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Weekend reading

Your neighborhood Achenblogger is not on vacation -- not at all, just seems that way -- but rather is doing some heavy lifting on a story and is now, at the risk of mixing metaphors, coming up momentarily for air.

Two great pieces in the latest New Yorker: The first is by James Surowiecki, the financial columnist, making the amazingly sensible argument that there should be more tax brackets to differentiate between the rich and the very rich (and, why not keep going -- the very, very rich).

This column resonates with me because I have more money on paper than in real life and am solidly in the socioeconomic class known as the affluent poor. My ambition is to rise to the level where Obama would want to raise my taxes. But the shocker in the Surowiecki story is that, even among the people in that 95 to 99 percentile income bracket, no one's really going anywhere, no one's seeing much income growth -- because all the income growth is in the 99-plus percentile bracket, and particularly in the 99.9 and 99.99 percentile group.

Between 2002 and 2007, for instance, the bottom ninety-nine per cent of incomes grew 1.3 per cent a year in real terms--while the incomes of the top one per cent grew ten per cent a year. That one per cent accounted for two-thirds of all income growth in those years. People in the ninety-fifth to the ninety-ninth percentiles of income have represented a fairly constant share of the national income for twenty-five years now. But in that period the top one per cent has seen its share of national income double; in 2007, it captured twenty-three per cent of the nation's total income. Even within the top one per cent, income is getting more concentrated: the top 0.1 per cent of earners have seen their share of national income triple over the same period. All by themselves, they now earn as much as the bottom hundred and twenty million people. So at the same time that the rich have been pulling away from the middle class, the very rich have been pulling away from the pretty rich, and the very, very rich have been pulling away from the very rich.

Basically, no one is upwardly mobile in this country except for the people who own private jets.

Another good piece, by Hendrik Hertzberg, on the Ground Zero mosque and the overblown hysteria (as opposed to underblown hysteria) surrounding the proposal. The people who want to build this mosque sound like the most reasonable folks on Earth -- "the anti-terrorists," as one guy put it.

The end is something I wish I had written:

In a famous letter--the one that holds that the United States "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens"--George Washington offered a benediction:

"May the children of the stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

Lower Manhattan is a little short on vines and fig trees nowadays, though there are some excellent wine bars. Washington's point remains. His letter was addressed to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island. But, as he knew, Muslims are Abraham's children, too. By the McCain standard, George Washington was a three-time loser: as President, he lived in New York City; the nation's capital bears his name; and, even by the standards of his time, he was an élitist. Nevertheless: he was right.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 13, 2010; 5:54 PM ET
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Aahh.. The joys of a new weekend Kit. And it's a good one, too. Thanks, Joel, for making weekend Boodling a possibility.

Now I'm off to find out if I'm fair or middlin'.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 13, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Love "affluent poor." Something I know more than a bit about.

Posted by: Yoki | August 13, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

*preparing to keep a sharp eye out for bc at the preseason 'Skins game* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 13, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, "affluent poor" is an overdue coinage. Off to follow JA's links. Always find the best bread crumb trails to fine reading here on the A-blog (kit and boodle).
Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 13, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Joel has used the term "affluent poor" before, and although it is something of a whimsical oxymoron, I know exactly what he means. There are people, like me, who make a decent living but, nevertheless, feel a bit vulnerable financially.

And this is because we have succumbed to a sense of rising expectations. That is, the expectations for monetary outflow seems to have risen to match the expectations for monetary inflow.

As a prime example, consider college, Although I was expected to largely pay for my own college education, my son has no such expectation. More to the point, neither does his mother. We will pay for his schooling because we can. See how this works? The more you make the more it is expected that you will pay.

Those of us in this situation do not expect anybody to fell sorry for us. But there is a sense of vulnerability. And this vulnerability is because once one has achieved a certain tenuous balance between inflow and outflow, any change in the situation can be extremely disruptive.

In other words, with the obvious exception of the extremely poor and the obscenely wealthy, it isn't one's income that matters as much as the equilibrium that has been established. I could doubtless live just fine on significantly less than what I make now. Many people do. But the transitional period would be brutal, and this is what causes anxiety.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 13, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

This mosque business horrifies me and makes me embarrassed for this country. The notion that because people who were Muslims were responsible for 9-11 means the other people who are also Muslims should be discriminated against is an obscene corruption of logical thought. And, alas, it is nothing new.

Throughout history, I assert, the most vile cognitive error people make is the pernicious tendency to use a singular pronoun with a plural subject.

That is, although one can talk productively about Jews, Muslims, Irish, and English, the same can usually not be said about “The Jews,” “The Muslims,” “The Irish,” and “The English.”

The latter constructs imply a legion of second-hand gods that mystically embody the anger, guilt, blame, and hatred of individuals long dead, and then curse generations yet unborn with these scourges of the psyche.

These cognitive monstrosities are what people worship and make real - and for which they are willing to hate, to kill, and to die.

It is not an attractive feature of humanity, and not one I much care to see within this country.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 13, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it might help if we could teach all those anti-mosque bigots the Litany Against Fear.

But then they'd have to admit they're afraid of something they don't want to understand, so nevermind... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 13, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

talitha pointed this out already in a former boodle, but a great comment posted under another WaPo blog a few weeks ago:


Now, John Wilkes Booth was an Episcopalian.

I see there are six or seven Episcopal churches within mere blocks on the White House and Ford's Theater -- the very scene of the dastardly assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

These churches must be torn down.

Doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Episcopalians, pls refudiate.


Posted by: -TBG- | August 13, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

In the 19th century, Philadelphia had deadly and destructive anti-Catholic (actually anti-Irish?) riots. Immigrating Irish seem to have been treated with as much suspicion as today's Muslims.

Denby's review, a few weeks ago, of the movie "Winter's Bone" turns out to have been excellent. The movie just came to town. Dismal excellence. It would be possible to do a Florida version, but there wouldn't be the rootedness of the Ozarks.

Poor America seems to have some sort of divide between those who are rooted to one place and those who pick up and go somewhere else almost too fast. West Virginians are said to work out of state so they can come back home on long weekends.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Goodness me, it's nice to have a good quarterback on the field. On our side.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 13, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

That is what we say about all the Saskatchewan natives working in Alberta. Why is Calgary empty on long weekends? Because all the Saskatchewanians have gone home to visit the grandparents.

Posted by: Yoki | August 13, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the mosque battle, two Toto lyrics in two days.

I remember it was late one night
in the middle of a dream
woke up in a pool of sweat
thought I heard a scream
Ran over to the window sill
stuck my head out for a peek
Dressed in black was a man I didn't recognise
running down my back street
My heart skipped a beat

You better watch out, there's a stranger in town
You better watch out, there's a stranger in town
You better watch out when he comes around
Don't make a sound

My guess is that if we keep the megarich gang's taxes so low long enough, they will stimulate the economy to the point that THEIR butlers can hire butlers.

You know where those megarich folks all come from? Corporate headquarters. It has now become standard to loot the company horribly when you assume positions of leadership.

