Open Thread


200 replies
  1. 1
    Andrei says:

    I haven’t been watching the Steelers pre-season enough, so I’ll ask openly: Is Willie Parker healthy enough to make it this year, or is Rashard Mendenhall a better bet to have as your RB for fantasy football? As RB #2.

  2. 2
    Laura W says:

    @Andrei: Now there’s a commenter who knows how to cheer the host up.

  3. 3
    Andrei says:

    That would be most ironic considering I’m one of the few commenters ever in the history of B-J to ever get banned. Heh, indeed!

  4. 4
    ruemara says:

    2 words. green tea muffins.
    wait, 3 words. green tea raspberry muffins.

    hm, ok, 6 words, green tea raspberry chocolate chip muffins.

    I can’t wait to make some.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    @Andrei: Now we know why.

  6. 6
    GReynoldsCT00 says:


    must have been quite a performance

  7. 7
    Laura W says:

    @Andrei: Well, see, now you’ve got me all nostalgic for BOB again. When does he get let out of the corner anyway?

    I have something to cheer John up. Just checked my DVR list from last night and not only do I have the season finale of WEEDS to watch (does no one else watch that show? It’s freakin’ fabulous!), but…also a new episode of HOARDERS!

    “Betty – a woman’s husband is removed by Adult Protective Services as a result of her hoarding.”

    See? No matter how bad your life is in any given day, it could always be way worse. (I’m going to have to stop using “way” like that in case I am confused with Michelle Bachmann.)

  8. 8
    Keith G says:

    The little mom & pop bakery near me was out of key lime, but a fresh peach pie with a very light crust caught my eye.

    Chicken is soon off the grill, pasta and home made alfredo is ready to start.

    Might have too get up extra early and run extra far tomorrow.

  9. 9
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    @Laura W: Weeds lost me around the end of season 3. Nancy Botwin is a dispicable character – stupid as Homer Simpson, but yet not quite as funny. Still, give me Kevin Nealon any day.

  10. 10
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    @Laura W:

    BOB got put in the corner? And I missed it? Have to say it has been nice…

  11. 11
    Keith G says:

    too? shiet!

  12. 12
    robertdsc says:


    I made the mistake of trying peach Snapple iced tea the other day because the store was out of my beloved raspberry. Boy, was that a mistake. I tried to finish it but couldn’t. Awful, awful stuff.

  13. 13
    srv says:




  14. 14
    geg6 says:

    Laura W: I found Nancy too unlikable after a couple of seasons. I really loved it at first, but I just couldn’t help thinking that I really didn’t like any of the main characters. It’s why I could never get into many shows that “everybody” semms to like. I know a lot of people who like Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy. But I can’t stand any of the characters, so I can’t watch them. And at least in the case of DH, I hear there’s often fun and well done scripts and acting. Just can’t care. Thus I cannot watch.

  15. 15
    srv says:



  16. 16
    Laura W says:

    @geg6: Well, I don’t watch Grey’s or Housewives. Never had any interest.
    I hang around WEEDS for the writing – the contemporary humor and cultural references, massive amounts of snark, and very witty and snappy dialogue. The plot holds me, and I don’t have any strong feelings about Nance one way or the other, ie, she doesn’t trigger me. I’m neutral about her character. However, I had new respect for Mary Louise after seeing her in Angels in America.
    I think this season is the consistently funniest and most interesting yet. (Oh yeah…did I mention her brother-in-law Andy rocks?)

    But then, I don’t watch 90% of the shows that are discussed on this site, so I’m a freak.

  17. 17
    Stephen1947 says:

    Did any of you see this yesterday?;st=cse

    I never expected to see such a headline in my lifetime – seems to me that lions can now lay down with lambs and even Palestinians and Israelis might be able to find some common ground…

  18. 18
    Incertus says:

    Anybody else read the piece in the NY Times Magazine about Memorial Hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Positively heartbreaking, though I didn’t feel so sorry for the racist pulmonologist on pages 13 and 14. I did a writeup about one aspect of it here.

  19. 19
    shirt says:

    I just sent whirlpool the following:

    “Thank you for making things easier for me. I will no longer look to the whirlpool line of products. My friends and family know that, If gifted with your product, it will be trashed: no returned, not donated but trashed.

    If you trash jobs in america, you get trashed in return. Think about it!”

    Their product include jenn-air, amana, kitchenaide.

  20. 20
    Laura W says:

    Breaking Ben & Jerry’s news!
    They have renamed “Chubby Hubby”, “Hubby Hubby”,
    to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality.

    For John’s sake I hope they don’t fuck with Cherry Garcia.

  21. 21
    JackieBinAZ says:

    I got stopped for speeding today … on my way back from taking care of a speeding ticket. I got sent on my way with a warning. Maybe I should go buy a powerball ticket.

  22. 22
    Comrade Jake says:

    I assume people have seen the ridiculous ad that Steele is running on health care? Full of win.

    Full. Of. Win!

  23. 23
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    A commenter on an open thread the other day mentioned Masterpiece Theater and Inspector Lewis and that made me long for his old boss, Morse, and the days when A&E put on quality programming. Boy, could Lewis get under Morse’s skin for absolutely doing nothing wrong. They were a great duo, and John Thaw was a great actor.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    @Laura W:

    Hoarders! I love this show! Unfortunately, I missed last night’s due to having to move and cable not being set up in the new place.

    BTW, moving sucks. Moving when you don’t want to move is even worse.

  25. 25
    Sloth says:

    Weeds lost me around the end of season 3. Nancy Botwin is a dispicable character – stupid as Homer Simpson, but yet not quite as funny. Still, give me Kevin Nealon any day.

    I’m still loving it, but I am starting to feel like the entire show is a very effective allegory for the history of the U.S. over the last 10 years or so.

    With Nancy Botwin as the U.S.

  26. 26
    Crashman06 says:

    The big trip to Montreal is coming up this weekend. If anyone’s been there before, do you have any recommendations or must-see/visit places? We’re already going to Toque, and I want to make a stop at Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel. Any other ideas?

  27. 27
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @bedtimeforbonzo: I love the Colin Dexter books too, though Morse is slightly different in print. The Lewis myseries are decent, but the character just doesn’t have the pull that Morse did, even after having his wife killed which gives him a tragic air. The new sidekick is an interesting character.

  28. 28
    Andrei says:

    Ok… seriously… I have Rashard Mendenhall on my fantasy football team as a backup RB, and I need to know if I should keep him or try to trade him for a different back. Is Parker healthy, and even if so, is Mewelde Moore gonna vulture carries?

    This is important people.

  29. 29
    LoveMonkey says:

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things.

    I just love it when I get to post about my favorite things. Next to urinating into my trousers, nothing gives me a warmer feeling all over.

    Don’t you love it too when I get to say what my favorite things are? Really, don’t you?

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    must-see/visit places?

    walk up Mont Royal (it’s like a ten minute walk, no problem).

    go to the ‘old’ quarter. there are too many fantastic bars/bistros to name. just pick a couple and spend an afternoon. it’s a bit touristy right around the square but it will chill a bit as you go a block or two away.

  31. 31
    JK says:

    The Best and Worst Pizzas in America

  32. 32
    cleek says:

    Don’t you love it too when I get to say what my favorite things are?

    ok. here we go:

    dinner tonight
    much depends
    upon the red
    and glistening
    beside the
    white rice

    oh, and some sauteed spinach, too.

  33. 33
    cleek says:


    sheesh. what are the formatting rules here ?

  34. 34
    LoveMonkey says:


    Sure, but can’t you afford some decent fish? Snapper is pretty subprime. It’s about a notch above cat food.

    Get some sea bass, or halibut. I had some catfish the other day at a restaurant here that was to die for, the texture was like absolutely perfect whitefish and the flavor was exquisite.

  35. 35

    @Crashman06: Google for “Worldcon 2009” and look for blog reports. The most recent SF/F convention was held in Montreal, so there are a zillion reports about experiences in that city. You may have to dig through fannish “I met John Scalzi!” paragraphs occasionally, but you might find some titillating food and bar recommendations.

  36. 36
    JK says:

    Betsy McCaughey lies her way thru a 30 minute radio interview.

