I am shocked, shocked I say, at all this discussion of bums.

The correct term is, of course, "homeless persons."

And why you ladies like to see them running about is beyond me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 13, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say, it's even worse, RD. It's really a typo for "bumps."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

yello - I can't tell if that deadspin site was taking Joel seriously or not.

Jeezy Pizzy indeed.

This is making me reconsider my position on that whole "Sarcastica Font" concept.

Or at least "Ironica Condensed"

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 13, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I know that one of my tasks in life is to point out to the humour-challenged that they've missed the joke. But I do get weary.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I just discovered a new comic called Haiku Ewe:

Animals composing poetry? Really? Good luck with that.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

RD is in great form today. What's the humor equivalent of a pitcher's no-hitter?

Still slogging through the garage. Literally, had a huge thunderstorm, wherein I decided the boxes in the back required immediate attention. I've put things out at the curb, 2 ads on Craigslist, the first item has just been walked off by a happy young woman--a wooden magazine rack. There's still an antique steamer trunk, lamp, working tv and turntable to go. I'm having a great time just letting it all go.

It is liberating.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Deadspin doesn't read the Boodle I reckon.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

:) talitha.

Turntable gone.

Back to work.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but if Abby Sunderland was a poor unphotogenic darkly-pigmented child from Eritrea, would this sailing trip/rescue thing be such a big story?

Actually, I'm pretty sure it would be an even bigger story. Never mind.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Aw shucks, dbG, EYE wanted that magazine rack.

Not many comments to the deadspin article. It's a sports reporting website "without access, favor, or discretion."

Well, I can agree with the "without...discretion" part.

I think they think they're funny. I won't post the link, but they created a "Vuvuzela Use Throughout History" video that's below the humor of most of the 12-year-old boys I've ever known.

My apologies for those on the boodle who are, have been, or will be 12-year-old boys and those who love them.

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The lady down the street got it, MsJS, I can always go say it was a mistake.

I'd thought of having a yard sale but this is so much easier!

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, now we're getting somewhere!

Germany leads the Aussies 4-0 late in the match.

I agree, dbG. On an hourly basis, yard sales don't always turn out to be worth the time.

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

4-0 in soccer? Ouch!!

Posted by: -pj- | June 13, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

May I *itch for a moment? Thanks.

I've been trying to scan in a three-page document for about 1/2 hour now. Shouldn't be difficult, right? The first time, I put in the pages wrong in the document feeder. The second time, the scan screwed up my signature and initials (in the appropriate sections). So, instead of trying *one more time* I thought better of it, and will try again tomorrow, in full recognition that tomorrow is a Monday and all that day brings with it. But, geez, I've just paid some bills, including my Q2 estimated taxes, and my nerve endings are a wee bit tender at this moment.

But the Tigers won against the Pirates, after trailing until the 8th inning, when they appeared to have uncorked three runs.


Posted by: -ftb- | June 13, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

If anybody has the interest and the time, I've got a buddy who's heavily involved in (among other things) sailing programs for variously "disadvantaged" folks in the Alexandria/DC area.

Not sure exactly what kind of help he needs. A person with several available sailboats and a lot of extra cash would certainly be welcome. I suspect that there are other niches to be filled.

One afternoon a couple of years ago (for a couple of hours) I went down and helped teach some of the kids how to fold sails properly. The appreciation I received was far out of proportion to the effort expended. Although (in my own defense) I DID add some extra value by teaching them a slightly salty shanty and a bit of colorfully technical sailor's jargon they hadn't known before.

For example, they not only learned that the monkey's paw is a knot, and were shown (twice!) how to tie it... but they were given a number of creative uses to which such a creation might be put.

He only asks me for help on rare occasions nowadays. Strange.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I fell about laughing at your 3:27, RD.

Antique steamer trunk? Did you say antique steamer trunk, dbG?

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Bob-S, if she was from Eritrea, etc., I don't know if she could have lined up quite as many corporate sponsors.... or quite as nice a boat.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

*arms crossed, tapping foot, stern look on face*

I hate to be the bad guy parental unit type here, but after all, I *am* the shop steward, and I guess it falls to me to perform this unpleasant duty.

But here it is: two of you Boodlers have been highly remiss. You haven't turned in your homework assignments.

Yes, Miz Slyness, I refer to you. You spent a week in England and we have had NO, repeat NO, satisfactory report on your excursion. Did you meet the Queen? Have dinner with Peter O'Toole? How, I ask you, am I to live vicariously if you don't report your adventures?

And you, Miz Yoki. Your daughter was in a major production, about which we have chatted from time to time. And now, all we have is "the show closed last night" and expressions of concern for homeless people.


Don't make me come up there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 13, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, I spent 6 hours working at at friends house cleaning up there yard, and moving some small trees etc. It was enjoyable, they have a large hedge of privet that was in bloom so I worked and enjoyed the fragrance, and the company as well they are both very funny.

