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New oil rig fire in gulf

Here's a site with a photo of the oil platform -- Vermilion Oil Rig 380 -- on fire. (Via the Houston Chronicle.)

To review: Mariner Energy has a rig in 340 feet of water about 100 miles south of Vermilion Bay, La., and as workers were painting and sandblasting it today, they saw a fire break out above them in an oil tank or some such structure. They jumped in the water and have all been rescued but the platform is now ablaze and there are reports of a mile-long oil sheen on the water. This is all pretty sketchy still and we've heard conflicted reports about whether the platform was actively producing oil and gas or, rather, was shut in. Developing...

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 2, 2010; 3:01 PM ET
 
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Next: Friday's random notes

Comments

Please God, don't let this be like Deepwater Horizon.

Posted by: slyness | September 2, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Just when you think you are out, they drag you back in. More frequent flier mileage opportunities for Joel.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this is alarming. Of course, it sounds like this is a very different animal from Deepwater Horizon. Let's hope all the workers are rescued safely.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 2, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I bet this sort of thing was actually very common pre-Deepwater Horizon and just rarely got reported.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

At the moment, this is looking like a much smaller event, the sort that might have gotten only local attention, had it happened last year.

The event of the day here is hurricane swell at the beaches. Sebastian Inlet was impressive as usual, while some of our small-surf or no-surf beaches and reefs farther south were holding waves. It was interesting to see waves breaking on reefs that normally are invisible from shore. Some at Wabasso were doing a good imitation of Waikiki.

Here's some photos from the Cocoa Beach pier:
http://2ndlight.com/fusetalk/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=3&threadid=113155&enterthread=y

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 2, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi all!

I've given up being productive today. It just isn't in the cards.

talitha, an officemate just got back from a weekend in "Dinosaur Land," although the original purpose of the trip was to visit "Foamhenge." The pictures on the site seem very tame compared to the ones he brought back. I don't see the dinosaurs attacking civil war soldiers in that gallery, for instance. ;)

At first blush, this fire seems less out-of-control than Deepwater Horizon. I wonder how often oil rig fires occur in general.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | September 2, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Some day soon we're going to see mention of this in a filing BP makes with the courts.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 2, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Impressive, DotC. Those are Hawaii level waves. Makes me want to hit RonJons and buy a boogie board.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 2, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

How so, LiT? To say that this happens all the time, so they're not worse than anyone else? I would think it might hurt their case -- the more such things happen, the less they can plausibly talk about how they couldn't possibly have foreseen such an unlikely event.

Posted by: -bia- | September 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

An interactive bear video. Gratuitous swearing at first, but then it gets really strange.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ba1BqJ4S2M&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: yellojkt | September 2, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Nah bia, I figure it'll be on something like how much of the oil is really theirs and theirs and hit shore, and will include all sorts of charts and graphs on hurricanes/tropical storms, tides, currents, etc.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 2, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures, DotC! Makes me awfully glad that I stay on land and watch.

A friend just told me that the better part of valor (and survival) has caused her and another friend to postpone going to the Atlantic coastline tomorrow morning (they are local) and wait until early Saturday morning. Good choice. I can't imagine being on the Bay Bridge during a hurricane -- and not just because of the rain, but because of the *gale force winds*. . . . (turning a shade of green just thinking about it).

And, now, back to work, alas.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 2, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Response to Mudge from previous kit: I think "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was probably the closest to the original book. It was the only one of the series to feature George Lazenby as Bond and Diana Rigg as his love interest/wife.

On the current subject of the oil rig, if it remains stable in the water, then it is likely not to create a major leak. That one pic, though quite distant, appears to show a rig with permanent legs, not a floater like the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 2, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I second your comment, Slyness. At the rate we're going with the spills, eating seafood from the Gulf will definitely be a no-no. And those nice beaches are going to be in jeopardy big time.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the store and on NPR the report was all 13 aboard were rescued. Only in 300+ feet of water fixed to bottom and no spill. Some sort of explosion of platform equipment was causing the fire, The guys were sandblasting and painting. The platform supports previously drilled seven wells but none were in production at this time.
According to a Wall Street Journal knowledgeable reporter there were 200 plus fires at platforms in 2009 or about 2 1/2 per day. Most never make the media.

