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The nickel dilemma

I'm on a book leave, which engenders a great deal of freedom, including the whole hygiene-optional concept. I am free to decide whether to wear shorts and a T-shirt or, if I'm feeling like "dressing up," shorts and a polo shirt.

I did manage to line up a little office for myself downtown, where I spend a few hours a day typing. What focuses the mind is the parking situation. There are meters on the street and it's not hard to find a spot, but the geniuses who run the city have decided to charge 25 cents per 7.5 minutes. That means a dime gets you 3 minutes, and a nickel gets you 1.5 minutes. And this, as I said, focuses the mind.

First, you have the emotionally ravaging moment of feeding all these coins into the meter and see your available time increase so feebly that you actually feel like you're destroying your money. A quarter is a pretty solid thing in your hand, and the 7.5 minutes seems too insubstantial a trade-off. The dime is small and irritating, so no problem there. But the sensation is even worse with the nickel.

I have no special affection for nickels. They're painfully close to being slugs. They have no serration, if that's a word. They're a little overweight. But still, someone has crafted these things, they're manufactured products, and it just does not feel right to put one in a meter and get a minute and a half in exchange. The digital readouts don't show the minutes, by the way, and instead round the numbers off, and so routinely when you put in a nickel the alloted time displayed clicks up by just one minute.

Here's the thing: It takes time just to put the nickel in the meter. So although you supposedly get 90 seconds for the nickel, you can easily blow 5, 6, 7 seconds just fetching the coin from your pocket, feeding it to the meter, and staring at the meter in pain in horror.

What to do about this nightmare? Obviously, the one practical thing is to practice one's meter-feeding. At home at night I use a stopwatch to time myself reaching into a pocket, grabbing a coin and feeding an imaginary meter. The kids ask me, "Dad, are you sure the book is going okay?," but they don't understand the meter dilemma and how excruciating the whole thing is.

I've asked my tailor to widen the pockets on my shorts and to strengthen the lining of the pockets so that they can handle up to $20 dollars in coins at any time. With these reinforced shorts, I'm really loaded for bear when I go downtown, though I do clink and jingle a lot, and the huge bulges in the pockets have drawn some stares.

One consequence of the high-priced meters is that I now spend a lot of time meter-shopping. You pull over, "park," but then you walk up and down the sidewalk looking for empty parking spots where there is still time on the meter. Time is money -- in case you didn't know. Yesterday I found a meter with 31 minutes on it. Ka-CHING. Although I had to break four traffic laws and cause a momentary jam and near pile-up to back my car the wrong way up the street and across to the 31-minute meter (only 30 minutes by the time I finished parking and yelling at the motorists yelling at me), that translated to a DOLLAR savings, if you can do the math.

But back to my original point: So there I am, typing, being dutiful, hacking away, but the whole time what I'm really thinking about is getting back to the car when the meter expires. Not, mind you, BEFORE the meter expires, but WHEN the meter expires. Because let's say you get back with 15 minutes to spare. That's 50 cents wasted! Or let's say you're back and you still have 5 minutes on the meter. That's more than a dime and a nickel wasted. No, you have to nail it precisely. You want to see it click to zero right when you arrive.

That's what you call a good day at the office.

By Joel Achenbach  | September 24, 2010; 7:48 AM ET
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Wait a minute -- an office? Did they kick you out of Starbucks?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 24, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

SciTim, I'm envisioning a stall in the men's loo at a Wi-Fi hotspot. Now that's a little office!

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Repost from being mudged:

There is a recently discovered 'bawdy' poem attributed to John Milton. It is far too risque to quote here, but it can be found at the bottom of this article:

But scholars say the style is so unlike him that they suspect it is a fraud. I smell a certain thousand year old curmudgeon.
And here is the NPR story on it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

*contemplating the cost-benefit ratio when Metro's taken into account* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

But ScottyNuke, if he took Metro we wouldn't get this delightfully neurotic kit.

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse


What sort of seedy dive district are you renting space in? All the meters where I park have gone electronic where you pay by credit card and put a little receipt on your dash. This system is more efficient and convenient for the driver and increases revenue because unused time departs with the vehicle.

In Asbury Park I did game the system by giving the person vulturing me my leftover ticket that still had three hours on it. They were very grateful for me saving them all of two dollars.

And at a recent social event at a well-known K Street watering hole, my wife discovered that you can recharge the meter by cell phone. You call a toll-free number, set up an account, and give your meter ID and license plate number.

Presumably the meter maids (and meter men and neter matrons) cross-index the expired dashboard stubs against a database of phone-renewed cars. The whole process only took slightly longer than twice the time it would have taken me to walk the three blocks back to the meter and recharge it in person. But nobody had to leave their drink. What'll they think of next?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm assuming the meters don't take pennies. At 18 seconds a pop, one might not ever accumulate enough time to actually walk away from the meter after feeding it.

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I live in a blissfully meter-free world most of the time. But on those rare occasions when I must venture into the land of timed parking, I too am afflicted with meter anxiety.

This is especially vexing if I am having lunch with someone, for it could be considered rude to place a conversation on hold while you run outside to feed the meter. Especially if this prompts suspicion that you are actually running outside to avoid the check.

Now, I have heard that some places have credit-card operated meters, which certainly avoids that whole "bulging pockets" phenomenon. But I wonder if these will really catch on. On occasion, or so I have heard, people might not want to have their parking history show up on their credit-card bills.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 24, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I've heard rumors that there was a book in the works and am looking forward to it. But I am curious about this whole "office" thing. Wouldn't it be more time and cost effective to simply wall yourself into the basement?

Of course, who am I to question the Creative Process. I assume that the isolation of an office helps facilitate laser-like focus. Outside, you know, of that whole "meter thing."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 24, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. JA, where in the world do you get the material for this stuff? This is funny, and sad. Sad because you're getting shortchanged on the parking, but oh, so, funny, just because it made me laugh. And a laugh is what I sorely needed this morning. Thank you.

Slyness, we have bright sunlight, and probably heat to match later in the day. I know I'm going to moan and groan when the cold shows up, but I do hope I can remember these scorchers to soothe the savage beast.

RD, you need to do stand-up. Your talent is wasted here, you need to be in the big time, guy!

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

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 24, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

In the Twin Cities you can buy a rechargeable card to use in meters in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Once you have the card you can use either cash or credit card at a kiosk to recharge it, or do it online with the credit card. However, the availability of the cards is not widely publicized in St. Paul. The meters in front of the hip urban loft provide about $38,000 per year in income to the city (free after 4:00PM every day, but not free on Sat. and Sun., which trips up farmers market shoppers from the burbs who assume otherwise). The city has not revealed how much is made in fines. We bought a space in the garage. It felt a little strange putting many, many years worth of quarters on the mortgage but the interest is no more than a few tickets a year.

I think I saw this link here first, but if you missed this bit on the "high cost of free parking"

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

My mudged post:
Good morning boodle!

CqP-re the b00bie, I like the Barney Frank response "On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

Terrible dreary weather in MN today and I must be on the road this afternoon to Chez Frostbitten. Frostdaddy is on his way for the annual grouse hunting trip and I have a weekend of vacation rental linen laundry ahead.

dmd-I am going to watch the full King Abdullah interview online after I leave the boodle. I know he was educated in England so that accounts for some of his accent but it doesn't have the stereotypical middle easterner goes to Oxford sound. His blue eyes reminded me of my Jordanian stick buddy in flight school.

yello-my reaction exactly to Eddie Fisher's death.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

OF Milton’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Saucy Ditties into the world,
With loss of Virtue, till one greater Man,
Ahem, once a scribe to the Noble Chaucer,
If you’ll remember, and Google thus Mine Resume,
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Forty of yon Kasey Kasem didst
This Shepherd, the first sock puppet,
Steal Blind John’s name to compose
A few Modest lines of Verse
About a certain woodsy maiden
Upon whom I made an Ash of myself
With perhaps unfortunate imagery Concerning
A chimney, and then upon Due Consideration
Of a more matronly Lady or two, Whom
Didst Snap, Crackle and, yes, Pop
Upon Occasion when properly pursued
And diligently wooed, Which without the “e”
Becometh “Wood,” you see.
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues
(And here ye thought the Aonian Mount was something
Althogether different, now didn’t you? Admit it!)
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
(Here ye must again take license with my prose)
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
(Chortle! Chortle!) And mad'st it pregnant:
What in me is dark
Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert I am John Milton.
Yes, that’s it. That’s the Ticket. I’m John Milton.
And, uh, I hath composed some Saucy lyrics, back in the day.
Wouldst I lie to this dear Boodle?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree that nickels are the paste-eaters of the numismatic world. As Joel points out, a lot of it is their proportions. They are just so schlumpy looking - especially compared with the slim elegance of the dime. Besides, dimes have a certain art-deco appeal that make then cool.

Quarters, of course, come in so many interesting styles that they always get attention. (Woe be to a parent who spends a shiny new state quarter being sought by an offspring.) Further, as one who spent endless hours in the college video arcade, they are rife with nostalgia. Each quarter represents the memory of a blissful game of Centipede.

Pennies have an endearing anachronistic charm about them. They seem to exist purely to provide visual relief from all that silver. Besides, if you look really closely you can actually see Lincoln in the Memorial. (At least until your eyes start to go. Which happens with shocking suddenness. But I digress.)

And dollar coins appear to exist for no other reason than to annoy people who get change from large bills at Metro station kiosks.

Now, nickels do seem to be making something of a comeback because of stylish new images of Thomas Jefferson. But I fear it is too little too late.

Every once and a while I read about proposals to banish the penny and simply round everything up to the nearest nickel. But I think it might make more sense to simply banish the nickel altogether. The parking meters will forgive us.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 24, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Colbert's testifying on the Hill right now! Video link on the home page...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Worked late last night, off the meter this morning (for a little while at least). Drinking iced tea, watching "The Hitchhiker."

Hope everyone gets some off-meter moments today (I'll leave the personal hygiene decision up to you).

Posted by: -dbG- | September 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

RD-your 9:40 is worthy of elevation to the kit.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Frosty and Cassandra for your kind words.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

RD, I think there's already an Occupant in Joel's basement is there not? You know -- older chap, hand-carved teeth, wig, recent starring role in questionable Dodge commericals? I'm sure he'd get grumpy if Joel claimed some space and 'net bandwidth.

I need interaction with people to do my best writing, but I understand that for some, the best productivity comes when they're free from distractions.

Oh, and that bulging pocket phenomenon could be disguised by pleated pants, couldn't it? Sadly, not for me...

I tend to wear cargo shorts (when I'm not wearing 25-year old cutoff jeans) that have between 6 and 10 pockets, enough room for nearly anything I care to bring with me.

I'm sure there will be a point soon where parking meters don't even take cash anymore. And for those looking to manage records of their parking, there are debit cards which can be purchased for cash, are there not?

Now, all I need is one of those cars that will parallel park itself while I feed the meter (I don't think they have one that can do so with a manual transmission yet).


Posted by: -bc- | September 24, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Banish not the noble Nickel;
Bring forth anew the tuppence, hear me!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

CSPAN-3, right now, no foolin'!

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Bravos to Mudge and RD. I'm in awe of how many Boodlers have minds that work so well in the morning.

Funny Kit Joel. I'm glad I live in the suburbs and don't encounter meters too often as I always put way too much money in them for fear of being ticketed.

Dimes are cute, nickels are frumpy.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 24, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

O Banish not the noble Nickel;
Neither should ye exhile the bright but useless Penny.
Nay, bring back from thine ancient Days
What is needed now: the Tuppence.

Damn you, yello, I just hate it when I get some blind puritan poet pome cootie lodged in my head.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Psssst, 'Mudge...

Only one way to cure that cootie:

"The Banana Splits" theme!!

(hope that's an accurate link, can't check @ work)


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

RD, your 9:40 is wonderful.

I'd also noted that even with my still-decent eyesight, that some of the newer pennies don't even have the Lincoln Memorial on the back anymore.

I think there's one with the Capital building under (re-)construction and another with a Wonder Woman-esque shield bearing "E Pluribus Unum" and a scroll denoting "One Cent."

Which is about all my comment's worth.

Apologies for the digressions and/or transgressions.


Posted by: -bc- | September 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

This is the proper way to deal with parking meters-

The parking meter is one half of Oklahoma City's contribution to American progress. The other is the grocery shopping cart. Both originated there in the 1930's.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

You're welcome, mudge. Most excellent Pome.

If you are going to get tripped by a meter charge, you don't deserve to park illicitly. At the very least use the credit card under the assumed name which mails the bill to a drop box. Doesn't everyone have one of those? Basic tradecraft, jeezy.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

kguy1, I wonder if Newman used a foot model for that scene? I was amazed at how small his footprints were at his Star on the Sunset Strip.

Posted by: bh72 | September 24, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Many years ago, when the 50 states quarters were just getting started, MrJS thought the US Mint folks should auction off the tails side of a run of bills or coins to Corporate America.

We could have had the Pillsbury Doughboy nickel, the Wal-mart quarter, maybe even the Chick-fil-A cows grazing on the greenback.

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I see that Colbert is testifying in character. I actually would kind of appreciate it if he would make a follow-up out of character, but I doubt he would undercut the performance that way. The fact that a man would deliver testimony to Congress in the form of satire tells you a lot about Congress today.

I like nickels. I have noticed that they seem to last in circulation for a long time. Not as easily corroded as pennies, not as valuable as dimes or quarters, most folks don't snag old nickels out of their change. I still occasionally find nickels from the 1950's and very rarely from the 40's. Nothing from the 30's for quite a while.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 24, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

kguy... are you trying to ruin my day? Don't you want me to get anything done?

That's why I rarely click on YouTube links. I am way too easily distracted.

