Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

The "Walmart of Weed" is opening in Washington, DC, just blocks from the White House and federal buildings.

Lindsay Lohan is released from supervised probation with praise from the Judge. She still has two more years of unsupervised probation.

14 years for Rod Blagojevich and 10 days for his former Chief of Staff Robert Harris who cooperated with the Government. Harris was Blago's chief of staff for three years, from 2005 through 2008. [More...]

Harris' guidelines were 70 to 87 months. His plea agreement contains this acknowledgement of his crimes.

It was Harris' idea that Blago suggest to union officials that Blago get a paid position as National Coordinator for Change to Win in exchange for appointing Senate candidate B to Obama's senate seat. He told Blago the union officials could be the buffer between Blago and Obama. He told Blago it would provide him with income, keep him politically viable and garner him union support and connections for whatever he wanted to do down the road.

Knowing that Patti Blagojevich couldn’t do business with financial institutions that did business with the State of Illinois, he set up a meeting for Patti and an official of a financial institution that did business with the state of Illinois.

Harris met with Senate Candidate D to give him a clue (without directly stating) that Blago expected the candidate's unused campaign funds to go to Blago.

Harris relayed an offer to Blago from Senate Candidate A (made through a third party)that Senate Candidate A would help Blago raise $1.5 million in exchange for the Senate seat, which resulted in Blago reconsidering his disinclination to appoint Sen. Cand. A

Harris participated in a phone call with Blago and Advisor A in Washington about the financial benefits Blago could receive from appointing Senate Candidate B.

Interesting: During sentencing, "Zagel also asked Harris what he would have done had the sale of the Senate seat progressed to a real deal."

This is an open thread, all topics welcome (added: But I hope you will discuss Trayvon Martin in specific threads relating to him, there are plenty.).

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    Is there some law of physics or the universe (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:48:19 PM EST
    That causes all the "stuff" you wish you had no idea how it ever accumulated in your house in the first place to mysteriously grow and increase in amount every might while you're sleeping in the days leading up to moving? And for the word "bazillion" to suddenly take on real meaning as you do a bazillion things one day in preparation only to find upon waking the next morning that there are even more "bazillions" of things that must be done?

    why yes, i believe there is. (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:02:23 PM EST
    it's the same law of physics that applies to road construction:

    for every new road/lane constructed, traffic will immediately expand, to fill the extra space now available to it.

    the same law applies to "stuff" in your house, it will expand to fill the rooms available.

    that will be 25 cents please. :)


    The corollary (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:05:42 PM EST
    Is that when shopping in a store, you will always get the cart with the funky wheel and then choose the line that appears to be the shortest, but will in fact, move the slowest and have the most price checks.

    LOL, absolutely correct (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:22:01 PM EST
    I once took over a sales team and each salesperson was crammed into a tiny cubicle with a desk space of about 2ft.x 2ft. Notebooks were stacked three feet high, the floor was covered with papers, and you could barely move.

    Big shot that I was I ordered a complete renovation of the sales floor. Now each salesperson had their own office (with glass walls), a real desk, cabinets, and seating for clients. They were beautiful, and the salespeople loved them.

    It took just about a month for the large (at least 5 times bigger than before) space to be "crammed with notebooks stacked three feet high, and the floor covered with papers."

    Yup, the law of physics also applies to offices too,  and "the same law [that] applies to "stuff" in your house," applies everywhere.


    Entropy (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Rupe on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:29:17 PM EST
    Sh!t never gets less fuckèd up.  :)

    Hah! (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:34:23 PM EST
    Warren Zevon even sang about it, didn't he? ;-)

    let me break it to you son... (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:03:05 AM EST
    So, in other words, (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:07:21 PM EST
    life, the universe, and everything, is one humongous George Carlin skit?

    And if you're NOT laughing, you're doin' it wrong?

    Someday people are going to worship George Carlin?

    Oh... wait... ;-)


    Edger, (none / 0) (#82)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 05:09:15 AM EST
    Did you watch the Carlin video (link below) that I posted a couple of weeks ago? If not, you owe to yourself to watch it. It's only a few minutes long, but it's sort of known as his best skit ever. Dead serious, but funny as He*l.


    You're welcome


    Yes (none / 0) (#83)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:10:46 AM EST
    I've seen it many times, and posted it myself many times. I've been a fan of Carlin ever since.... forever, I think. ;-)

    I like this one too: Memorial Day


    Yup, saw it.....a long time ago (none / 0) (#89)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:10:48 AM EST
    I should have known better than think you not being up on your Carlinology.

    while he died way too early, at least he managed to frame his life's work in a way that was both cathartic and sooo very educational.

    Still remember him as the Hippy Dippy weatherman (was it on J.Carson?)


    Oh boy (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:19:53 PM EST
    Thanks, cpinva. I was afraid of that...

    You know, I tried - I really tried - all my life, to never own any more than would fit in the trunk of a car. I obviously fcuked up somewhere along that long and winding road though.

    I should have started this trip aiming to keep it down to "backpack size" instead, maybe?


    It's not unlike... (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:45:54 PM EST
    Desertswine's Law of Expanding Liquids -
       When a quart of beer hits the kitchen floor, it immediately turns into a gallon.  It applies to all liquids, actually.

    I've found the same equation (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:59:17 PM EST
    appears to work... when drinking beer.

    Beer (none / 0) (#72)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:12:30 PM EST
    does make people look better and better the more you drink, too...

