Stay awake for it.

My search for the ideal stimulant continues. I’m trying to find that elusive pick-me-up that I can down sometime around 10 p.m. that will keep me alert until 1 a.m., but still let me sleep afterward. Two cups of coffee handle the stay-awake part, but sour my stomach for sleeping. Energy drinks make me feel like a 51-year-old in baggy shorts, tryin’ to hang with the kids. Today I got a brainstorm — a memory, actually. Morning Thunder.

My friend Paul hated coffee but needed serious stimulation to get going in the morning, and used to drink a gigantic tankard of Celestial Seasonings’ Morning Thunder tea, with four or five bags steeping in there. It was a pretty vile drink, but it did the trick. I tried it for a while (one bag at a time), but dropped it when I got tired of people making poop jokes about my beverage. (What brings on the famous 10 a.m. session with the morning paper, anyway? Is it the alimentary canal making room for breakfast, the hot liquid or the caffeine? And why does it mostly affect men? I’ve never known one who didn’t need a little me-time at midmorning.) After a while, it made me associate Morning Thunder with boom-booms, and by then I had developed the obligatory journalist’s taste for rancid newsroom coffee, which was free.

But with this unusual need for a specific eye-opener, maybe it’s time to check out the M.T. again. So I stopped where I never do — the tea section at the supermarket.

It’s kind of depressing. Tea runs in cycles like everything else, and now we’re deep into the relaxation thing. With eye-opening delegated to Starbucks and dark-roast arabica beans, tea has to take the opposite tack, and the most common word is decaffeinated, along with calming and serenity. No Morning Thunder in evidence. Ah, well.

Last night a triple-e from Starbucks at 8:45 did the trick magnificently. Drowsiness arrived at 12:55 a.m. If I try it tonight, it’ll either be too much or too little.

Do the guys at Starbucks try to speak Italian to you, too? “Here’s your tripplio,” or whatever; I wasn’t taking notes. Sometimes, when I feel like making my triple a dessert, I’ll order it with whipped cream. Tripplio con panna, the baristas say. They’re probably the same wiseasses who refer to Detroit as day-twah. Blech.

What a pleasant weekend, made for long bike rides, a little weightlifting and a pass through the Nordstrom’s shoe sale. The Steve Madden boots I’ve been eyeing keep falling in price, but they’re still not a justifiable purchase. I don’t have the legs, or the youth, to stuff jeans into boots anymore. And Kate will give up her Ed Hardy sneakers when they pry them off her cold, dead feet. Best would be a cool pair of ankle boots, but the only ones like that they’re making these days have towering heels. My knees hurt just looking at them. Where is a woman somewhere between stilettos and Hush Puppies to find her footwear? Not at Nordstrom’s shoe sale, evidently.

As you can see, friends, I have very little today. I stayed away from my computer for a couple of days and strongly recommend it, except for the pile of e-mail that accumulates under the slot. And I didn’t get too much bloggage, but a little:

New York magazine looks at the birther/wacker far right. What a bunch of maroons.

And now off to begin manic Monday. Kate woke up with a sore throat and informs me it’s sweepin’ the schoolyard. Oh, joy.

Posted at 9:40 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

89 responses to “Stay awake for it.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Find me a newsroom that still has a coffeepot. Haven’t see one in years. Last sighting, a tv station news studio’s breakroom, but otherwise, it’s microwaves and bring your own noxious powders.

  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I’m sending this to everyone i can, since it puts the basic facts behind the problem in clear enough terms for a House staffer to understand: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/19/AR2009091900112.html

    Lots of “sauce for the gander” in the NY mag article — adroit use of “apparently lucrative” and “but still,” and you have to get to the end of page three to learn that the heart of the birther movement springs from a group of PUMAs. It’s like Bob Herbert in the NYT this weekend and all the others talking about “right-wing haters” killing JFK . . . Oswald emigrated to the Soviet Union, for pity’s sake, and came back for the fresh produce with his Russian wife, but was furious with Kennedy for his *anti-communism* which obviously adds up to conservative blame for his assassination.

    Pelosi making Capt. Twinkie a metaphor for her deep fears (yes, Dan was a Republican, but as anyone who saw “Milk” knows, he was also quite unstable and ideologically a mess) would be funny if it weren’t so infuriating. We’re blaming people for opposing a major initiative which has seen a nationally televised speech to a joint session of Congress, a full Ginsburg (not really, since Bill drove around to all the shows, and the Pres. had them come to him, but fine), and still there’s no one who can tell us what the “plan” actually is, including the holder of the bully pulpit itself.

    I’m feeling like one of those kids in the insurance ads with the pony or bike or toy truck. “That’s a piece of junk” just evokes “I made that, pretty good, huh?” So far, we’re just getting cardboard cutouts, and being told we’re greedy or ungrateful for not wanting to trade our truck for the prop. And i don’t think the “excise tax” penalty for not having insurance is going to fly with any demographic, other than the “we know this is all just cover for edging towards single payer, neener neener neener” segment of the electorate.

  3. brian stouder said on September 21, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Well, I’ve never been a coffee man. I prefer my caffeine to be icy cold and fizzy. In our workplace, we recently, we did away with the old fashioned light switches in our bathrooms. In the past, lights in such out of the way places might remain on all night, or all weekend. Now, you walk in and twist a knob, and up to an hour is then on a timer. Thanks to my Diect Coke, I make my share of stop-and-goes, and of course the normal experience is that you walk into the room and the light is already on; it is easy to forget all about the timers, and you might only have a minute or two of light remaining(!) So – in the first week that we had these knobs, I walked into a dark bathroom and twisted the knob, and just as I was attending to business, a somewhat sheepish voice from inside the stall said “thank you”! (and the kicker is, he was the guy who made this energy saving change!)

  4. Rana said on September 21, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I always order a “small” when I’m at Starbucks, and the baristas pretend that I asked for the “Tall” which is the same thing. I did discover, during a visit to Japan, that Japanese Starbucks baristas use “tall,” “grande” and “vente” the same as in the States, so you can get your fix without knowing Japanese.

    My cholesterol counts are deemed to be through the roof, so this week my doctor put me on Crestor. What’s laughable is that one of the side effects to watch for is muscle pain… and I’m resuming jogging to deal with the HDL side of the equation. Heh. On the other hand, I am getting tons of amusement from my new jogging shoes, which are the silliest things ever, but boy are they fun to run in: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/products_Sprint_f.cfm

    (I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with shoes, as I have wide fronts, narrow backs, high arches, and sensitive skin, which means I have a closet full of shoes that I switch among when one gets to be too uncomfortable to wear. So far these haven’t given me any problems, but I don’t see myself wearing them to work anytime soon!)

