Friday Morning Open Thread

This post amused me. Apparently, Yglesias needs defending. Meanwhile, at the same blog, a post, wait for it, asserting that Yglesias (and folks like him) have an impact on the health care debate ("Matt Yglesias writes perceptively on why Democratic health care reform is failing, but -- perhaps understandably -- doesn't see his own role." (My emphasis.)

As I understand the argument defending the Ezra Klein axis, it is that they are irrelevant. I certainly hope that is right. Apparently, there is some disagreement on the point at ObiWi.

This is an Open Thread.

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    Three Cheers... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:13:10 AM EST
    for Dwight Lowery...with so many ballers in the news for the wrong reasons, here is a feel good story from the gridiron.

    Great friends are hard to find, Lowery sounds like a great friend we'd all be lucky to have. Hope the coaches ain't too hard on him in the film room for having a bad game, who wouldn't under such trying circumstances.

    To Cream City: Clearing up a matter (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by brodie on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:42:07 AM EST
    from yesterday's last TK thread, which I've just read:  No, I was not referring to you, even though I might have included a word in my opinionated post which you apparently earlier had used.  I actually intended my comments about another poster who had originally made a thoughtful point, as I noted in a high-five post of mine below hers, but who later on went off gratuitously against the entire family.  Sorry about the unintended confusion.

    As for the rest of your comments, I'm quite familiar with most of the basics, good and bad, about a family I generally have very positive views about, and while I don't view the members in terms of "devout" or not, I do have an understanding that some have acted more wisely and responsibly in their private lives than others.  

    TK being the most obvious example of a flawed human being who's made personal and political mistakes and even serious errors of judgment but, overall has had a positive impact with his many yrs of public service.  

    Though I'm still a little cranky about that 1980 run for the presidency.

    But hey, no one is perfect nor is one family perfect, especially one with however many dozens of first-tier members who tend to live life to its fullest and who are constantly being scrutinized by a not always friendly media.

    ELCA (Evangeleical Lutheran Church (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 07:16:55 PM EST
    of America) voted at its national convention today to permit gay, non-celibate ministers to be ordained.  This is the liberal branch of Lutheran church in U.S.  Previously a gay or lesbian ministerial candidate could only be ordained upon a promise of celibacy.  Individual congregations make the decision which minister to call.  That has always been the case.  Almost a hundred vote majority.  

    Link (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 07:18:05 PM EST
    ELCA had a woman bishop (none / 0) (#131)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:58:39 PM EST
    back almost 20 years ago, as I recall, in my state.  That was well after some mainstream denominations but, yes, still wild for Lutherans.

    Note:  This is not by any means to be confused with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, or WELS, the conservative Lutherans who are home to -- as we noted t'other night -- crazy-as-a-loon-that-is-her-state bird Michelle Bachmann.


    Is the Ezra Klein axis just a bunch (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:01:34 AM EST
    of kids writing on the intertubes with a donate button?  

    Sans the donate button (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:04:32 AM EST
    But you make that sound unimportant.

    I think it matters now. Especially when the WaPo publishes you.


    I think it matters a lot (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:06:19 AM EST
    if a major media outlet is printing you too.  Didn't intend to sound flippant so sorry.  Are any of them syndicated?

    Or you get invited to meet with (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:26:52 AM EST

    And then run over here (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:33:51 AM EST
    and flip BTD the finger and do the nanny nanny boo boo dance because he wasn't invited to the stroking/brainwashing party :)

    Or BTD is invited but plays his (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:40:03 AM EST
    cards exceedlingly close to the chest!

    I've noticed you keep asking his (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:43:32 AM EST
    whereabouts.  I'm glad you weren't my mom

    I'm still bitter--not about guns and (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:45:48 AM EST
    religion--but about not being in the know about the Bill Clinton blogger mtg.  Vicarious access denied.

    Well you are vicarious (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:47:47 AM EST
    They didn't even let me know it was going down :)

    For the record (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:17:04 PM EST
    I am NOT in Virginia.

    Not that I know of (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    Nothing like watching Top Chef LV (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:01:52 AM EST
    in the middle of the day.

    My favorite line comes from Padma, describing a dish from the loser:  "It's Like a Vegan Bar's Midnight Special."

    That was a great line! (none / 0) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:20:04 AM EST
    I also loved it on the TCM finale, when Jay Rayner suggested that all three judges just suspend the use of words to critique Rick's Oaxacan Black Mole dish and just make gutteral moaning noises - and they proceeded to do just that.

    Don't know if you saw it, but Gail Simmons, on her blog at BravoTV.com, said she was really offended by the sexist comments of TCLV cheftestant Mike Isabella when she saw the first episode (she notes that none of the judges are permitted to see any of the behind-the-scenes footage or the comments of indivudual competitors in order to avoid being influenced by anything other than the food).


