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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 11/17/2010

What BP should have done

By Joel Achenbach

This morning a committee of the National Academy of Engineering released its interim report on the BP oil spill (here's the pdf of the report). It's written in committee-speak and is a little chewy at key moments, such as when it addresses whether BP traded safety for dollars. There's a general (and rather obvious) message to the oil industry and to government regulators that they need to upgrade their personnel, their training and take more seriously the hazards of drilling holes in the deep sea.

Here's a key passage that gives you a flavor of the report:

The often-made assertion at the MBI hearing [a joint investigation of the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement] that safety was never compromised suggests that the risks that are an inherent part of
engineering processes in this and many other industries were not fully recognized. As it
appears from the testimony that many of the pivotal choices made for the drilling
operation and temporary abandonment of the well were likely to result in less cost and
less time relative to other options, the committee will be examining the use of a separate
path of reporting and oversight employed elsewhere to ensure that decisions made in the
interest of cost and schedule do not unreasonably compromise safety.

Lurking in that paragraph is a key insight. The line about no-tradeoff of safety and cost carries a footnote to the testimony of John Guide, the Macondo well team leader, who worked at BP's Houston office. As the committee notes, the well team leader "was responsible for cost and schedule in addition to decisions affecting the integrity and safety of the well." So he's always got two things in mind: efficiency and safety. And they tug against each other, inevitably. Doing that extra cement test? Takes time. Waiting around for parts to be delivered? Takes time. How long do you wait for the cement to cure before going on to the next step? Should you speed things up by doing simultaneous operations (say, offloading mud to a supply boat while doing a pressure test on the well) even if that complicates the monitoring of the well?

Go back to that paragraph, and the line about "the risks that are an inherent part of
engineering processes in this and many other industries were not fully recognized." Here's one way to translate that into English: This is dangerous stuff! The only truly, 100 percent safe thing to do is not drill at all!

But of course, there's reality. We use a lot of oil in the USA. We're addicted to it. It has to come from somewhere. If you want domestically produced oil you have to go where the oil is, such as the Gulf of Mexico. And there's a lot of oil in the deep water.

Here's the fact, though: Even if you build the case that we need offshore drilling, and even if you believe we need offshore deep-water drilling, you could still argue that we didn't need the Macondo well.

BP could have -- and arguably should have -- abandoned the Macondo well. Not temporarily abandoned, which is what it was doing on April 20 when the well blew out and the Deepwater Horizon turned into an inferno. BP was converting the exploratory well into a production well and was going to plug it with cement and let an oil platform produce the oil later on. But BP had the option -- and considered the option, according to witness testimony in October (I can't put my finger on it but I remember it, and it got some press) -- of saying, in effect, "This well is a nightmare -- and we quit."

The Gulf of Mexico is a hard place to drill in general (it is famously "overpressured" and gassy), but this well had special challenges. A quick primer: Wells are drilled using heavy "mud" that serves multiple functions, from cooling the drilling bit to circulating out the chips of rock to, most importantly, helping control the well and keeping it from blowing out. But the mud has to be the right weight. If it's too heavy, it can escape into the reservoirs down there in the rock. If it's too light, it'll get bullied by the hydrocarbons. There's something called the pore pressure and something called the fracture gradient and what you ideally would like to see in a well is a big difference between the two. But this well had a narrow window in which to operate. The mud weight had to be very precisely adjusted.

This morning I talked to Mark Zoback, one of the NAE committee members. Zoback, a professor of geophysics at Stanford, said, "The cement job may have been doomed from the beginning."

He pointed out that there were five reservoirs or "sands" down in the Macondo well, with differing qualities and pressures. The top sand was a brine sand, for example, and it had greater pore pressure than the sands with oil and gas farther down. The BP team tried to cement the whole suite of sands in a single job, with a single cement density, and that was a recipe for failure, Zoback said.

"It may have been ill advised to try to cement off all five of these sands in one operation because they had to thread the needle with respect to the pressures," he said.

They could have tried other cement strategies, other well designs, other tests. They could have done a lot of things differently. And it might have worked. And Macondo might be sitting there neatly plugged with cement, waiting in the gulf for someone to drill it again and pull out all that oil.

But I keep thinking of something that Shane Roshto, one of the 11 men killed in the blowout, said to his wife, Natalie, at home before returning to the Deepwater Horizon:

"Mother Nature does not want to be drilled there."

By Joel Achenbach  | November 17, 2010; 11:23 AM ET
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I know this is an illusion, but first!

Posted by: -dbG- | November 17, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Good, kit, Joel. Thanks for answering a bunch of the questions I had about about that oil well. This is the first I'm hearing about the five different sands and the problem of cementing them. It's also pretty fascinating to learn that the entire cementing operation might have been doomed from the git-go.

I confess I haven't followed all the stories as closely as I might, but for me this is the first I'm hearing of the ""This well is a nightmare -- and we quit" theme. We've known from the beginning BP was shutting the well down...but with the understanding it was for later production by somebody else. There was no "we quit; it has beant us" aspect to it (not that I saw, anyway). It really shades the perspective quit a bit. And the Roshto quote indicates some of the people on the weel knew it.

Can't wait for your book to come out.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

So in some ways BP's pledge to never use the Mackinac well for production could have been not that big a sacrifice even if the well could have been brought under control early in the process. While I am sure the loss of revenue from their lease for that area will cost them something in the long run, perhaps it's for the best that they just walk away.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: beant = beaten

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Salt tectonics, anyone? Turtle domes, diapirs (not to be confused with diapers), and canopies.

Interesting that the story in the Wall Street Journal came out 13 hours ago, and the NYT published yesterday (but no interview with Zoback in Palo Alto)...