Posted by: bh72 | September 2, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the store and on NPR the report was all 13 aboard were rescued. Only in 300+ feet of water fixed to bottom and no spill. Some sort of explosion of platform equipment was causing the fire, The guys were sandblasting and painting. The platform supports previously drilled seven wells but none were in production at this time.
According to a Wall Street Journal knowledgeable reporter there were 200 plus fires at platforms in 2009 or about 2 1/2 per day. Most never make the media.

Posted by: bh72 | September 2, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

This does seem to show that fires are/were commonplace. Everyone can go back to normal, just roll the log back over.

Posted by: baldinho | September 2, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Sandblasting and painting? That sounds like a great idea. Probably were planning on cleaning up with a bleach and ammonia mixture.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 2, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I misplaced my camera's battery recharger, so no photos of my own.

The surf at Sebastian Inlet was maybe 7' with a few 10' monsters farther out. I'm always impressed at the number of normal-looking people who can surf those waves. I said hello to a bodyboarder from Tampa who admitted to having been a beginner for a decade, but he called in sick, rented a car and came over anyway. I think he caught several waves decently successfully.

Wabasso is the beach end of a causeway with a tiny park and a big Disney resort looming to the south. This morning, a bunch of body boarders were doing their tricks in fast, crunchy 5 foot barrels right on the beach. Good place to get squished. A water video guy was catching the action up close. Farther south, surf was breaking on reefs far offshore. A personal watercraft was towing in at least one surfer. In contrast to Sebastian's crushing waves, Wabasso reefs were delivering long rides, just like Hawaiians were doing a century ago at Honolulu.

I'm ordering a new pair of swim fins from a bodyboard shop in the northeast. An exchange of emails was necessary. So I got to mention our impressive waves and commiserate with the Northeast's impending bad weekend. Here's the shop owner's lament, paraphrased for anonymity:

"If the long-interval swell isn't enough to encourage the authorities to shut down the beaches, media hype and fear of lawsuits and drownings cause many beach closures. Lifeguards usually allow surfing unless it's out of hand. They may allow us bodyboarders, too, if we can convince them that we're 'capable.' But some of my buddies have gone to jail for not obeying the guards! Unreal."

So there you hve it: bodyboarders, largely but by no means all kids, get second-grade treatment.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 2, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

DotC-a friend of ours, a SEAL, was ordered out of the surf and arrested on Virginia Beach just before a hurricane (Isabel perhaps, I can't recall). The arrest was later immortalized in a training film used by several Tidewater VA police forces on how not to handle his kind of miscreant as he ended up helping the 2 arresting officers out of the water so they wouldn't drown.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 2, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Now we're getting it at both ends of the continent. A tanker with 2.4 million gallons of diesel fuel aboard has run aground in the Northwest Passage.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/09/02/northwest-passage-oil-tanker-spill.html

Posted by: byoolin1 | September 2, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Not having anything to do with oil spills or even the Northwest Passage, I appear to be coming down with a sore throat. What it will lead to is anybody's guess. I don't actually think I can blame this on our President, but I might like to blame it a Rethuglican or two.

I mean, why not FCOL????

*heading to the kitchen to prepare some comfort food*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 2, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness it is a double hulled ship byoolin, hopefully no diesel will spill, so far so goo.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 2, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Wispy suggestions of the outer limb of Earl may be appearing high over D.C.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 2, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The Family Almanac column today talked about bullying.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/31/AR2010083104487.html

Her advice: Talk to the guidance counselor. Yeah, that works.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 2, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... hope this oil rig thing fizzles out with no harmful consequences for the Gulf.

While backboodling I noticed Cassandra's post about her daughter's firing. Isn't her current health situation related to her pregnancy? Can they fire her for, basically, being pregnant?

ftb... I woke with that sore throat the other day and decided to spend the day in bed. It worked like a charm: I felt much, much better very quickly. Much sooner than when I drag myself around like I'm feeling fine.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 2, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, I go to work and miss two (!) Kits. Very busy day with everyone stocking up for Earl.