    Regarding health care and insurance reform, there’s an interesting take on it here: http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-problem-with-healthcare-reform-isnt-the-american-people/

  5. Rana said on September 21, 2009 at 10:42 am

    brian, that’s hilarious. :)

  6. Bill White said on September 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I recently discovered English breakfast tea – just enough caffeine to set you up and clear your mind for a few hours.

  7. Carolyn said on September 21, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Coffee is still strong and free in this South Florida newsroom. Was nearly cut in the last go-round, but some things are still sacred.

  8. coozledad said on September 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I ate a lot of ephedrine based stimulants in college, but all they seemed to do was make my scalp tingle as I fell asleep. For awhile I used to add a small amount of Ma Huang to my tea before going to the gym, until I found out that ephedra often mysteriously causes stroke or pulmonary embolus, particularly in people who are working out.
    The only thing that halfway works for me is about six tablespoons of French roast ground to a fine powder and steeped in a coffee press for about five minutes. If nothing else, it makes you look awake.

  9. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Rana, ditto with my feet and my shoes. I have duck feet with high insteps and high arches. Clogs work but I get really tired of them. Today I’m wearing very cute ballet flats but I know my feet will hurt by the end of the day.

  10. Jen said on September 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    We have a coffeepot in our newsroom (actually, in the breakroom down the hall from the newsroom), but it is supplied by the people who drink coffee, not the company. I generally drink my Diet Coke or Diet Mountain Dew instead, or make coffee (with fancy flavored creamer – one of my rare indulgences) at home. I just about have to have caffeine in the mornings to function, although it’s not really a huge deal on days I don’t have to work – I can wait until the middle of the day before I need a pop or coffee.

    I laughed at your talk about the 10 a.m. “appointment” with the morning paper. Back when we were an afternoon paper and everyone was in the office by 7 a.m., we could just about set a clock by our editor. The only think that sucked was when one of the women wanted to read the paper and had to dart into the men’s room to retrieve it. Thankfully, the guys usually just read the sports page, which we usually didn’t need.

  11. coozledad said on September 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I could have told Boris that it’s virtually impossible to catch a cab on Pennsylvania avenue when you’re stripped to your underwear:
    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/09/from-the-clinton-interviews-a-drunken-boris-yeltsin-on-pennsylvania-ave.php?ref=fpb

  12. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 11:26 am

    JTMMO, I don’t think Pelosi was saying anything about Dan White’s party affiliation. She was referring to the type of ugly public talk about Milk and Mosconi. It wasn’t about politics; it was about hate and fear, and that’s going on now about Obama. He’s Hitler and a commie and a secret Muslim.
    I remember in ’91 hearing my brother and a friend of his talk about how much they hated Hillary Clinton. Nothing specific, just hated her. Bill Clinton hadn’t even been nominated yet, but Hillary was a ball buster and a commie and a bitch. Why? She just was. Obama is a tax raiser and wants to kill people and give African Americans more then white folks get. Why? He just does.
    This isn’t political discourse. It’s a giant tantrum by people who didn’t get their way. Unfortunately, they have guns and jackasses like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who turn free speech into a way to make lots of money stirring up lots of people who can’t quite put their finger on what they hate about Obama. Or rather they don’t want to know what it really is because it’s so embarrasing to admit you’re a racist.
    Not everyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist, obviously, but many are. Many of the most vocal are. Just as the people who hated Harvey Milk and Mayor Mosconi weren’t necessarily homophobic.

  13. moe99 said on September 21, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Well they don’t call them coffee BEANS for nothing!

    Looks like birther lawyer, Orly Taitz is in a hell of a lot of trouble:

    http://tinyurl.com/l4rnkx

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  14. adrianne said on September 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I’m with Rana – I steadfastly refuse to order a Starbucks “tall” drink when what I want is small. Small is all this ‘merican is going to order, dammit!

    Our editor, a coffee addict, purchased one of those Keurig one cup at a time coffee machines, with the little vacuum-packed coffees. Nuthin’ like a little French vanilla in the middle of the morning!

  15. Dorothy said on September 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Not a coffee drinker here – and my daughter sent me a $5 gift certificate to http://www.adagio.com for teas. I’m loving all the tea I have bought so far. Well, wait, not so much love for the Hazelnut. I love the smell of hazelnut coffee – so why is it not very yummy in tea variety? I’m not sure if they have the Morning Thunder, but I did buy some gunpowder tea recently. Have not tried it yet. The Christmas tea was very good, and so is the peach, apricot, Earl Grey and raspberry.

    Don’t you have DSW Shoe stores in Day-twah, Nancy? You can order online if you don’t have one to browse through in person. I have had good luck with the two or three pair I have ordered on line. But there’s nothing quite like the fix of going shoe shopping. Just the smell of the store is enough to get me going!!

    Adrianne – we got one of those machines about a year ago in my office and they are very popular. All the coffee drinkers in my division love it.

  16. beb said on September 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    And to add to what LAMary says above, this was what Bob Herbert was talking about regarding JFK. Dallas Texas at that time was filled with people who were mad, crazy angry and blamed Kennedy for everything that had gone wrong. I lived through one presidental assassination. I don’t want to live through another.

    As for Nancy: this desire for something to keep you up through 1AM and then put you down for 8 hours sounds a little Michael Jackson-ish. A drug for this, a drug to counteract that… Not good.

    I’m sure they still sell black tea, just make a strong pot of it. That should have enough caffeine to get your through the night…

  17. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Go to Zappos.com and become a vip member. Free overnight shipping, free shipping on returns, and instant credit when you notify them you are returning something.

    https://secure-vip.zappos.com/vipSignIn

  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    LAMary, it sounds like we may agree more than not — i think there’s plenty of room for Republican leaders to condemn racism among protestors even while i’m certain that much of the “gasp, racism!” talk is insincerely ginned up by Shrum et alia. Now, we need some GOP leaders, since the absence of anyone to fill that bill is a vacuum filled by Limbaugh and Beck. I don’t think they constitute leaders in any meaningful way, but it’s hard to argue that they aren’t leaders short of being able to point at someone else and say “no, THAT’S our leadership.” We don’t got that yet. Pawlenty, Jindal, and a few others are still a few turns on the public spit away from being done; we all know what happened the last time we put an undercooked entree out on the buffet. Half-Baked Alaska.