I lead such a boring life - but I will be venturing downtown this week to see a Rufus Wainwright concert with a friend and to observe the preparations for the G20.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 13, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Between slyness down in North Carolina and Yoki up in Alberta, I think that Mudge is definitely going to be torn (as in the Middle Ages torn). Poor Mudgie.

Yoki, I had much the same thought about the antique steamer trunk. I have to watch old movies (*really old movies*) to see one of those. Would be nice, but where on earth would I put it? Or put in it? But if you got it Yoki, you could always take a slow boat to Oz (at the right time of year, of course, and with company, of course). You could put all of those jewel-encrusted evening gowns in the trunk, along with a coupla magnums of champagne.

Am I getting ahead of myself? Kinda depends on the time-line if I am.

Oh, never mind.


Posted by: -ftb- | June 13, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Yoki and slyness, the 4:52 post is Mudgespeak for "gee, a trip to Canuckistan might be fun."

Posted by: MsJS | June 13, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

How *did* you know that that is the style in which I sail, ftb? Loads of champagne and caviar on toast and Grace Kelly-like gowns for evening. It gets to be a bit of bore when the Captain wants me at his table every night; one meets such awful climbers. Noblesse oblige, I guess.

I am terribly sorry, 'mudge. I promise to do better in future.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, gee, Steveboyo, I might not have predicted that Jesse Owens (a middle child of eleven from Oakville, Alabama back when Alabama wasn't the opulent destination that it is today) would find his way to a track in Berlin. [Although I'm sure you would have, right?] But there he was. Sometimes sponsors can be found.

Although I'll concede that his shoes were probably not as nice as that German guy's shoes. I'm not convinced that it mattered all that much.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, 'mudge knows that he and Mrs. Mudge have a standing invitation to the hib urban condo, so he need not fish for same.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I dunno about Jesse in his day, Bob. He had the advantage of running not requiring quite as much high-tech gear.

Plus, he was just darned good. I am sure Abby is just as good at what she does, certainly relative to me, and likely when compared to the others she is competing against.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you and I are cut from the same cloth. Separated at birth (and a coupla years), as it were.

I will *take* those Grace Kelly gowns (in her early years) along with that perfect figure of hers (in her early years). And I don't think I'm asking too much, either.

So there!

Posted by: -ftb- | June 13, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry, Mudge, I'm still working on the opus. You know how opuses (Opi?) go, they take a while. Mr. T and I just downloaded the last of the photos a little while ago. And I have to figure out a place to upload the opus and add said photos. The Geekdottir is spending the weekend with Archeology Boy, so she's no help.

To answer your question, yes, we did go by Buckingham Palace, walking from Trafalgar Square back to our hotel at Hyde Park Corner. Yes, she was home (the Royal Standard was flying) but, no, she didn't ask us in.

We did, however, visit Hampton Court Palace, ride a boat downriver from Hampton Court to Westminster, visit Bath and Oxford.

More later, gotta power down, we're at the leading edge of a thunderstorm...

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"MsJS: it is even worse. The two goals were scored only after one side lost a player. That is zero even-strength goals today."

Maybe there's something to the players' complaints about the ball, or the interaction of the ball and high altitude. Later, Germany scored four at sea level.


Posted by: Jim19 | June 13, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"Fine, if the ump says it was a ball, I guess it was a ball. But not by much."

BobS: You think anything matters besides what the umpire says? Like where the ball went? Not a whit. This written by a former pitcher & catcher.


Posted by: Jim19 | June 13, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, antique steamer trunk from my great-aunts' house. Huge. Any of us could fit into it comfortably. Maybe two of us, depending on the people.

It's gone. A nice man who saw the Craigslist ad took it, the lamps, and 4 antique kitchen chairs I offered him. He's been unemployed and learned how to finish furniture and sell it. A win-win.

Plus, you know, if I ever need a steamer trunk I'll get my cousin's (which was our grandmother's and is already beautifully refinished).

In the meantime, it's gone! Stuff is gone! 15 contractor's trash bags, numerous boxes, all going out in the trash tonight. There's a day's work left in there, but I think the lawn guys can fit their trailer in there now.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, dbG. I have an extra bedroom where I store yarn, fabric, beads, tools, finished work not sold, old costumes . . . . you get the idea. It's a hovel these days. My fondest desire is to rid myself of at least half of it. Maybe your garage "purge" will inspire me.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Oxford and Bath may have been wall-to-wall tourists. Wells?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 13, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Lots of tools, obviously.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 13, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Totally useless bit of trivia, Slyness. The plural of opus is opera.

It will be fun to read about your trip to England.

Posted by: -pj- | June 13, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, 'mudge knows that he and Mrs. Mudge have a standing invitation to the hib urban condo, so he need not fish for same.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Not only did I say 'hib' (hib?), I said it twice, inadvertently, hours apart. Let's just pretend it is a combination of hip and habitation, and be done with it.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be so late, quite the busy day. Caught the Serbian handball that gave Ghana the penalty kick path to a win, then listened to Strasburg be dominating-but-not-otherworldly-oh-well while doing quite a few chores. One dinner later and it's backBoodling time.

