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Bulletin from Back Porch

[As you know, your blogger's favorite hangout is the back porch. Sometimes strange people wander up, like my friends John and Mike and my daughter Paris. We passed the laptop around and did a group blog. Everything had greened up after a needed summer thunderstorm. The level of tension and suffering was extremely low. Conceivably we were slightly bored and thus staved off this sensation with the emergency blogging.]

John Menditto: What is going with this West Nile thing anyway?  Somebody in west Kansas contracted West Nile.

Paris (the 14-year-old Achencritter): My dad keeps on ordering me to prepare his cheese-and-crackers. Sometimes I think that my dad is the child and I'm the adult. So helpless...

Joel: Why is the grass so green after it rains? I mean what is the chemistry of that? Nitrogen in rainfall = increased chlorophyll? Or is it just an optical illusion because the overcast skies at dusk soften the blues and reds and drives our eyes toward the middle (green area) of the spectrum?

John:  Why is the grass so green versus the ever expanding reach of West Nile?  Which blog topic to choose?  Neither of course.  Rather on this early summer eve we turn our attention to our Amazing Nats . . . yes, amazing as in You Gotta Believe . . . the parallels to the 69 Mets are remarkable . . .

Paris: You guys are boring me... Dad, no one cares about grass, and John, I don't even know what you're talking about.

Joel: Don't worry, we just post these things so the Select Audience of Fifteen will have an excuse to send flirtatious emails to each other, trying to ascertain everyone's gender and sexual preference.   

Mike Baker: It seems Joel believes his blog is the latest online dating craze.  Why didn't Kurtz cite that in his review the other day?

Joel: In the future, the success of any technology will be commensurate with its  ability to broaden and diversity the distribution of human genetic material (via dating and sex). In other words, a successful blog is one that leads directly to childbirth.

Paris: As the voice of sanity here, I say that you are crazy, father dearest, and that I somehow doubt that this blog is going to lead anyone to pregnancy. (And that, my friends, is the porch life of the Achenbachs.)

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 22, 2005; 8:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

I don't know about pregnancy, but two of my friends *did* date for a while after meeting through my blog, so you never know.

Posted by: Mara | June 23, 2005 8:33 AM | Report abuse

So, er.. Select Fifteen, uh..... what's your sign?

Posted by: TBG | June 23, 2005 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Joel,
Oh what fun! So who amongst the SAOF is hot to trot with another blogger? I know the subject of blogger gender came up the other day, but I thought it simply added some perspective/context in understanding other blogger responses.

As for online dating, I've tried it, and the old-fashioned way is MUCH better. Online, it's too easy to post the most glamorous photo ever taken of yourself and the cookie-cutter testimonial that includes how much you like to: travel to exotic places, do outdoorsy things, cook, drink wine, and have fun without ever revealing the mediocre person you really are until the first date. Better that you send a blood sample to the dating service so that you and your match can be tested for sexual chemistry because we all know that's what really matters. ;)

Posted by: TA | June 23, 2005 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to leave the whole middle aged men + daughter group blog thing alone.

Please let Paris know that pregancies result from far stupider things than this blog. See Kevid Federline and Britney Spears for a good example.

My sign is "Slower traffic keep right."

bc

Posted by: bc | June 23, 2005 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I'd just like to note that Joel's original concept of the SAOF included age and income parameters that would exclude virtually everybody who has self-selected here. I'm assuming that when the younger and richer readers show up, we'll be asked to step aside. In the meantime, though, I'm enjoying the company.

Posted by: kbertocci | June 23, 2005 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about blog-dating, but my extensive experience with online dating has made me realize that maybe picking up people in bars isn't such a bad idea.

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"I'm hot to trot for just about all of you."

Spoken like a middle-aged married guy with kids.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 23, 2005 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Paris: Keep serving cheese and crackers.

I am not sure about internet dating. But somehow I feel we will start getting an add for Harmony internet dating service instead of the toenail fungus killer.

Posted by: fdg31 | June 23, 2005 9:45 AM | Report abuse

My all-time favorite Bloom County:
Opus answers the phone and it's a telephone survey asking for his height, what kind of pants he's wearing, and his sexual preference. His answer-"Two and a half feet, none, svelte buoyant waterfowl."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 23, 2005 9:58 AM | Report abuse

It just seems that all the women's profile read pretty much the same. Although the wording varies, they all pretty much share a general them--that she is "down to earth," "loves sports," and "is comfortable looking good for a night out, or just hanging around in jeans and a t-shirt." Not that I'm saying they're being less than honest, but they read like they used some template they got out the "The Rules" or something.

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 10:16 AM | Report abuse

jw: That means probably something like:

"down to earth,"- I am not that great looking
"loves sports,"- I enjoy painting my nails while you watch football
and "is comfortable looking good for a night out, or just hanging around in jeans and a t-shirt."- I like to go shopping, do you?

Posted by: fdg31 | June 23, 2005 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Haha...exactly. I find myself doing exactly what I would do in a bar. Ignoring the profile and just looking at the pictures.

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm trolling the achenblog in search of a hot fling, I look at the size of the person's blog comment. (You know what they say about big posts...)

Posted by: Sirin | June 23, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm trolling the achenblog in search of a hot fling, I look at the size of the person's blog comment. (You know what they say about big posts...)

Posted by: Sirin | June 23, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I look for people who accidentally post the same message twice.

Posted by: me | June 23, 2005 12:03 PM | Report abuse

So how can you tell the difference between someone who accidentally posts the same message twice (the desirable one) and the sleazoid who intentionally double-posts, hoping to fool you?