    Igor Volsky at Think Progress responds to McCaughey’s lies

  37. 37
    HyperIon says:

    @Andrei: it was the c word, right?

  38. 38
    Morbo says:

    Q: How do you defuse a health care protest?

    A: Satire

  39. 39
    LoveMonkey says:


    We just watched Atonement the other night, and there was the c-word, prominently featured and displayed from one end of the screenplay to the other. And in one scene, the word is referred to as the “worst word” ever.

    Essays, please, on why a guy got banned for using a word that holds up a critical part of an acclaimed movie.

    Submissions must be double spaced.

  40. 40
    demimondian says:

    @HyperIon: It was indeed.

    Good times, good times.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    Open Thread
    by John Cole


    That is what I like about this blog. The restraint and civility is amazing. ‘Blah’ indeed. Much more polite than anything I can type right now (So I better stop).

  42. 42
    Crashman06 says:

    @cleek: @Linkmeister:

    Thanks guys, for the suggestions. Definitely want to make the trek up to the top of Mont Royal. We’re staying in the old quarter, so hopefully we can find something out of the way and interesting .

  43. 43
    HyperIon says:

    @bedtimeforbonzo: A&E?

    Morse was originally on Mystery on PBS. This was way before Masterpiece Theater became Masterpiece and Mystery became Masterpiece Mystery. It was back when Masterpiece Theater actually showed masterpieces like Anna Karenina, Point Counterpoint, Trollope, etc. And Mystery had actual original mysteries (recall Sherlock Holmes) written by actual mystery authors. Now we get spinoffs like Inspector Lewis and the 3rd remake of a lame Agatha Christie.

    Public TV: another great idea that has been trashed in the last 10 years. Here in Seattle the flagship PBS station fund-raises about 25% of the time these days. They should just go dark and see what happens. I hate those fund-raising programs.

  44. 44
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @Morbo: That made my day.

  45. 45
    Anne Laurie says:


    “Turkey and Armenia, whose century of hostilities constitutes one of the world’s most enduring and acrimonious international rivalries, have agreed to establish diplomatic relations… “

    Good news, indeed. Although my first impulse was to wonder which century the NYT had picked to highlight, because saying the Turks started abusing the Armenians in 1915 is like saying the troubles in Northern Ireland started in 1972…

  46. 46
  47. 47
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    A better Morse link.

  48. 48
    JK says:

    “NYC: Matt Taibbi: yay or nay?
    Tucker Carlson: What a phony.
    Ana Marie Cox: Not a fan but I applaud his ability to make me look like a sober and judicious practitioner of journalism.”

    h/t Cox and bow-ties

    Tucker Carlson and Ana Marie Cox putting down Matt Taibbi’s journalism is like Jessica Simpson and Sylvester Stallone ridiculing the acting of Meryl Streep and Daniel Day Lewis or Grand Funk Railroad and the Iron Butterfly dissing the music of The Beatles

  49. 49
    jl says:

    Just saw the clip of Bartilomo making a fool of herself over why a 44 year old Congressman is not on Medicare.

    A few weeks ago, she (a supposed business reporter) revealed she did not know One Damn Thing (ODT) about the international pharmaceutical industry.

    Or made it appear as though she did not know ODT in order to mislead the country on health care reform.

    This summer has provided a truly disturbing glimpse at the rank corruption into which this country has fallen. And a complete lack of any ethical or intellectual standards whatever. Truly disgusting.

    And Bartilomo is not the worst, since she at least is willing to go face to face with her opponents (that she is batting 0.000 from my perspective seems to have no consequences for her however). There is the entire GOP leadership and the Blue Dogs, and many other ‘news’ personalities who are doing worse.

  50. 50
    John Cole says:

    why are we boycotting Whirlpool?

  51. 51
    LoveMonkey says:

    @John Cole:

    Because they are making black appliances.

  52. 52
    Demo Woman says:

    Is anyone familiar with pressure washers? I need to have my house pressure washed before I paint it. My son is trying to convince me to chip in with him and buy one that we can share. How difficult are they to handle and how many psi’s do you need in order to pressure wash a house?

  53. 53
    JK says:

    @HyperIon: @bedtimeforbonzo:

    Years before I had cable tv, I used to browse the cable listings in TV Guide to see what I was missing. A&E, Bravo, and The Learning Channel rivaled PBS in terms of high quality arts programming. One of the 3 networks used to air Britains’ South Bank Show and there was another series on the Great Books. These networks were aiming high. USA Network used to air Night Flight, a very eclectic mix of movies and music performances.

    Sadly, most of the programming on A&E, Bravo, TLC, and USA Network is now garbage. Instead of trying to match the best of arts and culture programming of PBS, these networks are just pigging out on nonsensical, brain dead, lowest common denominator programming.

    Several months ago, Masterpiece Contemporary aired The Last Enemy, a high quality thriller about life in a surveillance society. I haven’t completely soured on Masterpiece.

  54. 54
    Andrei says:


    I got banned because I called one of the other rightwing commentators the word-of-which-we-shall-not-speak after she made claim that the offenses thrown at her in this peanut gallery were softballs. I then refused to take it back or apologize.

    There was a strong contingent of rightwing propagandists back in 2005 – 2006 on this site that Cole defended pretty strongly, and she was one of them. They have all abandoned him now that he doesn’t carry their water anymore.

    But in all honesty she really was a… oh nevermind.

  55. 55
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    Hyperlon: Actually, back in the Nineties, before it gave way to reality TV, A&E ran very good detective series at the 10 o’clock hour. That’s how I became acquainted with Morse, along with Inspector Frost, who was kind of a working man’s Morse. Luckily, I re-discovered Morse on PBS before both John Thaw and the character died. Morse always left me wanting another mystery for him to crack, and a reason to show off his special miserable state of being.

    Screaming In Atlanta put it well: Morse pulled me in, whereas Lewis, by himself, does not. I remember doing a double-take watching the Season 7 show when Morse asked poor Lewis about his family for the first time, being as surprised as the loyal Lewis. I also remember Morse studying the bubbles in his beer, brooding, feeling the same way I do when I’m depressed.

    Morse’s snobbery rubbed off on this viewer — American detective series just never felt the same.

    P.S. Loved the way the credits rolled with the beep-beep-beep of Morse code.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    @John Cole: Um… I really need to wash my clothes tonight. What should I do?

    I need a few days notice on these boycotts.

    Seriously, what did Whirlpool do? I can’t figure it out from the comments.

  57. 57
    The Other Steve says:

    I went to see Inglourious Basterds last night.

    It was funny over the top violence and a cliche storyline. The acting was good which made it worth watching. I hope to see more of Shoshanna and Landa.

  58. 58
    jl says:

    @The Other Steve: I thought it was good too, but after the first hour or so, the cliche story line and the juvenile conceit of it really started grating on my nerves.

    Tarntino is a brilliant director, but he has the intellect and sensibility of a twelve year old. Difficult to really enjoy his films. He should have gone into commix.

    But I have to admit he is brilliant in many ways.

  59. 59
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @bedtimeforbonzo: Good point about English mysteries – I think they are far superior, both in print and screen. I have read almost every pre-1960’s British mystery and love them all. Best are the Lord Peter series by Dorothy L. Sayers. BBC dramatized some of them but they all have that soap opera ltg peculiar to British TV before the 1990’s or so. I would love to see the Lord Peter novels done really well by Masterpiece. Same with some of Trollope’s other books (I missed the Trollope thread the other day).

  60. 60
    Fulcanelli says:

    Has anybody had any experience with those cassette or vinyl record to digital devices? I’ve got a metric ton of old cassetes and LP’s I’d like to burn into iTunes. I saw a pair, one for cassetes and one for vinyl LP at BJ’s (!!1!1) Wholesale club the other day for aroound $100 each, I forget the brand…

  61. 61
    auntieeminaz says:

    Laura W.: Nice ad for Little Bitsy. I put a link to the voting site on my IE favorites bar so I would remember to click on the site every day.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    @John Cole:

    I think because they’re closing their Evansville plant and moving the jobs to Mexico. Link:

  63. 63
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @bedtimeforbonzo: Have you seen the “Foyle’s War” series? They’re great – in fact we’re watching one tonight. They are mysteries set in WWII Brittain, with the always excellent Michael Kitchen as Foyle.

