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Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Thursday, March 31, 2005
DeLay Statement on Terri Schiavo
OH - PUH -LEEEZE. I'm embarrassed for him.

The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another.
"Never befalls another"???!!! He discontinued his own father from life support to end his suffering!

Although this is a very good idea....
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:37 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Exhibit Shows Art of Medical Quackery
This looks like a hoot. I may have to run up to Philly and catch this show before it leaves.
"Quack, Quack, Quack," a new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, showcases the prints, posters and pamphlets that guaranteed everything from "animal magnetism" to cures for "the indiscretions of youth" — and were the precursors of today's spam e-mails and late-night infomercials that also promise the moon but rarely deliver.
I had no idea that Maxfield Parrish (one of my favorite illustrators) had worked in this genre.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:28 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Ted Koppel to Leave 'Nightline' and ABC News
Certainly not unexpected news, but I had hoped he might stay on at ABC, or turn up as Stephanopoulus' replacement on "This Week". Given the way ABC treated him over the last 2 years, it's no surprise he wants to leave altogether.

I hope he shows up somewhere. He's one of the best interviewers out there. At 65, he may be a little long in the tooth to take over at CBS (not that Bob Schieffer is any spring chicken), but I think any network would be lucky to have him.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:38 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Mouth Breather
Yep, that would be me.

This,
this, and
this are all that stand between me being at work and being home in bed. The latter sounds really, really good about now.

And can I just take a moment to thank everyone who has stopped by my office or been in a meeting with me today who said "are you OK? You don't look so good". Thanks, really. I have cultivated a smoky, whisky sounding voice however. At least I SOUND good.

I do think I might have alarmed the food delivery guy from the corner deli last night when he dropped off my dinner. Baseball cap, glasses, no makeup, favorite flannels - I was a vision.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:16 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Parts are parts
First, there's this weird and fairly grisly story out of Boston, and then I hop over to BBC this morning to read this.

And this is after they showed a character carving out the eyeball of a terrorist on "Alias" last night so they could use his retina to gain access to a super secret security area.

And finally, we have this story. Classic, woman gives birth in car kinda thing - with a twist.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:10 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Marburg vs. Ebola - Ebola wins
I'd swear that this is what I have today. Yuck. More orange juice and Kleenex please. The cats are very happy to have me home and lay on the couch with them.

Seriously though, more than 100 people have died in Angola of Marburg, and they are now beginning to quarantine areas along the DRC border and keep people from traveling.

Hopefully, I will not be infectious by tomorrow and can return to work even though I sound like Lauren Bacall on a bender.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:45 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
When Will Tina Brown Blog?
Well now, THIS should be interesting....

Huffington Report appears to be a culture and politics webzine in the classic mold of Salon or Slate. It will have breaking news, a media commentary section called "Eat the Press," and its most interesting innovation, a group blog manned by the cultural and media elite: Sen. Jon Corzine, Larry David, Barry Diller, Tom Freston, David Geffen, Vernon Jordan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Harry Evans and his wife, Tina Brown. That's just to name a few, and Huffington is still recruiting.


Her business partner is Ken Lerer, the head of AOL Time Warner corporate communications until Bob Pittman lost and Dick Parsons won. (Lerer left the company before "AOL" disappeared from the name.) Huffington declined to comment on the Huffington Report, citing timing issues, as the site's soft launch is apparently set for April.
I don't think Jon Stewart has anything to worry about just yet......

Or, as Wonkette so eloquently puts it "think Hollywood Squares, plus the political insights Tom Bergeron just can't deliver. Think the Algonquin Round Table, transcribed as thoroughly as a White House presser".

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:05 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Catfish Basketball
I think this poor fish meets the definition of biting off more than you can chew



This was a pretty interesting story from The Sunday Wichita Eagle Newspaper a couple of weeks ago. A resident in the area saw a ball bouncing around strangely in a nearby pond and went to investigate. It turned out to be a flathead catfish who had obviously tried to swallow a child's basketball which became stuck in its mouth!! The fish was totally exhausted from trying to dive, but unable to because the ball would always bring him back up to the surface. See the rest of the pictures and how the catfish was freed.

hat tip: boingboing
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:25 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
over my med body!
Grand Rounds is up with a weekly round up of healthcare and medical news and commentary in the blogosphere. Tabloid style this week with features like: GORILLAS, PENISES ATTACK! The drug companies have jumped the shark, SHOUTS DR. CHARLES. Monkey medicine mascots and phallic obsession on par with the WASHINGTON MONUMENT have taken Big Pharma from its research and academic roots!

posted by Broadsheet @ 1:01 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 28, 2005
Modern Love: Truly, Madly, Guiltily
This was in the NYT over the weekend. Michael Chabon is one LUCKY man, and from the sounds of it - so is Ayelet. A wonderful love story indeed........

UPDATE: Please read the above link to Ayelet Waldman's article in Salon. As perfect as her most recent article sounds, she has been dealing with a chronic bi-polar disorder and the article includes this telling exchange:
While my son Zeke knew that I was in a fragile emotional state during the period before I wrote the suicide post (it might have been the constant crying that gave me away), he was not aware of the extent of it until he overheard someone discussing what I wrote. He did not react then, but I knew there was something wrong. I sat him down and explained what had happened, that I had been taking the wrong pills and that my doctor had fixed my medicine. I asked him if there was anything he was afraid of. He looked at me, his deep blue eyes full of unshed tears, and said, "I am afraid you're going to kill yourself."
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:57 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Hillary in 2008
Don't say you weren't warned. It's not Jib Jab, but it's funny!
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:41 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
U.S. broadcasters brace for siege
Well now, that didn't take long now did it? I mean the new FCC Commisioner Martin has been in office, what? All of a week? Guess my favorite HBO show, "Deadwood" is about to become a LOT tamer.....damn (Oh - I meant DARN)

Some senior lawmakers, including Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, and the commission's chairman, Kevin Martin, have suggested that it may be time to extend the indecency and profanity rules to cable and satellite-TV providers, which now account for viewership in 85 percent of U.S. homes.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:49 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, March 27, 2005
North Carolina tops Badgers, 88-82
Oh well, it was good while it lasted
On Wisconsin!!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:39 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
A Movable Feast
Despite being raised in the Catholic faith, I left the Church at 17, had a brief attempt at rekindling what little faith remained during college at the Newman Center in Madison, WI, and then decided that a complete break with a patriarchal dictatorship that didn't fully respect women or independent thought was probably best for both parties involved.

Nowadays, I'm primarily agnostic. Despite this background, I have never completely understood why my birthday falls on Easter Sunday every 11 years - until now. After last year, it won't fall on Easter again for another 62 years, so I probably won't be around to see it again.

The reason? Easter is one of the Christian calendar's "movable feasts". That means it can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25 according to the Gregorian calendar, because it is always the first Sunday of the first full moon after the Equinox. See? Simple.

All of this background is by way of saying that regardless of any religious overtones, I had a wonderful Easter weekend in the spirit that it was perhaps intended. Thankfulness, celebration and renewal.

I got to spend quality time with my sister the violinist, and we had a wonderful evening cooking a wonderful meal and just hanging out on Friday night. We had some retail therapy on Saturday morning (SHOES!!!), and then proceeded to my cousin Donald's new house -a McMansion estate really - north of Bel Air, MD, where we had a GREAT day visiting with my Aunt (Mom's sister), Uncle, various cousins, theirs kids, in-laws.... It was simply wonderful to spend time with family, tell family stories and share a terrific meal. The food was simple and plentiful. The house is amazing. Don is a builder/ developer, so the house is one of his own design. They just moved in about 8 weeks ago, so this weekend was a bit of a housewarming. The place is HUGE. Soaring ceilings, more bathrooms than I can count, and a kitchen with appliances that I would gladly sell my soul for. It was a great day / evening.

Today was equally luxuriant. Slept in, read the NYT, coffee, breakfast, lounging around, and then a scramble (pardon the pun) to make a tray of "deviled eggs" (good for Easter don't you think?) to take to our friends Jeff and Laura in DC for the next movable feast.

Similar to two weeks ago at a brunch at my house; when you get a group of close friends together for great food and get to spend precious time with each other - there aren't many things better in life than that. I met Jeff when I first landed in Baltimore 10 years ago and he was fresh to DC from Rochester, NY. Neither one of us knew many people, so we were best friends in no time and spent most of our time going to baseball games and concerts together. I vividly remember him calling me after his first date with Laura (a tennis game) to tell me how special she was, and later, four years ago, when he called me on another Easter morning from a drugstore, because he had bought a plastic Easter egg and hidden her engagement ring inside with some plastic grass and candy, and was so nervous and excited about asking her to marry him......

Fast forward, four years later - we're having the third anniversary Easter brunch at their wonderful home with Laura's family and 14 friends (and a ham, a turkey and more food and champagne than you can possibly imagine). Last year, they celebrated my birthday with a surprise party. This year, we celebrated the impending birth of a firstborn to our friends Susan and Luke who are due in 3 weeks.

Friends and family - it's all about love, and that's all the religion you need in this life........

Hope you all had a great Easter.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:28 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Bucky goes to the Final Eight!!
The Badgers won last night!! On to the final eight on Sunday. I would be a very happy fan if they made the final four.

