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Houston diary

Even here at the airport motel there is beauty in unexpected places. At night when I drive into the parking lot there's a ditch to the right and I keep seeing a strange bird, a looney bird, a crane, a storky, egrettish thing, standing sentinel on the bank. A ditch to me, an ecosystem to him. (Sex assigned randomly; if I don't know what it is I sure don't know the male from female.)

Now I'm poolside. It's not technically a beautiful pool, and indeed this facility looks like it was designed by the Department of Corrections, but you get the morning light here, and Houston has the big skies, the lenticular clouds on the dry mornings and the anvil thunderheads on saturated afternoons. The only problem with writing at the pool is that there are scout ants everywhere and if they send up a flare pretty soon you'll be the free breakfast.

I spend a lot of time driving up and down I-45, or along side it, or even underneath it. It's like a geological formation. You have to learn the code of the frontage roads. Many times you see, in the distance, the neon of an Outback, but you know that you probably can't get there, or that, more precisely, you can get there but at some risk of winding up on the Sam Houston tollway. One is constantly fearful of the road without an exit.

But the cloverleafs can be beautiful from below. The spans are thin and symmetrical. They are high above the marshy surface, as if they know a tidal wave could arrive one day. Engineering can be art and not merely function. This is not a new idea, but one that must be reinforced in a society where efficiency too often means cheap and disposable.

These pool chairs are cheap but sturdy, and someone thought to put a little hole where the rain and moisture pools in the seat.

Someone has landscaped the privacy fence, and the grass is nicely mowed, and after a while one regrets the Department of Corrections crack. So maybe it's not the Fontainebleau, what do you expect?

And as the sky brightens beyond the power lines you have to notice that they're strung very nicely on poles that through many a big blow have remained almost perfectly vertical.

There really is a lot to admire when you stop and look.


Meanwhile, the other gulf war, the other gulf crisis: Read this story in the Chron about a massacre of migrants from Central America. The situation in Northeast Mexico is beyond out of control. The folks there have problems much bigger than an oil spill or a drilling moratorium.

At least 600 people have been killed in the fighting in recent months, according to some media tallies. An untold number have simply disappeared, sometimes turning up in mass graves.

Known for its bass fishing and dove hunting, the San Fernando area has long been popular with outdoors enthusiasts from Texas and other U.S. states. But a group of Houston dove hunters reported being assaulted and robbed in an area field last fall by heavily armed men.

The bodies of 15 presumed gang members also were dumped recently outside San Fernando, on the highway leading to the Texas border.

Newspapers in Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria, the cities nearest San Fernando, did not carry news of the migrants' massacre on their websites Wednesday. Reporters in the region say they have been scared into silence by threats from the Zetas and other criminal gangs.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 26, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
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Cheap but sturdy, the story of my life. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 26, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Cheap but sturdy, the story of my life. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | August 26, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm glad you're finding things to like and admire about Houston. That's good and noble of you. The whole point of life, I suppose, is to open our eyes and see what's in front of us. And enjoy, appreciate, take care of, whatever that is.

Posted by: slyness | August 26, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Makes me weep . . . both Joel's lyrical Houston diary and the San Fernando massacre and related horror.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

If Joel starts to wax poetic about the calm, haunting beauty of the dark, dank side corridor where they keep the ice machine and the potato chip/candy vending machine, we'll know he's been in the tequilla again.

If Cybill Shepherd climbs up on the diving board, I want pictures.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Careful what you wish for, Mudge. The years have not been especially kind-

Posted by: kguy1 | August 26, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Jeepers Joel, you keep producing beautiful prose like that and folks will think you've gone all literary on us. But I do know exactly what you mean. Sometimes one can see beauty in unexpected places. Earlier this morning I attended a meeting out in one of the fringe developments. You know, the kind of place where 10 years ago they grazed cattle. Anyway, in the middle of these overwrought monuments to the government-industrial complex, there was a pond. Although clearly artificial, it still sported an impressive collection of water plants, insects, and the occasional amphibian. I would have much rather stood and stared at that then wander inside for the meeting. Even though the pond lacked pastries.

And as for that bird. With birds, unlike people, it seems like the pretty ones are usually the males.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 26, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

At my age, kguy...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 26, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I've never really fully mastered access roads either. I always feel like the guy in "Little Miss Sunshine" who can see the hotel but not actually reach it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 26, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"But the cloverleafs can be beautiful from below. The spans are thin and symmetrical."

Ahh, the joys of roadgeekery...especially in a never before visited place. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 26, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Coming in for a landing at Houston's larger airport brings views of some of those huge expressways with frontage roads, or in various stages of development (maybe frontage roads, only or just a empty right-of-way waiting for development.

That's an entirely different approach from Florida, where it's customary to allow a new residential area to occupy an area where by any kind of logic, a road should be built in a few years.

Texas's horizontal traffic signals are unique. South Florida has been transitioning to horizontal, but my town's a mishmash of horizontal and vertical.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Mexico's violence is perhaps less senseless than that of Colombia's terrible period of "la Violencia".

The US seems historically to have controlled organized crime largely by looking for the money. Los Angeles has been using that sort of approach to crunch its gangs. The Post's story by Booth and Miroff indicates there's little hope of doing that with the flood of money to Mexico.

The scale of the drug trade makes a mockery of whining about "illegal immigrants sending their earnings to Mexico", as if that were somehow draining America's lifeblood.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 26, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

No skunk zero outside, completely dissipated.

So, acidified/washed all the air-conditioner filters, opened all the windows, turned on all the ceiling fans and brought in stand fans blowing air out. Boiling vinegar downstairs on the stove and upstairs in a crockpot. All the home-remedy stuff before I spend hundreds on chemicals and the night in a hotel (with the dogs). Wish me luck. . . why am I thinking about Vonnegut? Something about one nightmarish phrase flitting through my mind?

On the plus side, one site I visited had a funny picture of a black lab (like the instigator of my incident) dressed in a skunk costume.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 26, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

dbG-sunshine is a great disinfectant, and not just metaphorically. Before I was able to skunk-proof the porch Chez Frostbitten I had a problem similar to yours (though I could have just thrown the porch pillows and rag rugs away). Baking soda in the wash, multiple washes, and drying outside in bright, bright sun, did the trick.

s'nuke-kitty lovin's headed your way

kguy-much frenvy over both your 40th and the trip you took to mark the occasion.

Cassandra-the only wrong I can think of done to Glenn Beck is whatever caused the brain damage.

The whole morning was eaten up with errands, just now getting to read the paper-dead tree Tampa and St. Pete. Very impressed with the heft and quality of the St. Pete Times vs. when we first started getting it in '05. Still concerned about the employment prospects for frostniece #2 who has decided to major in Journalism. But she's minoring in Arabic so my guess is she'll have some exciting, if not lucrative, opportunities down the road.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 26, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I know it's not the point of this (evocative) post, but it still disturbs me that people actually hunt doves.

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 26, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Joel, I hope the hearings are in some anonymous building up 45 near the airport. Otherwise you're just wasting your time and mileage staying in Nondescript Near-Airport Hotel. Nearer town the accomodations are good and the available food is both much better and more accessible. The Post should spring for centralized digs (meaning inside-the-Loop), unless of course they want you out of the Loop.

Metaphorically, I mean.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Mexican story reminds me of the movie "Sin Nombre", a fine film.

Those south of our border wish they had the rule of law instead of the rule of "la mordita". Enough little death leads to big death.

Posted by: edbyronadams | August 26, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This is completely off topic but might, this story reminded me of those boodlers who love mid 20th century architecture and design. The article does is not kidding "The Bridal Path" is home to some seriously monstrous homes.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 26, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Lovely home!

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 26, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Great home, wonderful garden.
I'm really lovin' that radio collection best, though! Old djs never die . . . they just tune out and sign off.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 26, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow dmd, very nice home. More modern than my taste but I do appreciate that it was preserved and so well done!

I feel for the people of Mexico, what a mess down there. Government isn't very effective against the gangs. I read an article recently about how the gangs were more responsive to the people's needs than the government which reminds me of many other places in the world where the same scenario exists. Very frustrating.

Joel, you poor guy! But I admire you putting a 'pretty face' on your surroundings and finding beauty where you can.

Busy day off, tennis, errands, doc appt. (check up) and more errands. I'm going to try to overseed some spots on the lawn. Then I think we'll be able to walk for the first time all week.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 26, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, beautiful house, lovely that they restored it to mid-century splendor. I'm with Sneaks, it's not my favorite (I like Georgian myself) but I always appreciate something done well.