Posted by: baldinho | August 13, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Reagan's buddy David Stockman says 'GOP destroyed U.S. economy'

He says that the growing wealth gap "is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy." '

Posted by: -TBG- | August 13, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

This part-time work is playing havoc with my reading habits. I'll find my New Yorker and read it before trying to comment at all.

It's going to be in the 50's tonight - I don't remember the last time it was that 'cold'. I've already put on a sweatshirt. The weather people here are pushing the Perseid viewing tonight, probably just feeling bad for us as it was cloudy last night. We may brave the frigid weather and try to see some meteors later ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | August 13, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Holy moly the barking dummies are out in force tonight, after Obama said opposing the mosque near ground zero is against American values... while at the White House ramadan dinner...... a tradition started by...... President Bush, who held 8 of them.

Posted by: baldinho | August 13, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

One opportunity denies another.

When I lived in middle-of-nowhere Ohio (actually, two MON locations about 60 miles apart), the stars were, well, stellar. Nights were often clear and it felt like you could see every star in the sky. I would drive my Jeep to a plateau surrounded by farms, throw some quilts on the top, climb up, lie back and marvel. Visiting friends, we'd stargaze in their backyards. One night, no meteor showers broadcast, we counted 20 in half an hour.

Philadelphia has other opportunities, but I miss the stars.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 13, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

One opportunity denies another.

When I lived in middle-of-nowhere Ohio (actually, two MON locations about 60 miles apart), the stars were, well, stellar. Nights were often clear and it felt like you could see every star in the sky. I would drive my Jeep to a plateau surrounded by farms, throw some quilts on the top, climb up, lie back and marvel. Visiting friends, we'd stargaze in their backyards. One night, no meteor showers broadcast, we counted 20 in half an hour.

Philadelphia has other opportunities, but I miss the stars.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 13, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Allow me:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 13, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I often search with Google's "site" restrictor set to ".gov" or ".edu" if I know a topic has a high b.s. quotient. Such as medical info because on the internet quacks have volume. Today I realized the Canadian government is worth knowing too. Ex: diethylhexyl phthalate ban

In other reading, today I find this: (excerpt)

"China’s problem has become the world’s problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, according to the Journal of Geophysical Research."

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 13, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

As a kid, I once lived just off the ocean in a mostly rural area where power failures were reasonably frequent. The sky was magnificent. Later on, in Wyoming, I got to marvel at the distance from which you could see the lights of Billings. Not good.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 14, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

baldihno, you'd think someone in the White House had glanced at the Boodle before the iftar speech or something... :-)

*wondering-why-there-are-so-darn-few-weekend-hours Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2010 4:37 AM | Report abuse

My parents suffered through the horrors of partition b/w India and Pakistan as children (though not too terribly given good planning on both their parents' part). In unguarded moments, mainly following incidents such as the 2008 Bombay massacre, my father will refer to "The muslims" (referring to RD_P's definition here). But my brother and I were blessed that such talk was verboten when we were children (or at least expressed in privacy) and we grew up untwisted (so far as I can tell :-) by a prior generation's pain and hatred.

The same is not true for some of my cousins and it hurts that they pass it on to their children through careless comments; children who are so far removed from the experience and consequences of the partition and yet carry a kernel of suspicion against the 'other side' that could bloom into irrational anger at moments notice in the future.

Their personal friendships with many muslims take some of the edge off but, as is the case with other cases of bigotry, cognitive dissonance regarding "muslims" and "The muslims" can persist for a long time.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 14, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

What's the protocol for posting pictures to that boodle picture place? I have some especially for Frosti.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 14, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the night sky, I once took a 9-day trip down the Grand Canyon, in late August. We paddled, and camped next to the river each night. The views during the day were spectacular, but the night views were better. That area is so remote and so dry. The night sky was just breathtaking. That is the one thing that I remember most.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

It's a good thing Spiderwoman doesn't live at NASA.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Can I start referring to Krauthammer as the Emperor?

The Emperor: [to Luke] The alliance... will die. As will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Will someone with boodle pic knowledge reply to DNA Girl? (Dare I hope for bears? gardens?)

Beyond the revulsion I feel at the comments spewed by those trying to stop the so-called mosque near ground zero, I am puzzled by efforts to perpetually memorialize the sites of mass tragedy and even single deaths. Does no one go to a cemetery any more? Thankfully, the roadside shrines to teens who wrapped their vehicles around trees, taking a few of their best friends with them, have not gained favor in our area. I'm not saying we should forget either the victims of the 9-11 attacks, or the single life ended recklessly and too soon. But, hanging on too tightly, particularly to the scene of the crime, seems to lead to more tragedy. Can anything good come with painting all Muslims with the broad brush of guilt by association?

DNA girl's comments about partition are particularly apt. Sometimes through simple acts or words "never forgetting" twists away from honoring those who were lost towards "holding ancient grudges." For all our modernity, the mosque controversy shows just how close we are to the tribal ways that frustrate us so in Afghanistan.

Big annual craft fair and flea market at the community center today. Our city clerk is away at her granddaughter's wedding so I have to go unlock for vendors and hang around all day. Better take a sweater-forecast says we may hit 72 today.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 14, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Had fun watching exhibition football at Fed Ex field last night, and can say that with the Stadium "improvements," well, it isn't as bad as it used to be. I don't like that they've taken a lot of the closed circuit monitors out of the vending areas (hey, if you're waiting in line to spend money, can't they show you what you're missing anymore?) and stopped playing Sonny, Sam, and Larry's radio coverage in the restrooms (hey, if you're waiting in line to get rid of what you spent that money on, can't they let you listen to what you're missing anymore?), but the place is a bit better with a fresh coat of paint, and the new screens in the end zones are pretty spectacular (I believe they ate up unsold club level seats to put them in...), though I imagine it must be distracting for players to see themselves on screen near-realtime just over the opposing team's heads.

And if that's not bad enough, my friend and I had a visit from Chief, and they put some of it on the big screen.

It was rather distracting to see myself on those screens 20+ feet high, that's for sure. I have no idea if that shot made it into the broadcast, and I'm not sure I want to.

As far as the football went, I must say I'm very encouraged by what I saw of the Burgundy and Gold, but I remember Osaka, too.

Caught a couple of the Perseids through a break in the clouds last night, including a nice little fireball that reminded me of an Estes model rocket liftoff.

Have a good day, all.


Posted by: -bc- | August 14, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Glad it was a good time, bc, and if they put you up on the big screen I missed it.

Sign of the times -- I'm waiting at a dealership for some car service, and at least half of the folks with me also have laptops, netbooks, e-readers... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

And I'm shocked, shocked I say, to hear aspersions being cast up on the claim of "undiscovered" Ansel Adams negatives:

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I, too am terribly shocked at doubts over those long lost Adams negatives.

Cemeteries seem to be on the way out. People seem to put memorial inscriptions on the back windows of their SUVs. And all those roadside memorials.