And here's the odd moment of the day -- checked the WaPo article on Strasburg's outing, and what do I see off to the side but "Your Daily Deal from LivingSocial," which happens to be 50% off Shooting Range Target Practice.

*doesn't-sound-too-social-to-me-but-gotta-get-ready-for-Dawn-Patrol Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 13, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I wish to state for the record that I would have been pleased and honored to take Grace Kelly's gowns from her figure, younger or older.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, you've never tried this have you?

A few happy-go-lucky gals & guys, a good bit of beer, wine & Gatorade, and plenty of guns and ammo.

Dude, it's darned social!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Bob-S, you are cracking me up today.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

In fact, at 50% off, it's practically Marxist. That's how darned social it is!

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, pj, I'll have to remember that! I never would have guessed.

So we have a storm, I turn all the electronics off, we eat supper, the modem is down. We go out to pick up all the debris from the storm, I ride the exercycle, then I call my ISP to check out the modem. As I'm talking to the rep, the ready light comes back on. She said she didn't do anything. Go figure!

Yes, Dave, lots of tourists everywhere we went. The worst was being on the tube late Saturday afternoon. There must have been maintenance work being done, because we waited in a crowd for 20 minutes just to get to the platform as we transferred from the Circle to the Picadilly line and all the trains were SRO. It was claustrophobia-inducing.

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I realize that this is a bit late, seeing that the steamer trunk is gone, but I have a good idea for one. "S" had one that was maybe four feet tall, with shelves and drawers (some missing). I removed all the shelves and drawers and after scraping out the paper lining (which was a job and a half!) I had glass shelves made which fit the slots for the drawers and cleaned the outside, buffing the brass etc. We put it in the corner of the living room and it is full of music CD's. I did see the idea (sort of) in a magazine, just so you don't think I'm too imaginative.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 13, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

That sounds like a good idea, sneaks.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Tube cars are kinda skinny to begin with. But I just love listening to "Mind the gap."

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

OK then! Theatre talk for 'mudge and anyone else interested. Not? Scroll right on by.

#2 was participating in the local theatre festival for emerging artists, which draws on noobs from companies, colleges, universities, schools as well as independents. This takes place each June at a 'professional' theatre, with support from their administration, marketing department, the two universities, and the government. It is a great chance for them.

#2's production was, according to the programme, the following,

KoT, by R.J.C, directed by P.F.
Stage managed by L.O., production design by L.S., sound design by P.S., assistant stage management and hair & makeup design by Yoki's #2.

Featuring S.B., J.M. and C.T.

"When P leads his holy crusade against the valley of Karshim, he expects a quick victory on the road to greater glories. But he is tempted to stay longer by M, the former ruler's concubine. Can P convince the people of Karshim that his way of life is better? Or will I and his deadly assassins drive the crusaders from the land? A tale of love and insurrection from a past that might have been."

#2 has ASed for P.F. before, and L.O. is her roommate; L.S. is a former 'young man,' so like most every theatre community it is all a little incestuous, but I was thrilled that PF let her venture into hair and makeup as well. As one of my bestest friends said this morning, we all know that is key to a successful staging :).

The acting was really superior, given the youth of the actors. Set design was simple but effective (and came in on budget which equalled exactly $0) and the music, minimal but also pretty much perfect. PF is a *superb* director, if, reportedly, a bit maddened by his love of Theatre. And let me tell you, that stage management was *spot on.*

Here's the thing. The playwright is in his mid-twenties, and rather bashed us over the head with the message that this was a Metaphor and Anti-War Play! That there are parallels between the Crusades and the Bush administration's zeal for change in the two wars in the Middle East! Good vs. evil. Western Christianity vs. infidel Islam (who exactly is the infidel??). Steadfast purity vs. wily intellectualism. A bit heavy-handed.

As that self-same bestest said, perhaps he's yet to develop confidence in his audience. But, I still think it was very well-written and dramaturged, by a very young wright, and so he shows great promise. Precisely what the festival is about.

Did I mention the stage management?

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I know very little about Kyrgyzstan, but the news coming out of there seems just horrible.

We got important bases there, do we not? Had to "negotiate" a fee to keep them, if I remember?


Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I know a lot about Kyrgyzstan, even been there. And it 'twas ever thus. It is a tragedy-soaked land. The Silk Road isn't violent for no reason. When those three cultures and strategic interests meet within a tiny ethnicity, bad stuff happens.

This is not to be unsympathetic or cavalier about individual suffering, but just to say that there are reasons upon reasons, reaching far back, and that I don't think any empire has really considered that suffering.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Inexplicable crush-inducing problems can happen on the Tube anytime. Northern Line seems to have a specially noxious reputation, yet there's no plans to build a parallel line underground. An aboveground streetcar project may, however, be a response to the below-ground mess.