Posted by: slyness | August 26, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think part of the reason this house was chose, aside from how well the character was maintained, was that it is set in a neighborhood containing homes of 10,000 sq ft, it might have helped the story to have pictures for comparison but I am sure the other owners would not have been thrilled. Very curious about the price, my guess depending on lot size 1.5M?

Posted by: dmd3 | August 26, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

dmd, in this part of the world, that information is public. Normally it will be on the tax records, which can be looked up on the county website. Why don't you see if you can figure it out? It would be fun to know.

Posted by: slyness | August 26, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

simpleton, if you get mad at dove hunting, don't read the story in a recent "The New Yorker" about the millions of songbirds captured and eaten in the Mediterranean every year.

Posted by: baldinho | August 26, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Try, they have property values on snap so you can check all the neighbors also.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 26, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe that info is pubic here, but this might help,

Posted by: dmd3 | August 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Greetings from the Orchid Island, Boodle-brethren!

That is a sad story from Mexico; and weirdly evocative prose to make a Houston airport motel sound lovely. In case you ponder the possibility of weird beauty and loveliness in other places that you might not be inclined to visit yourself, consider the following press release from parts of NASA where I do not work:


WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star.

The transit signatures of two distinct planets were seen in the data for the sun-like star designated Kepler-9. The planets were named Kepler-9b and 9c. The discovery incorporates seven months of observations of more than 156,000 stars as part of an ongoing search for Earth-sized planets outside our solar system. The findings will be published in Thursday's issue of the journal Science.


In June, mission scientists submitted findings for peer review that identified more than 700 planet candidates in the first 43 days of Kepler data. The data included five additional candidate systems that appear to exhibit more than one transiting planet. The Kepler team recently identified a sixth target exhibiting multiple transits and accumulated enough follow-up data to confirm this multi-planet system.


Scientists refined the estimates of the masses of the planets using observations from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The observations show Kepler-9b is the larger of the two planets, and both have masses similar to but less than Saturn. Kepler-9b lies closest to the star with an orbit of about 19 days, while Kepler-9c has an orbit of about 38 days. By observing several transits by each planet over the seven months of data, the time between successive transits could be analyzed.

In addition to the two confirmed giant planets, Kepler scientists also have identified what appears to be a third, much smaller transit signature in the observations of Kepler-9. That signature is consistent with the transits of a super-Earth-sized planet about 1.5 times the radius of Earth in a scorching, near-sun 1.6 day-orbit. Additional observations are required to determine whether this signal is indeed a planet or an astronomical phenomenon that mimics the appearance of a transit.


For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Joel, if you do have a chance to get out of your palacial hotel (oh, wait . . . ) do go pay a visit to the Rothko Chapel in downtown Houston (if Houston can be said to actually have a downtown). It is singularly an unforgettable experience.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Bristol Palin joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars

Posted by: bh72 | August 26, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, here is a somewhat similar house on the same street, same architect designed but the house seems unrenovated or poorly renovated (maybe done in the 80's). Shows the price at 2.1M

Posted by: dmd3 | August 26, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

bh72: at least it wasn't "The Bachelor" or "Flavor of Love 4".

Posted by: baldinho | August 26, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Looney birds! Them's good eatin'!

Found this free to download Google book on "what America ate" named
"The market assistant:
containing a brief description of every article of human food sold in the public markets of the cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn; including the various domestic and wild animals, poultry, game, fish, vegetables, fruits &c., &c. with many curious incidents and anecdotes"

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 26, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

True dat, baldinho. I just wish we didn't have to try to kill everything all the time.

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 26, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

One of my pals with a similar sense of humor tends to send me links to stuff. This game (I have only played a couple practice rounds) looks like a keeper.

I bet it was created by a guy.

Posted by: baldinho | August 26, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Naw, ya think, baldinho?

Posted by: talitha1 | August 26, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I read some of that story about the migrants killed from Central America. Very sad indeed, and even sadder to know who killed those folks, and hands are tied, it would seem. We see this stuff on television, but thinking of it in real time is some kind of scary. We do live in a dangerous world, where men have become beast.

Have a good evening, folks.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 26, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

cassandra, the more I read about the situation in Mexico, the more I realize that we have it pretty good in the USA.

There seem to be whole swaths of Mexico under the control of armed drug gangs. They don't even let newspapers report on stuff any more.

It is hard to envision how Mexico gets from their current state to a more acceptable one.

Posted by: baldinho | August 26, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

hey baldinho, we could take all those troops that aren't in Iraq anymore and send them to Mexico. We'd invade and take over the country. Them we could spend the next ten or 20 years rooting out the bad guys and probably some Al Qaeda who would inevitably show up. The bonus here is that we wouldn't have any 'illegal' aliens anymore, they'd all be citizens!

(No, I'm not drinking again, just sorta tired and upset with the news, as usual.)

Posted by: badsneakers | August 26, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

wow. the opinions of conservative talk show hosts and conservative news broadcasters would seem to be more insidious that i thought. since the rush storm, msn has had a banner article regarding the emerging ignorance of the citizenry, now another article on the same subject in the nyt:

i wonder how the rally on the 28th will be received. i am reluctant to engage anyone in a political discussion as a result of being confronted with large amounts of misinformation from the media. informed voters are either becoming rare, or are keeping their mouths shut.

Posted by: -jack- | August 26, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I have only been able to read sporadically, but where is Wilbrod? Miss her.

And did Shrink leave? Was there drama?

Man, working is cutting into my Boodling time!

Posted by: Wheezy11 | August 26, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I second Wheezy's remarks. Someone please inform the uninformed!

Posted by: nellie4 | August 26, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

This is from the comment board connected with the nytimes article link from jack.

Dunedin, Florida
August 26th, 2010
1:36 pm - Remember Mark Twain: " A lie will travel around the world in the time it takes the truth to put it´s boots on".

When they say "he's a Muslim" they are saying that he's not "one of us". The actual facts of the sentence are unimportant. Finding a code way of saying that he is alien and strange to Sarah Palin's "real Americans" is more important.

There were many excellent posts but that one was the most succinct. Thanks for the connect, jack.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 26, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

jack, around 2005 I began to query the construction people very neutrally about politics. I kind of figured a majority were supporters of policy I didn't like. But I found a lot of people who thought they were in the minority were keeping their mouths shut, but they weren't really a minority. Lots just sort of thought they were.

I don't see anything unreasonable in thinking it's not hard to convince a majority they are a minority if they are bombarded with that idea, false though it might be.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 26, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Jumper, that's one reason I love this place. To be with like-minded, intelligent, sensible, knowledgeable people...well, it's comforting. And I learn a lot.

Posted by: slyness | August 26, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Joel, couldn't help but chuckle at your comment about trying to head towards the neon of an Outback. No doubt it's difficult to find a good inexpensive and interesting steakhouse in Texas...

Houston, we have a problem.

I can't speak directly to the violence and gangster activity in Mexico these days, but when kids are wallking around with live grenades on their belts, that's bad.


Posted by: -bc- | August 26, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

i guess that i'm worn out from too many years of Republican administrations in my lifetime. Marginal ones at that: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush. i guess that you are right. what bothers me most is how unreasonable the minority is, and how what seems to be the vast majority of them rarely bother to read to get both sides of the contemporary political issues in order that they can make a reasonably informed decision. perhaps the quiet part of the electorate will make their voices heard at the polls as in the last Presidential election.

Posted by: -jack- | August 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez. Jon Stewart is talking about Glenn Beck's rally, which a graphic calls the "I Have a Scheme" speech.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

At least Jon gets it right. I was fairly appalled that had a chat with one of the sponsors of said gathering, today. I don't mind the reporting, that is essential, but the propaganda-stand was dreadful.

Posted by: Yoki | August 26, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I made the mistake of reading the chat by the Freedomworks guy - he claimed there were a million people at their Sep 12 rally in DC last year - a laughable claim - and no one called him on it. Wonder how many millions will be at Beck's pathetic to-do...

Here are pics of my back-from-the-dead clematis - more purply than blue, but very nice. The leaves are mostly from the noisette rose that is beside it.

Wheezy, good to see you, and great that you're working! Me too - at least for a while. I know what you mean about it cutting into Boodle time.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 26, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki. How's it going?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 26, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, 'mudge! Things are grand, grand I tell ye. Was out with friends this evening (*way* fun) and everything is looking up. Or so I claim.

Posted by: Yoki | August 26, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

seasea! 'zackly.

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


Posted by: -jack- | August 27, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I love that song, jack. Always have.