    TCM was much more enjoyable (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:26:00 AM EST
    than regular Top Chef. I didn't see Gail's comments, but I didn't need to. My impression: Isabella is an extremely insecure person.

    Fine plantain recipes accepted here (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:04:10 AM EST
    When the T.V. was down I watched some old Sopranos too from 04 and it made me really hungry for Italian.

    Here's all you need: (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by scribe on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:17:19 AM EST
    Fresh tomatoes, some fresh basil leaves, a flick of oregano, some salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.  You know what to do.  While you can eat them as is, you might want to try this recipe to go along with them.

    And, then, there are peaches or, as I call them:  "Glory of August".  That's when they're ripe around here.


    I honestly don't get (none / 0) (#7)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:07:29 AM EST
    the accusation of hypocrisy re: that post from the primaries.  I mean, I don't even understand the argument.  Do I have to be a member of the "BTD was a big shill for Hillary Clinton and everyone knows it" club to appreciate the point?

    Oh that (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:10:47 AM EST
    Of course you have to be that.

    The argument as I understand it is I was a hypocrite because I gave my take on what Hillary Clinton should do during the primaries in terms of her bargaining and I am criticizing Ezra et al for advising the Progressive Block to give up the public option now long before there is even a counter offer.

    I did love one comment in the thread though that said you should never give the impression you will not give concessions during a litigation settlement negotiation. That one made me laugh.


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:13:36 AM EST
    Like I would never, ever say "there's no way my client will ever go to 2" if my client is actually willing to go there.  Huh?

    Ingorance from these folks? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:21:27 AM EST
    Hard to explain.

    Some guy posting over there as Steve (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:20:01 AM EST
    is making some very very sound seemingly unbiased points and seems to know something about negotiating too.

    My friend Steve's girlfriend used to say (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:21:16 AM EST
    "One Steve is as good as another."

    On the other hand there is a difference (none / 0) (#18)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:33:29 AM EST
    between negotiating a litigation settlement (where if the parties don't make a deal someone else makes the deal for them) and transactional negotations.  Legislation is more like a transactional negotiation.  

    When I find out the other side has hired a commercial litigator to represent them in a transaction I tell my client that they can expect their bill to be three times higher than it normally is because we'll probably end up going to the mat on every issue.  Every STUPID issue.  

    There are deal breaking issues.  There are issues that you can reasonably pretend are deal breakers but your client will negotiate in the end despite the fact that you emphatically told the other side that your client would NEVER concede on that issue.  Then there are hundreds of other issues that both sides should go in knowing that there will be concessions on each side.


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:37:19 AM EST
    I must say I doubt the idea that transactional negotiations are any less hardball than litigation settlement negotiations.

    I think the difference in the two generally is due to the fact that a litigation (at least in my practice) results from a broken deal - to wit, laywers like you screwed up the deal and lawyers like me have to clean up your mess . . . (Snark).


    I think I see the point (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:42:54 AM EST
    in that a litigation settlement revolves principally (but not entirely) around the amount to be paid, which is a pure zero-sum game, whereas in a transactional negotiation you have any number of additional side items beyond the purchase price that may have more importance to one side than the other and may be the sort of thing that simply has one "right" answer for business reasons.

    Well (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:02:05 PM EST
    I've been involved in a lot of distribution agreement battles, even when the deal is being made, and there are plenty of zero sum games there as well, to wit, how much does the manufacturer get to charge the distributor for the goods.

    But sure, a litigation is a deal gone bad for civil commercial litigation.  


    In a transaction (none / 0) (#35)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:13:18 PM EST
    you might be negotiating the acquisition agreement, a lease agreement, employment agreements, noncompete agreements, maybe a license agreement.

    And "purchase price" is an ephemeral term.  Each side knows their bottom line of what they want to pay or receive - but you might get there by combinations of purchase price payments, earnouts, lease payments, noncompete payments.  And each has a tax effect that has to be taken into account.   The financial terms are spread out throughout the various parts of the deal; which is a complicated negotiation as it is.  

    But in addition you have the parts the client hates but are incredibly important - like the pages of indemnification clauses.   Half of every document looks like legal gibberish to the unsophisticated client but is the most important part if a dispute breaks out.  