The relatively new Jubilee Line station across from Parliament is a grim architectural marvel. You expect zombies (who did actually stop traffic on the bridge a few years ago). The station's a sort of a revival of the New Brutalism (e.g. National Theatre) that everyone claimed to hate.

Denver Airport has probably improved things by now, but if you landed at the gates closer to the terminal, you couldn't just take the subway to the terminal--it was always stuffed. You had to take the outbound subway, switch to the inbound at the far gates, then go inbound sardine-style to the terminal. I suspect Londoners may do that sometimes.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 13, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Fate, illustrated with vehicles and pedestrians. Commentary by Zuangzi.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 13, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, perhaps it is a place that external forces can't do much to change? True change has to be from within, and not by force.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 13, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

The Heathrow shuttle subway can be a bit like that too, Dave.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the recap, Yoki. If there were a Tony for stage management, I'm sure #2 would be a nominee.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Yoki's #2!

Posted by: Manon1 | June 13, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Dave - Nice footage! It is a crazy old world.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Europe in 500 words.

London, days 1-5. Gatwick is ugly. We stayed at the London Hilton Park Lane (Mr. T had points). Day 1, we walk in the rain and coolness to Piccadilly Circus and later to Harrods. Crowds.

Day 2, Hampton Court Palace and a ride on a boat back to Westminster. We went through 2 locks, that's a cool thing to do.

Day 3, Bath. You folks know my Jane Austen obsession. Bath is a lovely little town. We found the gravel walk where Anne and Frederick went at the denouement of Persuasion...

Day 4, playing in the city: the V & A, tube to Hampstead, then to the Tower.

Day 5, Oxford. I was there in 1972, didn't remember or recognize much. Another wonderful place, now I need to reread Gaudy Night.

Day 6, travel to Leipzig via Frankfurt.

Days 7-9. Interschutz, the world's largest fire trade show. Lots and lots and lots and lots of fire trucks.

Day 10, home to my very own bed!

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

The problem, as I see it, steveboyington, is that there isn't much incentive or reward for the native-born to change it. Within the ethnic group, compromise is seen as betrayal. Without, suspect. And most often, third-party helpers (also known as 'do-gooders' or 'proselytizers' or 'Western democratizers' in the Development Community) have no credibility, because for too many years they have had some political/idealogical or religious imperative that mattered (and perhaps still does) more than actually relieving suffering.

Yes! Change will come when the people of the region are all fed to the teeth with the violence. We saw this in Romania and East Germany; it took a mere weekend to change everything in both cases.

But, but, in tribal/ethnic societies, the payoff for insurrectionists can be so minuscule (hah!, TW Award to Yoki) or absent, or negative (life) that it never happens.

My own prescription (and even that is conditional) is to fund health, education (particularly for girls and women) and micro-finance to high finance for entrepreneurs and innovators, with perhaps a bit (but not too much) of technical assistance to utilities, universities, government departments and arm's length regulators. Good economics to balance the cost of doing business against the common good and rational regulatory rents. Factor in economic growth including a measure for environmental responsibility, human happiness and fairness. And for the FSM's sake, look for the payout to come in twenty, thirty, forty, years, and keep funding those critical sectors, not just for five whilst programme funding is 'interative' depending on measurable outcomes and milestones met. Patience. Truth.

See? Simple! They should just have asked me.

Passionate Yoki

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Comments: The Europeans do breakfast very well. They don't do ice or air conditioning nearly as well as we in North America. This can be a problem when it's as hot as it was the last couple of weeks. We flew from Heathrow (new terminal 5 is *gorgeous*) to Frankfurt, then took the train to Leipzig. A train with a first-class carriage with no a/c and the temperatures north of 90. Not pleasant at all.

I suppose it was because we were mostly dealing with service folks, but everyone was pleasant and helpful. We tried hard not to be ugly Americans, maybe it does work. We were accosted by a couple of folks at different points who gave us excellent advice.

English bathroom design leaves a great deal to be desired.

What is it with the Europeans that they don't use washcloths? I can't reach my back with a bar of soap!

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Fine report, slyness. We'll quiz you about the minor details after you've rested a bit.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, the folks of Leipzig started the collapse of the East German government by peaceably assembling in the square in front of St. Nicholas' church. A month elapsed between the first demonstations and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

That is absolutely correct, slyness. But, remember when the third-following Saturday night came, and all of the East and West rose together and chipped away the wall, and the East German (but not the Soviet) military also joined? That's what I'm saying. When everyone, to the last old woman and babe-in-arms is *done,* it is done.

Romania is even better. The citizens were intimidated by Ceausescu, but on that last Sunday morning the military personnel turned the cannon away from the people, and toward the palace, and offered their hands to the people they'd been ordered to strafe.