I was bullied in elementary school. I was quite chubby and thin skinned about it, so was the object of much ridicule. I cried a lot and stayed in the house a lot. My mother's advice about it all was well meaning but completely wrong and led to more ridicule. I eventually grew out of the chubbiness due to an attack of food poisoning followed by a concerted effort on my part to lose the weight. The bullying stopped but I still carry the 'bruises' and still have a real horror of gaining weight (not to the point of anorexia or anything tho'- I like food too much for that!). I feel for kids who are bullied but don't see any sure-fire cures for it.

It would be great if a few well placed punches or kicks solved the problem, but what do you do when it doesn't? Kids are mean, kids in groups are really mean, alas.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 2, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm hoping, TBG. I wanted to go out first thing in the morning to pick up some groceries (Fridays are better than Saturdays for that, when everyone is in the store, it seems), and I still might do that, but then I'm in for the duration.

All the hand washing in the world won't take care of air-borne stuff. If indeed this is to be "merely" a cold, that's okay, I guess.

*grumbling*

Of course, it could also be the beginning of ragweed and related pollen stuff, too. I feel that in my eyes (itchy) and having to blow my nose a lot more. (oh, go ahead, finish your dinner).

*still grumbling*

Cyall tomorrow. While I'm not staying up for the Redskins game, let's hope they win. Hope the Lions win again, too.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 2, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Cardio arrest city ----- BBQ style.

http://www.bbqaddicts.com/blog/recipes/bacon-explosion/

You have to admire the woven bacon!!!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 2, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

OMG, so that's a bacon explosion! I think I'll pass. I love bacon, but in more quiet ways such as BLT's, in spinach salad and bacon sandwiches!

Well, we're all set for whatever we get from Earl. Everything outside that could blow away or become a projectile has been brought in and I'm on my second load of laundry, just in case the power goes out and I can't do it later. I'm sort of excited about it but apparently the 'worst' of it will be after dark tomorrow night so there won't be much to see - darn!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 2, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

sneaks... I hope all of your hatches stay battened down. For once in 15 years I'm not worried about rain coming into the basement, since the water pipe that broke down there ensured there's nothing there to get wet anymore.

This has confirmed my decision to not recarpet, but to get the concrete floor stained or something similar to that. I like not having that nagging fear of soaked carpet whenever there's a big rain in the forecast.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 2, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, Talitha. Don't think I'll try to make one, but I might have a slice on a biscuit. But only once...

Posted by: slyness | September 2, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Harking back to the previous Kit, I watched that tennis match last night - well, the last part of it - came in after the foot fault call. The replay showed he did clearly foot fault. What I saw was muttering and griping at the line judge, but I may have missed the worst of it. It was a really good match, though. Tipsarevic is a geeky looking guy, but he was quite charming in his interview afterwards. I feel bad for Roddick - so much potential that has not been realized.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 2, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, I'll forward your SEAL tale to the bodyboard guy.

A conversation yesterday (partly in the water) got into teaching kids how to enjoy a beach without getting into trouble. In my case, the community's 6-9th graders knew the local beach, and were allowed to do hairy things like deliberately ride life rafts over the falls. Adults got injured there; I don't think kids did.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 2, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Lost power, Pepco did not believe this at first. Summer cold, blechies. School started. Managed to teach well enough. Am back boodling like crazy now, but still wiped out with Benedryl, etc.

Birthdays! Huzzah.

Earl? Let's be careful out there.

Cassandra, some legal advice, perhaps through workplace HR? Sounds fishy and bad. I am glad she has you. But, would like ease for all of you as fall begins and winter commences.

Missed the Emmy chat, due to now power, not believed by Pepco. They have their grid sensors, etc. Still, my dark trumps their monitoring station big time!

Thinking of GreenWithEnvy because football is upon us and he loves this.

Falling asleep as I type....but the SEAL story on the beach, well my goodness. Rip tide rescues on the Delmarva Penn were at an all time high last week.

Ahhhh August, where did you go, sweet swan song of summer. And, September, dear month that promises cool evenings and perfectly bright but cool days....welcome old friend, welcome. Such porching weather, yes. I feel this coming on.

God bless and string theory on top, as Stephen Hawking tells us, strings, strings, strings....that is the fabric of the universe of time of meaning of beginnnings....guess that God DOES through dice and some of them are either invisible or thrown around corners....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 2, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

TBG, this is a commercial site but might get you started on ideas for resurfacing/staining your concrete basement floor. I had seen this on a home improvement show and jotted it down for future reference.

http://www.concretenetwork.com/jim_peterson/spray_top.htm
____________

ftb, take it easy tomorrow with that sore throat.
CQP, lovely to read your "strings".
sneaks, hope Earl is good to you . . . a little excitement and no damage.