Note, too, that this interim report (final report due in June) by the National Academy of Engineers also pointed a lot of blame at the federal Minerals Management Service. Funny that that's not mentioned in Joel's write-up.

Posted by: laloomis | November 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Mother Nature does not want to be drilled there."


Posted by: cmyth4u | November 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

They should have made sure that Senator Kyl was in charge of oversight of the emergency response. Once it was apparent that the BP leadership was going to change, he would have blocked all actions until the new team took over.

Think of all the money they would have saved.

Posted by: baldinho | November 17, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

That "nightmare" comment has been around for some months now...AP reports that it received the "nightmare" designation by an emgineer six days before the explosion...

Welcome to the era of "extreme energy." Even fracking, mentioned in the article I linked to below in terms of drilling for natural gas, was a plot element in last week's CSI episode--also a concern in Texas, as the article points out.

Who did I run into or what did I read about the huge increase in drilling activities, increase in propery values, scramble for housing, going on just to the southwest of us?

I think the team should be called "Washington Pass-the-Bucks." There's the obvious animal reference. The double entendre, given that Congress appropriates monies, plus the do-nothingness of the institution. Comprehensive energy policy or immigration reform, anyone?

Posted by: laloomis | November 17, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

It's Bobby Jindal's new book that I'm looking forward to. Did anyone catch his interview this week on Morning Joe. Of course, they changed the subject on him to the political situation, rather than letting him talk about the two disasters that occurred in his state under the management of two different administrations. He had a lot to say about federal ineptness, and Jindal's comments about the more recent one definitely caught my attention.

Hard to get excited about a book from speculative press members who write that the Gulf spill may be carried by currents up the Atlantic seaboard. Or the irrational public that did not book rooms in the Sunshine State, prompting frivolous lawsuits against BP. Do you think the speculation led to the irrational behavior?

GAdzookies! I'm having enough problems with speculative reporting by the Patriot Ledger in Quincy regarding those old bones turned up in 1999 in Scituate--not to mention the corresponding reports compiled by the state government!

And tell me why it is that Salazar has lifted the ban on offshore drilling but BOEMRE refuses to issue any permits? That's strange, isn't it? And have any of us changed our oil consumption behavior? Bwaahahahhaha!

Posted by: laloomis | November 17, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

SCC: AP reports that it received...AP reports that the well received...

Posted by: laloomis | November 17, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

MotM's plumbing disaster is a bit of a metaphor for the gulf disaster.Sometimes you are dealing with situations which get out of hand very quickly. Little projects you don't think are a big deal erupt into things where people are running around looking for the shot-off valves.

My last plumbing project was several years ago. I replaced both of the shower valves in our house one summer while our son was at scout camp. That way we only needed one bathroom usable at a time. At each phase, I shut off and drained the house but I had to have a restart plan to get service back even if the project wasn't quite done.

'You can never have too many valves' is a good motto. That is as long as leaky valves aren't your problem.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, JA. I don't quite get though why the well should have been shut down permanently earlier. The over-budget part does indicate it wasn't their best work, but was it that bad earlier?

Cassandra, I'm with you on the Mother Nature quote.

laloomis, I thought the complaint about the Hill was that they were doing too much. Now they're Do-Nothings? I guess you have to spend some time on the Hill to know what goes into running the federal government. Besides, the oly buck passing these days has been in Dub's new book. Don't know anything about any books by speculative press members (huh?) though.

Posted by: LostInThought | November 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

scc: only

Posted by: LostInThought | November 17, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

And in the latest perversion of "Breaking News" -- the AP has called the Alaska Senate race for Murkowski.

Wow, talk about having information no one else has. *RME*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This is a very nuanced and sophisticated piece of analysis that cannot be reduced to being either fer sumthing or agin it. In other words, it is doomed. But it does have the virtue of being true. Sometimes the secret in any complex endeavor is to recognize and respect the limits of one's knowledge. This has been called the courage of uncertainty.

Alas, as we all know, in many, many cases the last thing powerful people want to hear is the phrase "I don't know." When this happens the temptation to find somebody else who can exploit the ambiguity to support the position they find pleasing can be overwhelming. And from this comes much mischief.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Your second paragraph is applicable to so much more than just drilling in the Gulf.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Did you catch this from S.P. about some of the reasons she quit?

One afternoon in June 2009, Gov. Sarah Palin was sitting in the Washington office of her friend Fred Malek, whom she met through McCain during the 2008 campaign. She was listening to the former White House aide to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford map out logical next steps to her political career. Focus on amassing a good record as governor, he advised her. Run for a second term. Develop some policy expertise. Do some extensive overseas travel. Generate some good will by campaigning for fellow Republicans.
Malek told me that he could tell that this wasn't what Palin wanted to hear. Here's the problem, she replied impatiently: I've got a long commute from my house to my office. I don't have the funds to pay for my family to travel with me, and the state won't pay for it, either. I can't afford to have security at my home -- anybody can come up to my door, and they do. Under the laws of Alaska, anybody can file suit or an ethics charge against me, and I have to defend it on my own. I'm going into debt.

Posted by: ebtnut | November 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

From the report:

///The failures and missed indications of hazard were not isolated events during the
preparation of the Macondo well for temporary abandonment. Numerous decisions to proceed toward abandonment despite indications of hazard, such as the results of repeated negative-pressure tests, suggest an insufficient consideration of risk and a lack of operating discipline. The decisions also raise questions about the adequacy of operating knowledge on the part of key personnel.///

Oh SNAP! That is about the most severe beat-down I have ever read in a formal report.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, EBT, ya gotta admit that Sarah paid very close attention to what Malek told her -- because she carefully and methodically did the opposite of every one of them. I don't see how that could have been accidental; she must have made a checklist or something.

