Begging The Question

Friday, February 25, 2005

"King of the Hill" Quote of the Day
From the episode where in snows in Arlen:

Peggy: "Okay, I have been through this before in Montana. Nobody lick any flagpoles!"

Peggy, in Buck Strickland's kitchen: "Oh, my Lord, the stove! It's not propane, it's electric!"
Hank: "No!"
Peggy: "Yes!"
Hank: "Well, it had better be self cleaning, because I think I'm gonna vomit."

Because this blog needs more Weasel-related posts
Biosphere 2 (the complex, not the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster hit*) is for sale. Reports John Flinn of the SF Chronicle:
Built from 1987 to 1991 at the foot of the jagged Santa Catalina Mountains in the Sonora Desert at a cost of $150 million, Biosphere 2 encloses 3.15 acres beneath 6,000 glass panels. It's 91 feet tall at its highest point and contains two enormous mechanical "lungs" to circulate air. Up close, it looks like a Mayan temple complex designed by I.M. Pei. It's so imposing and futuristic-looking that I half expected to find a James Bond villain stroking a cat inside.

Here is the sale flyer. Note: Interesting trades considered.

(links via Highways West)

*Bio Dome might sport the most eclectic cast ever assembled: William Atherton, Kylie Minogue, Pauly Shore, Stephen Baldwin, Joey Lauren Adams, Patty Hearst, and Henry Gibson. And by "eclectic" I don't mean "talented" or "interesting."

Five for Milbarge
Because what this blog needs is another irregular feature. In no particular order, my interrogatories and requests for production are presented in italicized font. Milbarge's full, accurate and complete answers follow in regular font:

1. Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?

No. I do think there are people that capitalism leaves behind, and we should take care of them. I don't have anything philosophically against paying taxes, and I don't think unions are inherently bad. But I think I had too much experience with an older brother who lived by the "what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine too" approach to ever be devoted to collective ownership as a national policy.

This question reminds me of a story, though, although I'm afraid I may have told it here before. My college chum and frequent BTQ commenter (recent guest-poster!) Sebastian told me that he and his roommate were in an intro Political Science course, and some girl got to ranting about the government. She said, in that state of outrage only the most naive college student can attain, "Can you believe that when you apply to be a citizen, they still ask you if you've ever been a member of the Communist Party?" Sebastian reflexively says, "God bless America," and he and his roommate begin humming "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Of course, these were the pair who later staged an anti-Communist rally at Duke, in response to the frequent protests by the pro-Communists. I spent too much time around college Communists to ever take them seriously.

2. Can men and women be friends?

Outlook not so good, but there are exceptions. I think the answer is yes, but it depends on your definition of "friend." For example, I know women whom I am attracted to, but have resigned myself to never landing, and I consider myself their friend. But I'm sure people would say that by virtue of my attraction, I can't really be a friend, only a wannabe-lover or something. I think it's dumb to assume that friendship and attraction are incompatible. Even if it doesn't rise to the level of "mancrush," I like spending time with my guy friends -- the "attraction" isn't physical or romantic, but something about them attracted me enough to want to hang out with them, even if it was just their big screen television. I think "attraction" is just an affinity, and that can take several forms. Actually, thinking about it, I don't know if I have any female friends to whom I am not attracted. I don't have any female friends whom I don't find at least minimally physically appealing, although that's not to say I would rather have these women as my girlfriend instead of just-friend in every case. I'm not sure what that says about me. But back to your question. For me the answer is yes, but I'm not sure I'm typical.

3. Have you ever wanted to kill someone?

Yes, sure, in the abstract, in that I think the world (or at least my world) would be better without someone, and I knew I was capable of doing it. (This is why I think I could have been a soldier if I wanted.) But not enough to think seriously about it. And never enough that I would do it even if I couldn't get away with it. But if the question is whether I've ever harbored a desire to commit assault against a person with the knowledge that my beating might cause the person's death, then oh yeah, of course. I'm not a violent person, and I wouldn't call these thoughts "urges," but that doesn't mean that when I'm considering my options for response to a given situation, the option of violence doesn't cross my mind -- even if it is summarily rejected. To put it more concretely, let's say someone cuts me off in traffic. Instantly, my mind runs through several scenarios, everything from punching the guy in the face to honking my horn to offering a witty sarcastic barb as a riposte to doing nothing. So, I have been in situations where murder would have been the most desirable option on an abstract level, although I don't know if I really "wanted" it if I don't regret not taking that option. I know that's probably not the answer you were looking for, but that's what I'm giving you.