Posted by: Yoki | August 27, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Beep! Beeb! Possibly NSFW or NSFL - you're warned, dear Boodlers.

'course, I also love this one from Disturbed's new CD. 'cause I'm a 52-year-old Death Metal-Head.

Posted by: Yoki | August 27, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

the best versions i've heard are from 70 -72. the take from the fillmore east, 25.4.71, plainly and simply, rocks.

Posted by: -jack- | August 27, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

very interesting.

Posted by: -jack- | August 27, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Well done, y'all.

Feel better.

Posted by: Yoki | August 27, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

What a sparklingly clear and dry morning!!! *throwing the windows open for a little while*

Slightly NSFW, but many Boodlers will enjoy, I'm sure:


Why is it that I have such exceedingly low expectations for the "rally," yet I fully expect to be disappointed? Oh yeah, GB's involved. *eye roll* Can't wait to see the DS repeat this evening! :-)

*reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeely-hoping-for-a-quiet-day-so-I-can-catch-the-first-Afternoon-Patrol-home Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

But...but...but...Scotty! Glenn has promised that this rally is non-political!! No politics involved! It's completely non-partisan! Why, there are NO politicians (meaning current office-holders) gonna be there to speak! Well, all except Palin, and as everyone knows by now, she's no longer an elected office-holder, and of course, she's well-known for her non-political, non-partisan musings.

Glenn wouldn't...yanno...lie, would he?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 27, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Ok, Glen Beck's gathering isn't political, right? Alrighty.

Morning, Dawn Patrol!! Glad to "see" you guys this morning. Hope everyone is feeling on top of the world.

Today is Friday, and we get the weekend, already needing a break from school, and this just the first week!

Time to meet the world in the form of this small rural village where I abode, and try to spread the good news. Have a great day, and an even better weekend, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 27, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, the talking cat has been forwarded to various folk this morning who could use a ROTHFL. Many thanks, and here's hoping for a early release for your dear self this Friday afternoon.

Good morning and good Friday to all! Sliced mango and nectarine, cheese and ham biscuits, juice and hot bevs on the sideboard - dig in.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

I regretfully know some people that are going to the GB rally tomorrow and "they think" it's not political. It's absolutely frightening and there is no reasoning with them. *looking to the hills from whence cometh my help* AARGH, and gnashing of teeth!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Yuumm, Talitha, thanks for the great breakfast!

Good morning, Cassandra, I hope it's a good day at school for the g-dottir.

Today is craft class. Not that we're learning anything, actually we are working on the quilt we will raffle off at the fall family festival in October. I hope I can make the squares work; last week, I was having trouble with them not being large enough. Lots of math in quilting...

Have a wonderful Friday, all!

Posted by: slyness | August 27, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

WaPo headline: "CIA is secretly paying many Karzai officials."

Well, it's not zackly a secret any more...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 27, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

slyness - if your (or anyone's) squares aren't large enough just add narrow strips log-cabin-wise to bring them into compliance prior to setting and joining. Borders such as that can really be a unifying framework for an "album" quilt. (If I'm preaching to the choir just tell me to keep my quilt-head to myself. ;))

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Man, if I hadda known the Nats would have won in the 13th inning I would have stayed up an watched.

And probably made few bets.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 27, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Many Karzai officials are getting "secret" payments from many sources, methinks...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Afghanistan is only the second most corrupt country in the world. Somalia managed to edge them for first place again last year. Maybe they'll make it this year, everyone needs to be no.1 at something.

Since the US installed money tracking machines at the Kabul airport the money export business is booming at the Karzai-halfbrother-controlled Kandahar airport.
That one of the poorest country in the world exports bales and pallets of money, mostly US dollars, to Gulf state banks makes me a little sick to my stomach. The b@stards don't even try to invest their pilfered loot in their own country.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 27, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I never in a million years thought I'd ever write the following sentence. Michael Gerson's column had me verklempt, and beyond verklempt. I had a bit of trouble getting through the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 9th paragraphs. You'll see why when you get there.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 27, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

It's scary to me that I know ezactly what talitha is talking about in her 8:04 post, my wife being an avid quilter and all.

More scary is that I'm gonna get stuck in this "rally" mess tommorrow. My car's ingnition control module burned up last night. The car was thoughtful enough to get me TO work, but left me stranded trying to get home. So, tommorrow I have to bring tools and parts back to it to fix it. And just where is that? The Washington Navy Yard. (spittin' distance from the Mall) Sheesh...

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | August 27, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckzz, ye Boodlers!

Queen of the South is a great novel by Arturo Perez Reverte. In it he describes the Mexican drug business and how it spills well outside Mexico. Not only a great read, but also an in depth study.

Karzai is not corrupt but practical. He knows the war there is a lose-lose situation. He needs retirement funds. After all, Swiss villas are expensive and retiring in style takes lots of money.

I have a number of articles on Afghanistan posted in Useless Knowledge Magazine, if anyone is interested.

NYT has a good article on the trapped Chilean miners. Even NASA is getting involved in the rescue. We have four months of drama ahead.

Happy Friday, you all :)


Posted by: Braguine | August 27, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

It's a beautiful day in metro DC. Both bosses are off, and if it weren't for a morning meeting I had previously sceduled, I wouldn't be here either. As it is, I'm headed up the pike to PA as soon as the meeting is over. Friend wife volunteered to stay there this week and get some necessary housework done, even sans vehicle. We have some trim painting to do tomorrow, and then head back here on Sunday.

I had to buy a new scanner, since the old HP wouldn't talk to Win7, and there apparently will be no download fix. I got an Epson that will copy slides and negatives as well as paper copy. The slide copying does surprisingly well at 2400 dpi. One of my retirement projects is going to be going through the roughly 30,000 slides and digitizing the "good" ones. That ought to keep me busy for the next 20 years or so!

Posted by: ebtnut | August 27, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, Mudge. Tears in my eyes. In my family, those children are the niece and nephew adopted from Russia, two wonderful, darling ten-year-olds. With braces and Speedos and everything American.

Posted by: slyness | August 27, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure it was ever much of a secret. Particularly if you were Afghani. And in a related Karzai item, if you are ever in Baltimore, go to his brother's restaurant, The Helmand. The best Middle-Eastern food you will ever eat.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, thanks, that was a great morning pick me up! funny.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 27, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I have about 10 plastic storage boxes of photos from 1984 to 2003 that I need to someday scan and upload except that I can barely keep up with my digital pictures, let alone my old film ones. In those boxes are great old photos of trips to Mardi Gras, Niagara and Canada, San Francisco, Maine, Chicago, and others as well as all those pictures of my son from birth to age 13, when kids are still cute.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I like discussions about the trade deficit. Lots of people talking about how bad it is now... course, those folks didn't care 19 or so months ago, but that isn't my point.

I think the deficit is so undercounted it is not funny. What would happen to that number if tomorrow we legalized drugs?

You think the money flowing out of the US to the Mexican and Colombian cartels gets counted now? It would then.

Ay caramba.

Posted by: baldinho | August 27, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Here is a wonderful first-person audio account by Scott Simon of his adoption. You can't listen to it without tearing up.

And here he is on Fresh Air this week talking to Terry Gross.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Don-from-1-270 ----

boogity-bibbity-boo!!! And my quilts aren't even traditionally 'set' - jello or koolaid even. Heck, rarely do they have right angles - no surprise to any here I suspect.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, verklempt over the Gerson piece??? I can't possible imagine why. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Hi, all! It's a beautiful day outside, and I'm in the office on my day off so I can have 4 uninterrupted days of wallpaper removal in the new house over the Labor Day weekend. That's of course if we settle on Monday, which does not look very likely at this point unless the refinance gets settled today. Apparently, a new mortgage can be approved in less time than a refinance these days. I don't understand.

Thank you, Mudge. That was a beautiful article. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 27, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut, sounds like you got the same Epson I did to 'talk' to my Windows7. I've been very pleased though I use mine for different tasks. Have a good time in PA . . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Bad news for you Nats fans.

Strasburg has a torn ligament in his elbow and will require Tommy John surgery. He will likely be out for all of 2011.

Let's hope the comparisons to Mark Prior end here.

Posted by: Awal | August 27, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse


Strasburg deserves better. Let's hope it's an uneventful surgery and recovery. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Howdy. "Queen of the South" is indeed a great novel, Brag, and I like everything else Perez Reverte writes, both the serious novels and the more light-hearted Captain Alatriste series.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I blame it on Sports Illustrated Scottynuke.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm on the cover of SI?????

