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Messages in the Clouds

    This morning there are high, lenticular clouds, scaly and thin -- sheets of ice particles higher than the airplanes. I discern a message about a change in seasons. Seasonal change is to be embraced, for it leads to reinvention, a change of behavior, new goals. But the end of summer can also be difficult, with its sudden demands for grown-up behavior, hard work, dry-cleaned clothes, new schoolmates, an upgraded backpack, a snazzier lunchbox. The return to routine will be a relief for those exhausted by their death-march vacations (for fun, let's drive from one end of California to the other and visit every  city, village, fruit stand, theme park, rock outcropping and paleoseismological site in between!).

    [In-house note: Tomorrow I fly to Japan for a week, and will try to blog from there, but at the moment I'm in a mild panic, because I haven't packed, or looked at a map, or figured out where the hotel is, or watched "Lost in Translation," or learned how to say, in Japanese, such key phrases as "Where's the Hooters?"]

     September also means a return, full bore, to politics. Roberts hearings. Iraq 24-7. Off-year elections. Spending bills. The Cindy Sheehan protest has become a national phenomenon, and she's coming to Washington Sept. 24 to start a permanent vigil outside the White House. A protest sign in Crawford says "How Many More?", which is straight from Neil Young's great song "Ohio" (for those of you tracking the Iraq-Vietnam parallels). The president, meanwhile, went to Idaho a couple of days ago and gave that speech about why he went to war. It was primarily a recap of what he's said before. (As someone recently pointed out, presidents have to play a certain cheerleader-in-chief role during wartime, and it can be frustrating for those who would like a point-by-point, unvarnished audit of what's really going on, how long will this take, how many more, etc.) Bush said: "Our approach can be summed up this way: As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." Military action ideally doesn't depend on the stand-up behavior of other nations. The news today isn't encouraging. Maybe it will all look better, and make more sense, and seem less tragic, in September.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 26, 2005; 7:42 AM ET
 
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Comments

How many more is a good question.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | August 26, 2005 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Sheehan etc., this is from Linda Loomis, who is at Camp Casey, posted on the previous blog item:

Comments on the Washington Post photo series of Camp Casey/Camp Qualls, starting with number 5.
Joan Baez performing:
This, too, must be an earlier photo, as Baez performed on the stage Wednesday night. Her three-octave voice is still strong, beautiful and sure--as she hits all the notes with confidence. (She is as thin as a reed without an ounce of body fat and extremely attractive. Born in '41, she does not look her age. She is very supportive of Sheehan and they hug with great affection.) I didn't do my homework before traveling there. I didn't realize her father was a physicist who was working/teaching at MIT about the time my cousin Alfred Lee Loomis was developing his Rad Lab at MIT and formulating plans for getting the Berkeley cyclotron built. She is generous to Sheehan supporters who are her fans. She signs autographs graciously and even autographed a six-string Martin guitar a volunteer from Houston had brought with him. The man's wife was working with me to sew three king-sized sheets together to make the "movie screen" that night. I have another story from her performance on Wed. night that shows Sheehan has a sense of humor.
Sheehan and the "life-size" drawing of her son:
This painted portrait of Casey Sheehan is not "life-size" but "wall-sized." It was created and hung in anticipation of Sheehan's return from Los Angeles. I was at the Crawford Peace House of Camp Qualls when this photo must have been taken, but this one canvas and its image is a real emotional trigger for Sheehan. She gazed at it and spoke on Wednesday night, recalling stories of Casey as a boy, and broke into a cascade of tears.
Fort Qualls:
This is just a few steps from the main intersection that criss-crosses Crawford. I visited shortly before 4 p.m. I was the only visitor and there were probably five volunteers inside. I had finally gotten my wide-brimmed hat out of my car in order to wander Crawford's main street in the intense heat. Camp Qualls is quite small as far as footage, but those there manage to ring--occasionally and loudly--the very large freedom bell a few steps away and in front of the retail business/souvenir shop that is aligned with the pro-Bush supporters.
Pro-Bush signs:
These are hung on the fence opposite the pro-Sheehan supporters in Camp I. The pro-Bush camp was just getting more organized and more populated on Wednesday morning and into the afternoon. Just beyond the curve of Camp Casey I as it leads back to Crawford, pro-Bush supporters were beginning to erect a camp like Camp Casey II. They had brought one portalet and erected a shade tent that would accommodate about 10 people at most. The joke is about the strength of the organizing effort. How can you compare a camp with one portalet versus Camp Casey II (cleanest portalets I have EVER used)which boasts nine? Now, there's potty humor for you!
Crawford resident hanging pro-Bush sign on his fence:
There are a number of pro-Bush signs and displays at various residences on the road out to the Camp Caseys. When I first arrived in Crawford on Wed. around 8 a.m., I arrived hungry and ate at the Crawford Coffee Station. The first person to talk to me was a reporter from the Fort Worth Star Telegram who began to interview me before I had gotten my first forkful of fried eggs into my mouth. He asked me how I could eat in "the enemy's camp," more or less. I replied that I was hungry. The employees of businesses in town approach cautiously and with reserve. They are not friendly or cheerful as they were in 2002 when we first traveled through Crawford, and even less outgoing than they were when Michael Moore's movie was screened in town at the football field parking lot in July 2004.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Cool, spending a week about a gazillion time zones away. Just when your brain gets used to it, it will be time to return. You need to stay for about a month. Remember, slurp those noodles with a vengence.