I wonder if Malek ever told her not to worry too much about shopping for a new dress. Or to make nice with Lisa Murkowski.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd call this guy a d-bag, but that would be unfair to d-bags-

(This is my fifth attempt to comment, applying sanitizer of increasing strength each time.)

Posted by: kguy1 | November 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Agree with your 3:55 yello. It's rare to see "they were careless and ignorant" in such a document.

In Our Fair City taking care of business in the waning days of my mayoralty. Two terms of working on being more empathetic is paying off. I can kind of, sort of, see some merit in Palin's resignation. Of course that could just be confidence that her successor couldn't possibly be anything but better.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 17, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This looks like some interesting news, sadly try as I might I do not understand.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse


That story is also the premise of Dan Brown's 'Angels And Demons' right down to it being collected at CERN.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed the attached video that explains that yello, but at 1 hour long do not have time to listen to the expert from Berkley explain - and let's be honest I pretty much am missing the required brain cells to comprehend it - science smart I am not.

Did notice the annihalation detector in the diagram though, that amuses me so some reason.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 17, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Back in the late 1950's, James Blish posited the creation of anti-matter as a "magic bullet" to test how long it was until the universe anniliated itself in his SF series "Cities in Flight". Looking back, in sense he was melding Hoyle's "steady state" theory with the opposite of the Big Bang, the "Big Crunch".

Posted by: ebtnut | November 17, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

When I took physical geology, my last term as an undergrad, it was fun to find some uses for the chemistry and physics that had come before. Don't know that I could have made a good petroleum drilling expert.

I wonder how much of Brazil's huge, alluring, and difficult oil fields will prove undrillable, or at least not-prudently-drillable.

Bjøn Lomborg's column isn't all bad, but his best guess about sea level rise seems to be far lower than what the experts are suggesting, which is on the order of planning for as much as 5 feet rise over the next 90 years.

His comments about Tokyo's defenses against subsidence are appropriate, but perhaps more in the context of preserving New Orleans under present-day conditions than about the future. Tokyo's flood defenses make the "improved" defenses of New Orleans look unfit for areas inhabited by human beings. The Netherlands has an excellent national plan for adapting to rising sea level. While much of the Netherlands' water management has roots in traditional practices, the national plan is a matter of extremely sophisticated engineering and environmental planning. Doing something similar for Chesapeake Bay would be an immense undertaking. The Everglades are unsalvageable, except to the extent that restoring natural water flow can

According to geologist Harold Wanless of the University of Miami, the southern Florida metro area (specifically Miami and Ft Lauderdale) can't be protected by levees because the underlying rock is too porous. Wanless thinks we need to be planning for radical shrinkage of the urban area and its eventual demise (aided by decreased rainfall and nastier hurricanes as the land area shrinks).

Despite the thicket of inane comments on Lomborg's column (and David Brooks), modeling works. It's easy to lie with models, fool yourself with models, lead others astray, whatever. But making mathematical models is essential to economics, population biology, running electricity grids, planning highways, drilling for oil, and any number of other things essential to making modern society work. Much modeling requires only high school algebra and access to Microsoft Excel, which gives the functionality of matrix algebra.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 17, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Astronomer and cosmologist Allan Sandage is gone:

I am pleased to say that he was a friend, because I had the coffee pot in my office.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 17, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

My sincere condolences, SciTim. He will be missed.

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 17, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't under stand the 'five layers of different sands.' in the cementing operation. If the well bore is steel drill pipe encased and they are cementing the bore, how does the porosity of the sand the bore go through affect the cementing job?

Posted by: bh72 | November 17, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Billionaire Whitman (loser in the California governor's race) agrees to pay ex-maid $5500 in labor hearing dispute. I wonder how much Allred charged the maid?

Posted by: bh72 | November 17, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm telling you the canadnastainis(sp) are taking over.
Now to go eat chili, with beans. Been on four hours now.
Snow expected tomorrow on the left coast but nice today.

Posted by: bh72 | November 17, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The VLP got his second physical of the year and his leptospirosis shot tonight. He is clearly getting the best medical care of the family.

Kguy, I hope this d-bag will find an irate female soldier that will set him straight. He's also advocating grizzly bear extinction. This particular d-bag is clearly from the low end of the human experience. Although, maybe, some momma grizzly bears might warrant some control measures. Shooting them from helicopters maybe?

"I was Hubble's assistant" is a pretty good job interview opening for an astronomer. May Mr. Sandage rest in peace, he sounded like an interesting guy. I note here that people my father's age are falling off the tree in greater number...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 17, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Sandage sounds like he was quite the smart guy and I'm sure he will be missed. I had no idea there even was a Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation, but it sure sounds pretty cool. And isn't the Hubble Constant one that varies? Kinda like the speed of light did during the Big Bang?

Here is the cosmology cartoon I have been saving for when it was on boodle:

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm no drilling engineer bh72. But the cementing job is to inject some cement between the casing, a sturdy steel tube, and the local geology. The cement job fills the gap between the outer casing and the drilled surface. As the hole is drilled down this small interspace might, or might not, be filled with cementing matter. It's rarely cemented all the way down.
The cementing technique and the cement itself will vary depending on the local geology (or sands, as the oil people say), as the outer steel casing doesn't vary. The Macondo goes through alternating layers of salt and shale for about 2 miles deep; surely the cementing job will face different challenges depending on where it's at. Pressure of the product and type of geology/sand must be important in choosing the cementing technique for the segment at hand.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 17, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Peter Mansbridge of CBC noted that the announcement of the royal wedding meant that the inundation of commemorative tea towels and collectible spoons was about to begin:

Posted by: seasea1 | November 17, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Kguy, I checked out Mr Fisher after reading shrieking_denizen. It seemed worth finding the original, so here it is. DB's very own words:

I don't think any commentary is necessary.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 17, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps young William decided to propose now as his own best effort to boost the economy. Should help manufacturing and retail sales in certain pockets around the world, eh?

