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Kobe vs. Michael

I know what you're thinking; Gawd, he's going to talk about basketball again! Always with the basketball. Always with the terminology, the "slam dunk" this, the "dominate the paint" that, the "deadly from beyond the arc" such and such. I realize there are limits to how much the blog can stand of this stuff, and many readers may flee to other blogs that aren't so single-issue. But as you can tell from my recent articles, basketball is my life now.

So my dear colleague Mike Wise, who knows a thing or two about roundball, had a provocative (my nice way of saying I don't think he's correct) column saying that if Kobe Bryant wins another couple of NBA titles, and/or sets the all-time scoring record, he'll arguably be the greatest player ever, even greater than Michael Jordan -- but might not get full recognition because people just don't like him that much:

The unfortunate truth for Kobe is he can never be Michael because he isn't thought of as likable as Jordan, also the greatest commercial pitchman ever for an athlete. Even if he tied or surpassed Jordan in championships and postseason magical moments, Bryant's public missteps -- the prideful ego war with Shaquille O'Neal early in his career, the sexual assault charge eventually dropped in Colorado and his desire to leave the Lakers only a few years ago -- will always be held against him.

"Let's say he does get two more rings," Tim Legler, the former player and now an ESPN analyst, said recently in a telephone interview. "Even if he doesn't win any more MVP awards, he will probably approach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record. You absolutely can make a valid argument for Kobe being the greatest ever when that happens.

I admit, I haven't watched Kobe nearly as much as I used to watch MJ, and thus must preface my reaction with the usual caveat that I don't really know what I'm talking about. But that's never stopped us before around here, so why should it now? It seems to me that when you talk about the greatest-ever this or that you can't just look at a single dimension or statistic. For example, you can't just look at titles -- otherwise Bill Russell is the greatest. You also can't just look at scoring -- that's Kareem, and before Kareem there was Wilt and Oscar Robertson (Didn't Robertson average a triple-double for an entire season?? Yes, in 1962.). The very best players, the ones in the conversation for greatest ever, have a broad portfolio of virtues: exceptional statistics, consistency over many years, championships, and finally some kind of X-factor that elevates them (sometimes literally) above their colleagues.

It's that last category that puts MJ over Kobe, regardless of how many points Kobe scores or championships he wins. Jordan imposed his will on the game more than any other player in the last two decades.

The reason that Wilbon et al called MJ the Babe Ruth of basketball was because he was clearly better than everyone else in his era. Here are Jordan's stats. Here are Kobe Bryant's. My old eyes struggle with some of these charts, but it sure looks to me as if Jordan, on average, had more points, more assists, more rebounds, more steals, more blocks. Jordan won the MVP award five times, Bryant just once (this year he was third, behind LeBron and -- guess who -- Kevin Durant).

[Switching sports: Look at Ruth in 1920: He hit 54 home runs at a time when people still hadn't discovered how to go yard -- the National League leader, Cy Williams, poked all of 15 home runs. Ruth's slugging percentage, .847, is just insane.]

Kobe's great, a treat to watch, a real champion. Like Jordan, he's also gotten better over time -- the real mark of an all-timer. So, sure, Mike, he's in the conversation when we discuss who's the greatest basketball player ever.

But that person is still Michael Jordan.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 1, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: "This well is evil"
Next: Riser cutting and LMRP cap procedure [oil spill wonks only]


Favorite comment in the Post on O'Keefe's blog about unrelated James O'Keefe "going after" the Census:

Maybe this moron can get a job at McDonalds and videotape someone selling an Egg McMuffin at 10:31 a.m.

Posted by: spidey103 | June 1, 2010 3:36 PM

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, okay, do allow me to mudge myself (it's the way the day has been going):

Okay --- I just checked. The pages do synch up, and now I remember. Yeah, that was kinda interesting, eh?

Amazing cast of characters. I do think #3 is the best of the lot, don't you?

Posted by: -ftb- | June 1, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, being on-kit, I honestly don't care about these guys. They're a buncha obscenely wealthy guys, paid that much for playing a *game* FCOL, and with entitlement fantasies out their respective euphemisms. If only teachers were paid what these guys are paid. And I include the professional players of all games, even my beloved hockey.