In other news, both BU and Wisconsin went down hard in the first round of NCAA hockey tournament season last night. BU was shutout by North Dakota 4 to zip, while Wisconsin went down to the Michigan Wolverines 4 -1. Win some, lose some. No hockey till next year.... :-(

Good thing baseball is only a week away!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:46 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, March 25, 2005
Carnival of the Recipes #32
Is up. This week it includes a recipe for Drop Scones and a link to understanding the Glaswegian dialect.

Sadly, I still don't understand Campbell.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:26 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Really, what were they thinking?
And the award for most innapropriate company logo goes to:



I mean, REALLY

hat tip: Fark
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:19 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
'Podcasters' look to net money
Pay attention folks -this is the next big thing. I use it like Tivo, so instead of TV on demand, I get music on demand. I subscribe to World Cafe, on WXPN, and also to a couple of other NPR shows, and download stuff from audible.com. I agree with David Winer's skepticism about making this commercially lucrative. It certainly can't be right now - it's still a fledgling medium, but even if it grows to the size of the blogosphere, I suspect that the audience base will still be so boutique and nuanced, that getting any kind of advertising revenues out of it are slim, otherwise, you might as well be in mainstream radio distribution.

Nonetheless, if you haven't tried Podcasting yet, get on board. It's a lot of fun. You can download the free software to get started here.

UPDATE: In a related article, the Wall Street Journal discusses blogs and advertising. The bottom line? Too early to tell......
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:02 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Crab, Artichoke and Portobello Mushroom Melts
I need to write this down and post it before I forget the combo.

My friends know how much I like to cook and entertain, and if they're really good friends, they get to sample my modest attempts at such. The highest compliment I ever got was when my friend Andrew, challenged during a "truth or dare" game, "Where would you want to eat all your meals if you could pick one place forever?" His answer? = "Linda's!"

Thanks hon, you have a lifetime pass.

I come by it honestly, my mother is the best amateur chef on the planet - hands down. I know everyone says that their mom is a great cook , but seriously, my mother has always been way ahead of the curve.

Both of my parents have always been dedicated "foodies" and passed that on to us. I was a Navy brat, and when we ended up in Western PA after stints in San Diego, Hawaii and other places, we were the only family in town to have Taco Night, Enchiladas, Chicken Kiev, Chinese Stir Fry and other "exotic" dishes in the early 70's. I think my parents were adventurous about food because their parents weren't . They both came from very traditional, ethnic, German backgrounds. So much so, that even using garlic in cooking was an anomaly (although my Grandfather, "the Colonel" - really loved to cook in his later years, and specialized in amazing soups. I'll have to post some of his recipes later).

Anyway....Tonight I came home to odds and ends in the fridge. Sam's Club had a sale on crabmeat, and I wanted to do something with that. Looking through the odds and ends, here's what I came up with and it totally ROCKED. Any recipe that starts with "One pound of lump Chesapeake Bay crabmeat" simply cannot fail. Therefore:

Large Portobello Mushroom caps - whole
1 lb Lump Crabmeat
1 can artichoke hearts: drained well and chopped
1 whole roasted red pepper: chopped
6 slices really good bacon, cooked, chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
½ cup good, shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBL Emeril's or other good Creole seasoning
fresh ground pepper
Grated, white cheddar cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cut the stem and scrape the gills out of the mushrooms
3. Mix all the remaining ingredients together in a bowl except for the White Cheddar Cheese
4. Generously mound the crab mixture into the Portobello mushroom caps
5. Sprinkle with the white cheddar
6. Cook until brown and bubbly. About ½ hour

This makes a ton of crabmeat filling. The number of mushroom caps filled depends on their size, but this should serve six generously.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
NCAA Hockey - March Madness
The Sweet Sixteen bracket is up folks!! Wisconsin made the cut and takes on Michigan tomorrow night. Jason's BU Terriers take on North Dakota the same night.

and for an absolutely mystifying description of the arcane way in which this tournament is selected and seeded, you can try finding an answer here. Good Luck!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:15 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Online politicking receives temporary reprieve
Cautious optimism regarding today's announcement from the FEC, which would allow political bloggers to remain exempt from campaign finance laws. click here for the complete PDF file from the FEC.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:54 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
UN - intelligent Design
I thought this was a joke when I first read it Florida Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would allow university students to SUE their professors for teaching evolution. Seriously.
While promoting the bill Tuesday, Rep. Baxley said a university education should be "more than one biased view by the professor, who as a dictator controls the classroom", as part of a misuse of "their platform to indoctrinate the next generation with their own views."
So much for academic freedom in Florida folks.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:28 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Ewwww
I was greeted by a HUGE Scutigera coleoptrata (centipede) in the laundry room this morning, when I went down to feed the Felis silvestris domesticus (furry monster roommates) and retrieve some laundry before work.



Good thing the monsters were running at my heels hoping for food. Peanut pounced on it, dispatched it with one swat, and then batted it around before losing interest (i.e. I filled his dish with kibble). The thing was absolutely enormous - a couple of inches long. Did you know they can live for up to 6 YEARS? Neither did I. Ick... I think it was from my sump pump.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:00 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Craigslist gets beamed into space
Good Lord, I have to think that if we're going to broadcast the first commercial Web site into space, that we could do a better job representing the human race than Craigslist .

On the other hand - if you want to read some really funny (and really wrong) stuff - check out the Best of Craiglist . You've been warned.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:31 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Man Imitating Movie Dies Playing Russian Roulette
Darwin claims another victim for this year's stupidest person award. Sheesh.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:15 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Orioles' DuBose arrested for DUI
The report states DuBose informed Clark he had "a couple" drinks at the Cafe Gardens and Daquiri Deck in Sarasota. When instructed to recite the alphabet, DuBose allegedly said, "I'm from Alabama, and they have a different alphabet."

Ummm, yeah, he was drunk allright.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:29 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Congressional Cowards
From Dan Gillmor:
Question: If the Republican sock-puppets who passed the Schiavo law weren't doing it mostly for political posturing, why didn't they just do what they've made abundantly clear they expect the federal judiciary to do: Order the doctors to put the feeding tube back in. What hypocrites they are.
Amen

This is a truly lose/lose situation for everyone involved - not the least of which is the woman's poor family. I can't even begin to imagine.

But there are two other losers here no matter how this plays out:

(1) The courts rule to spare her "life" and resume feeding and hydration, thereby giving the right to lifers a victory.

(2) The action is legally upheld (which, gratefully, seems to be the case thus far), and the liberals are "nailed to the cross" for "killing" a woman over Easter.

Absolutely NO ONE wins in this case. No one. It's PRIVATE - and it should have remained so all along. It reminds me of the Karen Ann Quinlan case from when I was a kid: Karen Ann Quinlan was the first modern icon of the right-to-die debate. Quinlan collapsed at a party after swallowing alcohol and the tranquilizer Valium on 14 April 1975. Doctors saved her life, but she suffered brain damage and lapsed into a "persistent vegetative state." Her family waged a much-publicized legal battle for the right to remove her life support machinery (unlike Terry Schiavo - she was on a respirator). They succeeded, but in a final twist, Quinlan kept breathing after the respirator was unplugged. She remained in a coma for almost 10 more years in a New Jersey nursing home until her 1985 death. She was fed and hydrated through feeding tubes. They only disconnected her life support, not her feeding.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:53 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Farewell to Arlie Mucks
I had the very great honor of knowing and working with Arlie Mucks, the legendary Wisconsin Alumni Director, as an undergrad, and later in my role as director and President for the UW Alumni Association both in Philadelphia and here in Baltimore / DC. (the hat was his trademark - not many people can wear a dead Badger on their head and get away with it - the rest of us - wore cheese heads - I have a full collection - including beer cozies and earrings, and I'm not afraid to use them)



Arlie was nearing retirement when I was an undergrad, but he had more energy than most of us kids. I had the thankless job of Chairing the Homecoming Committee for the University one year. Running that large of an operation for a school with 50,000 students was a FULL time job. Arlie gave me endless support and encouragement and kept me from dropping a class and a gradepoint. I think he remembered every single student he ever met. I must have seen him a dozen times over the next 10-12 years at football games and various Alumni events, and he never once met me without a huge hug and a real sense of happiness and joy in running into an old friend.

On Wisconsin, Arlie - say hi to Crazy Legs Hirsch.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:36 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Playing God
Pat oliphant
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:54 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Grand Rounds XXVI
Grand Rounds XXVI is up, and as you might expect, has a lot of very good discussion on the Terry Schiavo case this week. I'll plug these guys again. They're doing a great job aggregating the news and commentary on the case.

And blogborygmi has an interesting post about using your iPod to transfer data and media using the body's natural electric field.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:20 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Spring has sprung!
I got these at the market over the weekend. Peanut thinks they smell wonderful too.

Spring Flowers

...and check out the new granite countertops!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:09 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 21, 2005
Who's on First?
In a true "who's on first?" moment, Slate's routine roundup of what's in today's major newspapers, references a blog for details on the top story.

Ironically, Slate's recent daily column, Today's Blogs features links to MSM articles before launching in to the blogosphere chatter as a way (one presumes) to give background to those not yet in the know about blogs.