Scotty, are your candles lit yet? I've been blowing up balloons all evening. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 2, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, S'nuke!

Posted by: -jack- | September 2, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - That "dolphin bubble" video was super cool! Thanks for the link. I knew I'd read about the phenomenon in SciAm before, so for those interested, here are the (August 1996) Scientific American article and a (2000) Journal of American Psychology paper.

http://maecourses.ucsd.edu/mae210b/SciAmer_dolphins_96.pdf

http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/bjmccowan/Pubs/McCowanetal.JCP.2000.pdf

Posted by: Bob-S | September 3, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVII3tQqVzk

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, dear Yoki . . . lovely song.

here's a trade ----

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uravhL8FbY&feature=related

Posted by: talitha1 | September 3, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Mandolin Rain, dear Talitha. My heart may be broken.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2010 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that trade, dear Talitha.

Posted by: Yoki | September 3, 2010 3:23 AM | Report abuse

Going back to the previous kit, I was never bullied in school except once when a classmate told me she would send her brother to get me. I don’t why she had threatened me since I was always quiet and shy.

My sister #6 got bullied quite badly in elementary school. There was this girl who was the daughter of who’s who in our village. She was always pinching my sister. She had done it so many times that both my sister’s arms were bruised. When it got to the point my sister couldn’t take it anymore, she came home crying and refused to go back to school. No. 2 sister was at home and she got absolutely furious. She took #6 back to her class asked the teacher why her sister was bullied and she didn’t do anything about it. No answer. No. 2 sister told the teacher if she didn’t punish the bully, she (#2 sis) was not going to leave her class. So the teacher just made a show of hitting the bully’s palm lightly with a ruler. No. 2 sis told the bully that if she ever pinched #6 again, she (#2) will personally come to the class and do the same thing to her.

No. 2 was 18 or 19 years old at that time. She had a heart problem and was resting at home. I think she was so furious that she forgot she had a heart problem.

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 3, 2010 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, my heart has just been broken.
Someday I'll tell the boodle about it.
Or not . . . you all don't do true confessions here, huh? ;O


-------------
*************

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Scotty!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jUu9GwUWCA


Posted by: talitha1 | September 3, 2010 5:07 AM | Report abuse

Or for something from the WEIRD side
with a little nuclear thrown in . . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdsXQVQRWXM

Love,
talitha

Posted by: talitha1 | September 3, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

OF course we do, talitha --

I confess: I love the Boodle!!! :-)

Thank you all!! Whew, went from NH to Germany to the Persian Gulf back to Germany to NH to NJ to MA and on to D.C., and it only took me slightly more than 40 years! :-)

Glad you're feeling better, TBG!

*really-hoping-for-a-day-of-decadence-but-work-calls-and-at-least-I-always-get-a-3-day-weekend-near-mah-birfday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 3, 2010 5:30 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. TBG, so glad to hear from you! I hadn't seen a comment from you in awhile, and was beginning to worry. Hope you and family are well. My daughter ask for an appeal of the firing, and was told yesterday afternoon that she could not appeal. Some of you may remember I mentioned here some time back that my daughter had swine flu. She was out for that, and they included those absences also as the reason for her dismissal. Now her employer is First Health Moore Memorial in Pinehurst, NC., a hospital if you will. They said she could have come to work with swine flu, if she didn't have a fever. I'm thinking if that was the case, why did they send her home. None of this makes sense to me, unless I'm missing some other parts. I asked my daughter about work performance, and she said there wasn't a problem, the absences are the reason for the firing.

I feel really bad for her, but I told her not to sit home, get back out there. We need a job, plain and simple. And I always encourage young people to work, no matter what, my daughter as well as others. We're going to try and shed some light on this situation, but in the mean time, need to look for another job. And her time is almost near, and perhaps it's ludicrous to do that, but I don't want her to get depressed and give up. Being busy will help that.

Thanks, CPQ, how you doing?

Slyness, a nice wind showed up yesterday morning, and I opened the doors and windows. Just a real pleasure, and one I took advantage of by cleaning my room! Probably from parts of Hurricane Earl.