4. If you could choose to live in a different time period, would you? If so, when would live and why?

This depends on how much knowledge I would take with me in my time travels. Would I be able to live in the 1700s and still know about the germ theory of disease, and know about the course of constitutional interpretation? (Say, Mr. Madison, you might want to clarify a little more about that whole "due process" thing, and you know what a penumbra is, don't you?) Conversely, would I be able to live in the future and not be constrained by the limits of current knowledge? (Think of Stallone in that god-awful movie with Sandra Bullock and Wesley Snipes, although Sly is probably no better off in this day and age.) All in all, I feel pretty good about living in the here and now, so I won't press my luck. I'll stick.

5. What is your favorite sports moment?

Most of them have come as a fan, but I thought of one really nice one as a participant. I hadn't thought of this in years. I guess I was a junior or senior in high school. I used to play sports recreationally with my friends, but I was never very organized about it beyond a few seasons of Little League. Anyway, one night I was hanging out with my friend Shannon, who was a pretty good athlete -- even though he was stocky enough to be bigger than some of the linemen on our football team, he was one of the top tennis players in the conference -- and my friend Tim, who was the quarterback of the football team and a forward on the basketball team and first baseman on the baseball team. I remember it was in the winter because it was snowing heavily and we knew there wasn't going to be any school the next day. We got a call from a guy named Josh, who was the point guard on the basketball team and a golfing buddy of Shannon's. Josh was an okay guy, but a little full of himself. Anyway, Josh knew some older guys who were getting a pick-up game together at some church gym on the other side of town, and he invited us along. I ended up driving, and I remember the church parking lot being snowy and empty and sliding across it as I tried to park. But it was toasty in the gym. There were probably four or five guys there. We knew of them, but they were a few years older and not doing much with their lives. We chose up teams, and it was very clear that I was the worst of the bunch -- most of the others had been athletes of some kind in high school, and they spent a lot more time shooting hoops than I did, or at least took it a lot more seriously. Well, somehow, that night I was on fire. I wasn't closely guarded, of course, but I was hitting everything. I was nailing shots from all over the court. We played half-court, so no one got too winded from running back and forth. It was pretty brutal underneath the bucket, but all I had to was stand around the top of the key, and eventually my defender (usually Josh) would leave me and Shannon would feed it to me -- I think he was the only one who would have passed it to me. I was almost apologetic at how good I was doing. The older guys on the other team got really mad at Josh for not defending me any better, and Josh kept whining, "But he's not that good!" I don't remember all the stats, but I do know I hit eight three-pointers and several mid-range jumpers. I only missed one shot all night. I had never before or since had such a remarkable outing, and I was elated. Shannon and Tim couldn't get over it -- they knew how out of character it was. The older guys thought I was some sort of shooting phenom. I ridiculed Josh for a while for the schooling I gave him. I just wish there had been a college scout in attendance -- I could have gotten a scholarship out of it.

Five for Fitz-Hume
Continuing the new tradition, here are some random questions for my co-blogger. My questions are in italics, and his answers follow in plain text.

1. Who is an author whose work you've never read, but want to?

Winston Churchill. I shouldn't say I've never read his work. Rather, I've only read excerpts from his speeches and bits and pieces from his histories of World War 2 and the war against the Mahdi army. Those have convinced me that I need to get my hands on some of his works.

If I have to live by the letter of the law, then Tom Wolfe. Never read a word of his. Someday I'll get around to it.

2. What are your three favorite "Seinfeld" episodes?

Tough question. Off the top of my head, three of my favorites (though perhaps not the top three) are:

(1) The episode where George has his tonsils removed. I love the scene where he asks Jerry to end it all for him. Elaine walks in as Jerry is smothering George with a pillow. The episode also features the guy's visit to Tor the holistic healer.

"Elaine?!? What are you doing here?"

(2) The episode where Kramer adopts a mile of the highway and paints over the lane dividers. At the end of the episode Newman's mail truck bursts into flames after driving over a pool of paint remover Kramer spilled while trying to undo his lane-widening.

"Once. Twice. Three times a lady. Aaaarrgghhhh!!! Ahh haa haa!!! Oh, the humanity!!! Aghhhhhhh!!!"

(3) The "Serenity now!" episode. Frank Constanza losing it, Lloyd Braun, Kramer installing a screen door on his apartment. So funny.