It's as if the two mediums were trying to cross pollinate. (Oh - I'm sorry, was that obvious?? So unlike me) More likely, they need to justify themselves in the context of one another.

Slate only started their "Today's Blog" feature a few weeks back summarizing all the chatter going on in the blogosphere. At the time, I commented that it was an inevitable addition to most on-line zines, and would soon be a factor (if it hasn't become one already) in traditional MSM, both print and video.

Oh - what a brave new world! Or - hey, Baby - can I borrow your link?
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:09 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
There's someone for everyone
I feel a strange kinship to this woman. Bless her heart. I suppose I'd better start paying closer attention. Then again, if I'd been paying attention 10 or 12 years ago, I wouldn't be single now.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:02 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Our Media
This looks really promising. This is Dan Gillmor's baby (and Larry Lessig, and a host of others). It's a collaborative effort with the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Wikipedia and others (I don't have time to link all those!) It's a place to publish ALL types of media files, not just photos. I don't have time to mess with it at work, but I'll noodle around with it this evening. If anyone's used it - let me know how you like it.

Yahoo announced yesterday that they have bought Flickr, the photo sharing site that's become so popular recently. I'm not a huge fan of Flickr. It's convenient, but they have a lot of downtime, there isn't a lot of flexibility in the sizing and placement of photos, and they support a limited number of file formats.

I've been wanting to publish links to audio files and other music for a while now - we'll give this a try and see how it works.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:35 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Annan to Offer Plans for Change in U.N. Structure
The best Change in U.N. Structure would be for Kofi Annan to step down and let someone else clean up the mess he's made of the organization. Sweeping changes? I've got your sweeper right here Kofi.
While he has maintained much of his once-vaunted reputation abroad, he has come under pointed criticism in Washington, where some members of Congress have called on him to resign before completing his term in office at the end of 2006.

"If any report has Kofi Annan's name all over it, it is this one," said Mark Malloch Brown, Mr. Annan's outspoken new chief of staff.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:08 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
American Maverick Wins Pritzker Prize
For the first time in 14 years, the highest award in Architecture goes to LA based American architect Thomas Mayne
Mr. Mayne is only the eighth American to be honored since the Pritzker was first awarded, in 1979 to Philip Johnson. He is to receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion on May 31 in Chicago's Millennium Park in a ceremony in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, named for the founder of the prize and designed by the architect Frank Gehry, one of the Pritzker jurors, who won in 1989.

The Pritzker jury acknowledged this eclectic quality in its citation. "Mayne's approach toward architecture and his philosophy is not derived from European modernism, Asian influences or even from American precedents of the last century," it says. "He has sought throughout his career to create an original architecture, one that is truly representative of the unique, somewhat rootless, culture of Southern California, especially the architecturally rich city of Los Angeles."
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:02 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Badgers bounce Bison
The Badgers advance to the Sweet Sixteen!! The Badgers beat Bucknell 71-62 this afternoon (yeah - conveniently avoided doing my taxes by watching baskteball). This win sends the Badgers into the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years. And in a continuing stroke of luck, we'll face another upset winner, 10th-seeded North Carolina State, which advanced by ousting reigning champion Connecticut 65-62 this evening. Now, if Villanova can just knock of UNC......let's hope the luck continues to hold.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:33 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
'It's perfect madness'
Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I am a HUGE Tom Waits fan. I have every album he's ever recorded, including some bootleg recordings I found in a record shop in Brisbane, Australia of some stuff he did back in the 70's. I've seen every movie he's ever been in (including "Shrek 2" where he give voice to the one eyed pirate piano player in the evil witches bar.) I've seen him in concert a few times here and in Vienna and Berlin. So - take this list of Tom's 20 favorite albums of all time to heart. I can vouch for "Cubanos Postizos" - and about 1/2 the others as well. Awesome stuff.

Yeah, yeah, taxes, I know, I know.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:33 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Bioethics Discussion Blog: If Schiavo Why Not Jones?
Excellent recap and discussion of the Schiavo case here. I like this blog a lot and read it frequently. I need to blogroll it so you can too.

Also, Andy Cohen has a nice piece up at CBS Courtwatch analyzing the case.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:19 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Our Literary Leaders
"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers"
---Thomas Jefferson

This famous quote is a good lead in for an entertaining article on the reading habits of Presidents. Fun read - for a conservative rag, that is.

Ultimately, what a president reads may be less important than why he reads. It is to be hoped that he reads to expand his knowledge, deepen his sympathies, gain perspective, and cultivate a humility at odds with Washington, D.C.'s preening self-importance.
(Can you tell I'm procrastinating about working on my taxes today? Good. hmmm, should really take a break and go fold the laundry now...)
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:12 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Bush Changing Schedule to Return to Washington to Sign Emergency Legislation on Schiavo Case
Oh for the love of God. I would not want this man deciding whether or not I get to live or die if I were in this poor woman's situation. The president "dismissed any suggestion that there were any political considerations at work, either in the quick and aggressive congressional action or the president's hurried return to the White House."

I'm sorry - that's bullshit!! The very same president is the one who approved legislation allowing hospitals to withdraw life support from patients in a terminal vegetative state based on their ability to PAY!!

"A patient's inability to pay for medical care combined with a prognosis that renders further care futile are two reasons a hospital might suggest cutting off life support, the chief medical officer at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital said Monday. "

And since Terry Schiavo's money is at the heart of the disagreement between her parents and her husband, this all just seems a bit too macabre to comprehend.

Will they pull her feeding tube again when the money runs out??

President Bush, you should be ashamed of yourself. (in general, but this time in particular)
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:44 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Cat Blogging


What is it about cats that they like to lie / sleep in the sink? This is a morning ritual with Peanut. I think he likes the the glass sink for some reason. Makes brushing your teeth problematic no matter how many times I turn the water on him.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:52 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
The Medical Becomes Political for Congress
Terry Schiavo's case almost certainly has no place ending up in Congress. It is an intensely private medical decision that should be resolved at the state level at worst. It has gone this far for many, many sad and partisan reasons (read the article), but the underlying cause is because she did not have a Living Will.

I would hope that my husband or loved ones would not allow me to persist in this condition and respect my wishes, but they would not be able to do that easily if there were disagreements among family members (as in Terry's case) unless I had left clear, written intentions to that effect. Without them, the legal and political circus that has surrounded the Schiavo case can, and may occur again.

All patients are required to complete an "Advanced Healthcare Directive" form prior to receiving any care whenever they present in a hospital to avoid just this situation in the event that the unthinkable happens. But the unthinkable can happen anytime, anywhere.

Please - spare your loved ones the pain of Terry's family. Get one today. You never know what could happen.

You can download or create Living Wills online here, here, and here.

And just as an aside, starving to death is a horrible way to die, but the only seemingly "approved" method of euthenasia in this country. Congress should be focusing on the broader issue of ethically based euthenasia laws in the US instead of intervening on a case by case basis. We treat our pets better than we treat our terminally ill. However, given how polarizing that subject would be, they will use Terry Schiavo as a political tool to further divide an already divided country while she suffers an ingnoble and painful death.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:18 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Good News, Bad News


Well, perhaps not surprsingly, my beloved Badger Hockey Team fell to the perennial powerhouse of North Dakota Thursday night in a tight 3-2 loss.

Not to put too fine a point on it Jason, but I see that the BU Terriers went down whimpering in a 5-2 upset to New Hampshire. Sorry about that. Better luck next time.
"That was a sad performance by the Boston University hockey team," Terriers coach Jack Parker said. "It was beyond belief how poorly we played in every phase of the game. We looked inept on the power-play rush, inept on our forecheck. We looked slow, back on our heels. It was just unbearable to watch.

There wasn't one thing I could point to in the first two periods that made us look anything like how we've played in the last three months," Parker said. "Bad time to lay an egg. Maybe we can come back and get this out of our system so when we play in Worcester next week it won't be our last game of the year."
Ouch - that hurts.

The Badgers are still on the bubble for the NCAA tourney finals, but have to wait for some other games to play out before we know for sure. Fingers crossed.

In other news, the Badger Men's basketball team beat Northern Iowa last night to advance to the next bracket in March Madness! And in a stunning upset, 14th seed Bucknell beat the number 3 seed Kansas, so the Badgers (6) now take on Bucknell and their hopes to make the Regionals on Easter weekend stay alive. Go Badgers!!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:15 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, March 18, 2005
D.B.F.
Disclosure: Beer on board. Perhaps 4 pints..... I believe in fact that it may be McEwan Scottish Ale.

Tonight saw the birth (hopefully) of a new tradition.

DBF

Dive Bar Friday. I shall explain.

After a particularly difficult personal week for both of us, and for various reasons, my buddy Mark and I decided we needed to observe the time honored tradition of Friday Happy Hour to regroup and reinforce friendships. This was especially convenient since last night was St. Patrick's Day (aka Amateur Night), so the bars were likely to be virtually empty as people are still recovering from last night's trauma. In case you're wondering, yours truly stayed home last night and painted window frames - whoopee.

There are a wealth of great bars with great food in Baltimore. Seriously, we are blessed. So why is it that when I am asked to name one that I want to go to on the spot, my mind draws a complete blank and I end up sounding like one of the Liverpudlian vultures from the Disney cartoon movie "The Jungle Book" ("I dunno - whadyja wanna dooo?" the other vulture replies; "I dunno, whad JOOO wanna dooo?")?