Posted by: talitha1 | November 17, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Now here's a poor guy I really identify with. I may contribute to his bail fund.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Before I begin to read this new kit, must say to KBG that I feel I must have been close to your sister on Tues. or Wed. (my labs and infusion days every 3 weeks). That may not be the case, as she may have a different oncologist group. Anyway, if there is any infomation I have that could be helpful to her or to you, you have my email address. I'd be glad to come and sit with her and you. I'm sure she has the utmost confidence in her doctor and the PAs or NPs who assist him/her.

Yesterday the infusion clinic was crowded and I was put in one of the small rooms for two around the edges of the large room. I call it the "bad kids room", but actually it is cosy and the other patient was having blood pressure problems with her infusion and she and I had a frank chat about the avastin she was being given (which I loved). When I left she thanked me for being so positive and and she said that it helped her.

Cassandra, re your message of last kit, words of wisdom regarding parents hopes and expectations for their children.

Posted by: VintageLady | November 18, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. I meant to tell you JA, the kit is great, as usual. I don't understand a lot of the jargon concerning the technical side, but you do make it understandable to some degree, even for a dummy like me.

I think what I like about it most is the human aspect because all this technology does have a human component, a very large component. And I think also that is the aspect of this sad story that draws many.

I woke up this morning, and I like the sound of that. Anyway, I have a sore throat, don't know where that came from. The weather here yesterday was just too beautiful for words. It was the kind of day where one knows, we, as in humans, are just a tiny thread in this huge system.

The daughter is having contractions, so the count down continues.

Slyness, hope the procedure isn't too uncomfortable for you. And I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather.

I've read part of a study concerning the way North Carolina spends on education. Not good. We get a D+. I'm not really shocked, the signs are all around. And the governor getting ready to announce there's going to be less money not to get!

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

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 18, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Royal Wedding fatigue has begun already for some of us,

Posted by: dmd3 | November 18, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, nice cool day in the Carolinas. Contractions, Cassandra! I hope everything goes quickly and well, and that the baby is here shortly, and healthy!

Take care of that sore throat, too, Cassandra. No good being sick. Mr. T came down with a cold yesterday, so I'm keeping my distance. Geekdottir came home from a trip last weekend with one, so I'm being distant with everybody!

Ham biscuits with Kona coffee and Tazo tea on the ready room table. We need something to warm us up, there was frost on roofs this morning.

Into the day...

Posted by: slyness | November 18, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Noted on the WaPo home page:

"Palin says she could defeat Obama"






*trying-to-catch-my-breath-as-I-prepare-for-yet-another-trip Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 18, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, there's a more troubling implication here. Palin doesn't say "I could be a better President," she says "I could beat Obama." As it often seems to be, the emphasis is on winning and losing instead of governing.

Unless, of course, she was talking about bowling.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 18, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Exactly so, RD_P...

Or she could have been talking about field-stripping a moose.

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 18, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

RD, I was just wondering why the heck she wants to be president.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 18, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. A much better and cooler day awaits today. Yesterday was miserable.

This is antimatter Thursday, right? CERN gets a first good look at antihydrogen.
I need to get myself an antiproton trap. I wouldn't know what to to use for bait though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 18, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Yay for antihydrogen. It's about time someone wiped that smug smirk off hydrogen's face.

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 18, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

TBG, it's obvious -- so she can claim looming bankruptcy and resign after half a term, going on to reality sh...

Oh wait, that's been done.

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 18, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Weren't both Obama and Palin basketball stars in high school? For some reason, I'd put my money on the tall black guy.

In bear news, I like the phrase "Many of the mostly single, adult males were relatively fat, with "wide rear ends" and a belly "with a dish to it,""

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 18, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

RD_P beat me to the punch on Palin vs Obama. Beat him at what? Her voice alone defeats me. I take great satisfaction in the fact that she's the Repugs' worst nightmare ... reflected well here by Ann Telnaes' animated cartoon ---

Did anyone espy the meteor showers last night? I thought about setting my alarm for 3:00am to take a look-see but didn't since I've not slept a whole night through in the last few months. Wouldn't you know? For the first time I slept over eight hours straight! *grinning at major breakthrough*

Holding several of you close in my heart today ... slyness, Cassandra's daughter, TBG and sister. Mojo!

Later ...

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse


Exactly!!!! Even Palin can't cough up the lie she would be a better President! In her wildest dreams she doesn't see that!

She probably thinks that if she wins, the ability would be implied. U think?

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 18, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Patti Smith won the National Book Award for nonfiction. Franzen not only didn't win the fiction award, he didn't even make the final cut.

Andy Borowitz hosted the event for the second year in a row: “I said last year that publishing was a sinking ship,” Mr. Borowitz said. “I believe that publishing is still very much in the process of sinking. Publishing is a Carnival cruise ship. It’s on fire, the toilets don’t work, but we are surviving day to day on Pop-Tarts and Spam.”

I still don't believe Palin wants to be president; I think she's learned her lesson that governing means actually doing the work. But she has also learned another lesson all too well: that she can make millions by keeoing her "brand" and her face out front, AND, even more important, the incredible strokes to her ego by being the Queen Bee, the kingmaker, the powerbroker, the "face" of the Tea Party, that entire package. So yeah, sure, she can freely and joyously say she can beat Obama. It's no longer a political statement (or even a delusion); rather, it is simply a necessary part of her schtick, her pitch, her sales presentation. This isn't Palin's politics; this is Palin's marketing. She's not channeling Lee Atwater; she's channeling Billie Mays. And not only that, she has about another year and a half of this befofre she has to finally get serious, figure out her best exit strategy ("for the good of the party, I reluctantly withdraw...blah blah) and become kingmaker when she endorses somebody else. That's a year and a half of marketing, of selling, of speaking fees and book sales and appearances.