*gotta go look for some more Swedish books, not that I don't already have more than enough that I haven't yet read. . . . *

*need more chocolate. Yep, that's it!*

Posted by: -ftb- | June 1, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Since I have nothing to say about basketball, I should not be first.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

No argument here.

I was at a Carolina game this year (bad game, sigh), and they played this spot:

Yes, at the last segment, the crowd went wild.

Posted by: -bia- | June 1, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

No comments yet, really?

Anyway, Kobe will never supplant Jordan as the best ever. That ship has already sailed. "Best ever," by definition, means all-around greatness. And there have already been playoffs, and even seasons, where people questioned Kobe's competitiveness and his ability to win games. He has been accused of chocking in big games and of failing to help his team win. That's a fact, and the mere fact that that discussion took place eliminates Kobe from the best-ever mix. Nobody ever said that about Jordan.

Is Kobe one of the NBA's ten best? No question. Best ever? No. It's MJ.

Posted by: simpleton1 | June 1, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

But, can Kobe play some mediocre Major League Baseball? I will give him that his beef is better, although Michael's almonds are a treat.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Oops, BOOO. Yoki, I was refraining from arguing with JA, of course.

Posted by: -bia- | June 1, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Kobe isn't even the greatest Laker yet, FCOL... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 1, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Yoki, I had to make the post that I found about O'Keefe. He is on my list of top ten disgusting American youth. AND you can't waste such a brilliantly dismissive blog entry.

I think that spidey103 should receive a Pulitzer for that.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

ftb and Mudge, please don't say too much about the third book. I just bought it today and haven't started it yet.

I have nothing to say about basketball except that the Celtics are in the finals with the Lakers and of course, I'll root for the home team. But that doesn't mean I'll actually watch the games!

Posted by: badsneakers | June 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It is all about perception. People don't like Kobe. People loved Jordan. I think their demeanors are similar. Jordan is better, but there seems to be a desire by lots of people (sportswriters too) to be against Kobe. Dunno why.

If the internet was what it is now back in the early 1990s I bet people would not have liked Jordan as much. Too much emotion and anger nowadays compared to then.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse


MsJS, you haven't won it yet.

My workplace announced a casual day tomorrow for those wishing to wear Flyers attire. In line with chaos theory, this means the Flyers will win.

I really don't have a dog in this hunt. I wouldn't know they were in the playoffs if it weren't for here and by hearing all the proFlyer songs on the radio.

I mean, it's 90 outside. The fact they're still playing is a testament to owner and league greed. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I thought it would be nice to have a non-oil-spill kit. But basketball? Other than "flying rat's patootie" and "couldn't give a" I got nuthin'.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 1, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Far as I'm aware, Kobe refers to a fine cut of Japanese beef, and MJ refers to Spidey's girlfriend. That's how far out of it I am.

I vaguely recognized references to Babe Ruth until I stumbled over "how to go yard."

I think Kevin Durant played Keemy on "Lost," and was Little John in "Robin Hood," but that's Kevin Durand with a "d." He's big enough to play b-ball, I guess, but I don't think it's the same guy.

But yes, all these basketball kits, over and over again, are just wearing me down to a frazzle.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 1, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Snuke, I think that he makes the all-time starting five. Kareem, Baylor, West, ... then you could sneak him in.

Wilkes, Worthy, Wilt make for some competition.

Of course, you don't want to offend Kurt Rambis. AND, you can't forget Stan Love. Can't forget him for trying to help Brian Wilson.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"Flying Rat's Patootie" is still available as a Boodle handle, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 1, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Can't forget Magic, now can we, Weed? Most would put him as the top Laker, period. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 1, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

SteveB, not like Kobe? Of course, not! The guy bought hims way out of a terrible situation and that doesn't belong in sports. THAT belongs in the US Senate Republican Caucus.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

bad, Salander and Blomkvist get married on page 6.


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 1, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, if we want to put him on the starting 5, we have to forget Magic.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

For those not into b-ball:

Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ, Kōbe Bīfu?) refers to cuts of beef from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The meat is generally considered to be a delicacy, renowned for its flavour, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Kobe beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi, teppanyaki and more.

Posted by: shilohgun | June 1, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It's the beer.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Snuke, I think of Kobe as being the Ken Griffey, Jr. of basketball.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

No no no, Weed... the Barry Bonds of b-ball, if anything...