We had this conversation as we drove aimlessly through Hampden, Charles Village and Guilford (Mark is exceptionally gifted at aimless driving through just about any town - WITH narrative), and after many suggestions that compared the relative merits of restaurant cum bar cum pub idea, I said, " You know what I could use? Let's just aim for a good dive bar that has great beer and we'll chance it on the food".

Mark suggested Racers Cafe on Hartford Road, and off we went - well, obtusely, but we got there. AND scored a parking spot directly in front of the door!!

Racers is in Parkville, conveniently located directly across the street from the "The Village Gun Shoppe" (not making this up - it's a DIVE bar). And any bar that has a big peanut barrel by the front door and a thick scattering of crushed peanut shells across the floor as you enter, is a very good sign indeed.

We got seats at the bar, and after checking out the sports scores (i.e. March Madness) on the TV screens, we were directed to a very detailed chalk board outlining all the beers on tap with their name, price/pint, and alcohol %. Really terrific selection of drafts for a neighborhood dive. I likened it to being gourmet, without necessarily being sophisticated. Serious beer bar.

We happily ordered the first round, grabbed the ubiquitous bowl of peanuts, and asked for a menu. "Oh, sorry - we don't DO food here, but I'll bring you the menu box and you can order something". (Ummm, the place is called Racers CAFE???) Anyway, with that, he disappeared into the adjoining liquor store (what? You didn't think a dive bar has an adjoining liquor store??!!), and comes back with a battered, black tin box that looked like it was unearthed from a WWII bunker with little bits and pieces of scotch taped paper and numbers all over it. The bartender places it in front of us, reverently opens the box, and starts sifting through carry out menus from local restaurants. "They all deliver to the bar", he says proudly.

We choose an Italian place, and I have to go outside to place the order just so I can hear clearly on my cell. Good thing I did, because the guy that answered the phone sounded as if he was actually IN Sicily - VERY heavy Italian accent. After a few misunderstandings, I got the order placed and went back inside to my beer.

Fast forward......

Dinner was great (takeout Italian from Giovanni's), we got lots of good conversation accomplished, and have decided that we now have a new tradition.

Dive Bar Friday.

Once a month, we will endeavor to meet at a local dive bar for beers and whatever food may be available. I think "Dead Freddies" may be next.

If anyone of you Baltimorons want to suggest a locale, or join us, please chime in.

I think there is a "City Paper" article in here somewhere....

Oh - and speaking of dive bars - Dizzie Izzie's (see Tuesday's post) certainly qualifies, and has astonishingly good pub food under $10.

PS I wore this sweater for a mere 3 hours on Wednesday night at the Baltimore Blogger get together at Dizzie's and tossed it on again this evening since it already had that lovely eau de stale cigarrette thing going on, but was essentially clean, but after Racers?? This sweater needs to be burned.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:25 PM   10 Editorial Opinions
Blogger bloat
Blogger has been S...L....O.....W.... This week. Everyone knows it. It's been eating posts and taking hours to post a comment or even move from page to page. Sometimes, it just times out on itself. Last night, I posted something around dinnertime, and hit "Publish", and went downstairs, made dinner, ate dinner, and cleaned up the kitchen in the time it took to post. blogs for industry had the same idea that I did for this phenomenon. It reminds me of AOL's growing pains in the early 90's, when it suddenly became so popular, and so many people signed on at once, that it overwhelmed their servers, and it quickly became known as "American Off Line".

Come on Blogger - keep up with the volume! Anybody have a better experience with Moveable Type or Typepad? Hell, I guess you shouldn't criticize what you get for free, but I'd be willing to pay a few shekels a month for better service. This week was horrible.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:43 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
And This Bird You Cannot Change
From the venerable Wall Street Journal no less. Damn, this brings back memories.....

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and spent a summer in Chicago, when I wasn't visiting friends there on weekends. I think fully 1/3 of the student population at UW Madison hailed from Shytown (or at least Evanston, Wheaton, or Oaklawn - close enough.)

A harsh reaction to "Freebird" came from the late comedian Bill Hicks during a Chicago gig in the early 1990s. On a bootleg recording of the show, Mr. Hicks at first just sounds irked. "Please stop yelling that," he says. "It's not funny, it's not clever -- it's stupid."

The comic soon works himself into a rage, but the "Freebirds" keep coming. "Freebird," he finally says wearily, then intones: "And in the beginning there was the Word -- 'Freebird.' And 'Freebird' would be yelled throughout the centuries. 'Freebird,' the mantra of the moron."

To understand the phenomenon, it also helps to be from Chicago. When asked why they continue to request "Freebird," Mr. Hicks's tormentors yell out "Kevin Matthews!"

Kevin Matthews is a Chicago radio personality who has exhorted his fans -- the KevHeads -- to yell "Freebird" for years, and claims to have originated the tradition in the 80s, when he says he hit upon it as a way to torment Florence Henderson of "Brady Bunch" fame, who was giving a concert. He figured somebody should yell something at her "to break up the monotony." The longtime Skynyrd fan settled on "Freebird," saying the epic song "just popped into my head."
Chicago radio in the 80's was a wonderful, wonderful thing, and yes, I can admit to being a KevHead.

I think more than the article itself, it's the impression that they went into great depth on the Matthews influence, up to and including the hilarious bit of tape where Elayne Boosler, mistakes the cries of 'Freebird' for 'Reverb? Reverb? You want more reverb?'.

The best way to do the Freebird call, is in a boring meeting when someone asks if there are any other questions. Then in your best imitation of the stapler guy from Office Space, say "Freebird? Can you play Freebird?"

Hmm, I think something gets lost in translation.

posted by Broadsheet @ 4:29 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Stiff Penalty
No, it's not a baseball metaphor, but it is perhaps a batter's metaphor.

Look, I don't write them, I just line 'em up and throw the pitch.
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:51 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Costello Rocks the SXSW Fest
Elvis Costello played the SXSW Festival last night. This review was in Salon, so I'm clipping a piece to avoid having to put you through their annoying Day Pass option. I CANNOT wait to hear him at the New Orleans Jazz Fest next month!! I want to try and talk some of my Jazzfest buddies into going to the SXSW concert next year.
Costello and the Impostors put on a dazzling two-hour-plus, 30-song-plus show, a tour de force performance by one of the greatest rock bands in the world. They were lean, fast and powerful -- not a trace of age-related fatigue -- and they were also extraordinary tight.

It's amazing that the band can sound so tight even with the presence of a wild card like mad-scientist keyboardist Steve Nieve, who keeps up a steady barrage of fevered ornamentation and gloriously over-the-top flourishes. That they do is largely thanks to Pete Thomas, one of the great rock drummers of all time, with an amazing, jittery, ahead-of-the-beat feel -- it's as if he's always rushing, but by some strange trick of space/time relativity, staying perfectly in time.

The Impostors played many of the songs from 2004's "The Delivery Man," Costello's best record in years, but they also ranged through that inexhaustible catalog of songs, playing hits like "Radio Radio," "Watching the Detectives," "Pump It Up" and "Peace, Love and Understanding," as well as more obscure gems like "Kinder Murder," "Clown Strike" and "Hurry Down Doomsday."

Even when the band played Costello hits from the '70s, the versions they played were often radically reimagined, and always performed with passion and ferocity and without pandering to the crowd. I was reminded of something Costello had said in his interview earlier in the day, that he was trying to make music without nostalgia. And it occurred to me that in all of his recent music, however bad some of it has been (and some of it has been very bad indeed), he's been succeeding at that not inconsiderable task. The only artists of comparable endurance and stature I could think of who have managed to keep their music so fiery, full of vitality and free of nostalgia, are Bob Dylan and Neil Young -- certainly rarefied company.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:13 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words
Have you EVER seen body language as explicit as these two?


Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, left, and MLB President Bob DuPuy watch testimony during congressional hearing on steroid abuse in baseball.

I mean, they look like two kids who have been dragged kicking and screaming into the principal's office!

Uhh, Oh, wait - they HAVE been dragged kicking and screaming into the principal's office......

UPDATE: Oh - and there is THIS from the NYT. VERY Flattering Bud. Happy to be here?



UPDATE 2: And my buddy Ed Garvey, the Ex-NFL Player's Association Director weighs in with these words of support for Bud. Ouch.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:43 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
BloGGer HaPpY HouR at DiZzY IssIe'S
I don't know how seadragon managed to do this, but she blogrolled the entire Happy Hour contingent from last night. My aging brain could never have kept track of everyone - especially not in order! Now that I've met some of these people, I'll have to drop by their blog, check them out, and adjust my blogroll accordingly. For those that I've been reading, it was GREAT to finally meet you in person!!

Malnutured - sweetie - I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer and that you had to work and got there late, but I'm glad I finally got to meet you and prove I'm not a tribble. Now go clean your room! Love, Mom.