*quickly throwing salt over my shoulder*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg getting Tommy John surgery?

I blame Obama.

Posted by: baldinho | August 27, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I think it safe to say I feel about Scott Simon about the same way that yello feels about Gene W. (I think it started when I asked him about his kitchen composting attempt and he admitted abandoning it because it "had bugs"-thus branding him an idiot for not doing it right, and giving up instead of correcting. My snittage over this nearly ruined Mothers Day circa '02 spent at a Bowie Baysox/NPR fundraiser event-which I attended to meet Neil Conan anyway.) But, I digress. Despite thinking he's not nearly as well read, well prepared as an interviewer, and knowledgeable as he thinks he is, I have been listening to others interview Simon on his book tour and will read the book. It's a near and dear topic, true, but it sounds like he got it right.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 27, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

SCC- Neal Conan (not Neil)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

frosti, after you listen to that 20-minute NPR interview, you'll get over your snittage.

I've been listening to adoption stories for more than 25 years now, and his experiences are the closest to my own I've ever heard, especially his descriptions of what the first few minutes and first few days are like.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 27, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I just listened to Terry Gross' interview with Scott Simon, and found it very sweet. Scott Simon's mannerisms have always amused me, and he did not leave them home during the interview. I know a number of people in this area who have adopted children from China (one of them (with his wife) adopted twin girls, who are now maybe 14 or so). Wish I weren't too old now to go do that myself. I think I'll pick up the book.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The biggest figure in offshore money transfer is still for transportation fuel. Everyone wants to talk about manufacturing or even drugs, both of which have easier solutions than finding a substitute for petroleum even though neither of those is easy.

Posted by: edbyronadams | August 27, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Great video, S'nuke. :)

Home again, boiling more vinegar with cinnamon because it really appears to be working. Moved into the guest bedroom, washed some clothes, today is looking up.

Emma did get sprayed and is due for another bath today. Life goes on!

Have a good day, All.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-I listened to it, and the Fresh Air interview when they first aired. Like I said, he got it right, and I'll read the book. But, I still prefer WESat when he has a guest host.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 27, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

How can you miss with Robert Duvall and Bill Murray in the same movie? "Get Low" is indeed charming.

MoftheMountain, best wishes with the wallpaper. I've done the kitchen twice. First time, it turned out the existing paper had been laid directly over the wallboard. It was a mess, getting a good surface. Second time, removal was less difficult thanks to that surface, but prepping fresh wallboard and wallboard that was freshly exposed by cabinet removal was, um, time consuming. I like wallpaper primer. There is such a product.

Then there was the business of finding the right wallpaper.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 27, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Not to be too snarky, but in the ten days I was in China, about the only time I saw other (European-)American tourists in number was in Xian. There were significant numbers of families with one or more elementary school age Chinese daughters in tow at the clay soldier exhibit. It was very touching but a little amusing how they were going to lengths to make sure their adopted kids got some connection to their biological heritage.

I was following the blog of a lady who, with her husband, was trying to adopt a Chinese girl, but it had been dragging on for years. It seems that China has really cracked down on the process over some highly publicized incidents which is a real shame, because it would make the lives of a lot of orphans brighter and bring some love to caring people who want kids but can't.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I read Gerson's column (generally, I ignore him) and the thought occurred to me that -- as Tip O'Neill once said "politics is local" -- so is experience and point of view. I wonder if Gerson would have written the same column if his wife were not adopted from a country outside the United States, or were not adopted at all. I don't mean to denigrate his column today, but I'm curious.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 27, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, DoC. I hope we'll be able to do it that weekend. I'm really stressed about this whole settlement thing. I seriously doubt we'll be homeowners by the end of Monday, as scheduled.

We're going to be taking down floor to ceiling wallpaper in 3 rooms, and top and bottom border in 4 more (and the hallway). Plan right now is to replace with paint if possible. Depends on the condition of the walls. House is 110 years old, so it's anyone's guess at the condition of the plaster or if it has ever been painted. It'll be an adventure. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised by the dearth of Western tourists in Taipei. I realize the city isn't Hong Kong, but the National Palace Museum was celebrating it re-opening with their grandest show ever.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 27, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely wonderful breeze blowing in the window. About to have my lunch--fettuccine with a sausage, bacon, mushroom and veggie red sauce. I fully expect the garlic to seep through the pores on this one.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 27, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Weed -- I've just eaten lunch and am sipping on some bush tea, but after reading what you're about to eat, I think I detect some incipient hunger pangs. Sounds luscious.

Does it fax well?

Posted by: ftb3 | August 27, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

mmmm, sounds yummy, rt. The more garlic, the better. No mushrooms for me though, thanks.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

A busy, strange, but beautiful day.

I listened to Scott Simon's interview on Fresh Air the other day -- I found it moving and I can only imagine what his book's like.

Lots to consider about the Gulf Coast this week, isn't there?

A shame about Strasberg's surgery -- I think he'll be OK in the long run. Don, good luck with the ECU repair, and don't forget to check for shorts (and it wouldn't hurt to wear some, too.).

Back to what I need to be doing, folks. Have a good day.


Posted by: -bc- | August 27, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Lit, I think this is for you --

Posted by: nellie4 | August 27, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Somebody once said that wallpapering together is the toughest test of a marriage. The first house we owned, the previous owners had been wallpaper happy. For the most part, we left it up, but when we put our smaller refrigerator in the recess it didn't fill it up and we had to patch to match what was now exposed.

Then when my wife went through her nesting phase, I stripped the baby room of three layers of wallpaper, with the bottom layer embedded to to the wallboard. We (meaning I, under my pregnant wife's direction) painted the room and put up a teddy bear ceiling border.

Since then, I insist on no wallpaper. This summer we got a painter to strip the wallpaper in our den and repaint. The room looks so much brighter without all the gold and hunter green patterns on the wall.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I read a little of Glen Beck's life story on Wiki, and this is a man that should have oodles and oodles of compassion for human error considering his rather rough beginnings. Perhaps he's forgotten that.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 27, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, wallpaper to wallboard=no fun. I really hope that isn't the case here. I haven't tried wallpaper with plaster before, like we'll have here.

The whole house buying thing has been marriage-testing.

I'm the landlord's daughter who has the experience in painting walls and removing wallpaper, which is why I've enlisted my parents and sister and planned for 4 days given the amount to be removed. Hubby, god bless him, thought all the paper could be removed in a day or so by just the two of us with a steamer.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 27, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Satan and Vlad the Impaler had tough childhoods, too, Cassandra. I have no sympathy for any them. Vlad, at least, was multilingual and liekd horses. I can find nothing admirable about the other two.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | August 27, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I haven't used a steamer, but have used stuff that makes water kind of gel up and stay in place. It takes some patience, but is absolutely wonderful if you can cleanly pull the old paper off. What really consumes time is getting rid of bits of paper, especially just the backing.

I've retained wallpaper in the kitchen, a pale yellow leaf-and-berry pattern in Craftsman style. It took a long time to find paper that gets along with the vaguely Arts & Crafts cabinet doors (from Ikea) and doesn't draw attention to itself.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 27, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Here is Joel's latest dispatch from the Star Chamber/Spanish Inquisition in Houston:

This article seems substantially different from the one that was in the dead trees this morning which does not seem to be online. At least not now.

It seems the first drafts of history are now written on etch-a-sketches.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I can attest to the test that wallpaper stripping is for a marriage. Mr. T and I managed to survive. The worst I've ever dealt with, though, was in Elderdottir's master bathroom. I sprayed and sprayed and pulled it off by the half square inch with my fingernails. No clue what they used to put it up with. Contact cement, I think.

Posted by: slyness | August 27, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

New Scientist has a brief story on New Orleans' questionably adequate new storm defenses. I get the impression that assessing storm defenses is an active and technically difficult field.

On the Inquisition front, it's always interesting when organizations that are impressed by their own competences suffer disasters and get grilled. I'm happy that evidently no one yelled "the regulators made me do it!"

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 27, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

DotC, Glenn Beck will do that this weekend.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 27, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* Word just came that the refi is still lost in underwriter hell. No house Monday. :(

Maybe sometime next week. Maybe.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 27, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Joel, but I must disagree. As hard as I've tried, I have never seen beauty in Houston. I do my best to stay away from that 'burg. Also, I was a little miffed that NBC Nightly News chose to not cover the Central American migrants' massacre yesterday.

Posted by: GomerGross | August 27, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Too bad, MotM. Let's hope you can still get the house before Labor Day.