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 1, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Shabu shabu are thin slices of beef cooked briefly in broth and translates as "swish swish" the sound of the beef swishing in the broth. It should not be confused with thin slices of whale meat, appropriately called shamu shamu.

Posted by: shilohgun | June 1, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse's gay carpaccio?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 1, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh. Breaking news:

"U.S. attorney general opens criminal probe of Gulf oil spill, nation's worst

updated: 4:30

"NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The U.S. government has launched a widely expected criminal and civil investigation into the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, ratcheting up the pressure on the beleaguered British oil company.

"We have begun both a criminal as well as a civil investigation as is our obligation under the law," Holder told reporters after meeting with state and federal prosecutors in New Orleans. "Our environmental laws are very clear."

"Federal agencies, including the FBI, are participating in the probe and "if we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be forceful in our response," he said, adding that prosecutors had a "sufficient basis" to start a criminal probe."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 1, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Carpaccio is generally raw, unswished, while shabu shabu is lightly cooked in a hot kelp bath. Gay or not, one should always observe safe food rules and use a condomint with carpaccio or shabu shabu.

Posted by: shilohgun | June 1, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess we can agree to disagree about these unfounded cross-sport comparisons, Snuke. Have to run!!! See you guys later, if you are around.

Posted by: russianthistle | June 1, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

People who love sports marveled at Jordan for all his abilities. People who love sports marvel at Kobe for the same reason.

Sports fans are very different than people who love sports. Sports fans now are different than sports fans 20 years ago.

20 years ago sports fans appreciated Jordan and could say that he was the greatest. They did not "hate" him and did not seem to get mad when he beat their team.

Not so today. Sports fans (at least the ones I know and see in Boston) are much more boorish and have a harder edge now. When I was younger there were not racks of profane T-shirts for sale demeaning the opponent. There were no "Yankees Suck" chants daily in the stands at Fenway. There are now.

Kobe is not as good as Jordan. If he was, he would not be adored as Jordan was. Sports fans don't adore any more in sports, at least not any opponent.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 1, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Off kit -- so SCOTUS rules (5-4) that to get the benefit of the Miranda rights, a suspect must *affirmatively* state that he/she wants to stop talking, and that mere silence will not suffice.

All right, I'll bite on that. Suppose the suspect does not speak English or does not speak it well enough to affirmatively so state. Or, suppose the suspect is deaf. Or, suppose the suspect is mute.

What a country, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | June 1, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

ftb, that's the way I often feel.
Mere silence is affirmation of guilt?
Isn't it upon the questioner to ask coherantly?

Posted by: talitha1 | June 1, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

dbG, you're absolutely right.

BTW, are any downtown Philly fountains running orange water?

Back on kit. I'm from TWC so you can't expect me to be objective about great NBA players.

Back off kit. June 1 marks the official summer grilling season at CasaJS. Not that we don't before then, but now we get serious.

So I'm looking for some new ideas, grill-wise. We have only a small portable grill out on the balcony, so we can't do rotisserie style or anything fancy, but my tastebuds deserve to indulge and I aim to make it happen but good.

Posted by: MsJS | June 1, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

MsJS, have a look at Mark Bittman's column in NYT last week. He suggests some non-standard burger ingredients that make a lot of sense, especially using meats other than beef (or a mixture). There's a link to "The Perfect Burger" with more ideas.

I think grilled veggies are the best BBQ item. Too bad you can't use a rotisserie -- they give the juiciest meat by defeating gravity.

Posted by: Jim19 | June 1, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to sign that, although maybe I should just stick with Jim19.


Posted by: Jim19 | June 1, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Grilled vegetable/goat cheese terrine. Boneless chicken breasts pounded thin, rubbed with a spicy tomato sauce and folded around a sprig of rosemary. Seared halibut fillets with mango/jalapeno salsa. Zucchini boats stuffed with lamb kibbeh. Shrimp (scallop) skewers in garlic/ginger/chili marinade. Lamb chops served on a white bean ragout. Falafel. Bulgogi. I got more.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Has Kobe starred in an animated film with copyrighted characters?

I didn't think so.

Which just goes to show that while Kobe *might* be comparable to Jordon on the court, he still has quite a ways to go before he matches him as a cultural phenomenon.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 1, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

*Snort* That is so... you, RD.

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

Movie and sport buffs alike might want to check out TCM at 8:00pm EST.