PS Thanks for setting this up Fool. I think we need a bigger bar next time......
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:23 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
We can't stand by and do nothing
Lenore Skenazy has a good article up at the NYDN of all places, regarding actions that can be taken to increase awareness and involvement in Darfur. I sent a letter out this morning from Save Darfur, and forwarded it to a bunch of friends and asked them to do the same. Then I thought - wait a minute! I have a blog. So here it is out there on the internet. For those of you who never hit the links in a blog post - please do so now. Go ahead, I'll wait.... leave a comment if you sent a letter.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:41 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
U.S. Military Says 26 Inmate Deaths May Be Homicide
Am I the only person outraged that even one criminal homicide has occurred? And Rumsfeld is exactly where on this issue?

Ebbers got taken down yesterday in the Worldcom scandal and faces life in prison. Everyone agrees that it's about time that CEOs of major corporations are accountable - even criminally accountable - for their actions. Donald Rumsfeld has overseen a Defense Department that now admits that as of Sept. 30, 2004 (and THAT was nearly 6 months ago!) that 26 Inmate Deaths May Be Homicide, and he gets to keep his JOB? WTF?


Only one of the deaths occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, officials said, showing how broadly the most violent abuses extended beyond those prison walls and contradicting early impressions that the wrongdoing was confined to a handful of members of the military police on the prison's night shift.

In some of the cases, including the death of an Iraqi, Manadel al-Jamadi, in Abu Ghraib in November 2003, most of those initially charged with crimes by the military have ended up receiving only nonjudicial punishments, and neither their names nor the details of those punishments have been disclosed.
Altogether, Army criminal investigators had conducted 68 detainee death investigations with 79 possible victims as of February 2005, said Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, an Army spokeswoman. Of those investigations, 53 have been closed and 15 cases remain pending, Colonel Hart said.

In addition to the 24 Army cases listed as criminal homicides and the 11 cases listed as justifiable homicides, 28 cases are listed as confirmed or suspected deaths from accidents or natural causes. An additional five are cases in which the cause of death has not been determined, Colonel Hart said.
It's interesting to note that the NYT is the only major US paper carrying this story today. I hope it doesn't get lost behind the Michael Jackson nonsense or the Ebber's conviction story. Every American should be outraged over this.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan has some good thoughts on this article as well.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:27 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
An Irish toast, with beer worth drinking
Good advice for tomorrow. Quality always wins over quantity, people. And for God's sake, don't drink anything green!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:55 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Pot Calling the Kettle Black?
Dunno, but I'd like to see a similar referendum on Christian Literature and the Bible before free speech gets de bunked. The Da Vinci Code was a fun and harmless read in the same sense that Michael Crichton stretches the limits of current scientific abilities and reason to render implausible consequences of currently feasible if not applicable scientific theory. If the Church is that convinced that Dan Brown is wrong - then apply scientific and academic scrutiny to the suggestions and prove them wrong. Faith alone is not going to win this one, and deliberately suppressing the women's role in the early Christian church does not seem far fetched given other evidence to support it.

Look - I'm not necessarily supporting the Da Vinci Code here. But I have had long held suspicions and disappointments in the Catholic Church's ability or willingness to adopt, interpret, or investigate any possible alternatives to the current doctrine.

Criticize all you want, but the phrase "He who lives in a glass house" comes to mind here....
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:37 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Baseball meets with Congress
Sorry sis, I had to - he IS funny......

This is a week old, but with the hearings starting tomorrow, I thought I'd post a cartoon from an old acquaintance.....

posted by Broadsheet @ 6:25 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Italy plans Iraq troop withdrawal
WELL now, that didn't take long did it? Funny how an upcoming election and public opinion seem to alter government opinion. The Italian government had made it clear following the recent allegedly accidental death of an Italian guard during the rescue of a journalist, that it was NOT pulling out. I bet this "partial" pullout escalates to full withdrawal by September.... I'm just sayin...
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:38 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
"I'd Rather Be Shaggin'"
No kidding. North Carolina has issued Senate Bill 429 to permit license plates to have the uniquely Carolinian slogan "I'd Rather Be Shaggin' " to represent their beloved shag dancing.

Meanwhile, the entire country of Great Britain is doubled over laughing.

UPDATE: Now we have this: "Where 16 year olds come to shag with 78 year olds." Apparently, they also do things like the "cuddle up" and "butt roll" too.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:00 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
O'Malley's Last March


Yep - the hunk in the T-shirt is none other than Baltimore's favorite son of Ireland and our very own mayor, Martin O'Malley. He's also the leader of one of Baltimore's most popular Celtic / rock bands: O'Malley's March. St. Patrick's Day is going to be one of the last gigs for Martin - as a band member that is, he's still the mayor. After 25 years of playing with the boys in the band, he has announced the inevitable and is hanging it up to "focus on politics" (cough, run for Governor, cough). There are a series of tour dates this week (Wed - Sun) for St. Patrick's festivities around town, then he's playing in the Towsontown Spring Festival, and 2 more dates in May, before he hangs it up after a performance for the Whitemarsh Summer Concert Series in July.

His last St. Paddy's Day gig will be at The Recher Theater, and they are playing with The Crawdaddies, who, if you've never heard them in concert are just a fabulously fun local Cajun/Zydeco and Blues Band that has really become popular on US East Coast College campus tours from Boston to Florida - they are a fun, fun, band, and I'm not just saying that because Jay Corey is a buddy of mine. Buy a CD! Buy two! So check it out!!!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:52 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Badgers on the Tourney Bubble
Jason reminds me that hockey season is alive and well in the NCAA. See my comment to him.

And I'll see you Wednesday night with other Baltimore bloggers at the Crablog Happy Hour Mr. Thomas!
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:01 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Daily Show Clip Index
Whoever did THIS is a God. Now all the Daily Show clips are indexed on one page for convenient downloading and viewing goodness. It's better than the Top 10 List Index on Letterman's website.

Great - another time suck on my day....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:21 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
ABSURD -- Acronym Behavior overShadowing Useful Results and Data.
During a discussion over the weekend, we were commenting that next to hair cutteries and salons, blogs perhaps have the the highest "precious" factor when it comes to creative names. Well, Blogborygmi points out a whole category of naming I hadn't considered, but one that I work with every day. The cute, clever and often downright awful acronyms given to clinical and scientific trials. This is a real list, I'm not making these up.

AWESOME -- Angina With Extremely Serious Operative Mortality Evaluation

BATMAN -- BiodivYsio® BATiMastat SV stent versus balloon ANgioplasty

HeADDFIRST -- Hemicraniectomy And Durotomy for Deterioration From Infarction Relating Swelling Trial

IMPRESS -- Inhibition of MetalloProtease by BMS-186716 in a Randomized Exercise and Symptoms Study;

PROVE IT -- PRavastatin Or atorVastatin Evaluation and Infection Therapy;

SHOCK -- SHOuld we emergently revascularize occluded coronaries for Cardiogenic shocK


Seriously, how can people keep a straight face at cardiology conferences?


"Oh yeah, Bob, it's easy enrolling candidates for the AWESOME study."

"Great, John. But we're under a lot of pressure in the PROVE IT trial to, you know, prove it. Hey, over there -- who's that guy?"

"That's Batman."
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:14 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Grand Rounds XXV: What to watch this week
A very funny issue of Grand Rounds is up this week over at Orac's site. I especially like the Hannity and Colmes parody on Code Blue Blog.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:01 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Gizoogle
I applied the Gizoogle - Transizlatin' Page to this blog. It's freakin hilarious. Just hit the link above. I think I especially like that my blogroll now includes links to "Brotha Stream tha Firehose" and "Bitchez on Grapes – Broads who like wizzle". Dat tru
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:34 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 14, 2005
HBO Films: Sometimes In April
Please watch this important documentary and log on to their website to do something.

A lot of us have all been wearing the yellow Lance Armstrong "Livestrong" neoprene bracelets for cancer support that started the avalanche of bracelet awareness trends for various causes as many as 9 months ago. These bracelets are the red AIDS or pink breast cancer ribbon pins of their generation. As part of that trend, there are now green "Save Darfur" bracelets available at SaveDafur.org. I ordered a couple of dozen - you should too. I admire Lance Armstrong a lot. He's a true American Hero, but I've been wearing the wristband since September, and it's time to use my wrist to promote another worthy cause. It's all about the advertising.
In disclosure fairness, I have a whole menagerie of pins for different causes on my Hospital ID lanyard - it's almost a competitive sport like collecting Olympic pins to decorate your lanyard with the "coolest" causes.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:55 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Music to read and work by.
This struck a chord (pardon the pun) with me today.

I received a new CD over the weekend that I was very anxious to listen to immediately like any kid with a new toy, but it was classic rock and roll recording from a live Steve Earle concert and therefore not conducive to a corporate office environment.

I have a large CD collection at work. A lot of it is classical and jazz music (Glenn Gould and Bill Evans are favorites). And a lot of stuff from my sister the violinist (Hillary Hahn, etc...). I cultivated a strong love for acid jazz and older, free form jazz from a previous relationship and have almost every CD ever released and a lot of bootleg and live concert cuts by Ornette Coleman, Thelonius Monk, Paul Bley, Chuck Mingus, Eric Dolphy...You get the idea.

So....The trick is listening to what you enjoy while you're working without being distracted or distracting others, or numbing yourself into Muzak oblivion in the process.