Posted by: LB | August 26, 2005 11:36 AM | Report abuse

More from Loomis:

The Washington Post has a series of photos on Camp Casey and Camp Qualls at Crawford, Texas in its online edition today. I would like to comment:
Camp Casey II:
This is a very early photo taken when the camp was probably being erected. It does not show the small air-conditioned trailer that Sheehan and Baez use; nor the campers and their tents to the rear of the giant tent and at the front of the giant tent (Camp Casey II is nicknamed "the Hilton"--the tents at the front were beginning to come down on Wed. in anticipation of the weekend influx); nor the tents of the small chapel and photo display; nor the numerous small, white crosses; the now-nine portalets; the media encampment near the portalets; and the expanded loading and unloading area, as well as the "Welcome" tent. The photo is certainly devoid of people. The camp is near to the second security checkpoint into Bush's Prairie Chapel ranch.
David Jensen in his truck:
This is Camp Casey I. There is the occasional tree. This is taken on the side road that branchjes off from the original camp and its triangle. There are some tall shade trees along the triangle where the temperature is probably five to 10 degrees cooler. A woman at Camp Casey II was in Waco for the noon rally protesting the closure of the VA psychiatric hospital there and noted a Waco bank sign showing the temperature of 103 degrees. Camping is limited along the ditch of this road and the ditch is narrow--the width of a vehicle. Too bad the phtographer didn't take photos of the solar showers--one with a shower curtain, the other without. Marq Anderson of Eyes Wide Open and I believed you could become scalded by attempting to shower because the sun is that intense.
Prayer vigil:
Every night at 8 p.m. there is a prayer vigil in front of the crosses--shortly before sunset during the long twilight. Susan House wept bitterly at the crosses on Wednesday night, comforted by Sheehan. To start the vigil, Baez sang without her guitar, followed by the ex-Marine bugler played taps. It was extremely moving. I am to the left rear in the photo in the blue top, talking to a woman from North Carolina, who came with others on a bus. She's not certain how she'll get home. I see that I should spend less time on this blog and concentrate more on Sally Squires Lean Plate Club.
Camp Casey I, man exercising before the crosses:
There are 840 crosses. This is an earlier photo, possibly taken as late as Tues. evening. I was at Camp Casey II three different times on Wednesday, leaving the last time at 10 p.m., after Sheehan spoke at some length to those present. In my headlights, I could see Bush placards on the left hand side of the road, in the ditch, stretching as far down the road as the crosses. The pro-Bush supporters are fighting force with force, as far as the use of the ditch is concerned.
This is getting long, so I'll post on the last four photos in a different

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Sorry it's out of order and chopped off.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Also I would like to apologize for the fact that I probably misused the word "lenticular" just now.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 11:47 AM | Report abuse

that's ok, I don't even know what it means

Posted by: LB | August 26, 2005 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I would like to apologize for my hair problems on MSNBC. The newsroom desperately needs a stylist.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I was all impressed with the "lenticular"--wasn't even looking it up, thinking I could learn its meaning from the context; oh, it means, like, scaly and thin? OK, that is what it means, now I looked it up, it means "like a lentil." That is a great word!!

It's great that you are here today, all dedicated to the blog, even though you are now a television personality, and with, I may say, excellent reviews.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, I wish I'd seen the MSNBC thing.

And speaking of changes in the seasons. I thought the seasons were changing here because the weather was beautiful and perfect and fall like and I was overjoyed because I love fall. But now it's hot and humid and dreary and summer-like again.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 11:55 AM | Report abuse

In my drive intown, I listened to Diane Rhem Show week in review ... I was struck that, even on that show, there was a fair amount of Cindy Sheehan bashing.

It seems that there are so many people trying to spin what Ms. Sheehan is saying. Luckily, on Air America Radio, they have actually been playing what she has said in their entirety and I have to say that it puts all those spinning pundits to shame.

I would suggest that it wouldn't hurt anyone to hear Sheehan in her own words. I thank you Joel and Linda for sharing a bit of what is going on in Crawford with us. I personally have been struck with the simple nature of her message. Simple questions and simple hopes, though at the same time, priceless.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | August 26, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse

As one who can ask where the Hooters is in many languanges (Japanese: Hooters wa, doko deska?) I can tell you the real problem is not knowing how to ask, it is understanding the response.

Posted by: Steve | August 26, 2005 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that being interviewed on TV makes you a TV personality. I saw an interview done with Charles Manson once, not that I am comparing him with Joel mind you.

Posted by: LB | August 26, 2005 12:00 PM | Report abuse

A favorite from childhood:

"Something Told the Wild Geese"

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered--"Snow."

Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned--"Frost."

All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly--
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

-Rachel Field

Posted by: not Shakespeare, but... | August 26, 2005 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Linda, for the great reporting. The Achenblog has its person on the spot! Maybe the Post could upload a lenticular picture.

