November 01, 2003


This post comes to you direct from Kent State University, scene of a notoriously enthusiastic National Guard deployment some decades back. A link may exist between campus friendliness and shootings; the only happier university I've visited in the US is the University of Texas, where Charles Whitman went wild. Another happy place is Florida State, a Ted Bundy hunting ground.

But enough of homicide and specious contentment theories. Last night in Youngsville, Ohio, I met a bunch of US air force guys. All had recently served in the Middle East. They refused to let me pay for any drinks, and I refused to let them pay for any drinks. Somehow, despite all this refusing, an appalling number of drinks were consumed.

Next stop is Chicago. I'm driving a '91 Cadillac; it's 200 feet long, weighs 14 tons, and is powered by a WWII tank engine. Actually, the engine is an aluminium V8, a curious concession to modernity in a design closer to 1963 than 1991. The power steering is so extreme that an imbalance in fingernail weight could send you spearing into oncoming traffic. Suspension? It's only now reacting to bumps encountered two days ago in New Jersey. Kinda floaty.

Still, the thing is loaded with character. I love it.

Too many things to do to be able to blog much. Usual output will resume in several days. (And a reminder: the usual e-mail address is still busted, so send to the address listed a few posts below.)

Posted by Tim Blair at November 1, 2003 05:01 AM

Entry problem number 2 fixed.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 2, 2003 at 12:05 AM


Would that be YoungsTOWN rather than YoungsVILLE, by any chance?

Posted by: Dean Douthatd at November 2, 2003 at 12:45 AM

When you get there, please gives Lileks our regards, eh?

Posted by: Ric at November 2, 2003 at 01:48 AM

Lileks suggested "an Australian" may be visiting him...

Meanwhile Tim is working his way west across the USA...

This can only mean one thing:

Lileks is going to meet Paul Hogan! That is so cool! "G'day, Mite!"

Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at November 2, 2003 at 02:59 AM


I drive a Lincoln, named for the great emancipator, and capable of hauling *two* corpses in the trunk (boot to youse limeys)

Rides better, too, without that annoying big-brotheeerish On-Star spyware.

Posted by: djugashvili at November 2, 2003 at 03:10 AM

As an Ohio native (if current resident of North Carolina), I have to second Dean's question, above: would that be YoungsTOWN? Home of YSU (where my grandfather was Provost)? Located along the Monongahela River?

There is a YoungsVILLE in Ohio, but WTF is there for an internationally acclaimed blogger (and Australian journalist) in Adams County - especially with Cincinnati so close?

Posted by: James Dasher at November 2, 2003 at 03:47 AM

Hey Tim:
Okay, did you pickup a copy of that great small town newspaper, the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier? I guess it's still publishing?

First newspaper job for me was reporting for it. Covering trustees meetings, school board/city council meetings, and those always exciting zoning APPEALS BOARD meetings.

Hey, that's real reporting folks. I'd like to see cupcake Katie Couric cover a zoning appeals board meeting. Fistfights, name-calling, yelling, screaming - politics at its finest.

Enough about me talking about me; anyone else what to talk about me? (hell, at least I didn't refer to myself in the third person).


Posted by: SteveMG at November 2, 2003 at 03:50 AM

OK, the question is, are you driving a proper caddy, one with a proper big honkin' v-8, RWD, that is so big that you have to stop every 100 miles or so to scrape off the odd Mini that gets in the way, or are you driving one of those nancyboy FWD caddies?

Posted by: John Bono at November 2, 2003 at 05:33 AM

Just remember: the RIGHT side.

Posted by: mojo at November 2, 2003 at 06:25 AM

A very sick joke making the rounds about 15 years ago:

Dan Quayle WANTED to kill communists but his National Guard unit never got sent to Kent State.

Okay. Minneapolis is reknowned for many wonderful lunch places. Hope that you and Lileks have a great lunch that lasts many hours. Try Grainbelt beer, too.

Posted by: JDB at November 2, 2003 at 06:48 AM

"I have to second Dean's question, above: would that be YoungsTOWN? Home of YSU (where my grandfather was Provost)? Located along the Monongahela River?"

The Monogahela river meets the Allegheny at Pittsburgh to form the Ohio. Youngstown is 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Posted by: ralph at November 2, 2003 at 07:49 AM

"Youngsville" is Australian for Youngstown. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and meet Jimes Lotox in Minorappolis.

Posted by: tim at November 2, 2003 at 07:53 AM

Have a good time in Minneapolis! Try to have Lileks get you to Sweeney's out here in St. Paul. Wish I'd gotten to meet ya. Enjoy the fabulous weather!