As for Ground Zero, I suggest that:
• letting Condé Nast be the lead tenant for 1 World Trade Center is disrepectful. All those horrible magazines.
• Allowing retail commerce at the new World Trade Center is disrepspectful, except for selling souvenirs. Tacky anti-Islamic souvenirs allowed?
• Allowing liberal Episcopalian religious services at St. Paul's Church is disrespectful. The building should be expropriated, even if it's belonged to the parish since it was built in 1766.
• Rebuilding the site was perhaps disrespectful. I think the British had some arguments over that sort of thing. In London, at least, vacant sites haven't been left that way.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 14, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Those roadside memorials are good reminders for teens to drive safely. Well... all of us, really. Especially when they are placed at well-known "hot spots" for accidents.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the India-Pakistan partition, 20 million Pakistanis are homeless from flooding.

If only there were two Dacron women trapped there to give it enough local angle to make the front page (or even the A section).

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The whole Ground Zero Mosque controversy is so drummed as to be beneath contempt. It is at the level of anti-flag burning amendments and mandatory school prayer. Pure dog whistle red meat for the bigoted and angry. I have nothing but disgust for anybody who panders to it. Bravo to Obama and Bloomberg and others who refuse to rise to the bait.

Speaking of which, today's NYPost front page is hilarious in a thoroughly revolting way:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"The more you make the more it is expected that you will pay." -RD Padouk

The weekly changing message on the marquee of a dry-cleaning establishment, circa 1965, in Ft Lauderdale, expressed it in these prophetic words that have endured in my memory:

"The cost of living is always the same: all you've got."

Posted by: -tao- | August 14, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Re: reading, I liked this Esquire piece about Jonathan Franzen's latest effort:

Great isn't a term much associated with American novels these days. That's partly because so many Americans have given up on big books. But it's also because many of our writers have given up on the very notion of greatness. Franzen hasn't. David Foster Wallace may have cashed in his chips, but Franzen isn't just hanging in, he's doubling down. And so Freedom kicks against the pricks like a thing intent on being.
I love Franzen's essays but his novels so far haven't really turned my head. I'll still read it, though; he definitely has a way with words, and I appreciate heroic effort in a good cause.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 14, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Warnings we need on 'news' stories:

via Weingarten's twitterfeed.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

That New Yorker article had an phrase for the affluent poor that stuck with me: "the so-called rich." That's an evocative term because it makes you consider point of view. It's Republicans referring to tax-and-spend Democrats' definitions. Obama says anyone who makes $200,000 or more is rich. I don't have any problem with that; I can't imagine anyone with that income denying that they are rich--if they do, they are out of touch with reality. They might say they are having trouble meeting their financial obligations, but those are mostly VOLUNTARY obligations, not basic needs.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 14, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Amen, kber. Good to see you!

I spent the morning shearing the ligustrum on the street side of the lot and then helping (mostly watching) Mr. T get the clippings up with the leaf vacuum. We bought a battery-operated hedge trimmer for me to use, so I tried it out. You could tell where I got tired.

Mr. T warned me to be careful, because the trimmer will certainly cut off a finger. I had both hands on the handle, so I was more worried about cutting my leg. However, I managed to finish without injuring myself.

If *I* were rich, I'd be paying somebody to do that work.

Posted by: slyness | August 14, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

There's something I've been wanting to read, and I figure if it exists, the boodle will know. And if not, Joel, could you write it?

Obama is starting to talk about comprehensive immigration reform, even though it's unlikely that Congress will deal with it for the time being. I would really like to read an in-depth presentation of what our current system is and what the specific problems are that reform would be addressing. There are so many parts to it -- migrant farm workers and the producers who need their labor, PhD graduates who want to stay, families with citizen children and undocumented parents, people with the legal right to be here/work here for whom the process of establishing that right takes enough years to seriously mess up their lives, desirable international trade, drug and gun international trade, prevention of terrorist violence, etc., etc. I believe that there's a problem that needs to be fixed, but I don't feel that I have the knowledge to have a rational discussion about it. What are the various policies? What are the overall numbers? What are the anecdotes reflecting the personal and societal effects of those policies and numbers? I think a high quality magazine article could do it for me. Or maybe a week-long series in a high quality newspaper. Has anyone written such a thing?

Posted by: -bia- | August 14, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Hi, kb! I haven't read the NY article yet, but I agree with your take on the "rich". I have known many people who fit the category of rich (around $200K in today's dollars) and who whined about taxes, etc. It seems so selfish to me. During my last years of being employed at a VLC (very large corporation), I finally felt like I was hitting the affluent mark (making well less than $100K). I suppose one person's basic needs are another's luxuries, and I can understand how $200K won't go that far in Manhattan or Beverly Hills, but let's get real. Another thing that irritates me is that some working class folks seem to think they will be millionaires some day and so they don't want to pay more taxes when that happens. Hah!

During my last years of being employed at a VLC (very large corporation), I finally felt like I was hitting the affluent mark (making well less than $100K).Now I'm most likely looking forward to being an oldster scraping by on Social Security, unless it gets dismantled. But I'll have a pension (unless, well, you know) and a modest 401K, and health care insurance, so it could be worse! And for now, I'm working 40 hours a week at a temporary job, no benefits, making one third what I used to, and I'm happy to do it.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC - ack - sorry for the repeat sentence - meant to cut, not copy...

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

$200,000 is a Police Sergeant married to an Assistant Principal in New York City. Just sayin'.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Right, but with tax deductions and so forth, and $250K for a married couple, a tax hike of a percent or 2 won't kill them, right? One reason I have survived over a year on unemployment and working occasionally at about that rate is because I lived below my means. As my kid said, I don't spend money on anything anyway. Because I never felt that secure. But I also never felt like I was overtaxed.

I suppose I should read the article.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Daily bear story,

The anti-mosque movement makes me very angry but not being american I am withholding my comments.

Lovely saturday here, this article made me think of many of you, markets in Vancouver - mouthwatering.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 14, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl - Oops, I was away for a bit. Feel free to e-mail any pictures to the gmail address "boodlestuff". Or just a note that you have some pictures.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

*knock* *knock* *knock*

Anybody there ... there ... there ...???

It's echoing and I sense that the bats are rustling in their restive impatience to pick up some evening snack in the form of a flying insect or more. Just as long as the bats don't, um, you know, make my head the repository of the remains of last night's meal.


On the other hand, having some quiet time is a good idea, 'specially since inside it's nice and cool and all my Saturday errands are done (mostly), leaving one more for early tomorrow morning -- a sojourn to Trader Joes to get some cheese (low fat, but good anyway, I find), some bananas (only the green ones, though, so they'll last through the week) and some interesting stuff for the freezer.

Time to load some Eva Cassidy into the Mac, methinks. Hope Frosti's and Shriek's bears like it.

And how *about* our Redskins last night, eh?????????

*hoping the Lions win, too, and I don't really care by how much*

*turning lights out in the cave as I leave*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 14, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Geez, I think everybody (other than their opponents on any given week) hopes the Lions win. Washington did its part last year to help them out!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the majority of Americans who oppose the Ground Zero "mosque" would change their minds if they realized what the complex will actually be, and the backstory of Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Kahn. As usual, faux news and the people who love it are leading the crusade against it. I just wonder why it's any of their business. We are still a nation of sheep, believing all the carp fed to us by the fearmongers rather than researching a bit and thinking for ourselves. It's more than sad.

bia, I liked your questions about the immigration situation and I wonder the same thing. It would be good to have that explained too, rather than just the scare tactics we get now.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 14, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely right, Sneaks and bia.