Thanks, though.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I see that Colbert was asked to testify in character.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

[joining in the applause for RD's 9:40, and confessing to a hankering for a nice tasty spoonful of paste as a byproduct thereof.]

Posted by: byoolin1 | September 24, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Parking meters are amusing to think about. They were initially installed at the behest of merchants who wanted to free streets in front of their businesses from all day parking, the better to allow customers into their stores. Now, seen as a cash cow for strapped cities, the rates and fines have risen so much that they have become the bane of downtown merchants.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 24, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Paul Newman- 5'9" 150 lbs size 10 shoe

Posted by: kguy1 | September 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

We have those super-meters in Calgary. Don't need any nickels, though. The maximum amount of time available is 2 hours --$2.00 for first 30 minutes, $2.25 for the second 30 minutes, $5.00 for the last hour. Public parkades run at about $38.00 for the work day.

Posted by: Yoki | September 24, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Rented Cool Hand Luke in an effort at cultural education for my 16 year old and in watching it was struck by how much One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the same story.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 24, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all!

Mr.A, RD and Mudge - pure joy to have eyes to read and at least half a mind to comprehend this day.

kguy, forget the parking meters. Just let me watch Newman smile and I'll be happy.

Colbert is a genius.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Canada... home of the washroom and the parkade. Gotta love it.

(Some of my best friends are Canadian)


Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
A couple of things about the nickel.The pros and cons so to speak.
The nickel has a smooth surface which makes it easier to stand on it's side.
It has Thomas Jefferson or an Indian on one side and who can go wrong with those 2 choices.
It is easily seperated from other coins when deviding up change,quarters first,nickels second and the damn dimes just seem to hang out with the pennies all the time.
When flipping coins for heads or tails,quarters end up 50/50,same for dimes and pennies,but nickels end up 60% heads and 40% tails on every 10 flips.
Nickel rolls are usually a pretty blue color and can be spotted alot easier then the others.

It is much easier to open a bottle or can of beer with a quarter then it is with a nickel.
When playing nickel,dime,quarter poker.It is much better to have a pocket full of dimes and quarters,then it is to a pocket full of nickels.
Rolling up a roll of nickels is hard work and you only end up with 2 bucks after all that work.
What can you buy for a nickel these days? 7.5 minutes on a meter?It takes 20 to buy a pack of gum or a decent size candy bar.

When I was growing up,my brother always used to say"I am a nickel,I'm bigger then you" I used to be the dime, and I would say "I am smaller but worth twice of you"

Well I am of to the bank with my pretty blue rolls of nickels,It was alot of work,but at least I can get a couple gallons of gas to cut more lawns and get more nickels to roll in those pretty blue rolls.

Have a great day everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 24, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Parkades, car parks, parking lots.

Let's call the whole thing off.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

On youtube there is a version of "Lovely Rita" that features cheesecake photos posed with parking meters. It is not suitable for work, but if you want to check it out it's the one with a psychedelic swirl picture beside the title.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The SF Giants packed a lot of baseball into the game last night.
And against a pitcher working on 14 straight hitless innings.

Posted by: bh72 | September 24, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Lisa de Moraes on Colbert's Congressional testimony ---

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Yalies hoping to attend the Rally for Reasonableness on the mall are being urged to "Bring your indoor voice, please."

Me, I think we should form an organization called STOP: Society to Oppose Punditry, with the motto, "Off with their talking heads!" The purpose of the organization would be curtail all the emergent talking heads and pundits: Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Malkin, Gerson, K-hammer, Thiessen, Kristol, and any on the left who are noxious: Cohen, Michael Moore, etc. It has gotten so that opinion-commentary is itself out-of-control, over the top, and "viral." It's not only just a question of these people being idiots and nutjobs; there is the simple problem of just too much noise, never mind what kind.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think the rise of the talking heads has truly changed the way people talk and interact.

The pundits influence how people get information. How unsurprising that after a generation or more of punditry (I'll say it really started when cable news and cable channels went national 24/7) people act and think the way pundits do.

At least people unwilling to act otherwise.

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If I was reading CNN's closed captioning accurately from the treadmill, Rep. Conyers seriously asked Colbert to leave the hearing. Cobert had no problem telling the committee chair he would leave if the subcommittee chair, who invited him in the first place, asked him to leave.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

At least the parking meters are running on time.

Jeff Zucker of PMSNBC is leaving the stinking sycofant ship(USS BO) in a >$20,000,000 Golden Submarine. It pays to pay attention to the attention-getters at the Department of Getting Attention and OUR Money Department.

Making a Difference

Liberal Blogger takes no responsibility for opinions expressed and/or passed along from whatever source, prime directive: blog what others will most likely agree with.

Conservative Blogger weighs and balances sources, prevaling attitudes, then either takes action or not, always considering the implied consequences, and/or benefits, ie, to blog or not to blog?

Got Constituents?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Baldo, it is precisely BECAUSE punditry "has truly changed the way people talk and interact" that I propose reducing it to about a twentieth of what it currently is. People don't NEED all this commentary telling them what various and sundry news "means." There's no public need for spin. Just because some pol wants to impart it ddoesn';t mean it is either necessary or helpful. My entire point is that its counter-productive. Eliminate it.

Back in the day (yeah, yeah, people hate hearing it, but they can stuff it sideways) America got along just fine with only a handful of pundits. There's no damn need for 147 varieties of pundits any more than there's a need for 147 kinds of soap or laundry detergent. Manufactures don't sell 147 varieties of stuff because there is a crying consumer demand; they create the demand themselves; it is artificial. Likewise, the "demand" for 147 varieties of pundits everywhere is artificial.

Some intelligent commentary? Absolutely. Some himor columns? Some whimsy? Positively yes.

147 of whatever? No.

As members of the public, it is not our JOB to support 147 kinds of pundits at every level and all over the Internet.

It's like saying that yes, music is good for you, and having a variety of music is nice. It DOESN"T mean you have to listen to 147 CDs all at the same time. You are under no obligation to listen to 147 people all yelling at you at once, about the same topic. The assumption that a 120-decibel noise level is "good" for society is bogus. There is such a thing as moderation. There is such a thing as "adequate" and "enough." There is such a thing as "reasonable." In fact, there should be a rally for it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Watched the extended interview Jon Stewart did with King Abdullah II. Stewart clearly likes Abdullah but it's no puff piece. I stand by my comment of last night that Stewart's next Emmy should be for hard news.

talitha-thanks for the link. I missed the live feed of the Colbert testimony.

I'm getting really tired of hearing/reading people complain that "they're just comedians" of Stewart and Colbert (and Sen. Franken for that matter). If I were the bumper sticker type I'd sport one saying "my comedian is smarter than your former governor."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I am sure that someone way more knowledgeable than me has the actual term.... but the whole punditry phenomenon just engulfs everything else.

Say the broadcast medium is a wide battlefield. The battles between the players could be spread out and small, allowing all areas to get attention. That doesn't really happen with the cable news shows.

What happens instead, like on a real battlefield, is 95% of the area is untouched while the full forces of everyone is focused on one small area.

I think that small area to cable news shows is the hyperpartisan. All the effort goes to placate that one group, and most other forms of news are squeezed out.

The whole interconnectedness of everything has caused this effect in most popular activities. Everyone is so free to switch at a moment's notice that all the effort by the providers is to keep current with the hot thing... to generate buzz.

Whatever they are, they can't be boring. Boring loses thrill-a-minute eyeballs. Hyperpartisans are many things, but they are not boring.

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

GWE, thanks for that Nickel Defense.

Frosti, sometimes those governors are funnier than many actual comedians, though not by intent.

It is no accident that the Daily Show and Stewart have so many Emmys (though none for hard news). Colbert & Steve Carrell have a few of their own, too, FWIW.


Posted by: -bc- | September 24, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I have two major planks in my campaign for Currency Czar:

1. Abolish the penny. The only reasons pennies exist is to provide change for transactions that include sales tax. From now on all posted prices shall include sales tax and be rounded up to the nearest nickel. Any overages go to the taxing authority. This discourages predatory pricing designed to secretly rip-off consumers. It would be acceptable to have receipts include a line telling how much of the total purchase was sales tax. Nickels shall become the size of pennies but shall remain, well, nickel colored.

2. Get rid of dollar bills. They are ratty and grungy and make us look like a third world nation. The only way that dollar coins will be accepted is if dollar bills don't exist. Europe, Britain, Japan, and even Canada don't have bills for their functional equivalent of a single dollar. Vietnam has a bill for 1000 dong, which is worth about fifteen cents. Who do we want to be emulating? Dollar bills refuse to work in soda and candy machines and it's a nuisance to carry around enough quarters just for them. Coins are convenient and you don't need to pull out your wallet just to make small purchases.

These ideas are sane and sensible which means they can only carried out by a person not responsible to the general electorate. To institute them will require a person of strong character given dictatorial power.

If and when the current or any future administration wants to appoint me Currency Czar, they no where to find me. I'm certain of it.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

When did it become fashionable for pundits and especially sports casters to yell at 120 decibels? And spout on about the family history of every coach or players father they once met?
I watch football with the TV on mute.

Posted by: bh72 | September 24, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

THE point exactly, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but no one is compelled to presume anything. Everyone has a right to an opinion and to express it freely, without coercion, but no one should be compelled to either presume anything and/or hear that expression, ie, there is no right-endowment to be heard (idividually that is). Therefore, those who are in the business and/or are charged with presenting information related to the collective of opinion and expression thus, have a greater responsibility to protect the rights and safety of individuals over groups than even government.

Abbrogation or Responsibility

Posted by: RichNomore | September 24, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Pundits are like reality shows, cheap and easy. News is hard and requires reporters finding 'facts' and discovering 'truth'. It is so much more cost effective to let four blow-hards in easy chairs yell at each other than to actually go out and learn new things. Pundits are the carrion-eaters ripping away at the carcass of any real news.

However, I am uncomfortable with any quotas or limits on the number of pundits as this will inevitably descend into licensing and censorship, either overt or of the self-protective variety. We must have gadflies. It is a tradition that goes back to Socrates.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

glad I missed the money meters by spending the summer at the cottage, without internet access!!! Gosh. Lots to catch-up on the boodle...

Posted by: MissToronto | September 24, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Collectivism has obscene consequences and is fair to no one but those who administer it. Freedom and Protection from collectivism has it's own level playing field. Supreme Justice-Unconstrained Representation-Limited Administration cures all problems. What if? Eh?

Men of the People, not of certain People.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 24, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The zucchini used to stop the bear attack:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

RNM, you're such a gem, you know that? I'll bet women just flock to your door. Attempting satire is risky in the first place, but then to do it in writing (your 12:30ish) when failure is practically assured is so daring you make Evel Knievel look like a wuss. I'll bet you have to carry tanks of oxygen around with you just to help out all the swooning women. But what puts you over the top is that P before MSNBC. All I can say is watch out baby because we just LOVE men who live on the edge like that.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 24, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Is it a problem if I find that RichNoMore is becoming increasingly comprehensible?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Miss Toronto! Well, one new thing -- we have a new incomprehensible ranter who speaks perennially in either the royal collective (WE) or claims to be spokesperson for the collective opinion of some group. I can't tell which. Neither interpretation seems to yield a more coherent reading of the text.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 24, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

yello-that depends, have you suffered a head injury recently?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Mighty zucchinis
pitched across ursine pates--
three dogs and bear's out!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 24, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey there, Wilbrod & Wilbrodog!!! *where-ya-been-for-far-too-long Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Please rest assured that I am not agreeing with RichNoMore, just saying I am beginning to understand what he is saying.

In particular, I have to take strong exception to his thesis that conservative bloggers and pundits are more likely to weigh and balance an issue before proclaiming an opinion. That is such prima facia nonsense as to be laughable. You can almost see the fax streaks on the talking points as they get circulated around the right half of the blogosphere.

My curiosity is piqued by where these talking point arise from so rapidly and how they spread so quickly. I'm not a believer in conspiracies or cabals, but there is a level of coordination on the right that the left can only stare at in slack-jawed horror, amazement, and envy.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Example: Representative says, "certain people need help getting loans to live in a Condo. Administration says "not so fast, there may be consequences to the availability of credit without oversight and qualification". Collectivist Lawyers say "give the loans or we will shut down the banking industry", Administration folds like a house of cards. Voila! Sub-Prime Morgue for 50% of Capital driven Business activities, a new hope and change remake of Robin Hood Politics, and USA is nearly on the ropes without one more plane through a building. Reps of certain people, WIN. Administration of Certain Business people, WASH. Collectivist Lawyers, Left of Sanity Academics, Al Qaeda, WIN WIN WIN! Cost-Benefit: $10,000,000,000,000/$0.00. Oh, except the Parking Meters run on time.

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

Frosti, "My comedian is smarter than your former governor" is nothing short of brilliant. We MUST make that one of our signs.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Two things I found on YouTube:

Stephen Colbert's testimony today on immigrant farm workers.

And Senator Franken's rather touching speech about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.

I dare you to watch it without getting a tear in your eye.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

yello, please don't engage with him. He's a moron. The last thing I want is for him to explain himself better.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Question: what symbol is on the flag of Wilbrodog's French ancestors?

The answer right after this word from our sponsors.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

....... All is not lost!

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

The exchange between Stephen Colbert and Rep. Steven King was pretty good, but I felt Colbert had an unfair advantage engaging in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Fur de Lee.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of witless (and we were, in at least two instances above, you gotta her Christine O'D's last o.d.: she wanted the country to stop having sex. (I think she was referring to more than just us married people.)

This may account for that big spike in teen suicides in 2003.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of a tear in your eye:


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

WE 'her' (sic) y'all!

Posted by: RichNomore | September 24, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Joel, don't let yourself be sucked clean by the Terrible Trivium, demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit.