    My daughter accidentally dropped ... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:42:34 PM EST
    ... a large plastic bottle of Coca-Cola on the kitchen floor a few weeks ago, and it exploded. I didn't witness the explosion of soda personally, but when I heard it happen, I was quickly there to bear witness to the result. I was still cleaning the sticky residue off the cabinets and ceiling the next day. It was confined only by the room itself, and it was literally everywhere!

    I saw a woman drop (none / 0) (#85)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:23:25 AM EST
    a plastic milk jug in a store a few months ago. It hit the floor, and all of a sudden she was standing in a lake of milk that just kept on spreading and spreading and spreading with seemingly no end in sight, and her feet and ankles were completely soaked. She look down in astonishment, and then literally burst into wracking sobs, tears and a loud wailing cry. She, like, completely fell to pieces emotionally there in the store.

    It was like a bottomless jug of milk, and bottomless tears, all rolled into one event, with dozens of people looking on and no one knowing what to say. As I was leaving the store she hadn't moved and was still crying, with a couple of store employees mopping up milk all around her...


    I hope somone had the presence of mind (5.00 / 4) (#96)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:05:03 AM EST
    to tell her not to cry over spilt milk. You so rarely get the golden opportunity!

    My thoughts exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:16:20 AM EST
    such humor might have snapped the poor lady out of it and provided the necessary perspective we all need every once in awhile, when the trivial gets us down.

    The scene Edger described totally reminded me of my favorite Bukowski poem...The Shoelace.

    with each broken shoelace
    out of one hundred broken shoelaces,
    one man, one woman, one
    enters a

    Maybe she should have (none / 0) (#101)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:26:36 AM EST
    just burst into song instead? ;-)

    Dashcam video posted on YouTube Wednesday captured a drunken man singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the back of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) cruiser.

    The man begins by insisting that he had "done nothing wrong" and urging the officer to consider the "brotherhood of man of man on the planet Earth."

    Clearly that wasn't working so the man removed his glasses and began serenading the officer with a animated rendition of Queen's classic tune for six minutes, including a drum solo on the cruiser's bullet-proof safety glass.

    -- full soundtrack dashcam video at RawStory

    Mama, ooh, I don't want to die
    I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all
    I see a little silhouetto of a man
    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango....


    Saw that on the news... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:40:44 AM EST
    getting ready for work.  

    Needless to say I like that dude's style;)


    I do too! (none / 0) (#106)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:48:46 AM EST
    The man has rare class. ;-)

    What can they do to him? Charge him with disturbing the peace officers? Heh!


    Heh, well... (none / 0) (#97)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:09:07 AM EST
    I think everybody just felt very sorry for her, and it was pretty obvious that joking wouldn't have made her laugh, you know?

    Not one person said (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:24:09 AM EST
    "It's gonna be o.k" and gave her maybe a little reassuring caress?

    Obviously that mess was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for her that day -- or that week, or that year..


    Well people did, yes... (none / 0) (#121)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:52:14 AM EST
    But she was still crying her eyes out when I left. There was something a lot more than spilled milk going on there, I'm sure.

    If that had been me, standing in a lake of (none / 0) (#123)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:19:37 PM EST
    milk, I'd probably have been laughing so hard people might have thought I was crying...

    Poor thing; and I agree - there was more going on there than being upset about the milk.

    Probably the worst thing like that I ever witnessed was back when I was in high school.  I was going through the lunch line, and just in front of me was a classmate who was, shall we say, of the extremely dorky variety, which meant that she didn't have a lot of friends.

    Anyway, all of a sudden, there's this gush of liquid: she had wet her pants and not in a particularly discreet way (if there is such a thing).  Well, she was horrified, I was sure I had been splashed, and in that few seconds, there was a lot of "okay, now what" going on for both of us - with hers being more of the "OMG, I will NEVER have any friends now" variety, and mine of the "do I help her/how do I help her/what should I do?" variety.

    Fortunately, we were close enough to the cashier that she saw the whole thing, hustled this poor soul out of the line, grabbed someone to sit for her, got someone to bring a mop, and it all happened so fast that I'm not sure anyone else knew what it was that was being mopped up.

    Afterward, it was the kind of situation where I didn't say anything to her later, because I kept thinking that if that had been me, having someone come up and say something about it would interfere with my plan to pretend it never happened.

    She eventually grew out of her dorkiness - I mean, didn't we all get past the ugly duckling thing that hits us at some point? - I often wonder if she has kids or grandkids, and if she ever tells that story and can laugh about it now.


    That cashier is a heroine. If she hadn't taken (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Angel on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    action I hate to think what might have happened to the poor girl.  

    I still cringe when I think about it; (none / 0) (#125)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:42:48 PM EST
    those years are angst-filled enough without adding something like that to the mix.

    The milk... (none / 0) (#141)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:06:23 PM EST
    expanded instantaneously, as per the law.

    I know exactly what you mean, DS... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:58:31 PM EST
    It's just like how a seagull passing overhead can utterly destroy an entire brand new suit - head to toe, but only leave a coin sized splat on a car hood? ;-)

    Lots of ravens where I work... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:23:54 PM EST
    we call it getting ala moded.  As in "The ravens just alamoded Lydia!"  I think they do it on purpose.

    Blago (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Addison on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:52:41 PM EST
    The 14 year sentence for Blago is one of the most insanely excessive sentences I've ever seen for white collar criminal. He was being an arrogant guy on the phone, and he crossed the line between realpolitik and corruption, and there were various seemingly overlapping charges stemming from the incident and its fallout. But 14 years! 14 YEARS?! 14 months seems more in line with what I'd expect.