I suspect that our Founding Fathers (and the wimmin behind them) are fumbling around for some Dramamine to counteract the nausea caused by their spinning in their graves.

Fear is indeed easy to arouse and maintain. That's why control freaks are in the main very successful at what they do. And, yet, they're the ones who are so out of control.


Posted by: ftb3 | August 14, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Brings the phrase "blind rage" to mind.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Sad news - one of the founding members of Little Feat has died:
The article says he had no health insurance, which is sad too.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 14, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The "Hotel Mauna Kea Girl" has nearly finished her hike up from 9000 feet to the summit. We are bad -- we forgot to bring chocolate milk to welcome her to the summit.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 14, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I've intentionally refrained from forming any strong opinions about the "Mosque at Manhattan" because I believe that most folks actively involved in the debate have short horizons and axes to grind. While I understand that energetic espousal of such attenuated agendas is occasionally expedient when awful exigency is at hand, I'm not sure I can internally assimilate the emotional agitation.

What, exactly, is the planned "no-mosque" radius? Three blocks? Ten? Will kibbeh shacks be allowed? What about lunch-time incursions by kebab carts?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I have decided to let the mosque hollermonkeys be. My therapist (as I imagine one, if I had one) would say I should do and say the opposite of what I did when I reacted viscerally to their posts.

Here goes.

Boy, all those people posting against the mosque and Obama really seem to have a deep knowledge of what they speak. Their understanding and nuanced opinions were definitely NOT the result of laziness and simply reciting the words they heard over and over listening to white male conservative talk radio hosts.

I really think that those wonderful Americans opposed to the mosque are the true patriots that deep down they believe themselves to be, but are too modest to say.

I look forward to voting for anyone willing to spin on a dime and do exactly what those posters advocate.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Did I already share this here? I don't remember. My cousin posted it on Facebook. I love it...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The wife the boy and I took a long walk today. The weather was gorgeous (about 80, dry, bit of a breeze, sunny). Along the way to the playground, we talked to a couple neighbors and they were doing well. At the playground, we played for about 45 minutes with the boy, him giggling the whole time. There was a girl we had never met that played with the boy, so he now has a new friend. Her mom was there, and seemed very nice.

The way home we took a shortcut along an OHRV trail to enjoy the shade and the woods. The riders that passed us were friendly, each slowing as they approached, to avoid kicking up dust or scaring the boy.

We arrived home and each had a nice tall glass of lemonade. It tasted great.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

I blame Obama.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Bob, there have already been mosques in Lower Manhattan for decades...

And unfortunately the spinning is underway...


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 14, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I [heart] you, baldhino.

I forget... when's the baby due?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Tim, lest you think I didn't notice, or didn't care... aren't you at least a bit concerned that "Hotel Mauna Kea Girl" will use her (almost certainly much vaster than yours) network of YouTube fans to cause you to regret offering her such a slight?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I see signs of Democratic establishment activity in Florida. Clinton's showing up for Senate candidate Kendrick Meek (the poor guy who has to beat an astoundingly rich real estate guy, then take on Republican Mario Rubio and Independent Charlie Crist. For what it's worth, Rubio will have the top spot on the ballot.

And for $10,000 I could have my mug taken with the President himself at a reception for gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, who gets to deal with piratical former hospital administrator Rick Scott and dour attorney general Bill McCollum, who may have extinguished his chances by suddenly embracing Arizona-style immigration legislation. It seems a whole bunch of Republican Cubans aren't happy with that.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 14, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I've missed the whole point about opposing a mosque in lower Manhattan. I think I'll keep it that way.

We haven't had any rain this week, so I went out this afternoon and tapped into the rain barrels to water the moonflower vines, a rhododendron, and a couple of sasanquas. Mr. T had one elbow and I bought another one at the hardware store this afternoon, so that I could point the flow downward, away from my legs and shoes. They work!

Posted by: slyness | August 14, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

For no reason in particular, a little Canadian pop out of Newmarket, Ontario.

Posted by: Yoki | August 14, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Baldinho, that was great, "S" blames Obama regularly so I read him your post, he also laughed.

I forgot to mention that we did see four meteors last night. None of them were spectacular (no tails) but it was nice to watch the sky for a while.

Gotta go make more zucchini bread and then some more lime sugar cookies. I'm taking advantage of the cooler weather and trying to get ahead of the zucchini. I have 30 tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, some are going to the daughters tomorrow but I'll be glad to fax some to anyone who asks.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 14, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 14, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 'sneaks. Can you fax the recipe too?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 14, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Aaahh, jeez, ya know. I'll never forget the whining when we tried to open the first "der Wienerschnitzel" in Westerbork. You'd have thought we were actually selling Anne Frankfurters or something. It's not like Manhattan shouldn't have a cultural memory (via the Dutch) that sometimes there's a need to "breken sommige eieren een omelet te maken".

Anyway, my point is that Manhattan is a strange place to be shying away from a "let's go for it and see what the market will bear" kind of attitude. If they give that up, aren't it just an overcrowded Cape Cod or Aquidneck Island?

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh Bob, I think 'overcrowded Cape Cod' is redundant, especially the Upper Cape this weekend as tomorrow is the Falmouth road race. I heard one estimate of 15,000 runners, which is mind blowing if true. I do know that all available rooms from Hyannis to the canal (and probably on this side too) are booked and the traffic is much worse than normal (which is pretty bad).

dbG, I'm trying a new zucchini bread recipe as the old standby one I used last week didn't seem as good as I remembered. I'll fax whichever one seems better. I'm now waiting for the loaves to finish baking.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 14, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Nothing to add to the Manhattan Mosque discussion.

I am curious if there are Native Americans who have stated positions on the whole question of Manhattan en toto - mosques, churches, synagogues, etc. notwithstanding.


Posted by: -bc- | August 14, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Little Feat, in memory and in celebration of hot summer nights and cool Southern breezes . . . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers, I ran in the Falmouth Road race on I think the 25th annual. There were 12000 runners. I think I was in the 4000-6500 lot. The first two miles I was zigzagging along the edge of the road, trying to catch up to some friends who went off in the 2000-4000 lot. It was insane. At least 3 times the road was partially sunken, and I ran partially up the embankment to get past groups of "runners" that were still walking due the to density of the crowd.

It was a blast. I ended up going hard most of the time trying to link up with my pals. Turns out there was such a crowd I missed them and passed them.

Running that race is too funny. There are spots where bands play the theme to Rocky on a hill. Places where caribbean bands with steel drums play Copacabana.

Good memories.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Lately, when I hear clamorously clownish cries for keeping conurbations clean of (what is feared to be) creepy & chaotic countenance, I find myself wishing to quote the great sage Rod Tidwell (who was very honorable in his own way): "Show me the money!"

What financial feathers will be ruffled if children of Abraham gather at the proposed address? Are the most bellicose bellowers somehow allied with the largest losers? I'm not yet a cynical man, but inquiring minds wonder about these things.