Take Tock the watchdog with you, disregard the humbug's humbuggery, and keep your foot on the gas until you find Rhyme and Reason.*

*Thanks to Norton Juster for "The Phantom Tollbooth," his invaluable instruction guide for kids (of all ages.)

I am quite limited in my time and energy at the moment, unfortunately-- and one task upon me today is to buy a music stand.
For that quest,I must cross into another world full of small black monoliths, gutted cats, iron threads, polished wood, and brasses reeking of squeaky valve oil. There I will encounter omen, mystery, and clutter. There will be sharp things and blunt objects.

But I have Visa.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 24, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hi Wilbrod! Hope all is well with you and Wilbrodog.

Posted by: slyness | September 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Fight, fight, fight for Washington State.

Ahhh, Tom Tuttle from Tacoma. You will be brainwashed!

You will get nothing from me but my scorn!

"chuckles" You bet.

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd be happy to hop on nudge's bandwagon for an anti-pundit parade if and when he hitches it up to his tractor. Part of what I dislike about the contemporary practice of popular punditry is the fact that the bulls are allowed to roam all over the landscape at will, regardless of whether they have any substantial knowledge of the subject at hand. Attitude becomes a substitute for Aptitude. Not all nations settle for so little.

yellojkt may be on to something with has analysis of the budgetary appeal of pundits. Perhaps it is also another reflection of the pervasiveness of branding in our consumer culture. You know what to expect of well-known pundits; you don't have to actually think about their evidence or argument. You get a quick jolt of emotional reaction, and then it's off to the next pundit for your next fix.

Posted by: j3hess | September 24, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The Colbert clip:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Great photo of the moon rising behind Coit tower in SF. First time in 20 years in this position.

Posted by: bh72 | September 24, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Which would you rather pay for? A foreign office in London/Paris/ Riyadh/Kinshasa, or a weekly appearance fee for Dick Morris and Katrina vanden Heuvel?

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This just in: temp hit an all-time record high of 98 at Wash. National Airport today.

What am I not getting about the Coit Tower photo. The moon is behind the tower every time it comes up, All you have to do is move a couple of degrees, yes? No? Just put the moon, the tower, and the photog in a straight line. Yes? No?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Ooops, never mind. I get it now: directly opposite a setting sun on the vernal equinox. Okay. My bad.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 24, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

If those are the videos I think they are, Scotty, I wept.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 24, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for listing the WP video post. Very interesting. King is and always will be an a$$.

An interesting story this morning no NPR about Chinese factory strikes. Workers are being made to work 30 days in a row. Workers have been committing suicide there. Funny how in China, the workers were quoting Communist leaders from way back when in their strike actions.

Many have also just "up and left" the factories. It seems that the Chinese are having the same problem in their manufacturing that we have here trying to get our crops picked.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 24, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's how it works in Tennessee

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 24, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

A very on-kit post today on Consumerist about a guy who says pennies are "disgusting bacteria-ridden disks of suck that fail to facilitate commerce."

Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree mostly with yellojkt's prescription for coinage refurbishment. Don't forget the ridges help the blind.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 24, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Lose the penny. Lose the single dollar bill. I'm all for it.

It will prevent stupid things like a drive-thru coffee shop I frequent. Their most popular offering (coffee and a bagel), when ordered in the most common form (large coffee), costs $4.02. Most of the time I have the pennies, since I periodically am given 98 cents back when I hand in my fiver.

What are they thinking? They couldn't switch so the most common thing ordered doesn't cost $4.02? $4.00 would be so hard?

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Voting for the BlackBox? I vote for Chardonney!

Posted by: rickoshea11 | September 24, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

It's funny, but when my Zambian bro comes over and stays with me, he always gives me his change. Apparently, the Zambian currency (the kwacha) does not have coin -- only paper. That makes sense, I think.

Nevertheless, he gives me *all* the coins I get from him includes coins from other countries (especially South Africa), and I have to be careful what I use to buy stuff. *oops* *sorry*

That being said, when I lived in Michigan, I used Canadian change interchangeable with US. All the shops were cool with it. In fact, that's usually how I got the Canukistani coinage to begin with.

How many days now, Mudge?

Posted by: ftb3 | September 24, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

What Joel referred to as "serration" and Jumper called "ridges" on the edges of coins is properly called a "reeded edge". Live with a numismatist long enough and you learn my osmosis.

The process was introduced to help prevent counterfeiting from what I understand.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "by" osmosis

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC -- work out the grammar.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 24, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

US paper currency should be reworked. The $1 and $2 should be eliminated, in favor of the dollar coin.

The paper denominations should be all the prime numbers up through 97, followed by the hundred, five hundred and thousand.

Think how much easier the transactions would be?

Something cost $29? Just give a 29 dollar bill.... or a 5 a 7 and a 17. No coins necessary!

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

1. Alternative symbol for WBD: Fleur du flea.

2. What happens if you interrupt the Coit Tower photographer?

Posted by: engelmann | September 24, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Some good news on DADT ruling...

Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Wibrod, so glad your're back!!!! We've missed you, happy to have you back in the fold. Hope you are well, and man's best friend.

My dad laughed a lot when Colbert was on this morning, so I'm assuming he was funny. Couldn't hear it or read it.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 24, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

One of the weird features of life in the US is odd prices (supposedly originated to ensure that retail clerks would use the cash register) and sales tax that has to be calculated separately. Not part of the listed price.

In a place like Japan, prices tend to be in round numbers, inclusive of whatever tax, so you don't get so many one-yen coins, aluminum things that are worth about a cent. Your pocket will have lots of 100-yen coins and a few 500-yen.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 24, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Currency origami is not as popular where the smallest paper denomination is deemed to be too valuable to use in an artistically whimsy manner.

That said, money folders are a relatively small group and ought not to hold too much sway in the debate.

I got my first holiday order today. It involves over 200 separate bills and 22 different shapes. Woo-hoo!

Hi Wilbrods (Gnome & Dog)!

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"Chance favors the boodle.. er... the connected mind."

Where good ideas come from...

Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Totally off topic - I have five moon flowers abloom right now. It's very exciting (to me). The vine has wrapped around one leg of the grill. dmd, do moonflowers eat meat?

TBG, that was interesting. Wilbrod, nice to 'see' you back here.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 24, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG, loved that video. But why do I have a MagicMarker ink headache after watching it? Too many hours making posters in my life, no doubt.

And, Wilbrod and dear companion, lovely to see you again!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

sneaks, I am reminded of Audrey II in "Little Shop of Horrors". Maybe the moon flowers are more interested in the griller than in that which is grilled.

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes Talitha, I thought I heard a faint, "feed me, feed me" coming from the direction of the deck.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 24, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

ftb, it's 32 days, plus throw in 2 or 3 days for FedEx.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 24, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I see "Waiting for Superman" is opening this weekend. Geoffrey Canada is getting some well-deserved publicity.

America needs more Geoffrey Canadas.

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

One of the "Law & Order: CI" episodes on USA today featured Stephen Colbert in a dramatic bad-guy role. Very different from his Congressional appearance this morning.

Posted by: MsJS | September 24, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Rush Quote of the Day

"Smoking pot causes chemically induced Democrats."

Why oh why, did they settle for Colbert?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 24, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Hell, baldinho, America needs more Canadas, period!

Posted by: ftb3 | September 24, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

rnm freudian directive


Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 24, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Then what does devouring pain pills cause, Rush?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

sneaks, I think your "feed me, feed me" was for MsJS, not for me? ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

talitha, I'm going to hazard a quess that the "reeded edge" wasn't directed at counterfeit so much as the practice of shaving bits of metal off the edge of a coin when the metal of a coin had substantial value in itself. You could hold on to a couple of percent of the coin while passing it off at face value.

Posted by: j3hess | September 24, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Or at least more Canadians :)

Posted by: Yoki | September 24, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

You betcha, Yoki! Carry that banner proudly, my dear.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 24, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

It just never ends for the Red Sox this year -- Mike Lowell just took a grounder to the cheekbone on a bad hop. Still in the game, hope he's OK.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 24, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if moonflowers eat meat, but mine is doing a good job devouring the fence, still has lots of flowers thankfully but it will end soon, as I recall from last year one of the first plants to be affected by cooler nights. Glad you have lots of blooms sneaks.

Off to proudly wave my maple leaf.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 24, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Molson Canadians?

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I planted a packet of moonflower seeds in the half barrel and they didn't come up, even though I soaked them! So I planted a second packet and those seeds germinated. While I wasn't looking, the first group also came up, so the number of vines on the post in the barrel is large. They have covered the post and are running on the ground.

They are blooming well, all of them. One day last week, I looked out and wondered what that white thing on the ground was...a used napkin? Nope, a moonflower.

The only problem is that they wilt alarmingly in the sun. I water them daily with water from the rain barrels (which must go dry soon!). When they are in the shade, they perk right back up.

Next year I think I will mingle morning glories with the moonflowers. I'll have to look for enormous morning glories, to match the size of the moonflowers.

Posted by: slyness | September 24, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I am beside myself with grief. Found out this afternoon that a tentative, and I thought flexible, engagement on Oct. 30th is etched in stone. I will be conducting a robotics event in Our Fair City. Not only will I miss the one DC rally I've every really wanted to attend, I won't be able to go to the MN version in St. Paul. I won't even be able to watch it live on TV. I am beside myself with grief (bears repeating).

Welcome home to the boodle Wilbrods!

Boodlers all-please do carry a sign for me on Oct. 30. Something like "Frosti would be here, but she's busy."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey we broke a heat record today, couldn't believe how hot it was when I left the office at lunch, also very windy in the afternoon.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 24, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

It seems everywhere I go today it's on kit...

Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

How to double your attendance at the rally:

enlarge portraits of those unable to attend to lifesize, and attach each to a pole. Voila! More people!

(My niece "took her husband along" on a trip to Fiji in this manner. He said he enjoyed it.)

Posted by: nellie4 | September 24, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

j3hess, I know about that a bit, too. It's called "chipping" by collectors, I think. I need to bone up on my coin vocabulary. I do remember that before the end of the Civil War a U.S. nickel was called a "half-dime" since they were all silver at that time.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 24, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

So I've got the designs, the willpower, and an increasing portion of the funding to start work on a structure that will provide wind- & solar-power, capture water from both natural precipitation and induced condensation, and vertical agriculture. I might catch a few migrating geese as well.

But NOOOoo.... The homeowners' association and the FAA claim that I can't start solving tomorrow's problems today. Short-sighted jerks.

If not my townhouse, where? If not next month, when?

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"bears repeating."

Again with the bears, Frosti? We will carry such a sign for you. Don't worry.

We hit 99°F today here in DC. That's just wrong.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 24, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

How exciting that Joel is writing a book! Because that means a book tour! Any ideas what it's about?

So frenvious of moonflowers and morning glories. I have clematis that is taking over my yard - and on my walk to the bus, there are blackberry bushes that I watch out for.

Nice to see Wilbrod and dog back.

frosti, that's too bad that you can't go to the rally. Many of us will be there in spirit only. Not sure how well Colbert's performance went over in Congress today.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 24, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 24, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

TBG-I hoped someone would catch that.

Has anyone seen a comprehensive list of Sanity Rallies in other locales? I saw today that there will be one in Boise.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Aliens attack! What is your reaction?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 24, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

frosti, we'll bring a stuffed bear in your honor. Sorry to hear you can't be there.

Scotty, Huffpo had a whole series. My favorites were the Gracie one you linked to and this one:

Posted by: -dbG- | September 24, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

frosti, we'll bring a stuffed bear in your honor. Sorry to hear you can't be there.

Scotty, Huffpo had a whole series. My favorites were the Gracie one you linked to and this one:

Posted by: -dbG- | September 24, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, WaPo tech people, I'd be happy to troubleshoot the double post problem with you!

Posted by: -dbG- | September 24, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow. :) night, all.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 24, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the welcomes. I was rear-ended on the way to the music shop.

Hit-and-run by an old lady who acted like it was my fault for being fully stopped at a red light.

Nothing major except whiplash (I had a belt on) and a headache, but I have a prescription for vicodin and instructions on how to know if I'm experiencing delayed symptoms.

Wilbrodog is fine, he lay longwise and it was a low-speed impact. He was very good in the ambulance and in the ER and got some beef and broccoli for dinner too.

I filed a police report, of course. This is just another bit in a long and eventful five weeks.

I am waiting until just before bedtime for my first vicodin pill. After that, anything could happen. But now I have a lovely music stand which no doubt will help me study while I recover from whiplash.
So in all, let's throw the rose petals and declare it a happy ending to a miserable day.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 24, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Geez. Welcome back and sympathies to Wilbrod and Wilbrodog! What a day. Glad you're here to tell us.

Mudge, thanks for the amazing newly discovered Milton original. RD and greenwithenvy, thanks for your musings upon change. I like both yellojkt's and baldinho's currency plans.

Joel, be sure and visit Oklahoma on the book tour. Try Full Circle Books in OKC or go with a BigBoxOBooks. I can guarantee at least a double handful of eager readers.

Because a parking ticket is only about $10 here, and you only get one per parking violation, I play parking roulette. Downtown has coin meters and some mysterious non-coin things. I use the former because I'm a little afraid of the latter, and they would spoil the game. I insert enough coins to buy a plausible chunk of time, then go on my merry way. Sometimes I get a ticket, sometimes I don't. Over the course of a year it evens out. When you add in what I save in parking garage fees I always come out ahead.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 24, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

There was a lawyer in San Francisco (a burg with famously inadequate parking) who was quoted in the newspaper as having done the math and coming to the conclusion that if he got away with illegal parking twice per week (and his average was actually a little over three times per week) he was better off paying the fines than paying for parking.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, the fines were too low, and the legal parking was both grotesquely over-priced (relative to the fines) and in far too short supply.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, didn't have the opportunity (OK memory) to welcome you back before I have to offer sympathy for your accident. Hope you are OK. The prescription for Vicodin makes me think you are a little more injured than you are letting on - or is Vicodin not as strong as I think.

