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Amateur Hour Over

The Big Dog is back, as of Monday. You won't have us cheap immitations to kick around any more. It's been a privilege. I promise to come up with another Dumb Question soon, unless that is a threat. Shroder out.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 8, 2005; 6:26 PM ET
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Next: Who's Been Eating My Porridge?


That's definitely a promise, not a threat. The Dumber, the better!

Posted by: Tom fan | July 8, 2005 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Look forward to it =o)

Gift Ideas For Girls

Posted by: Keith | July 9, 2005 2:32 AM | Report abuse

okay, can i ask a dumb question? how do people keep inserting hypertext into their names? i tried, but it just strips it out...

Posted by: edward | July 9, 2005 9:57 AM | Report abuse

That is not a dumb question. That is a highly technical, computer geek question. I was just at the Apple store where the nice geeks at the "Genius Bar" fixed my computer by changing out the power supply, which was burning up and making an awful smell. I'm so glad to have a fully functioning computer again! I hope a computer guru comes to your aid as quickly! Here's a good question for a Saturday - are Apple computer repair guys really geniuses? Or, to rephrase as an SAT question, geek is to genius as .... ???

Posted by: bostonreader | July 9, 2005 1:53 PM | Report abuse

just testing

Posted by: kbertocci | July 9, 2005 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Sara, you're right, I had to see for myself. HTML is not the entire answer. (I typed in the html for a mailto: hyperlink for my name in the above post and it didn't work.)

Posted by: kbertocci | July 9, 2005 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The emergence of these hypertext links is a key phase in the development of the Achenblog as a blogohedron. The next phase will come when people figure out how to enable comments on their own comments. As the Achenblog's tentacles stretch further and further into the blogoshphere, it will be possible to spend days lost in Achenspace. Let's hope some enterprising Achenblogger can work out how to open a Starbucks in there.

Posted by: Achenfan | July 9, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear Tom,

I have to say, in all honesty, that compared to our other subs, Marc and Sydney, you seemed a little too distracted by your day job to give sufficient attention to the adoring hordes of bloggers who were awaiting your pronouncements here on the A-blog.

However, I must mention that I am also something of a "Tom fan" in the sense of being a longtime Herald Tropic reader, the cover-to-cover kind. I'm sure I read every editorial you ever wrote in that mag and I often appreciated your wit and wisdom.

Thanks for stopping in, and, as for the Stupid Questions, "Bring 'em on!"

Posted by: kbertocci | July 9, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Tom spent a lot of time agonizing over what he was going to write and then suffered a crisis of confidence at the last minute -- he didn't think his Dumb Question about coincidence was good enough for the blog. Sometimes editors can freeze up when they have to write.
Or maybe he just didn't want to upstage Joel.

Posted by: Achenfan | July 9, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I was very sad to read of the death of Judy Mann, longtime columnist at the Post, who was a trailblazer for women in journalism and everywhere else. Am wondering if any of you guys knew her and have any anecdotes to share...

Posted by: Virginia in DC | July 9, 2005 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Yup, I did the same thing kbertocci and it didn't work. I was a little disappointed. I thought I had figured it out.

Posted by: Sara | July 10, 2005 12:00 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Test | July 10, 2005 8:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Test | July 10, 2005 8:28 PM | Report abuse

last attempt

Posted by: a href=""Last Attempt/a | July 10, 2005 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Another test

Posted by: Take me to Google? | July 11, 2005 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Joel should write a blog on how to hyperlink our names...

Posted by: Sara | July 11, 2005 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Here's Joel on NPR:

Results of my weekend research: If you type html code into the comments section, you will get an error message that says "this blog does not accept html-formatted comments." But then if you hit "post" again, it will post with the link. If you fill out the form with your email address and name before you click on "post", your name will appear as a link to your email address.

Also, if you type a URL including the http:// it will format as a link. But I think we already knew that.

Here's Joel on NPR:

Posted by: kbertocci | July 11, 2005 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I need to retract part of that comment. I haven't been able to insert an html link into the comments section; all the html code just disappears and the link is the url. I thought I had it figured out, darn. All I can do is make my name a link to any website, but SOMEBODY did put a link in the comments--remember the girls' shopping page??

Posted by: kbertocci | July 11, 2005 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I see unmarked black choppers overhead... Joel, are you busy chasing another story?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | July 11, 2005 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I would really like to be able to delete my previous comment. I'm just digging myself deeper and deeper into the pit of error. But, by trial and error, mostly the latter, it is finally clear. The girls' shopping page link was a link from a name, not a link in the comments.

So, Joel, all this thinking out loud and experimenting really junked up your blog, and I am REALLY sorry!!! Maybe you can have one of your numerous assistants go through and delete the comments that are "just testing" and so on.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 11, 2005 10:14 AM | Report abuse

So we put our e-mail before our name in the "Name" section, it will post as a link to our e-mail?

And why do I care to know so much?

Posted by: Sara | July 11, 2005 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Sara: Sorry my comments above were so confusing. Blame it on Monday morning.

If you type html code into the comments section, you will get an error message that says "this blog does not accept html-formatted comments." But at that point, a form will pop up with a place for name, email address and URL. If you fill out the form with your email address and name your name will appear as a link to your email address. If you fill in your name and a URL, your name will appear as a link to the site.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 11, 2005 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh. Okay. Great, thanks!

Posted by: Sara | July 11, 2005 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Okay, time to test your theory out.

Posted by: edward | July 11, 2005 12:16 PM | Report abuse

You go, edward.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 11, 2005 1:59 PM | Report abuse

So did you get more posts than Fisher?

Posted by: fdg31 | July 11, 2005 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The next time Joel needs a break why don't you use someone with some real talent at keeping the banter interesting.
I recently discovered Mary at and think she is ready for the Big Leagues.
And no, I have never met her or had any communication with her other than a posting earlier today that she should forget about that waitress job she is looking for and apply to the Washington Post.

Posted by: CreativeLee | July 11, 2005 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The guy who wrote all thos comments above is the same one who translates the manuals for Japanese products!


Posted by: mary | July 11, 2005 4:03 PM | Report abuse

As I said previously

Posted by: CreativeLee | July 11, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

All your base are belong to us.

Posted by: jw | July 11, 2005 5:19 PM | Report abuse

How did this happen? Harris's office told Database--a firm with strong Republican ties-to cast as wide a net as possible to get rid of these voters. Her minions instructed the company to include even people with "similar" names to those of the actual felons. They insisted Database check people with the same birth dates as known felons, or similar Social Security numbers; an 80 percent match of relevant information, the election office instructed, was sufficient for Database to add a voter to the ineligible list.

Posted by: Zach0t | August 5, 2005 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Mozzila Firefox i s one of the best browsers aviable on the net. Also I think IE was sux and will ever sux.

Posted by: Zg00sh | August 9, 2005 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Three phrases should be among the most common in our daily usage. They are: Thank you, I am grateful and I appreciate.

Posted by: enzyte | December 2, 2005 7:40 AM | Report abuse

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