*faxing karma to you guys and dynamite for the bureaucratic cement ('cuz we know where it is)*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 27, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, I didn't jinx myself -- managed to get away on time, and apart from a work-related phone call on the way home, it's a fine start to the weekend!! :-)

Caught the tail end of Strasburg's press conference, and the kid really does seem to have his head on straight. Sounds like he wants the surgery ASAP so he can get to rehab and back to business. Good attitude.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck?

Wanted to see if the Metro would be a mess tomorrow. Great move Glenn, why don't you let people get to work before you start screwing up the transportation in the area.

No, seriously, I googled and got this teaser:

Restoring Honor - 8.28.10
Official hours are 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 28, 2010. .... What are the average temperatures for Washington DC in August? ... Fill out our transportation request form and we will help get you to the rally. Bus Quick Links: ...

The best part of this is the transportation application. I think that the Koch Brothers will drive you there, if you need a lift. Those guys are swell.

I also remember that the original and momentous rally on 8/28 with Dr. King was just as much about jobs for the poor and disadvantaged as anything else. The unions were there. I wonder if the Unions are being invited to speak tomorrow?

Posted by: russianthistle | August 27, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The New Scientist story on New Orleans connects to "Working together with water: A living land build for its future. Findings of the Deltacommissie 2008"

It seems that the Dutch expect their government to keep them dry, and were fairly complacent when the report was written. The report's take on sea level rise would not work politically in the US, nor would its call for national consensus on massive programs for water management.

I was struck by the report's emphasis on massive beach nourishment, intended to keep the beaches. The country is very fortunate in its lack of beachfront houses and such.

I can't imagine consensus on anything of the sort in Florida. People who live inland don't like paying for rich peoples' beaches, and beach dwellers are unlikely to approve high new publicly-owned dunes blocking their ocean views.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 27, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A great blast from the past, in honor of the great march/rally on Washington this weekend.

Posted by: baldinho | August 27, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Got the following e-mail a little while ago from a friend of mine with whom I discuss a lot of politics. I'll simply repeat it here, rather than rewrite (he won't mind):

"I got the latest Washingtonian [magazine] with the Best & Worst of Congress.

"On the Senate side, the top Hottie was a tie between Maria Cantwell and Kirsten Gillibrand (both Democrats. Yay!). The biggest disappointment was Scott Brown (R-Mass), most partisan was Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and the meanest was Barbara Mikulski.

"On the House side the most eloquent was Steny Hoyer [his and my Congressman], the meanest was Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and the hotties were Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D), Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) Bachmann also got voted the most clueless.

"And the top three votes for president in 2012 were 1) Barack Obama, 2) a tie between Mitt Romney and John Thune (R-S.D who was also voted No. 1 male hottie) and 3) Hillary Clinton. Just remember, these are people who read Washingtonian who voted."


Getting on my game face for the Redskins game.

Apparently the WaPo's Lisa DeMoraes is holding a live blog Sunday night for the Emmies, and may get Robin Givhan aboard for fashion commentary. I trust that our own Boodle will be on hand for live Boodling, with our very own CqP aboard for fashionista updates and commentary?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 27, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Ha Ha Ha ... I thought he was Jeff Beck.

thanks, baldinho, funny.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 27, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

russian: It was like the Trevi fountain. I could have thrown coins at his face and made a wish.

Posted by: baldinho | August 27, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I got tickets for 'Chess' in Arlington tomorrow afternoon. I really hope the Beckistas don't screw up traffic too bad.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 27, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Rent a helicopter, yello? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"The Big Beckola"

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 27, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Jet pack.

Posted by: Yoki | August 27, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, thank you. I've printed it out and stuck it in a memory box. The girl keeps me laughing, that's for sure.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 27, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart had it about right...

"Beck-ing Man"

*eye roll*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 27, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I liked "Beckith Fair." Very subtle.

6-5? What kinda football score is THAT?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 27, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

My mouse died. Lowtech me is lower still. Navigating with a touch pad and up and down arrows.

Can I scan, link and paste?
Or Must I Hesitate? (I love that song)

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of lowtech me, talitha -- my first thought at your first sentence was that you had a pet mouse that died. The furry kind. I had to backtrack when that interpretation didn't work for the next sentence. It's been a long day.

Condolences, either way!

Posted by: -bia- | August 27, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I am wearing a pair of 3-d glasses at work,just to lighten the evening.Problem is no one has noticed.Now if I could find those Groucho Marx glasses and the rainbow wig,they might notice.

But I am saving that for tomorrow's preseason football game.

Jeff Beck,I am sorry I said no to his show earlier this year at wolf trap.The man can play a guitar.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 27, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are stranding more people than did Oceanic Flight 815.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 27, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

GreenWE, I used to call my Sunday afternoon radio show "Bach to Beck". We did our own programming so over the three hour period there was lots of room to transition from one (through many) to the other. Oh what fun!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 27, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Gerson, Krauthammer, George Will - All those guys can think and write, and I read them with some regularity. Any or all of them are capable of writing things which I think are thoughtless or overly partisan, but they all produce enough work which I find interesting to keep them on my radar. To be surprised that one of them has written something thoughtful (or touching) is probably to have given them less credit than they are due.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 27, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Will and K are Machiavellian. Don't know about Gerson.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 27, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

All kinds of Beckinalia going on in downtown DC tomorrow.

Might be a good reason to take the kids to the pool.

The TPers have all the rights and permits to demonstrate and gather peacefully and lawfully and say their piece, good and loud. Just as any other citizens of this Country do.

And I have my personal choice to stay well away from it.


Posted by: -bc- | August 28, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I have way too many more important things to do than pay much attention to the march. I will read some coverage of it after the fact, though, to see what the themes of the speakers are.

Is the point going to be made over and over that certain folks think other folks are bad and unworthy of respect and are dishonoring our great nation? If so, they will have to be very careful on delivery and tone.

If they do it correctly, they can do some good. If done poorly and with a partisan tilt, it will be horrid.

After all, there ARE people who aren't living up to the dreams of the founders of the country and the leaders of the civil rights movement. Those people come from all walks of life. I wonder how much effort will be made by the speakers to stress that point.... that most folks can work to improve themselves and this country... and that the bad guy aren't just some nebulous "THEM"?

Posted by: baldinho | August 28, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I try to read most of the things from the Gerson/Will/Krauthammer group.

To me, Gerson has consistently grown in my estimation. I think his religious background and beliefs are a great foundation. I think he believes everyone is worthy and equal and can be talked to like adults. He almost always writes with the intent to get the listener to think and act better.

Will can be uneven in his writing. When he disagrees with things he feels the GOP is doing, he is best. There he can try to be persuasive... and argue positively to steer people towards his way of thinking.

I can't remember a column from Krauthammer in the last 18 months that I didn't find over-the-top in partisanship. He makes no argument FOR any of this beliefs that doesn't belittle and sneer at those that disagree with him. He has truly ceased to be someone worth reading, in my mind. He does not challenge stereotypes. He does not make reasoned arguments that attempt to convince people to change. He is a shrill namecaller.

Posted by: baldinho | August 28, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I'll be away this week with the family on vacation. The weather looks great, so we are lucky already.

Hope everyone has a great week. You folks are wonderful.

We had 20 turkeys in the back yard this morning. That was better than any morning cup of coffee could ever be.

Posted by: baldinho | August 28, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone, getting reading to leave on our road trip for Montreal, weather is perfect, should be a great trip.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 28, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Baldinho and dmd, have great and safe trips! This is a wonderful time of the year for a vacation.

My mother's family gathers for a picnic once a year, and today is the day. As I have grown older, I have found that I like my cousins more and more. Great people, sane, loving, productive, interesting, caring. I am blessed to share family connections with them.

Better get on with it, if my plan to make a peach cobbler is to come to fruition in time.

Hi Cassandra! Hope all is well in your corner of the universe today.

Posted by: slyness | August 28, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I think bc makes a great point. In the same way that the Constitution allows Park51, or whatever it's called this week, so to it allows Glenn Beck. I think this is a great opportunity for many who have not observed this man to get a really good look. Free speech cuts both ways.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 28, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Broder has a fine column on King and his peaceable throng of protesters this morning.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 28, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee (both iced and hot), and chilled OJ on the table.

Those dashing off on trips and/or outings, have a magnificent time. We have great weather here this weekend, should your plans include TWC.