Posted by: Another me | June 23, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It just posted twice by itself! I only clicked once, I swear...

Posted by: Sirin | June 23, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Another me, you're so right. It's hard to apply the Handicap Principle on the web.

Posted by: Sirin | June 23, 2005 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Re templates in singles ads: The profiles submitted by men have a certain similarity too. The same appreciation for both going out and staying in as in the female profiles, followed by references to athleticism and hobbies and comments that suggest they are not the kind of guy who spends the whole weekend watching sports on TV. And, of course, there are statements about their preferences in women, which generally involve the words "fit," "trim," "slender," and "slim," and, fairly often, "gorgeous." These or similar adjectives are then followed up by a preference in age ranges that extends from 25 years younger than their own age up to one or two years older than their own age.

Posted by: Not as young or as thin as I used to be | June 23, 2005 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Censorship is wrong, Joel.

Posted by: Achnebach | June 23, 2005 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Strangely enough, when I lived in Boston I did the boston.com personals for a while, which instead of the usual profile asked quirky questions like, "What's the most embarrassing moment you can remember?" and, "What's in your bedroom right now?" Anyway, I made my profile an anti-profile, pretty much saying that although this is what I *should* be posting, I'm going to post the truth instead.

I swear, every girl in the metro Boston asked me out!

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 2:08 PM | Report abuse

So, jw, inquiring minds have to know -- just what (or who) was in your bedroom that was the anti-profile "truth"?? And, by the way, my cousin lives in Boston and wants you to know she's ticked off you never called her again.

Posted by: grtc | June 23, 2005 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Nobody really falls for anyone based on their hobbies or lifestyle or appreciation of movies and french cuisine. Besides, even if someone sounds good on paper you can be turned off by their body language, their voice, or any number of personal traits that no one thinks to mention in a profile. Attraction is often based in things we don't even know we're perceiving; it's in the little details of a person...

Posted by: Sirin | June 23, 2005 2:52 PM | Report abuse

One of the reasons that grass is greener
after rain is that the light reactions of
photosynthesis require water. The oxygen
that plants produce through photosynth.
comes from the splitting of H2O. In the absence of water, photosynth. can not
proceed, reactive ions build up and
damage the photosynthetic aparatus (including chlorophyll) which then get broken down and plants yellow.
Rain immediately restores the ability to
perform photosynthesis, the plants produce chlorophyll to accomodate, and they
turn bright green again. Fabulously
un-boring, I think. I'm also female and prefer men.

Posted by: iowabiologist | June 23, 2005 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Iowabiologist: That's hot.

Bonus question: why green?

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 3:24 PM | Report abuse

jw: I agree with GRTC. I wonder what were the answer to those questions. I think the best place to look for guys is college, since you at least know they are somewhat intelligent.

PS: We need more cheese and crackers.

Posted by: fdg31 | June 23, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Plants have pigments that absorb, for the part, all wavelengths of light in
the visible spectrum except around 500-560 nanometers, which is green. Your brain perceives the plant as green when the unabsorbed wavelengths reflect off of the plant and hit the retinas of your beautiful blue/brown/hazel/other eyes.

Posted by: iowabiologist | June 23, 2005 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I think my answer went something like, "This is where I'm supposed to say a guitar, an iPod, a Che Guevara poster, and massage oils. This is so that you will think that I am artistic, sensitive, hip, revolutionary, and sensual. But the truth is I have a pile of dirty laundry, an unmade bed, a herd of dust buffalo...and massage oils."

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 4:03 PM | Report abuse

But it's not easy being green!

And they're blue-green. ;)

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap! I'm positively flushed!
I gotta get back to work. Nice
gabbing with you jw, you messy, dirty boy.

Posted by: iowabiologist | June 23, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Holy smokes!

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

iowabiologist-

Didn't I read something recently about small plants or bacteria that exhibited photosynthesis but didn't get sunlight because their native habitat was geothermal vents on the ocean floor?

Granted, radiative heat, and plenty of water present, but no sunlight.

and jw, keep your radiative heat to yourowndamnself. There'll be no photosynthesizing with iowabio, fdg31, Karen, or anyone else who you suspect to be a female on here. Take that stuff to AOL where it belongs. The comments to Joel's blog are for intelligent discourse...

Oh, never mind. Set your browser JVMs for "exchange genetic material", and "allow deactivation of fear and anxiety". Whatever you do peer to peer's got nothing to do with me.

Please practice safe data transfers.

bc

Posted by: bc | June 23, 2005 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Joel started it!

Joel: Don't worry, we just post these things so the Select Audience of Fifteen will have an excuse to send flirtatious emails to each other, trying to ascertain everyone's gender and sexual preference.

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Allright, jw, Joel may have baited TSA15, I forgive you, but let's make sure that we don't get a ticket from the blogmasters for "commenting while ossified", ok?

bc

Posted by: bc | June 23, 2005 8:27 PM | Report abuse

TSA15 sounds like some sort of street gang.

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2005 10:33 PM | Report abuse

LOL it does. Or more like we are Transporation Security Administration workers.

Posted by: fdg31 | June 23, 2005 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I've been trying to get Joel in the sack ever since he started this blog. I'm beginning to think he's not interested.

Posted by: Ryan | June 24, 2005 5:13 AM | Report abuse

Stop hanging out with Menditto, this is bad news, before you know you'll start hearing deranged mid life crisis stories about what a great soccer player he was.

Posted by: JJ | July 22, 2005 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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