Hoosiers will be playing. Hopper shines again. (along with everyone else)

Posted by: talitha1 | June 1, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Haven't tried this yet, but you can bet I will. I have some fresh grape leaves from a friend's yard, but you can find them in jars at most specialty shops. Just try to avoid the Kronos brand of leaves... they are usually broken and too packed in the jar to remove in one piece...

Grilled feta in grape leaves

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from "Mediterranean Harvest" by Martha Rose Shulman. Soak the skewers in water while you're assembling the feta and grape leaves.


16 grape leaves packed in brine
8 ounces firm feta, cut into 16 (1-inch) squares
Best quality olive oil for brushing
Wooden skewers for grilling

1. Carefully unroll the grape leaves and rinse well under cold water. Blanch the leaves, a few at a time, in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes until slightly softened. Remove to a bowl of cold water, then drain and pat dry.

2. Place a leaf on the work surface, vein side up and stem facing you. Snip off the stem. Center a square of feta on the leaf. Fold the bottom up over the feta, then fold in the sides and roll up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go.

3. Run a skewer through the middle. Fill all the leaves, placing four stuffed leaves on each skewer. Brush the packets lightly with olive oil.

4. Grill over high heat, turning often, until the grape leaves are crisp and the cheese inside is bubbling, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 161 calories; 9 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 12 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 51 mg. cholesterol; 1,089 mg. sodium.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 1, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

OH, TBG! I am *so* making those.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse


And what the heck-t-do is this with the Gores? Those muse-ack labels finally catch up? Sorry, I'll be more polite tomorrow.

Posted by: talitha1 | June 1, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you Yoki!

And indeed, TBG, just let me know when and I'll be over. Or at least standing on top of my house attempting to detect the aroma.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 1, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Dr G told me yesterday that Kobe got his name because his parents saw Kobe beef on a menu. Can that possibly be true?

I guess it's not so surprising that a guy who goes by "Jellybean" would name his son after food.

Posted by: -TBG- | June 1, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

If that's the case, TBG, let's just be grateful they weren't serving Wienerschitzel.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 1, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

SCC: wienerschnitzel of course. Because, you know, that other way would be weird.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 1, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Better beef than "barracuda."

Every fountain in Philadelphia has orange water. Rust in the pipes. It's the black (mold) and orange ones you need to watch out for. I knew someone who claimed native philadelphians could drink unfiltered water anywhere in the world and be okay.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

You do know the proper pronunciation is *wodder*, right? The o is a schwa.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I need to start reading the Pinker on the shelf. Thanks for giving an appraisal of the New Scientist story. It's a good magazine, but one that does have to sell copies on the news stands.

I'm a lousy language student, but did realize a long time ago that Spanish, while not all that different from English, is unavoidably a somewhat different system for interacting with the world. Then there's Japanese with its unique writing system(s). The Tale of Genji was written using only kana (syllables) and no Chinese characters. Apparently Chinese characters were for men, only. Hmm.

Summer seems an odd time for studenting, except I did it myself as an undergrad who needed to finish before in-state status ran out.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 1, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I think it is an interesting question. I do think language and culture (thought, nurture, weltanschauung, as you will) are inextricably bound. I'm no Chomskyist, but it does seem to me that having, at one time or another in my life, spoken four languages reasonably fluently (and observing #1 with her three) has revolutionized the way I think about other people and the world. I think I am quicker to grasp "where they are coming from" that I would be if I were locked into one language only.

This can take various forms, here is one example. The German schiksal is usually translated as fate, but the connotations are different. English-speakers tend to think of fate as inescapable, whereas in the German view, one's schiksal shifts over time, depending on one's actions. So when speaking or thinking in German, such concepts are not despairing or nihilistic, but simply probable outcomes based on current behaviour.

I also think I am fairly confident that I can find at least a little common ground with nearly anyone in any circumstance, just based on cultural literacy. It is what has allowed me to move through societies as different as Scandinavia, East Africa and Pategonia without feeling foreign.

I am interested to hear from those who have had only one language (among which I number music and mathematics) life-long, and whether this is simpy human, and not cultural.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I often suspect my dogz have a more interesting day than I do.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. The juxtaposition of my thoughts with Yoki's.

Who can forget that I think of Heath bars while Heath conjures up Wuthering Heights to her? :)

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I love you, dbG. I wish I had your wit, and depth of knowledge about many things. Sadly, I'm a three-chord session bassist. We don't get much work ;-).