3. Name something that is essential for a married man to own, but that a single man might not even think about.

A toilet brush.

4. They're going to make a movie about your life. What's the theme song?

Tough one. It's my life, it's my dream, and nothing's gonna stop me now, so I'll go with the theme song to Perfect Strangers. I'm not really pleased with that choice. Maybe the readers have some better ideas.

5. In honor of the new Tommy Lee Jones cheerleading movie Man of the House, feel free to take a few digs at the Longhorns. But I was wondering about cheerleading technique. What are some tips and tricks? Where does your hand go when you do those lifts? You've already told us about a fight among your cheerleading squad. Any other memorable cheerleading stories you wish to share?

I'll pass on the opportunity to knock the tea-sips. And I hope this is the last time I foist cheerleading blogging on our readers. Even cat blogging is preferable to reliving my "glory" days like this.

Tips and tricks? Sure. Here are a couple:

(1) Work out. A lot. Holding a girl over your head requires lots of strength in your shoulders, back, triceps, abs, and quads.

(2) The girls you work with must trust you. There is a lot of potential for injury when performing lifts or stunts. The girl's head is about 12 feet off the ground and that can be scary. She could fall at any time and she has to trust that you will not let her hit the ground. If she doesn't trust you, she won't be able to focus on the task at hand. She will try to balance herself and that makes it very difficult to perform the lifts. Lack of focus leads to injuries. Injuries are bad. This trust you must develop can be summed up by two rules: First, don't be a lech. If you're in it to cop a feel, you're a tool. The girls will constantly worry about where your hands are (or will be when you catch them). Second, never let a girl hit the ground. Ever. If that requires that she falls on top of you and breaks your nose, so be it.

Where does your hand go? Most of the time I held a girl's foot (or feet) in my hands, but I suppose that's not what you're asking about. If you're referring to "chair" lifts, and I think you are, your left hand is around the girl's ankle to balance her, and the right hand forms a seat for the girl. Hence the name for the stunt. If you were hoping for salacious details, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Chair lifts are easy. I disfavored them for that reason. What's the point of doing a lift that any jerk can do after about 20 minutes of instruction? In my view, it was much better to do the more difficult stunts. They were more exciting for the crowd and set you apart from the guys who can only do the easy lifts.

Any stories I wish to share? Once, while doing a tumbling pass during practice, I was knocked unconscious. I was performing a round-off, into a back handspring, into a second back handspring, into a layout (a back flip where your body remains straight through the rotation rather than tucked into a ball). For some reason at the height of the layout, with my body parallel to the floor, I stopped rotating. I got lazy, I guess, or maybe I thought I had more time to complete the rotation than I actually did. Anyway, at the point in the trick where I should have completed the rotation and had my feet back under me for the landing, I was only 3/4 of the way through the rotation. I came down right on the base of my neck and the world went dark. I'm not sure how long I was out, but there were a lot of people freaking out when I came to. Yadda, yadda, yadda, I'm okay now.

This Is No Time To Think
Desperate times make for irrational bloggers, which is why I was recently contacted by a certain someone offering some space on this blog for interesting stories of youth and indiscretion. I won't say who this person was, but if his name was a picture puzzle it would look like a flour mill + a river barge. Needless to say this arrangement is intermittently temporary, only when the regular proprietors are both suffering writers block. So if in the coming days and weeks, you start to read a post and wonder why there is no literary flair or intelligent humor, just sneak a quick look at the by-line. You will no doubt find my moniker lurking there.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"King of the Hill" Quote of the Day
Rob Holguin, mold inspector: "Don't worry, Mr. Hill, Rob Holguin is going to do everything it takes to get rid of this mold, and your insurance is going to pick up the tab. Everything from frictional irrigation with a concentrated chlorine solution to forced atmospheric dehydration."
Hank: "Wait, you're saying you're going to rub it with bleach and then blow it dry?"
Holguin: "In layman's terms, yes."

Hank: "If we've been sleeping in this room for twenty years, how come we've never had itching or asthma or any of those other problems we read about?"
Holguin: "That's probably because the government hasn't found a scientific link between mold and any known health problems... yet."
Hank: "Then why do you keep banging holes in our walls?"
Holguin: "Because I am the hunter, and mold is my antelope, and if I don't bang holes in your walls, my conscience bangs holes in my head."