We have a high percentage of older drivers where I live, it can be scary at times.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 24, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

You may have noted that both the blogger and many of the regular commenters are moving apace toward "older driver" status.

Watch out, world, here we come!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Good grief Wilbrod, that's terrible. I echo dmd's thought that you are in more pain than you are letting on - Vicodin is strong stuff. I took some when I broke my arm years ago and remember having to hang on to the sofa to keep from falling off (not really, just the sensation it gave me). Hope you are okay. What is it with people at fault who insist on blaming others? The lady wasn't perhaps a repubican, was she?

Long day, got back from dance lessons a while ago and have painted my nails for the wedding tomorrow, something I used to do all the time but haven't done since #2 got married two years ago. I am waiting a while to be sure they are dry enough not to mark up before going to bed.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 24, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Part of this is because I don't ask for it and don't particularly want it. Part of it is probably because doctor's lawyers just don't like me because they know that I'm not litigious and won't help drive up fees & liability insurance rates. Part of it is because I was a fairly competitive athlete for so long that I always assume that some level of pain is a natural part of life.

But I have never been prescribed any psychoactive painkiller. Oral surgery, broken bones, back pain from my rear-end collision (Aaah, Wilbrod! Who amongst us ever forgets their first rear-ending?), whatever. The strongest thing I've ever been prescribed was double-strength Motrin, back before it was over-the-counter.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I am not in a huge amount of pain right now.

The ER doc told me, though, I was going to be in much more pain in the next few days than I was already as the sprained muscles began to stiffen up. Nonstop.

That's the major reason I filled this prescription immediately and got muscle cream. It'll give me a break from the neck pain and put me to sleep.

I think she was drunk or senile, maybe both.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 24, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

sleep well trusted friend;
dream of car chases of old
ladies brought to heel

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 24, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-voice of recent experience, get ahead of the pain with the Vicodin before it gets ahead of you. At the risk of over-sharing, if you must take more than 2 a day take a laxative too.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 24, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Canadas, an overwhelming work week ended with an evening with Le Vent du Nord. A fair exchange.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 24, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I suppose if I had to choose, I'd take a drunk E.R. doc over a senile E.R. doc. (Although the levels of drunkenness and/or senility would be a factor.)

At any rate I'd prefer one who was laboring under only one of those handicaps, if such a healer was available.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I guess if my only options were E.R. doctors who were both drunk and senile, I'd go with the oldest one, on the general theory that experience is good for something.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's gender stereotyping.
IMO, I suffer from the opposite problem-- I often get painkillers too strong yet unhelpful.

I refuse to take even ibuprofen (Advil) anymore after a doctor overprescribed the maximum dose for too long, instead of prescribing physical therapy that I needed.
Going completely blind for a few seconds terrified the bejesus out of me. My doctor (and others) denied that could be related to ibuprofen, but I checked later, and the literature says otherwise. Rare side effect, rare biochemistry, whatever. It happened, and there's no way on God's sweet earth I'm ever risking that again.

I told the ER doctor that I would not take ibuprofen in any form as I reacted to it. So I guess that's why I was prescibed Vicodin instead.

I'll take loopy over complete blindness, thanks.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 24, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I mean the hit-and run driver was either drunk or senile, silly. Go tease somebody who's not gonna be drugged up in no time.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 24, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I recommend any folks attending the 10/30 rallies with bears try to make it to the Colbert side of the mall.

Are there woods on the mall? The bears will have to, you know, and I hear they prefer woods for that.

Posted by: baldinho | September 24, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

:-) Hey, you made it so easy!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

baldinho - There are some groves of cherry trees nearby.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 24, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

WB and WBD missed you. Sorry for the triple bad blechies.

If you have site pain and do not want to be loopy, ask for lidocaine patches. 60 of them, one each night, and one each day after forcing myself to swim each stroke save butterfly helped me get through the first month of the three broken ribs, two summers ago.

So very sleepy but I must close with these:

somewhere a bear paints his toe claws the perfect shade of cherrytree red, while across the seas, haiku are percolating on the back burner; meanwhile, a Miltonic poem submits itself to evaluation just in time to provoke a smile from a salty old dog who dreams of his rounds in the early morn: take a faulty old gal -- firmly but justly with swagger, panache, and wrought iron wrist irons -- into custody where she will warm a seat in the corner of the pokey.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 25, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else creeped out by the little Elmo waving at you when you go to the Youtube links. First time I saw it was on DNA_girl's link and I did pause for a second and wonder I was going to see. Great link by the way I have never heard of that band.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 25, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Don't you have to spend years developing an immunity to Lidocaine? Taking it all at once didn't work out so well for Vizzini.


Ooops, that's Iocaine. Never mind.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

This is the thing I love most, that Canadians and Americans are different.

I was reminded of this by CP's use of the word 'pokey,' which means, I think, jail.

But did you know that in Canada going on welfare or unemployment insurance is 'taking pogey.' I'm told that pogey is uniquely Canadian. I never really believed it. True or not?

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

As true as Tim Horton's, Yoki. Maybe they say it in Australia, but they sure don't do it here.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Funny, Wilbrod.

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

When I was in the U.S. Air Force and spent a few years in England, I was greatly amused by, and mildly sympathetic for, the Americans who were so very shocked that it was so "different".

Never knew what hit 'em, I guess. Darned furriners, sneaking around under the cover of a supposedly identical language!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Or as Flanders and Swann had it, two countries, separated by a common language.

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

As someone who usually has bad reactions to pain killers, let me sing the praises of Vicodin. I took it for a kidney infection, from which I was in constant pain, and it took the pain away. Instantly, miraculously - did not make me loopy or nauseous. Did not want to take it once the infection was cured. YMMV. Wilbrod, hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 25, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, get better soon!! And may the bluebird of happiness cr@p in that lady's brand-new hairdo!!! :-O

Frosti, I believe Stewart was quite accurate in predicting your dilemma -- you (and most "regular" people) have $h!+ to do. Send us a hi-rez pic and we'll make a lifesize poster! :-)

Sneaks, with Lowell's grounder to the temple and Saltalamacchia's thumb giving out, d'ya think I should hang around Pawtucket the next couple of days? I might be given a uniform and called up to Fenway! :-)

And FWIW, I can understand the basic "times are tough for everyone, so no Federal pay raise" idea, but the current broad-brush tarring of civil servants is really annoying:

*really-looking-foward-to-a-nice-weekend-even-though-I-have-to-keep-the-phone-handy Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 25, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, if hanging around Pawtucket doesn't get you a gig, try Foxboro, the Pats seem to be on the same injury road as the Sox.

Off to a hair appt. then a mad dash home to get prettied-up for the wedding of my best friend's daughter late this afternoon...

Posted by: badsneakers | September 25, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The Canadian nickel lost most of its nickel when the price of the metal went through the roof in the late '90s. It's now an electroless plating, albeit a good one, on a copper-plated steel blank. But what I really miss is the 12-sided nickel.(dodecageflagilisticgram?) That was an easily identified coin.

Nickel is also the Devil's metal. " An impure ore containing niccolite earlier than 1700 caused copper and silver miners in Saxony, Germany, considerable trouble because although it resembled copper in color, it yielded a brittle , unfamiliar product.
They referred to it as “kupfernickel”, after “Old Nick” and his mischievous gnomes, and Cronstedt applied their name to his new element."
The good thing about loonies and toonies is to find enough spare change in your pocket for a half-decent bottle of wine. But it means carrying more schrapnel around. It is a slippery slope too, The Canadian Mint has a plan for a $5 coin that would be introduced as the penny disappear.
Someone was dissing the lowly penny as a germ-infested useless coin. It may be useless but as the last copper-rich coin it has to be the cleanest because copper's a wonderful biocide. Copper and copper alloys are being re-introduced in hospital and lab setting for that reason. Stainless steel is easy to clean but is also a very bio-compatible material.

The heat got to us last night around dinner time. It was cool all day, a very good thing as I could move wheelbarrows of stonedust and patio stones around, but suddenly the air changed into warm soup. Bleech. It's stll warm this morning.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 25, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, sorry you're sore. Whiplash doesn't hurt for a day or two, and then OUCH! (They should give the inventor of the Lidocaine patch whatever the heck he/she wants.)

S'nuke, funny how they don't think of themselves as civil servants. As a show of good faith, maybe they can start with the franking privilege. 535 members sending whatever the heck they want (as long as it doesn't say 'vote for me') in junk mail costs $20 mil a year. (Most franked mail is junk, not responses to constituent letters.) That's just for postage, not for printing, production costs, etc. Drop in the bucket, yes, but if you pay attention to the nickles and dimes, the dollars will take care of themselves.

Off to spend a whole day goofing off with DC. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 25, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy the warm soup while you can Shriek, winds brought the cooler air in last night, not cold but about a 15c drop.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 25, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod -- see if you can get massages for the whiplash. I did that when I was rear-ended almost 11 years ago, and I have no pain whatsoever. I was able to get 3 massages a week for 2 weeks (and wanted them forever ........ sheer nirvana). The first one was, I will admit, excruciating, but by the third one it was much, much better. And I didn't have to take any pain meds, either. You may need a referral prescription from an orthopod, tho.

Yoki -- the Red Wings won last night!

Looks like Boehner may have been dabbling outside the confines of marriage vows. *tsk* *typical Rethuglican*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 25, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

You got your Boners, your Spitzers, your Clintons, your Franks and Beans, your Diddlers, your Dabblers. To quote a famous Clinton, "better be careful what you wish for"!

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, hi Cassandra

There is a cool wind in the high country this morning, harbinger of much less warm air to come tomorrow. We are promised it will come with rain.

Wilbrod, take the medicine! I'm so sorry to hear about the wreck (NOT an accident, dammit, the old lady was being stupid and careless). I hope you and Wilbrodog are okay and that the vehicle isn't damaged beyond repair. An old truck, do I recall? Sturdy and servicable?

I'm glad Geekdottir is going to the rally for sanity, and I know you will take good care of her. She'll have a great time with all of you!

Posted by: slyness | September 25, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

A very gentle hug to Wilbrod this morning. ftb's advice about massages is excellent and worked for me about 20 years ago for whiplash. (We were rear-ended on I-85 in South Carolina and push into stopped traffic ahead of us. It was Thanksgiving weekend and cold, wet road conditions, but the elderly man who hit us was following too closely ... we were pancaked.)

Mudge, saw you over on Milbank re Colbert ... hilarious!
Have fun at the wedding, Sneaks.
A peaceful weekend to all boodlers.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 25, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Every time they cut federal jobs, they increase contractor jobs.

The total sum is the same, but may cost all of us more--and certainly lines some pockets.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 25, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Frostdaddy arrives in Our Fair City today for his annual hunting trip. It's really a walking in the woods with a shotgun trip, but he occasionally gets a few grouse and then we feast.

Went to check out the Milbank comments and see that most just don't get Colbert, or perhaps irony in general.

Off to do winter prep chores. High of 60 today and we're supposed to see the sun!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The oxymoronic 'overpaid bureaucrat' trial balloon is being floated as this year's 'welfare queen/flag burning/furlough release killer' red meat phony issue. The WaPo article hints at, but doesn't quite connect the dots on, the employeee/contractor dynamic. The gummint spends a decade outsourcing all the low-paid non-essential gruntwork jobs (food prep, custodial service, copy editing) and then conservatives attack the remaining workforce for having payroll costs higher than the general public. Doublethink much?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

None of that opiate stuff works on me, (unless I'm a burn victim, which I once was) so I'm probably lucky in a sense. For aches, sprains, etc., I take aspirin for pain, which has many benefits. Makes swelling and inflammation less. I ask people who don't take aspirin, "Does it bother your stomach?" and most of the time they give me a blank look. They don't even know, they've been hypnotized or trained to take the various substitutes. Some DO know their stomachs don't like it. I suggest buffered aspirin, then.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

As the lowest of the low civil servants, a temporary worker on an intermittent work schedule with no benefits, not even sick leave or holiday pay, the claims about overpaid federal workers would be funny if not so sad. I'll be the first out the door if funding goes back to 2008 levels, I bet. Oh, and then I can collect unemployment again - not much net savings there for the taxpayers.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 25, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

My limited knowledge of government employees taints my opinion.

It seems to me the most overpaid and least effective government employees are the ones that are set up as pet projects of either party.

Examples: special advisors to the pentagon or special advisors to the education department.

They are special advisors because they are not permanent.... they are brought in by one party to "help". They also are "special", so they collect relatively high salaries because the argument is that "these are experts in their field and have to be paid highly to attract them from the private world".

The vast majority of government employees are not the high payed specialists that I mention above. They are just good folks who work and do a good job.... and are paid higher than the equivalent private employee who gets no benefits, etc.

I get a kick out of anti-government rhetoric folks. Their argument is often "my job isn't as good as that.... we should make everyone as miserable as me!".

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Close, baldinho, but I think the argument is more along the lines that "Government workers don't deserve decent pay, benefits, or working conditions because they don't do real work like *I* do."

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for that comment, baldinho! I get tired of people who denigrate public employees without any clue about what they do, or why. Exactly what function do they want to give up?

Yes, I get a defined pension benefit, and I paid for it, paycheck after paycheck. My employer only put it what was necessary to keep the system actuarially sound, which was precious little for many, many years and still isn't much.