It took nearly forty years for everyone in those countries to be *done.*

The Kyrgyz' and the Uzbeks aren't, yet.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Methinks you are a wise woman indeed, good Yoki, to be able to view things in terms of generations and not news cycles.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 13, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I pointed out to someone recently that the biggest problem in the Middle East isn't that there's too much violence, it's that there's not enough. In various places, it's settled at more-or-less accepted background levels, and the only people with any real incentive to take any risks to change anything (as pointed out by Yoki above) are the people whose only leverage is (wait for it...) more violence. I made the (not really parallel, but not entirely useless) comparison to Northern Ireland where the Omagh bombing was one of the final pieces of violent lunacy that finally convinced a bunch of folks that they didn't want to live that way anymore.

Bombers for Peace!!

(OK, I'm not nearly so cynical that I'm not well aware that my reasoning here is pretty repulsive. But it's also not entirely without merit.) (And I only decided not to use more instances of "not" in that last parenthetical comment because I'm not actually such a notty boy. I'm just misunderstood.)

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

He's shy, he's shy, he's really terribly shy.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It was basically when enough of the women of Northern Ireland decided that they would no longer support their own sons as murderers that things started to change.

Sometimes, people can tolerate a vast amount of pain before they decide that they've had enough.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I think this is exactly what guerilla actors and playwrights and stage-managers hope, that their work will spark such conversation.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Yoki. I mentioned the demonstrations in Leipzig because I was just there and they made a big deal about it. Rightfully, I'd say.

Today I attended a fashion show and wished for all my friends here who are interested in style and textiles. The collection, from literally every continent on earth, was assembled by a missionary who uses it to highlight the issues and problems facing the women who wear these clothes. They were all simply gorgeous (except maybe for the chador. Did you realize the chador predates Islam and originally was only worn by women of high status?).

The point was that women are beautiful, loving, resourceful, talented, and inventive all over the world. We in North America have a duty to support women's rights and work for education and justice for all, not just for ourselves.

Rainforest, thought of you when the Malaysian dress was modeled. It was lovely.

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Can't say I'm astonished to find that a style of clothing which is characterized by an ostentatious display of fabric, in a climate where it's not absolutely necessary, was pioneered by the uppity classes.

Nope, not especially surprising.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes. And men are resourceful, protective, loving, careful, cherishing, and sometimes just little bit entitled. More there than here. I so believe we women are brave, loving, careful, caring, protective. And the differences, so lovely.

Posted by: Yoki | June 13, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Lovely report, slyness.

And now that you're back in Boodlicity, what're you making us for breakfast tomorrow morning?

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Lovely report, slyness.

And now that you're back in Boodlicity, what're you making us for breakfast tomorrow morning?

Posted by: -dbG- | June 13, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The consent of the governed...people can be beaten down and repressed, but you're right, Yoki, once they decide they've had enough, all the might in the world melts away.

I guess that's one reason I've always admired Elizabeth I. She had sense enough to know that the only way to be successful herself was to make her people successful. Unlike her poor, deluded sister.

Posted by: slyness | June 13, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Was this too much? If I'm asking y'all, I guess I already know the answer, and I'm not really proud of myself. [Long one here - I'm quoting in full a letter-to-the-editor on page A-14 of today's paper, and my reply.}
***** ----- ***** ----- ***** ----- *****

"For D.C. teachers, crucial support is still lacking"

Michael Gerson ["D.C.'s passionate reformers," op-ed, June 9] asserted that a continued infusion of college graduates into the Teach for America program will make a difference in turning around D.C. schools. And with the growing focus on pay-for-performance and the longer hours and hard work that go with it, he may have a point.

But this competitive approach simply is not practical for many other motivated teachers. The long hours spent on student assessments and the enormous pressure being imposed by D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's central office are simply unbearable for some teachers, especially those with small children at home. And other veteran teachers may not have the skills or motivation to adapt, so they will be pressured to leave -- which is clearly Ms. Rhee's strategy.

Why? Because DCPS, like other school systems, has consistently failed to provide teachers such as my wife, who is leaving the system at the end of the school year, with the resources and authority to do their jobs. They must spend too much time on behavioral management without the authority to impose strict discipline on disruptive students. Parents who fail to discipline their children at home are all too often not held accountable for what happens at school as a result. Parents of children in private schools are more likely to discipline their children because disruptive students are threatened with expulsion. But in public schools, where teachers' hands are often tied when it comes to authority to discipline disruptive students, it is the students who rule the roost.

David Newsom, Alexandria


Mr. Newsom - I post this comment from bended knee, where I've just spent time thanking the applicable spirits that it's your wife, not you, who's a DCPS teacher. If I was the parent of a child who was attempting to learn critical thinking skills from you, I'd be very unhappy.

Please enlighten us, how is it that grizzled veterans such as your wife are more vulnerable to the unfairness of uninvolved parents and less-than-completely-supportive district management than "a continued infusion of college graduates into the Teach for America program?"

Pass this offer on to your wife, who obviously possesses most of the brains in the Newsom household: I'll take up a collection among my friends to supplement her salary if she'll promise to ensure that you never, ever submit another letter to the editor.