Posted by: Dylan at November 2, 2003 at 08:26 AM

Chicago? Did you say Chicago?

As previously discussed, Chicago pizza.

Uno or Due's downtown's the ticket.

Enjoy that "toddlin' town."

Posted by: joe at November 2, 2003 at 08:54 AM

Tim- be sure to mention that the urinal in the bathroom was a little high. Heh.

Posted by: rosignol at November 2, 2003 at 10:28 AM

Beware small children stuffed with Halloween candy.

Posted by: Lee at November 2, 2003 at 10:34 AM

Cadillacs really lost their class in the Carter administration- up until then, they were a land-based aircraft carrier; you could hold a rock gig in the rear seat, they had an engine bigger than the average nuclear power station, and would empty Iraq's oil reserves in a trip to the pub- that's what I call a car. (And also cornered like an out-of-control mexican watermelon truck).

Posted by: Habib at November 2, 2003 at 10:58 AM

Be sure you say hello to Steve Bartman while in Chicago, but I would not mention the Cubs...

Posted by: mark at November 2, 2003 at 11:42 AM

Youngstown is the birthplace of the one and only Ed O'Neil, otherwise known as Al Bundy. Nice to know you're having a good time Tim:)

Posted by: gaz at November 2, 2003 at 12:24 PM

I hope you brought a house gift for Mr. Lileks. I hear he likes Hummel figures.

Posted by: Polly at November 2, 2003 at 02:18 PM

Or perhaps a fine Australia table wine, made from the finest Australian tables.

Posted by: Andrew at November 2, 2003 at 02:24 PM

So, could you confirm my suspicions and tell us how ae things at Jasperwood?

Posted by: James A. Wolf at November 2, 2003 at 02:30 PM

OK, I guess someone pointed out already that the Mon doesn't go through Y-town, though the reason why is that it approaches Pittsburgh from the south. The actual river in question is the Mahoning.

Stop anywhere in Pennsylvania on your way, Tim?

Posted by: Evan McElravy at November 2, 2003 at 04:01 PM

Lotox, is that Alstrailian for Botox or Lite Beer?

Posted by: Jabba the Nutt at November 3, 2003 at 01:48 AM

Hillary had a listening tour before running for the US Senate for New York. Your listening tour spans the USA, will you be running for President?

Posted by: Jabba the Nutt at November 3, 2003 at 01:50 AM

Tim Blair - spotted in posh Minneapolis nightclub last night. For all the details, check out;

Fraters Libertas

Posted by: Saint Paul at November 3, 2003 at 01:54 AM

Is someone paying you for this? If so, is it Hunter Thompson who made millions doing this same thing 30 years ago. Head south, it's still warm there and people have never heard of Australia.

Posted by: blotto at November 3, 2003 at 08:52 AM

Apart from Roquefort cheese and a tendency to abandon aged parents in summer, what do the French have that Australia does not?

The power to hold suspected terrorists in custody indefinitely. Incredibly, the Australian Labor Party along with the Greens and Democrats) is opposing moves to extend the custody period.

Here's how the Australian law currently works:

Police: Are you a terrorist?
Suspected terrorist: No.
Police: Are you sure?
Suspected terrorist: Yes.
Police: That's OK then.
Suspected terrorist: Can I go now?
Police: Sure. Shut the door on your way out.

Tim, get on the case.

Posted by: ilibcc at November 3, 2003 at 11:39 AM

Yeah Tim, quit goofin' off and get on the case.

Rustle up some decent terrorists over there and bring 'em back here quicksmart - all we got rotting away in our desert gulags are a bunch of lame reffos and their underperforming kids!!!

Posted by: Miranda Divide at November 3, 2003 at 12:59 PM

I want a new liver.

Posted by: Lileks at November 3, 2003 at 01:23 PM

Confucius say: beware leaky Cadillac bearing thirsty stranger.

Posted by: iowahawk at November 3, 2003 at 02:44 PM

Lileks says "think I’m having a houseguest this weekend. Don’t know for sure. Never met the guy, but I read his website"...

Interesting adaptation of evolutionary game-theory to the cyber-age. If "Crocodile" pees all over the Lilecian guest couch, or if James hands the departing "Crocodile" an itemised bill for all toilet-paper used at 50 cents per sheet, the other can wreak horrible vengeance by cyber-defaming him. In the absence of either prior personal contacts or a powerful centralised world state, these guys know they can trust one another.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at November 3, 2003 at 03:51 PM

I put one of Margo's recent Web-Diary pieces through the Gender Genie: Guess what? According to Gender Genie, Margo's male (now I bet that didn't surprise anyone here. When informed that Margo claims to be female, GG said that she's "one butch chick".