  64. 64
    Bill E Pilgrim says:


    Make sure you go to the plateau and just hang out at some French cafes, my favorites are the smaller ones along Avenue Laurier, between Rue Garnier and Avenue Papineau I’d say, and then also some cool ones over on St Laurent around Duluth. The one that’s connected to the newsstand is great.

  65. 65
    LoveMonkey says:


    I know, I was here, and remember it well.

    I think I even lined up with the lynch mob. One of the few things I’ve done here at Ball Oonjuice that I regret doing.

  66. 66
    JK says:


    Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett are the Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann of financial journalism.

  67. 67
    Blue Raven says:


    Q: How do you defuse a health care protest?

    Aw, nuts. I live just two towns north of Menlo Park. That would’ve been worth it just to go and gawk, let alone show support to the Billionaires.

  68. 68
    Blue Raven says:

    Whoops. I used the wrong email addy on that last comment, didn’t I?

  69. 69
    Demo Woman says:

    @Andrei: Welcome back… That was quite a discussion a few days back. Sometimes it’s just not worth feeding the trolls. I am not sure why we feed BOB so much. Are we sure that BOB is some type of extraterrestrial?

  70. 70
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Demo Woman:
    Is anyone familiar with pressure washers? I need to have my house pressure washed before I paint it.

    Are you sure it needs to be pressure washed? I only ask because those things are incredibly powerful and can take paint, wood, you name it right off. Just a hose with a reducing nozzle, the little brass kind that focus the water to a small, powerful stream is enough to knock off loose paint even up n the eaves.

    I don’t know the particulars and/or much about using a pressure washer on stucco or concrete or something, but if it’s wood- beware. Those things can clean gum off concrete, some of them anyway.

  71. 71
    ellaesther says:

    The BBC Newshour reminded me earlier that the Nazis invaded Poland 70 years ago today. And the upshot by 1945 was that more than 52 million people died (indeed, the “more” is close to 200,000. When you’re speaking in tens of millions, a couple of hundred thousand seem like small change).

    Every once and awhile, the world hands me a little perspective, and I’m left blinking in the blinding light of it.

    I posted Auden’s “September 1, 1939” at my own place, but here I’ll just quote a few lines:

    “All I have is a voice
    To undo the folded lie,
    The romantic lie in the brain
    Of the sensual man-in-the-street
    And the lie of Authority
    Whose buildings grope the sky:
    There is no such thing as the State
    And no one exists alone;
    Hunger allows no choice
    To the citizen or the police;
    We must love one another or die.”

  72. 72
    Anne Laurie says:


    Has anybody had any experience with those cassette or vinyl record to digital devices?

    The Spousal Unit, who is both a tech-snob and a devout cheapskate, finally installed a PlusDeck 2c in the household PC so I could play & convert my much-loved stash of cassettes. IIRC, it was about $85 from an online geek site. I’d be curious to know what others are using, especially for LPs, because we still have a handful that will probably never be released on a more up-to-date medium.

  73. 73
    eric says:

    A and E is unwatchable with commercials every other minute.

    Give me Universe and Naked science.

  74. 74
    tripletee says:


    There was a strong contingent of rightwing propagandists back in 2005 – 2006 on this site that Cole defended pretty strongly, and she was one of them. They have all abandoned him now that he doesn’t carry their water anymore.

    Maybe not all – I’ve always assumed the BenderTroll is actually MacBuckets. If not, it’s somebody doing a spot-on impression.

  75. 75
    eric says:

    Also How the Earth Was Made and I found Batlles BC on the isrealites the most interesting thing I have seen in a long time

  76. 76
    jenniebee says:

    I think Chris Matthew’s lawyer guest just said that nothing was going to come of the special prosecutor’s investigation into torture because the prosecutor is “career minded” and knows better than to rock the boat by finding anything.

    Of course, he also said that it’s unfair to investigate when the Bush administration already investigated itself and discovered that it was clean and virtuous and just trying to keep the country safe.

  77. 77
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @ellaesther: The Auden verse is lovely, thank you for posting. I like the visuals of your blog and have bookmarked it for reading.

  78. 78
    Laura W says:

    @auntieeminaz: Thank you!!

    She has 139 votes as of this moment. Earlier today I scrolled thru the other cute dog competitors and was feeling cocky when I got to page 12 to find the second closest to Bitsy had 43 votes.
    Then I clicked LAST page to find 44,730 total dogs in that damn thing!!

    I still didn’t find any over 100, but we have to totally push this so Little Bitsy at least gets the $500 for Week 5 winner, but more importantly, makes the final 12 so we can make her a top 4 finalist and get Evelyn Bridges $5,000!

    For the backstory, if you care, here is my initial post from Sunday morning:

    And here is the follow up on Little Bitsy’s past from Evelyn:

    I could never, ever do what Evelyn Bridges does for the animals. She is just tireless and 100% devoted. But we all do what we can do, right? So I run ads and help with promotion and networking, and you all vote!!

  79. 79
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    Screaming In Atlanta: Thanks for the suggestion about Foyle’s War; I looked it up on Wiki and it sounds like my cup of tea. My wife of 5 years is from Russia still struggles with the language and would find something like Morse “too talky,” as she does Man Men, but she puts up with me. A good night of blanced viewing for the both of us is Sunday — Hung and Entourage, which we both like on HBO, and Mad Men, which usually puts her to sleep by the second half.

    I remember as a teen liking Harry O, played by David Jansen of Fugitive fame, on ABC. That same networked revived the Cracker series not that long ago.

    But I can’t think of the last good character-driven detective series on network TV since it was taken over by reality CSI-NCSI invasion, the appeal of which I have never understood. (And Law and Order, to me, was never the same once Jerry Orbach met the big detective in the sky.)

  80. 80
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Recommendations for restaurants.

    My wife and I are foodies, and enjoyed a wonderful meal at a small place on Bishop St. called “La Montée”. They did a wonderful wine pairing with a tasting menu, and when my wife didn’t like one of the wines, they replaced it in an instant.

    It was really reasonable, and chef-owned, I believe. It’s fairly high-end, casual dining, if that’s not a misnomer.

    Website is at

    Have fun!

  81. 81
    Demo Woman says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: What I’m hoping to do is clean off the stucco enough so that I can just paint the trim. My concern is that I’ll chip in to buy a machine that is to hard for me to use.

  82. 82
    rh says:

    Anyone else encountered this scandalous rumor that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990?

    More information here:

  83. 83
    JK says:

    @ellaesther: That was great to see. I love that poem.

    For me, the poem most relevant to our current situation is

    To Whom It May Concern by Adrian Mitchell

    I was run over by the truth one day.
    Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way
    So stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam.

    Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain,
    Couldn’t find myself so I went back to sleep again
    So fill my ears with silver
    Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam.

    Every time I shut my eyes all I see is flames
    Made a marble phone book and I carved all the names
    So coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
    Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam.

    I smell something burning, hope it’s just my brains.
    They’re only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
    So stuff my nose with garlic
    Coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
    Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam.

    Where were you at the time of the crime?
    Down by the Cenotaph drinking slime
    So chain my tongue with whisky
    Stuff my nose with garlic
    Coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
    Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam.

    You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out,
    You take the human being and you twist it all about
    So scrub my skin with women,
    Chain my tongue with whisky
    Stuff my nose with garlic
    Coat my eyes with butter
    Fill my ears with silver
    Stick my legs in plaster
    Tell me lies about Vietnam.


  84. 84
    jl says:

    @jenniebee: Good to know that. I will quit paying taxes then, and send the IRS a letter than I have investigated myself and everything is A-OK. I’ll remember to cc the state tax board.

    Those vehicle registration fees are a pain too, and I have a very fuel efficient, light, and low emissions car that causes nobody any problems. I will quit paying my fees and tell the DMV that I have investigated it.

    One of my neighbors is a real pain. If anything happens, I will tell the police that I have investigated myself, and nothing happened worthy of investigation.

    So, thanks for pointing me to that tip from our very responsible and informative national media sources. I am feeling a little better now.