Have a great day, folks, and love to all. If you are anywhere near the hurricane area, be safe.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 3, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday Scotty! With a three-day weekend ahead I think you should use it all to celebrate.

Cassandra, your daughter's situation sounds fishy to me. I can't believe her employer can get away with that - but I'm not a lawyer so what do I know?

We're under a hurricane watch here but nothing due until tonight. I would doubt that we will get very high winds here but I'm not a meteorologist either so again, what do I know?

Posted by: badsneakers | September 3, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Rowlf *waving* back at Grover with bit HUG!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 3, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Almost forgot Scotty....


HAPPY, BIRTHDAY TO YOU...HUGS ABOUND! And we love you too!

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 3, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks

It does sound iffy, doesn't it? I'm not a lawyer either, and don't really know.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 3, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Scotty. Quit hogging all those years and give a few to other people.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I may sound like a pseudo-advice columnist here but that just ain't right!
If your daughter is in her third trimester (?) and has been dismissed due to her impending delivery, has she no maternity leave? Compensation? The word "alleviation"* comes to mind.

Mercy, are we still living in a country where the workplace treats working women in this way?
_______________
I add this definition only for sweet clarification:
*alleviation - the feeling that comes when something burdensome is removed or reduced; "as when she heard the news she was suddenly flooded with relief"

Posted by: talitha1 | September 3, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

All right, I know I'm going to get slammed. Of course there are places in this country and all around the world where women (and women bearing children) are denied the most basic of rights.

That doesn't mean our own Cassandra's daughter has to put up with that carp.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 3, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Amen Talitha! I hope there is some recourse for Cassandra's daughter. I'd love to see 'the man' taken down a peg or three!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 3, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, indeed, Scottynuke.

Hopefully, this weekend will have some celebration and fun in store for you.

FWIW, I had some Lousiana seafood yesterday evening, and so far, so good (e.g. didn't leave a crude oil slick in my shower this AM. Olive oil only...).

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Happy birthday, Scotty! I hope it's a wonderful one. Forty, did you say? You baby.

Late this morning, because I had to take Mr. T to work, in anticipation of picking him up this afternoon and going up the mountain.

Cassandra, I am so sorry about your daughter. If there isn't a law, there should be. Attendance is the issue and they sent her home? Oh my. I hope she doesn't take no appeal for an answer. I hope the lawyers among us will comment on the FMLA aspects of this.

Posted by: slyness | September 3, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Scotty. Tell you what: go ahead and take Monday off, ya know? What the hell, man, you deserve it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Happy, Happy Birthday Scottynuke!

Doing a Snoopy dance WITH Grover waves for your special day!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Scotty. Talk around here of decommissioning two coal burners, one of which fouls the air in our often-smoggy city. Any suggestions on what to replace it with?

Ditto the hands-on-hips, tut-tut "you better show up here more often, TBG." I saw an older concrete floor with a new white stain job with just a tiny hint of cream color; looks like a sort of marble floor. Nice.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Just a bit beyond 40, slyness... :-)

Thanks, one and all! 'Mudge, yer too kind.

Cassandra, please share some *HUGSSSSSSSSS* with your daughter and I echo everyone else in hoping "the man" does right by her when all's said and done!

I can't offer suggestions, Jumper, but I know some folks who could make sure one option in particular is safe and appropriate... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 3, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

You're still just a baby, Scotty.

EYE wouldn't object to more nuclear stations, Jumper. Did you see the story in the paper that we've had fewer smoggy days than were expected, given the heat, this summer? It was in a column by one of the meterologists...I was surprised.

Off to craft class, to work on the quilt.

Posted by: slyness | September 3, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Not surprised. I believe construction lent a lot more air pollution than folks comprehend.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 3, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Gene Robinson and Michael Gerson have good columns today.

Gene: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090203992.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Gerson: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090203990.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Scotty, and go-get-em wishes to Cassandra and daughter.