Posted by: David at November 3, 2003 at 04:27 PM

Hey David, so f**king what?

Posted by: Miranda Divide at November 3, 2003 at 10:05 PM


Are the rumors that you have Hillary bound with duct tape stashed in the trunk of that Caddy true?   And shame on your for leaving the Big Apple before we could get together!


P.S. If you do have Hillary in your trunk, please take her back home to Oz with you...

Posted by: Spart at November 4, 2003 at 12:46 AM

No Tim, if you do have Hillary, please go home by way of France and drop her off in her native habitat. (Please Spart, Australia is a FRIEND -- I would wish Hillary only on our enemies)

Posted by: rabidfox at November 4, 2003 at 12:54 AM

Hving had the Caddy "experience" once too often, I now prefer the luxurious Chrysler Cordoba replete with fine corinthian leather. Tim, you might also try the 1971-72 Ford Country Squire Wagon. There's room for 2 small kegs under the floor if you remove the brat seats aft. Double 500 begins in March. Don't miss it. DRunk driving is an art form.

Posted by: Doc at November 4, 2003 at 01:36 AM

Hey, Miranda, you seem to have taken that a bit personally. Any reason?

(No, I'm not the same David as above.)

Posted by: david at November 4, 2003 at 02:58 AM

Hey, hey, hey Timo. You just leave our Lileks alone. Leave him be.

Us Yanks don't got to Australia and mess around with your Margo Kinston. Okay?



Posted by: SteveMG at November 4, 2003 at 12:01 PM

Okay, Kingston not Kinston.

Spellchecker crashes every time I type it.


Posted by: SteveMG at November 4, 2003 at 12:36 PM

I'm starting to get worried. Last I saw Blair, I pointed him in the direction of Iowa, and wished him well. Nothing since. For all we know he's in a field in Clear Lake lighting small candles for the memory of the Big Bopper, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Lileks at November 4, 2003 at 02:18 PM

Hey, Bro. Lileks, have fun reading the Australian constitution on the teatowel. Nothing in there are about life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, or slavery, or who takes over when a lone gunman tops the President. It's all about dividing up the excise duties among the States. This is the land of Jeremy Bentham, not Jefferson.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at November 4, 2003 at 02:40 PM

Based on the recent weather, my question right now is: How well does the Cadillac drive in snow?

Posted by: John at November 4, 2003 at 04:16 PM

Lileks: Thank you for feeding / housing the Aussie. I have no idea when he'll arrive here in Reno. And if he's dead in a snowbank somewhere ... well, who would know? Anyway, if he's not already dead I'll kill the sumbitch when he gets here -- if by "kill" you mean "stuff with steak and booze."

Related: I'd never met Blair in the flesh until he showed up at BWI airport about four years ago. Sure, we were Innernut pals and such, and he was the Aussie Bureau Chief for, but he hadn't yet appeared in human form. Shockingly, we spent a week drinking wine on the porch at my D.C. / Arlington place, and I've been trying to escape his mad schemes ever since.

Posted by: Ken Layne at November 4, 2003 at 09:50 PM

Tim Blair is driving a Cadillac through America. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Posted by: Darren at November 5, 2003 at 05:55 AM

I hope Tim goes to Carhenge.

Posted by: Donnah at November 5, 2003 at 07:36 AM

I had no idear who this "Lileks" fellow was, but probably my favorite blog was one called "Mean Mister Mustard"...a college student at Berkely, University of California, the most leftist college in the United States...Mean Mister Mustard was a brilliant, brilliant blogger, capable of the greatest written humor man has ever seen. He kept worshipping this fellow named "Lileks" day in day out. I never knew who this Lileks was, but Mean Mister Mustard chastised me everyday for not knowing. That this mysterious legend, greater than Jesus, called Lileks, posts here now and then is sort of a tease of genius, since Lileks refuses to endear his full genius in a single and tiny post...but I have learned that Lileks, at full blast, is a force to be reckoned with. Wow, I says.

Posted by: Matt from Vegas at November 5, 2003 at 08:56 PM

Stop talking about my hometown, I'm starting to miss Minneapolis. D.C. just isn't close to the Minnesota nice, Twins baseball, and(previously mentioned) great lunch places. Sigh..

Posted by: Greg Sanders at November 6, 2003 at 10:14 AM

If you're too busy to blog too much do us all a favour and give up altogether.

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Posted by: job at November 11, 2003 at 06:57 PM

Hmm, commercial surrealism anyone/.

Posted by: John F at November 11, 2003 at 08:08 PM