    That still doesn’t mean i can’t fume over the absolute nasty hatefulness i listened to re: Bush for eight years, which apparently didn’t happen, or doesn’t count because it was “true” while any rumor-mongering about Obama is “racist lies.” You could say in parades, in print, or in person anything at all about Bush, and it was just “politics ain’t beanbag.” Now, if i say “Obama has no plan, and wants me and my descendants to pay dearly for it”, and i object, i’m supposed to sit still for being called a racist hater.

    If i really were politically inclined, i’d just shut my mouth and let any and all liberals and progressives just keep thinking the 9-12 rally and tea parties and so on were just a fringe group of kooks all astroturfed by FoxNews. Sure, toss me in the briar patch. The problem is — i want health care reform, and coverage for the uninsurable, and a reframing of international aims for foreign interventions, and a more rational national energy policy to boot. So i’d really like for people like Tom Friedman, whom i used to respect immensely, to not guzzle the grape flavor-ade and believe that the taxpayer reaction isn’t coming.

    Ron Paul is way too isolationist and unrealistic for me, and Friedman said a smart thing this weekend in such a stupid way no one right of Harry Reid will listen to him (the energy tax on gasoline idea). If we didn’t have the reverse racism of Michael Steele as RNC chair, stuck on stupid, we could work some bipartisan debate on creating some effective legislation, but that actual piece of Republican racism isn’t likely to be publicly repented of anytime soon. So i’m frustrated.

  19. Sue said on September 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    MMJeff, is that “briar patch” reference just to see who’s paying attention?

  20. moe99 said on September 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    What “lies” about the Bush administration are we talking about here, Jefftmmo?

    I refuse to accept that assertion without proof.

    Here’s a list of Bush scandals and it lists almost 300 of them. But this was 2 years ago, so I would think we could add at least Gale Norton’s investigation to it….

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/004951.php

  21. Deggjr said on September 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Not only are the birthers maroons, they are gullibulls.

  22. coozledad said on September 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t know if these folks have really thought this one through. I’ve known a couple of people who worked in an emergency room, and before the advent of Cock Ring Warehouse, there were a limited, but surprising number of poor bastards who showed up tumesced with a wedding band strangling their penis. According to the radiologist, it was virtually a party, with all the hospital employees stopping in to have a look. It didn’t quite get as far as posing for a Polaroid with the patient, but almost.
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/gallery/2009/09/values-voters.php?img=3&ref=fpblg

    Cock Ring Warehouse:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb-Kh1oJSGE

  23. Scout said on September 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Jeff(tmmo) has referred to the “absolute nasty hatefulness” displayed by left leaners towards Bush, and I respectfully submit the following reasons for any nastiness and hatred on my part:

    1. Ignored a memo stating Bin Laden to attack US; sat paralyzed and read to school kids while US under attack.
    2. Used the horrendous attack as an excuse to start an unneccessary and immoral war in Iraq.
    3. Condoned and set up loopholes for torture.
    4. Spied on ordinary American citizens, many of whom were simply political opponents (Quakers?!).
    5. Closed town-hall meeting in which loyalty had to be established to gain entry.
    6. Allowed a crony to completely mismanage the Katrina crisis while he, Bush, was flitting around making public appearances.
    7. Set Climate Change policy back for 8 years that the earth can ill afford.
    8. Gave tax cuts to the already obscenely wealthy, while spending more money than all previous US Presidents combined. Now we’re supposed to believe the world of hurt we’re in is somehow all Obama’s fault.

    I know I’m forgetting stuff, but at this point, Obama’s haters simply do not have the sheer volume of policy to pick from to be so vehemently upset. In my opinion.

  24. Sue said on September 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Cooze:
    Bad Hospital Employees! Bad Employees!
    Seriously, not to take anything away from your comment, but every one of those people should have been written up at minimum. That’s a huge no-no in any health care setting, from a professional and legal perspective.

  25. kayak woman said on September 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I have the ugliest feet on earth, bunions and all. People are always trying to sympathize with me because they think my feet must hurt. Not. I walk 5-6 miles a day. Every day. In my Chaco sandals. I add polartech socks when it starts getting cold. When the snow flies and the temperature dips below about 25, I rather reluctantly switch to a pair of LL Bean “winter tennis shoes” or whatever they’re called these days.

    There is a DSW in Ann Arbor (Arborland) so I bet there are more throughout the Metro Daytwa area.

  26. ROgirl said on September 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    There must be enough people out there who CAN buy shoes online to make it a profitable business, but for those of us who have problems finding shoes that fit, it’s just not practical. I have a wide foot and high arch which that makes it a real crapshoot at times, and I generally don’t like the wide width styles. In the past I’ve found shoes at Nordstrom Rack, but not recently. DSW is in the area (I go to the one across from Oakland Mall), and I’ve found a few things there too.

  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

    But that’s your point – Bush deserves it. No one on the left ever needed to say a word about it, because it was all fair.

    Meanwhile, the “opposition” continues to be described en masse as “Obama’s haters.” And as crazy, loons, nutjobs, wingnuts, insane, unbalanced, and that’s the nice stuff.

    Is there any way that “I” or anyone to the right of the spectrum, many of whom were saying fairly uncomplimentary things about Bush all the way back to “compassionate conservatism” in regards to expanding the reach and cost of federal governance, can object to further growth of national initiatives without being called racist? It sure seems like the overall aim is to make sure that any expostulation against the un-plan Plan that was so animatedly pressed on Sunday morning is put in the same loony bin as LaRouche (Democrat, last time he ran) and Oswald (Communist, unhappy about Kennedy anti-communism), let alone the Glenn Beck and various unhooded Klan fantasists.

  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Shoes on-line are just such a crapshoot. Three different size 15s fit like anything from a 12 to a mukluk for a sasquatch; at least L.L. Bean is totally mellow about returns.

  29. del said on September 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I wouldn’t be too worried about claims that you’re racist for questioning administration positions Jeff. Ignore all that. Just press on with serious criticisms about the health care plan, or skepticism as there is no plan, really.

    There’s a lot of rage out there among the teabaggers for sure, they’re afraid for their economic future. They’re looking for someone to blame for their troubles — an enemy, a scapegoat. Not long ago some of my fellow Michiganders, whipped up by incendiary anti-government rhetoric on the radio, gathered in a farmhouse to plan events leading to the Oklahoma City bombing.