Bob S.
Springfield, VA

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"And other veteran teachers may not have the skills or motivation to adapt, so they will be pressured to leave -- which is clearly Ms. Rhee's strategy."

As it should be.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 13, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I like Lea Michelle as a grown up.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 13, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

That was my thinking.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I meant that teacher thing. But Lea Michele (I'm guessing we're talking about the person from "Glee", right?) is also groovy.

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Can Raquel Welch even blink? It's kind of amazing to see someone whose face doesn't even move when she talks.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 13, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Good FSM. Catherine Zeta-Jones just won the Tony for best actress in a musical for her role as Desire Armfelt in "A Little Night Music." She sang "Send in the Clowns" earlier in the awards show. It was "meh."

Somebody named Douglas Hodge won best actor for "La Cage aux Folles." (Kelsey Grammer is/was the "husband" in that show.)

Both C Z-J and Hodge were Broadway debut performances.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 13, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and goodnight, Boodle. A belated birthday to Cassandra. I was very glad you checked in. I see I missed a bunch of humorless and very odd people. I should have known such a funny Kit would bring out the humor-impaired.

The Boy is off at summer arts institute. 2 weeks without a computer, a week without a phone (I'll take it down midway). Fifteen teenage boys in a teeny dormitory room. Ivansdad said it reminded him of the Navy (ROTC days), only they had 3-story bunks.

It has been in the '90s here for a couple of weeks and very humid. Miserable. We finally got out and mowed the place this afternoon, grass was knee-high and the ecosystem was thriving. I pulled weeds and trimmed branches. With any luck it will rain soon and the moisture will be on the ground instead of in the air.

I look forward to resuming regular Boodling soon. Buenos gnocchis, Boodle. Vaya con queso and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 13, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I think C Z-J has the same surgeon as Raquel, or is hitting the botox a little heavy.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 13, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

She steals her husband's.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 13, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams. Long day for me tomorrow but Tuesday I leave for a 10 day stay in Tampa. Can't remember the last time Mr. F and I were in the same place for that long.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 13, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think you were being kind when you said C Z-J's singing was 'meh', I was appalled. I noticed that the applause was minimal too. I finally just changed the channel as I get really tired of sitting thru all the gratuitous thank you's and the fawning just to see a bit of real talent now and then. I must be in a mood ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | June 13, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I will say that Sean Hayes looked terrific as Little Orphan Annie!

Posted by: badsneakers | June 13, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, that's better. Leave the curmudgeonly stuff to the professionals. :-D

Posted by: Bob-S | June 13, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Green Day was great, though.

I thought it was cruel to pair up Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Holmes as presenters. She towered over him and made him look even shorter and younger than he is. Kristin Chenoweth would have been a better partner for him.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 14, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

'zackly, TBG. Here is my thought about this.

You were, and I a was, a very beautiful young girl, then a beautiful young woman. And now that we aren't either, we are beautiful still.

Posted by: Yoki | June 14, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

In the "not invented here" department:

Hayabusa ("Falcon") returns to Earth with piece of retrieved asteroid:

Also, solar sail on another craft successfully deployed:

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 14, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Mr. Sausage (and Grammy-winning "Big Bad JOHNNNN" singer), Jimmy Dean...

I wonder if a certain K. Murphy won the Tony for Best Understudy to a Broadway Legend for her "A Little Night Music" work... :-)

*why-in-the-world-do-Mondays-get-here-so-darn-quickly Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 14, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

No more Jimmy Dean. Now Abe Froman is the only remaining sausage king.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 14, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I won't go huntin' with you, Jake
But I'll go chasin' women
So put them hounds back in the pens
And quit your silly grinin'
Well, the moon is bright, and I'm half tight
My life is just beginnin'
I won't go huntin' with you, Jake
But I'll go chasin' women.

RIP, Jimmy Dean

Mornin', Boodle! I feel a mudgin' comin' so I'll see y'all later in the day. *wavin' back*

Posted by: talitha1 | June 14, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

World Cup Update:

After eight matches, the score is

Germany and South Korea - 6
Rest of the World - 7

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I just refreshed and didn't see a new kit yet...I hope Joel's sleeping in this morning.

Happy Monday, all. Ham biscuits, mixed fruit, appropriate hot and cold beverages on the ready room table, to tide us over till MsJS gets here.

Busy day ahead.

Posted by: slyness | June 14, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Another well demolition advocate, but non-nuke. I'd type "former English major" but I'm not sure how impressive his quals are anddont wish to be needlessly snarky.

Have a good day, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 14, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

JA's tag-teamed with Ed O'Keefe on the latest oil spill item:

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 14, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone!

Here's one for you Scottie! The steal hitting dynamo for the future in Washington may very well Roger Bernadina. If I have my numbers correct and I am not mis-remembering, he is hitting a phenomenal 140+ points higher during day games than night.