    Am able to scratch a few thing off my ‘to do’ list. Regarding the pesky neighbor, I will not reveal whether I am adding anything, since it has been thoroughly investigated, just now, in my very wise head.

  85. 85
    ellaesther says:

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta: Thank you! I will admit that I’m not always so sober (if you scroll through a little, you’ll find [for instance] the awesome indie rock of Steve Burns — aka Steve from Blue’s Clues), but I was really struck by the date, and by the fact that it went largely unremarked on these shores. Certain things tend to sober one right up.

  86. 86
    ellaesther says:

    @JK: Wow. Ouch. That is something else.

  87. 87
    Crashman06 says:

    @Demo Woman: I used pressure washers in a commercial situation about six years ago. There are wheels to push it around on, but sometimes you’ve really got to yank on the pull cord to get them started. Probably about the same weight as a lawnmower? When you squeeze the trigger to spray out the water, there’s a light kickback, but it’s pretty easy to handle. I only used one kind of model though so your experience may be different.

  88. 88
    JK says:


    “I can’t think of the last good character-driven detective series on network TV”

    What have you got against Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeff Goldblum on Law and Order: Criminal Intent?

    My vote for best character driven detective series – Columbo.

  89. 89
    cleek says:


    hmm. i like snapper.

    i’d prefer grouper, but i the fish guy only sells whole fish, and i didn’t need 12 pounds of grouper. and i don’t know shit about tile fish or butterfish or spot or “pan trout”, so those were right out.

    catfish ? it’s not bad. tastes a bit like mud though.

  90. 90
    burnspbesq says:

    I just had an opportunity to deliver a message, and I did.

    Got a call from the DSCC asking for money. I said to the guy on the other end of the line, “I’ll make this really quick: unless we get a health care reform bill with a public option, my checkbook is closed for the next cycle.”

    Hope the message gets through.

  91. 91

    I’m lovin’ the sidebar ad that encourages me to show my support for the Republican Bill of Rights for Old People. Complete with dour looking dowager glaring out at you like you’ve said a naughty word.

    Sooo … Let the Republicans shaft this old coot who looks just like the old coot who used to watch your every move when you were a kid. And .3 seconds after you did something she even THOUGHT might annoy her, she was on the phone to your mom … Hmm … Nope! Not gonna do it. Nice try Republicans!

  92. 92
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    “What have you got against Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeff Goldblum on Law and Order: Criminal Intent?”

    JK: Dare I say too quirky?

    That said, I have enjoyed watching D’Onofrio’s L&O from time to time.

    Caught one Goldblum ep and enjoyed it.

  93. 93
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Speaking of A & E, I really liked the Nero Wolfe series they ran for a while, with Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin. I guess they decided that they’d rather show “reality” crap all the time.

  94. 94
    Demo Woman says:

    @Crashman06: We would not buy a commercial one but even the ones for home use are on wheels. Now I can still start the lawn mower so it should be okay. What I read on line is to make sure that you get one with multiple tips so you can adjust the spray easily.

  95. 95
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    Oh, and before signing off, I forgot to add that my favorite all-time TV detective is James Garner — “Jimmy,” as his dad would call him in the series — in The Rockford Files.

    Always seemed too bothered to take the case, but needed the money, and would solve it. A real Everyman.

  96. 96
    Elie says:

    “All I have is a voice
    To undo the folded lie,
    The romantic lie in the brain
    Of the sensual man-in-the-street
    And the lie of Authority
    Whose buildings grope the sky:
    There is no such thing as the State
    And no one exists alone;
    Hunger allows no choice
    To the citizen or the police;
    We must love one another or die.”

    That. Thanks

  97. 97
    Demo Woman says:

    @Crashman06: It’s not worth it to me if I have to chip in more that $250.00 so we are looking for something around $500.00 or less. Hopefully that will do the job.

  98. 98
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Demo Woman:

    What I’m hoping to do is clean off the stucco enough so that I can just paint the trim. My concern is that I’ll chip in to buy a machine that is to hard for me to use.

    IANAC (I am not a contractor) but Bill E. Pilgrim has the right idea — the little “pressure nozzle” that fits on the end of your garden hose costs about $2, and if you’ve got decent water pressure it’ll give you an idea if the dirt will wash off before the stucco does. I know the Spousal Unit investigated buying a pressure washer and decided to rent one as needed instead… and my DH, much as I love him, is the kind of toolhead who can very seldom resist buying another power tool, so the cost-versus-use ratio had to be pretty intimidating. Of course the other advantage to renting before you buy is that you can find out whether it’s too awkward for you to deal with on your own.

  99. 99
    Comrade Mary says:

    If you’re going to Montréal, you need some of the best bagels in the world. They’re small, perfectly chewy, and slightly sweet from being boiled in honey water before baking in a wood-fired oven.

    St. Viateur

    Fairmount Bagel

  100. 100
    RedKitten says:

    @Andrei: Yeah, I remember that. Good times. She was totally decent when talking about pop culture, and she and I were able to bond over a shared appreciation for Naveen Andrews. But her politics? Oy.

  101. 101
    JK says:


    Video of Adrian Mitchell reading To Whom It May Concern

    I can’t recall the title, but there was a documentary I once saw on television which had a clip of Mitchell reciting this poem.

  102. 102
    Crashman06 says:

    @Demo Woman: I mean to say I used mine in a commercial setting, but it may have been a non-industrial, home-use model. Anyway, yes, multiple tips are key. You should be able to just hook your garden hose right up to it, and if you can handle a lawnmower, it shouldn’t be a problem. Just keep an extra can of gas handy.

    They’re kinda fun to use, and somewhat satisfying, actually. It’s neat to watch it blast away all the dirt and crap off something.

  103. 103

    @bedtimeforbonzo: + Awesome theme song. I think that may have been the first time I heard a Moog.

  104. 104
    Crashman06 says:

    @Comrade Mary: Those sound very different from NY style bagels, but definitely something worth trying..

    Just looked at the website. It looks great. Something else to mark down on the map.

    @Bill E Pilgrim: That sounds like a great idea for Saturday afternoon…

  105. 105
    Crashman06 says:

    @Demo Woman: I’m afraid I don’t know how much one would cost, though. We used ours to really blast some nasty stuff off of concrete. Anne’s idea may be a better one, as you might not need that much power.

  106. 106
    Demo Woman says:

    What other blog has an open thread that discusses arts and entertainment, gourmet food, gardens, home improvement and our beloved animals.
    Definitely a good place to visit.

  107. 107
    Demo Woman says:

    @RedKitten: How’s it going? Are you able to rest and sleep?

  108. 108
    burnspbesq says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    “I’d be curious to know what others are using, especially for LPs, because we still have a handful that will probably never be released on a more up-to-date medium.”

    There are several solutions possible; which one is best for you depends on how finicky you are about sound and the capabilities of the rest of your gear.

    If you have a working turntable and a standalone phono preamp, all you need is (1) a cable to run from the outputs of your phono preamp to the line level input on your computer and (2) a copy of Audacity.

    If you don’t have a turntable and a standalone phono preamp, and you are willing to live with ripping your vinyl to digital form at CD-quality resolution, there are a number of “USB turntables” out there. IMO the best one comes from Pro-Ject.

    If you want to go full gonzo, you need a turntable, a standalone phono preamp, a copy of Audacity, and a digital-to-analog coverter with a USB input that can handle up to 96kHz/24 bit audio signals (because the sound card on your computer more than likely can’t). That box goes between your computer and your amplifier.

    A final note: neither the Squeezebox nor the Sonos system can handle anything higher resolution than CD. If you want to stream high-definition audio from your computer to your stereo wirelessly, it’s going to cost you two large for a Logitech Transporter.

  109. 109
    Indylib says:

    I love How the Earth was Made. I want to take all the creationist idiots and tie them to chairs and make them watch it.