Ain't no freaking way she's gonna give any of that up, or sit down and shut up. It's money, people, money. Not politics. She's a publicity crack addict who gets well paid for her addiction.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Always good to see bear news, even if the news is not particularly good. We are late getting ice here as well, though it is mostly humans who suffer when lakes are late in freezing. It delays the start of ice fishing and the attendant commerce.

John McCain is at an age where you'd think he'd at least be considering how he wants to be remembered, if indeed he is remembered much at all. Jon Stewart skewered him a couple nights ago on his DADT stance
but Palin creates a much bigger problem for him in the legacy department. How do you explain that?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 18, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, that is very exciting news about your daughter, keep us informed!

Palin's voice is like fingernails on a black board. As usual RD, you cut to the heart of the matter - winning vs. governing - perfect!

Off to work.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 18, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin seems to be under the impression that the Electoral College works just like Dancing With The Stars.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm banananana bread, coffee and OJ on the table.

Cassandra, thanks for the news.

SciTim, may your friend find new stars for the angels to play with.

Hope everyone remains sniffle-free. Around here we seem to have a norovirus outbreak, especially in the schools.

One week until 'Merikan Thanksgiving. Where has the time gone?

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Right up to the moment of the last cement job - and, actually, even up until the well blew - the option existed for further additional cementing to be done. All the errors accrued by not cementing each zone separately could have been remedied.

One difficulty for the layman and me has been a lack of access to the records of other wells nearby. Obviously those records are trade secrets and I understand that. I think a clearer picture would emerge of the engineering issues and how "standard practices" working in that geological area had emerged.

As I understand it, those sands and the intervening strata are geologically younger than other fields. The sand grains are only loosely cemented in the sandstones. This fact does not make the drilling uncontrollable. It means, just as has been said, that each zone needs special attention, individual focus, when encountered. Methods to do that have long been known and widely used.

Even if the well had cost twice as much, the profit would have still been substantial. That's a fact.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 18, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Cementologists, rise up and be counted. Tell us what is with, etc.

Cass: a baby, am smiling. And, want ease and comfort for all of you. Mystery. God is good. We need to see this always and be light and kindness. Babies!!!! BAYBEES...sweetness.

TBG and VL -- cancer does provide the occasions of heroes and those who love them. Love. Nothing but love.

Hydrogen/, all day I will note the pairs of being/unbeing.

Leaves/No leaves
Papers/No papers

RD -- let's concentrate together on No Leaves...can you share your secret APP on that?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | November 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Someone please interpret this cartoon for me, especially the last one second of it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, folks, according to reports coming out today, American health insurance companies donated more than $86 million THIS YEAR to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce so it could fight Obama and defeat Democrats.

That's money that came from YOUR premium payments. It didn't go to doctors, it didn't go to your health care, it didn't go to corporate shareholders. It went to defeat Democrats.

Something has to be done about that; I just haven't figured out what.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing it's supposed to me some sort of parody of the viral YouTube "Don't touch my junk or I'll have you arrested" guy.

I really don't get the whole thing, but then I'm not a Telnaes fan. I just don't find any of her animations to be witty commentary or funny.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | November 18, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I believe it must mean that she has the Republicans by the short hairs.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 18, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Mudge -- and our money also goes to acquiring and fueling their *expletive* private jets!

Poor babies, just can't live without all them perks. We pay, they enjoy ... hmmm, isn't that a form of socialism????

Posted by: ftb3 | November 18, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wait -- perhaps it means that she was searching the Republican party for its political manhood, which she found at last and has taken control of. Yes, perhaps that's it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 18, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, Palin is airport security feeling up the GOP ... and gets a little too close for comfort?

MoftM, I don't always vibe on Telnaes myself but am compelled to look for some reason. Probably like I'm compelled to waste time doing the Sudoku and crossword every day ... habit.

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

If you hate Dan Snyder, you'll love this-

Posted by: kguy1 | November 18, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Palin was a "star" high school basketball player; Obama was a sub on Punahou's team (they're traditionally loaded with good athletes). But yeah, he'd have a serious height advantage over her in a game of 1-on-1.

Physics - yay. Sigh - bummer it doesn't pay much. I got my first Bachelor's degree in Physics, but discovered that a BS in Physics in Louisiana means that you can (a) get a higher degree in Physics and teach Physics; (b) go to work offshore as a Petroleum Engineer; or (c) leave the state and field. So I went to Purdue and switch to engineering.

"Engineers are the oompa-loompas of science" - Sheldon Cooper

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | November 18, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks shrek & jumper for the cementing info

Posted by: bh72 | November 18, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Army owe me a new keyboard...get over here now and commence the clean up....

OOMPA LOOMPAsss: will tell many scientists but engineers, well not so much.

YK, can we get an self-examining engineer of multitudes...

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | November 18, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

talitha, I quit looking at her stuff a while ago. I read my select comics and all the editorial cartoons everyday, except hers. I usually get what she's referencing, but I miss why it's relevant to her animation subjects.

And that reminds me, I really ought to get back into the habit of doing a sudoku everyday. *pulls out pencil*

Posted by: MoftheMountain | November 18, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

MoftheMountain, have you tried doing the online Sudoku? It took me a while to get the knack but it's pretty cool. I still do the 5-star and super-sudokos in pencil, though.