    I’m frustrated too, frustrated with how money pollutes our system so pervasively, legislatively and judicially. It stinks. I’m no expert on comparative law so I don’t know exactly how our U.S. system stacks up against others, but I doubt that it’s the best.

    Here’s an example from one of my cases. In June the Michigan Court of Appeals held that our Consumer Protection Act doesn’t protect consumers deceived by nonprofit corporations. The court (or more likely a law clerk) pulled out a dictionary to find a definition to suit its purposes – a definition by which it could “reason” that nonprofit corporations, by definition, don’t engage in “trade or commerce.” (If Blue Cross rips off a consumer, fahhgeddabout looking to the Consumer Protection Act for help.)

    It’s one thing when an individual like Bill Clinton finds an esoteric definition from the OED to save his ass (“sexual relations” in the Lewinsky affair) and entirely another when the apparatus of the state does so with quiet deliberation to affirmatively harm individual consumer interests vis-a-vis corporate interests.

  30. brian stouder said on September 21, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Jeff, I never cottoned to the “Bush is Hitler” crowd, and in fact I still part company with many (hereabouts) with regard to what our terrorist detainees deserve (to paraphrase Judge Roy Bean – a fair trial and then a hanging).

    In my own experience, many of the same folks who didn’t like the spectacle of angry people shaking signs with Adolf Bush on them, now heartily agree with signs like that with Obama’s visage on them.

    And – I don’t recall any Democrat shouting “YOU LIE” at the previous president, as he addressed congress.

    And further – recently it was flatly disheartening to watch my congressman sit serenely as one crank after the next referred to the current president as a nazi or socialist or communist or fascist, or as a foreign-born usurper or an advocate for death-boards. Our son of a bitch congress member quietly, politely smiled through ALL of that – and only leaped up with vigorous responses on the two or three occasions when a citizen dared to go after HIM or the GOP. THEN – he was all righteous indignation!

    See – as you know from leading campouts, if the adults in the tent don’t assert themselves, then God only knows what the adventurous campers will say or do. To me, that’s the point. We’ll always have cranks, but if the main stream doesn’t “call them out” – then they BECOME the “mainstream”

  31. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Rana, it’s because I have weird feet I have better luck online. I can enter the size, width, heel height, everything, and Zappos sorts out what would work for me. I’ve had great luck with a brand called J-41, which while comfy is also quirky looking enough to allow me to not feel 100 years old. I get the shoes in one day, and if they don’t work, I drop them off at the UPS place or FedEx and get my credit immediately.

  32. Scout said on September 21, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), yes Bush deserved it and it this point I maintain that Obama does not. That could change. Right now the birthers, the deathers, the anti everything Obama says and does (including condiment choices) factions of the Republican party are the ones making all the noise and getting all the attention. They are a collective Boy Who Cried Wolf at this point and I am hard pressed to see how anyone can blame most Americans for not drawing equivalence to what went on from 2001-2008.

  33. Dexter said on September 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Bill Granger , who wrote a great column for the ChiTrib for many years (and is now disabled and in an Old Sailors home) wrote of many common things, like pickup trucks, cans of beer, and Irish Breakfast Tea. I tried those teas and loved them, but now I drink Stash brands mostly, usually Earl Grey. I start every day with about 2/3 of a pot of coffee, though, and tea is for the evening and TV time.
    I got a very nice birthday gift in the mail, and I am going out in search of a be-bop concert to break out—I got the coolest hat ever…a leather porkpie, from my daughter. It is awesome!
    http://www.mikethehatter.com/ItemSearch.asp?StyleID=4&BrandID=

  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Mocking those who got wrought up over Obama’s choice of mustard – absolutely, that was just pathetic. (And kind of funny, about them.)

    The role of money — this is what stymies me from picking a party qua party. Centralizing more control and authority seems like a good way to just put more influence peddling in the DC ballpark, but broader structures also lets big corporations carry excessive weight in picking off opposition piecemeal with manipulative pr and marketing. It is why i’d like to see more social programs truly operate at the state level, where you can experiment, lobby back in a really grassroots way, and learn from similar states in other parts of the country. I’m tempted to argue that letting health insurance plans compete across state boundaries would help control costs, but then you need a multi-state, if not national panel to negotiate for fees/prices with providers . . . so why not go whole hog?

    Which takes me back to the French plan (national policy, private insurers, close regulation); but unlike online shoe purchases, we can’t send this one back if it pinches our feet worse than the shoes that are wearing out on us right now.

  35. Dexter said on September 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Obama …newspaper bail outs?

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090920/NEWS16/909200326

  36. Julie Robinson said on September 21, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    For me the place between stilletos and Hush Puppies is Birkenstock. I share fitting problems with everyone above and add the complication of plantar fasciitis, so I have to have a supportive footbed. Are they ugly? Who cares–trust me, when my feet hurt I’m not pleasant to be around. The one store that carries them locally only gets a few styles in each year. Apparently they haven’t heard about the magic of the internets.

    Coffee smells wonderful but makes the tummy roil, so I stick to tea and pop for my caffeine. Can’t drink any after mid-day or I don’t sleep.

    Nancy, my father kept a similar schedule to you, often covering meetings or games late at night but still doing his early shift on the news desk at the radio station. Amazingly I never saw him use any caffeine–maybe all those cigarettes gave him energy? He was also an early master of the power nap and could fall asleep anywhere. And frequently did.

  37. coozledad said on September 21, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Sue: This was in the late seventies and early eighties, and most of this particular hospital’s employees were coked to the gills, especially the Friday night through Sunday nightmare shifts. A few years and overdoses later, I think there were some more stringent disciplinary measures undertaken.
    My friends did get written up about a few things, notably, nearly driving a portable x-ray unit through a fourth floor hall window of the oncology hospital.

  38. Dorothy said on September 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Don’t forget to set your DVR – the Prez is on Letterman tonight!

  39. Scout said on September 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), you know, we really do agree on many things. Money does poison politics. I guess we’ll need to agree to disagree about any presidential merit Mr. Bush may have had. I will commend him on his graceful and quiet exit from office. That was well done.

  40. Danny said on September 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I’m with Rana and whoever else says they don’t order “tall.” Actually, I rarely hit Starbucks in San Diego because we brew our own Jose’s Vanilla Nut from Costco at home and I take a thermos to work (sometimes feel like Fred Flintstone).