    Believe me (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:18:27 PM EST
    we commercial litigators love whatever it is you transactional people do.  All we know is that you guys draft an agreement, and then a year or two later, massive litigation erupts over the interpretation of some term.  So please, keep on saving the client all that money over what jerks like us would charge... we'll make up for it down the road!

    yeah, yeah, yeah (none / 0) (#33)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:04:03 PM EST
    You negotiate a deal with hundreds and hundreds of pages of legal documents.  Your client gives in against your advice on certain points at the 11th hour.  There is a dispute and the litigators say "If only YOU hadn't let him give in on this point my life would be so much easier."  

    I'm not complaining (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:16:05 PM EST
    I make a living from your failures . . . (snark)

    heh (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:19:14 PM EST
    As I always say, god bless the client who pays you a lot of money for your advice, ignores that advice and then pays you even more money to fix the problem that arose because they didn't take your advice.  

    I don't understand how my bill (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:41:24 AM EST
    is going to be three times higher.  We have commercial litigators involved surely but I'm not paying anyone by the hour here to hold their office and do their job.

    Because it is going to (none / 0) (#34)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:04:57 PM EST
    take three times as long as it should because he is going to act as if EVERY issue is a dealbreaker.

    I can see where that could be a factor (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:18:04 PM EST
    worth weighing on certain negotiations when time is of the essence or has substantial value.  I personally don't see it as a factor I need to consider much in our healthcare negotiations though.  Anything we can get isn't going to take immediate effect and is four years down the road.  Unless of course we want to negotiate on that too :)

    I think you missed my point. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:20:50 PM EST
    Plus (none / 0) (#65)
    by lilburro on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:03:05 PM EST
    I question the ability of bloggers to dictate campaign strategy.  I don't question the ability of bloggers to frame policy debates - the Pearlstein article referencing Ezra (hell, the WH referencing Ezra) are two examples.

    For what its worth... (none / 0) (#21)
    by easilydistracted on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:39:06 AM EST
    tonight the 'boys take the field for the first time at Jerry's Taj Mahal. Question: are standing room only tickets common throughout the NFL?
    If you're willing to stand, the Cowboys will sell you a $29 party pass to attend the games in a standing-room-only plaza area behind the end-zone seats.

    "In the NFL, you can get away selling spaces just for people to stand," Greenberg said.


    Is the NFL not subject... (none / 0) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:00:06 PM EST
    ...to fire and occupancy rules and regulations--or is just ole' Double J that exempt from such thing?  

    I've never seen the Bronco's sell SRO tickets.  The Nuggets did during last year's play-off run though.  


    Wouldn't the stadium be regulated (none / 0) (#43)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:28:04 PM EST
    for crowds larger than a sold out game? If they have events with field seating, that could be why they can have more than a sold out crowd

    Padres sell SRO tickets for each game. (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:05:20 PM EST
    Very inexpensive.  And many seats available if you can dodge the ushers.

    The Fathers... (none / 0) (#51)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:11:55 PM EST
    ...sell out every home game?

    Nope. But they have some (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:14:50 PM EST
    tickets for SRO--good view of game but no seat.

    "Dodge the ushers"... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:15:53 PM EST
    I'm not rubbin' off on ya am I Madame Prosecutor? Dodging the ushers is a violation of the rules, punishable by ejection without refund:)

    I suggest slippin 'em a sawbuck for primo seats...never failed me at old Shea:)

    The only SRO ticket I'm aware of with the NY teams is having a friend of a friend working security and havin' 'em slip ya in the side door.  


    "Dodge the ushers" I thought (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:18:37 PM EST
    you might focus on "Dodge(r)."

    Looks like the Mets... (none / 0) (#78)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:21:38 PM EST
    ...are going to lose Billy Wagner?  I saw he hit 96 on the gun the other day, so he must be recovering from the Tommy John surgery pretty well...

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:41:26 PM EST
    its been an amazing recovery for Wags...I hope he can get moved to a contender for the postseason (and get us some desperately needed minor-league depth)...after all the hard work in rehab he deserves better than the Mutts.  And lefty relievers are always in high demand.

    He still comes with... (none / 0) (#96)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:50:27 PM EST
    ...a pretty hefty price tag apparently.  Wonder who claimed him off the waiver wire.  

    /hopes it is not the Dodgers


    SRO is not unique to the NFL (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:43:50 PM EST
    Not sure who this Greenberg guy is, but he needs to get out more.

    Interesting AP article on origins (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:43:16 AM EST
    of single payer.  talk left sidebar

    For you policy wonks with long memories, did the plan Hillary Clinton came up with in the 90s include any public option?

    Pretty sure (none / 0) (#30)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 11:57:20 AM EST
    it included premium caps.  Don't know about public option.

    Here is Wiki on Clinton health care (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:40:31 PM EST
    There wasn't a public plan ... (none / 0) (#79)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:21:58 PM EST
    per se, i.e. no part of the plan that entirely severed insurance companies from the mix.