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

No can do. As the Howard Wolowitz of the Boodle, I really can't side with physicists so far along The Spectrum that they are nearly falling off.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Sweet FSM, please tell me SciTim isn't working on this.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Sudoku players on the Boodle, unite! We're tired of getting pushed around! My latest compulsion is to do the entire outside edges before further solving. Of course, I can't do that on the difficult ones. Yet.

Interesting article to read while they yammer about Sarah Palin and her brood on the TV news:

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 18, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Yep, I tend to do the 9x9s online, but the difficult ones tend to get printed out (I find it easier to do them if I'm writing), and I LOVE the 16x16s. I had a Dell magazine (Variety Puzzles?) subscription for several years, and I would always flip straight to the back to do the 16x16 as soon as it came in.

Today though, I had a paper one from my daily puzzle calendar. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | November 18, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, at my place of employ we don't regard "The Big Bang Theory" as a sitcom. It's more of a documentary. In fact, one of the Chief Scientists refers to himself as "Sheldon, with better social skills."

The oft-used gag "Dr. Cooper. Dr Hoftstadter. Dr. Koothrapalli. Dr. Winkle. Dr. Gabelhouser. MISTER Wolowitz" is repeated around here. Except the guy they call "MISTER" actually has a PhD. But to the true geeks it doesn't count; it's not like it's from an engineering school or something - it's just Harvard.

Of course, we have something like 25 MIT PhDs, so they're allowed to make that joke.

Just having my Master's from Purdue, I tend to duck and cover during those gags. :-(

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | November 18, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Did manage to catch a few Leonids last night even with the moon up.

I've been so busy that I haven't been able to give all the really cool sciency stuff all the attention I've wanted to. But I will catch up between the many things I have to do this afternoon and kickoff of the Bears at Miami tonight... (talk about time dialation... oy).

TBG, I'm glad you and SoTBG and the rest of your family know we love you. You're *our* family, y'know?

MotM - maybe you'll write a book about living in that house? As has been pointed out, engineering isn't just limited to engineers, but not that many of us are Mr. Scott - some of us are Wile E. Coyote (I have definitely had my moments.)


Posted by: -bc- | November 18, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Armybrat1, how the heck are you?

Sounds like some highly edjacated folks at your workplace.

The 16x16 sudokus can be fun, if one has time. As often as not, I prefer folding money, but that's just me.

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Folding money (ahem, as opposed to coins) is definitely more lucrative than solving sudokus, MsJS!

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the joys of traveling... Seems people want to get a week's jump on the holiday, no standbys on my earlier flight option. Hope I'm in a position to catch the game once I'm at my destination. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 18, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

In my little backwater of engineering too much education is sneered at. A PhD is likely to met with snorts of derision and eye rolls. It does add some cred if you have a master electrician license (which I don't) or similar qualifications to show you have actually have some 'real' experience. My token ploy is to casually mention that I got my start in the industry hand drafting shop drawings graphite on mylar. It would be cooler if I could brag about doing ink on vellum, but that method is a just little before even my time.

My wife laughs harder at BBT than I do not because she gets the geek jokes (but she secretly gets most of them), but that she recognizes a little too much of her husband and her son in it.

While I don't relate much to the academia world, I do claim that the late lamented 'Freaks and Geeks' series was actionably biographical.

And while my showkiller tendency has somehow let 30 Rock and BBT survive into multiple seasons, I still have the touch since both Caprica and Rubicon have bitten the dust.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Join the club. I'm also on standby for an earlier flight. If I can make it to Philly, I'm home free since there are plenty of seats from there to BWI.

At least where I am has free wifi or it would be back to Angry Birds until the cellphone battery dies.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Has Obama pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey yet? I boldly predict that when he does the conservative blogosphere and radiowaves will jump at the chance to say how it is another example of why he is a wishywashy liberal who is a failure.

It won't matter that the President pardons the turkey every year.... just as it didn't matter that Bush had hosted a Ramadan dinner every year.

It is just what they do. Sigh.

Posted by: baldinho | November 18, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

This article makes me laugh and cry depending on how many of the online comments I read. My head hurts either way.

Posted by: baldinho | November 18, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Chinese crested dogs
are dogdom's oompa-loompas.
Just call me Wonka...

-Wilbrodog Wonka-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that feces-to-energy project is merely the first step of a journey that will someday end with someone's mother saying, "I *told* you that you shouldn't have gone before we left."

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 18, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Human nature is rather astounding -- I'm standing at a "power port" table with non-functioning outlets. A man comes up to try and use them, and despite my repeated use of "There's no power here" and "Many people have already tried," he goes ahead and tries every outlet before adtmitting defeat and putting his AC adapter away. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 18, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

lol, bc. Friends have suggested that I write down my stories from the mountain house for my memoirs. (Rabid groundhogs, sliding backwards down icy roads, fighting Mother Nature for the driveway, AT keggers, basement bees-we had it all out there.) This house was supposed to be about having a less interesting housing experience. Instead, it's just turning out to be another chapter.

MsJS, the only thing I can fold from a dollar anymore is an elephant, and I've never been able to do any origami without explicit instructions. I sincerely admire those who can. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | November 18, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Like trees, Scottynuke:
You gotta sniff and mark them all
no matter what. Pride.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Marking power outlets is a singularly risky endeavor, Wilbrodog... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 18, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Wilbrodog... electric currents, fluid currents are two separate streams.


I'm never letting Wilbrodog help with the christmas tree lights again.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

MoftheM, a dollar bill elephant is impressive. I don't do really complicated ones, just ones like this.

Wilbrod, dogs and power cords tend not to mix well. Maybe just let W-dog supervise.