Posted by: jarmuschguy | August 26, 2005 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I would like to apologize in advance to the Japanese people for my cultural insensitivities and for trying to start up conversations by mentioning Bridge on the River Kwai and so forth.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, I am back. I don't even get a welcome back from Achenbach and now I just read that you are leaving again?

This Cindy Sheehan is quite a character. Does she even pays a mortgage? I mean are we going to read about her in newr U.S. History textbooks?

Posted by: fdg31 | August 26, 2005 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Like I've mentioned before, I'm ambivilant about the spectacle created by Ms. Sheehan, though I recognize it may result in genuine debate and perhaps some constructive attention from Congress. However, I find the partisan tactic of attacking the messanger to undermine the message old and irritating. Americans have a good sense of equilibrium; I trust that they'll continue to disregard the partisans and begin to push for a practical and fair resolution to the Iraqui Quagmire.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael, I share your sentiments. Well put.

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The Bataan death march is always a good ice breaker too.

Posted by: LB | August 26, 2005 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Oppai ni kyoumi ga aru n da yo. Huutaazu wa doko da?

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Mahousu | August 26, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

One of the best Fawlty Towers episodes had Basil Fawlty trying to talk to German tourists without "mentioning the war".

Posted by: jarmuschguy | August 26, 2005 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Joel,
Don't forget your "Snot House" shirt. Or at least bring one back for Weingarten.

Posted by: jarmuschguy | August 26, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and achen-san, have a good time in Japan.

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Just remember, if you wake up in the middle of the night in Japan and can't get back to sleep because of the jet lag, you can always pass the time by blogging. Or even 'boodling -- we'd definitely settle for 'boodling.

As for the war, what disturbs me more than the fact that the president is asking us to have blind faith -- to accept his strategy without questioning -- is that so many people are in fact willing to do just that. That sort of willingness is what got us into this mess in the first place. The president can get away with not providing details, because a lot of folks don't seem to need details, aren't really interested in them. They are behind the president whatever he may do, not because of his skills as a military strategist but because of his stance on totally unrelated issues like stem-cell research and gay marriage. That's what I find REALLY scary. And not just scarey -- unfathomable. (I realize I'm not saying anything new here.)

It's an absurd and hopeless situation that would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad, so alarming. Maybe we're better off without the details. A person could go crazy trying to make sense of the nonsensical.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 26, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of clouds, Japan, and cultural insensitivity, I recently learned that the 2nd atomic bomb was to be dropped on Kokura, but because of the thick cloud cover (like that would've made any difference) the pilot flew to Nagasaki. Maybe you could go to Kokura and ask the denizens for their thoughts? Now that was an August day to be savored!

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach:
THANK you so much for reposting my experiences from Crawford, Texas, and Camp Caseys and Camp Qualls.

It was a comedy of errors that I didn't spend the night Wednesday at Camp Casey II. Joan Baez slept out under the stars that night, as was my intent. I made three trips to Camp Casey on Wednesday, but had to retreat to the Crawford Peace House in town because I realized after being at Camp Casey II for several hours in the morning and drinking lots of iced, bottled water, that, with my rare genetic disorder of the endocrine system, I was still not handling the heat well.

I hitched a ride back to the Peace House with Marq Anderson (spelled Mark but the typo has perpetuated itself in the press for a number of years and I had no idea who he was when I asked for the ride) of Eyes Wide Open, who is national tour manager for the traveling "boots project." In the afternoon, after UPS delivered only three of the five boxes of boots that had been shipped via the Crawford Peace House, Marq asked me to ride with him so he could deliver to Camp Casey II the three boxes that had arrived.

Marq actually needed my help in finding his way back to Camp Casey II (he began to turn left from the Peace House, when he needed to go right, to go west). Earlier, I was able to see Casey Sheehan's boots, which were brought separately and were in the trunk of Anderson's rental car. A conversation with Marq is a story in and of itself about his experiences bringing the boots exhibit to various sites around the nation and the very way in which he became involved with the project--which involved a great deal of sweet serendipity.

I share the following as I wrote it to a friend from home around 5 p.m. yesterday, Thursday. I was home as of yesterday morning--contrary to Joel's post. I include it only to give a timeline and sense of my short trip:

I returned from Crawford at 7:50 a.m. this morning. At 2 p.m., when my legs were covered in a welter of "wall-to-wall" bites (I was trying to sleep in the back seat of my Honda next to the Peace House), I figured I couldn't take it any more--couldn't take the bugs, couldn't take the oppressive heat (nor the hourly and extremely loud train horn as the Peace House parking lot is next to the train tracks).

I got up at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, pushed off at 4:30 a.m., arriving Crawford around 8 a.m. The trip was an interesting one, to be sure. Saw much and spoke to a number of people. By coincidence, spent a portion of my time with Marq Anderson of Philly, who heads "Eyes Wide Open." Liked him immensely and enjoyed our conversations. Saw Cindy Sheehan from a very close vantage point (and could have approached her if I had chosen to do so); heard Joan Baez perform. There is nothing like being there and seeing everything firsthand. I had problems coping with the heat--it was 103 degrees in Waco on Wednesday, but I shall NEVER regret the experience.