    The closest to a public plan was something called "health care alliances." These were essentially state-run pools of citizens which could negotiate for deals from providers.

    These plans weren't strictly public because insurance companies could be involved in creating them.

    But they weren't strictly private because they were under strict guidelines at both the state and federal levels, including premium and fee-for-service caps.



    Mayor Greg Nickels just conceded, loss in primary (none / 0) (#42)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:27:16 PM EST
    He didn't own up to any real mistakes (and boy, there were some) but it's early yet. Maybe he and former Mayor Paul Schell can get together and write a book on untimely disasters in political life.

    I won't miss Nickels' bullying. According to the vote count, neither will about 75% of Seattle.

    Now we have to put up with dueling ads and incessant robo calling from Mallahan and McGinn over the next two months.


    I don't live in Seattle proper (none / 0) (#46)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:54:55 PM EST
    so I didn't have the joyous opportunity to vote against Nickels.

    Yayyy!  There is justice.  But SurveyUSA was as wrong as it could be in this case.  

    I only hope that McGinn wins and the tunnel dies (slim chance).


    As a Seattle-ite who was basically stranded (none / 0) (#60)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:52:41 PM EST
    for six days during the snow, I agree mightily about Nickels! And his administration's too cozy relationship with Paul Allen and Vulcan did a lot of damage to his reputation as a fair player.

    But we'll have to agree to disagree on McGinn, the polar opposite of Nickels when it comes to dealing with business interests. He's a one-note Johnny (anti-tunnel) with no real alternative for providing what is needed to transport 110,000 vehicles a day that normally use the viaduct. It's become popular in Seattle these days to scream that "cars are evil!" but cars aren't going away any time soon. Neither are the trucks that transport goods to and from the Port of Seattle. And, of course, the people who live in the Sound area who want those goods aren't going away either.

    Two years ago, when we voted on the different options for replacing the damaged viaduct, all of them were rejected, including the so-called "surface option".

    In the end, I just don't envision Nickels supporters giving their votes to McGinn... I think that, unless Mallahan makes a major mistake in an unpcoming debate, he's our next mayor.


    I'm always shocked... (none / 0) (#85)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    ...that you Emerald City folks can get anything done transportation wise.  Study, argue, study some more, argue some more...

    I'm amazed that the light rail is even getting built and that the Sounder is up and running.


    I'm as amazed as you are (none / 0) (#97)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:56:31 PM EST
    I've been voting for light rail for the last twenty years. Finally! they listened to me.


    "Seattle process" = Numerous injuries from banging head against wall.


    Seems like I've been... (none / 0) (#103)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:04:36 PM EST
    ...going past the LR supports and construction down around I-5/Southgate on the way to the airport for at least 20 years.  

    It would be nice if they ran the Sounder more often so I could get downtown from Edmonds (and back again) on a more flexible schedule.  


    We have (none / 0) (#115)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 04:20:12 PM EST
    to agree to disagree on light rail.  Imagine the good bus service one could get for all of the money spent light rail linking just 2 points.  And one little motorcycle crash and the whole light rail service goes down.

    More buses for me anyday.


    But the tunnel (none / 0) (#116)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 04:24:57 PM EST
    results in FEWER lanes, which isn't going to solve the problem and will be ridiculously costly.

    Replacing the viaduct with another viaduct is probably the most practical answer.

    If all McGinn can do is put pressure to nix the tunnel, it would all be good.

    Regarding snow, yep, I saw someone say that the Mayor lost over a little snow removal.  People who live here know that the little snow removal problem shut down a major metropolitan city, including emergency services for days on end.

    Not good.  Glad the idiot didn't survive the primaries.


    McGinn and the tunnel (none / 0) (#125)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 07:06:28 PM EST
    He would have to convince the city council. Other than his cohort O'Brien from the Sierra Club, who won a council seat, I believe he would have a very difficult time. I really think most people would see him a process-y fool for fighting it now that it's been decided. I agree with you on preferring a retrofit to the viaduct. Sadly, that was not to be. But... it all comes down to the funding the state government will give (since the viaduct is part of the state highway system) and the legislature and governor have both said "We'll fund the tunnel and only the tunnel".

    Busses just won't do it here. They get stuck in the same traffic as everyone else. What can I say? I love light rail systems. They have their own right of way. They take many years to be built but once they're in place, Zzzoom.

    But I will still carpool with you to Canada if the Congress screws us over on healthcare! I'm always up for a road trip.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#129)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 07:44:17 PM EST
    I think we have to agree to disagree on several subjects ;-).

    Take care


    All your base are... (none / 0) (#45)
    by desertswine on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 12:44:57 PM EST
    The average "gamer" is 35yrs old and depressed.