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure, you guys have moved on to engineering, sudoku, crested dogs, and holiday traffic. But I'm still trying to figure why that elephant's genitalia honks when Palin wanks it.

*sigh* I guess thoroughness, attention to detail, and intellectual curiosity are just more of the old virtues that have fallen by the wayside.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, those are slick, MsJS!

I have sounded off about Presidents running their various agencies, but have frankly been ignorant about exactly how much they can do. I find an article by Elena Kagan on this topic:

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 18, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Money, Mudge. And I think the verb you want is "tonk" not "honk"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Supervise, MSJS?

No way, he'd be all Fireman Bill on me.

"That's flammable, better water it pronto!"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The last 20 minutes of the Boodle are better than anything I've seen on TV in a year!

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Or is that faint praise?
Oh well, you know what I mean.

Snuke, it's rather the same (trying all the dead outlets) as the tendency to punch the elevator button that is already lit.

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ooh modular stuff. I really like the stars. One year I made modular boxes for x-mas candy, but I have no idea how I did it or what I've done with the instructions.

My sister can do the shirt. For some reason, that's the one that has stuck with her, like me and the elephants. This isn't one I did, but it's the same pattern/design:

I like leaving them as tips for outstanding waitstaff.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | November 18, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

In that case, Wilbrod, it was a pretty honky tonk.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Crossing the streams could lead to dogs living with cats.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

When I become President or Governor, I shall (quietly, without fanfare or cameras) eat the darned turkeys, and pardon some actual people.

Posted by: bobsewell | November 18, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

bobs, your political future does not lie in Texas.

Posted by: kguy1 | November 18, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

xactly Bob. The Decider was famous for sending every deserving Texan to their final demise. He even let the poor Scooter lying down on the battlefield. Yet he let go of a handful of succulent, juicy birds that were ready for the cranberry treatment. I'll never understand the man.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 18, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

When I was growing up, crossing streams meant muddy shoes. Kudos to whoever was defending the use of models in science last night.

Posted by: lostnspace | November 18, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Judge refuses to stop building of Tenn. mosque" (Front page)

"Judge refuses to stop construction of Tenn. mosque" (At the story)

Is this one of those "Evan Almighty" gigs where the judge has been commanded by Allah to build a mosque, no matter how much ridicule comes his way?

It's no big deal, but I think I'd have gone with "block" rather than "stop" in that headline.

Posted by: bobsewell | November 18, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

My latest Tea Party-induced flashback.

There was a scene in "Braveheart" where the army looking to stomp William Wallace and his boys was amassed opposite him on the field. They fired some arrows and some other stuff and the rebel dudes didn't retreat. Just as the "guy that orders a big assault" was about to order a big assault, the commander stopped him and ordered him to send in the Irish conscripts/mercenaries (I can't remember which) first.... since they were only on loan and weren't that important.

Dick Armey and the other leaders of the new conservative army remind me of that commander.

Their idea: Let's save OUR skin and energy for a while. Let's just send in the Tea Party. Who knows? Maybe they'll win all by themselves.

Posted by: baldinho | November 18, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

MotM, there are money gift box instructions on youtube and also at places like . I like that elephant. I give folded money to all sorts of people. My rehab doctor thinks it's a riot.

I'm working on designs for tree ornaments right now, including gift boxes, Xmas trees, snowflakes, candy canes and wreaths. I'll post some pics in a couple of weeks.

Wilbrod, I use the term 'supervise' loosely, but I know what you mean.

Lawdy, it get dark here early these days. Must go find football food for tonight's game.

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

MotM, there are money gift box instructions on youtube and also at places like . I like that elephant. I give folded money to all sorts of people. My rehab doctor thinks it's a riot.

I'm working on designs for tree ornaments right now, including gift boxes, Xmas trees, snowflakes, candy canes and wreaths. I'll post some pics in a couple of weeks.

Wilbrod, I use the term 'supervise' loosely, but I know what you mean.

Lawdy, it get dark here early these days. Must go find football food for tonight's game.

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

That one was my fault. Mea culpa.

Posted by: MsJS | November 18, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, MsJS, I'll look them up. Please do post the pics, I'd love to see them. :)

Posted by: MoftheMountain | November 18, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Science magazine is unavailable online (it's publication day). I hope it isn't being held hostage.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 18, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Bye, bye, Wilbon.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Science is back. The cover's a nice evening photo of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial. The AAAS annual meeting will be in Washington, in February.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 18, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

So...then in all dogs
there's a wannabe dictator
barking out orders?
Wonder where they learned that;
surely not from mushy humans.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Thirty-two years with the Post, wow. That's one heck of a career. I hope Wilbon does as well at ESPN.

Posted by: slyness | November 18, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Lostinspace, great handle.

CRANBERRY TREATMENT@!!!! Sd, stop, you are killing me.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | November 18, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Since nobody else made mention of it, I'll note that byoolin's 3:15 PM was *very* funny to me.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 18, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, missed the original reference by Mudge though.
Mmm, Mr. Fusion replaced by Mr. Sewage...
We gotta get back to the future and improve it, you know.

Cow output just ain't as sexy a fuel as star-heat is.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 18, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

For Cassandra: today congress passed the bill "doc-fix" to avert a 23% cut in physician's medicare reimbursement. The source is "medscape" from today. Here is only a short intro, the whole thing is too long.

Editor's note: Later in the evening on November 18, the Senate passed its bill postponing a 23% cut in Medicare reimbursement to physicians from December 1 to January 1.

November 18, 2010 — House Democrats introduced legislation today that would postpone a 23% cut in Medicare reimbursement for physicians set for December 1 until January 1, 2012, and instead boost rates by 1% in the meantime.