    In the end he got to pick a Senator and he thought he should get political consideration in the future for that. Gasp? His mistake was principally saying this out loud over the phone. 14 years?!

    Wrong! (none / 0) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:25:42 PM EST
    Blago did what most politicians do five times before having their morning coffee.

    His crime was stupidity....he got caught.


    so are we (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:11:34 PM EST
    now on the verge of having a failed health care reform plan?

    it's true that the GOP, & perhaps also some SC justices who may be in the GOP/Tea Party's pocket, are right-wing extremists with the agenda of making Barack Obama a one-term president

    but the health care reform plan was terribly flawed to begin with, & that, in its perhaps soon-to-be-failed form, is what we got from the first 15 months of the Obama presidency instead of Obama putting the economy first

    what was that again about Obama's superior judgment?

    All of his judgments (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:26:58 PM EST
    have been made with the well being of his superiors in mind.

    If only it had ever been about (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:25:32 PM EST
    health care, instead of insurance, we might not be having this conversation.  

    I always felt that the four years between passage and full implementation was an indication that the legislation was more political than anything - the chance to check another box in the "historic" category, and pretty much take it out of play in the 2012 election, because people wouldn't have had any experience with the exchanges or subsidies or any of the most practical elements of obtaining affordable care.

    Yes, I know a lot of people are now insured who weren't before, and that's a good thing - hopefully, the benefits accrue more to the individual than to the insurance companies, but I think that remains to be seen.

    But the economy was crying out for help, along with the millions affected by it, and instead of putting the focus there, Obama put his focus on insurance.  More people going back to work sooner would have helped on so many fronts it's painful to think about.

    A good plan, focused on health care, and implemented early, would have had exponentially positive political benefits; this plan?  Not so much.


    As usual, right on (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:48:16 PM EST
    As far as "checking off" another accomplishment, that was proven by the rapid capitulation on the public option debate.  

    But, the bigger issue I have a problem with is this: At the elevated level Obama was working from, every resource at his fingertips, how is it possible that basic salesmanship was so elusive to our President. How hard could it be to sell the American Public:

    1. Much better health "care"
    2. 100% coverage
    3. Cost- approx. half what we're paying now

    I mean, just picture it: A graphic on one side showing doctors, nurses, and hospitals. And a picture on the other side showing us. In the middle a mustachioed gangster peeling off 50 cents of every dollar ("protection") serving no useful function other than denying you what you need.

    It really is that simple.


    Rush says Trayvon Martin outrage ... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:10:23 PM EST
    ... is fake, "trumped up", just like the outrage over his Sandra Fluke comments.

    Another one to add (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:31:15 PM EST
    to the "It's NOT happening!" files?

    Hmmmm. Maybe we can follow Rush's lead and wish him out of existence.

    Now that should scare the pants off his listeners.


    please don't give (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:47:43 PM EST
    Rush Limbaugh more attention. Who cares what he thinks? And we have several threads about Trayvon Martin, can we discuss other things here? Thanks.

    Back from a work and pleasure trip to Florida. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:26:02 PM EST
    Caught a bunch of Red Sox spring training games while there. Saw my first live Suicide Squeeze!

    Oh, and tons of cool birds, lizards, snakes and yes alligators in Everglades.

    Were you lucky enough to spot (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:35:00 PM EST
    a Roseate Spoonbill?

    And how did you like those two nights of Venus and Jupiter standing out in the western sky and hugging the moon in the early evening?


    Yes CG! (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:39:51 PM EST
    I did see a spoonbill, as well as a lot of ibis, herons, egrets, etc. - while kayaking in a wildlife refuge that was spectacular.

    So funny you mention Venus and Jupiter - I DID notice them, and asked my companions, wasn't sure but knew they weren't just stars. So bright and beautiful.


    Sadly (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:46:49 PM EST
    I've never gone kayaking. Did you go to Collier-Seminole Star Park? And if not where did you go and would you suggest putting it on my bucket list lol

    Oh you should. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:51:45 PM EST
    For part of the time, I was on Sanibel Island (after Gainesville for work, and Ft. Myers for baseball).

    There are plenty of places to kayak there - both inland, and in the salt marshes, and in the gulf itself.

    It's nice because it's so quiet and peaceful in a kayak, and you can slip into little coves and bays, and often get pretty close to wildlife.

    The water was so clear, too, ... you could see so may animals in the water.

    Definitely go kayaking.


    Did you develop (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:59:28 PM EST
    the Sanibel Stoop looking at coquina shells? Sanibel, even built up the way it is, is still beautiful. You were obviously at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.

    Correct on the refuge. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:09:42 PM EST
    Although I also went kayaking other places too.

    No, the shells don't really do it for me, lol.

    I find the gulf coast of FL a lot easier to tolerate than the east coast - there are more natural areas left, a little less development and a few less people!


    You covered my life (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:14:58 PM EST
    on that trip. Was work on the campus in Gainesville? And did you stop for a photo with the Tebow statue and become a born again Gator?

    Yes, the work part was at UF. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:18:37 PM EST
    An unusually productive work trip, so really, the entire trip was great.

    And no on the Tebow, sorry!


    Is UF your alma mater? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:20:31 PM EST
    Yes it is (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:33:21 PM EST
    ...way before their football team appeared on the map. But Lake Alice had alligators in it even then.

    One thing I didn't see (none / 0) (#55)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:46:03 PM EST
    which was quite disappointing:  manatee.

    I am DYING to see a manatee.