  110. 110
    JK says:

    @ellaesther: @Elie:

    Speaking of powerful poems that seem relevant to current circumstances:

    Manifesto: A Mad Farmer’s Liberation Front
    by Wendell Berry

    Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
    vacation with pay. Want more
    of everything ready-made. Be afraid
    to know your neighbors and to die.
    And you will have a window in your head.
    Not even your future will be a mystery
    any more. Your mind will be punched in a ca
    rd and shut away in a little drawer.
    When they want you to buy something
    They will call you. When they want you
    to die for profit they will let you know.
    So, friends, every day do something
    that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
    Love the world. Work for nothing.
    Take all that you have and be poor.
    Love someone who does not deserve it.
    Denounce the government and embrace
    the flag. Hope to live in that free
    republic for which it stands.
    Give your approval to all you cannot
    understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
    has not encountered he has not destroyed.
    Ask the questions that have no answers.
    Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
    Say that your main crop is the forest
    that you did not plant,
    that you will not live to harvest.
    Say that the leaves are harvested
    when they have rotted into the mold.
    Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
    Put your faith in the two inches of humus
    that will build under the trees
    every thousand years.
    Listen to carrion – put your ear
    close, and hear the faint chattering
    of the songs that are to come.
    Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
    Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
    though you have considered all the facts.
    So long as women do not go cheap
    for power, please women more than men.
    Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
    a woman satisfied to bear a child?
    Will this disturb the sleep
    of a woman near to giving birth?
    Go with your love to the fields.
    Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
    in her lap. Swear allegiance
    to what is nighest your thoughts.
    As soon as the generals and the politicos
    can predict the motions of your mind,
    lose it. Leave it as a sign
    to mark the false trail, the way
    you didn’t go. Be like the fox
    who makes more tracks than necessary,
    some in the wrong direction.
    Practice resurrection.


  111. 111
    RedKitten says:

    @Demo Woman:
    Yes, I’ve been sleeping well, actually. I think most new moms would want to scratch my eyes out in jealousy. He usually snoozes from around 10:30-ish until about 2am or so, and then after his feeding, conks back out from about 3am to around 6:30, then another feeding, and then sleeps again from about a little after 7am until about 10am. I sleep as well during those particular sleep shifts, and then when he naps during the day, I get stuff done.

  112. 112
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Indylib: Another interesting show, in a similar vein (heh), is (was?) on the Science Channel, called “Hot Rocks”.

  113. 113
    Laura W says:

    @JK: Just yesterday I finally had enough of XM Coffeehouse (all Jewell, all Mayer, all the time!) and moved over to the Bridge. Yeah…you gotta put up with the Billy Joel crap, but you get a lot of totally out of left field stuff that makes you stop what you’re doing and say: “I can not believe you just played that!” Today: Dark Star, CSN; Case of You, Joni; Something off off of Elton’s Tumbleweed Connection I can not recall; Taxi, Harry Chapin; Wild World, Cat Stevens; and a plethora of Bonnie Raitt songs, best of all.

    Anyway, this came on today and I could hear the lyrics from the office so came in to bump up the sound and grab the title, because it felt so timely: “Lives in the Balance”, Jackson Browne:

    I’ve been waiting for something to happen
    For a week or a month or a year
    With the blood in the ink of the headlines
    And the sound of the crowd in my ear
    You might ask what it takes to remember
    When you know that you’ve seen it before
    Where a government lies to a people
    And a country is drifting to war

    And there’s a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who send the guns
    To the wars that are fought in places
    Where their business interest runs

    On the radio talk shows and the t.v.
    You hear one thing again and again
    How the u.s.a. stands for freedom
    And we come to the aid of a friend
    But who are the ones that we call our friends–
    These governments killing their own?
    Or the people who finally can’t take any more
    And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
    There are lives in the balance
    There are people under fire
    There are children at the cannons
    And there is blood on the wire

    There’s a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who fan the flames
    Of the wars that are fought in places
    Where we can’t even say the names

    They sell us the president the same way
    They sell us our clothes and our cars
    They sell us every thing from youth to religion
    The same time they sell us our wars
    I want to know who the men in the shadows are
    I want to hear somebody asking them why
    They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
    But they’re never the ones to fight or to die
    And there are lives in the balance
    There are people under fire
    There are children at the cannons
    And there is blood on the wire

  114. 114
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Laura W: For a change, listen to XM 42! heh heh.

  115. 115
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’m (re)watching the National Geographic show on their genographic project studying of the human family. It’s incredible to see the how closely people are related genetically and that we all have common ancestors back to Africa. There must be heads exploding all over wingnuttia at even that thought, not that I expect them to watching the show.

  116. 116
    geg6 says:

    Demo Woman: How often would you be using it? Unless you have need of it regularly for large surfaces, I can’t imagine buying over renting. I was a boater with my ex for 18 years at a boat club where he was the commodore, vice commodore, and dockmaster for most of that time. We had 45 boats with docks totaling about 150 feet, a bridge, and a clubhouse with a patio and deck large enough to have parties for the entire membership plus families and guests. We had two power washers to maintain all of that. And we probably didn’t need both of them.

  117. 117
    burnspbesq says:

    @Laura W:

    Good pick. IMO, that’s the second-best angry political song of the 1980s.

    This is the first best.

  118. 118
    geg6 says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say that at our home, we just rented a power washer for the deck and front and back porches. Usually did it every couple of years at home. More often at the boat club because of floods, freeezes, and duck and goose poop.

  119. 119
    JK says:

    @Laura W:

    Many, many thanks for this post. Did you ever see that outstanding American Masters program on Joni Michell that aired a few years back? Several days ago, you posted a YouTube clip from Celebration at Big Sur. Back in the early or mid 1970’s, ABC used to air this film on New Years Day immediately following Dick Clark’s Rockin New Years’ Eve. I never understood the significance of airing the film on that date, but I enjoyed watching it.

    I don’t have satellite radio. I can’t afford it right now. At some point down the road, I’ll hopfeully be in a better financial situation and I’ll take advantage of it. That’s a very enticing set list.

  120. 120
    ellaesther says:

    @JK: I love that last line. Practice resurrection. I love that.

    @burnspbesq: Bruce Cockburn! My excellent AP English teacher (18 years ago now…) introduced us to Bruce Cockburn, and I loved him before this song came out, and was always disappointed that this was the one that took (well, this one and “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” what with Bono quoting him and all!) because there were others I loved more — like this one:

    I’m not as starry eyed about my faith anymore (I was, after all, 17 back then), and I tend to like louder, harder, less-folky stuff these days, but, well, the heart loves what it loves!

    Of course, he also wrote and sang the theme song to Franklin, so, well, he has also managed to pay his mortgage! And good on him for that.

  121. 121
    Anne Laurie says:


    Listen to carrion – put your ear
    close, and hear the faint chattering
    of the songs that are to come.
    Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
    Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
    though you have considered all the facts.

    I think we have the perfect motto for the upgraded Balloon Juice, assuming that happy state arrives before the Apocalypse…

  122. 122
    Laura W says:

    @Comrade Kevin: I don’t get 42. I get 842, Soul Town – Classic Soul & Motown.
    I don’t know why you’d be giggling about that, however. Unless you think Motown is goofy.
    I feel very deprived suddenly. And uncool.
    I hate that.

  123. 123
    PurpleGirl says:

    Thanks for the link about John Thaw and Inspector Morse, bedtimeforbozo. I like the Lewis shows but nothing compares to Endeavor Morse.

  124. 124
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Laura W: Do you get it thru satellite TV, or do you have an XM subscription? On XM it’s channel 42, on DirecTV it’s 841, I think. It’s quite a change from those other channels you mentioned, and no, I don’t think Motown and Soul are goofy.

  125. 125
    JK says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Anne, I hadn’t thought of that. You’ve hit upon another great idea.

    There’s an episode of Law and Order:SVU where Robin Williams plays a whacked out individual. He represents himself at his own trial and recites a portion of this Wendell Berry poem in his closing statement to the jury.

    @burnspbesq: Great choice. I’m not as familiar with 80’s music as 60’s and 70’s music.

    These are my favorite angry political songs from a few decades ago

    Gimme Some Truth – John Lennon
    Simon & Garfunkel – A Simple Desultory Philippic
    Mississippi Goddamn – Nina Simone

    Fucking YouTube. When I turn my back they delete another great song. Love Me, I’m a Liberal by Phil Ochs is a favorite protest song of mine. Naturally YouTube has removed it and it’s been replaced by some lame pathetic cover versions.