Little League World Series matchups look interesting. Chinese Taipei and Japan meet in the International game. Both are undefeated (3-0) in LLWS play. Chinese Taipei beat its rivals by a combined 46-1. Teams from Hawaii and Georgia meet in the U.S. game. Hawaii had to play in each of the past two days to make it this far, while Georgia had a day off yesterday. We'll see if that makes a difference.

As to op/ed writers, most are paid to provoke. It's part of the newspaper game. Many are so predictable several of the boodlers could probably write the pieces themselves by now.

Posted by: MsJS | August 28, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

dmd, Montreal! I like that place a lot. Approach the after-dinner grappa at Cafe via Dante with caution. You may end up in the 10thcircle like I did (It helps to have them call a cab *before* you have the first grappa.).

For everyone on the road this weekend - good, safe, and enjoyable trips to you and yours.


Posted by: -bc- | August 28, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I have been Jumpered. Thinking that a nice mashed roasted butternut squash would go nicely with the grilled lamb scheduled for tonight I took a gander in the squash patch.
Butternuts as far as the eye can see.

I've seen excerpts of Beck on Stewart's Today show for the first time (for me). If it weren't for the 35 millions he reportedly made in the past couple of years I would think he is mad. Rush has been out-Rushed, in both nuttiness and greed.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 28, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

We're having lamb too, shriek. Shish kebabs.

The only thing I'll say about Glenn Beck is that he seems to be living his dream in a big way. We should all be so fortunate.

Posted by: MsJS | August 28, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Wishing safe and fun trips to dmd, baldinho and all others this pre-Labor Day weekend. I'm grumpy that I won't be in Maine this year. For over 30 years there was always a gathering of the clan for the last two weeks of August. The matriarch who was the hub of the wheel is gone now and the spokes are scattered around the country and Europe. *sigh*

I took a peek at the livefeed of the Beckanalia. Quite a large crowd but we'll never know the actual size because they don't officially announce them any longer and the organizers always exaggerate. Did note that Beck is wearing a bulletproof vest under his dress shirt. Probably wise but . . . well, draw your own conclusions.

Off the the giant box store to buy a mouse (non-fuzzy) and pick up some mums to fill dead space in the garden. Fall's a'comin'!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 28, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Jumper1 | August 28, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I hope all today's travelers (some of my family included, although they're not coming here *SIGH*) have clear skies, the wind at their back, and that the road rises to greet them.

I'm really struggling to avoid any attempt to interpret the latest quotes from Beck & Palin, since I'm far too inclined to percieve a very dark, troubling subtext in what I've seen. *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

*it's-a-hectic-weekend-but-otherwise-quite-lovely-outside Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 28, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The Post Magazine has Frank Cho, him of the no-longer-syndicated Liberty Meadows comic strip. Now I know that Ralph is a bear.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 28, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The best things I've read about the Beck crowd:
"an overwhelmingly white crowd of tens of thousands"
"The dense assembly , which contained few young people"
from this article -

Dana Milbank has a good one too -
He's not a fan.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 28, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Great music, Jumper, with touches from Bach, Ravel and Philip Glas. I've never heard it before.

Posted by: gmbka | August 28, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Jumper, that brings back memories. My favorite Country Joe songs:

Which makes me an unapologetic hippie.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

But what was Brandy?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Now I imagine you are wearing flowers in your hair.

Posted by: gmbka | August 28, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I can totally see seasea with flowers in her hair.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Brandy (such a fine girl) worked as a waitress in a Pacific coast seaport bar, IIRC. The seaport served a hundred ships a day, according to detailed maritime shipping statistics.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 28, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Ah, nothing like a fresh mouse with chirpy little clicks. I'm a happy boodler once again.

Country Joe brings back many fond memories and probably a few that I can't actually recall ;) from 1969. That was the year I went away to college - with flowers in my hair I'm sure. Oh what a time it was.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 28, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I hear tell she would be a good wife, Mudge. She just needs to forget locket-man.

jkt, I'd say at least an "F," possibly even "FF."

Here's the link to the Cho article in case anyone missed it:

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 28, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's a song I've had in my head all day. Maybe if I share it with you all it will go away. Love this guitar, btw.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 28, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

More fun in astronomy -- here's a video showing the discoveries of asteroids over the past 30 years. In 1980, we started out knowing about 9000 of them, and end up in 2010 with over 300,000. The final color-coding shows Earth-crossing asteroids as red (asteroids that cross Earth's orbit and may, but probably won't, hit us):

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 28, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Very cool, SciTim. Far out, even. ;)

One of my crazy sisters just emailed this to me. I don't think I've ever heard of the guy.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 28, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Yuck, this last song kicked me out of my nostalgia for the late 60s and the seventies with images of women with flowers in their hair. That, and that my BIL had to report about the Glen Beck event. While watching it, he expected people marching in goose step any moment. He is a masochist.

Posted by: gmbka | August 28, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the Glenn Beck thing was sort of a non-event. More like a high school baccalaureate service than anything else.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 28, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I've been out of the loop all day. We spent the morning (and into the afternoon) unhooking the stereo and the old TV, moving out the old piece of furniture that held it all, unpacking the new furniture, hooking up the stereo, then setting up the new HDTV. Everything worked out fine until we realized we had the cable hooked up wrong, which was why we were getting just one channel. All the boxes and styrofoam are at the dump, I've vacuumed the mess and we're back to normal. We forgot to eat lunch which must by why I have a headache. I know it's not from the Beck thing as I haven't read or watched anything about it. I'm sure I'll see more of it than I want to on the news tonight.

Hope all who are traveling have a safe trip and a wonderful time. Gotta go find some food.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 28, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hurricane swell has arrived. Nice photos of today's waves being used appropriately are here:
I was feeling crummy with back problems (upper, not lower), so didn't go watch.

"Dr. Rip's Essential Beach Book: everything you need to know about surf, sand, and rips" is being published in time for spring, the austral version. I've had the good luck to meet the author, a coastal geomorphologist at the University of New South Whales (that's what his name tag said).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 28, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of asteroids, a crater in Ukraine is looking like it was created just before the (even bigger?) unspellable one in Yucatán

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 28, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"The dense assembly"

I love this line.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 28, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

It's always possible that in 1980, there *were* only about 9000 of them. Our detection technology may not be the problem. Perhaps the rampant growth in the asteroid population is real, and menacing. You know the old saying:

"Every time a martyr dies for Allah, or Glenn Beck says something that would embarrass Ronald Reagan, an Earth-crossing asteroid is born."

Posted by: Bob-S | August 28, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I admit that I have found that Will, and Gerson, and Krauthammer are capable of writing eloquently and persuasively -- when it is an issue that strikes close to home. Will has a lot of valuable things to say on the subject of social supports and understanding for the mentally disabled -- because he has a son with Down's syndrome. Gerson, evidently, can muster the same sort of sympathy in relation to adoption. Krauthammer has too much gumption to say much about being in a wheel-chair (I'll certainly grant him credit for toughness on that count) but he writes well on... um, something. Nothing comes to mind, but I'm sure there must be something that can squeeze some blood from that turnip. The thing is, when it's an ailment that is NOT close to home, with which these guys have no personal experience, then they seem unable to muster the same sort of empathy. If they haven't personally dealt with the problem, or known someone who is dealing with the problems, then the problem isn't real.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 28, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for taking a swing at that softball. You hit it out of the park. Mudge gets an honorable mention for the Looking Glass call-out.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

While it doesn't matter much (since overblown hyperbole was my intention anyway), what I really had in mind earlier was:

"Every time an innocent is killed in the name of Allah..."

Posted by: Bob-S | August 28, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Great asteroid video, SciTim. Which one is Vesta? I always wanted to get marooned there.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Also, I read the following in the coverage of today's gatherings:
"The crowd erupted when Beck introduced Palin, a tea party heroine and a former Republican vice presidential candidate."

I've realized that "tea party heroine" is possibly a phrase that I'll use with some frequency in coming months.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 28, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

FTB, Out Stealing Horses was written by Per Petterson. It's set in Norway, not Sweden, but nonetheless, it's a fine book.

Here's a link:

Posted by: rickoshea11 | August 28, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, rickoshea, will you e-mail me your snail mail address? Thanks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 28, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

When you're thinking Sweden, and you're thinking horses, then Minnesota or China is the place to go!,_Minnesota-20070929.jpg

Posted by: Bob-S | August 28, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Relaxing in the hotel now, tired after the drive and then wandering around Old Montreal, we walked down to the area but cabbed back but still a fair amount of walking.

While there I saw this sign I knew the boodle would appreciate.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 28, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I always feel so bad for people who own surfboards on the east coast. At least they got some use out of them.