Could not make it all the way home without feeeling drowsy, so at 4 a.m. pulled into a church parking lot in Johnson City, LBJ's hometown. Slept in the back seat of my Honda until exactly 6 a.m., then, not fully awake, pushed off for San Antone. Got into horrendous commute traffic, which probably delayed my arrival home by 45 minutes. Today, I have been, for the most part, catching up on the sleep deficit.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 26, 2005 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I fear Bush's final raison d'être for the Iraq Debacle will be that he did it for Middle East Peace. Don't forget to buy something wacky out of a Japanse vending machine. And bring me back a Japanese schoolgirl outfit!

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It used to be that having UCLA apparel was a good icebreaker. Japanese kids saw UCLA (pronounced "Uke-raH") as emblemic of LA and thus American culture. I'd check into this before buying UCLA sweatshirts, thought. They may have moved on to the University of Washington.

Also, is there any way we could get a reply of your MSNBC interview? Some of us were indisposed when the broadcast was made. Thank you.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Just don't try to bring back a Japanese schoolgirl

Posted by: LB | August 26, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer - I couldn't agree more. You did a great job of articulating what I believe is the biggest problem we face right now.

Posted by: pipermkd | August 26, 2005 12:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC entry:
scary, not scarey. (I always have trouble with that one for some reason. Looked it up in the dictionary and had already forgotten how to spell it by second use.)

Re. cultural insensitivity, don't worry about it too much, Joel. They will expect it from you, and any sensitivity you DO show will come as a surprise and be appreciated.

I once went to Korea (I know, not the same thing) and was treated like a near-genius for being able to give the correct change in a store and order sushi from one of those picture menus and then sit quietly and eat it without incident.

They will expect you to be an idiot. Whatever happens, you can't lose.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 26, 2005 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I wanted to read the White House Briefing and the link in the WP homepage brought me here! Is this some kind of plot towards bringing us to blogdom?

Posted by: MxWPFan | August 26, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of death march vacations, I've always wanted a reporter to drive down some state highway (say route 1 from DC to Richmond), and read every roadside historical marker and visit every tourist trap with the word "historic" on it. Might make an amusing article ... if they lived.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:28 PM | Report abuse

jarmuschguy: I love that episode!

sara: I once was driving and a chipmunck ran right out of the woods like a blur, and directly into the path of my car. The poor little guy never had a chance--I didn't even see him coming! Either he was suicidal, or his friends double-dog dared him. Jerks.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Videlecet: ESPN.com had a writer drive from Seattle to Boston on I-90, stopping at every sports venue, attraction, and event along the way. His dispatches were pretty amusing.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, jw! I'll try and Google it up!

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It was 2 years ago maybe, but they might still have it somewhere. It's a loooooong read all at once. In fact, maybe it's a book now!

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 12:36 PM | Report abuse

One thing that would be super-cool to buy is a Japanese baseball jersey to wear to a Nats game. Preferably with a squid on it.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Take a picture of Godzilla for me.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, pipermkd. I always feel a bit nervous 'boodling about anything that touches on the political, so I appreciate your comment.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 26, 2005 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down", does this mean that we will be standing in our military bases or withdrawing? The thought of American establishing permanent bases in Iraq must make Joe Iraqi break out in a sweat. Could be a cooling sweat.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:46 PM | Report abuse

jw, That's what my squirrel did! Either they're sadistic or they're not as smart as I'd like to think.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 12:50 PM | Report abuse


still growing.

Posted by: ept | August 26, 2005 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The current presidential administration has perfected the art of government by slogan. "We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here." "Once the Iraquis stand up, we'll stand down." It's doubleplus good.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to try some fugu. It's probably your only chance at extreme eating.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Why does Joel part his hair in the middle?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 12:54 PM | Report abuse

but LB, apparently purchasing your very own harajuku girl as a souvenir is all the rage. You can name them and dress them like your very own human barbie doll! I think joel should bring back a few and they can do battle with gwen stefani's posse. It could be another step towards Joel's world blog domination.

Speaking of which, poor Joel, everybody wants a piece. Have a great trip! We'll make do with you, even if it means me and Sara stoop to the poop (jokes, that is).

Posted by: sweetiefur | August 26, 2005 12:59 PM | Report abuse

sweetiefur, I have never told a poop joke and I don't plan on it (not really my thing--I don't think I even know any), so you're on your own in that respect.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Does WP have a special liability rider on their policy for this site? What if I start drinking right now, finish reading the site, become enraged and start stalking kaboodlers? It's not nice to incite people you can't control Pat Robertson.

Ha ha, your host was thrilled.

Posted by: L.O. | August 26, 2005 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Geez Louise, maybe Joel's hair naturally parts itself down the middle. Ever heard of cowlicks? No matter how my hair is cut, styled, combed, gelled, permed, long or short, whatever, it always ends up parted down the middle!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2005 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The Kaboodlers are no strangers to stalking. But your point is taken. Once again.

I once had a telephone stalker. Said I had a nice voice. Luckily it was just my work phone, not my home phone.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Stalkers can be fun.

Trust me, I'm an expert on the subject.