    Somebody zap me, please.

    Reminds me to post something (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:05:10 PM EST
    that I thought would interest oculus.  Then I have go put old carpet on our trailer to take to the dump bleh bleh bleh.  We got Rock Band around Christmas I think.  My husband plays the guitar, I sing, and Joshua plays the drums.  Joshua like it a lot so we got an upgrade on the drum set to include the cymbals and extra drum sticks for his January b-day.  There are a lot of songs to do from my husband's youth and my own so we all have a pretty good time doing it, and Joshua has gotten pretty good on Rock Band drums.  He is disabled though, he is missing muscles from his hands but I will never tell him what he can't do and I believe that the ability to create music really enhances an education.  I had lunch with him at school on Wednesday and I told him that his father and I discussed him taking drum lessons if he wanted to and he wants to.  But I was floored when his classmates sitting with us and all play Rock Band or Guitar Hero want lessons to play the real thing now too and one of the little girl's in Joshua's class has just started electric guitar lessons.  She wants to be an expert at the real thing now and not just a game.  After further inquiry, the kids asking for lessons has caused two new businesses offering music lessons to open here.

    Very cool! (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:18:38 PM EST
    And good for Josh!  I sooo wish I had my old maroon Sonor kit that I had as a lad.  I'm sure my neighbors don't, however.  

    The world could always use... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:55:24 PM EST
    another drummer, right bud?

    Rock on Josh!  If and when he gets on a real kit, I hope he gives Mom and Dad migraines till the cows come home:)

    If he needs some encouragement Tracy, turn him on to Levon Helm...still kickin' it in a frail state after kickin' cancer!  


    Yeppers. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:08:13 PM EST
    We may be a tad off-beat in real life, but in the musical world we are the driving force.  The rock steady beat, to borrow a phrase.

    I don't know about the migraines, but I'm sure alot of my folks grey hairs were the result of my pounding away in the basement!  


    I musta drove mine nuts too... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:11:57 PM EST
    or drove them to drink:)

    Though to their credit they never ever told me to knock it off, as tempted as they musta been...my old man would just peek his head in and smile.


    When I had a mild migraine going on (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:24:15 PM EST
    a few days back and I went to bed in the early evening, Josh and Dad did a little Rock Band on quiet mode.  That was exactly when I realized that Joshua is hardly missing a beat now.  The next morning I spoke to my husband about real drum lessons.

    Sh*t.... (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:34:46 PM EST
    If I was down south you'd have free ones for the little guy, not that I am much of a teacher.

    "Put some rock-n-roll on your headphones kid and keep banging along till it sounds good."  That's how I learned:)


    Great (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:27:56 PM EST
    That's a great outcome.

    ...but when do we get to see the You Tube of the Military Tracy Band?


    I second the motion! (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:00:12 PM EST
    They keep threatening to expose me (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:17:47 PM EST
    I'm smoking on 'Man in the Box', and anything Fleetwood Mac....I also kick butt singing 'Living On a Prayer'.  I get kicked off stage trying to sing any ACDC because the game does expect you to sing in Bon/Angus style.  I just can't do it.  I can't get Billy Idol down either....it usually tells me I'm "messy" after I sing about half of the verses.  Maybe we'll have to do 'Living on a Prayer' for Jeralyn.  We can compete with other bands if anyone is interested out there.  To find us I think you have to look for the profile "Kecavis".  I think the band name is "Demon Spark".  I know.......it's sad :)

    "Demon Spark"... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:26:44 PM EST
    I've been in bands with far worse names than that....like "Hot Pink Gonads", though if I remember right that one might have lasted only two jam sessions.

    My daughter's best buddy (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:32:59 PM EST
    in Colorado Springs sang with her in choir all through Junior High and he has his own band.  The last time I checked their name was.....'Jelly Filled Condom'.  Sometimes she shows me videos of him on stage, he is getting a few gigs.  I can't get into it though.  It is like some kind of Moshpit EMO.  I can't wait until he's famous.  I have video of him singing Christmas carols :)

    Wow... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:48:16 PM EST
    ...I probably shouldn't be googling that at work!  

    I'll have to keep my eye peeled for them in the Westword listings...


    I asked my daughter if they (none / 0) (#120)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 05:45:14 PM EST
    were still 'Jelly Filled Condom' but now they are 'Vital Malice'.  "They" probably aren't even the same "they" though now as "they" were before :)  I'm a few years behind on keeping up with the names.

    OMG, I just googled them (none / 0) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 05:49:40 PM EST
    and here's their Myspace.  And Brian is now Polly.  My eyes are now broken. He used to be such a sweet boy :)

    Oh No (none / 0) (#122)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 05:52:00 PM EST
    I'm listening to him right now.  He sounds like the devil.