While I wonder about these things, you may have noticed that my mind also wanders all about these things.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

A former co-worker and I used to collect these pictures, mostly off auction sites. I decided to find a place to display some of my favorites:

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

It looks like I ran in the 1997 race.

3601 Stephen Boyington 28 M Vernon CT 849 499 1,028

Man, that was a long time ago. Almost got in the top 1000.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling -

TBG, I managed to click on about seven of those jesus pix with the accompanying links before I threw my hands over my brain and decided not to cry. Mercy! And I stand by your post-of-my-post-of someone else's - NO Episcopal churches within a mile of Ford's Theater. Sorry, all Anglicans just leave the country now because Reconstuction collaped by the act of one J.W.Booth. *half-assed snort*

baldinho - you and your son's excursion was a joy to read. 'Minded me of the day Ian and I, when he was twoish were hiking above town.
He had begun to put his thoughts into complete sentences and loved to explore, at his feet and high above. That day, holding my hand, he tugged it and pointed to the sky saying, "Look Momhead! The clouds are so delicate they make my heart sing." (Still don't know where he'd heard the word 'delicate'.) Bless you for evoking that memory, and bless your young growing family.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

And, yes - my crazy articulate son spoke that way at two-and-a-half. Don't ask me - I just raised him. He called me 'Momhead' when he was 22 months old and still does.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Momhead is a lovely name. And we when talk to them from the beginning, they become articulate.

And when we read to them, they learn words like "delicate" and say "I shall play with my trucks and cars now."

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

talitha, I am sure you dealt with it, but The Boy is now in his "why" mode.

Example: He notices we are heading home through the woods on the OHRV path. He asks why. We tell him we like the path because it is shady. He asks why it is shady. We tell him because the trees are tall. He asks why the trees are tall.

It gets to the point where one of us has to say. Son, not all questions have answers.

I think he is destined to be a special prosecutor.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

One other thing, talitha. I completely understand being disarmed by what your toddler says.

The Boy is good for out of the blue keepers. "Daddy! Look at the moon. It is sooooo beautiful!"

Yes, yes it is, son.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

TBG and baldinho - Yes!

I did talk and read to him from day one (before perhaps, but not deliberately). Also after the bedtime story/book, sang a song. "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess was his favorite but he liked silly Beatles tunes and the usual . . . .

When he learned to read his books for himself (five ?) he said he'd let me off the hook reading "everynight", but "please don't stop singing, Momhead."
I didn't. :'))

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful, Talitha. Thanks. I love this comment under the video...

"if God exists, this song is in his ipod, surely"

Posted by: -TBG- | August 14, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

baldinho, overposting one another, along with TBG's lovely thoughts, I missed your comment on the "WHY" stage.

I adored that part ---- still adore it with other children. WHY is the unvarnished question of the innocent.

I think even as adults when injustice or incomprehension settles into our souls and we ask WHY, we want to look up and BUG SOMEBODY "bigger" that may have an answer.

That's why we boodle, ain't it? To share answers and laugh and cry when WHY baffles us. *grinning at you all*

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes baldinho, that course is cool. It is a beautiful drive on a summer day. I've never run it but #2 has and SIL #1 has also. SIL pushed too hard and sort of collapsed at the end (he would kill me if he knew I was even mentioning it!). #2 is bummed because due to a knee injury two years ago (a dog ran into her knee and broke it), she will never run again. I can't believe how that race has grown thru the years from a very small local race to this huge event. Of course I have to be on the Cape in the morning but I won't go near Falmouth. I'll still be stuck in the traffic coming home tho'.

I too was smiling at your description of your day even before the punch line. So nice to have those summer days with the little ones to store in the memory bank.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 14, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

As you get older, you come to accept that sometimes "why?" discussions have to be postponed, and that's inevitable and reasonable.

It's the day that you start to believe that they're pointless discussions that you've passed one of the signposts on the way to becoming that person you never wanted to be. Or that I never wanted you to be, anyway.

I think.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

This just dredges up too much goodness. I am the age where Copacabana can immediately kick in memories from being 6,16, and 26 and all can make me laugh. This song was played at the best moment of the best wedding reception I was ever at.

Posted by: baldinho | August 14, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

So, do understand this correctly?:

President Obama feels that much of the publicly-stated opposition to the proposal to build a mosque & community center a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center site makes use of rhetoric antithetical to various American traditions of freedom and openness, but he also is troubled by the fact that its construction would be deeply upsetting to many people who have strongly-held views that the project would be an affront to the people who cherish the memories of those who were murdered on the site that day?

Gee... I think I agree with the man.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

You have to go up to Chelsea some Saturday and hunt down this guy:

Here are some of his wares:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 14, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Toaster Man rules!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 14, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Where the Wild Things Are was always more popular that Goodnight, Moon at our house.

Jumper posted the LITANY AGAINST FEAR. (from Dune, aye? Origins go back further than Herbert, as I recall.)

My mantra.

I had an occasion - more than one, but this was the first - where I literally walked through fear (using the Gesserit maxim in my head sing-song) in an encounter with some street guys threatening me. I saw them approaching me and put on "my armor of walking through fear". Approached, walked through - got taunted and poked a bit, but came out on the other side. (Used the techinque with a pack of dogs once, and an avalanche, too - worked both times. Hope I'm lucky again that way.)

In terms of facing fear in the abstract or the actual way of facing mortalitiy - same method applies . . . . . walk through the realization that we go out like we came in . . . . alone.

There's not one darned thing to be afraid of . . . . . aside from passing through.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 14, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm so taught.

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm so taught.

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

When you crap, you crap alone!

Talitha, the regulars here have heard (more than once) my tale about being stuck on a cliff and realizing that I couldn't go up and I couldn't go down. Eventually, I accepted the fact that I was at the end of me, and took a wild leap for an extremely unlikely handhold. Obviously, I made it.

I've viewed most fear-inducing situations a little more philosophically ever since.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 15, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, promise me you're being facetious! and knock my self-righteous cap off my head right now!!!!

Or you can pull up the Twit Olympics from thence.


Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

*laughing at oneself*
is the best!

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

No, dear Talitha, I'll just knock that little chip off yer shoulder, and then hug you close when you give it up.

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Merci, Yoki.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Merci, Yoki.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

It's getting to be my bedtime, but I must correct something I said earlier.

Talitha, you are most certainly a regular. A most highly valued regular, at that!

I meant to imply that those who have been reading the comments here for more than a year or so have heard that story (most of my stories, probably) more times than they wish to recall. From now on, I'll just say "cliff story", and let it go at that. If more details are required or desired, we'll work it out.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 15, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm very real, though ---
rather than cute or spunky! ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

I listen to a classical music station that is in Hartford, Connecticut. I think they lost their sponsor because of the economy. When month end comes, the station will stop their online streaming. I’m going to miss it terribly. There’s one other station in Germany that I could listen to. Unfortunately, there’s just too much buffering. There’s no classical music station here.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 15, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about your radio station.