Posted by: slyness | September 25, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a civil engineer. As a result, I have always worked for the government. Sometimes it was directly (for a state DOT). Sometimes it was directly/indirectly (for a defense contractor that only made government-purchased weapons). Sometimes it was indirectly (for a consulting engineering firm where 95% of my clients were federal, state, or local entities).

You know what? At all three the workers were the same. The personnel decisions were equally silly. At all three situations I had coworkers that were excellent... and coworkers that were incompetent. The incompetents managed to stay employed at all three!

I like to think that I have real-world experience regarding the "differences" between the public and private sector. I don't think there are that many.

There is one consistent overriding similarity. The public employees at the top NEVER come close to making the money that the private employees at the top do. It probably has something to do with the government being generally a non-profit. In that situation, the employees are paid on a much much flatter scale.

Not so in the private world. There the managment and high-level officials become millionaires for doing the exact same thing that public officials get paid 1/10 of the money to do.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr. F is a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for which Sec. Gates made a preemptive move to cut 150 positions in DoD. I don't know if there are 150 dead weight SES folks, but I admire Sec. Gates for making the move so that the cuts can be made deliberatively. I presume they will start before members of congress can start making moves to protect worthless positions, even if the persons in them are wonderful, or protect worthless persons occupying worthwhile positions (rarer than the "public" seems to think).

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

baldinho | September 25, 2010 2:11 PM

So your complete set of [have always worked for the government] conclusions are based upon baldinho | September 25, 2010 1:11 PM | .... limited knowledge of government employees? Sound more than tainted to US....but who are WE (see Milbank), just the $800,000,000,000,000 in the hole, Elephant in the Kit.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Comparing Fed and Private salaries is tricky for several reasons. First of all, as has been pointed out, most of the lower paying positions are contracted out. This is because they tend to be the most fungible and hence the most appropriate for competitive bidding. This, obviously, skews the average for the Feds up.

And yet, at the same time, salaries for the highest levels of government are grossly less than what one could probably make as a contractor.

Finally, of course, the whole notion of market value for federal jobs is poorly defines. Feds do work that is dictated as being important by Congress. This is different from private industry where the criterion for salary is linked to the cost/benefit ratio to the firm's profitability.

Which isn't, of course, to claim that the Feds are lacking in dead wood. Goodness knows there is no shortage of disgruntled unmotivated Feds. And a lot of this is driven by demographics. The upper levels of the federal service are clogged with older Boomers. This is creating a terrible bottleneck for younger workers who should be moving up, but can't because of mandated limits on the number of senior positions. There are a lot of workers just making time until somebody above them either retires or dies.

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

Truly, we live in interesting times. Federal judges are now submitting story lines for pornographic movies...
"Judge orders military to reinstate gay nurse"

Nurses? Lesbians? Be still, my beating heart.

The military policy on homosexuals is ludicrous. When I was serving in the 1980's a fair number of folks on base were widely known to be gay, including a senior master sergeant who served as a squadron first sergeant. Long before it was official policy, "don't ask, don't tell" was the effective policy throughout much of the military. But I'll note that Major Witt may not be the most sympathetic of victims of this policy. Her homosexuality apparently came to the attention of the Air Force when the husband of the married woman with whom she was having an affair brought it to their attention. Adultery, like homosexuality, is a punishable offense under the UCMJ. Reduction in rank is a more common punishment than discharge, but it's certainly a steady source of work for base legal staff.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

RNm, as bad as it is, we haven't dug an 800-trillion dollar hole yet.

Patience, my friend.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

$800,000,000,000,000,000. Imagine that.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Richnomore, I am interested to know when you were rich and what happened to make you not rich. It's bound to be a fascinating story.

Posted by: slyness | September 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm just waiting for my time machine. There's a sweet little investment back around 1602 I've been keeping an eye on.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Ben Quayle, yes, son of THAT Quayle, had to withdraw a very patronizing campaign commercial because in his tirade on our of control government spending he got the federal budget confused with the gross domestic product. He was only off by 9 trillion dollars.

All part of the War On Arithmetic.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Need boodle assistance-please recommend a restaurant within walking distance of the Dupont Circle metro, appropriate for a quiet dinner for 2 on a Sat. evening. Need not be stereotypically romantic.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

One thing about private sector and ingenuity. If there is someone in private industry that can invent a drug I can take to be able to make sense of the post below, that person will make a fortune.

baldinho | September 25, 2010 2:11 PM

So your complete set of [have always worked for the government] conclusions are based upon baldinho | September 25, 2010 1:11 PM | .... limited knowledge of government employees? Sound more than tainted to US....but who are WE (see Milbank), just the $800,000,000,000,000 in the hole, Elephant in the Kit.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

A big fortune.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

frosti, how about Raku, Paradiso Pizza, Bistro du Coin, Obilisk or Pesce?

Posted by: Yoki | September 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Silly, sweet baldinho...

You're not a fan of abstract art, obviously.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd be curious to hear the opinions on government waste from others in the group that have actual experience showing salaries and relative productivity, etc for work done FOR the government and BY the government.

I'd be less interested in the opinions of others in the group that have no experience whatsoever or provide no actual backup for their arguments. I am not saying their opinions are less valuable or less worthy. I am just saying their opinions would be less valuable and less worthy to ME.

That probably goes without saying, huh?

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Take a deep breath, count to ten backwards, register to vote, check your conscience, re-register to vote.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

First choice: Bistro du Coin on Connecticut and 19th. Kramerbooks is good for the inside a bookstore atmosphere. The Greek food at Zorba's Cafe is also very good but it's not very romantic.

My goal in life is to eat at every restaurant on Connecticut. I'm way behind.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Not all opinions are arguments, but all arguments are driven by opinion. How about 7 years final testing of components for Stealth (Lockeed Skunk-Works), F-15, (MDD), 747, Tankers, Twin-Whirlee's (Boeing), Armoured Whirlee's (Sikorsky), etc. Maybe just making it up, but trust or verify.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, forgot to mention final QA for adhesive fasteners shipped to Bombardier (Electric Rail-Cars), Euro-Boeing (A-***), Euro-Fighter Project.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

No Charge.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 25, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Guess I'll avoid 747's from now on.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 25, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, my only time as a public employee was as a low-level slob in the U.S. Air Force (1980-1992). After a few years I got paid OK, but was in no danger of becoming financially plush. It would have been quite a stretch to buy a house and/or raise a family strictly on what I was making, even after twelve years of service.

It's difficult to measure my productivity. I helped keep the bombers & tankers flying, and the Huns never breached the gates. I learned a heck of a lot, not just about my specialty but most of the jobs that intersected mine, and passed that knowledge on to as many newbies as were willing to listen. There were plenty of occasions when I worked shifts of twelve, sixteen, or even twenty-four hours without too much complaining and no overtime pay. On the whole, I think most disinterested observers would say that I was a good bargain, productivity-wise.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I think I saw a recipe for Raku Paradiso du Coin Obilisk au Pesce just the other week on the Food Network.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, read the contraindications on your bottle of aspirin sometime. Not everybody can take it.

I am currently assigned to read "a book of surrealist games." There's a section on automatic writing-- free association writing, and another on simulation-- that is, automatic writing while assuming a state of mind not one's own... mental debility or perhaps even being high on vicodin.

Let's just say that last night made for interesting homework.... I never thought about the spiritual significance of gazpacho before.

I am ready to crawl back to bed pretty soon. If that's from the one vicodin tablet I took last night, I really don't metabolize it well just like I don't so many other drugs.

I'll only take half a tablet before bedtime after this.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

RNM: so you were as much a government employee as I was when I was building nuclear submarines and designing bridges.

Was not the government the ultimate entity that paid you back then? Sure, your employer may have been a private corporation (Lockheed), but it was doing government work, no?

Do you feel the government money that paid your salary when on government contracts was well spent?

Do you feel that were your efforts made for a private entity you would have been forced to work more efficiently?

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-hope you recover swiftly and don't need meds at all.
Vicodin helps me sleep, until it doesn't. That's when I know the pain is gone enough to quit. That one night when I can't sleep is a real pain of its own though. Not that I take it that often, but with broken bones, dislocations and the odd surgery I've been glad to have it. Recently discovered that general anesthesia makes my tears sting like tear gas for a couple weeks. Takes the fun out of weepy movies for a while

Thanks for the dining recommendations. A tour of online menus has me drooling.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

FYI, it's not too early to Preorder:

(Hi, Seasea!)

And hi, everybody else, too...

It's also not too soon to make reservations for the 2010 Miami Book Fair. November 19-21. Seasea, any chance? Frosti, did you get my email? TBG, are you considering it? Anybody else? I have a friend from Oklahoma who is trying to get here for it and a south Florida friend who expressed interest last year. With all these possibles, I'm looking forward to seeing how it shapes up. With so much competition for people's time, I won't be surprised if I'm soloing again but any companionship from the boodle or elsewhere is welcomed, and I can guarantee that I know my way around that Book Fair like nobody's business--you won't get lost and you won't miss anything important.

The authors will be announced in the next few weeks.

Any interested parties can email me at kbertocci ... h0tmai1...

Posted by: kbertocci | September 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - Your observation, while valid, entirely avoids Jumper's point. Many, many folks don't consider aspirin, just because it's old-fashioned.

Tap water is similarly avoided, much to the dismay of dental health observers who are concerned that a generation or two of children is bypassing the benefits of fluoridation.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

kb-I finally replied to your e-mail just today. A thousand pardons for being so tardy.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I forgot my several years working for the Air Force Enlisted/Officer Club system as a bartender & bar manager.

I definitely worked my butt off, for much less than my civilian counterparts in similar operations. Not even close.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Bob -S-, that reminds me. I have to find the link to the rant about bottled water.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not responsible for all the idiots in the world, Bob S.

I just think some people may be uncomfortable telling others they can't take aspirin, period.

Bleeding ulcers aren't going to be resolved by buffering aspirin because the aspirin itself triggers changes to the stomach lining through the same mechanisms it helps kill pain.

Hence my suggestion to Jumper he read the contradindications on his bottle more carefully. Everybody should at all times anyway.

There's a reason why they require druggists to have degrees in pharmacology, and why you have the option to speak to the pharmacist everytime you fill a prescription. Doctors don't always know or care what a given drug may do in combination with other drugs or diseases.

It is estimated that drug-related side effects kill over 200,000 people a year.. and I mean legal prescription drugs and OTC medications, not street drugs.

Last night when I was trying to find a muscle cream that didn't have aspirin in it, I just asked the druggist if I should take this cream anyway as it was topical.

He found another cream that didn't have aspirin in it for me, so I didn't have to worry about taking a NSAID that was already contraindicted for me while I was already taking another NSAID.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

My nieces had to take fluoride supplements because the Pinellas County water system believed the Birchers.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 25, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

kb, aahhhh - and there's a link to Shroder's book too:

Probably no book fair in the works for me this year. I'll either still be working as a Fed with no leave, or I'll be looking for a job...Maybe next year! I highly recommend the Miami Book Fair - great experience, especially in the company of kb.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 25, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I know I have subjected the boodle to this before, but here it is again.

The root cause of government waste is that the Government is not a for-profit organization. Therefore, unlike corporations who can assess efforts based upon their fiduciary bottom line, the Government must rely upon the general guidelines provided by the Constitution. This has three major implications.

First, it is impossible to quantify how much money is needed to fulfill a given constitutional requirement. For example, it is pretty much impossible to quantify the needed number of nuclear powered aircraft carriers to provide for the common defense. Nor is it easy to determine just how many subsidies are needed to promote the general welfare.

Instead we rely on the subjective perceptions of congressmen. Which is why whenever congressmen describe "wasteful programs" what they really mean is programs intended to support goals that aren't important to them.

Second, once money has been allocated to a government agency for a specific purpose, it is expected that the agency will spend all of that money to fulfill the goals for which it was intended. There is no motivation for these agencies to spend less than what is allocated. Indeed, underspending is viewed as an indication that an agency is failing to fulfill its mission.

Third, because the requirements are so open ended and amorphous, it is easy for government employees to act slowly. The problems that government deal with are often chronic ones, and so a sense of urgency is hard to maintain. Further, realize that one of the only ways a government employee can be fired is by breaking the law. This means that employees who value their jobs will be very careful to follow each and every government regulation, even if it takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.

So until we come up with a quantifiable metric for the success of government actions besides how much money was spent on the problem, we are sure to end up with lots of waste. It's just nobody can agree what that waste is.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 25, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

So, Wilbrod, it seems reasonable to switch from avoiding Jumper's point to avoiding mine, eh?

You're a charmer!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I do love book fairs, but (alas) my bad back and persnickety knee do not allow me to take part, which is the same reason why I will be unable to be down on the Mall for the Stewart/Colbert rallies. *sigh*

Ended up doing tons of errands today, including a couple more than I had originally planned. Started reading the paper this afternoon on the sofa while watching television, and *whaddya know?* dropped completely unconscious for a couple of hours. Still groggy, but *that* were certainly a good nap! I wonder if I have the energy to make some dinner ......

It has occurred to me that if gummint were made smaller, so that outside private companies end up doing all the work, does that mean my tax money *still* has to pay for it? And it will be a greater amount? Will someone please tell me how that lowers costs to ........ US??????

Just askin'.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 25, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Bob, Margaret Witt seems like a sympathetic figure to me.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 25, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wilbrod. I was using mention of these medications more to observe a phenomenon I've seen in others. I know you just enough to know that you do know what's what. I'm probably lucky I never got Reye's

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 25, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I know it takes me a while to get around to seeing movies but watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall on TV now I see that the yoga studio is in the venue where a colleague got married on Oahu. Cool.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Witt's OK in my book. (So is Wilbrod!) And the policy is stupid and counterproductive.