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I speak English, German, a little French and Spanish, and I'm fluent in jargon, so I can't help you there, Yoki.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 1, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Good thing you're not a three-chord session bassoonist, Yoki. ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 1, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Kobe is named for Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Posted by: Jumper1 | June 1, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

My own language skills are legendary among the Boodle, ness pah?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 1, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I just finished my post, and a good one it was, indeed, when the WaPo refreshed itself, trashed my post and just stood there, smirking at me.

Too tired to retrieve my thoughts from inside my brain folds, so that's it. Dang! It were a good one, too.


Posted by: -ftb- | June 1, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Too right, Scotty. I'd be destitute.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait. I *am* destitute.

Never mind.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Nonsense, my good woman. I'd hire you to cook and/or shark-wrangle in a New York second. And besides, the three-cord bassoon has always been one of my favorite string instruments.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 1, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The American insistence that foreign movies should have subtitles (not dubbing) can perhaps make you better at reading facial expressions and tone of voice. Of course a few actors are impressive vocal artists. Toshiro Mifune's Japanese would be hard to turn into English, while the conventions of Italian moviemaking made it perfectly feasible for Burt Lancaster to star in "Il Gattopardo." Then there's the whole spaghetti Western thing.

The Guardian newspaper is quite worried about whether BP will survive, what with the possibility of being barred from operating in the US.

It'll be interesting to see other assessments of the criminal investigations.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-shamefully inarticulate in all languages, but the single one I claim to speak is English. I think being thusly limited does make it more difficult to understand people of other cultures, but I have limited facility with understanding people of my own culture so it could be mostly the language or mostly me, or an equal measure of both.

I do know this, your 6:29 was food er0tica of the highest order. I was able to maintain my composure until you got to Bulgogi, then it was like Sally in the restaurant. Glad I'm home alone.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 1, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

So does the three-cord double bassoon have six cords? Or are the three cords just twice as long so it's a lower-toned woodwind string instrument?

And is the three-toed sloth faster or slower than the six-toed sloth?

I get so confused.

Posted by: -pj- | June 1, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

It only has three cords, pj, but it is spelled "double bassssoooon."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 1, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I know this has been all over the internets, but still...

and then (from Monica Hesse's chat last week):

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

You forgot an 'a,' 'Mudge. And it's pronounced "Throat-Warbler Mangrove," BTW.

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

pj, it all depends on how well one has trimmed one's reeds.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope somebody else posts soon, so that I can tell Scotty that that was my third snort of the day. But I can't, yet.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"Double bassssoooon" sounds like an outtake of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald's "Indian Love Call."

"Can we play in tuuuuuune
On a double bassssoooon"

Or was that Duane Eddy and Michael MacDonald?

Posted by: -pj- | June 1, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

This is Canada.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to get back the the most dreaded of all topics, the Gaza flotilla. I have learned that it is impossible to really discuss the Palestinian/Israeli topic in depth, so I prefer to deal with the issue in glancing blows.

Has Israel just stopped caring? Turkey is, among Arab/Islamic countries, one of the good guys for Israel. They are reasonably friendly to their Jewish populace. They engage in free trade. The two nations have official diplomatic relations. People from each of the nations vacation in the other place. I could go on.

None of this made any difference to Israel when a few ships of do-gooders and rabble-rousers decided to run the blockade? Israel couldn't come up with a better solution than a midnight raid in international waters? They KNEW this group of ships was different, and intended to push things to the max. Why couldn't they come up with a better result?

Isn't the goal of Israel to get to the point where all the Middle East has relations with it like the relations that they have recently had with Turkey? Fat chance now.

My only thought is what I started with. They don't care any more. Too many Israelis, with a lot of good reason, have decided that everyone is out to get them, and everyone is a terrorist. Everyone is smuggling weapons and everyone is a bomb-thrower waiting to happen. They are at a point where they don't care that they alienate one of the nations most critical to their long-term well-being.

All to keep cement out of Gaza.

Not a good scenario.