  126. 126
    Indylib says:

    @Comrade Kevin:
    I watched that, it was pretty good. I liked the guys Scottish accent, lol.
    National Geographic channel had a good geological series, but I can’t remember what it was called. I had all the episodes on DVR for a couple of months.

  127. 127
    Montysano says:

    Nick Drake “A Treasury” on the turntable now. There’s a quality to his music that makes me feeling like I’m eavesdropping on someone.

    “Fame is but a fruit tree
    So very unsound.
    It can never flourish
    Till its stock is in the ground.
    So men of fame
    Can never find a way
    Till time has flown
    Far from their dying day.
    Forgotten while you’re here
    Remembered for a while
    A much updated ruin
    From a much outdated style.”

  128. 128
    Laura W says:

    @Comrade Kevin: Oh yeah!
    That is right up and all in my alley wheel house there.
    Iron Maiden FTW!

  129. 129
    Indylib says:

    I’m glad to hear it’s good. I DVR’d it, I just haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

  130. 130
    Cain says:


    Yes, I’ve been sleeping well, actually. I think most new moms would want to scratch my eyes out in jealousy.

    It’s still early. ;) I gave my mother no problem when it came to sleep, but I became a big pain in the neck somewhere after I hit 10. ;)


  131. 131
    Comrade Kevin says:

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it, Glenzilla’s response to Joke Line.

  132. 132
    jenniebee says:


    Boy, we need something to change the mood here. How about One Time by Douglas Livingstone

    One Time

    It seems a certain time ago: a-maybe
    seven years or less, he
    first took a woman underwater. In aqualungs
    and bathing suits, hanging
    in the pale liquid air
    of a blue cathedral
    –the sleeping pool of the limestone caves
    to be precise —
    face mask to mask
    wide-eyed and glass to glass,
    they triumphed over the first knotty cotton fumblings
    in the allembracing wetness.

    Her hair, like a damp Medusa’s,
    flared upwards.

    He remembers their delight at the silent
    new experience,
    their emulations of the passions
    of dolphins
    who are not after all
    and very humourous
    and humouring in their loveplay.

    Then, he recalls his panic
    when, with a mounting climax,
    perhaps upside down, certainly weightless,
    he had to cram her mouthpiece
    back into her vacant lips, fishwide and cyanosed,
    her eyes tightly closed,
    and it was a long swim away
    to the surface. (Her hair hung down on the journey.)

    She did, of course, recover adequately
    after a few splutters and with him gently
    squeezing her ribs regularly
    while finning desperately
    But it was some time
    before they tried it again
    –some time after
    and in shallower water.

  133. 133

    I am looking for depressing songs. Thank you in advance.

  134. 134
    LoveMonkey says:


    Onward, Christian Soldiers.

  135. 135

    So I was reading about the conservatard reaction to George Will’s column this morning and I was wondering how many of them had actually served in the military. Can we draft Billy Kristol, Mark Levin, Rich Lowry, Jules Crittenden et al and send their asses over to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda? Seriously, let’s draft these chickenshit chickenhawks and send their asses to AfPak. Who cares if they’re old, cowardly and out of shape? We form them into a platoon and tell them to march forward, and if they don’t, well if they don’t we have a battalion of Marines or Rangers behind them with machine guns. It worked for the Soviets in World War II, so it ought to work for us.

  136. 136

    Oh, on a lighter note I’d like to thank whoever it was who mentioned The Venture Bros. a few years back. I downloaded all three seasons from iTMS and laughed so hard that I thought I was going to turn my lungs inside out. Any show that references William S. Burroughs and Tom of Finland is a winner in my book.

  137. 137

    @LoveMonkey: Um, depressing–not cringe-inducing.

    @Wile E. Quixote: Yes, please. I would like to see that very much. Throw both the MMs in the mix and Ann Coulter to boot, and I’m there with the popcorn.

  138. 138
    JK says:


    To prove that I’m not always gloom and doom (though my situation currently justifies it) these are my favorite love poems –

    The Passionate Shepherd to his Love by Christopher Marlowe

    ** Kudos to Joe Biden for quoting from this poem at the memorial service for Ted Kennedy at the Kennedy Library

    Come live with me and be my love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove,
    That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
    Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

    And we will sit upon the rocks,
    Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
    By shallow rivers, to whose falls
    Melodious birds sing madrigals.

    And I will make thee beds of roses,
    And a thousand fragrant posies,
    A cap of flowers and a kirtle
    Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle:

    A gown made of the finest wool,
    Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
    Fair lined slippers for the cold,
    With buckles of the purest gold:

    A belt of straw and ivy buds,
    With coral clasps and amber studs;
    And if these pleasures may thee move,
    Come live with me and be my love.

    The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
    For thy delight each May morning;
    If these delights thy mind may move,
    Then live with me and be my love.


    To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

    Had we but world enough, and time,
    This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
    We would sit down and think which way
    To walk and pass our long love’s day.
    Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
    Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the Flood,
    And you should, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews.
    My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires, and more slow;
    An hundred years should go to praise
    Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
    Two hundred to adore each breast;
    But thirty thousand to the rest;
    An age at least to every part,
    And the last age should show your heart;
    For, Lady, you deserve this state,
    Nor would I love at lower rate.
    But at my back I always hear
    Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
    And yonder all before us lie
    Deserts of vast eternity.
    Thy beauty shall no more be found,
    Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
    My echoing song: then worms shall try
    That long preserved virginity,
    And your quaint honour turn to dust,
    And into ashes all my lust:
    The grave’s a fine and private place,
    But none, I think, do there embrace.
    Now therefore, while the youthful hue
    Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
    And while thy willing soul transpires
    At every pore with instant fires,
    Now let us sport us while we may,
    And now, like amorous birds of prey,
    Rather at once our time devour
    Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
    Let us roll all our strength and all
    Our sweetness up into one ball,
    And tear our pleasures with rough strife
    Thorough the iron gates of life:
    Thus, though we cannot make our sun
    Stand still, yet we will make him run.


  139. 139
  140. 140
    freelancer says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    You’re welcome. The obscurity and depth of the jokes are what make it so genius.

  141. 141
    catlover says:

    i don’t think i am connecting

  142. 142
  143. 143
    burnspbesq says:


    “I am looking for depressing songs. Thank you in advance.”

    That’s easy. Leonard Cohen. Joy Division. Rinse. Repeat.

    Hide all sharp objects and strong drugs before you start.

  144. 144
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @Laura W: Bitsy had 144 votes a few minutes ago.

  145. 145
    JK says:


    “Looking for depressing songs”

    Try these:

    Isn’t It A Pity – George Harrison
    Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? Derek & The Dominos
    Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young
    Father and Son – Cat Stevens
    Fire And Rain – James Taylor
    Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones

  146. 146
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @bedtimeforbonzo: I read in an article about Michael Kitchens, who plays Foyle, that he requested lessdialogue in the script. He expresses so much with the most suble facial and body movement. Your wife would probably like it, it has appeal for the historical interest as well as the excellent plotting. The one we watched tonight, “War Games” was excellent. (I’m hooked on “Hung” too, ha!)

  147. 147
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Listen to Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut” album.

  148. 148
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    I miss the preview-edit feature. Not sure what happened to the end italic, which I learned how to do this week. “less” should be italicized…everything else, not. And yes, I know “subtle” has a t. Geez.

  149. 149
    Fulcanelli says:

    Depressing, you say?

    AsiangrrlMN, hide all of your belts, toxic household cleaners and sharp objects and razor blades and then fire up:

    Lou Reed’s: “Berlin” CD.

    They’re taking her children awaaaaayyy…

  150. 150

    @burnspbesq: Thank you. I like Leonard Cohen. Unfortunately, those weren’t depressing enough.

  151. 151

    OK. I see I have more songs. Thanks, guys. I gotta ask, though. Is it just me, or is this really sexy? (The song, not the video).

    I really like it. On to JK’s suggestions next.

  152. 152

    OK. I see I have more songs. Thanks, guys. I gotta ask, though. Is it just me, or is this really sexy? (The song, not the video).

