Scott Douglas’ Terse Bloviation

Archive for November, 2008

Recent Podcasts

Amby Burfoot, Kristy Johnston, Ben True.

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Helpful Hints From Smelloise #2

Don’t bang car doors into the place on your shin where you have a bump from an ancient stress fracture, especially if you are about to drive an hour and use the shin muscles the whole way to work the gas pedal.

Also, the easiest way to peel ginger is with the side of a spoon.

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Have a Heart, Save a Heart

And now a message from Fiddlehead Media Inc.’s president, also known as Stacey. If you can contribute, write to me and we’ll work out logistics. I’ll match any contributions sent in response to this post.

It is slaughter time again at Wolfe’s Neck Farm, where I periodically do volunteer animal care, and I wanted to see if anyone might be able to help contribute to saving a few of our woolly friends. For $125 per animal (which is half of what they would get for the meat), the farm is willing to let them go to a wonderful place in Anson, Maine, run by Beth and her husband Jerry, who so kindly adopted our sheep friends Harry and Sally last year. They get lots of love, food and plenty of room to roam there. Five lambs are up and I’d love to see if together, we could save at least two. The money for the lambs goes to running the educational program at the farm, which is a wonderful way for children to learn about animals and farms. I know it’s a terrible time to be spending money on non-necessities, but it is a tax-deductible contribution so you can consider it your charitable giving for the year! Let me know if, and how much, you might be able to contribute and I’ll see if we can save a couple of these sweet creatures. Any amount will do! Thank you so much.

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Helpful Hints From Smelloise #1

To balance the puling below, I’ll write something nice. Stacey and I tried a couple of times to make vegetable broth, but the recipes we followed never turned out to be worth it, as they would call for a couple onions, carrots and other items that we would normally eat. But now, thanks to one of our way-cool neighbors, we know what to do. All vegetable scraps that we would otherwise compost go into a bag. When the bag is full, we put the scraps in a pot, cover with an inch or so of water, and simmer for a couple of hours until the liquid volume has been reduced by a third. Strain the scraps, bottle the broth and then put the scraps in the compost bucket. The broth is way tastier than what we made before or could buy, and the stuff made to use it winds up in the compost pile where it would have anyway.

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A Whine About a Morning-Long Whine

Come back, $4/gallon gas! All is forgiven! Someone has been running a leafblower for the last several hours now. Given the size of yards in my neighborhood, they could have raked the damn thing three times over by now. Thanks to tinnitus, I gots me enough going on in my ears as it is, so the moan of the leafblower is that much more irritating. If I’m lucky, the ladies a couple of houses down will soon start their daily chainsawing and drown out the yard worker.

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So, Anyway…

Hi there. How have you been? You’re looking well. Have you lost weight?

What’s that? What’s up with me? Why, thanks for asking! The near future should include:

  • A turkeyless Thanksgiving at the home of vegetarian friends.
  • Final harvesting of brussels sprouts and sunchokes.
  • My second race in the last 26 months.
  • A weekend in Montreal.
  • A few days with Zola Budd Pieterse for a Running Times story.
  • Publication of the second edition of Advanced Marathoning.
  • Continued daily sits in front of the lightbox to account for the fact that the sun, when it deigns to appear, checks out for the day at about noon.
  • Continued vicarious pleasure in the well-earned success of Stacey’s great 2009 wall calendar.

How about yourself?

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David Brooks Gross Oversimplification Watch #1


Is this country going to slide into progressive corporatism, a merger of corporate and federal power that will inevitably stifle competition, empower corporate and federal bureaucrats and protect entrenched interests? Or is the U.S. going to stick with its historic model: Helping workers weather the storms of a dynamic economy, but preserving the dynamism that is the core of the country’s success.


In one camp, there are the Traditionalists, the people who believe that conservatives have lost elections because they have strayed from the true creed. George W. Bush was a big-government type who betrayed conservatism. John McCain was a Republican moderate, and his defeat discredits the moderate wing….

The other camp, the Reformers, argue that the old G.O.P. priorities were fine for the 1970s but need to be modernized for new conditions. The reformers tend to believe that American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government. The Reformers propose new policies to address inequality and middle-class economic anxiety. They tend to take global warming seriously. They tend to be intrigued by the way David Cameron has modernized the British Conservative Party.


They’ll do this by explaining to the American people that there are two stages to their domestic policy thinking, the short-term and the long-term.


Roughly speaking, there are four steps to every decision.


For all the talk of plumbers and investment bankers, populists and elitists, Patio Man is still at the epicenter of national politics. He is the quintessential suburban American, the service economy worker, the guy who wears khakis to work each day, with the security badge on the belt clip around his waist.


The main axis in McCain’s worldview is not left-right. It’s public service versus narrow self-interest.