Speaking of airplanes and shooting stars, this video has nearly 40 million views.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I genuinely laughed out loud. but they have the font size for the menu items swapped in my mind.

And I just found out that the September 5 Justin Bieber concert at the Maryland State Fair is already sold out. I blame Canada.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of books, i just finished The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick, about Custer at the Little Bighorn. Excellent book if a bit technical about troop formations and such (but there are plenty of maps). I wish I knew the country out there as it would help to envision how difficult the terrain was for the calvery. Of course I was rooting for the Native Americans anyway ;-)

Not so good was John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River. I usually love his writing but this book was not among his best - I could see where the story was going and the ending was, IMHO, ridiculous. YMMV.

Very tired from a long week. Think I may turn in early (for me).

Neat video Tim. Amazing how many asteroids we've found, very cluttered out there in space.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 28, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

gmbka, sorry to break the mood. Would this help?

Posted by: talitha1 | August 28, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

But when it comes to great Canadian singers, nobody beats The Captain. This time dueting with Joe Jackson (not the shoeless one).

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Scott MacKenzie was groovy, but nobody was more psychedelic than Kenny:

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

THIS is what I'd like to have heard at the Beckfest, Palinparty today. True Americana.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 28, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

My son left this update on his Facebook status:

///[SonOfYellojkt] is gonna break in a new tv with a Gurren Lagan marathon. All are invited.///

Not speaking fluent anime (like some boodler parents I could name), I YouTubed up this episode:

I can't imagine watching all 27 episodes.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I would, Mudge, if I had your address.

Posted by: rickoshea11 | August 28, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

My recollection is that Custer had guides, and thought of himself as an expert scout.

The battlefield is on rolling terrain. I don't know what the sagebrush density would have been at the time of the battle. Before a fire (circa 1983) it was pretty dense, probably enough to slow down but not entirely hobble men and horses. After a fire, the new grass was much more passable. I think the Park Service suddenly had new problems with souvenir hunters.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 28, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I am coming out of lurk-world to bring you this announcement: Hawaii has won the U.S. Little League World Series Championship! Our boys from Waipahu (Waipio) battled their way from the losers bracket to win the title, winning 7 games in 7 days. They are truly amazing! They take on Japan tomorrow for the World Championship title. Go For Broke!

Thank you for indulging me. You may not return to your regular boodle programming.

On and on the Beck rally today - got nothing to say but aren't he and Palin lucky that they live in this country so they can say what they want?

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | August 28, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Neat link on the fiery fateful fatalities caused by the fractal fracture of multiple meteor impacts.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 28, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I meant you may NOW return to your regular boodle programming. It's been a while since I've posted...

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | August 28, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

MotP!!!! So glad for your boys. I love underdog stories.

Posted by: Yoki | August 28, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki! Thanks, and yes, they were the underdogs all the way.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | August 28, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on your hometown team. Glad they found success in Williamsport.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 28, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The ScienceKids tried to get us to watch it from the beginning. The ScienceSpouse and I were unable to tolerate even a single DVD-worth of it.

ScienceKid#2 has a bit of a thing for drawing Yoko (a busty hot chick who wears little clothing and carries a great big firearm). The claim is that this because of Yoko's fabulous hair.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 28, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Yoko does have fabulous, uh, hair.

And deviantart sure does have an enormous amount of fan art.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

i was looking for something from beck-ola. this'll do. magic bass.

Posted by: -jack- | August 29, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

"tea party heroine" = tp heroine = toilet paper heroine. Just amusing myself.

Spent the day at Longwood Gardens with my cousin, had a great time and enjoyed the Solas concert there tonight.

The skunk odor is better overall, but still pretty depressing in a few rooms. I've been trying to get every place Emma touched with skunk odor remover but still not there. The guest bedroom is in good shape, so at least I have a good place to sleep.

Have a good night, All!

Posted by: -dbG- | August 29, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

what mama said.

Posted by: -jack- | August 29, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

i ain't superstitious.

Posted by: -jack- | August 29, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

It's an invasion. I was walking the dogs, one at a time, and while we were walking, a new skunk spray happened down the street. About 15 minutes later, one crossed from my next door neighbor's driveway to the one across the street. Stopped in the middle of the street to look at motionless (silently cursing) dbG and dog. Remember "Signs" where they showed alien looking towards the camera? Like that and just as scary.

While leashed, Emma was quiet looking at it. She's a vociferous yard defender, however, and I fear that will be more important than her last bad experience.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 29, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

sounds like you need billy the exterminator, dbG. better yet, a blaster.

Posted by: -jack- | August 29, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

sounds like you need billy the exterminator, dbG. better yet, a blaster.


Posted by: -jack- | August 29, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to the Hawaii team, MotP!

dbG, that's terrible! Worse than Error's groundhogs. Sounds like you need Animal Control, or Ghostbusters.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 29, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

oooh, pea-size frog...cute...

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 29, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Yello and Seasea! We're on for tomorrow at 3 p.m. EDT against Japan. Cheer for us!

I have come across skunks a couple of times in my life but luckily never got sprayed. A co-worker of mine had a skunk get caught in the air system of her house and the smell permeated the entire home. They literally had to move out and clean everything. I kinda had a similar experience with bed bugs (shudder). It was awful.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | August 29, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Just swinging by while doing some early morning web changes before heading out to the farmers market... Yesterday, downtown was a treat. All the Beck-ites.

Clearly, hundreds of them had no maps and the ones that did, didn't bother to really check them out. They just jumped on the metro and took off.

On the ride down from Maryland, I helped at least a half of my metro car get off at a better stop and skip Metro Center.

They were all told to just go to the mall. I told them that it was nonsense. The best part, they got to see K Street where all their Lobbyists are. Anyway, many of the buses dropped folks over by Eastern Market and the Stadium. Many tried to walk back and they looked awfully hot afterwords. At least one guy got something out of the trip to DC. He kept calling me 'buddy' and bought a pound bag of freshly roasted French Roast.

We thought many of them are lost out there. If you come across a lost Beck-ite wandering around, be kind.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 29, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends.

For me, it doesn't matter the prop one uses to hate and demean people, it still comes out to the same thing, just plain old hate. The opportunity to wear a different dress, different wig, whatever to camouflage such feelings don't change what they are in the least. Seldom does one come to the table saying what the true feeling is, it's always covered with candy and sprinkles, yet those that taste of such morsels know the top layer isn't the prize, it's what's up under all that glitz and prettiness. So the people that eat of these so called dainties, in essence are really feeding on that hate, and they greedily devour it because it feeds their misery.

The g-girl had her birthday party yesterday, and I met hate in it's raw form there. An odd place to meet up with such a twisted emotion, but there it was. It shocked me,so strong, so fast. It couldn't be contained, it had to spread its venom.

As you can imagine, it's a tough morning, but as Tom Hanks said in the movie, Cast Away, I'm going to keep breathing, try to keep moving, and with a lot of help from God, keep going. And love much.

Have a wonderful day, folks, and much love to all.

Slyness, hope all is well with you and family.

Mudge, I suspect there's a lot of hurt in Glen Beck's aurora, if you will, which doesn't excuse bad behavior, just sort of gives us a beam on it. It's always hurt, it may be a different incident, but it all comes from hurt because people store hurt, they keep like it's a delicious morsel, yet it festers like no end, and becomes something so noxious, even the owner of it wants it gone.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 29, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, truer words have not been said. You are so right.

I count meeting you at the Boodle party as one of my favorite moments that I have gained through the web. Why anyone would waste a nano-second hating you or anyone that you were with when they could get to know you is beyond me.

As they say, it is their loss.

Anyway, after watching the behavior of so many folks trying so hard to be civil and yet let you know how proud they were of the emotions welling up inside them was shocking, in a way. It was like an uncomfortable guilt, or something like that. It was cloked in red white and blue and all sorts of symbols and using the word honor and such.

These folks got off the metro train that I was on and, after they left, the few of us who were left, several of them black and most of us either returning home from working at night or going to a morning job just looked at each other and absolutely came together. We didn't know each other, but I felt that I had to speak up and say that I really felt for what they went through being amidst that crowd.