A lot of public stations have been switching from classical formats to NPR News because of the better ratings and donor bases.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Tom Scocca has a good take on the rantings of the mosque crusaders and Charles Krauthammer in particular.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Happy India Independence Day!

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Love the kit, JA, and your comments, RD, hit the nail on the head. Extremely poor or obscenely rich, I'm trying to figure out where I place between the two. It's a no brainer! Obscenely rich!

We got a few sprinkles yesterday, and I got a chance to open my door and turn the air off. Great!

Join me this morning for Sunday school and morning service, I'm in the process of getting ready.

And congratulation folks in the District, it's looks like you're on the right track with the football team. Go Redskins, go!

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

Hey, Slyness, hope all in well in your neck of the woods. I talked with the wife of the church member I want to see in Charlotte, and he's okay. And I'll get an update from my father concerning the aunt, maybe later this week. Still working on the transportation.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 15, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

rainforest,I hope you'll soon have many other stations to choose from.

And speaking of music, I reeeeeeeeely reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeely wanted to be there:


baldinho, I saw this and thought you might be interested:

*you-never-know-who-you-might-meet-at-such-a-meeting Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!! *HUGSSSSS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I bet those meetings are sparsely attended and fly under the radar locally. There will be little or no controversy.

What a difference 40 years makes.

Posted by: baldinho | August 15, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Lights out, uh-huh, blast blast blast.

Posted by: baldinho | August 15, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes and no, baldinho... I can think of a location just to your west that provides an ongoing, very strong exception to your conjecture. :-)

I can't find any info on whether J. Geils played "Whammer Jammer," dagnabit.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, perhaps I am an optimist, but I think I may be a realist.

To me, the problem to our west will HELP Seabrook. It looks like the mess in the west may be shut down. That gives Seabrook proponents (if they think like I do) an opportunity to calm fears about the NH plant.

They can stress the importance of nuclear power. They can point to the good history of performance at Seabrook. They can say stuff like this:

Look, the plant to our west has been spotty. The public is alarmed, and thinks it should be closed. You know what happened? State, local and federal officials listened. They addressed the concerns and the plant out west is paying the consequences. The system established to make sure that the public is treated well worked perfectly. If you are concerned that Seabrook, despite no evidence to say it will, goes the way of the plant to our west and lets things go, Seabrook will meet the fate of the plant out west.

In short, you can trust the system to prevent your fears from happening.

NH is not Vermont, after all. The powers that be will fight their hardest to make sure that plant stays running.

Posted by: baldinho | August 15, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra! We got a little rain last night; it was pleasant to lie in bed and listen to it. Of course, it's terribly humid this morning,'s August! And the month is over half gone.

Gotta get up in church this morning and present the roster of Sunday School teachers etc. for the coming year, starting in September. So I had to write a couple of notes for myself after I ate breakfast...

I look forward to listening to the music when I get home...

Have a wonderful day, everybody!

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good mornning, all.
Hi, Cassandra.

Scottynuke, I was pleased to see that J Geils played "First I Look at the Purse." If they also played "Rage in the Cage," I'd be a happy boy. Positively bouncy.

Back to the Kit for a second - some of us are indeed the upwardly mobile, riding in private (or at least leased) jets.

And some of us are in the water, clinging to whatever wreckage we can, paddling around and looking for -- something.

I think we're going to need a bigger boat. Just in case something finds us, instead.


Posted by: -bc- | August 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I love J. Geils but wouldn't go across the street to see Aerosmith, altho' I do enjoy some of their music. We have seen the Geils band w/o Peter Wolf (Blues Time) perform twice and they were excellent.

Unexpected free day today as I don't have to fight the traffic to the Cape and back. We may take a walk along the canal later.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! Sweater weather Chez Frostbitten this morning. Storms last night brought in the cool air, now if they'd let up long enough to let the grass dry for lawn mowing. Have a great Sunday all.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 15, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a Boston boy, but I saw J Geils and Aerosmith in their heyday.

Always preferred clubs and even music festivals to the Arena experience, but sometimes, needs must, y'know?


Posted by: -bc- | August 15, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, folks. I woke up to that sound of a wonderful summer rainy day. Perfect that it's Sunday and I can laze around in a quiet house. Dr G is gone, Daughter's asleep, coffee is here. Sigh.

Baldhino... I think if you decide to attend that meeting, you'll get to discuss the situation IN PERSON, if you catch my drift.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 15, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I think those of you around DC need to stop hogging all the rain, please!

Kids are coming home today.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Yello... it's not the toasters, it's what in 'em (or on 'em). And I don't mean the bread.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 15, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

TBG is a very wise woman. In many ways. :-)

And there's much more to say on the situation to the west, baldihno, although perhaps not here. Perhaps after about a half-hour going east on 101? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

For Rainforest - classical and other music on web - works for me.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm told today is National Relaxation Day.

I can live with that. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I got early enough to beat the rain on my bike ride.

Today's project is to move the computer back to the den from the living room. If you don't hear from me in several hours, something has gone horribly awry.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest, you don't have to go to Europe for classical music:

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

SCC: After 'got': 'up', 'out', whatever works.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I, too, beat the rain this morning (okay, there were a couple of sprinkles) and got a great parking place at Trader Joe's. I do like an all-day rain, but not when accompanied by storms, thank you very much.

That the Lions lost last evening wasn't a shock, but it does give me hope. It wasn't too long ago when the Lions won every single pre-season game and lost all of the games thereafter. Not that I'm, um, superstitious or anything.

TCM apparently has an all day long Margaret O'Brien festival. She was a pretty good actress when she was a kid. Haven't seen her much as an adult, and I don't know if she transitioned at all to an adult actress. Loved her in "Meet Me in St. Louis" even if Judy Garland stole the show.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 15, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Along with the anniversay of V-J Day, thank heaven (who didn't want to be kissing that sailor, or be kissed by him?), another memorable event shares this day in history. The first day of -------

Excuse me while I kiss the sky . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thursday nights are tough in the baldinohaus. It will take a lot of things to break for me to get to the meeting. I will effort it. If it were a better day (our daycare situation makes Thursday's tricky) I could sweetly offer The Wife and The Boy a good meal at the Galley Hatch, followed by some quality civic involvement.

Posted by: baldinho | August 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Poor Joel's only in the 98th percentile.

Posted by: teddymzuri | August 15, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

ftb, you know you're gonna watch "Secret Garden" tonight? Right? It's a guilty pleasure. (And I love the newer remake,too.) Kate Maberly as Mary Lennox and Maggie Smith as Mrs. Medlock, the evil nanny who melts into a sweet puddle in the end. :')

I have my grandmother's original copy of Secret Garden (published 1911) which she read to us, chapter at a time, to coax us into midafternoon naps.

I cringed at the moans of the unknown Colin . . . thrilled at the key found . . . loved Martha and Dicken's high accents. Every child should delight in creating a secret garden . . . . sustenance for a life of imagination, overcoming fear, making friends.

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeppers, tallitha. Some adults could stand to learn those lessons, as well.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 15, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Remember, baldinho, there's the GH restaurant and then there's the GH conference center. :-)

Let us hope it's a good Thursday for you.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 15, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Early text messaging... long-distance socializing...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

So far, so good.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that's great. The more things change, eh?