    Brian, more than a few years back I was using one of the bathroom stalls in a Barnes and Nobel. Some teenagers walked in, did their business and then turned the lights out on me on the way out, giggling all the way. Needless to say, I had to be careful about the “paperwork” in the dark.

    When I got out of the bathroom, I looked around for anyone with sly grins and furtive glances, but to no avail. It was kind of funny though.

  41. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    The biggest difference I discern between the rage directed at Bush and Obama is where the anger is derived.

    The Bush Administration disgraced our nation in many palpable ways from ginning up a war with Iraq to suspending habeas corpus to torturing terror suspects. It politicized EVERYTHING or has the image of W. on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln declaring the end of major combat operations slipped our minds? After the debacle of Hurricane Katrina, the nation finally began to see through the smoke and mirrors of Karl Rove to realize this was a corrupt and incompetent group of people.

    With Obama, the fury is based more on what people think he MIGHT do and on the very nature of who he is. I am not calling all those who dislike the O-man racists, though there is a significant number of crackers amongst the tea partiers. But the melange of signs and slogans on display focused very little on any proposed legislation.

    Obama has been in office since January. He inherited two wars, the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, a politicized Justice Department, a foreign policy built on nothing but sneers and fists and scores of other signicant issues. I’d give him a C or a C-plus at best, so far, but man, it has been only eight months. What exactly has he DONE, as opposed to what he has proposed, that is generating this kind of ire?

  42. Deborah said on September 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I was in your neck of the woods this weekend, Nancy. I got a last minute seat to tour Cranbrook with my husband and his architecture students from IIT. It was a glorious weekend there, at least till late Saturday afternoon when we left for Chicago. Cranbrook is beautiful by the way, have you ever been there?

    Regarding shoes: before my Finland trip I looked high and low for brown, flat, ankle boots to wear with jeans. They had to be brown because every other pair of shoes I own is black, I wanted something different and I had bought a couple of pairs of wheat colored jeans. I never found any until I got back, of course. They are everywhere now.

  43. Sue said on September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Brian Stouder, you get a big gold star and a hug for that calm and thoughtful comment. That last paragraph was perfect.

  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I promise to drop it after this — brother Jeff, if you get a wider view of the posters carried on 9-12, they were much more about reining in the expansion of government than they were about Obama, and like Ron Paul, most of them have cried foul at NCLB, adding entitlements to the Medicare program without budgetary support, and no small percentage of them have polled “get out” on Iraq for years. Look at the stats, those poll numbers included a fair number of Republicans, let alone independents. When you say all the tea party/9-12 protesters are screaming about Obama, you’re drinking the wrong beverage. Put down the purple stuff and have some Earl Grey. Yes, there are hateful loons (and, GOPers are gonna take swipes at a Democratic president), but there’s a large and growing reaction against expanding government, and it goes back well into Bush’s terms. McCain lost in large part because those folks weren’t convinced he wasn’t a me-too in the Bush vein, and they said “what the heck, let’s see what Obama actually does.” Now, like my dad, they’re (ridiculously) saying “Whaaaaa?” to the policy initiatives coming out, but it really isn’t about the guy.

    And the Obama as Hitler posters are almost every last one from LaRouchies. You can look it up. Thankfully, they really are a small but indefatigable little group that won’t run out of money, dang it. Neither party is aided by their “the Queen is a drug dealer” claptrap, let alone demonizing Obama as a fascist.

    Hey, what about that foot injury on “Mad Men”? WHOAAAA . . . that’s gonna leave a mark.

    ps – ditto on Brian’s campout metaphor. Truly.

  45. del said on September 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Jeff TMMO, your point about federal versus state legislation is interesting. State governments may be more responsive to people and less prone to corrupting influence. That was a standard “states rights” argument advanced by conservatives on Rehnquist’s Supreme Court. They struck down federal legislation (typically liberal) so that state legislation (typically conservative) would be permitted and spoke of the benefits of states experimenting in the “cauldron” (my word) of free enterprise. It’s an interesting idea. It plays into heartlanders’ skepticism about the Beltway crowd too. It morphed into the canard that the federal government gets everything wrong. But I wonder about whether local government is any less corruptible than federal government. Local politicians, including judges, are more accessible to local corrupting influences from my vantage point. Corruption’s not just a Washington thing.

  46. ROgirl said on September 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Brian, I think the cynicism that Rove unleashed is still playing out. Even people who supported Bush for a long time came to the realization that they’d been played, but the atmosphere has been poisoned by the Bush tactic of playing only to its supporters and ignoring everyone else, and that’s what I think a lot of the vitriol is about (in addition to other factors like racism and distance from reality). They think that’s how Obama is dealing with them and their concerns.

  47. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I watched a slide show of the Value Voters Summit over at Talking Points Memo and was struck by something. In the 25 photos included, there is only one person of color and it is someone standing in front of a booth. Every speaker photographed is white and with the exception of Michelle Bachmann and our favorite beauty pageant contestant, Carrie Prejean, all are male.

    Perhaps this is a skewed photo essay. Perhaps there were Hispanic and/or black speakers who were not included. But if this was the lineup, it was awfully pale considering how diverse this nation has become.

  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I’d say both, Jeff; there were many minority speakers on the 9-12 platform, but there was what should be a disturbingly small number of protesters out on the Mall from all i’ve heard (and that’s from happy-to-be-there people). David Brooks’ column confirmed that.

    It’s like when i try to say to my evangelical colleagues, “Does it bother you at all that pictures of your annual gathering/meeting/assembly are all middle aged, paunchy, balding white guys, where diversity is a few men with beards among the clean-shavenness?” And their reaction is “Jeff, you’re getting all multi-culti on us!”

    Nope, i’m a demographic realist: if you aren’t reaching minority audiences, you’re only reaching a declining percentage of the general population. That’s evangelism how, again? (From my twitter feed earlier today, in fact — RT @EssentialChurch From 1990-2004 the US population grew by more than 18% and the number of people attending church declined by 3%.)

    But seriously, was anyone jolted up out of the sofa by the foot-mangle last night, or did you actually all stick with the Emmys instead of watching “Mad Men”?

  49. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    JeffTMMO,

    As always, you are gracious in your response. I am not drinking the Obama-Ade. As noted, I am disappointed in many areas including his lack of “oomph” in pushing health care reform until all this backlash had built itself into a tsunami.