I do try to tune in to WXPN's "World Cafe" on the computer if I'm working at my desk on a project or report. That's more likely to occur at home in the evening or weekends. Yeah for Podcasting and www.audible.com!!!!

I tossed a handful of 6 randomly selected jazz CDs into my stereo this weekend and pressed "random" to play them during a brunch I hosted and almost immediately realized I should have planned the tracks a LOT better because many of them came on too strong and were disruptive or distracting to the highly entertaining (if not raunchy) conversation going on at the time.

Point is this - Like Althouse, I am always in search of the perfect background music for work or study that is not New Age/ Musak craptola. I suppose it needs to be primarily instrumental, but there is a WHOLE lot of alternative vocal stuff out there and some folky/acoustic stuff that I love.

As for classical music - I'm looking to Robert for suggestions. I know your fatherhood is impending in 5 months or so, but please, don't forward baby music - OK? Let us have a posting contest to suggest music for YOU.

So, obviously, suggestions welcome people - bring it on! (PLEASE do not download or link music files to me - I don't want the RIAA all over me. I'm happy to purchase it or download it at cost.) If you live in the metropolitan Baltimore/DC/Bolton Hill area and want to share/lend a CD - OK by me!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:17 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Clinton follow-up
Blogborygmi has a very thoughtful post up on the speculation surrounding Clinton's recent decortification surgery and pleural effusion. While I'm not convinced that the speculations held forth on Code Blue Blog hold any real water (I think they are an extreme viewpoint), I do like Blogborygmi's comments regarding this case of intense speculation in the blogosphere:

The doctors would have to either admit they goofed in waiting (which would sink them), or admit they're hiding something (which would sink them, their patient, and generate a hundredfold increase in questions), or open up the chart and explain each decision, piece by piece (which could still leave the doctors and Clinton vulnerable to more questions, and would require responsible reporting to avoid headlines like, "Clinton docs were worried about AIDS!" -- and, I should add, this would require a responsible audience).

In short, I wonder if doctors, patients, reporters, or the general public are ready for this level of inquiry and access.

Trial lawyers and police PR have learned to manage the press in high-profile cases. Same with the NTSB after a plane crash. They control the amount and rate of information disclosure, they give some food for thought each day, they steer the conversation while they go about their investigations. CBB and I have more or less assumed that doctors were not playing this game -- that if someone were asking the right questions we'd have a story that made sense.

But maybe the docs are managing the press with the savvy of a PR agent. In the case of Clinton, they're not going to spend one second talking about the chance of HIV or malignancy, even if it's on their differential, even if they're testing for it. From their perspective, it's simply not worth bringing up other options at this point. Better to stay on message and not encourage more questions.

So is this a failure of good reporting? Or have the doctors and patients decided in advance just how much they're going to reveal to journalists? And would more aggressive, educated reporting actually give us more information in these high-profile cases, or would it turn the sources against the media and bloggers alike?
I think the underlying issue here is the medical profession's adherence to patient privacy laws and ethics. Ethically and legally - you simply cannot comment or pursue an investigation into someone's personal health issues the way you can other records. In this case, you won't know precisely what's going on because they are not obligated to tell anyone, and no one can force them too. We are left again with trusting that Clinton's personal physicians have a much better handle on what's going on with their patient than any wild media or blog speculation going on. And I believe that's as it should be - we just have to wait.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:43 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
"As a woman... I wanted to be liked - not attacked."
Ann Althouse has a good post up tying together a few themes from the notion of women bloggers and editors being viewed in a harsher light if they are negative or go on the attack against someone's views online (ala Maureen Dowd).

This post is really more about how women are more harshly punished if they go on the attack, which is what Maureen Dowd wrote about. It's not just that we (generally) feel worse when we are attacked, but that we are (generally) more likely to be perceived in a negative light if we do attack.
I would agree with that wholeheartedly. I don't agree with Ann's later comments regarding her need to turn off the commenting section on her blog due to some harsh personal attacks she received. (1) They can be deleted. (2) Whenever I read vitriolic comments on a blog - anyone's blog, I always think they reflect badly on the commenter - not the blogger. I took John Hinderaker of Powerline on in an e-mail conversation two weeks ago over a VERY negative comment he left on a liberal blog that I thought really went too far and was quite hypocritical of him. He got enough flak for it from me and others that he publicly apologized for it, and should have. It shouldn't be a source of pride to be rude, crude, uncivil, or insensitive in a public forum. People do not generally behave this way in person - but the anonymity of the internet seems to provide a forum for bullies which I will neither tolerate or promote. If that makes me the Doris Day of the blogosphere, so be it. But I would never write anything I wouldn't feel comfortable saying in a public forum.

UPDATE: Vodkapundit has a related post on this topic featuring Glenn Reynold's comments on White Guys as top bloggers and the gender dynamics related to this. The post is actually by La Shawn Barber who is guest blogging for Vodkapundit. She is a Christian neo-con blogger whom I don't normally read, but in this instance, I appreciate her viewpoint and the links that she provides.

UPDATE 2: I realize that I focused on the politeness issue almost exclusively here, but Chris Nolan has an excellent and accurate Top 10 list of why there are not more female bloggers. Well said.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:54 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Carnival of the Recipes #30
Carnival of the Recipes #30 is up! Very cute blog template......
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:51 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Political Influence of the Blogosphere
Excellent article: Political Influence of the Blogosphere. Highlights with a great graphic:
(1) Of 1,494 blogs that met the researchers' definition of influence, 759 were liberal and 735 were conservative.

(2) Even though numbers of blogs were fairly balanced, conservative blogs showed a greater tendency to link to other blogs (84% linked to other blogs, 82% received a link) compared to liberal blogs (74% linked to other blogs, 67% received a link). That behavior is captured in the following graphic from the paper, which illustrates the division between liberal (blue) and conservative (red) blogs. Orange links go from liberal to conservative, purple links from conservative to liberal. The size of each blog (indicated by a circle) reflects the number of other blogs that link to it.


Hat tip to J-walk Blog
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:44 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Requiem for a Cop
Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of my Grandfather's death (aka The Colonel) . I can't begin to describe the patriarch that he was, or the curmudgeon either. He was my last grandparent and died at the age of 95.

He was a huge man in every possible way - tall, imposing, and to this day had the biggest hands of anyone I've ever known. I used to be able to put his wedding ring on three fingers, and even as an adult, it fell easily off my thumb. He didn't have hands - he had paws. He was a consummate equestrian. He loved horses his whole life, and instilled that same passion in me. He rode as a stunt rodeo rider and and flew as a barnstormer, and took me to the Police Stables as a kid to see 'his' horses. To this day, I have a very special fondness and appreciation for any mounted police officer and their steed, because I knew Grandad was one of the first and the best.

He was as terribly tough and judgmental, as he was sentimental and foolish. And as I grew older, I realized he was also a bit of an Archie Bunker bigot (mostly due to his generation, but I can't excuse a lot of his later views. Luckily - they were LONG after he had retired), but despite the tough exterior, he would cry at the drop of a hat, the lyric in a song, the smile of a baby, or the wink of an eye. He was the softest hard man I ever knew.

Later, in the nursing home, as his mental status diminished, we placed his riding stirrups on his door so he wouldn't forget which room was his. He didn't.

A son of German immigrants, he did not speak English until grade school, and he only had a 10th grade education, yet he became the highest ranking police officer in the state of ___, and later, (forced to retire at the age of 65), at the request of our Governor, began a drug control organization that would later become the Drug Enforcement Agency of the US.

The weather the day of his funeral was much like it was yesterday. Heavy, cold, wet, blinding, wind driven, late winter snow. When the procession finally reached the cemetery, we were all huddled in the small tarp at the gravesite with umbrellas to shield us from the snow. I was standing next to the State Police Commissioner who had accompanied me up the walk, and he was resisting any cover from my umbrella, just escorting me and standing at attention as the Honor Guard performed the 21 gun salute and a VERY cold Trooper tried to play 'Taps' in less than favorable blizzard conditions.

As the priest delivered the final blessing, every time he raised the scepter to throw Holy Water on the casket, the wind roared up and the snow just hissed harder and harder. The Police Commissioner finally started to lean in under the umbrella with me to escape the onslaught.

It was very spooky. The weather got worse and worse the closer we came to putting him in the grave. My brother leaned over and said that my Grandmother (in the plot next door and there for a good 10 years already), was saying, "Get your butt in here and close the door already!!!"

I am going to reprint an article / obituary that appeared in the regional newspaper for his funeral and eliminate references to the state and simply call him the "Colonel" for the sake of the blog and whatever small anonymity that grants me. We used to call him the Colonel too - especially as he got older, but he was always Grandpap to me.

The Colonel was a tough State Trooper, a cop who had survived many gun battles, who carried another trooper out of a gun fight, who clung spread-eagle to the pitched roof of a farm house to drop tear gas down the chimney and smoke out a gunman inside.

He was a rigid superintendent of the State Police Academy, yet fatherly: He urged cadets to go to college at night to earn degrees. The academy was just the beginning of one's education, he told them -- a sentiment that was not shared by other officers in the state police force in the early 19xxs.

His cadets didn't know what drove him to give that advice: The Colonel, who rose in the ranks of the State Police from horseback patrol in the remote mountain coal regions of the state, to the High Commissioners office, had never finished high school. His lack of education always burdened him personally, even though he accomplished so much in his life, a son said.