    I really like it. On to JK’s suggestions next.

    P.S. The song above is Leonard Cohen’s In My Secret Life in case the link doesn’t work.

  153. 153
    JK says:


    I know you asked for depressing songs, but I’ve always found these classical selections to be extremely depressing.

    Adagio for Strings – Samuel Barber;index=1
    Moonlight Sonata – Ludwig von Beethoven
    Trois Gymnopédies – Erik Satie

  154. 154
    Fulcanelli says:

    @asiangrrlMN: “I gotta ask, though. Is it just me, or is this really sexy?”

    It’s you.

  155. 155
    Brachiator says:

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta:

    Have you seen the “Foyle’s War” series? They’re great – in fact we’re watching one tonight.

    Agree that this is a great show, not only Michael Kitchen, but the uniformly good supporting cast, including the ridiculously named Honeysuckle Weeks as his driver.

    Foyle is a bit like the American detective Columbo in that his adversaries, and some friends, continually under-estimate him, dismissing him as a mere policeman.

    I also recommend the PBS airing of new episodes of “Inspector Lewis,” the spin-off of the excellent “Inspector Morse” series.

    A warm review of the first episode of the new series, “And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea,” can be found here.

  156. 156

    @JK: That Cat Stevens song is simply beautiful. I love it!

    Sadly, the songs are not depressing enough. Thank you, though. I got to hear a song I’d never heard before–Stevens’ song–which is a marvelous thing.

  157. 157
    JK says:

    Did anyone watch the Season Finale of Rescue Me on FX tonight? If so, what did you think?

  158. 158

    @Fulcanelli: Now, that’s definitely not a depressing song! I can shake my booty to that song. On to Lou Reed’s Berlin album.

  159. 159
    JK says:


    Well, maybe classical selections in post #152 will hit the spot in terms of depressing you. Father and Son is my favorite Cat Stevens song.

  160. 160
    Fulcanelli says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Find and listen to “The Kids” on teh u tubez…

  161. 161
    freelancer says:


    I wish some of the cold and palpable cynicism found here could have rubbed off on Tom Ridge circa 2003. He just comes off as intelligent but naive against Maddow.

  162. 162
    Fulcanelli says:

    @freelancer: Chris Wallace should be strapped in a chair with his eyes held open, a la A Clockwork Orange, and forced to watch Rachel interviewing Ridge to learn how it’s done…

    And when we’re done with him, it’s on to David Gregory…

  163. 163

    @Fulcanelli: Hey, I listened to Caroline Says, Berlin, and Sad Song, and I didn’t find any particularly depressing. Any other songs I should give a whirl?

    Pink Floyd. Why didn’t I think of them? The Final Cut is up next!

  164. 164
    Fulcanelli says:

    @asiangrrlMN: See #158 above…

  165. 165

    @JK: That Cat Stevens song was amazing. Loved it.

    I think Floyd is gonna do the trick. Just listened to a bit of them before switching to The Kids. Oh boy. This is gonna be depressing, I can tell. Thanks, Fulcanelli. Then, Floyd!

  166. 166
    JK says:


    Brilliant idea. Chris Wallace was a flat out disgrace interviewing Dick Cheney.

    But keep in mind that we’re talking about Fox News Channel and FNC is the most intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt news organization in America.

  167. 167
    freelancer says:


    Chris Wallace should be strapped in a chair with his eyes held open, a la A Clockwork Orange, and forced to watch Rachel interviewing Ridge to learn how it’s done…

    If someone did that, and Chris “I’m with Jack Bauer” Wallace finished the episode, his head would pop like a water balloon:

    Jack Bauer: Dirty. Fucking. Hippie.

  168. 168

    @Fulcanelli: That really did the trick. The Kids it is. And now, Paranoid Eyes by Floyd.

    Thanks, guys. I knew I could count on y’all! Not only did I get my depressing song, I got a beautiful song (Stevens) and a sexy song, too (Cohen).

  169. 169

    How come it’s always the most cowardly people who are the most ardent supporters of torture? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

  170. 170
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @Brachiator: I recorded the Inspector Lewis show – even though I don’t find him as interesting a character as Morse, I feel pretty sure the quality will be good. His sergeant’s character is intriguing and coincidentally the same actor played the Nazi sympathizer in the Foyle’s War episode we watched tonight. And yeah, Honeysuckle is a goofy name! But one does remember it!

  171. 171
    wasabi gasp says:

    For a good depressing album I’d recommend The Doctor Came at Dawn by Smog.

  172. 172

    @wasabi gasp: Oh my god. So far, I have only heard You Moved In, and it’s pretty fucking depressing. Now, I am listening to Vessel in Vain, which is also depressing.

    Kudos to you, wasabi gasp!

  173. 173
    JK says:


    What’s Michele Bachmann’s next act of craziness?

    Will she start handling snakes and speaking in tongues? She doesn’t belong in Congress, she belongs in a mental hospital strapped into a bed. She’s a raving, drooling lunatic.

  174. 174

    @JK: Well, that surely did it. That was the most depressing thing I’ve heard all night, and just in time to go to bed. If I dream about her, JK, I’m blaming you!

  175. 175
    burnspbesq says:


    If Michelle Bachmann runs for President against Obama in 2012, she will get at least 55 million votes, even if the economy is going great guns and there is a health care plan in place that reduces the number of uninsured by 80 percent and cuts costs and we are out of Iraq and succeeding in Afghanistan and we have a working cap-and-trade setup and a carbon tax and we have a 17 percent VAT working alongside the income tax to reduce the debt.

    Now THAT’S depressing.

  176. 176
    Robertdsc-iphone says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but after reading today’s subjects, I’m ready for my Mayan death panel in 2012.

  177. 177


    Jack Bauer: Dirty. Fucking. Hippie.

    That is freaking awesome. I’d love to show that clip to the wingnuts who spooge themselves over 24. It would be like “Hey cool, that’s Jack Bauer! Wait, he wants single payer health care? I’m confused” and then their heads would explode like the characters in Scanners.

  178. 178
    wasabi gasp says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Upthread, Montysano mentioned Nick Drake. For something less depressing than Smog and, say, more cold cloudy day, try Five Leaves Left. Sadly, Nick had too many cold cloudy days.

  179. 179
    freelancer says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I know. I watched the show from when it debuted until the 5th season. I saw it as a thrilling, tight, fantasy. It started to bug me in 2003-2004 when the wingnuts started to Hijack Bauer as a champion of their cause. Jack Bauer, according to wingnut talking points was a Democrat. Up until the point where the producers started going apeshit with the torture meme, he had supported a democratic president, had stopped a war because it would have violated the constitution, vowed to be held legally accountable for any laws he broke, etc.

    The show lost me completely in Season 6 when Jon Cassar went full wingnut. There’s a scene in the early episodes between a techie and a bureaucrat that goes something like this:

    Boss: I’ve revoked Nadia’s clearance, she was flagged on some NSC violations.
    Techie: What?!
    Boss: Her privileges are suspended for the time being, and I need you to handle her work, Got It?
    Techie: Nadia’s not a security threat, she’s a Republican for crying out loud.

  180. 180
    Brachiator says:

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta:

    I recorded the Inspector Lewis show – even though I don’t find him as interesting a character as Morse, I feel pretty sure the quality will be good.

    I know what you mean. In the first series (3 episodes, as the Brits do these things in small doses), the show is almost coasting on memories of “Morse.”

    But in this new series, Lewis becomes his own man. This also allows the writers to flesh out the supporting characters more deeply, including Lewis’ partner, Sgt. Hathaway.

    His sergeant’s character is intriguing and coincidentally the same actor played the Nazi sympathizer in the Foyle’s War episode we watched tonight.

    Apparently, the actor who plays Sgt Hathaway, Laurence Fox, had been stuck playing British or German soldiers before he landed the role in “Inspector Lewis.”

    By the way, Fox is from a show biz family: “his father is the actor James Fox, and Edward Fox, Robert Fox and Daniel Chatto are all uncles. ” (per Wiki)

  181. 181
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: I wonder how many of the wingnut Jack Bauer fetishists knoww that Kiefer is one of those sneaky Canadian interlopers?