Technical Issues
We are currently in the process of moving servers. The move should not affect the site, but if you experience any difficulties viewing the blog just chalk it up to the server move. Likewise, if you are distressed over the lack of new content it's due to the server move. Yeah, the server move. Not laziness or writer's block.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"King of the Hill" Quote of the Day
Hank: "Then it's agreed: We'll all head over to the hospital to donate blood."
Dale: "Count me out. The vast majority of unauthorized face removals happen to people in hospitals."
Hank: "You disappoint me, Dale."
Dale: "Get in line."

Whose Line is it Anyway?
The newest of Dahlia Lithwick's usually-enjoyable Supreme Court dispatches is up at slate, and in this one she discusses yesterday's oral argument in the important Takings case, Kelo v. City of New London. For more background on that case, see the SCOTUSBlog . Basically, the city wanted to condemn some old houses so a big development could be built, and the issue was whether that is a taking for "public use." A few random thoughts prompted by all this follow.

First, we don't talk very much about the law anymore around here, at least as compared to the old days, for lots of reasons, so I'll talk Takings a little bit. As you might expect, I'm not the kind of anti-government libertarian who bristles every time the city wants to swing the wrecking ball. But I don't want the government to have unfettered condemnation power, either. And it bothers me that the usual suspects of civil libertarianism aren't as vocal when it comes to property rights, especially when they recognize the importance of having a home. The problem is that both sides want tests that I can't stomach: the homeowners want the courts to have to second-guess the city's purported public use to see if it will be as successful as they claim, and the city wants any stated public purpose to be good enough without a chance to second-guess it (the example at the argument was that the city said it could condemn a Motel 6 just so a Ritz Carlton could be built -- higher tax revenue -- without violating the "public use" rule). The homeowners would at least like a rule that the condemned property had to constitute a net negative in some way -- for example, it must be blighted, or crime-ridden, rather than just old. For what it's worth, I think the Court's "rationally related to a conceivable public purpose" test from Midkiff might be too lenient. Maybe the next step for the property rights crowd is to challenge the "just compensation" so they can get a share of the future value of the land. But on the other hand, aren't these the kind of public policy questions that people are always crying about not wanting to leave to judges? A tougher standard of review -- say, strict scrutiny of the government's claims, or requiring a tighter nexus between the condemnation and the city's goals -- would send a lot more of these cases to court, and stop many of them. Why not rely on the political remedy? Or charge the homeowners with some foreknowledge, either when buying a home in an area potentially to be developed, or in electing local officials friendly to development? I'll admit that I'm not a Takings expert, nor do I get really fired up about it, perhaps because I'm not a homeowner myself.

In any event, it appears that the train has left the station on the homeowners' desire for a more stringent test. I use the train analogy purposely, because the railroads were a classic case of the government taking property and giving it to private actors, even when the property was useful already. Sure, the development in New London won't be as beneficial to the public as transcontinental railroad service was, but under the homeowners' test, building the railroads would have been a lot tougher. Note that SCOTUSBlog's Marty Lederman reports, like Dahlia, that the city will almost certainly win this one.

That apparently won't be because of the city's lawyer, whom Dahlia paints as downright weird. He'll probably become famous for ending his argument by saying that he wanted to leave the Justices with four words to remember, and then not telling them what they were. Just for that, I might have to revise my list of Ten Don'ts for Appellate Advocates or my Ten Things Not to Say at a Supreme Court Argument to include that gem. (And yes, that was mostly an excuse to link to those old favorite posts of mine.) Dahlia also notes that the lawyer brought a prop -- a posterboard rendering of the proposed development. She asks why more lawyers don't do this. I'm sure she's joking. What's amazing to me is that he even thought to bring it. (The prop and the mystery words were the inspiration for the post title.) I have only heard of one other case involving a prop, and that one wasn't even an educational aid to the Court that was probably in the record anyway. I recall (and google is no help in refreshing my memory) hearing about a religion case -- can't remember if it was establishment or free exercise -- in which an attorney placed an apple and a Bible on the podium as some sort of symbol for the point he was making. I'm sure a jury would have loved that, but the Court didn't cotton to it. If anybody has a pointer to that story, please fill me in.