The Colonel revamped the curriculum for the State Police force's training and worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice to help police departments across the country develop training programs and drug investigation procedures.

The Colonel was superintendent of the State Police Academy from 19xx to 19xx, a time when the state police force was about half as big as it is now. It was common for troopers to patrol the state's rural counties alone, and he realized that troopers had to be smarter, wiser and independent.

"You had to be very self-sufficient to make sure you came home alive and with all your body parts, and he understood that," said a County judge who was a cadet at the academy during the Colonel's tenure.

"In some places, if you said, 'Sergeant, I would like to go to night school,' you'd be on perpetual evening shift. It was significantly different back then. But the Colonel knew he had to create and craft and mold these raw cadets into a very self-sufficient officer who could deal with anything that came at him in the middle of nowhere."

The Colonel's first assignment as a trooper was in 19xx, when he rode on horseback in the coal regions and mountains, patrolling strikes. He was assigned to barracks across the state until 19xx, when he was promoted to major and named Academy Superintendent.

Three years later, he was appointed State Police Commissioner, the force's top post, by the Governor. After retiring in 19xx, he was named Deputy Secretary of the State Department of Health and established the state's first narcotics investigation unit, which later became the model for the Drug Enforcement Agency of the US.

The Colonel received 23 citations for bravery and valor in the line of duty, but rarely talked about any of those accomplishments, his family said.

"He would grudgingly tell you a little bit when you asked him," said one of his sons. "I don't think he liked to talk about it as 'heroism.'"

Instructors at the academy would hint about the superintendent's bravery as cadets memorized the state police's creed, a vow that troopers make to lay down their lives for others.

"They would mention the fact that on more than one occasion, he had done exactly that". It impressed the cadets. "You can talk the talk, but if you haven't walked the walk, you really don't know what you're talking about" a colleague said.

At home, he escaped police work by cooking, singing and gardening. At night, he would sit at the kitchen table, studying for a test he would have to take to earn a promotion in rank. "Almost every night he'd do homework," his son said. "But he was an incredibly bright man. He had street smarts and an unbelievable memory" that impressed prosecutors in the courtroom. While a sergeant, the Colonel moonlighted as a legal assistant, writing briefs for a County Judge.

His image of a State Trooper was one of integrity, an officer free of any political ties that could corrupt. He was registered as a lifelong independent in elections, and staunchly believed that all troopers should be independents, his son said.

"He thought a political party affiliation gets in the way of your job," his son said. "He demanded the utmost integrity from people. He had it himself. It was not just show -- he had phenomenal
integrity."

Sadly, it was his staunch political independence that lead to his replacement when a partisan Governor was elected and wanted unquestionable party loyalty from his Police Commissioner. The Colonel was sadly confused about that. He thought the job should speak for itself. I still make that same mistake of not playing the game politic like I should at times.

I hope I live up to his legacy. Thanks Grandpap. I miss you.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:21 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
CSI MEDBLOGS
Welcome to what may be the Medblogger version of Rathergate or the Eason Jordan affair.....
Although reported as a simple thing, Bill Clinton is having a complex surgical procedure for a severe problem. His left lung lining has filled with blood and fluid, become rubbery, and caused the underlying lung to collapse. Clinton's people claim this is a not unusual side effect of heart bypass surgery...

HOWEVER

This is not common and either the doctors missed this condition or they have been hiding it from the press for six months OR...There is something else entirely going on. Bill Clinton's surgery was six months ago. So either he has an unusually persistent post-operative effusion OR he has a delayed effusion.
The thinking around our office is that this is a "Celebrity Complication" caused by trying to discontinue the chest tube too early post-op to show better than average recovery to the press and public. Discontinuing the chest tube too early can cause a higher incidence of left pleural problems. However, they are right. Coming this long after CABG surgery, and being this serious could have a whole host of other causes underlying it - and none of them are good. Clinton has looked tired and drawn since his surgery, and has complained very consistently about his fatigue level - of which this syndrome is a classic symptom.

Now - before anyone goes and gets all conspiracy theory about this, I agree that the chronology is unusual, and the literature seems to support more investigation before this type of surgery. But I don't think Clinton's doctors are acting suspiciously -- they just know this patient, and this case, better than we do.

Developing.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:59 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Spring IS coming....some time
daffodils

It's only 22 degrees outside and the wind is howling. Hope these guys make it!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:21 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Grand Rounds: Edition 24
Grand Rounds: Edition 24 is up over at Hospice blog, but my aging eyes have trouble reading the small font on the blog! Maybe I need to read Dr. Charles tell of his lack of skill in dealing with a patient who has macular degeneration. I'm not sure which is better the post or the HIPPA debate that follows in the comments.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:10 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
If you don't like the weather - wait a minute
Typical March in Baltimore. Nearly 70 degrees and sunny yesterday. I drove around with the sunroof open and the AC on, and had my windows open last night. What's it doing outside my office window now?? You guessed it - SNOWING - HARD.

From the NWS: A Strong Cold Front Will Continue To Push East Of The Region. Behind This Front Temperatures Will Tumble... Falling As Much As 20 Degrees In One Hour. Precipitation Will Quickly Change To Snow And Become Heavy. A Three Hour Period Of Heavy Wet Snow Is Expected With One Inch Or Two Of Accumulation... Mainly Over Grassy Surfaces. Visibilities Could Drop As Low As A Quarter Mile. Snow Will End From West To End And Push East Of The Region By 4 PM.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:26 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
MSM - an endangered species?
There's been a lot of talk about the effect that blogs are having on mainstream media and what that may mean for the future of "traditional" news sources like TV and newspaper. I for one, also believe that the MSM has reached a bit of a crisis point and needs to adapt quickly or be rapidly left behind. But it isn't just the advent of the blogosphere than can be blamed for the decline in MSM - a lot of it has to do with corporate America.

The signs are everywhere. I had the chance to catch the Diane Rehm show today on my way down to Columbia for a business meeting. The guest was Tom Fenton, talking about his new book Bad News : The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All. Tom's premise is that the major newspapers and TV news broadcasting divisions have gone from public services to corporate machines, where profit and ratings (or circulation) become the Holy Grail, and they are treated by their ever changing corporate parents as cash cows. Add to this fact that ever since the fall of Communism in the 90's, and the corresponding rise of the internet and the dot.coms, that American MSM in particular gutted their ranks (in partcular, and almost exclusively, their international coverage) and therefore their ability to report on international news.

Is it a wonder that US citizens are so ill informed about Middle Eastern politics and the genocides in Africa? All we're treated to is a once sided view that terrorists are bad and will do anything to harm America. Where is the reporting on the culture and history of the Middle East that lead to this situation and the effort to put it into context and provide meaning to the people hearing it? Where is the background on the culture and ethnic hatred between warring factions in Africa to provide context? Why are we treated to the story about Yuschenko being the underdog and winning the Ukraine elections this past fall instead of understanding the background and importance of those elections in overcoming Putin's last grab for power in that region? THAT was the story. We never heard it.

Fenton describes a news-gathering environment that has not only been gutted by corporate appetites, but one that is also staffed by dilatory producers and executives (who dismiss important stories as depressing or obscure), and which are increasingly and dangerously dependent on images and information gathered by third-party sources. He even acknowledges how anchors themselves believe they are outlandishly compensated -- while quality coverage which relies on in-depth reporting - often at great expense for remote locations or investigations, is being slashed. He also charges that the news media has also fallen victim to the entertainment / celebrity as news mindset and must reestablish its role as a keeper of the public trust.

The Fenton interview hit home for me because of a post at my friend Steve's blog regarding a recent rash of "buyouts" that the Financial Times of London offered to 30 of it's long time employees. This results in diluting the existing journalistic staff even further, and in a world where information is increasingly rushing at you with the velocity of a firehose (to borrow a phrase), how is this going to result in better reporting?

I don't mean to pick on the FT - they and other European MSM are still doing a far, far better job reporting world news in depth than their American counterparts. To be truthful, I get more of my news from the BBC and FT on many days than I do from my news aggregators for the NYT and WP. However, it's worth noting that the FT layoffs coincided with a long article in Sunday's NYT regarding the FT's parent company Pearson, and the lack of progress being made in its turnaround by its US CEO Marjorie Scardino. The paper kindly suggests she's been at the wheel too long without the results to show for it, and should probably step aside and let someone else have a go. This is but one example. Disney / Miramax, and Viacom also come to mind of course.

As a matter of fact, the lack of ratings and loss of viewers is also plaguing the major TV news broadcasts. Jack Shafer's article in Slate today questions the long pondered and much discussed future of CBS News and what the network should do in the post-Rather era. "The issue," according to a Journalism.org study, "is not just that people have turned off the television set. They have turned off the news in particular."

Shafer states my thoughts exactly when he says: "First, CBS should target serious news consumers, the sort of devotees who follow breaking news all day through news radio, cable, and the Web. Dedicate the program to breakingest of breaking news and ditch the news-you-can-use and heart-warming features unless they're stupendous. Produce a program that's worldly and doesn't waste time." I'm your audience folks, a self confessed news and politics junkie - come and get me.