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Regarding squirrel behavior: The late Hunter S. Thompson, remarked in his book, "Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas," about how rabbits seemed to wait until the very last minute before crossing the road and frequently getting flattened by automobiles. His theory was that rabbits, having little to do but eat and mate, were driven to dangerous road crossing out of sheer boredom.

Perhaps many squirrels are experiencing the same mind-bending boredom. I can tell you this: Squirrels in my back yard suffer no such malady. They are constantly scurrying, scolding, burying acorns - and then digging them up to eat them, chasing each other, and taunting our cat. It their spare time, they scheme on acquiring the contents of our bird feeder.

I wish I could eat squirrel. Yeh, that's it.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, LP. Stalkers get such a bad rap.

(Maybe Tom could be a guest blogger while Joel is away? You know -- THE Tom? Is Tom going to be in town? Or is he on vacation?)

[Just kidding! ;)]

Posted by: Tom fan | August 26, 2005 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't the stalker, just to clarify.

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Frau Achenbach's views are on his hair? I was watching Miss Lemon on a Poirot DVD last night and wished that forehead ringlets will come back in style.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Lenticular clouds are not "scaly & thin", rather smooth & domed. They are not necessarily higher than an airplane, because we do our best to avoid them.

Your description is of Cirrus clouds which often portend a change in the weather, not necessarily a season.

Posted by: gittijan | August 26, 2005 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Sorry LP -- didn't mean to imply that. I figured you were the stalkee, not the stalker. Just wanted to have a little fun with it -- I'm feeling quite giddy this Friday afternoon. I think the 'boodle is good for the soul.

Posted by: Tom fan | August 26, 2005 1:24 PM | Report abuse

A fly just landed on my microwave lunch, which I shooed off (and kept eating). Is there a 5 second rule for flies? How many flies land before you give it up for lost?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Joel could rid himself of his hair problems simply by getting one of those "Russian mafia" haircuts. So much easier to manage. I almost wish I were a man so I could get one of those myself and be free of my bad-hair-day-every-day problem.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Think of it this way, Videlicet: Flies probably land on your food all the time without your seeing them. Just pretend you didn't see it. It's all good.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 1:31 PM | Report abuse

yes, no one's a stalker, but who cheekily says that JA shouldn't bring back a Japanese school girl? some joke. some respect for JA. don't you think that thinking women on this blog should object to that, even if it's a joke? or should women just lighten up and ignore it?

Posted by: comehither | August 26, 2005 1:32 PM | Report abuse

If you don't find the hotel, why don't you try 'sleeping compartments' you can rent by the hour. Of course, you will probably need to supersize it.

Posted by: Ruth | August 26, 2005 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, missed some good stuff.

Joel, I concur with your reassessment of the "lenticular" clouds. High and thin and foreshadowing Fall, for sure, but not lenticular in the classic meterological sense. If there were a real lenticular cloud over DC, people would think they were watching "Independence Day", "V", or a production team for "Childhood's End" were working in town.

Be careful if you're going in the teouge roads over there, don't get mowed over by the dorifto in their haichi-roku. Fun to watch, but it's best to stay out of the way.

Dreamer's point about Our President's support from the Far Out Right backfiring on them a bit as they stick to the positions that won them the last Presidential election, but don't have a good plan to deal with the way the discussions and situations have evolved (ahem), is right on target.

I'm OK with peaceful demonstrations on both sides of the Iraq Question. To Dreamer's point (I think), at least more people are asking quesitons, talking about it, debating and making their feelings known.

In the previous Kaboodle, TA mentioned Dionne's piece from this AM, and how a gentleman from Oz might be bringing some attention to some ideas to shift the US's foreign policy focii.

Joel's baiting us with the 11:53 hair comment, I think. I'll resist for now.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

no offense taken, achenfan! I was just making sure I wasn't taken the wrong way, although, now that I think about it, could be I've thought of a great hobby.....

(kidding, kidding!

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 1:36 PM | Report abuse

bc:
"have evolved (ahem)"! Ha!

Posted by: Dreamer | August 26, 2005 1:37 PM | Report abuse

but those flies can wreak a lot of damage. also, beware of kitchen help slobbering over your food, or worse. just kidding?

Posted by: epidemowoman | August 26, 2005 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The only way there are too many flies is when the pick the container up and fly away with it. Wave 'em away and move on.
Do you think hyenas worry about flies on their Water Buffalo? Bah, of course not.

In the interest of furthering discussion of far eastern language tranlsation, I offer this link:

http://americaninlebanon.blogspot.com/2005/07/backstroke-of-west.html

I was just made by the Presbyterian Church.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that the same Faulty Towers where Basil turns toword his wife and says, "Another vat of wine my dear?".

Posted by: L.O. | August 26, 2005 1:48 PM | Report abuse

if there is a fly on your microwave lunch, just carefully slip it back in the microwave and hit the high button, the flies go crazy. Plus I think the heat sanitizes them.