They should call him "Roger Sunshine." If I were with the Nats PR group, I would put a picture of the sun on the scoreboard when he comes to up to the plate during night games.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 14, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I just heard that Abby Sunderland's dad may have been shopping a reality show based on the family before Abby needed to be rescued. Apparently, he said he was broke. Does this development change people's minds regarding her whole trip?

Gotta get moving, flag day thing at granddaughters' school and I'm the only one in the family who can go. Wish it would clear up and get a bit warmer here, we've been stuck in overcast and 60's temps for what seems like forever.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 14, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

5/29, BP COO Doug Suttles says. "...I can tell you that the battle offshore, we're winning that battle.”

Two weeks later, mission accomplished looks like this,

Posted by: shrink2 | June 14, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone.

Bad sneaks, in answer to your question, my answer would be yes, big time.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 14, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Hi, shrink - hope you had a good weekend. Ease in gently. ;)

badsneakers, I read that Papa Sunderland had been shopping the reality show around before Abby's voyage began. Also read that they have seven children with another on the way and that the children are/were home-schooled. They live in suburban middle-class L.A. and he claimed to be broke. Whether any of this changes how I feel about Abby's (or brother Zac's) circumnavigation attempt? I will ponder that before pontificating.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 14, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

talitha, one irony is that she is likely more marketable now that she had to be rescued. She certainly is more notorious.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 14, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

He can say they are winning off-shore. There's no oil hitting the beaches at Dover.

Oil spill fatigue is setting in. There were no front page stories this weekend and Joel's story today is focusing on reparations, not progress on stopping the spill. BP has effectively stonewalled long enough to make everybody buy into their schedule by default.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The stage is set for Kobe to hush the Mike talk.

Posted by: teddymzuri | June 14, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckzz ye Boodlies!

What oil spill? Everyone at BP is watching the Worl Cup.

Here, too.

Well, almost everyone. Giant storm pounced out of the Southern Ocean with a front over a thousand miles wide. It ripped the roofs off a sizeable number of emergency dwellings, drenching earthquakees.

Happy Monday, everyone.


Posted by: Braguine | June 14, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, bacon & eggs, coffee and OJ on the table. Also fresh strawberries.

Yello, I'm not entirely in agreement with your 8:43. President Obama is looking for more options and an accelerated timetable from BP. He's being pressured politically to get BP to speed and improve everything. Better boom-backup solutions (one of my pet peeve), faster claims processing, more oil collected at the spill source, etc.

BP has been in charge of shore cleanup because "it's their oil." Whether this is legally true or not, "their oil" is now poisoning shoreline ecosystems in four states and the unified command top-down approach isn't working.

Posted by: MsJS | June 14, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I deal with contractors all the time. It's nearly impossible to make them work faster than they want to. BP has a timetable and they aren't budging. If anything, the new improved LMNOP has been pushed back a few weeks because they still don't have on-site enough processing capacity for the oil they can capture.

BP leases all their deepwater equipment, so they are at the mercy of vendors they don't have standing agreements with. Further proof that the emergency plans were lip-service only.

Also, up until now we have been too proud to accept charity from our Canucki and Mexican neighbors who don't have environment ravaging oil spills going on.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Modest Proposal: Put a $1000 per barrel bounty on spilled gulf oil payable to anybody other than BP who collects it. Back charge BP for the funds. A free market solution that will energize both BP and the clean-up effort.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Blacker than black:

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"There's no oil hitting the beaches at Dover." Those cliffs will stay as white as the beach at Pensacola once was.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 14, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I used to deal with contractors and found that it was often possible to improve performance or timing with the right incentives and managers in place.

But I'm outta that bidness. Now I'm in the money folding bidness and silly short video making bidness.

Posted by: MsJS | June 14, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"...we have been too proud..."

Indeed. We could have learned from the Arab response when the Persians flooded the Gulf of Oil, of Arabia, or Persia (after we leave Iraq, we'll have to hope that name never gets settled).

Posted by: shrink2 | June 14, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Finding the right combination of carrots and sticks to use on BP is a pretty futile process. You can't make them do what can't be done. And every time I suggest that perhaps they are performing at slightly less than 100% dedication I get hooted down by those that claim it can't possibly be in BP's best interest to do otherwise.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

yello, the "radiation-soaking metamaterial", if I read it correctly, is structured like woven velvet, the most light absorbant fabric in classic clothing(and the most visually slimming). The metamaterial is essentially silver-napped with an aluminum backing velvet. (Velvet can be cotton or silk-napped on a rayon backing, or other combos.) The angle of the perpendicular "fibers" absorb more light than they reflect. I'll be ordering my next meta ballgown as soon as it's on the market!

Posted by: talitha1 | June 14, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

One thing I found telling in the article about the U.S. accepting foreign help in the cleanup ---- when Jindel was requesting that the dredged sandberm barrier islands be constructed, offers of help from foreign owned dredge boats were initially turned down in favor of "promises" to U.S. contractors who owned less equipment. "Made in the U.S.A" taken to an extreme.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 14, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"...and the most visually slimming..."