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I know I've told this story a billion times, but I have so few.

Back in 1981 I went and saw the J. Geils Band in Los Angeles. The show was great, and marred only by the performance of this weird Irish band none of us had ever heard of. They had all these great harmonies but no real melodies. Plus, the crowd was all wrong. I remember that the lead singer tried to sit in a woman's lap and got pushed off. But I think Bono got over it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 15, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

You know, I've been boodling almost since the beginning and have not heard either Bob S's or RD's stories before. Or have forgotten them if I have. I'm sure I would have remembered RD's, being the U2 fan that I am. I know that bc saw U2 in the early days. Very, very frenvious. I didn't get to see them till 1997, although I was wild about them since 1985. I know I have told the story many times about the July 4, 1972 Stones concert in DC that kept me from going to big concerts for the next 20 years - suffice to say it freaked me out.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

RD I was a U2 fan in 1981, very envious - I first saw them in 1985.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

A favorite U2 from their early days, still love those first few albums.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

And to hark back to talitha's comment from this morning:

Hard to believe it's almost 40 years since Jimi's death. His gravesite is not far from where I live. Will have to go out there this year.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Off to the airport to pick up the kids, according to flight tracker they are currently flying 35,000 feet right over Frosti's area - have to love flight tracker.

Really hot and sunny here but I hear there are big downpours in Toronto - could be an interesting drive.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the most amazing thing, a photo of Obama with money in his hand (to pay for ice cream). I don't remember the last time I saw a president handle money or actually pay for something himself.

Strange day here, very cloudy and only in the 70's. I've had a sweatshirt on from time to time, altho' during the canal walk I was warm without one.

I don't remember hearing these stories either, seasea and I've been here for quite a while. A good story always bears repeating now and then too!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama usually pays when he goes on hamburger runs, etc. Great picture of him getting ice cream, and he swam in the Gulf too. He's supposed to be in Seattle on Tuesday for fundraisers, and was scheduled to speak at an insurance industry conference right down the block from where I'm working. But I heard the speech has been cancelled. I'm still kind of hoping that he or even Gary Locke will stop by - although I probably wouldn't get anywhere near either one of them. One of the neat things about where I work is that the front office has huge pictures of Obama, Biden, and Locke. Sure glad I don't have Bush, Cheney and whoever the Commerce secretary was greeting me.

Posted by: seasea1 | August 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm obviously catching up on my reading. There was a very good piece in the Boston Globe magazine today about Vicki Kennedy, Ted's widow. One story made me tear up. It was about how towards the end of his life when Vicki was very stressed she became very upset about one of the dogs having an accident and Ted comforted her. I don't think we always appreciated Teddy's true character, clouded as it was by Chappaquiddick and by his drinking and carousing days. I sure do miss him as neither of our current senators impress me much, altho' Kerry is okay when he isn't being totally tone deaf!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Scotty: I believe the eatery is across the street from the conference center. I have been to the eatery before. It is pretty good.

Posted by: baldinho | August 15, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks: I was talking to the in-laws today about the premise of the article. Does Massachusetts really have no other Democratic candidates that they think could win? They feel the need to have a Kennedy in that seat? Man, that just seems weak.

I know little to nothing about Vicki. I am sure she is a wonderful person.

Posted by: baldinho | August 15, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Just saying "Hey, y'all" and to let you know I've enjoyed all the links to great weekend reading and music today.

It's time for The Secret Garden. (Do check out the newer version of the movie, too. And share the book - one of the best of all time.)

Posted by: talitha1 | August 15, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I never read The Secret Garden till Elderdottir was a fifth grader and we signed up for a weekend trip to New York, including the Broadway production of said work. It made me cry. The book, I mean, and I also teared up at the play. Elderdottir was so tired she fell asleep. That annoyed me, considering how much the tickets were even then...

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know Baldinho. I like Markey, but who knows if he'd give up being a Representative to run. I can't think of a lot of well known or well liked Dems here that aren't already serving in some capacity. Our politicians seem to spend their time getting into trouble with the law and/or hiring their brother in laws for road paving jobs. ;-)

I didn't know much about Vicki either, I think she was always low key until Ted's illness. But she at least appears to be a good, straightforward person. I don't think she should run tho' as I think the Kennedy's time as a political force here is over. Also, whoever runs against 'the empty suit' is going to get a lot of heat from the rethugs and tea party rabble. I'd hate to see her get beat up by those idiots.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I also dozed off during the stage production of The Secret Garden. And it bothered me because *EYE* had paid for the tickets.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

With my computer back up and running (now with dual monitors so I can be twice as attention deficited as before), I've gotten back to editing my vacation pictures.

I drank a lot of beer in Munich:

And while in Munich, we took a sobering side trip to Dachau:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about it, yello. It is traditionally 'girl' story, and I just don't buy it.

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

In the 90s, I was cash poor. Money earned, but tied up in investment vehicles. With those investments tanking, it's more of a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul system (I've done more than my fair share of travel; do I really need to travel in my retirement? Or should we have heat this winter?). But it's a learning experience for Thing 2, who seems to yank out a sense of entitlement every now and again (can't get blood from a turnip honey), while DC has been hording her allowance (but not too much, A Christmas Carol scared the begeezus out of her.) Thing 1, as usual, is oblivious. While his sisters may march to a different drummer, Thing 1 hears guitars. Heavy metal mostly.

Off to do laundry. Like taxes, it's one of those things you can depend on.

Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 15, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Dear LiT, what does your comment mean?

Posted by: Yoki | August 15, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Love The Secret Garden, the book the movies, like A Little Princess have read the stories and watched many movie versions.

It is a happy household today two older girls are home safe. Car ride from the airport was a constant stream of stories and giggles and some incredible views of the sun just outlining some large thunderheads was the views of the escarpment and sunset to the west were soft purples and pinks. We managed to avoid all the rain, wish some of the storms had come through our area but missed us - we need rain.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, technology! One of Elderdottir's best buddies went into labor today; her husband sent a text message when they went to the hospital around 1 p.m., then he put a message up on Facebook. They put a message up on Facebook that the boy baby is here (45 minutes after he was born) and already have photos up too! Gotta love it! Great way to let everybody know.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If you need some more colorful scenery, my photos of the mountain town of Rothenburg hardly do it justice. The place is picturesque beyond belief and was allegedly the inspiration for Gepetto's village in Pinocchio.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

dmd, glad your daughters are home safe and that they had a wonderful vacation. We need rain too, maybe something coming tonight or tomorrow, the lawn is incredibly sad looking.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 15, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Lovely Yello, was looking at my daughters pictures on the way home, not quite your calibre but she took some beautiful pictures of the mountains, lakes and rivers around Jasper and of course one black bear picture.

They are happy to be be back where it is warm, there was also a comment about it being nice to be back in civilization :-).

Posted by: dmd3 | August 15, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

What was I thinking? It's been *weeks* since I posted anything about personal identification I'net horrors!