But I can imagine that some hay will be made of the fact that her adulterous relationship might not be in the finest officer tradition.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Come on, you can make your own points alone without my help, Bob-S.
You've been fully point-trained long before I was even born, I'm sure.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

A thorough review of military regs regarding relations between consenting adults, not in each other's chain of command, is in order. Sex between unmarried persons is verboten. If UCMJ action was aggressively pursued for this the army wouldn't graduate a single unmarried pilot out of most flight school classes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 25, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Definitely true, frosti. And I'm not sure that a little sodomy between consenting adults is such an awful thing, either.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Okey-dokey, and speaking of books ...

I just got my pre-ordered copy of
EARTH the book: A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race,
the new one from Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers. It's what the term "total hoot" was invented for and is perfect for lifting my spirits. Boodlers will love it.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 25, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Enforced celibacy of single soliders, while no doubt excellent for engendering fury towards the foe, certainly doesn't seem to be an useful recruiting or retainment tool, Frostbitten.

Who would have to be in charge of this review, incidentally?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Ftb, Mr A, my husband, has pretty much the same mobility problems caused by back and, in his case, hip. After years of abstaining from visits to museums, book fairs, exhibitions or anything that requires standing, he finally decided to purchase a walker with rollers and a built in seat. Now he not only walks more with his walker, which turned out to be beneficial in many regards, but also enjoys all the above places and occasions because he can sit down and rest whenever he feels like it and wherever he is. The contraption folds up and fits easily into the trunk of the car.

The hurdle for him was psychological because it is really hard to admit needing a walking aid beyond a cane. But once that was dealt with, a long missed world reopened.

Posted by: gmbka | September 25, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Congressional Republicans, no doubt.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

gmbka - That's nice to hear! I hope I'll remember that if/when confronted with similar issues.

Of course, I'm considering it now. I get kinda tuckered out occasionally, and a mobile seat would be handy.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 25, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

My grandma would have said "sit on your thumb and let your feet hang."

The strange part is that she apparently said this long before she got Alzheimer's.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeesh, NukeSpouse and I take a little time to enjoy some deep-fried, kettle-corn, harness-racing county fair goodness, and I come back to sex and drugs...

Where's the rock-n-roll??? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 25, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

RDP: I don't have any major problems/disagreements with anything in your 6:26.

I'd add regarding contractors working for the government: they know how much the government has budgeted for their services. They don't have much incentive to spend less, depending on the contract. Most I have dealt with are cost plus fixed fee.

My guess is the only way to shrink government spending is to stop government from doing things it currently does. Seems the typical GOP argument would say "Yess! we agree!".

The devil is in what to cut.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Waiting for the roadies to set up, S'nuke.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 25, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Good honest fun at the fair, Scotty?

I may have set a first today.

First person in history to go to an antique tractor pull in the morning and eat curried Punjabi goat for dinner the same evening.

Surprisingly, the bumper stickers I saw on the vehicles at the tractor pull were not very supportive of our current President.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I love harness racing - takes me back to my childhood. I can still smell the cigar smoke in the grandstand (cough, cough).

I've been struggling with a noisy, recalcitrant computer mouse for quite some time. Tried cleaning, no change. I finally figured out today that it was the little circly thing that holds the mouse ball (heh heh) which was not aligned correctly. Fixed that, and it moves smoothly and quietly! Cannot believe I didn't take care of this months ago.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 25, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you baldinho. And I agree that reducing what is done is the only real way.

As for contracts. Wow. That's a whole 'nother problem. I've worked with CPFF as well as Level of Effort contracts and both have their benefits and hassles. Ideally, of course, a good COTR and/or CO is supposed to make sure that the acquisition sequence goes requirements, bid, funding. But you are absolutely right, far too often it goes money, requirements, bid. Or, as I like to say, the work expands to meet the money...

Next up. Writing a good Statement of Work..

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

RD: in my field I think the Statement of Work equivalent is called the Work Scope. Learn to write a good one and you go places.

We often act as the middle man between the contractor that does the work and the client... a town or state that pays.

As a result, we write the contract (the clients approve) and we administer the project if the client is a small town (inspection/certification, etc).

You write a scope that ill-defines what must be done and boy are you in trouble.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

ftb: cutting government would only save money if the thing government was doing is no longer done.

Shifting from full-time government employees to private contractors would not likely cut spending... it would just make the government more nimble in theory.

Without a full-time staff they could opt to cut spending from year to year or at least bounce it up and down. Cutting spending would not result in government employees twiddling their thumbs... it would result in private contractors twiddling their thumbs while NOT being paid.

Face it. The federal government does a lot of stuff. You could cut some of it for sure... but most of what you cut would just be downshifted to the states and would get done anyway. We would spend the same and in theory pay the same.

If you really want to look big picture... if the government cut a lot of health care spending, we would still end up spending the money. You think we'd now let granny die? Nope. We would pay the money... just not through taxes.

The tricky thing is convincing people that what we need to do is stop spending money that we don't have.... period. To me, that is more important. The things we buy need to be paid for in real-time, not put on a credit card.

If that means we have to pay higher taxes, fine. The other option is to stop doing stuff we are now accustomed to do.

Posted by: baldinho | September 25, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

rock 'n roll.

Posted by: -jack- | September 25, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

rory gallagher

Posted by: -jack- | September 25, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

red house

Posted by: -jack- | September 25, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -jack- | September 25, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

As I like to say at work, half of doing anything is knowing what *not* to do.

And sometimes that's the hardest part.

As much as I've heard Government work described as a system of unchecked scope creep, I don't buy it at all (and no, I don't think I pay for it with my taxes, either).

As has been pointed out previously, the Government and Govt agencies do things that no private industry or corporation could or would do -- sometimes things go somewhat far afield, but sometimes what Government agencies and workers achieve is immeasurably valuable.

And many times, I don't even know about it.
And that's OK.


Posted by: -bc- | September 25, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

check this out, bc. i'd bet the farm that you could build a doozy.
iirc, the derivation of this bit of the vernacular was the nickname of the veritable Dusenberg. when i get big, a boattail will find a place in the carriage house.

error probably knew of this. i think i hear the angels singing.

Posted by: -jack- | September 26, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

just for gp's. i had no idea that the specials covered tunes by guy lombardo and his royal canadians.

Posted by: -jack- | September 26, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: -jack- | September 26, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: -jack- | September 26, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

I don’t have any impression of the nickel. I have no recollection of that coin. I can recall how a dime looks like, and how a penny looks like, but not a nickel. I had to google for the image. After looking at the picture, I still have no impression of that coin. It took awhile before it came to me. It’s that coin that is bigger than the 10 cents but smaller than the 25!

The 5 cents coin here is considerably smaller and much thinner than the 10 cents coin. The one cents coin is bigger than the 5 but smaller than the 10. We have no quarters but we have 20 cents coins.

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 26, 2010 3:43 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Just read the article on the front page about Bishop Long and his problems. Sad, so very sad, not only because it gives religion a bad name, but it hurts, and hurts deeply. I've often said the Baptist church has become a good ole boys club, and that's not good. I'm not saying that only women should have leadership positions in the church, I'm saying it should be more even-handed, and it's a far cry from that now. The men have taken a hard line on this idea, and it's not fair and invites trouble.

I don't know what we can do to insure that things like this don't happen again. I'm doing what I usually do on Sunday morning, and that's getting dressed, going to Sunday school and attending morning service. I'm praying, trusting in God and Christ, and holding fast to what I believe.

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

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 26, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of The Specials:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Yeah Cassandra, the Catholic Church doesn't have the exclusivity on jerks as pastors.

You know you have a busy weekend when it's a quarter to eight in the morning and the boeuf-carottes just hit the oven...

This is the house of the sleeping Cinderellas, it looks like I will have the sole company of the Very Large Couch Potato to watch the Singapore GP. Can't blame them, it's dark and rainy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 26, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Gone to the dogs.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 26, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra!!! *HUGSSSSS* :-)

Even though yesterday was great, this soggy Sunday is the pits... *SIGHHH*

*hoping-today's-football-festivities-will-help Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

No rain in the forecast here, so we'll be off picking apples and later baking at least one pie.

That will be mixed with watching football and keeping an eye in the vicinity of Dover.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

All the way to Dover, baldinho? That's a long optic nerve ya got there... (a good joke even in a N.H. context) :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the unseen third eye can travel all the way to Delaware without problem.

I may "watch" the sports on line. The elections near, so watching TV gets annoying.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

*making proper laudatory motions to Dr. Stephen "baldinho" Strange* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Rain here, the first significant amount in five weeks. The forecast says we may have a month's worth in 36 hours. I'm okay with that.

Yes, Cassandra, a real shame about that church case. I hope the notion that male domination in church is normal will soon go the same route as the idea that slavery was normal.

I guess my church is a little ahead of the curve; we've had female ministers for over 25 years and ordained women as deacons for 35. And, ahem, *I* have been appointed chairwoman of the team to find a new pastor. The responsibility is daunting.

Posted by: slyness | September 26, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Jack, building a spindizzy sounds like fun. I've seen many in top-end garages as ornamental scale models, but not in action. Good old EF didn't have one either, but he did have a nice collection of F1 and sports car scales, and a nice Scalectric set that I still have (courtesy of his Mom).

Speaking of the Man, hard to believe it's been 3 years this past week since he left us for The Great Open Road and a good seat at the Tiki Bar.

S_d, I'm recording the GP for later (as EF hizownself used to do), and baldinho, I may be keeping an eye on that Monster Mile, too (though it looks like most teams in the Chase are going to shoot themselves in their feet and just leave Johnson/Knaus the chance to take the Cup in a waltz).

Now, off to make some breakfast for the kids, and then watch some NFL football later this rainy day.

And laundry somwhere in the middle.


Posted by: -bc- | September 26, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Water...from the sky!!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 26, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Football? When William Gibson is at Politics and Prose?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Part of the fun of OK Go videos is figuring out if and where there are any video cuts.

Here is a staring contest:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

PJ and TBG need to make their picks.

Nine question heds above the fold, including one on Lady Gaga's leadership skills. I wish to god I was making that up. Tomorrow: Heart or lungs? What's your favorite thoracic cavity major organ? Also: Socks? Not just for your feet anymore? and Is global thermonuclear war bad for house pets?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I've seen & met Mr. Gibson at P & P some time back, yellojkt. Didn't know he was there today. Enjoy. Oh, if you boost fast, maybe you can catch Jules Feiffer, too.

If you're going, where are you eating on Conn. Ave this time?


Posted by: -bc- | September 26, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... nice, cool, rainy day. Love it. After 99 degrees this week, it's such a relief to think that fall may actually be here to stay.

Daughter went to Virgin FreeFest yesterday at Merriweather Post Pavilion and saw, among many bands, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Daughter said she was amazing... opened with "Bad Reputation" and won the crowd immediately. Just solidifies the idea that 52 is the new 22. (Ha!)

Question for bc... was Joan Jett in high school with you, or did she graduate before you got there?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Totally off-kit, but with "bear" and "zucchini" in the same story, how can one resist...

Posted by: northbank | September 26, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Hi northbank... Yes! A story made for the boodle! And did you see the SIZE of that zucchini? No wonder it worked!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Forget Lady Gag-Gah,
Chrissy Amipure is the news standard on Sunday Morning A-B-C:

Did RMN really REFUSE to wear make-up? Y'all better get that part of the story straight, else WE might think you are part of that incredible shrinking Wright Wing Conspiracy that Nixon was the Crook threatening the downfall of the societies of the world and the Kennedy's would be the saviours. WE thank her for reminding US, if WE just went back to the policies of JFK, the Sub-Prime Morgue the Jack*sses in ACLU-Land and Frank 'n Beans in every Condo has bulldozed 50% of OUR Prosperity Generator into, OUR economy would be roaring back RIGHT NOW! Will she be remembered as Christine, a sycofant with a Jack*ss Tail taped to her forehead or a pretty lady with a love of Elephants who just want the best for you, me, US, and all people? WE will settle for 50% of ABMSNBDNCNNBS. Which side of the sewer will she stand in? SNEWSWEEK went for 8 Bits. Will her resume read: she went down with the stinking ship (USS Bush-Obama) as a 2 Bit sock-puppet of the The Apostate Government-Media Complex, or did she rise up with Restoration's tide of Excellence in the Good Old US of A?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

slyness: when I was growing up, our small-town baptist church was run ably by a woman. She would go to Africa on a mission every summer, and the duties to run the services fell on the rest of the congregation and the deacons.

My father had a few turns in the pulpit, as did 3 or 4 others. It was a very popular characteristic of the church. It was a very grounded flock.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hello indeed, not-off-kit-in-the-slightest northbank! *Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 26, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

BC -- I first read this as Mr.GEE,of TEEBEEGEE.

Do my laundry too; I will remove the sturdymodestunmentionables.

LOVE the rain so much as do my purring planties.

Do not forget the 15/week eats challenge. My modification is this, frosti: will buy 50 bucks worth of groceries at ALDI, with the ten substituting for things in the house, of the rice, flour, spices, condiments, etc. This week is gruesome for me workwise, so I cannot be parsing/pricing sugar.

I will begin, though with a donated ingredient crockpot of Ratatatatooey.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 26, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, you might find it interesting that Bailey, my neighbor, has been a volunteer for Frank Deaton for a while, now.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Looks like rain in 5 minutes. 'Bout time.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

baldhino... that's what church should be. She's off walking the walk, and the community is running the show.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Maybe WE should have written: WE want a return of OUR country to Good Old Place status in the World.

Collectivism is it's own punishment.

The Civil
Daughter and Son of
Sons and Daughters of
The Daughters and Sons of
The Patriots and Founders of the
United States of a Glorious Free America

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, parking meters running on time is a good start!

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Arthur: All my life I've had this strange feeling that there's something big and sinister going on in the world.
Slartibartfast: No, that's perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe gets that.