    Dang, i could have shown you manatees (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:58:02 PM EST
    at Blue Springs. Next time you come let me know!

    Definitely. That would have been fun. (none / 0) (#86)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:26:04 AM EST
    Did you see the famous (none / 0) (#93)
    by the capstan on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:58:46 AM EST
    Sanibel mosquitos?  We went there in the 60's, but one night (spent putting on calamine in front of the a/c) was all I could stand.

    March is clearly the time to visit Florida (none / 0) (#130)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:59:51 PM EST
    No mosquitos, no problems, every single day 82 degrees and sunny for two weeks.

    You got that right (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 05:04:29 PM EST
    And night time temps in the 50s-60s.  In another 2 weeks it will be in the 70s at night....then soon the 90s every day... And I start my hibernation.

    I really love the birds here (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:59:51 PM EST
    Especially down in the Everglades and 10,000 Islands. Glad you got to kayak in that area. So pretty this time of year.

    I'm sure (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:38:35 PM EST
    you spotted plenty of wood storks

    Ugly as can be on the ground and yet so beautiful in flight


    You know, I don't think I saw any storks. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:41:13 PM EST
    Or at least I didn't notice them.

    How about a bench clearing brawl? (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:40:21 AM EST
    Bench clearing brawl at my very first game. (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:27:13 AM EST
    Eight years old, at Fenway Park with my dad. Saw a grand slam AND a bench clearing brawl.

    Gardens:the gateway drug (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:34:04 PM EST
    Last year I tore out my front lawn and put in a potager.... a small cedar picket fence, slate looking pathways edged with a little brick, it's four rectangles around a central strawberry patch with a perimeter of flowers and herbs, even a honey crisp apple.  That went well, so in the summer I added raised bed out back... a half dozen 4x4 boxes.

    I grew carrots, parsnips, turnips, broccoli, brussel sprouts, lettuce, spinach, chard and kale... zucchini, crook neck and patty pan.  I got a few tomatoes (it's too cool here on the north coast), potatoes, lots of peas and beans.  What else?  basil, thyme, rosemary, onion, oregano, perennial celery and a gorgeous sage that survived the winter.

    We had to take out a tree so we added a granny smith apple.

    In one year I grew 300 pounds of produce.  We ate alot, I dehydrated and froze some.  I now have my grandfathers pressure cooker and will make some soups this year.

    This winter we had to remove a redwood tree so I added a plum.  A pine tree outgrew it's spot so a little work digging and it was hauled out by the jeep with a chain and a pear tree was immediately dropped in that hole.  

    I was very ill in February but was out digging holes while hacking up a lung and put a living fence of espaliered apple trees along one driveway on the west side of the property (along with some artichokes) and popped in some raspberries (which I will train in arches along the fence) in a narrow strip along the east side of the property.

    So what has gardening led to?  Well, you know how some communities have ordinances about vegies because they lead to animals?  Well, we have no garden ordinances.  So, uh, yeah, I was just in the kitchen playing with Poppet, Gretchen and Charlotte my three and four week old barred rock, wyandotte and buff orpington.

    Soups from the garden are the best! (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by nycstray on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:21:40 PM EST
    I want chickens!

    One of my artichokes is just huge this year. I need to go out and measure it and take pics. I think it wants to be as tall as me. My tomato seedlings are all just starting to grow. I believe I will have an overabundance again this year*, so feel free to pop down the coast a bit this summer and grab a bushel or two :) I hope to get some carrot and other seeds in the ground tomorrow before the next rain. Today I'm making a chocolate/blackberry ice cream with some of the blackberries from last season that were already pureed and strained of seeds before freezing.

    *I swore I was going to start less plants than last year, but I still ended up starting 10 varieties! That would be 40 plants if they all do their thing . . . .


    Help for tomatoes. (none / 0) (#49)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:29:20 PM EST
    First let me say, your rehabbed yard sounds fabulous. If you get the chance, I would love to see pics, especially of the espaliered trees.

    Okay, on to tomatoes. I have had success with red plastic mulch. Just lay it on the beds, cut a slit so you can plant each tomato plant. Then water as needed. The mulch warms the ground, holds in moisture and, although I do not understand how this works, the red color reflects the light in a way that is especially good for coaxing tomato growth and ripening.

    Also, since our past two summers have been very coolish (last year was record-breaking cold) I have started planting tomatoes that are more suited to coo and not so sunny. I look for old varieties that originated in Russia and eastern Europe, places that match the conditions I am currently facing. I just gave up on the big heirlooms like Brandywine and Gold Medal. It is too much of a crap shoot to try them here.

    I had great luck with Stupice. Last year they ripened before the grape tomatoes, and they produced ripe fruit into October.

    People here in western Oregon also had good luck with Sungold cherry tomatoes.

    The Territorial Seeds Co. web site and catalog has many types of tomatoes that will produce in the less hot and sunny climes.


    Abou Territorial Seeds. (none / 0) (#51)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:32:13 PM EST
    They are located just south of Eugene, OR. They specialize in seeds and plants that are better suited to the conditions found in maritime Northwest, those of us west of the Cascade Mountains. Your conditions, I imagine, are very similar to mine.

    Garden gossip (none / 0) (#53)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:42:25 PM EST
    So funny... stupice was my best producer.  It's skin is a bit tough but I like the flavor.  I thought I would make a 'greenhouse' with plastic around one of the raised boxes and I will take your advice and add the red plastic. I am going to buy from Flying Blue Dog and get mature plants so they'll have a head start so I'll look for the Sungold.  