    My point was simply that Bush actually did things that drove the protests against him. I am not sure what it is Obama has done that has led to all these denunciations. If these protesters are so fired up about government intrusion into their lives, where were they when the Bush Administration decided it didn’t need court approval to read our e-mails or listen in to our phone conversations? Where were they when the president gave himself power to declare anyone, anywhere at any time an “enemy combatant,” subject to jailing in seclusion with no rights to counsel? Where were they when the Congress was sticking its nose into the Terri Schiavo affair?

    To me, these are concrete examples of a government very much intruding into our lives, but there wasn’t a peep on the right. Now, all of a sudden, they are upset and engaged. Why now??

  50. basset said on September 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    We’re going to the Zappos warehouse store this Saturday… on the way to visit some friends who live near there. the warehouse is enormous, something like a million square feet off I-65 on the southern fringes of Louisville.

    call up a satellite map of Shepherdsville, Kentucky, and look on the east side of the interstate.

    first time we went there I pulled off the highway and asked for directions…

    “you can’t miss it.”

    “I more than likely can, tell me again.”

    “No, you don’t understand. You REALLY can’t miss it.”

  51. Jean S said on September 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Shoes. Politics. Politics. Shoes.

    I vote for shoes.

    Nance, did you see the NYTimes’ piece on news from Detroit? Looks like we’ll be swamped with cover stories, “human interest” pieces, etc. in the months to come.

  52. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Okay, I’ll play.

    My most recent shoe purchase was a beautiful pair of brown and white spectators, which I wore when teaching last Friday to the amusement of my much, much, much younger students. They are comfortable and very cool looking and were purchased online because I have been unable to find any spectators in the scores of shoe stores visited here in Chicago.

  53. Danny said on September 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    …well there is also the lights off/on in the bathroom topic. Not a very compelling day, eh?

  54. Sue said on September 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    MMJeff needs to explain the foot-mangle. Would that be compelling? Nothing but sports on my tv yesterday, all day. I didn’t even know the Emmys were on. Good to see Bryan Cranston won again.

  55. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I can’t deny watching most of the Bears vs. Steelers game while slogging through one of my new textbooks yesterday. (Sheesh. More than 35 years later and I’m still studying like I did as an undergraduate with either TV or radio on in background.) It was a fun game, but if the Steelers kicker hits those two field goals, it’s another L for the Monsters of the Midway.

    I’m always a little torn when watching the NFL. I do enjoy the games, but the super violent hits that are delivered these days are just amazing. One pro QB has predicted we are getting close to the day when someone will be killed on the football field in one of these huge collisions. And I’m old enough to remember the hit Jack Tatum delivered to Daryl Stingley many years ago, which left Stingley paralyzed below the neck.

    Anyone else out there feel the same way? Admiration for the athleticism, strength and skill, but fear for what those crushing hits are doing to both the hitter and the hittee? Man, no wonder the average NFL career is 3.5 years.

  56. Jenine said on September 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    The kick in Morning Thunder is from yerba mate. The Wikipedia description specifies that it “contains caffeine and has a pungent taste like a cross between green tea and coffee, with hints of tobacco and oak”. One of my husband’s favorite novels, Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar, includes many mopey Argentinians discussing the meanings of life and art while smoking many cigarettes and drinking lots of mate.

  57. Danny said on September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Yeah, I heard that too, Jeff. One solution is to remove the face guards. I’d also like to see them implement very stringent testing for performance enhancing drugs.

  58. Sue said on September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Jeff Borden, this was recently in Sports Illustrated. I have trouble seeing this as a “happy ending”, but I know I’m in the minority. What’s with a sport that leaves men crippled to various degrees by the time they’re forty, kills kids who are forced to practice in August heat or get kicked off the team, or leaves 13-year-olds paralyzed? I do think that’s taking “win or die trying” a little too far.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1159243/index.htm

  59. del said on September 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I’ll play too. We were in Provincetown MA on vacation a few weeks ago. My wife went into a store to shop. As I waited outside a gay male looked fetchingly at me while slowly twirling his index finger in a circular motion on the hair south of his navel. He was wearing stylish sneakers. My wife emerged from the store with a box containing an identical stylish sneakers — see pic
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.kaboodle.com/hi/img/a/0/0/8/1/AAAACsyHxrkAAAAAAAgbiQ.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/converse-rummage-all-star&usg=__e9dOKDfyUa5LDdsmuVXmlxRbm-Q=&h=240&w=160&sz=11&hl=en&start=3&tbnid=ZpBP4YssG_y4oM:&tbnh=110&tbnw=73&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dlaceless%2Bconverse%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den

  60. del said on September 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I’m getting lots of compliments on them.

  61. Rana said on September 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    LAMary, I think you meant to respond to ROgirl?

    Anyway, I’m a fan of both Zappos and Birkenstocks, and I shall look into the J-41s. I was a bit leery of them, because they resemble Keens, and I have discovered to my dismay that Keens’ sole bumps just do not work with my feet. Privos, by Clark, are also nice; what I appreciate is that they are both low and cushy, and the straps are stretchy. I like clogs, but they’re something I’m reluctant to buy online because of the high arch thing; I’ve got too many veins on the top to enjoy shoes that are tight there. Adjustable straps across the arch are essential.

    My only disappointment with Zappos is that they don’t always have what I want, and way too many trendoid shoes that scare me and my feet. But then, I’m pretty damn picky.

    My caffeinated beverage of choice is either Japanese green tea (which tastes nutty, unlike Chinese green tea, which tastes grassy) or black tea with milk and sugar. But the effect of the caffeine is mostly to ease withdrawal headaches. Unless I’ve been completely off it for a while, in which case my reaction is strong enough to trigger panic attacks, it doesn’t seem to have much effect except on my bladder. I can drink a full mug of strong black tea just before bed and fall asleep with no problems.

  62. Rana said on September 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    del, those are cool. Did you get the red ones?

  63. del said on September 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    And I agree about pro football. Way too violent. I admit I watch college ball though.

  64. del said on September 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    No. Mine are laceless brownies.

  65. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Sue,

    What a sad story in SI. And how poignant that the first thing the kid asks the doctors is whether he’ll ever be able to play again?

    I don’t believe in blaming the messenger, but the collection of clips of “great hits” that are a staple of ESPN and the other sports channels makes me wonder if some of these guys aren’t angling to be featured in one of these segments by delivering the most vicious hit possible.