My new motto. What would Slartibartfast do?

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Re $15/week challenge rules:
Oct 3 start date and if I use staples already in the house, I can pro-rate the cost, and the rest of the stuff goes on the tab as is. That's pretty much it, right? Oh and post recipes and running tab.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, I was just talking with Son of G on the phone and he stopped mid-sentence and said happily, "Oh my God! I think it's raining outside! We haven't had rain in forever! I've got to go outside... bye!"

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

With apologies to my arteries and waistline, today's lunch will be brats, sauerkraut and German potato salad at the local Catholic church's Oktoberfest carnival.

I'm forgoing the rides, but if any of you want to experience the thrill of being suspended upside-down the carnival runs until 5pm central time.

ftb, I see that the Red Wings and Blackhawks split a home-and-home series to open up the pre-season NHL festivities. Dunno if the Blackhawks can repeat; a lot of key players got traded.

Anyone taking Da Bears to win Monday night?

Posted by: MsJS | September 26, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Happy that all who wanted it are getting rain. I think our turn is tomorrow.

The wedding last night was lovely. The food, especially the appetizers, was superb - steak tartar with rosemary served on forks, duck with coconut rice on fried wonton, raw bar (oysters!), tiny pizzas with bacon and gorgonzola, I forget what else. The weather was perfect and the bride was beautiful. I saw two or three people I hadn't seen in 15 or 20 years, which was great fun. I am almost crippled today tho' from standing on the grass for 1 1/2 hours during cocktail 'hour' in high heels. I will be barefoot all day today for sure.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 26, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, sweet advice for undergrads from grad students:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 26, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Got back from an IKEA run a bit ago (sorry, CqP, no time to loll) with a friend to stock up on Swedish delights (a lotta tubes of Kalles Kaviar -- ohhhh, how I've missed that!).

It was spitting rain, and there was a major accident on the outer loop of the Beltway that slowed down traffic on that side appreciably. We thought it might be better on our way back, but, well, nooooooooo. So we peeled off onto Colesville Rd., headed down into Silver Spring (which I hardly ever get to nowadays -- what a change!) to East-West Hwy., and it was smooth sailing home from there.

Gloomy days like this make for good motivation to do things indoors -- well, maybe for someone in the world. Not entirely sure of my gumption level today, actually. We'll see. Or not. You know how it goes.

Nice to have it chillier out, tho.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 26, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If there are three of us in the household, is it a $45 challenge?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

RNM, you and RMN have quite a lot in common: you're both glasshats. Also, you're both brain-dead, and he has a much better excusse for flat-lining than you do.

Oh, and it's not YOUR country. I can see your poor mother taught you anything about sharing. Yes, poor thing, whether you like it or not, you got to share it with all those people you despise: blacks, hispanics, all sortsd of Asians, liberals, moderates, etc. In short, the 80 percent of the country who aren't glasshats.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Feiffer was here. Pics on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

yello-I like the OK Go Business Meeting
I should thank you for your long ago posting of the OK Go treadmill video link. I've run many miles to their tunes since then. Thank you.

Good morning boodle. Gorgeous day Chez Frostbitten, and well earned. I've bailed the fishing boat twice in two weeks. It was full to the point where it would have been submerged had I not dragged it up on shore before the rain started. Should have just removed the motor and taken it out of the water, but today it comes out for the season.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Not so fast Curmud..... Just whom do you think are the despisers, again? Everybody who does not despise in your particular style and tone?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Nothin' personal, you understand.

but not Legend to you

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I still read Jerry Pournelle's awesomely frumpy conservative blog. I don't despise him nor his fans. I disagree with almost everything they are on about.

It's dribbling, brain-dead loathsome crypto-anarcho-ignorati who refuse to make any sense whatever that I despise.

"Directly from my heart to you":

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

DNAgirl-re $15 challenge rules, you summarize correctly.

TBG-yes $45 per week. I think you'll find that easier than feeding a single for $15, but it will be interesting to see if that's true.

CqP-thanks for posting the alert!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

... and BTW, Asians in Oakland, Caleefornea are OUR heroes and examples of sharing and protecting the Republic, when the Liberators in the BPP, tried to burn down their stores, houses, and lives, along with the rest of the East Bay, they shared their .357's and their ammo with every sheet-head who showed up for the redistribution. Oh WE know, the "White-Wing" Poleece caused the whole thing, see that's why America does not share in your (you people's) Legends from the Past.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

For inspiration I submit the food pron blog that got me started last fall.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

....seems to US y'all need to ask for a re-invention of your despiser gene, WE all could learn from that process.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, there's no question you and I are both despisers, RNM. The difference is you just hate waaaaaay more people than I do, and for waaaaaaaay different reasons.

I got no problems with gays, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, foreigners in general, non-militant muslims, al political moderates, about 90% of the left/libers, and about half the GOP/conservs (may not like many of them, politically, but may like them as people, and even the ones I don't like I don't despise.) So by my count I only despise maybe between 5 and 10 percent of the country. Also by my count, you probably despise well over half. (I'm guessing you despise the 53% who voted for Obama, and that's a majority right there.)

Feel free to argue the numbers. But you're still a glasshat.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the young lady currently known as Joan Jett preceded me in that institution by a few years (I remember her with her given name).

She didn't go there long before she left for LA (Ranaway, one could say) seeking fame and fortune. I think I remember her from some parties up the street in the 'hood, but that was a long time ago.

Wanted to go the 'fest myself, but it wasn't to be.


Posted by: -bc- | September 26, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Decided to go for the poblanos with pecans and cream sauce. My propane torch is getting low (to remove the skins) and I have no gas stove. Think I'll try hot oil.
This got me thinking of it:
I'll be changing it quite a bit, though, and leaving out the pomegranate and dried apricots, for example, and starting with some Italian sausage instead of chorizo. I'll have to add some dried New Mexico chilies to the mix. Hmm. I see the same author made her own chorizo once:

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

This guy Hillis on the Browns sooo reminds me of John Riggins.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Won't be joining the $15 crowd, but I will go vegetarian for the week in support.

Baldinho, I suspect if the government went out of the healthcare business even more grannies would die than now. There're only so many families that could absorb such costs, despite their love.

Off to the market. Stir-fry with tofu, whole wheat cheese tortellini and homemade black bean soup on the menu this week.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 26, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

jumper-I have roasted peppers with some success on an electric stove. Place a cooling rack, like those used for baking, over the burner and crank it up as high as it will go. Watch carefully so the pepper does not blacken to the point that the skin cracks and juice flows onto the burner. Alternatively, put in a single layer on a cookie sheet and set the oven to broil-remove and turn peppers as needed. (This was not a good alternative for us in our NoVA house as both frostdott and the guinea pigs had trouble dealing with pepper fumes.)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to these "No Feeding Trolls" signs around here?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Trolls seems to be entertaining to some, Wilbrod.

I always wonder why.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten asked the other day about Restore Sanity rallies in other cities. Seattle is having one, in Westlake Mall (downtown), starting at 9 am to coincide with the start time in DC. Here's an article from the Seattle Times that tells about the guy who started the Facebook page for it:

Posted by: seasea1 | September 26, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

We never had unanimity on the "No feeding" policy. We once came close, but then the policy was broken by a few who most espoused it.

And when they stick around and refuse to leave (despite our best abuse), they aren't trolls any more.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

So a person has to ask, Mudge ... what entity is a troll? Am I, who joined in true faith when asked to share my thoughts and experiences (and tunes)? Is there a fine line drawn or some empathy shared that "makes" one a boodler or a boodle-troll?

My 'self' is one who has come to love your voices and care about you all, but I may be presumptive. You see what I mean?

Says the woman from South Georgia.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

scc: 'North' Georgia

de Souf do creep in when ya leest 'spects it!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

talitha, I am sure Mudge will give a detailed description of what a troll is, but you are not a troll, you are a most welcome addition, as are so many other newcomers.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 26, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Not from Valdosta. Whew.

I think the classical definition of the internets is, someone who MERELY desires to stir people up to cause a ruckus, not simply the voicing of unpopular opinions.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

...better a 'gl*ss-hat', than a gr*ss-skirt...., but then the substance goes without acknowledgment .....majority resentment is easier to repent of.....why?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

No, no, talitha, of course you are not a troll! dmd is exactly right, you are most welcome.

The wiki definition of "troll" is helpful: "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

"It may consist of ... a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of the news group..."

RNM's chief fault as a troll is not his politics, though they are indeed loathesome, but rather his general incoherence, and lack of self-awareness of same. In short, half the time none of us understand what the hell he's talking about, which feeds his sense of self-superiority. It is less "offensive" per se, than irritating.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Terms like trolls and whatnot are, in my mind, ultimately useless. I consider us all literary creations. Everyone - Curmudgeon, RD Padouk, and certainly RichNomore only exists as glowing words. These are characters. Now, to the extent these characters are autobiographical isn't really the point. These literary creation must be evaluated and interpreted solely on their own terms. The intent of their authors is kind of moot.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 26, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Exactly Mudge. The intent isn't the point. The words are all that matter. And the words are, as you say, a pretty good replication of someone who is always drunk.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 26, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This puppy-eyed troll
begs for inflamed snacks, pets and
disruptive cuddles.


(Whoops. I'm told just now
troll drivel ain't dribbling pups
rolling in trash.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Talitha.... when you make us answer three questions before we can cross the bridge, we will call you a troll. And only then.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I consider myself a domesticated troll. Kinda like Siegfried and Roy's pet tiger.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, Swedish trolls tend to have long noses and big ears, so (assuming, of course) that lets *you* out talitha.

So, I think I'm no longer interested in watching the Redskins play tiddleywinks football. And, congrats, frosti, as your team beat the Lions -- I wonder if the Lions are gunning for another "perfect season" like the one they had a couple of years ago.


Posted by: ftb3 | September 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

*thinking numerous, numerous expletives, virtually all of them directed at various sporting events*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to cause navel-gazing.
And, Jumper --- one of the "bestest, mostest, wonderfulest" teachers I ever had was Miss Mary Turner who hailed from Valdosta. (PHDs from Ivies and Oxford, retired from the big leagues but kept teaching, never losing her genteel you-know-what.) That woman could jerk a knot in some these editors' tails in a flat second and serve them a buttered bisquit the next!

for a Sunday afternoon ---

or from North Georgia ---

Love to all ye boodlers!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

TBG, when you hear my voice you'll think I'm all the Billygoats Gruff rolled into one!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

You know that was a bit of sibling rivalry there Talitha.

"Valdosta High School is home to the winningest football program in the United States with a record 845 wins, 194 losses, and 34 ties with a winning percentage of 80.8%.[1] From 1913-2007, the Wildcats have won 6 national championships in football, 23 state championships, and 40 regional championships."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. More freaking like it!

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Didn't know that, Jumper ... cool!

Us hillbillies are snobs about the flatland cr..kers! *big wink*

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

...analyze this:

...parking meters, how many nickles they may require, and whether they are card-swipe ready or not, on the day you have two-hours in the office is an important topic and all, but some posters think that should be the extent of the discussion inspired by Joel, and stream of conscience-ness(sic) is entertaining too, while the Republic is rolling downhill...still, like a snowball headed for the brink, and the serial promiser out of promises and fast losing constituency, is, in OUR estimation, a topic worthy of this forum as well. It would be good if learning at this site remains a two-way street.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 26, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Whack the pillow."

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

RichNomore is PoorAlways in my book. That two-way street seems like a one-way lane in both directions, uphill in two feet of snow in the dead of summer.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm so embarrassed.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, it throws me out of "whack", anyway.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Have y'all tried the YouTube Time Machine?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

So, I got the word WHACK in my head and went on a tangent searching for Whac-a-mole videos (no, couldn't find any of the good old boardwalk arcade types).

but look what I found ...

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

That is great TBG, elder daughter is a fan of the Percy Jackson books, I was trying to describe my memories of Jason and the Argonauts, now I can show the clip - 1963 was such a great year :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | September 26, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Dogs should play poker,
never the accordion--
unless paid to stop.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling all "Feast of Snakes"y now.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 26, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't for the life of me figure out why people want to give power back to the Republicans:

Michelle Singletary talks to the disappointed woman at Obama's town hall:
She thought Obama had a magic wand? Really?

Posted by: seasea1 | September 26, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

How do those of you who live alone remind yourself to eat? I'm having a hard time adjusting.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

William Gibson reading from his latest book:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

-dbG-, if everyone had to pay for their own medical care, then certainly more people would die or at least go bankrupt staying alive.

Is not that the basic goal of the anti-socialists? They vehemently state that what should happen is that our society should change so that more people fail/go bankrupt/die. They should be free to go under more often.

I don't think I am being particularly over the top on this one. The anti-socialists wish that there be more frequent and more painful consequences for people's actions. No bailouts. No handouts. No assistance.

They are short on what happens after all those unworthy people fail. I think they hope that they just all will go away. Quietly.

They never do.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I as empty nesters have the same problem. Create new routines. Form some habits. Make sure you don't neglect yourself just because you don't think you need to eat. Take care of yourself.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

RNm - A reasonable amount of learning (beyond the recipes and parking meter discussions) takes place, and is welcomed, here. Your particular discursive technique is perhaps not the most effective pedagogical device with this audience, but you gotta do what you gotta do, I reckon. Maybe some of these folks are just too strait-laced for your free-wheeling intellect?

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

baldinho - I'm pretty sure that the number of people who die would stay the same, no matter who pays for health care. One each, right?

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

It's not the eating, rather the eating at regular times that is difficult for me. I've linked eating with other activities: reading news at lunchtime, listening to favorite radio shows at dinnertime. I don't eat breakfast often, so that's not a problem.