On backboodling, I've got a comment on seasea's Roddick comment. I wouldn't say that he's an example of vast unfulfilled potential. He's had quite a good career, but it happened to coincide with the Federer-Nadal era. And no offense to him, but they're just better. Hard work can overcome ridiculous talent, but not if ridiculous talent works equally hard, which they both do. In her chat yesterday, Liz Clarke had some very good things to say about Roddick's current level of dedication and in-shape-ness and head-on-straight-ness. So he's certainly in a position to get some more wins. Really bad luck that he ran into an opponent that he's had trouble with before while he's in the process of recovering from mono. He didn't use it as an excuse, but I had mono as an adult, too, and I can only imagine trying to carry on a professional athletic career at the same time. I feel bad for him for this loss, and I'm sure he would like to win a few more slams, but however much longer it lasts, he can be proud of a successful career.

And now I'm off to catch the cat for her vet visit. Just a checkup. Poor kitty, the things I put her through.

Posted by: -bia- | September 3, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

To my dear Snukie on his special day . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKuQZu4LCus

The first part of that is the Swedish birthday song. The rest of it is, well, what it is. Enjoy!

*somehow wishing I had my 64 year old wisdom in my 20 year old body, but that's just me*

Time to go off and get them groceries before plunging back into work. The sore throat is a little off and on, but it might just be due to allergies -- the eyes are itching and running, as is the nose. Yep, the fall allergies are indeed among us. *blech*

Cassandra -- I suggest you and your daughter try to find a reasonably nearby Legal Aid clinic, and talk with one of the attorneys there. Her dismissal sounds a little too fishy for my taste (and I like fish!). Good luck to her and to you!

CqP -- nice to hear from you (and TBG, too)! May your luck improve considerably, too. Missed you.

Gotta go. . . .

Posted by: ftb3 | September 3, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

from Rachel Weiner's "44" political column:

"At last night's gubernatorial debate, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) appeared to be at a lost for words during her opening statement, leading to some long, awkward pauses..."

She's apparently a "Lostie."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Re: Power plants - I don't have a big objection to nuclear plants, per se. In general they have a pretty good safety record. But, until the US comes up with a satisfactory plan to store/dispose of the radioactive wastes, we better go real slow. Continuing to store that stuff on-site is a safety/security problem just waiting to happen. Old coal plants can be made fairly clean with filters and scrubbers, but the cost of retrofit may be close to what it would cost to build new. We probably have all the big hydro plants we'll ever get, partly because we've used most of suitable sites, and partly because the envrionmental impacts of flooding so much acreage probably won't allow it any more anyhow.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 3, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut, check this space after, say, 6 p.m., for a detailed reply. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 3, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

For Snuke:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHqD0QWU8V0

Posted by: gmbka | September 3, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, ebt -- I don't think we could possibly be going much slower than we have been for the past three decades.

Just saw the trailer for "Black Swan" linked and touted in the Celebritology column. Wow. Looks really good, combined with the buzz. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/celebritology/2010/09/natalie_portman_apparent_soon-.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Howdy and a happy birthday to Scottynuke!

Cassandra, I second ftb. You and your daughter should talk to someone at a Legal Aid office, or contact the bar association and find out if there is anyone doing pro bono work - particularly employment work - in your area. Someone might even be interested to take the case on a contingency fee basis (paid if you win). I can't say without all the facts of course, but firing with no recourse for medical absences (some of which were earlier) when someone is several months pregnant is fishy indeed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I can see determining Scottynuke's age will require some Deep Thought (You already know the answer, as it pertains to life, the universe, and everything. And you're probably not going to like it...)

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

For fans of Arkady Renko (and I am one), there's a new Martin Cruz Smith mytery up. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090204960.html?hpid=sec-artsliving

Smith & Renko are an acquired taste, I think, very, very dark and often as nearly depressing as Renko himself, who has always seemed to be about 30 seconds away from suicide in all his adventures. But Smith can be a terrific writer (he can also be pretty awful, as most of his non-Renko novels are). I thought "Havana Bay" was terrific...but, er... very dark.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, your daughters situation distresses me, I do hope you get some help. We do a tiny bit of employment work, where I work, advising employers, here is our advice to them, follow the strictest employment guidelines (federal, state or country). Document everything!!, i.e. written warnings, detailed employee manual, have employee sign manual so they cannot state they were unaware of the rules.

Wishing you both the best.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 3, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Actually, bc, Deep Thought would be off by one in this case... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 3, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Mr. Scottynuke!!!