  66. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Converse All Stars are pretty standard footwear around here for both genders. I’ve got them in green and black. The offspring have white, blue and black. I’ve been eyeing some purple ones. The Famous Foot store, which used to be Famous Footwear but the wear part of the sign burned out, has buy one get 1/2 of the second pair deals all the time, so they work out to about 34 bucks a pair.

  67. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Rana, you’re right. I did mean ROgirl.

  68. brian stouder said on September 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Off topic – but here’s a CULTURAL ALERT for Alex and Julie and any other Fort Wayne/Allen County person:

    When Shelby (our 11 year old daughter) and I attended the kickoff event for the 2009-10 Omnibus Lecture Series at IPFW (an excellent presentation by Henry Winkler and Marlee Matlin, which was particularly well-suited for Shelby), she noticed Harold Holzer’s face on one of the video screens as we were entering the auditorium.

    So we stopped and watched until the image came up again (she had a particularly high opinion of him, from the times we have met him at the late Fort Wayne Lincoln Museum) and learned that he is giving a lecture titled “The Education of Abraham Lincoln” at IPFW. I went searching on Holzer’s website, and found nothing at all, but on IPFW’s calendar, under The Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, we found the announcement about “Harold Holzer, Lincoln author/scholar and co-chair of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission” scheduled to deliver a lecture and talk about Abraham Lincoln, at the beautiful Rhinehart Music Center; Rhinehart Recital Hall.

    But here’s the kicker:

    IT’S COMING UP IN JUST 10 DAYS!! – on October 1!

    The doors open at 7 pm, the public is welcome, and there is no charge. I suspect LOTS of people would attend, if they know that it’s coming; but – as for me – I’d have NO IDEA it was occurring if Shelby hadn’t spotted him on a video screen at the Auer Auditorium.

    Be there or be square, I say!!

  69. MarkH said on September 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Jeff Borden, your post #55 hits home in a number of areas. That “someone’s going to die” remark was made by Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer and reported by Nancy’s old J-school classmate, Peter King in SI a few days ago. King said it just flat stopped the conversation among him and other QB’s, suggesting that the notion has been the elephant in the room for some time now. Players are getting larger and larger and hitting harder and such an event is just inevitable, they admitted.

    I always had this notion about Jack Tatum: that he was this figure that came out of nowhere, emerged from the dark shadows, if you will. That he never went to school, that Woody Hayes found him down the street in the Ohio State Penitentiary and somehow determined that he was a gifted athlete. How convenient that he was also a killer. Hid his entire past from the NCAA and school officials, or just concocted a high school history. No one knew his real background. I know this story isn’t true (I think), but Tatum was brutal; quietly lethal. Never said a word, just went out and destroyed the opposing player. He had many such incidents, Stingley’s was just the most notable, and the worst. How could you get that way without some kind of criminal background, I wondered.

    My first year of high school football, Fall of ’67 in Cincinnati, we had a preseason scrimmage with Mt. Healthy. As the 2nd period started, we witnessd one of the opposing defensive backs go into a seizure, as he was on the field. Staggering, grabbing his helmet in desperation, falling down, writhing a bit, then, still. Still, because he was dead; just like that. We were all frozen as all the coaches ran over and with our trainer, an EMT, worked furiously to revive him. No avail. Ten minutes into this, our fine drill sergeant of a coach and a terrific math teacher, Jack Orrison, came over to us, drained, ashen. “Go shake hands and get on the bus, boys, it’s over”. Very emotional, a tough thing for 15-year old sophomore, and everyone else to witness. Still clear in the mind 42 years later.

    That Steelers kicker is in the crosshairs this week, you can be sure. I know this is a team sport, and evereyone has to take responsibility for a loss, yada, yada. But it’s also true that each player is told, just do YOUR job. If eberyone does that, together we’ll come out on top. When it mattered, he missed two relatively easy shots, when it mattered most. So that’s his loss, the way I see it.

    Danny, could you explain removing the faceguards? That helps…what?

  70. Laurie said on September 21, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Re caffeine, I’ve been going to a doctor’s office that puts out all kinds of Celestial Seasonings products (some newer than others), and I saw one I hadn’t seen before- Verde Peach Mist Maté (i.e., yerba maté). The box claimed it gets you going “without the coffee jitters,” and blathered on about its cultural history in South America. I tried it, and indeed it was a pleasant, mild rev-up. Sadly, it’s been discontinued (put that box on E-Bay!). I think the only maté product CS now makes is Morning Thunder. On their caffeine-o-meter, drip coffee is 90, English Breakfast is 60, MT is 40, and decaf coffee is 5.
    The things that strike me about tea now are “wellness” (for the nation of the Worried Well); people turning to small comforts they can control, when they have no control of many big things; and the high prices on those cute little boxes. I love the way they hide the family-size boxes of Lipton and Red Rose (remember the chimp jazz band?) on the bottom shelves.
    I keep a box of No-Doz around for emergencies, but its side effects are jangly and unpleasant (as am I if I take it). My stomach can’t take coffee, and I think regular tea is part of my DNA now, as it doesn’t have much effect.
    I have read interesting science about the beneficial effects of regular practice of meditation on alertness, attention, and sleep.

  71. Danny said on September 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Mark, I heard it in an interview with a retired QB (maybe Joe Montana, I forget). He said that it would reduce the violence of hits, but he did not elaborate on if he was talking about helmet hits or just any hit where a guy might also have to worry about incidental or secondary face contact. Probably reducing pads all around would be good too.

  72. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    MarkH,

    Thanks for attributing that quote to Carson Palmer. I just couldn’t remember the source.

    It’s hard to see what can be done to prevent these grievous injuries. Beyond the stupid machismo that dominates so many players –what linebacker was it who said after rules to protect the quarterback were instituted sneered, “Why don’t they just dress in skirts?”– we fans eat it up and the league knows it.

    I suppose at some point there could be rules about weight, but who is going to propose them? And it’s not all about size. The Pittsburgh defender who rang Chicago tight end Greg Olsen’s bell yesterday with a vicious but legal hit was one of the smaller guys on the team.

    I feel for your experience, man. I totally understand why you recall it with such clarity decades later.

    Yes, there are no guarantees in life. But when you are sending a fast-moving, 300-pound linebacker directly at a fast-moving, 275-pound running back coming in the opposite direction, you are creating a car crash with humans instead of crash test dummies.