It would be great to coordinate lunch here with dinner in Switzerland over skype, but DNAGuy is worse than I am about eating at regular times.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 26, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, baldinho. I have a running conversation with a good friend (of 45 years) in Sweden about the relative health care situations. She is aghast that people here go bankrupt or die prematurely because they cannot afford the care they deserve. And while there are indeed practical problems with the Swedish model, nobody goes bankrupt because of it, nor do they die prematurely because of it.

When I lived there during the 70s it was much more regulated than it is now, but I got care when I needed it. I could go the public route, which typically took longer, or the private route and pay extra for that privilege (but not that much that I could not afford it at that time). It was fine with me. It is also as much as I would wish for in regard to this country.

*no longer caring what happens to the Redskins, but wishing I were making those salaries for effing up, yanno*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 26, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

free wheelie I cry
release dis curse from here so
he wont hurt nor I

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 26, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob S, good point. As usual.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

You are an evil, evil person. I've never been a big fan of those 'year you were born in' greeting cards because I have no memory of those events. But going to the year of different milestones is very scary. The hairdos of newscasters in 1982 are frightening. And who knew that Tim Burton was already creating some images which would reoccur much later in his oeuvre.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Slightly more seriously, it's an interesting point baldinho raises.

Assuming a dichotomy of "socialists" and "anti-socialists" (which begs a number of questions, but we'll leave those aside for the moment), are anti-socialists inherently uninterested in the fates of those who fall ill, grow old, or otherwise fail to prosper without being able to pay for their own care & feeding?

I'm not convinced that's entirely the case, because self-interest and mere repugnance at the sight of masses of beggars & dead bodies on the streets might motivate even rigid anti-socialists to consider policies to alleviate some of the inconvenient tragedy. And it's at least theoretically possible that some of those flinty-souled anti-socialists might occasionally be struck by fits of compassion.

But it may provide a useful (although imperfect) quick filter for examining policy proposals.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

ftb: do the people of Sweden generally regard themselves as Swedes... in that they are a particular breed of humanity with special qualities that they wish to ensure stays around for a while?

My theory (purely theory) is that Europe is much more broken up by individual nations with their own national identities.

That allows for more communal systems. It was helped by recent history (and, I guess not recent history) where many of the particular nations and nationalities were close to destruction or failure.

After that, you are much more likely to rebuild and band together as a close-knit group.

The US is much different than Europe. No recent near destruction. Melting pot. The lack of feeling as one people, with the followup desire to protect the one people, makes sense. At least to me.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Is it time to retire when you refer to the St. Louis team as the St. Louis Browns as Dick Stockton just did?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 26, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, which was one of the reasons I became more disenchanted with the country over time. No matter how many years one might live in the country, but with no Swedish roots (such as I), if your line does not go back multi-millennia, then you are viewed as decidedly *not* a Swede. Well, I thank my lucky stars, I say, but that country is not nearly as homogeneous as it was when I lived there (and it was increasingly not homogeneous then, either); there is a lot of push-back against the rigidity (I call it a bit of tight-*$$edness) of the society.

Frankly, I found it pretty boring by the time I decided to leave. I love to visit, I have friends spanning 45 years and 35 years and it's a great place to visit. The only reason I would consider moving back is if this country goes completely off its nut and/or for health care.

But, then, if I could get good health care in Zambia, I'd consider moving there, too.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 26, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

yello, dear jkt, thank you! I know what you mean, and I'm having a tad of fun raiding the pantry (found some caviar yesterday, who knew) and eating right outta the can ... but not over the sink. ;)

baldinho, I don't have any health insurance. I'm six-plus years out from any gummit assistance and the new health legislation's particulars don't apply to me. What do you suggest? I'll die when I die anyway, apparently without intervention ...
which I prefer, come to think of it.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

DNA_girl, thanks to you, too. Eating at regular times is probably not my problem right now. It's eating in general. I think my metabolism shut down in shock during the last month or so ... triggered by grief and uncertainty ... and, even though I should be re-adjusting, I'm not getting the "triggers" that signal hunger and sleep. I am able to read and listen to music and weave, so I imagine the other patterns will re-establish themselves in time. And Fall has finally arrived ... best time of the year!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Talitha - While it's certainly true that you (like all the rest of us) are going to die with or without intervention (and with or without insurance), there's no point in not beating the bushes to see if some assistance is available.

Here's one starting point:

Even if the resources identified by the locator at that site aren't right for you, they might be able to help steer you in the right direction.

Heck, you can always consider putting an ad on CraigsList offering to exchange home cooking & good conversation for medical advice. The details of the transaction can always be negotiated confidentially.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

talitha, as someone who has been there, the triggers will return and the patterns to life. Try to make yourself eat smaller healthier foods in the meantime, take care of yourself.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 26, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Make plans with friends, Talitha, whenever possible, even if it's just for coffee.

I may have missed what you're going through right now, but grief means you need low-demand company for brief periods of time even when you don't feel like it-- especially when you don't.
Try scheduling visits to library or something like that-- maybe there's a workshop going on somewhere you'd like to go to, or you could see if a friend would be willing to join a cheap exercise class with you-- that way you have a built-in appointment with a friend once a week...

Anything to make at least one evening feel less empty, and structure a predictable meal that night. TV can help structure eating if you have to, but it doesn't really help with grief issues.

I have problems with irregular eating, too, and sleeping my accident off all day doesn't help right now.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll second dmd's post, talitha.

baldinho, what did I miss? I was referring to your September 25, 2010 10:01 PM post. Were you satirizing anti-socialists there or were you not saying that we'd pay medical costs through taxes or without that, pony it up ourselves to save granny?

Posted by: -dbG- | September 26, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually the public health costs of a rampant TB epidemic caused by not providing medical care to the poor at all could well cause higher expenses than basic preventive health care services to all.

It's kind of like the concept that maybe hiring a police force and running a justice system is cheaper than all the rich hiring their own kill-on-sight security force and letting everybody else
fight it out like barbarians.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 26, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

It's not a field I've watched carefully, so I don't know how far the ideas have been researched, but I had a buddy at Georgia Tech who did some interesting work quantifying the probable-best solution paths for various social ills.

Hunger & housing are directly approachable (at least temporarily) with money (assuming the money is actually spent on food & housing). Crime, and poor education, and chronic unemployment, mostly not at all directly approachable with wads o' cash. Health care issues, somewhere in between.

His analyses were pretty deep, and included what would now be considered some innovative ideas. He made some pretty sharp distinctions between the efficacy of money, attention, and emotional investment in the solubility of various problems. For an engineer, he made some pretty strong arguments in favor of investing in competent empathy. He had a great eye for breaking large problems into their constituent components.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Many thanks to all of you. I'm late to reply because I went out to the kitchen and made myself some Thai green curry veggies and noodels with a bowl of sliced fresh peaches on the side. Boodle inspired!

Wilbrod, do take care! BobS, have tried similar routes before but ran up against the pre-existing condition wall - will follow up on your link - thanks.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

scc: noodles (noodels is pretty funny, though ... yodel-odel-noodel-who)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

On this season's Amazing Race thye have teams which are pro beach volleyball players, acapella singers, hawt doctors, and a beauty queen and her dad. Could be the best season yet.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

They have a barbershop quartet competing?

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Or the whole Mormon Tabernacle choir?

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

dbG: you expect me to be consistent?

Last night I was trying to say that cutbacks in government health programs would only be catastrophic to people without the means to do things for themselves.

There are many of those folks.

To me the folks that spit the word "socialism' out like a swear word are upset that the folks that would not have the means to pay for their health care get assistance from the government.

I am sure I confuse folks on the board at times because I like to talk a lot and I am not terribly dogmatic regarding governmental programs. I probably look like I am arguing with myself a lot.

I hope I am not.

For the record, I would prefer a universal health care system. I don't feel that basic health care should be unavailable to people with little or no money. The key word is basic. I think most universal health care systems are pretty basic. You have to pay more for gold-standard care elsewhere. I see no problem with a similar setup here.

Posted by: baldinho | September 26, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Duet not quartet. And they are from Joel's alma mater. Pure cannon fodder. I give them three episodes, tops.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Anybody catch this op-ed on today's WaPo page? It fascinated me:

Health care is there tangentially, in how we treat the elderly.

Why can't we treat everyone well? A significant part of that will be to ensure that everyone gets decent medical care. In the past, the limitations of medicine meant that one's social standing had very little impact on medical outcomes. Today, it's cheaper, smarter, and ethically sound to provide preventive care and to treat illness before it becomes chronic, or reaches an acute state.

I think our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will shake their heads in wonder at our stupidity.

Talitha, take care of yourself. Yes, new routines are good. Include exercise you can do in those routines.

Posted by: slyness | September 26, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that if we're going to continue with the human-occupied space flight programs, we'd darned-well better develop universal health care systems.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

WaPo hed: "Great-big festivals should end with great-big bands"

Great big has hyphens in it? I never got the memo.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 26, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Each of you, and all of you together, are such a source of strength to me ... thank you.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I saw Joan Jett at the DC Barbecue Festival on Pennsylvania Avenue a few years back. She had a short set, but she rocked it. She even played a Rocky Horror song.

On The Amazing Race, a shopping channel hostess just took a melon to the face when her ballista backfired. I hate it when that happens.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I might have to defend that. It's informal, but preserves the parallel structure of the sentence while avoiding any confusion with Swing-era music.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, baldinho. :)

Posted by: -dbG- | September 26, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, Mudge, I don't think THEY got the memo, or the style book for that matter. Woe is being a Redskin fan. Happiness is being married to a Steelers fan. ;-)

Posted by: ebtnut | September 26, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Amazing Race is one of my guilty pleasures. Looking forward to it tonight.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 26, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The first sentence of the story from which the hed was lifted reads thus:

"Great-big music festivals should end with great-big bands performing great-big songs for great-big crowds gathered beneath great-big disco balls."

None of those hyphens were strictly necessary, but I'm not sure they did any harm, and may well have helped readability.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I'll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but this episode is hilarious.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"was" strictly necessary...

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't have great-big hyphens in my version of the article. Maybe it's a browser thing. Or somebody ran this past copy editor.

Check it out for yourself.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

These two guys are one of the teams on The Amazing Race.

The bit about the report cards is so true.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 26, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Subatomic-flyspeck = Great-big

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Yello - I'm guessing that copy editors were involved. The link that 'mudge saw led (still leads, I think) to the 6:40 P.M. post at the "Click Track" blog, which is hyphenated.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The Lombardo brothers and "The Royal Canadians".

Now that was a great big band.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 26, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

a GREAT big band ...

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

took #3 to watch the Panthers lose to the Bengals in monsoon conditions. parked at the terminal end of the blue line in pineville, and passed through neighbourhoods that i barely recognised. can't say that i really like the way the south blvd corridor, especially the portion from remount to tryon, and dilworth have all of these multi-storey structures, mainly condos and town homes. and big pink. imo, the city planning and zoning failed to ensure that the new structures fit into what was formerly a residential neighbourhood dominated by single storey structures. iirc, some of that area had historic designation. it just doesn't work for me. the designs vary so much as to be distracting. take the westin. please. had a great time at the game. would have been better if the home team won. it has rained steadily for the past 12 hours, making the plants happy. heavy precip and dog chores, however, are a poor match.

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

I meant to say ... if you miss the trombone tossing you ain't seen great. ;D

Posted by: talitha1 | September 26, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Guess I kilt the boodle tonight.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 27, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Completely, vehemently, absolutely unwillingly being dawn patrol. Will attempt more sleep soon, though.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 27, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Bob -S-, perhaps they should change their name to

KC and the Great-Big Sunshine Band

Posted by: baldinho | September 27, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

But this is a great-big rock band:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

The lady next to me at Politics and Prose was reading the NYT and came across the 'Advice to Freshman' article. The guy on the other side of her thought leaving your laptop behind was good, but dumping your boyfriend not necessarily so. The last 28 years of my life would have definitely been different.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy rainy Monday, all. Cassandra, I hope rain won't spoil your morning, but at least it's cooler now!

No walk for Mr. T and me this morning. That's okay; it's only the second time in four months that we haven't been out at 6 a.m. When the sun comes up, I'll check the rain gauge.

Glad you enjoyed the game, Jack. Yes, many changes along South Blvd. Isn't that pink building hideous? I understand the Westin is facing financial difficulties; something about excessive debt in light of income. Considering how the corridor was deteriorating, the change is for the better, and good. The idea is to increase density, to support the light rail. Dilworth really hasn't suffered.

Got lots to do today, starting with a doctor's appointment. I must get the oil changed in the car. Also have the possibility of a contracting gig, and will talk to the person who wants to use my expertise.

Ham biscuits on the ready room table. Enjoy, folks.

Posted by: slyness | September 27, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

What an altogether blah morning...

And it's raining, too. *SIGH*

*wringing-out-my-shoes-and-squishing-my-way-through-another-Monday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 27, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

*soggy waving back*

Just remember, Scotty, that the sharp blue skies of October, with hills garbed in topaz and garnet, are beckoning. I can almost smell the mulled cider.

Thanks for the bisquits, slyness. I'll add a big bowl of sliced peaches and a pot of Earl Grey. Reckon someone else will bring the coffee.

Good Monday to all.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 27, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

scc: biscuits (you'd think someone who's been making them since she was six wouldn't make that gaffe. I blame Bisquick.)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 27, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse


I have the coffee. Lots of sweet Arabica ... even have a blend for cQp, if lurking.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 27, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Big free festival in San Francisco next weekend. 70 acts on six stages over three days. My own big finish will be Mondo Cane, Mike Patton singing Italian pop with a string orchestra. The hardly part of hardly strictly bluegrass.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 27, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Give them bread, sports, sports, and more sports, that will distract US from the hole the polls and fence sitters have left US in. Think?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

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