    DemonSpark! (none / 0) (#102)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:03:55 PM EST
    Love it.

    My son started playing (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by coast on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:41:49 PM EST
    guitar after we got Rock Band.  Unfortunately, its easier to get him to play the Wii than practice on the the real thing.

    How old is the boy? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:57:55 PM EST
    If he's old enough to be chasin' girls, it might not hurt to tell him that the guitar is a great key to the ladies' hearts, the Wii not so much...my video game playing was never a hit with old girlfriends, but the drums always were, in fact they are probably the reason I snagged a few:)

    I tried that with my (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by waldenpond on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:16:02 PM EST
    17 year old.... I told him girls like guys who ride motorcycles, take showers and brush their teeth..... he's resisting.

    He is 9 (none / 0) (#112)
    by coast on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 04:00:59 PM EST
    Already gave him the speak about having his pick of the ladies if he learned.  He thought it was cool, but I imagine he was thinking "what's so big about that".  I figure that speach is another year or so off.

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:58:58 PM EST
    As a lifelong musician and sometime guitar teacher, I can safely state that, for kids who are new to learning instruments, there is always something nearby to distract them from practicing. And if there isn't they'll create the distraction!

    Wonder if this would work to get (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:08:08 PM EST
    kids interested in learning other instruments:  piano, violin, tuba.  

    That is exactly what I was thinking too (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:11:36 PM EST
    Other parts of our economy might not be providing good investments, but whoever begins to add new instruments to the games...I'm buying stock.  It is addictive, but in a good way.  I have new voice range because I at least want to make the mark on playing in hard mode when the rest of this crew is getting expert.  If you don't hit the note singing into the mic....it dings points off.

    Ha. A vast improvement over karaoke. (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 01:14:04 PM EST
    I loaded everything with my husband at work (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:20:19 PM EST
    He acted like I couldn't do it.  I need a shower now but it is DONE!

    Im sorry (none / 0) (#68)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:11:40 PM EST
    but this is my industry and this is crap.

    Is this really your industry? (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:27:38 PM EST
    Joshua's goal is to be a game developer.  He certainly has the mathematical skills developing so far to do it.  I have no idea where your industry is going to be in ten years, but considering Joshua's physical limits we are inclined to encourage him in this pursuit.

    if I were you I would encourage him (none / 0) (#87)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:31:27 PM EST
    this industry is exploding.  and will be for the next 10 years at least.  
    and it is in its infancy.  in 10 years games will be as unrecognizable based on what we see today as what we see today is compared to pong.

    the tools and techniques are changing so fast it is literally almost unbelievable.  

    games are one of the only industries around where people still find themselves being "bid on" by competing prospective employers.



    That's so cool, thank you (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:35:18 PM EST
    for inside scoops.

    btw (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:40:52 PM EST
    I am not sure what his situation is but
    there are several people here - several stars I should say - who have quite severe physical limitations including wheelchairs.

    its actually great to see them be able to shine and I have heard at least one of them say that the game industry is in some ways almost uniquely welcoming to them.


    He has very very bad scoliosis (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:49:06 PM EST
    so after he is finished growing he will have his spine fused.  He can walk, but I can see that for distances he will probably need to get a segway. His hands are weaker than yours or mine, but the stronger he makes the muscles he has, the less we have to fight the contractures while he is growing.  Of all things, a game controller is occupational therapy for him and all the kids with such hand contractures. Using the game controllers frequently is the best occupational therapy we have been able to get any of them to do ever....in all the generations we have been trying to help such children.  He has very good mobility in his hands now and writes well enough in school that he doesn't need any aides for it.  Most children with his particular problems did though need some sort of compensation for writing in the past.  I'm hoping his typing skills develop as well too because so much written communication is about doing that.  He also needs to keep the muscles in his feet as strong as possible so that bones keep as much healthy shape as they can....could you guys develop a controller that is operated with the toes?

    Nothing like working the bass drum pedal... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:57:42 PM EST
    ...and the high hat cymbal to work out the feet and lower legs.  

    Actually, drumming is probably a good therapy all the way around.  Your hands and wrists get a real good work out too, it helps develop concentration and fine motor control and there's nothing better for getting your frustrations/anger out than beating on the skins.  


    bless his heart (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:57:55 PM EST
    the controller may be good therapy but the reason he loves it is that with it he can run and kick and fight and do all the things he has trouble doing in real life.
    and this will become even more true as games become even more emersive.

    for exapmle (none / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    "As hypothesized," the researchers reported, a higher body weight and a greater number of "poor mental health days" differentiated adult video gamers from non-gamers.