The only US network still viable under the current conditions may be CNN, but even they have been bogged down lately by their attempt to create prime time, ratings catching shows, instead of focusing on the NEWS. Even Wonkette today exclaimed CNN: Officially out of ideas in talking about the demise of "Crossfire" and "Capitol Gang".

Isn't it a tenant of journalism to "stick to your strengths and stick to the story"? MSM heal thyself.

And this is why it won't be the blogosphere that spells the demise of MSM - it's a dinosaur that didn't get out of the way in time when it started to snow.

nq050307
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:30 AM   6 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 07, 2005
Reality Politics?
Yeah, I know, the title of this post is an oxymoron. Well, if you've ever wondered what Reality TV, Politics and the Subservient Chicken have in common (come on -you know you have), then check out my friend Steve's latest article up at Forbes.com . I'll say this for him, he's always got an interesting perspective when it comes to politics and the media!

Money quote regarding a UK political reality TV Show:
"In the end, the winner was revealed to be a convicted con artist whose platform seemed to consist of the deportation of illegal immigrants and the castration of child molesters."
Nice.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:23 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Bush to U.N.: Drop Dead
I have to agree with Fred Kaplan's article in Slate today. As critical and unhappy as I am with the UN - primarily over it's lack of leadership and accountability under Kofi Annan - I also know from working in a collaborative environment, that if you want to fundamentally seek change in a large and complex organization, you must be willing to be part of the solution. Bolton has been a VERY harsh and outspoken critic of the UN and it's policies, and while I might agree with some of his views in that regard, I think it's simply going to add to the world's notion that the US is an arrogant demagogue hell bent on having it our way or no way. And folks, let me tell you that that isn't the way to work, be effective, or be respected in a multinational coalition, and above all, the US needs to gain some respect from the rest of the world right about now.

It's not that Bolton isn't bright, hasn't earned it, or doesn't have the experience to step up to this post, he doesn't have the political diplomacy necessary to be effective in such a highly visible, sensitive role. Condi effectively iced him when he put his hat in the ring to be her second in command. For that reason alone, Bush's appointment is surprising.

A recent Bolton quote: "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so, because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States."

Yeah - that's the way to win friends and influence nations.....

Listen, I want Kofi Annan gone and a new, more enlightened, more effective leader at the UN willing to make decisions and hold both the UN and the nations that it monitors accountable more than anyone, but Bolton is just going to further alienate the US to the rest of the world and make Condi's job a living nightmare.

And if his humanitarian aide ideology is anything like his arms control stance, God help us all.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:36 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
2005 Snow Sculpture Championships
Pardon the obvious pun, but these are cool!. In related news, it went up to SIXTY EIGHT degrees in Baltimore today!! Aside from some large, grey/black mounds of plowed snow in area parking lots - it's ALL gone. In one day. Amazing! As with most March weather, it is about to change, and not for the better.... By the weekend (Steve) - they are predicting snow showers, so plan on bringing the London weather with you this weekend when you visit.



UPDATE: And in other news that spring is well overdue, a man in Fairbanks Alaska, who left his sprinkler on in October, now has an 80,000 ton, 150 foot high ice scultpture in his backyard. Look closely at the picture for scale. The guy that built it is standing next to it and is 6'9" tall and weighs 350 lbs.

posted by Broadsheet @ 5:49 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, March 06, 2005
"Ain't the Beer Cold?"
Baltimore lost sports broadcasting legend Chuck Thompson today. 83 years old, a wonderful, full life and a huge legacy to generations of Baltimore sports fans. He was every bit as much a part of the Orioles legacy as Cal Ripken, or as part of the Colts as Johnny Unitas. He was blessed to have a job he loved in a city he adored, and that adored him right back, for more than 50 years. And that is a very well lived life indeed.

I contrast this loss to one my friend Steve pointed out today, Paul C. Smith, a Tampa Tribune / MLB.com reporter for the Devil Rays. Rarely have I ever read such an overwhelming and genuine outpouring of grief and loss for someone so well loved and admired for simply being a nice guy and a great family man. He was only 46. The email note that his 13 year old daughter Kelsey posted on a memorial website just about tore my heart out. I could only hope to have 30% of the impact that man did during his short time, in my lifetime.

Love 'em while you got 'em folks. Whether you're 83 or 46 - it's a short ride. Make the most of it.

Fittingly, while I'm writing this, I'm listening to the new Paul Brady CD and the song "Say What You feel". Good to remember.

Speaking of nice guys and good dads, I think I have to go call my brother now.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:33 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Paging Eason Jordan
I hope the US fully vets the shooting of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena. It does sound more than a bit muddled and at the very least - very, very sloppy. I just hope against hope that it was a tragic, needless mistake. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Italy pulls out of Iraq over this.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:48 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Ides of March
I think the calendar is broken. (Although for you Latin geeks, today is Pridie Nonens as far as Ides go). It's nearly the second week of March and there are still tons of snow laying around and the temps are barely in the forties (although it is sunny today). There is a rumor that it may go as high as 60' later this week - we'll see.

I've gotta believe that with the Spring Equinox just 2 weeks away - this is the last gasp of winter weather for our region.

Mum and Dad left to go here for the month, and while not exactly tropical this time of year, it's only about 2 hours from here where it is certainly warmer (in many ways).

Sigh...Meanwhile, only 52 more days until I head here, where the weather is currently a balmy 65'. Although, I might cheat a little early and head here with a friend for a long weekend before then, just to shake off the snow and warm up a little.

UPDATE 4:15 pm: Well, I must have scared Mother Nature - cause it's all the way up to 55' right now!!! Maybe the end is here..... I've still got a respectable snow drift on my deck though, albeit much reduced from this morning.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:07 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Kowabunga Dude!
Surfers on giant board break record. Leave it to the Aussies to come up with a clever stunt like this. And using it to raise money for the tsunami victims is just ironically inspired.
"To be out there with those guys -- they're my best friends and pro surfers whom I've known for a long time -- to be just laughing our heads off without a worry in the world, it's what surfing is all about," he said.

"I don't think anyone has had more fun on a wave like that since the dawn of time," he added.
Certainly not lately.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:49 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Bush rejects any partial withdrawal by Syria
Am I the only person who finds is amusingly ironic that our president is demanding that foreign occupying forces leave another Middle Eastern country??

Syria, Syrian troops, Syria's intelligence services, must get out of Lebanon now," the president said.

"The world is beginning to speak with one voice. We want that democracy in Lebanon to succeed, and we know it cannot succeed so long as she is occupied by a foreign power and that power is Syria," Bush said.
Hah. Just substitute "US" and "Iraq" for Syria and Lebanon in the above quote.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:55 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Stroopwafel
I’m enjoying one of these this morning with my coffee. A Stroopwafel. I was able to find them at Zabars in NYC last weekend, and along with a big bag of Zabars French Roast coffee, I’m pretty much in heaven this morning and not wanting for a thing. Normally, I have to wait until my neighbor, Marcel, makes a trip home to Holland and rewards me for cat sitting by bringing me home a large box of Stroopwafel, along with Conimex Indonesian mixes and spices.

If you’ve never had a Stroopwafel, you don’t know what you’re missing. They’re specifically designed to be placed directly over a steaming cup of coffee or tea, and after a minute or two, the honey and caramel inside the butter wafers gets soft and chewy, and then,

Oh.
My.
God.

The Conimex spice packages allow me to make nasi goreng or bami goreng with the addition of fresh veggies, meat and the recipe I inherited for pinda saus (peanut sauce). I was first introduced to both of these culinary luxuries (now obsessions) by my Dutch roommate in graduate school, Charlotte. Charlotte is now a successful physician and pediatric diabetologist just outside of Amsterdam, and is married to Fritz, perhaps THE most gorgeous man on earth (with apologies to Hugh Grant). Fritz is a producer for Dutch public children’s television and the author of a couple of popular children’s books.

Charlotte was, and still is, unlike anyone I’ve ever met before. In addition to being the most gracious person I know, with a broadly funny, wicked sense of humor, she’s a classic Dutch beauty with porcelain, nearly transparent, skin, sky blue eyes, and waves and waves of the longest, blondest, curliest hair I’ve ever seen. Her brothers and sisters all have the same mop of curls in different shades of brown and blonde – it’s really amazing hair. Two of her three children now sport it as well – and they are all three completely Dutch towheads. They’re quite a sight cycling down the village road to the market on Charlotte’s Dutch “minivan”: a bicycle with a double child’s seat on the rear and one on the front, and two large side baskets for groceries. It looks like one of those circus bikes where a whole group of clowns piles on and tears around the ring. They are very routine in Holland, although I always felt a bit odd riding this mammoth bike with all its attachments around town whenever I visit. I also feel like the ugly stepsister whenever we all go out together. As an attractive family, they literally turn heads wherever we go – even in Holland where there are plenty of attractive people. Seriously, the Dutch are hot.

And they created stroopwafel. Pure genius those Dutch.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have a date with my coffee and the NYT. Life is good. Thanks Charlotte.

Now I just have figure out how to make this batch last until my next trip to NYC or Marcel goes home again, whichever is first. And if any of you are visiting Holland in the near future - please remember to bring me back a new supply. Thanks.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:30 AM   8 Editorial Opinions
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