Posted by: LB | August 26, 2005 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I knew all along that the Jedi were Presbyterians. This explains everything.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 1:57 PM | Report abuse

bc, a French critic reviewed Mark Twain's "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" saying that he didn't know what the big deal was--it wasn't funny at all. Twain replied that of course it wasn't funny, you idiot, it was in French! To prove his point, Twain had someone translate the French version back into English. He then published it to show how stupid the French are. You can actually buy the story with the original English, French translation, and French-to-English translation in one volume, with commentary by Twain. It's hilarious. Almost as good as his throw-down of James Fenimore Cooper.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

BC, the wish power are together with you!

You made my day with that link. Thanks.

Posted by: TBG | August 26, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

jw, you were right about Riddley Walker. I'm going to look for that, thanks!

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The wish power . . . that sounds a bit like Observing.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 26, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Britney Spears anagrams as Presbyterians. Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like a banana.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Joel: You can always mention in Japan that one of your bloggers had a relative on the Enola Gay that bombed Hiroshima. Honest. Remember, folks, world events were A LOT different than they are now. Who'd have thought we'd ever be selling our real estate to Japanese corporations and we'd be allies with Germany?

Posted by: Styrofoam peanuts | August 26, 2005 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Videlicet: Thank you. That "time flies" saying will join my list of list of, "You know, as they say..."

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I've just noticed that Carolyn Hax also parts her hair in the middle. Come to think of it, I've NEVER seen her and Joel in a room together at the same time. Coincidence?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Joel,
Need help in Japan with the Japanese language? Johoku School in Tokyo might be able to assist you.

I taught ESL to about 30 16-year-old boys from Johoku at Hawaii Prep Academy (at Kamuela--Hawaiian for "Samuel"--on the Big Island, in the Parker Ranch area) during the summer of '78. Those boys from this (private) school had good English then, and it's probably even better now that they're adults--if you can find them. I bet they just might be glad to help you.

I've always wondered in what jobs and industries these young men are now working? But I bet you'll be assisted by and traveling with a translator, right?

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 26, 2005 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Joel knows how to alleviate any cultural tension with humor.

A good imitation of the 'Kim Jong-Ill' character from "Team America: World Police" should lighten the mood in any room, I should think.

Bold Karaoke interpretations of "Turning Japanese" or "Short People" should help, too.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh you're terrible, bc.
But you're right, an impersonation of that "Team America" character should get him out of any sticky situation. And if they point out that that guy is Korean, not Japanese (i.e., if it's a particularly tough crowd), he can just say "Same diff!" ("No offense" to mo and her Danish/German "same diff" comment from several 'boodles back :) . . . I kid! I kid!)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

that link was hilarious bc - thanks!

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 2:27 PM | Report abuse

bc, the only Japanese I've ever heard in a song was in David Bowie's "It's No Game". I still don't know what David was singing.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/davidbowie/itsnogamepart1.html

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 2:28 PM | Report abuse

jw,
This may be of interest to you...

In "The House that Walt Built"--an article by Rith Lincoln Kaye that appeared in the February 1993 isssue of Yankee Magazine, page 10--Kaye states "that the bricks for Mark Twain's exotic house in Hartford, Conn., were made by Walter Willard Loomis of Windsor, Conn. He carried the bricks in his many trips from Windsor to Hartford in his oxcart."

To which I add:
Twain was a very good friend of Ulysses S. Grant and encouraged Grant to write his memoirs, even though Gant was dying of lung cancer. Grant is a Porter descendant. Sisters Mary White Loomis and Roseanna White Porter arrived together with their respective families in ancient Windsor in August 1639, along with three other families.

The cool frog pens under the stage of the frog-jumping contest held annually at the Calaveras County fairgrounds in the goldrush foothills in California is an interesting tour--if you can arrange it.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 26, 2005 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Linda, wouldn't a frog pen make your writing kind of jumpy?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Hahahah! You just made my day, Linda.

Did you see my post a couple days ago about the Loomis, Fargo and Co. truck I saw? Any connection?

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Joel would meet us in a coffeehouse after his adventure to show off his trinkets?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 2:46 PM | Report abuse

As long as they serve Irish Coffee, Videlicet.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Meet us in a coffeehouse? I should think he'd be concerned that he'd be mauled and that his trinkets would be stolen -- and with good reason.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If I could just get a lock of his hair, I'd be happy.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I originally had written booty instead of trinkets, but was afraid it might be misinterpreted.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'd settle for a splinter from his porch.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind a bouquet of his crab grass.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Note for the next BPH: Achenfan sits with her hands right in front of her, in clear view at all times.

Keep 'em where we can see 'em, lady.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:01 PM | Report abuse

See Joel? The Boodle doesn't ignore you. (Maybe at this point you wish we did!)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice one, jw.

I suppose no one's going to ask about his bathwater?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I think mo's got first dibs on the bathwater. (Is that how you spell "dibs"?)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:06 PM | Report abuse

What about his pool water?

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:08 PM | Report abuse

yes, bootlicks. what lives we lead. eecccchhh or argggghh.

Posted by: ept | August 26, 2005 3:09 PM | Report abuse

jw, are you sure you want to go there? You don't like pool water.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:09 PM | Report abuse

But maybe Joel's pool water smells like flowers and has recouperative effects. You never know.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

But I'm sure JOEL's pool water would be OK. (Wait -- does he even have a pool?)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Joel's pool water tastes like Joel? I always figured that why cats like drinking from the birdbath (mmmm ... robin flavored!)