    As hypothesized being the operative words here.
    they found what they wanted to find.  I work for a game company.  the average person here is thinner than me and I have maybe an extra 15 pounds.

    of the people who were willing to participate in their stupid "study" I am not surprised they found what they were looking for.
    everyone I know would have hung up when they got the phone call.

    that is a ridiculous story.


    I am putting that "story" (none / 0) (#76)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:21:07 PM EST
    on our internal newsgroups.  if any responses can be posted without being edited so heavily as to be  unreadable I will pass them along.

    looking around the web (none / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:11:21 PM EST
    for reaction to that.  many are linking to this in the washington post:

    Rx: Xbox?
    Researchers Explore Mental Health Benefits of Video Games


    heres a good one (none / 0) (#105)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:14:25 PM EST
    Specifically, female video game players tended towards depression, while males tended towards large BMIs.

    Are the women depressed because their dating pool is made up of fat guys?

    Or do we eat because our women are so depressing and food is our only solace?

    My 17 year old (none / 0) (#77)
    by waldenpond on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:21:32 PM EST
    is very thin as he won't step away to eat unless forced to.  If he plays too much he has anger issues.  I don't know about the depression thing though... he actually considers people he plays with friends.  He has people across the country that get together just to talk.

    I think that was (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:27:33 PM EST
    the best example ever of some "professionals" starting with preconceived ideas - who wants to be the writer and most likely the CDC "researchers" think video games are an evil corrupting influence - trying to write about a social trend about which they are completely clueless.

    people in my industry love to laugh at and ridicule this crap.  and there is plenty to ridicule.  seems like a new idiocy every day.
    though usually from places like FOX news.

    I wonder if you son would have participated in the "survey"


    Participate (none / 0) (#93)
    by waldenpond on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:44:44 PM EST
    ???  I don't know... would he level up or get an extra kill?  Ha!

    Byron York (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:07:21 PM EST
    expects the nukyaler option:

    Why Democrats may jam through health care plan

    Veterans of the Senate tend to flinch from the sort of all-out warfare reconciliation could bring. But the fact is, reconciliation might in the end be the Democrats' best option. And it might work. Democrats wouldn't get everything they wanted, but they could create the structure for future growth. Later on, they'll add the plumbing. And the wiring. And maybe a chandelier.

    It's precisely that scenario that most terrifies Republicans. Forget about Swiss cheese. Democrats are intent on building something much more substantial, and Republicans don't have the votes to stop them.

    Ah yes (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:13:18 PM EST
    Reconciliation is the nuclear option!  Republicans will righteously shut down the Senate if the Democrats use such an outrageous tactic to avoid a filibuster.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, Bush used reconciliation on three separate occasions to pass his tax cuts.  Not a single one of them cleared 60 votes.  The 2003 tax cut was 50-50 with Cheney breaking the tie.

    We all remember how the world came to a screeching halt over the Republicans' legislative tactics, right?  Or maybe not so much.


    but but Tweety (none / 0) (#74)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:19:06 PM EST
    is absolutely drooling (wait he does that a lot doesnt he) over the what the republicans are going to "do" to the democrats if they "risk all out war"

    Tweety, sweetheart, WTF have we been having since the 80's?


    Oh no (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:24:15 PM EST
    what, exactly, are the Republicans going to do that is lower than accusing us of wanting to murder Down Syndrome babies?

    I cant wait to find out (none / 0) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:28:25 PM EST
    how about you

    Advice needed (none / 0) (#100)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 02:59:24 PM EST
    Tomorrow we are going to the 5th birthday party for the son of some friends of ours.  We have no idea what to get him.

    I asked a friend who has little boys of his own and, since we don't know what toys or movies or whatnot he already has, he suggested we just get a gift card from Toys R Us or the like.

    Is this a lame thing to get?  I mean, I'd kind of like to give him a present he can open up as opposed to just handing a gift card to mom and dad, but I'm clueless otherwise.  My friend seems to think a gift card would be just fine.

    get him (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:03:29 PM EST
    a Delgo DVD.  I can almost guarantee he doesnt already have one and I just sent several to my nephews and they loved it.

    it may be considered a bit violent for a 5 year old but my 6 year old nephew loved it.

    *(you probably already know that I was the VFX supervisor)


    Thanks all! (none / 0) (#124)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 06:20:05 PM EST
    The movie sounded interesting but he is such a gentle little kid, I'm not sure what he (and his parents) would make of that. Plus they have a littler one who probably doesn't need any more excitement.

    So I made an executive decision and went with the old standby:  Legos!  Thanks CC for that marvy suggestion. I love toys that let them exercise the imagination.