  73. LAMary said on September 21, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    There are lots of Mate’ teas on the market. TJ’s definitely has some.

  74. Kirk said on September 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Any of you guys see Jack Tatum on the sideline during the Ohio State-Navy game (or, as Del says, maybe it was the USC game)? Doesn’t look so much like an assassin now; he more resembles an aging Rastaman.

    http://www.amazingautographs4all.com/skin1/images/signing_images/jack_tatum.JPG

  75. del said on September 21, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Football, shoes, and more politics. The Republicans are fighting rules of net neutrality.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2009/09/senate_republicans_to_push_aga.html

    Disgraceful. No other way to put it.

    Back to football. Getting rid of facemasks and pads would make the players more self-regulating when it comes to contact.

    And Jack Tatum. He was at the OSU-USC game getting some TV facetime. Years ago he “wrote” a book titled, “They Call Me Assassin,” as I recall. A photo inside was captioned “the awesome upper torso of Jack Tatum.”

  76. del said on September 21, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    You’re probably right Kirk. Very Rastaman, Tatum was.

  77. basset said on September 21, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Rugby and Australian football play without pads, anyone know what the injury levels might be there? Do those leagues have the same issues with performance-enhancing drugs?

    Seems to me the best way to reduce football injuries is – no way in hell will this happen – make the game less important. No massive college programs, no huge pro salaries, less incentive to get all steroided up and stretch the limits of human physiology.

    Tea and staying awake… Hubert Humphrey’s little pick-me-up, at least the way I heard it, was a handful, fifty or so, of One-A-Day vitamins washed down with a shot of bourbon.

  78. Jeff Borden said on September 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I know rugby and Aussie footballers make great sport of American football and all its protective gear. Rugby is a tough sport –when I was in college a popular bumper stick was “Give Blood. Play Rugby”– but I think you’re talking mostly broken noses, arms and teeth, not life-threatening or altering major injuries. At Kent State, rugby was a club sport, so after a game was over, the teams would drain a few kegs of beer and hang out together, no doubt comparing bruises, scars and missing incisors.

  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Obviously, no one watched “Mad Men” last night. Maybe tonight at 10 pm, eh?

    I buy my shoes at sporting goods stores that sell kayak covers, and wear LL Bean duck shoes as much of the year as i can get away with.

    (Spoiler-ishy: We did get the Conrad Hilton bit confirmed.)

  80. jcburns said on September 21, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Bought shoes late last night. Shopped a bunch of places, including Zappos, but ended up with AZ Shoe.com, who checked me out with my Amazon credentials. Confusing, since didn’t Amazon just buy…? Yeah. Anyway, they had the better price by $20 for these fine New Balance walking thingies, which will be delivered to the Upper Peninsula in 10 days or so, because that’s where I’ll be.

  81. MarkH said on September 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Danny, that’s what I thought you meant, that knowing the exposure of the other player, one will try to reduce the violence of the hits. Too late for that, I think. The fury, it weems, is programmed to just get greater.

  82. Deborah said on September 21, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Does Mad Men come on tonight too? I missed it last night. Unfortunately I’m still at work cranking out a proposal, but I can tell my husband relaxing at home, that he can catch it tonight if that’s true???

  83. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    AMC was re-showing on Mondays at 10 & 11 pm, but they appear to have stopped. Sorry! My bad.

  84. Rana said on September 21, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    del, it’s interesting that they’re thinking about the ways that over-protection encourages players to damage themselves and others – it’s a similar sort of thinking that’s behind those weird Vibram shoes I bought. The idea is that runners (and others) are damaged by over-protective footwear, both because it weakens the muscles needed to support the body, and because such footwear makes it hard to receive feedback that tells you when you’re on the verge of injuring yourself.

  85. Joe Kobiela said on September 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Myself and brother Dave, who chimes in here on occasion both played football in college. Myself at St Joe’s in Rennsalear and Dave at Hillsdale. Yep The left leaning bro is a Hillsdale Grad. Dave also played College Lacrosse,we both played Rugby. I was probably hit harder playing rugby than football but never really hurt. Rugby has no blocking and tackles are made between the shoulders and knees. This tends to keep injury’s to a minimum. Mostly bruises and scrapes. Football is a very violent game and I cannot see how you can make it less. Check out some old video from the 50-60 years, those dudes were down right nasty. Tatums hit was legal, it was a fluke that Daryle was hurt. Iam guessing that if you would poll ex players, very few would not do it all over again.
    Perhapse brother Dave can chime in on this.
    Pilot Joe
    If you get a chance, stop over at Ken Levine .com and read his take on state fairs. Funny stuff.

  86. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Never put your head down — facemask into the pads. It’s pointing the top of your helmet into someone that gets *you* hurt.

    The whole “performance enhancing drugs” thing is a real head-scratcher for any of us who think occasionally that we should consider ending the “war on drugs”, because what would happen if you just lost all drug testing for competitors? You’d have a huge spike of early deaths risked for short term gain, and then a big chunk of later in life downsides. Somehow the economic reasoning gets thrown out of whack, and like the “freedom” to go without motorcycle helmets, you get a few hundred new nursing home patients who are drooling vegetables with young healthy hearts that last for forty and more years. Somehow the cost has to be re-presented up front.

  87. joodyb said on September 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Jeff tmmo, I saw it. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. the whole show was disturbingly detached. the business with Sally and the baby especially so. i await some Hitchcockian acting-out on her part.

    i wondered if there was some basis in fact for the John Deere accident. as we say in the newsroom, you can’t make that shit up.

    ((thanks to the boss or maybe his truly brilliant assistant, we too have the Keurig coffee machine in the break room, which is right next to me. it seems (as we are an MNG property and uber frugal) economical and smells delicious. i can’t make myself try it. my brew of choice: i buy Starbucks Komodo Dragon by the pound, have them grind it for espresso and then i straight-drip it with a generous dash of Vietnamese cinnamon in a Chemex coffee maker.))

  88. crazycatlady said on September 22, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Regarding ‘Morning Paper’ bathroom visits: Some teas have not only caffeine but some contain significant fiber. The two together act as a peristolic stimulant, which can cause an urgent call from nature. Timing is everything!! As for me, I love tea. I especially love Chai. I have lots of different brands, some with or without caffeine. I like coffee, but at home I prefer tea–it soothes and relaxes.

  89. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 22, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Yikes. “Post-journalistic” makes post-modern sound tidy and coherent.