As I left for my stop I said to one guy who said that he hoped that the Beck people were gone by the time he had to go to work later in the evening. I mentioned that we have their fear working for us, and that they would leave town before it got dark. We laughed. And, then, I said, thank God that they are in the minority. That is why we all have to vote. All of us.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 29, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

dbG, I need to make a 3-day vacation of visiting Longwood Gardens and vicinity. I haven't been there since high school.

russianthistle, it's wonderful that parts of central Washington have come to life in the evenings in recent years. I hope some of the Beck people were up and about, riding the Metro and maybe having something to eat.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 29, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It is fitting that water is involved at the 3-D Belgian GP in Spa.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 29, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, We saw the Signature Theater production of Chess. the 80s muical from the boys of ABBA and Andrew Lloyd Weber's original partner Tim Rice. And while 'One Night in Bangkok is the big production number, 'Nobody's Side' was the real show stopper. Here is Elaine Paige singing it, but Jill Paice, if anything, brought even more energy to it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 29, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

While it's great that WaPo has an op-ed about "5 myths about mosques in America" (, it's also quite sad there's a need to post such information. *SIGHHHHHHHHHHH*

*watching-the-laundry-go-round-and-round-in-the-washer Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

dbG, what's not to love?

I've been surfing for solutions - not that I could directly help you but for my own edification - and that longer-than-should-be-allowed link keeps popping up.

Something about rigid black-and-white outlooks, as opposed to the obvious various shades of grey, may contribute to our attitudes about skunks. Or perhaps sometimes a stench is just a stench.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

A big thanks to rickoshea for the title of the book. I have written it down and added it to my list of books for the next Amazon purchase. And a huge overflowing package of good wishes for your operation tomorrow, as well as ginormous birthday greetings for your upcoming birthday.

Cassandra, I echo Weed's words. I simply cannot fathom how and why people take the road of hatred in the first instance. And that people make money (loads of it) off it and encourage it for even more money -- that they cannot take with them at the end -- just sickens me. Unbelievable. You certainly know, Cassandra, that you and your family have the love of all the boodlers (well, the *good* ones, anyway) now and forever. Give a birthday kiss to the g-girl for me.

Hey Shriek -- the Lions won last night! Woo-hoo, eh?

Posted by: ftb3 | August 29, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, muchos of mojo to rickoshea for her upcoming operation!! *HUGSSSSSSSSSS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I posted before I had read Cassandra and russianthistle. I realize what a cynic I am. I just expected that the Beckites would be sanctimonious and lost on the Metro. Cassandra offers love for all despite themselves. Weed offers help on the Metro to the misguided. I might have it in me to be helpful in the moment but I'd be thinking bad thoughts - I need to check myself and my judgement.

But, heaven's sake, what a horde of imbeciles.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Morning, Boodle.

Cassandra, I don't care how much hurt Beck may have in his history. Whatever it is, it's no worse than that of a million other people who have managed to overcome it and NOT turn into lying, raving megalomaniac self-promoters whose only goal is money and their own self-aggrandizement. In act, I suspect his ancient wounds have nothing whatsoever to do with his recent and current behavior.

Harry K. Smith has a poignant piece on the Sunday Morning show on CBS about this being the 5th anniversary of Katrina.

Scotty, I suspect that one problem with the "5 myths about [fill in the blank]" the WaPo has been running recently is that the MSM is in denial and a bit of shock about how its attempts to educate the general public about this, that or the other issue. Then there was that study that showed that when one attempts to correct a person's misapprehensions and incorrect notions -- such as that Obama is a muslim -- are met with such resistance that the effort to 'correct" is counter-productive. So the WaPo can print as many "5 Myths of" piece it wants, all to no ultimate purpose. It's beyond discouraging.

And I'm driving myself crazy. I heard a song on the radio this morning, and I couldn't figure out who the singer was. I *know* who he is, but can't remember the name, can't remember the song, although it is flickering around in the back of my head. It may suddenly come to me at 2 in the morning three days from now -- but until then it's driving me nuts. Guy has a moderate, slightly gravely voice, song is a cover...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Honey-do's call, alas...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 29, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Here's Robert McCartney's column on the Glenn Beck rally yesterday. One of the participants was concerned that the EPA would declare lead a toxic substance so you couldn't defend yourself with lead ammunition. I'm not making this up.

Posted by: -pj- | August 29, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Um, Mudge ... could it be the, um again, *age*?????? Of course, I'm younger, so, well, you know. . . . .

Posted by: ftb3 | August 29, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

All good wishes to rickoshea on her surgery tomorrow, heal quickly!

dgB, I'm sorry to hear that you still have odor issues, wish I had some wisdom to impart.

Gorgeous day here, deciding what to do, maybe a walk along the canal.

Cassandra, I am sorry to hear about the hatred you experienced. You know you are well loved here, and I hope that helps. I've been watching the Katrina anniversary coverage and remembering the anger I felt at that time. I don't think I've ever sustained that feeling for so long before or since.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 29, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge reported "Harry K. Smith has a poignant piece on the Sunday Morning show on CBS about this being the 5th anniversary of Katrina."
Even when CBS Sunday Morning has reruns in the summer, it is still (thanks, Kuralt) the best TV magazine program in production. Never miss it. Smith's reporting on Katrina five years after is a case in point.

- A country so rich that it can send people to the moon yet still has hundreds of thousands of its citizens who can't read. That's terribly troubling to me.
- Charles Kuralt

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh, BTW, ftb:

Ja, må du leva
Ja, må du leva
Ja, må du leva uti hundrade år

Javisst ska du leva
Javisst ska du leva

[a.k.a. Hippy Birdy, ftb. May Sir Paul give you a phone call...]

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 29, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

pj, I finally figured out why I had a headache most of the day yesterday --

All that dog-whistle noise from Beck-ing Man. *SIGHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

And I know that Kuralt didn't lead the exemplory personal life. No excuse, perhaps. Nut his love and voice and eye for our country and people is worthy of respect in my opinion.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

SCC: BUT his love . . . . .

Sometimes you feel like a -

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Froehe Geburtstag, ftb!!!! :-) *HUGSSSS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Lovely to see you smile, ftb ----- Happy Birthday!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

From what I can tell, the whole Tea Party Woodstock was reasonably well choreographed and mostly content-free. But that last part is probably because what I'm hearing does not resonate with me.

I believe it was indeed calculated to leverage the anniversary of the Civil Rights rally and Dr. King's speech, but as disagreeable and arrogant as I find that, it's not a crime.

Despite that, I also don't think that all the Beckinalia was about race - if for no other reason that these folks realize that Mike Steele is head of the RNC, and that as misguided as I think they are politically, they do believe Dr. King's legacy to be a worthy one (imitation being a sincere form of flattery, right?). On the othjer hand, if there were a large, well-publicized peaceful Muslim-oriented counter-rally, I suspect that things would have been a bit different downtown yesterday.

s_d, rain in Spa, ain't it grand?


Posted by: -bc- | August 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Boodlehogging is not usually my game so I'll sign off with this.

I lived to watch the original Trek on TV back in the day and have no negative truck with the spinoffs, but this just sets my teeth on edge. Slap me with a glove and never leave your calling card on the silver tray in the front hall if you wish.

Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, ftb! So Mudge will always be the older man in your life?

I hope everything goes well for you tomorrow and that your recovery is quick, rickoshea!

Posted by: -pj- | August 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. All's quiet chez LiT.

Mudge, Rod Stewart has a couple of cover albums (Great American Songbooks) which are pretty good, but I'd call his voice a tad bit more than 'slightly gravelly'. Good luck digging through the brain's attic to find the piece of info you're looking for.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

ftb, hfb.

[Have a Fantastic Birthday]

And pj, thanks for the link to that McCartney column.


Posted by: -bc- | August 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 29, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

rickoshea, strengthening hopes for you tomorrow . . . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | August 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, All! (When is the Boodle's birthday?)

DotC, let me know when you do. I wonder if you might like the sculpture garden in NJ too. We had dinner at an excellent Italian restaurant about a mile from Longwood.

Talitha, thanks for the link. I enjoyed the blog too. Somehow, the adolescent skunk crossing the street last night, tail up, tip twitching, didn't look so cute. I'm assuming it's an adolescent because it was just medium-sized and this is the first year we've had them in this section of the neighborhood. I'm going to talk to my councilman and bring it up at the community association meeting. Those are the only ways I can see me not paying a trapper myself.

Out to buy more Skunk Off.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

dbg, the Boodle's Birthday is in early April.


Posted by: -bc- | August 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Please please please don't make me read another article on Glen Beck. Can anyone just tell me what the crowd estimate was?

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 29, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay. Sorry to kill the boodle. As you were.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 29, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

This article contradicts the other one. Says some Beck & Beckites state huge crowds.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

New kit, Jumper.

Posted by: -pj- | August 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

War on Terra and international effects on finance. Very interesting.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 29, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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