    Ah, bless. So did you stay simple (none / 0) (#130)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 08:55:20 PM EST
    for starters for a five-year-old -- or get sucked into Light and Sound Legos . . . or Lord Knows What Now Legos?  All that fun stuff just was starting when my son was easing out of nonstop Legos mode, every birthday and Christmas and Easter and in-between.  But he and I, having had so many great Christmas mornings and other days in working through the multi-step instructions, decided that we had to try the newfangled Legos that lit up and whistled and what-all.  We had such fun -- long years later, we still like to pull out the photos of our wondrous work.

    And I'm still grateful to the preschool teacher who said that, at the age of the birthday kid you'll see tomorrow, my son needed to catch up on fine-motor skills, so she recommended Legos.

    He caught up just fine.  You oughta see the fingerwork he can do on guitar riffs now.:-)


    I think... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:34:12 PM EST
    gift cards are lame for little kids...I advise against.

    Tracy talking about Josh reminded me of the little electronic drum set I got for my 6 year old niece last Christmas...they ain't loud and a great introduction to music...and little kids love bangin' on sh*t.  And its not a "hot toy" he's probably already got.  I think it only cost thirty bucks or so.

    Good luck Steve and enjoy the party!  Pin a tail on the donkey for us!


    Add... (none / 0) (#108)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:36:23 PM EST
    I forgot books...I'm big on buying books as gifts.  May not be the biggest hit with the lad, but infinitely better than a gift card...and educational!

    Pop-up books, yes! And Legos. (none / 0) (#109)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:47:14 PM EST
    That's an age for which I love to shop, and for any gender.  I'm a particular fan of pop-up books with lots of actions on each page.  A 5-year-old is old enough to not totally destroy a pop-up book within seconds.  I have quite a collection, for which I'm known, as nieces and nephews go straight to them as soon as they get in the door. . . .

    Also popular with all ages visiting us are the fave leftovers from that age of our kids -- and especially good for that age to develop fine-motor skills: Legos.  They were such fun to do together with my kids, following the zillion steps in the instructions -- and even better, then, is when kids topple it all and start over on their own creations.

    And games, good ol' board games, as this also is a great age for those.  The kid probably already has the classic Chutes and Ladders and the like, but I also can tell you that kids of all ages these days think it is just so retro-cool to play not video games but board games when they arrive here . . . as they often get us all involved.


    Board games are very cool... (none / 0) (#111)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:56:46 PM EST
    good call CC...my nieces love 'em...the 6 year old is especially fond of Monopoly.

    You'd think she would still be a little too young for that but she's sharp as a tack...a split second after the dice land she knows what she is owed..its hysterical.  


    Sounds like my daughter (none / 0) (#117)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 04:31:30 PM EST
    who found, at an early age, any game about shopping and with fake money was a wonderful way to while away the time.

    She also was beating me at gin rummy by the age of five.  And she's still a great one for games, including the beloved Monopoly.

    But she was late to become a good writer and speller, so it was only recently that she actually beat her mom at Scrabble.  She framed the score sheet!


    Btw, if getting a gift, not a gift card (none / 0) (#110)
    by Cream City on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 03:50:54 PM EST
    (and gift cards drive me nuts, as they are such a gift to the stores when they get overdue or lost, and they're easily lost in kids' parties aka mob scenes) -- you can just include a note that if the kid gets duplicate gifts or already has it, let you know to be able to exchange it, and just have the receipt ready for the parents.  And some toy stores (I think Toys R Us is one) now do what dept stores have done for a long time, including a receipt for exchange that doesn't give the price.

    Or compronmise: Get a small gift, just to have a gift -- I'm with you on that -- plus a gift card.  But be sure to have the parents put the gift card in a wallet right away, before it gets tossed out with the gift wrapping.  Voice of experience. :-)


    Can you still buy cap guns? (none / 0) (#113)
    by andgarden on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 04:07:18 PM EST
    ::Evil Grin::

    Never a card (none / 0) (#114)
    by coast on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 04:09:58 PM EST
    legos are always good.  My son and his friends were big into the nurf guns (they shot nurf darts that have velcro on the end so they stick to stuff).

    Lego robots are great too... (none / 0) (#118)
    by suzieg on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 05:03:44 PM EST
    DK books on dinosaurs. (none / 0) (#119)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 05:25:52 PM EST
    Ah, the old days... (none / 0) (#126)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 07:14:47 PM EST
    ...when a motorized Tony the Pony could make you the envy of the neighborhood.

    Obama took (none / 0) (#123)
    by kmblue on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 06:06:08 PM EST
    single payer off the table before the debate even began.  What is that if not an early surrender?