Just in time:

Seriously, if you post pictures to the net . . . on the other hand, this could have pointed the way to Yello's church.

Think it's going to rain here. Hope so,the garden would appreciate it. I had no ripe tomatoes to take to the BPH, this week's cooler weather has ripened 50 at once.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 15, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

And for this week's TMII (Internet) warning, you may want to disable GPS features for your phone or camera pictures.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 15, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, time for bed. I submitted, refreshed. No comment. Refreshed again, no comment.

Rewrote, 2 comments.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 15, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Pete Schweddy's Schneeballen!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 15, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Flickr (and Picassa and other photo sharing sites) let you mark you pictures on a map but it is kind of a pain in the neck. I've tagged perhaps two dozen pictures total.

My cameras are not GPA enabled, but my cell phone is. I use FourSquare rather promiscuously and not always truthfully, but that only tells where I am, not where I live. Twitter keeps wanting to geotag my tweets, but I don't let it.

But lots of people overshare enough to qualify for this website:

(now inactive, so you have to stalk your victims the old fashioned way)

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

dbG - A co-worker of mine just purchased a memory card for his camera (because it was twenty dollars off) specifically to obtain that feature.

Go figure.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I do love some Schweddy Balls:

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comments re. the relative value of money, LiT. On Kit.

dbG, I've always said that we need to be careful about the amount and type of info footprint we leave on the 'nets. I don't like public area, roadway & stoplight cams, phones or GPS you can't turn off (i.e. GM's OnStar...).

Call it paranoid if you like, but I'm uncomfortable with the amount of reverse-engineering of my life that can be done even now. And I don't even have a Facebook account.


Posted by: -bc- | August 15, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

My rather sparse but geographically varied map:

Please note that it includes Itasca State Park.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | August 16, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

talitha and gmbka, thank you for the links. I going to try them out.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 16, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest, I listen to WQXR sometimes, which WNYC took over last year I think. Enjoy.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 16, 2010 4:43 AM | Report abuse

I know. I need to add Canuckistan, but I haven't been there since I went digital. And eventually somewhere in the southern hemisphere.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Good Monday to everyone. I was shamefully indolent this weekend because of the weather, but it looks like this will not extend into my workday. Sheesh. Doesn't this stuff ever take off a weekend?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 16, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Rothenburg o.d.T. is well within my old stomping grounds in Deutschland, yello, many a happy memeory there abides.

But I think the citizens might be amused to hear it described as a "mountain town." "Classic medieval walled city" is certainly accurate. You didn't miss the Torture Museum, didja?

*exiting-pedant-mode-to-dive-into-another-week-of-fun-(and-travel-for-once) Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

SCC: happy memory, of course...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The point of having geographical locators on cell phones, dbG, is so emergency responders can locate us. I recall a case here during flooding where a woman called 911 because she had driven into water and couldn't get out. It was night, and by the time police got there, they didn't see anything. Her body was found the next morning.

Good morning, all, and happy Monday. Cassandra, I hope you feel well today and stay comfortable.

Posted by: slyness | August 16, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Rothenburg is at least as mountainous as western Maryland and twice the elevation of, say, Cumberland. The full name does mean "Red fortress above the Tauber". But when you are the foothills of the Alps, I can see why you would make a distinction.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, DNA_Girl.

Posted by: rainforest1 | August 16, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

We've got some rain finally. It isn't amounting to much but still...

Off to get the oil changed in the car and then to the Cape for a while. I am planning to nap when I get home. Happy Monday everybody.

Posted by: badsneakers | August 16, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I managed to avoid the torture museums in Prague, Rothenburg (ob der Tauber), Budapest, and Vienna. I really did want to see the Museum of Sex Machines in Prague, but I got vetoed.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I would describe the part of the romantic road around Rothenburg and Dinkelsbuehl as hilly. Too bad that you did not get to see the sex machines museum because I am really curious about how this is different from a torture museum.

Posted by: gmbka | August 16, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! I don't worry as much about my unintended Internet trail of crumbs as I do about the dott, and other young people, who could stand to be a great deal more circumspect on facebook if they ever intend to be employed at something that provides the standard of living to which we foolish parents allowed them to become accustomed.

Please indulge a brief anti-technology and false sense of security rant--The latest anti-terrorist irritation visited upon us, or at least those of us who regularly enter military installations, is being fingerprinted to be entered into a database linked to our military IDs. The IDs are then scanned by the gate guards. No word on what they will do if the ID does not pass muster. I imagine highly trained dogs and weapons are involved. It would all be more palatable if there were bears.

In St. Paul for a few days of city living. Dinner out with frostdottir tonight, lovely run by the Mississippi this morning.
Later gators!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | August 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Genau, gmbka, "hilly" is a good word for that area. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The bears would likely find you more palatable as well, frosti... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Here's a sampling of what's in NYC's "hallowed ground"

Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Bears for Frosti, as requested:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 16, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow, TBG -- that says everything, doesn't it?

*continuing to mutter expletives against downright stooooopidity*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 16, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

That is a great blog. Here are his reasons that the NYC subways are better than the DC Metro.

Tough points to argue. I would add that there are subway stations in NY lit well enough to actually read a newspaper in.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Good, TBG. The first three tell the story best.

My latest adventure has left me so flummoxed I am mostly unable or unwilling to write about it. A friend of mine is basically a moonbat. I will stand up now and say, oh you think you know moonbats? Think again.

I am now in the unpaid business of constructing stage props, involving a big bamboo cube, which is not really a cube, it is 12 poles in the outline of a cube. It is a cube because, as everyone knows, the cube is the symbol for stability in ancient alchemical and magickal lore. I had to explain that this is about the most unstable thing one can imagine.

Ancient lore is so full of it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 16, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl... your pictures are great! No one can say that this blog is lacking in bears. And of course, ever blog needs bears.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Another bear photo for Frosti, my daughter took this from the car. Location around Jasper, AB.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 16, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the "hallowed ground" link, I laughed out loud. The neighbourhood looks to me like a very good environment for any community center because there is some real life going on.

Can anybody explain to me why the Achenblog comment site dislikes American spelling?

Posted by: gmbka | August 16, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Just sayin'.

Slyness, I leave the gps feature on my phone for exactly that reason. My caution had to do with photos taken by a phone, just being aware tracking was possible.

Y'all may have guessed I was stalked.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

And I do love yello's using his mad disinformation skillz.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 16, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I've said I was really sorry about that and I won't violate the restraining order again.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Y'all... I may have found the Money Shot...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 16, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

In further bear news, they finally got the jar off the head of the bear in Florida.

Oh, bother. It's tough when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Great pictures of Bears in Bern, DNAGirl. I'm close to posting my pictures of the Lucerne Lion, but I don't know how it could possibly compare.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

There appears to be a new Kit.

Posted by: bobsewell | August 16, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

More like the junk shot.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

PS thanks for the pic posting info BobS and Yello.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | August 16, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all!

Just got a chance to backboodle, finally. talitha, the Hallmark version of The Secret Garden is one of my favorites. I can't remember if I've seen the new one. I think I might have. *shrug* I had a matched set of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess that I reread constantly, too. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 16, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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