    I got my seeds from Territorial and Annie's this year.  I even got some Lemon Queen sunflower so I can do the great bee count.  

    I will post pictures.


    I forgot . . . (none / 0) (#56)
    by nycstray on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:54:37 PM EST
    many of the tomatoes I plant are Russian/cool climate varieties. The bed area I plant is surrounded by gravel and is in a good sun area, so it is quite a bit warmer there than it is in other parts of my yard.

    I buy seeds from Baker Creek (they have a great shop, The Seed Bank in Petaluma), along with Territorial, Annies and I think one other (I got several seed catalogs this year from last years purchases). There's also TomatoFest


    Last year I added worm castings to several, (none / 0) (#57)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:00:09 PM EST
    but not all, of my 4x4 raised beds. I was astounded by how much better the tomatoes in the boxes with worm castings did. They grew taller, by more than a foot,  and produced more fruit.

    I have given up on growing chard, even though chard is a favorite vegetable. Every year I plant chard, it gets decimated by leaf miners. Since I do not use chemicals in the garden, I am at a loss as to how to defeat the leaf miners.

    Anybody have any ideas on how to eliminate the leaf miners and grow happy healthy chard?


    I don't know about (none / 0) (#73)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:13:34 PM EST
    leaf miners... But I plant  marigolds, nasturtium and zenias among my squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, beans and okra to repel insects.

    After having a big garden (none / 0) (#60)
    by robert72 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:37:10 PM EST
    most of my life, I now find myself in the cool northwest coast climate with no garden, just a huge concrete patio that only gets sun in the middle of the day. I have fabulous flowers and trees in pots, but I have not had luck with veggies - except cucumber.
    I have planted climbing peas and beans and had a big crop, but they did not have much flavor. Does anyone know why? Could it be the soil that I purchase or less sun and heat?

    Test photo (none / 0) (#58)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:27:26 PM EST
    OK here's a test to see if the flikr short link works.

    This is the garden on April 26, 2011... the day I finished digging in and leveling the stepping stones and bricks.  I encourage all others to use bark, straw or rock.  :) snort


    Test two (none / 0) (#59)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:29:41 PM EST
    OK, let's try the regular flikr link.


    Here we go (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:45:03 PM EST
    This is the garden in the summer... link

    Backyard raised beds in July
    Backyard raised bed in August

    Here is the apple fence.  It is already blooming.  It is only 5 trees but will make a beautiful frame in a couple of years.

    Poppet, Charlotte and Gretchen... and no they aren't dead.  Having no experience with chickens it cracks me up the way they collapse when they wander into a spot of sun.

    Oops, almost forgot... we are putting the coop in between the wood pile and the playhouse.


    The garden looks wonderful. (none / 0) (#78)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:09:14 PM EST
    That kale in the first photo is glorious. And I like the way you have interspersed flowers and vegetables.

    Gorgeous. And inspiring. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:41:17 AM EST
    Lovely! (none / 0) (#61)
    by robert72 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:38:31 PM EST
    That sounds amazing. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:44:43 PM EST
    Sounds dreamy (none / 0) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:29:54 PM EST
    I put in a male and female kiwi last spring.  They are in our front yard and were leafing out when we left but I think I might have got a mislabeled kiwi.  I got a circular trellis for them last year and they have now filled it all up.  They look like an attractive ornament but no sign of fruits yet.  I put three avocado along the lake too last year.  Have no idea how long they must establish until fruiting.

    I'm shocked, SHOCKED! at how radical (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:28:34 AM EST
    conservatism has become! More political malpractice from the Obama administration. They seem to have thought Scalia was winnable in the ACA case.

    I can't begin to imagine why they always think trying to win over the ultra conservatives is a winning strategy.

    it's the supreme court (none / 0) (#103)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:34:40 AM EST
    So it's kind of the only game in town.



    Naivete (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:30:19 AM EST
    Maybe had they concentrated on writing a better bill onstrad of hoping to turn Scalia away from decades of his philosophy, the bill wouldn't be in jeopardy and they wouldn't be preparing to try and spin a loss.

    right (none / 0) (#113)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:34:34 AM EST
    Because it's the bill, not the court that's constitutionally challenged.

    Not really buying that at this point.


    It's too late now (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:06:24 PM EST
    But there were tons of people at the time who tried to make the same point.

    Here's a better word:  ARROGANCE


    all politics (none / 0) (#129)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:26:47 PM EST
    good and bad requires a certain level of arrogance.

    Never goid when combined with IGNORANCE (none / 0) (#131)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 02:56:20 PM EST
    Such as the case with the ACA

    I don't think (none / 0) (#132)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:04:21 PM EST
    they were being ignorant.  I think they were trying to get a bill passed.

    So which one of those would single-payer qualify for?  Ignorance?  Arrogance?  Both?  I mean cmon now, you're essentially saying that no one should ever go for big legislation.  I thought the problem was this didn't go big enough?  You think this court would keep single payer in place?  Or should we just keep passing the buck and not trying?

    A lot of people, who have a lot of knowledge on the subject thought it was a slam dunk constitutionally.  I'm still not convinced it's not a slam dunk even if Scalia et, all say otherwise.

    By your logic it would seem like Gore was stupid to try and get the Florida recount because based on the judicial split it was a no-brainer.  IMO, you gotta at least try.


    When it took a year (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:14:56 PM EST
    To get the bill worked out because Republicans (many of whom also went to law school and hired their own constitutional specialsts) managed to box the Democrats in by constantly throwing up roadblocks,  and then forced the Dems to hobble together a 1400 page bil that many admit they did not read or read thoroughly, then I think an 8th grader could have seen there would have been problems ahead.  Our constitutional-scholar-in-chief had no idea????