  182. 182
    2th&nayle says:

    @Demo Woman: You might want to investigate an electric pressure washer. They’re a lot less expensive than the motorize variety and they’re adequate for most household applications, and they’re fairly easy to handle. A 12-1600psi type should handle most general washing jobs. On tougher jobs, the trick is to get yourself a garden variety pump up sprayer and pre-soak whatever you’re cleaning with a bleach/water mixture for mildew or tree sap, or a degreaser/water mixture for smoke/tar residue from your charcoal grill, etc

  183. 183
    Steeplejack says:

    @Laura W:

    In between writing boring blog posts, I have been diligently voting for that bat-eared dog every day. Even have a link in my browser “favorites” list to make it easy.

    And I have been laughing at the expression of your black cat wearing way too much jewelry.

  184. 184
    JK says:


    Did you get a chance to check out those Miles Davis links?

  185. 185
    Keith G says:

    @Brachiator: I really like Lewis and Foyle just a wee bit over Morse. The first two have better supporting players. Lewis’ Hathaway is a winner.

    Wallander suprised me with its darkness, but now I am quite fond of it as with Lynley. But my all time fav is sort of a genre buster: MI-5 (Spooks) is really compelling. My PBS is running the first several seasons. I schedule around it.

  186. 186
    Steeplejack says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Love The Venture Bros. It is a bit uneven, but when it’s on it’s really good. My favorite episode is “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean.” Testicular torsion and lots of Guild of Calamitous Intent background. And the two-part ending of Season 2, when Brock Samson leads the Monarch’s henchmen into battle.

  187. 187
    freelancer says:

    Here’s some COD: Modern Warfare 2 crack for y’all.

    Sheesh, I need a cigarette.

  188. 188
    Steeplejack says:

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta:

    I like Inspector Lewis, although I do always get that “He’s no Inspector Morse” twinge and have to remind myself that it’s different. And I like the character of Sergeant Hathaway.

    Foyle’s War is da bomb. Don’t remember ever seeing one mediocre episode. They’re all great.

  189. 189
    Steeplejack says:


    Haven’t looked at them yet. I was away from the computer all day today, which hasn’t happened in ages. Took a nap earlier this evening and have been getting into the night-owl groove and catching up on Balloon Juice the last hour or so.

    I saved the hyperlink to your post last night so I could look at them. Will report back later.

  190. 190
    catlover says:

    I just really don’t undersand why health care isn’t a human right – in the richest country in the world. And – I ‘m not the first person to ask – but tell me again why the health insurance companies get to skim off 20%, 40%…..?

  191. 191
    Robertdsc-iphone says:

    That MW2 crack is goooooood. The trailer stopped me in my tracks at Blockbuster the other day. I’m more of an MGS guy, but I liked the first Modern Warfare, so this one should go down fine. Also

    testing… soçíalist…

  192. 192
    PurpleGirl says:

    Not only is Keifer Sutherland a Canadian, it’s was his grandfather who designed their single payer system. I’d expect righties’ heads to explode at the thought.

    Another example of people mixing up actors and their beliefs is Arnold S — a friend of mine in L.A. who owns several guns was shocked that Arnold was for gun control (but he plays in all those action movies… he uses big guns… ).

  193. 193

    @Comrade Kevin

    I wonder how many of the wingnut Jack Bauer fetishists know that Kiefer is one of those sneaky Canadian interlopers?

    Oooooooooooooohhh! Good Point! I imagine that we could use that little bit of information, along with the fact that it was Grampa Jack Bauer who initiated Canada’s, nasty, horrible, dirty filthy soⅽialist* health care system to finish off those few wingnuts that the initial commercial didn’t take care of.

    *Let’s see if my cunning use of unicode character 217D, small Roman numeral one hundred, will get me past the stupid filtering software.

  194. 194

    Muah! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!


    Will this make it past the filters? How about Soⅽⅰalⅰsm?

  195. 195


    Will this make it past the filters? Is WordPress now smart enough not to filter the word “socialism”? Is moderation disabled?

  196. 196

    I fucking hate David Brooks and want to wipe that smug expression off his face with repeated blows of a blunt instrument. Here’s his latest line of shit, more of the “Obama needs to go to the right if he’s going to get anything done” bullshit.

    Amazingly, some liberals are now lashing out at Obama because the entire country doesn’t agree with The Huffington Post. Some now argue that the administration should just ignore the ignorant masses and ram health care through using reconciliation, the legislative maneuver that would reduce the need for moderate votes.
    This would be suicidal. You can’t pass the most important domestic reform in a generation when the majority of voters think you are on the wrong path. To do so would be a sign of unmitigated arrogance. If Obama agrees to use reconciliation, he will permanently affix himself to the liberal wing of his party and permanently alienate independents. He will be president of 35 percent of the country — and good luck getting anything done after that.

    So when George W. Bush rammed through his 2003 tax cuts with reconciliation and Dick Cheney breaking the tie was he showing unmitigated arrogance? Strangely enough I don’t recall any pearl clutching on the part of David Brooks back then. Oh, and if Obama ends up being president of 35 percent of the country he’ll still be doing 8 percentage points better than George W. Bush, who at the end was only president, at least by approval ratings, of 27 percent of the country.

    The second liberal response has been to attack the budget director, Peter Orszag. It was a mistake to put cost control at the center of the health reform sales job, many now argue. The president shouldn’t worry about the deficit. Just pass the spending parts.
    But fiscal restraint is now the animating issue for moderate Americans. To take the looming $9 trillion in debt and balloon it further would be to enrage a giant part of the electorate.

    And where was the pearl clutching on the part of David Brooks when George W. Bush and his Republican Congress were running up that looming $9 trillion in debt?

    This is a country that has always been suspicious of centralized government. This is a country that has just lived through an economic trauma caused by excessive spending and debt. Most Americans still admire Obama and want him to succeed. But if he doesn’t proceed in a manner consistent with the spirit of the nation and the times, voters will find a way to stop him.
    The president’s challenge now is to halt the slide. That doesn’t mean giving up his goals. It means he has to align his proposals to the values of the political center: fiscal responsibility, individual choice and decentralized authority.

    Let’s see, I’m trying to figure out when the Bush administration ever aligned their proposals to the values of the political center Fiscal responsibility, individualized choice and decentralized authority, the Bush administration is eight years of epic FAIL in each of those areas. Medicare Part D, TSA, NCLB, Katrina, l’affaire Schiavo, the war in Iraq. Hmmm, I must have been so distracted by those, or so deranged by Bush Derangement Syndrome or just high on life that I missed all of those great moments of fiscal responsibility, individualized choice and decentralized authority that the Bush administration had. Can somebody fill me in? I’d like to get up to speed in case I’m ever on Jeopardy and the topic is “Great moments of fiscal responsibility, individualized choice and decentralized authority during the administration of George W. Bush.”

    Events have pushed Barack Obama off to the left. Time to rebalance.

    Shorter David Brooks: Elections have consequences, but only if Republicans win.

  197. 197


    The Best and Worst Pizzas in America

    That article had the exact opposite effect that it was probably intended, at least for me. I want one of those horrible, fatty, chock-full-o-sodium pizzas o’death, and I want to wash it down with copious quantities of PBR.

  198. 198
    JK says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    One of the most annoying things about David Brooks is how grossly overexposed he is.

    In addition to his NY Times column, he’s a regular commentator on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose Show, a frequent guest on the Sunday chat shows, and an occassional guest on WNYC. I mean how many fucking venues does David Brooks require in order to get his opinion heard.

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I can go for a pizza any time of the day or night. In fact, I wish I had one right now.

  199. 199
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @Brachiator: Read this day after – now that is interesting; I didn’t know the guy in Foyle’s War and Inspector Lewis (Laurence Fox) was the son of actor James Fox. I know James Fox’s (?) daughter has had various parts, ie Miss Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre etc. Laurence Fox has just the looks for the role he had in Foyle’s War. One of the things I love about Brit drama is they use the same actors repeatedly and I have fun identifying their past roles. Which is interesting because I can’t remember what I did yesterday.

  200. 200
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @Steeplejack: Very true – every episode is stellar.

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