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Joel's pool water is the Fountain of Youth.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that if Joel had a pool he would have mentioned needing a pool boy and a cabana boy in yesterday's kit.

Posted by: bostonreader | August 26, 2005 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I call dibs on any Joel relics when he's elevated to sainthood!

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Wrote a good bit
'bout "Achenstew" and "Achentea",
but it was a little bit much,
even for me.

It ends, "The Aristocrats."

Yes, I know.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I love Fridays.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, you creative people, what would Joel be the patron saint of?

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:19 PM | Report abuse

bostonreader, is there any difference between a pool boy and a cabana boy? Don't they do the same tasks, or is them some union rule distinguishing the jobs?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 3:19 PM | Report abuse

the patron saint of agnostics?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I think pool boys canoodle with the Mrs., while cabana boys canoodle with the Mr.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought pool boys just clean the pool, whereas cabana boys are in charge of towels, drinks, etc.

And Joel would be the patron saint of porches, of course.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, jw -- much better answer than mine!

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Every porch should have a little statue of Joel.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I think I've got it:
Patron saint of ivory-billed woodpeckers.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha! It's all funny.

I'd say patron saint of kaboodling porchers. Or, in other words, people who kaboodle from porches.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Since patron saints seem to be assigned by occupation, how about bloggers?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Nats' victory could count as one of his miracles

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I think that might be too negative, CowTown.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, no! We are multi-tasking!!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:31 PM | Report abuse

To follow up on Posted by|:

Patron saint of Atheists?

Patron saint of slacking Government workers?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:31 PM | Report abuse

How about Patron Saint of Multi-tasking Gov't Workers? Puts a positive spin on it.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see you have normal prurient interests. Healthier than the pottietalk in yesterday's account. But pls watch the bathwater.

Posted by: cardiacarrest | August 26, 2005 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes...multi-tasking. That's the ticket!

[I want to bring back old sayings like "that's the ticket"]

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Patron saint of bad hair days?

(sorry)..

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:34 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, my mother would tell us to pray to Saint Anthony if we'd lost something and wanted to find it. We had a little statue of Saint Ant in the house, and whenever my brother would accidentally drop a contact lens on the carpet, he'd get the statue and point it at the floor like some sort of metal detector until the lens was found, all the while making a buzzing, whirring sound. My mother, a devout Catholic, would always say, "Oh, that't terrible" (although she usually had trouble stifling her giggling).

The weird thing is, "the Saint Anthony trick" always seemed to work.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Ha! That's the best story I've heard all day, Achenfan.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:36 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci, that Nats miracle on Wed. was jw's and jw's alone.

Gene W will clear it all up in a couple of weeks.

Good point about miracle assignments though. What miracles would we assign St. Joel for Vatican Review?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I was raised a strict protestant, and never knew anything about saints. I don't know who introduced me to St. Anthony, but I developed quite a relationship with him and I could tell you some amazing stories about lost objects that he helped me find. I've lost touch with him, lately, though.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:39 PM | Report abuse

You know how, when JA was in California, they had an earthquake in Japan? Maybe he, you know, re-routed it.

Of course, that wouldn't be a good miracle, if you were Japanese. But we're not!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel's doing a public service by distracting us from on-line Texas Hold 'Em and Internet porn.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci:
Yes, that Nats win is definitely an A-blog-related miracle. Actually, I think jw's going to the game with Gene in the first place was pretty darn special -- a miracle of sorts. Not to mention the Porching Hour and the fact that the PH was mentioned by Joel on MSNBC.

jw once said that this blog had "gone meta" and was "the center of the Universe." I don't think that's far from the truth. Good things happen to people who come to this blog.

And yes, I like sayings like "That's the ticket!" as well. I also kind of like it when people say, "Hot enough for ya?!"

Posted by: Dreamer | August 26, 2005 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please, Videlicet, like you wouldn't be on those sites right now if your employer didn't block them! (kidding!! I need the emoticons here!)

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Something just occurred to me, as a Recovering Catholic.

Don't miracles assigned to a potential saint have to occur posthumously?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 26, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

We were raised Proestant, too. A neighbor family was Catholic, and my mother, the regular churchgoer, couldn't make enough snide remarks about the. Gave me insight into how hypocritical she can be. She obviously wasn't listening to the sermons in her Protestant church. I tend to follow the teachings of Martin Luther, who started the Protestant Reformation, but tolerate other religions except sacrificing small animals and devil worship.

My first introduction to saints was on a bus tour through Europe in 1974. A nun from Chicago was in the group and when we rode through Padua, Italy, she told us about St. Anthony of Padua. She was able to attend an audience with the Pope at that time (Pope Paul (?) I think.)

BTW - St. Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of computer users. I have a Patron Saint list in my favorites. Very interesting.

Posted by: Styrofoam peanuts | August 26, 2005 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer,

I was going say you looked familiar to me at the BPH, but I was worried you'd insist on me telling you where I'd seen you.