But I would have liked to have seen that argument, or the one in Kelo, because the ones I have seen at the Court were pretty dry. Perhaps that's because the advocates are usually so good -- the ones I've seen in the courts of appeals have been more varied in quality. The best one I saw at the Court was Harris v. United States, 536 U.S. 545 (2002), regarding the application of Apprendi to mandatory minimum sentences. The Apprendi factions were really going at it, Justice Breyer was in full-on Professor Hypo mode, Justice Scalia was clearly vexed -- it was just really neat to see them weigh the consequences of Apprendi and dicker over how far it ought to go. I've listened to, or read the transcripts, of many arguments, though, and I know it wasn't as much fun as some are. I've seen them hand down several decisions, because it was easier for me to get to the Court during the summer than during the argument months. I was there when they handed down U.S. v. Printz, 521 U.S. 898 (1997) and City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), two important Con Law cases, and Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001) (an important immigration case), and Tyler v. Cain, 533 U.S. 656 (2001) (a habeas case I ended up citing a lot). What's funny about that is that the main reason I went to the Court those days was because there was buzz in DC that we might hear the announcement of a retirement at the Court. Yep -- four and eight years ago, I was expecting one of those folks to retire, and they're all still there (for now).

File this post under "Johnson, S." or "Poon, Mr."
The return of Pauly Shore. WTF buuudddy? Seriously. Why is TBS trying to revive the "career" of Pauly Shore?

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Silence...
I've been really busy at work, but I do have a post coming later today. In the meantime, here's what I've been reading when I have a free minute. First, via Ernie, this interesting piece in "Vanity Fair" about the guy who dreamed up the information-gathering/sharing database system thing now known as the MATRIX. He's a really intriguing character, and definitely worth making a movie about. Next, this story from the Washington Post Sunday Magazine about George McGovern and others who lost presidential elections. It's mostly about how hard it is to get over a loss like that, although it appears that it's easier to get over landslide losses than close ones -- the "what ifs" aren't as agonizing because not much would have made a difference. There's a comment in there by Barry Goldwater noting how hard it must have been for Richard Nixon to have swallowed the 1960 loss to John F. Kennedy. Nixon is clearly the most psychologically fascinating president we've ever had, and I'm sure that's true. It also makes me a little more forgiving of Al Gore's dive off the deep end. Anyway, it's an interesting read. And finally, I'm working through Richard Clarke's piece in the Jan/Feb "Atlantic," which is a looking-back history of the next terrorist attack. It's made me do a lot of thinking, but it's all boiled down to one big question: Why haven't we been attacked since Sept. 11? Sorry it's a subscription-only article, but the magazine is worth subscribing to. So that's what I've been up to when I'm not working. Speaking of which, back at it....

Monday, February 21, 2005

"King of the Hill" Quote of the Day
Kahn: "I call France on this phone whenever I want! France, Europe, Huckleberry!"

Unlike Dylan, I was dismayed to hear over the weekend of the suicide of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Here is the NYT obit, and here is a collection of his stuff for ESPN. The Good Doctor hated Duke, but like all smart sports fans, he knew they were tough to bet against. Just last week, I sent Fitz Thompson's last column, in which he and Bill Murray dreamed up a new sport combining skeet shooting and golf. I think Fitz and I would both see it as an improvement over the current form of the game. So it's odd to think of someone who still had such creativity and verve left in him deciding to shoot himself in the head. It wouldn't surprise me if the autopsy turns up cancer or some other debilitating disease that Dr. Gonzo would not want to live with. But wouldn't it have been fun to read his take on facing death? Maybe somewhere he wrote down his explanation. But maybe it's just inexplicable and crazy and selfish and sad. (I've never considered committing suicide, but I know that if I ever did it, I wouldn't do it by shooting myself in the kitchen of my fortified compound while my wife was at the gym, knowing my son would find my body.)

I first read Thompson in Rolling Stone, and have read a lot of his shorter works. Of his books, I've read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. (By the way, if you read the latter one, also check out Tim Crouse's The Boys on the Bus for a different, but also interesting, take on that campaign.) I liked how Thompson's often-manic style was still readable, unlike some of the beats, whose manic stream of consciousness devolved into nonsense for me. And I liked how he acknowledged that the reporter is part of the story, and that some things you just can't be objective about.

Thompson wasn't one of those writers who kept to a regular publication schedule, and he wasn't large enough on my radar that I was always looking for a new piece. But I always smiled when I saw a new one, either on ESPN or in RS. I liked that he would sort of surprise me with the newest odd musing, much like he surprised Bill Murray with a late-night phone call to discuss shotgun golf. I'll miss that.