Posted by: steveboyington | June 1, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I would think that 'schiksal' would be better translated as 'karma'.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, yello, I was doing German-English, not German-Hindi. But however you like it.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Talk of NBA finals means only one thing: The Tony Awards are just around the corner. June 13th for all you guys with DVRs. I'd like to hear Mike Wise's handicapping of the nominees. Like if either Kelsey Grammer or Sean Hayes can beat Sahr Ngaujah.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't claim to speak Hindi, so I go with what I know and understand.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

What living American since the Beatles went to India is unfamiliar with the word 'karma'? The great thing about English is that a word becomes English as soon as people start using it. When we don't have the perfect word we steal it. Like 'schadenfreude' and 'weltschmerz'.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I was just backboodling, and wonder if your friends in Zambia may know of any local transport services? Russian friends (not trusting the postal service to deliver packages to Russia) use a service where people already traveling to/from Russia agree to pack your parcel and then deliver it when they arrive. Fees are reasonable, and they are bonded. Wouldn't want to hand it over to someone here without assurances that Zambians know and trust the company, though.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | June 1, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I got some insight to this, Steveboyington, when I developed a friendship with a Professor of oil economics, who was a Sabra. He was here in Calgary because he and his wife lived in Haifa, and she started to become afraid during the second intafada. Chronic stress was ruining her health.

She needed a break, so they came to the WASPiest city in Canada (other than Toronto), for a couple of years.

But the thing was, this. She was truly stressed, but also wrong. It was like the days immediately after 9/11. Muslims are not the enemy, terrorist criminals are. I was in Europe during the reign of the Bader-Meinhoff gang. And in England when the IRA did bad stuff. It isn't religion or ethnicity, but politics that produces terrorists. And when the general population becomes terrorized, it proves that the tactics work.

I will never give them that.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any trimmed reeds, Yoki. But here's an untrimmed Jimmy Reed:

And a definitely untrimmed Jerry Reed:

Posted by: -pj- | June 1, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

When staying in Japan, the one thing my son wanted was kobe beef. The hotel oncierge gave me the phone number of a teppanyaki restaurant on the 23rd floor of the office building across the street in Shinjuku. I somehow made a reservation using the house phone of department store despite me speaking no Japanese and the reservationist having no English.

The three of us had the grille to ourselves for the whole evening. And while there was no Benihana patter, the cook was a master. My son went straight for the kobe, but my wife and I had the mixed grille. He put two huge prawns on and kept chopping and serving them until there was no part of it left.

While an amazing experience, that meal also qualifies as the most expensive family dinner I have ever had.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, buddy yello! You've just made my point better than I could. You may hear and use a word, but unless you speak the language and are immersed, therefore, in the culture that produced it, you're not understanding it in the same way that is otherwise possible. And I certainly would never claim that because I've heard the word Karma in a pop song, that I speak Hindi and understand all the connotations around the word-usage.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

They keep pickin that thing its never gonna heal


Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Jane Lynch just so rawks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | June 1, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Everybody board the Unwed Mothership Connection.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Reshmi kabab for MSJS
(Reshmi = Silken)
Marinate for 6-10 hours ~2" chicken pieces in a mix of light cream, fresh paste of cilantro, green chillies, ginger (blend them together), salt and white pepper. Skewer and grill. Adjust the proportions according to your taste; it's hard to go wrong. Also for a richer marinade, you can soak, peel and grind a few almonds (blend them with the cilantro etc.). You can also add garlic to the mix, but I'd go light on that unless you are an Allium sativum-phile. Serve with salad and sliced lemon.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 1, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Alium sativum-phil.

love love DNA-girl.


Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised :-)
Yes, I do add methi too, but I wasn't sure if the boodle knew....silly me.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 1, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

You are right in that the Anglo-Saxon 'fate' carries a certain Calvinist pre-deterministic connotation. Karma carries a much deeper cause-and-effect meaning with or without the cycle of reincarnation. I have as much right to use the word 'karma' as I do to take a yoga class.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

They're sawing off the riser, if that sort of thing interests you...

Posted by: joelache | June 1, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

chameleon come
and go in my dreams for what
causes I don't know

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 1, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, karma chameleon. I'm not really so good with that.

Good night, dear Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

How about the neutrino chameleon then?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 1, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

DNA_girl, you are hilarious and educated.

I bow to you, in respect.