Interesting, no matter the cut? It always seemed to me loose fitting velvet looked like lame related to velvet? I could look it up, but I'll bet you know. Out West (East of here), it seems very popular with the rodeo girls.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

That would be your Jones Act at work. Another case of the Law of Unintended Consequences biting you in the tushie.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"...the unified command top-down approach isn't working..."

I am glad you said that.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 14, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I think the operation at certain levels is at less than 100%, Yello, especially as fatigue sets in. The beach workers are, for example, contracted by BP but aren't beholden to anybody really. After a few days of wearing heavy protective gear on the beach engaging in what seems to be a futile effort for $10/hr I understand why fatigue sets in.

This is an example where more imaginative management and creative incentives would probably make a difference. I would suggest BP should apply some of the on-the-fly creative problem solving here as it does in its drilling ops.

Posted by: MsJS | June 14, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

shrink, lame (or lame') is the polar opposite of velvet in terms of reflective fabric. Traditionally it consists of metallic threads interwoven with another base thread (any fiber content) to create a shiny, highly reflective material. Think Rita Hayworth in Gilda.

There are shiny velvets, especially panne' rayon or silk varieties. I was speaking of the construction technique in which the nap (think the nap of a rug) rises perpendicularly from the woven base -----that is how the metamaterial appears to be "woven", if I read it correctly.

What western cowgirls wear, aside from fringe and lots of embroidery, is a matter I've not examined in years. 8-))

Posted by: talitha1 | June 14, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: yellojkt | June 14, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I was doing some thinking about my attitude toward Abby Sunderland and her parents this morning. This is independent of any knowledge that there may be reality TV behind the Sunderland's motives.

My daughter wants to go to college in NYC; to NYU to be exact. I'm all for it and she has made this her goal.

She is now 16. If she, for some reason, were graduating from high school this year instead of two years from now, and were admitted to NYU, I would still send her up to NYC in a heartbeat. Granted, it would be within the fold of a great university that's arguably in the one of the greatest neighborhoods in the world, but she'd still be 16 and pretty much on her on.

But she'd be prepared. She loves NYC and has wanted to live there since she first visited when she was 9 or 10 years old. She comes alive there--you can see a visible change in her. She's familiar with the city, knows how to get around. She's pretty "street smart" for a suburban kid, but still relatively cautious (which, I guess makes one street smart, doesn't it?)

The more I think about her going to live in New York, the more excited I feel. So I can see how Abby's parents could be behind her desire to make her voyage.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 14, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I suppose I should add that black/very dark flatweave wool or cotton fabrics (poplin, oxford, flannel) reflect little light. But unless you're Robbie the Robot most fabrics used in traditional clothing have some texture which is automatically reflective.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 14, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Letter sent to Marianne Sunderland -

Yes, the Lord saved your daughter but sadly you and Laurence march on defending your unwise parenting - do you honestly think God will honor you both?

What you are doing with your very public mentoring is extremely dangerous in that some, impressionable parent and/or child will try some impossible feat & either get seriously injured or die because of the example you are promoting.

Being a role model to the degree you and Laurence have publicly positioned yourselves is a serious undertaking and an elevated sense of personal responsibility. Also, the "modern" parenting you both have embraced, by allowing your C-H-I-L-D to influence your decision making capabilities, is NOT Biblical. Parenting is not democratic - kids have no votes.

Further, you try to equate your daughter's voyage as being as dangerous as teen driving, do you really get how distorted that sounds? The sea is unpredictable, full of dangers & your daughter stood a very real chance of dying yet, you and your husband carry on with a seemingly ego driven, attention seeking media circus - avoiding all humility and reality.

Then the ultimate slap in the face is you both claim that you cannot afford to pay for the monumental rescue efforts of your precious daughter BUT try to organize a fund raiser to rescue Abby's "Wild Eyes" and bring it back to port. You are both classic sociopaths who are influencing kids and are in need of serious psychological help.

I speak as a parent of 2 kids ages 15 & 17 who are both 4.3 GPA honor students, in excellent physical condition and were raised by an expert waterman father - me. Knowing what I KNOW about the ocean, I would NEVER, EVER consider putting my child in a predicament as you did with your daughter simply because kids do not possess any mature experience or steeped wisdom.

Think about the danger ... the very experienced captain of the French rescue boat fell overboard during the rescue of your daughter. Believe me, I've been seas equal to where your daughter nearly perished and you both were very, very lucky & believe the Lord spared you the tragedy from the loss of Abby. You have a chance to learn from this lesson.

It should be a clue that if you are receiving so much criticism from so many different and varied fronts (parents & experts) that that should be an indicator you are off base and in this case, extremely warped.

I will hope & pray that you both act like responsible adults & the Christian's you claim to be and do the right thing - humbly fade away.

Rescue the boat, sell it and give ALL of the money to the Australian government - it's the right thing to do, she is alive because of their efforts.

Dr. Michael Levitz

Posted by: DrML | June 14, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

the parents are aszholes.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | June 15, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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