    And sure - dream big.  Coulda passed a coupke of smaller bills quickly and cleanly to incorporate things like pre-existing conditions and allowing kids to stay on their parents' insurance - those had broad support and wouldn't have faced court challenges.

    But ignorance and willfull blindness (and the arrogance that the mere greatness of Teh One) would carry the day is why we are here now.


    how many times have we seen presidents try this? (none / 0) (#134)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:23:05 PM EST
    but yea, it's so easy, that's why they've all succeeded and we have national healthcare.

    I'm not gonna knock the man for going for it.  There's plenty of better reasons to knock him.  Personally I wish he went bigger, because that's what we need as a country.

    The smaller bills don't cut it.  Hell this 1400 page bill doesn't cut it, but it's the 1400 page bill that managed to pass both houses.

    I guess FDR was also ignorant and willfully blind.  Since so much of the new deal was thrown out by the court.


    Obama is no FDR (none / 0) (#137)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 05:47:06 PM EST
    Let him be president (none / 0) (#138)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:29:42 PM EST
    for 12 years, then judge.

    Except that it didn't take FDR (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:24:03 PM EST
    a dozen years.  Far from it.

    So we'll see what Obama does in his second term.

    Not that I'm optimistic, based on a comparison of his First Hundred Days of his first term vs. FDR's.
    What Obama accomplished was going along with Geithnher's bailout for us to give bankers their bonuses.


    FDR had pressure from below (none / 0) (#143)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 12:32:13 PM EST
    the like of which Obama never dreamed of..

    The workforce was organized, lean and mean -- and in some cases, out for blood (literally) -- in the thirties.

    It wasn't like FDR was THAT much more an enlightened, man of the people..


    But, but (none / 0) (#142)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 12:26:12 PM EST
    He hasn't been inaugurated yet!

    He's only been there 3 months!

    He's only been there a year and it was someone else's mess!

    He's only been there 2 years!

    He's only been there 3 years!

    Wait until he finishes his second term!

    Let him serve 12 years!

    He could be there 25 years - he's still no FDR.


    all of which (none / 0) (#144)
    by CST on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 02:52:53 PM EST
    Is totally irrelevant to the point that I was trying to make.

    Which is that even FDR had grand plans shot down by the court.  That doesn't make him ignorent or arrogant or whatever.  It just means he tried to push the envelope hard.

    I just don't like this line of critique on Obama because I feel it is counterproductive to the goals we need to accomplish as a nation.  I want him to push the envelope.  Harder.  Because that's what this country needs right now.  Fear of the supreme court isn't going to help.  They are there, we have to deal with them, but that doesn't mean we stop trying to push.


    When so many were suffering (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:02:28 PM EST
    I often asked myself why they would not/ could not pass smaller legislation that would have done so much for so many swiftly and increase support for the affordable healthcare issue.  As Anne said days ago though, sadly it all became not about healthcare but about insurance.

    if anything (none / 0) (#115)
    by CST on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:37:25 AM EST
    they should have prepared better to argue in front of the court.

    E J Dionne weighs in on the (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:35:04 AM EST
    conservative Court and the failure of triangulation (bold in last paragraph is mine):

    Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

    Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress "wouldn't have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through." Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist's office?

    It fell to the court's liberals -- the so-called "judicial activists," remember? -- to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government's elected branches [...]

    Liberals should learn from this display that there is no point in catering to today's hard-line conservatives. The individual mandate was a conservative idea that President Obama adopted to preserve the private market in health insurance rather than move toward a government-financed, single-payer system. What he got back from conservatives was not gratitude but charges of socialism -- for adopting their own proposal.


    It's not like we didn't try to tell them this was (1) what was behind the push for the mandate and (2) how the GOP would choose to respond.

    But who listens to us?  Exactly: no one.

    I (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:04:00 PM EST
    remember when Obama"s idiot press secretary, I think it was Gibbs, coined the phrase, "professional leftists" to ridicule those among us who dared to hope for a healthcare system similar to the one Canadian citizens enjoy.

    If this thing goes down in flames, I will find it difficult to lament its demise, and equally difficult to suppress a sense of disgust at this pointless display of ultimately meaningless posturing.


    F*ckin' Florida... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:56:57 AM EST
    no problems filing felony charges here.  What happened to making something like this a teaching moment for a child...make the kid wheel the bike back, ring the bell and apologize to the owner, and call it a day?   We are insane.

    I'm not sure if Florida is still in the running in Bill Maher's Stupidest State in the Union bracket, if they are I'd call it a lock.

    It's the second chance state.. (none / 0) (#117)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:16:17 AM EST
    feck up someplace else and move to Florida. And then become a legislator.

    The transients running from the law... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:42:47 AM EST
    or debts or a crack habit are allright, those were my neighbors in my Pompano Beach days, fine people...I worry more about the born and breds myself. (Just kidding Fla, but seriously;)

    FLORIDA: THE SECOND-CHANCE STATE (none / 0) (#120)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:50:32 AM EST
    that would look good on a license plate, no doubt manufactured by some non-white-collar convict who didn't get a second chance

    I know a 'very' good criminal defense lawyer (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:23:34 PM EST
    that Blago should have hired, and if he had he might have ended up with a much shorter sentence or even been acquitted? ;-)

    (whistles, looks up ceiling with a mischievous smile)

    cannot imagine (none / 0) (#75)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:37:58 PM EST
    who you might be thinking of

    That's a funny comment to me, because (none / 0) (#79)
    by observed on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:52:03 PM EST
    I thought of YOU when Edger wrote that comment.
    IIRC, this case wouldn't be dissimilar from others you have tried.