Good night, once and for all.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

It is officially summer! I heard a high,constant, loud noise, followed it to the door, and the tree frogs are out! By tree frogs of course I mean cicadas, not actual tree frogs, which I am told exist as frogs living in trees. Hereabouts tree frogs are cicadas. Tree frogs mean summer. This noise will accompany every evening and night, rising in volume and pitch until it is heard clearly indoors with the windows shut and air conditioning on.

To return to the Kit, I second RD's pithy analysis. To add to it, when I think of Kobe Bryant I frown, or at least look dubious. When I think of Michael Jordan I smile. If, as someone above cogently noted, the "best" player is determined through the totality of the circumstances (lawyer talk), that reaction has to count for something.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 1, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Methi and bonne nuit!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | June 1, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

To address the question regarding the Miranda ruling: if a suspect is mute, deaf or unable to understand English well enough to exercise the right to remain silent by so stating, the law will take that into account. The Court may have decided to rely on magic words, but we're not idiots.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 1, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I am strongly receptive for kuche (umlaut) Deutsch (kitchen German). I lived in a German Dorf (Village) until I was 4 plus. My accent -- I took German in high school and one semester in college -- is very very Schwabish, Baden-style. My college instructor shivered when I spoke but admired that unlike most of my classmates I had no problem with the genders. I heard those gendered article growing up, so I was fine with:

das Auto but der Ford, der VW or der Mercedes (neuter cars but masculine brands)

three words for sea each with a different gender
der Ozean (mascuine, das Meer (neuter), die See (feminine)

I do not like speaking German save for childlike conversation but I love love love the sound. People who claim that German is some guttural clashing sound, well they only reference the false and avenging German of bad WWII movies.

I have very handy Latin, natch, with a spoken angle since I first learned church Latin and then later, academic Latin.

Does enlarge us to have another language. As in, I find God utterly genderless, and very much a positive and plausible neuter. German in my formation makes that very immediate.

Latin? Well, a language of mystery and ancient theater. Written, Latin is one path to vocabulary and word pleasure.

So glad that you mention math. When I eavesdrop on mathie-peeps, I am in awe of their special language and world view.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 1, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

New chameleon
neutrino mu to tau shift
due to karmic quark

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Fun fact: Very little is known about three-toed tree sloth mating habits because researchers die of boredom before they can catch any in the act.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 1, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Nachtlied II

Über allen Gipfeln
ist Ruh;
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch

Nightsong II

Over every summit
is peace;
In every treetop
you now feel
nary a breeze;
The little birds silent in wildwood.
Just wait, soon
you’ll too be at ease.

(c) Jordan Fowles 2010

This Youtube clip is a nice version with cabaret and jazz restraint.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 1, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I really am in bed, but touched. Needed to tell you. Thanks, girlfriend.

Posted by: Yoki | June 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Blossom Dearie singing Auf Weidersehen

Wayne Newton may own "danke schoen" but Blossom's German here is smokey and soft. German is soft, really.

GNight, boodlers old and new. Tomorrow is summer school and I must sleep and get up early to prep.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Long post unposted.

In brief, I love Yoki too. She's the superior conversationalist, cook and dog peep. As well as being brave enough to remain on FB. :)

The double raised bed is filled (47 40# bags of soil, a large one of peat), will plant tomorrow.

Was offered a different job in my department, in the Networks group. I'm thinking about it; I'm already on the first project so I have a while to decide. My first long-term special project would be our new, alternate location, High Availability Disaster Recovery site. As shrink said yesterday, planning, thought, research, experience, do all you can do, then sleep at night. My second would be in-house IS internal audit guru. Validation is very nice.

Ivansmom, any further explanation you'd care to give on the new Miranda decision would be very interesting.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I have an 8" tall, 4x8' raised bed frame for you if you'd like it. Fill it with rhubarb.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 1, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

dbg -- meaning I send you postage monies? You should post the link to your fave vendor of these fence parts.

I would love to adopt this.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 1, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

New Kit - oil again.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 1, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on the job offer dbG, it must be nice to be appreciated in the new position - you are so deserving.

In honour of the boodle, ok mostly in honour of my love of sweets I purchased some strawberry/rhubarb two bite tarts to share at the office today. I was going to offer them up for the lunch on Friday but they were a little disappointing, mom spoiled me with her superior pastry and strawberry/rhubarb filling. So instead since it is a virtual lunch, I shall have her fax down some of her strawberry/rhubarb pie and crumble and of course her syrup/butter tarts. If there is an afterlife the goodies will be sprinkled with a little magic dust :-)

Kobe/Jordan - I have nothing to say, now Gretzky/Orr there is a topic I might have more to say.