Have a wonderful day. Nothing beats a Friday birthday.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 3, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Just watched some video from last night with Al Roker. WOW. Good for him.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 3, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Cassandra (seconding Ivansmom) -- there are many law firms (especially big ones) that do pro bono work. The Bar Association in North Carolina (http://www.ncbar.gov/) ought to be able to help you navigate the system and help you find a lawyer.

*faxing an abundancy of good, strong legal karma to ya and your daughter*

Go get 'em!

Posted by: ftb3 | September 3, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Another WOW... Eugene Robinson in absolutely fine form after a Rachel Maddow setup as he pulls the wings off the proverbial fly that would be Haley Barbour's civil rights history lesson.

Mr. Robinson, that was absolutely correct.

BTW, his analysis of why the Republican party is spending so much time smudging our understanding of civil rights is absolutely spot on.

Larry Sabato is now suggesting that the Republicans can take both houses of Congress.

How silly are the people of America? A Republican Op Ed guy suggested that the budget (Bush's last one) that Obama dealt with in his first year in office had an exploding deficit. If I remember correctly, Obama not only had to deal with the crash, but he also was "adult about" the war and included that in the national finance figuress while Bush just put the war on the company Mastercard.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 3, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The LA Times has a big story on a rare sightseeing opportunity: lots of giant blue whales off the coast.

Florida Today (the progenitor of USA Today) has a well-written story on yesterday's hurricane swell. The reporter actually found an informative person to talk to, and the info is relevant. The number of lifeguard rescues was low, and there's no reports of drownings.
http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100903/NEWS01/9030323/Brevard-surfers-lifeguards-admire-Hurricane-Earl-s-might

Yesterday's big swell highlighted differences in what often seem to be identical beaches. Offshore reefs make huge differences. The jetty at Sebastian Inlet makes a special situation of its own.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 3, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Bonne fête Monsieur Nuke! Let's see, you were reading Red Storm Rising (1986) in the shade of a tank in Germany back inn the days. Add 24...

If I see another article about East Coasters "awaiting nervously" the effects or Earl I'm going to eh, hurl. Which I did quite a bit lately. I was due for my 2-year interval food poisoning and I got it. Of course I took the day off today to catch up on much needed yard work so I spent most of the night watching a Mythbusters marathon. I'm capable of operating the ride-on lawnmower but the chainsaw will have to wait for when I feel more manly.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 3, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

This made me laugh: the health department made a post-mortem on a rat that went for a lethal swim&snack in a can of baked beans. Warning, there is a picture of the drowned rodent. It looks like... Rat Drowned in Tomato Sauce on its Bed of Beans.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/rat-found-in-tin-of-baked-beans-2069687.html

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 3, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering which visionary Post editor assigned the story "Are chicken cages too cruel?" to writer Dan Eggen. This seems like a story that is more up Weingarten's alley, but the question-submission link currently is disabled on his chat page, and I don't want to be too much of a weirdo sending messages to his personal email. So I thought I would leave this flaming bag of puppy-poo on Joel's doorstep, instead.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Just caught Rachel Maddow's clip with Gene Robinson. Man, he's good! And, yes, so is she, of course. Haley Barbour, on the other hand, is, well, how shall I put it? And where?

Posted by: ftb3 | September 3, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Where can I see this Rachel Maddow clip? When I googled it, all I got were random YouTube links, most of them quite old. And what's the deal with Al Roker? What did he do that is so fine?

Man, I gotta watch more television.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 3, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Tim -- go to the msnbc site and click on the clip you want (on the left hand side).

Posted by: ftb3 | September 3, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Here, Tim. Click on the third box down on the left, the one that shows Haley Barbour. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 3, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I noticed there was a new Kit, but came back here to catch up first. Then noticed that nobody had gone to the new Kit.

Did I mention that there's a new Kit?

Posted by: bobsewell | September 3, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I haven't seen him in quite a while. He is half the man that he used to be. This is what happens, I guess, when you don't really watch TV. I just watch the internet. TV by choice.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 3, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

New kit in danger of being taken over by aliens.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 3, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

*Tim, so you're wondering how the chicken came before the Eggen?

Hey.. is it also Vintage Lady's birthday today? If so.. happy birthday to you, VL!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much for the advice, and the good wishes everyone. We're going to look into it, and see what's what. Again, thanks for caring.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 3, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

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