Posted by: gmbka | November 18, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Bob-S, that reminds me of this event. I wonder if this guy listened to his Mom when he was a kid and was wearing a clean pair just in case?

Posted by: baldinho | November 18, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Some folks just really, really shouldn't drink.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 18, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I really must check in with the Boodle before too many hours go by. I have something to say to ArmyBrat, but fear I'm BOO.

Lovely to see you all here, still, though.

Doing some consulting work, and was informed today that I'm on the shortlist of 5 for the full-time management job I really, really want. Reely want. I'm chuffed!

Hope you are all feeling in a good place, Boodlers.

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

That's certainly good news Yoki. My fingers are crossed for you!

Funny stuff here this afternoon, kudos to all involved!

Posted by: badsneakers | November 18, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Firing a cannon load of mojo northwest to Yoki, but your talent alone should be mojo enough.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 18, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Aww, thanks!

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

My mojo's on its way, Yoki, but it may be a little late. We're having some trouble get the two sleds loaded, and a couple of the sled dogs are having leadership issues. The one team has a couple of Iditarod veterans on it, and they keep wanting to head over toward Nome. not Calgary. The other team is made up of the second-string benchwarmers who don't get to do the major sled races. There's a Chihuahua, two Shar-peis, a Bichon, a Weimaraner, two actual huskies, and a Jack Russell.

So, yes, your mojo's on the way. You're just going to have to be patient

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, Yoki!

Posted by: seasea1 | November 18, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse


My money's on the Weimeraner, the Malamutes and the Jack Russell. Clearly, the JR terrier will lead the way.

"All dogs are bad, but terriers have more original sin than any other breed."

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Fingers and toes crossed for you, Yoki!

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well, *you* tell the Bichon that the JR's in charge. I've talked to her until I'm blue in the face.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 18, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Sisters all! Many thanks. I've feeling good about it.

Even if it doesn't end up as a job, they're seeing my abilities. Capacities. Capabilities. That reflects well on me.

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse


I'll just look stern and use hand-signals to put the Bichon in a down-stay. I can't really deal with the JR -- way too much dog for me.

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Cool! Best of luck to you, Yoki!

Posted by: -pj- | November 18, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if being chuffed is good or bad, but I hope you get the job.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 18, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, peej

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Chuffed is great! Chuffed is, well, feeling all blown-up and bouncy with happiness. You know, 'chuffed!"

Thanks yello.

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

And good luck to you on that job, Yoki.

Was looking at the Kit, and thinking that the title "What BP should have done," could almost as easily have been, "What BP Shouldn't Have Done."

And something I shouldn't do is stay up too much later watching a futile football game. The 'fins got nuthin'.

We'll see if it ends that way.


Posted by: -bc- | November 18, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is doing his Glen Beck slap-down/take-off again tonight, y'all. If you're not watching maybe you can catch it on a later broadcast. Great stuff.

Posted by: talitha1 | November 18, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, don't know from Glenn Beck nor Jon Stewart. But I love that you all do.

Posted by: Yoki | November 18, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is the one that's intentionally funny.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 19, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Most Excellent!

Posted by: Yoki | November 19, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and happy Friday, ye Boodlies.

No, I don´t have a cell phone. I just mumble to myself.

Nevertheless, the number of cell phones in Chile exceeds the number of people in the country.

Population is 17 million.
Number of cell phones exceeds 18 million.

Haff a good day, everyone.

Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | November 19, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! Cold in the G house today because all the windows are open. The basement floor was finished yesterday and the sealer is SMELLY. Had a hard time sleeping as the odor crept upstairs to the top floor.

Off to take my sister to chemo today. She lives an hour south of here and has her infusions in Richmond, so there's some good time spent together, like sisters like to have, not just in the infusion room, but the car, too. Time flies by when you're with the ones you love.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 19, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

TBG-stay safe on that drive twixt your place and Richmond. Keeping a good thought.

Yoki-hope it's not too late to fax mucho macho.

Saw Stewart's send up of Beck last night and second the recommendation to view it in rebroadcast, or online.

Pomegranate, Greek yogurt with honey, banana, and granola for those without time for a hot breakfast. A little chocolate in your latte?

Off to Tampa for a long Thanksgiving break so later gators.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 19, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Have fun in Tampa, fb. Hug a gator for me.

Road trips are kinda fun no matter what the circumstances. It's a tough situation but you get to spend time with your sis. I envy how close you are to your siblings.

I've got to download some books from Audible for the car-ride to Atlanta and back next week. I'm leaning towards the new Bill Bryson book.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 19, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Saw the Stewart bit last night, it was excellent. I only wish people who think Beck is for real would watch the clip and have their eyes opened - yeah, I know, wishful thinking.

Time for a small rant: I have caller ID and never answer the phone if I don't know who is calling. Over the last two or three weeks the March of Dimes has called here at least three times a day, every day. It always rings three times before stopping so it never goes to voicemail. The last call was five minutes ago. I have never had so many calls from a solicitor, not even the politicians can beat this for persistence and annoyance. Do charities not get the message that repeatedly calling me is going to make me less likely to contribute to them? I am tempted now to pick up next time they call and give them a contribution that they will not like! End of rant.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 19, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

My wife gave some clothing to what I now think is a sham veterans' group. We haven't given anything to them for years and years yet we still get a call about once a month, usually early on a Saturday morning, asking if we will have anything for them that week.

Next time I will ask to be taken off the list, but I doubt it will help.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 19, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I'm half way thru the new Bryson book. It is excellent. He always writes in a way that amuses and informs. Too bad he didn't teach my high school math classes, I'd certainly be better at it now. ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | November 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

Clouds are hard.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 19, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

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