Night all.

Posted by: dmd3 | June 1, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, bilinguals do think differently from monolinguals. I think the major result is there is no illusion of people dividing up the world in the exact same way (that is, "agua" is just like "water".)

I wouldn't believe all bilinguals are automatically more culturally or people- savvy; some bilinguals are forever stuck with only partial knowledge of both cultures they've lived in.

But then, when we think about it, we all are stuck with only partial knowledge of our culture. What is necessary and what is not necessary to know? Very difficult to say, perhaps, without stepping outside one's culture and trying to survive in another.

Still, even with this experience, I have accumulated a lot of useless knowledge without having a perfect grasp of what "normal" knowledge is. Maybe that's it. We squirrel away even the strange, knowing any and all words could come in handy someday, such as discussing the Teutonic idea of doom with a Hindu, ordering aboard, or just to describe the Mephistopheles-like urge to tempt a vegan yoga addict with sausage.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 1, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

And, this geography factoid about German. Rivers are NEVER neuter. The are masculine or feminine. Th mighty Rhine is male-ish. The lovely and meditative blue Danube is female-ish.

Cassandra, dear, this is for you:

Ich bin klein,
mein Herz ist rein;
(I am little, my heart is pure)
Dass niemand drinnen
wohnen kann,
(That no one can dwell inside)
als Jesu allein.
(save Jesus alone)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | June 1, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Kobe vs. MJ?

Please the answer is: MJ.

Forget the cover-your-eyes MJ in Washington, and the whole Kwame Brown thing. (Is Kwame still playing in LA?)

After Phil Jackson retires from coaching and has a few minutes to think about things, I'd be interested in hearing his thoughts on the matter. He coached both Kobe and MJ in their primes, I'm sure he will have some insights to the matter.

DNA Girl, thanks for that link to the neutrino kabuki. If photons can be both particle and wave (wavicle?) depending on how and what you measure, why can't neutrinos be both mu and tau depending on what and where you measure?

Have to admit, the idea of a mu-tau is making me thirsty. And hungry for a burger.


Posted by: -bc- | June 1, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I assembled some grape leaf-wrapped feta, dafter grilled them, and they were great. It's a bit of work to chew through the leaves, and the feta is pretty salty, but it's a tasty combination. Maybe some lemon juice next time (2 skewers left over). Then I made a batch of lamb kibbeh, more or less -- lamb, bulgur, onion, spices (allspice, ginger, cumin, coriander). I'm not going to have it tonite, but I cooked a patty like a mini-hamburger and it was tasty and nutty (browned wheat) but surprisingly dry for something made with ground lamb -- maybe the wheat absorbed the fat? It needs something to kick it up a notch, as someone used to say. Not sure what. According to the recipes I looked at, this would be the shell, not the filling. I'm wondering what to do with it tomorrow, and I'm out of ground lamb for now although I could get some if needed. I could wrap it around something other than more lamb; hint -- garden is producing zucchini.

As for the Middle East, aren't the Israelis simply waiting for the Palestinians either to get tired of being treated like dogs and go away, or to accept it?


Posted by: Jim19 | June 2, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Why Jim, Thanks.

A bit of tzadziki. Just a thought.

I really need to sleep.

Good luck with that, Yoki.

Posted by: Yoki | June 2, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

"A bit of tzadziki. Just a thought."

Of course. I don't have all the ingredients, but I have lemon in the garden, and Persian yougurt and dill in the kitchen. That might be close enough. In a month or so the garden cucumbers will be contributing -- Wow.

Posted by: Jim19 | June 2, 2010 2:45 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Getting ready to go to another hospital this morning. Sad day yesterday, hoping for a better one today. And for you too.

CPQ, thanks a bunch.

Kobe versus Jordan. Get out of here, MJ, all the way, baby. I agree one hundred percent JA. In basketball, Micheal Jordan is the best hands down. A basketball in MJ's hand was a sheer thrill to watch. He owned basketball when he played the game.

Have a fantastic day, folks, and love to all.

What you doing, Slyness? Having a ball? I sincerely hope so.

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 2, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

New kit. CqP, see you there.

Posted by: -dbG- | June 2, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

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