UPDATE: Various commenters have noted that Thompson was in declining health and some amount of pain in advance of his suicide, and that his suicide was more pre-planned than I assumed above. (I recall hearing he was having trouble getting around, but I was still surprised by the venue of his death, as opposed to out in the woods or something.) Anyway, according to this update, Thompson's family wants to fire his remains out of a cannon. They are apparently looking into the legality of that action. My guess is that no one's going to get in trouble for it if they do it on his fortified compound. But the reason I added this was because it reminded me that there is indeed a precedent for cannon funerals. The inimitable Sarah Vowell writes movingly of her father, a gunsmith, and his desire to be blasted from a cannon of his own making, in her collection of essays Take the Cannoli. You can also hear the essay, "Shooting Dad," on the first "This American Life" sampler cd. I think you can hear it at this site, too, and try here as well.

Five for Milbarge
In the spirit of something, I dreamed up these questions for Milby. Here's a little more information to help you understand what makes him tick.

1. What is your favorite kind of pizza?

I like pizza with meat on it, and I like thin crust. I don't mind peppers, but I'm not a big fan of mushrooms, onions, or olives, which seem to be the only pizza-compatible vegetables. I guess the pizza I eat most often is Pizza Hut's Meat Lover's pizza. Sometimes I get Digiornio's three-meat pizza, which is not bad but overpriced. My favorite of all time might be from a place called Wild Bull's, which we used to order from a lot in college. They had a deal called the Butcher's Special, which was every meat topping they had. Sweet.

2. Would you rather travel to the North Pole or the South Pole?

Is there anything to do at either place? Would either one be worth seeing? I guess I have to say the North Pole, because it seems somewhat more hospitable to human habitation, and wasn't the South Pole the spot where Alien and Predator had their rumble? Best to avoid that.

3. Better Sequel: Rocky 2 or Wayne's World 2?

Wow. Been a long time since I've seen either one. This is really hard because I think Rocky II is probably the superior film (at least in terms of a sequel moving the plot rather than just copying the good parts of the original), but Wayne's World II is the one I remember better. All the Wayne's World elements I remember -- Waynestock, Kim Basinger -- are in the second one, although I remember Rob Lowe as the villain, and that was in the original. They all run together. The only thing I remember from Rocky II is that he won the fight in that one. I'm sure I had more fun watching Wayne's World II. But it might be impossible to top Stallone pretending to act and botching that deoderant commercial: "smeel mainly" instead of "smell manly." I guess the tiebreaker has to be which one I would peek in on if I ran across it in the cable guide, and the winner there is Wayne's World -- either one -- before any of the Rocky pictures.

4. Who is your favorite "Seinfeld" character?

You know, when I first saw this question, I figured it would be George, easy. I think I can identify with him, just a bit. But after thinking about it, I've got to say Elaine. I just think she was really funny, especially when she got exasperated with George. And I like how she had to struggle to keep her sanity after working with Pitt and Peterman. Plus, the episodes where she got involved with the kid from the video store, and the one with the slicer, and the one where Puddy said she was going to Hell, are just classic.

5. Recommend a museum.

Way back in the summer sometime, Energy Spatula asked for recommendations for things to see in DC, and I mentioned the National Building Museum and the Renwick Gallery. The NBM is a beautiful facility not far from Union Station, and it celebrates architecture and building. It sounds dull, but it isn't. The building itself is like another exhibit; check out the web site for more. The Renwick is part of the Smithsonian, and it is devoted to American crafts. It's in a neat old house near the White House. Some really interesting stuff in there, especially "Game Fish" and "Ghost Clock." I'm not saying these are the best museums anywhere -- for example, if you only had a day in DC, you should see some of the more famous Smithsonians or the Archives or the Holocaust Museum -- but I always recommend these two for off-the-beaten-track museums that will give you a unique experience.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

"King of the Hill" Quote of the Day
Bobby: "Dad, guess what? I joined a team!"
Hank: "A sports team?"
Bobby: "Uh-huh, wrestling. It's the best sport ever, Dad! There's no running!"
Hank: "Way to go, boy! Wrestling's a damn fine sport. Hell, it's an Olympic sport! And this is offered through the school, isn't it? Not some guy in a van with a camcorder?"

Hank: "I thought you were busy teaching girls to blow up basketballs. When did this turn into a desire to ruin wrestling?"
Peggy: "Oh, give me a break. I don't see how having a girl on the team would ruin it. Did a woman judge ruin the Supreme Court?"
Hank: "Yes, and that woman's name was Earl Warren."

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    The views presented here are personal and in no way reflect the view of my employer. In addition, while legal issues are discussed here from time to time, what you read at BTQ is not legal advice. I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. If you need legal advice, then go see another lawyer.

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