    Actually, I don't try cases (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:01:39 AM EST
    Only real lawyers, like Jeralyn, do trials.  My practice is pretty much limited to sentencings, appeals, and other post-conviction.

    Sounds like ... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:41:01 AM EST
    ... a real lawyer to me.  :)

    Perry Merritt? (none / 0) (#84)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:13:58 AM EST
    I mean Mason? ;-)

    It's not (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 02:29:22 PM EST
    "Mere blocks" from the White House.  It's almost 4 miles.

    Well . . . (none / 0) (#5)
    by nycstray on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:00:05 PM EST
    if they're the long blocks (4 in a mile in NYC), that's just 16 blocks. Really not that far considering the admin's view on these things ;)

    The first lady.. (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:04:40 PM EST
    is into gardening, isn't she?  

    With any luck the presidential paparazzi will catch her shopping there;)


    That's 4 miles (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:10:55 PM EST

    For perspective, 4 miles the other way from the WH puts you 3 miles inside Virginia.



    it's all relative (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CST on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:20:52 PM EST
    I walked 4.5 miles home from work yesterday and the day before, just for the hell of it.

    I have driven it in about 7 minutes.

    4 miles isn't that far, imo, even if 4 miles "another way" would put me 3.5 miles into the atlantic ocean :)


    Do it with a Grow Light (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:34:10 PM EST
    The transformer alone is about 20 lbs.  Add in some Rock wool, a roll of Mylar, and gallon of juice.

    And it's not relative, words have meaning, and even if you walk 100 miles a day, blocks are blocks, 12 to a mile.  "Just blocks..." has an implication, and it's ain't 4 miles.


    relative to your perspective (none / 0) (#22)
    by CST on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:39:38 PM EST
    on what "far" is.  I would consider 4 miles "just blocks", some others obviously wouldn't.  Although yes, 4 miles is always 4 miles.  Certainly not all blocks are 12 to a mile.

    I don't know what a weed walmart is, but I assumed it was for the product not the production.  That would be a much more fun 4 mile walk home :)

    With equipment everything is different.


    Believe you me... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:51:35 PM EST
    if there were selling weed in a store openly within 4 miles of the WH there would be multiple federal agencies stealing everything before they finished cutting the ribbon.

    Some growlights and some books I'm hoping they can get away with...though I would definitely be wary of undercover narcs trying to entrap the staff.

    Like in the headshops by me, if you're naive enough to mention weed their hands are tied, they gotta throw you out.  Tobacco use only.

    The sad cruel irony...having to pretend you're smoking an infinitely more dangerous herb in order to legally purchase a bong.


    now it makes sense (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:02:44 PM EST
    I was wondering how the hell they were getting away with it.

    I probably should have clicked on the link.  I am aware of headshop etiquite.  I thought this was one of the medi-pot places or something like they have in California.  It did strike me as rather b@llsy.


    I Know (none / 0) (#107)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:49:59 AM EST
    In Wisconsin there are no head shops, maybe a porn store or an incense place might have a couple of cheesy pipes in the back.

    Then I moved here, with head-shops as big as a Wallgreens.  I had no idea you couldn't mention any illegal substance and got the boot when I mentioned something to a friend and an employee over heard me.

    The only zones in the country were non-inciting words are forbidden by law.

    The tobacco thing is stupid, but at least there is makes sense in that you could realistically use a pipe for it.  But how about the pill presses and freebasing pipes.  I mean seriously, you going to press your own aspirin or freebase tobacco ?


    Sssshhh... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:18:36 AM EST
    pipe down Scott, Chuck Schumer could be reading and looking for ideas for his next nonsensical crusade;)

    I find the sale of nitrous cartridges amusing too...people who make home-made whip cream shop at head shops???


    I'm just relieved to hear (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:42:38 PM EST
    it wasn't all grown in China by grotesquely underpaid workers, working brutal hours in unsafe conditions (and bankrolled by outsourcing-happy U.S investors..)

    Jeralyn... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:03:23 PM EST
    Any thoughts on SB163?

    I thought this statement was rather confusing:

    Dan Rubinstein, the district attorneys' representative on a drug task force, also argued against the bill. He said defense attorneys he's talked to say the threat of a felony is more effective than a misdemeanor conviction, and prosecutors fear it would undercut sentencing reforms passed in recent years.
    [Emphasis added.]

    Why would defense attorneys be for the threat of felony convictions for their clients rather than misdemeanor ones?  

    At any rate, glad to see there was moving testimony at the hearings and the bill passed out of committee.  

    Also glad to see the bill to mandate drug testing for welfare recipients died on second reading in the House.

    OWS gearing up... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:25:04 PM EST
    for the spring/summer season...yesterdays action was chaining open emergency gates in the NYC subways to give commuters free rides, and promote the planned May Day actions.

    I must say the posters they printed for the action are top notch...they look totally legit.  Great job!

    In SF we have the Apple Store of weed (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:34:43 PM EST
    To quote the old crook... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:45:46 PM EST
    Crazy Eddie..."those prices are innnn-saaaaane!"

    Bush doctor charges double around here, you s*ck prohibition:(

    Was hoping for a picture menu when I clicked:)


    and i don't even go there anymore (none / 0) (#23)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:42:06 PM EST
    i use a delivery service.  google bay area healing coop.  right to your door at the time of your choosing.  sparc is great, but the location isn't the best, and you kind of have to run the gauntlet of poor souls tossed to the curb by our "mental healthcare" system -- as well other assorted phucked up asshats.

    My vendor... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 05:00:15 PM EST
    has the pick-up or delivery option...but they're never on time!

    He's never early, he's always late
    First thing you learn is you always gotta wait

    I'm Waiting For The Man...so what if its about scoring junk, the shoe fits;)


    Thank you for (none / 0) (#50)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:31:55 PM EST
    the Lou Reed.  Always timely.

    My pleasure... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:38:27 AM EST
    let us not forget to give John Cale, Sterling Morrison, & Mo Tucker their V.U. due respect.

    Our 21-year-old daughter (none / 0) (#99)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:14:19 AM EST
    has even become a Nico fan, amazingly.

    The youngsters... (none / 0) (#110)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:21:30 AM EST
    turning on to the good sh*t gives me hope for the future.

    Ya done good Pops!


    OMG (none / 0) (#109)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:20:21 AM EST
    Blue Dream - 25% THC

    And of course this one reminded my of you, B-Dawg, at 23% THC.

    This is a very rare strain to come across. The crosses that are involved are quite famous in their respective categories. The B in B-Dawg stands for Burkle and is crossed with Chemdawg.

    I think it sucks that here in Texas we get the boot at a head shop for mentioning the word, spend the night in jail for a gram, but in California, they get it delivered, legally.  I bet they can even order it online.

    ........ and I suspect they are on time and probably pick up the phone before 3.  

    But then again, there is something to be said about the insanity of the process and loathsome excitement you feel when you reach home with goods in hand and smile on your face.  There is a satisfaction, second to none, when you realize just how resourceful you can be when you set your mind to it.  Followed by the realization of just how many numbers in your phone serve a single purpose, plans B,C,D...

    Or at least that's how I remember it.


    If there is any justice in this world... (none / 0) (#112)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 10:33:29 AM EST
    we will be old men in rocking chairs telling our grandkids the oral histories of scoring smoke in the black market dark ages....then sending them to the store to pick up a 1/4 for dear old grandpa.

    It Will be Our,,, (none / 0) (#126)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    ..."walking up hill in the snow both ways to school" story.

    And by that time, you will just buy a bag of seeds, toss a couple in a machine, hit start and it will grow, dry, and clip fine product in like 10 mins.  Like cappuccino, a big machine no one really understands, but kicks out gourmet product without leaving the casa.


    for a (very) brief moment, (none / 0) (#16)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:06:08 PM EST
    i thought there was finally a good reason ("Walmart of Weed) to drive in to DC. reading the linked article quickly disabused me of that notion. it may only be 4 miles from the WH, but with traffic like it is there, it could well take you 4 days to get there.

    Start your trip now (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:07:20 PM EST
    PA church kidnaps teens at gunpoint ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:38:44 PM EST
    ... to teach them a lesson about to teach what it's like to be a persecuted Christian missionary.

    I kid you not.

    are you refering to the doc film (none / 0) (#66)
    by DFLer on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 09:06:53 PM EST
    No - wasn't aware of that film (none / 0) (#91)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:39:36 AM EST
    This was a recent incident in PA where a church literally kidnapped a youth group and took them to their pastor's house where it looked like their pastor was being attacked.  They used an off-duty police officer with a real (but unloaded) gun.  The pastor says he will continue to carry out this lesson, but will ask for parents' permission.

    bad link, Yman (none / 0) (#76)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 10:38:45 PM EST
    Sorry (none / 0) (#90)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:35:46 AM EST
    Sort of old hat (or biretta): (none / 0) (#105)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:45:22 AM EST
    The infamous Papal kidnaping of Edgardo Mortara: In the 1850's Edgardo was six years old living with his family and seven siblings in Bologna when he was seized and taken away by Papal authorities.  The Mortara family was Jewish but they had a 14-year old Catholic servant who performed an secretive emergency baptism on Edgardo during a serious infantile illness fearing his death and damnation.

    The papal law at the time was that a Catholic child could not be raised in a non-Catholic home and the newly baptized Catholic, Edgardo, was seized when the servant informed church authorities of her action.  Pope Pius IX took Edgardo as his personal ward and adopted him--and would not let him return despite international outrage, including from Franz Joseph and Napoleon III.  Edgardo became a Catholic priest and, later, visited with his family attending his mother's funeral.   He died in 1940 in Belgium. The controversy received renewed attention in 2000 during consideration of the steps to Pius IX's sainthood.


    Hadn't heard of that, ... (none / 0) (#128)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    ... but if I was the parent of one of these kids in PA, heads would roll ...

    Since it's an open thread (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:09:32 AM EST
    I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, Trevor Thomas,who's running for Congress in conservative western Michigan against a primary challenger and then hopefully, against the incumbent, a freshman Tea Party member.  Trevor is a 28 year old, openly gay man with blue collar roots, who exudes tons of energy and enthusiasm.  He previously worked with the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund in helping overturn DADT, so he knows what advocacy is all about.

    All I ask is that you check him out.  If this is the future of the Democratic Party, then there may be some hope left.

    Check out Trevor talking to Jennifer Granholm on The War Room.

    Trevor is one of the nicest people I met when I came to DC.  He is actually a very good friend of my sister's and I think he might be a rising star to watch.


    Hmm (none / 0) (#145)
    by Euro News Magazine on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 04:06:32 AM EST