Posted by: omnibad | August 26, 2005 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I've caught myself doing a winky face emoticon sometimes on here when I'm trying to show subtle humor. This will sound mean, but most people I talk to don't get the subtle humor unless I put a winky face after it or unless I do the "sly smile and nudge" thing in person. I'm glad I don't have to do that here.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 3:50 PM | Report abuse

That "Dreamer" comment about the porn sites wasn't me, obviously.

Have a good weekend, guys -- I'm going to have to stop blogging now.

Posted by: The REAL Dreamer | August 26, 2005 3:50 PM | Report abuse

the devil made me say it, sorry Dreamer I should have known better.

Posted by: omnigood | August 26, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

bc:

Oops! Well, we are only speaking theoretically, after all.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 26, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

We are fortunate to have Linda Loomis' first hand accounts of her time at Camp Casey. Thanks, Linda.

Dreamer, I agree with yout post about Bush/Iraq and the American public's lack of concern for details.

Posted by: Susan | August 26, 2005 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Until everyone starts getting ration cards for canned goods, most people really don't care that much about the war. They like to yell about it, but that's a lot different than taking action.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I've been to several services recently, Protestant and Catholic, and I've been trying to figure out what's common to all Christian worship. Saying the Lord's Prayer? Taking Communion? Also the "Body of Christ" always seems to be bread. What if there's no bread available? What can you substitute? Rice?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 3:59 PM | Report abuse

jw, I think people will start caring if a draft is instituted. Or we have gas rationing. Time to start hoarding those spare tires!

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The arrival gate at Tokyo International is a mad flurry of activity. People are scurrying so quickly that, as the tall Western man emerges from the boarding tunnel, tentative and deliberate, he appears to be moving in cinematic slow motion. After carefully scanning the faces in the crowd of people waiting for their family members or business associates, the Western man's face brightens as he sees his guide, Mariko Watanabe. She is holding a piece of white cardboard upon which is scrawled in black marker, "Joel Achenbach," but he has already recognized her from the photo given him by Sydney at the Post. "Welcome, Mr. Achenbach," she says, smiling and with a shallow bow. Achenbach responds in kind, and murmurs, "Nogichiwa!"

Hours later, Achenbach emerges from his hotel and begins a walking tour around his new neighborhood. The cherry trees than line the street have long since lost their blossums, but they are animated with a multitude wild life. One tree explores with a fusillade of chattering sparrow as he approaches it. Once beneath its limbs, he notices a lone squirrel regarding him imperiously.

Achenbach turns a corner and continues his walk. This street appears to have fewer businesses facing the street and is noticeably quieter. He is suddenly aware that he is alone as he strides down the avenue. An occasional car passes on the left side of the street, startling him until he realizes that the Japanese, like the British and Iris, drive on the wrong side of the street.

Achenbach is so immersed in contemplation of his surroundings that he fails to notice that another Westerner has stepped out of a building behind him. This man arrived in Tokyo some days before Achenbach. His airfare, accomodations, and personal expenses were paid by people with whom the man had no acquaintence. He did not know, or care, if his employers were affiliated with business or government. He had simply been told that he had "no need to know." All he knew was that someone considered this "Achenbach" to be a threat. But the man did not ponder the nature of the threat posed by Achenbach. His mission was simple and his motivations were equally simple, they resided in a briefcase waiting for him in a locker at LAX.

The man carefully approached Achenbach quietly from behind and drew a small pistal with a silencer affixed to its short barrel. The man would need to fire at close range to assure success of his deadly task. As he straightened his arm to point at Achenbach, he felt a sudden pain in his neck. With his free hand, he felt for the source of the stabbing pain, and pulling it from his skin, held it before his eyes. His mind began to dull as he recognized the dart he held before him, and he fell to the earth like a marinette suddenly cut from its strings.

In the cherry tree above, a grey squirrel clutching a blow tube, looked down upon the immobile figure with grim satisfaction. With his tail, he gestured to his comrads in neighboring trees to continue their furtive guardian watch of Achenbach. They would protect him wherever he traveled; their bond with the man would be a mystery to anyone but their own kind. Jumping from tree to tree, they followed Achenbach, rodent sentinals and centurians.

Posted by: Cow San | August 26, 2005 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree, jw - it seems as though not enough people are really concerned about the war. I'm heartbroken every time I read another account of people being killed in Iraq (both US soldiers and innocent Iraqis). I'll admit that there are many times when I just tune it all out for my own sanity. That's why (whether you agree with her or not) what Sheehan is doing is so important. She's getting the American public to look at the facts again - and sparking interest in what should be at the top of all our minds.

What is the answer - what action do we take?

Posted by: pipermkd | August 26, 2005 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer,
I rather liked the porn comment and Omnibad's response. I assumed you were just showing your frisky side. I know s/he's been rather a pest, but I think the 'loper may be developing a sense of humor.

Posted by: TA | August 26, 2005 4:05 PM | Report abuse

How could anyone named Achenbach be the patron saint of anything other than chiropracters?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2005 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The 3:29:25 post was not from me. Thank you.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha Cow San! Yes, you did the squirrels justice.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The 3:39:12 is not mine either

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that's not the real TA, either.

I knew TA would be next, after her response to "comehither." This guy is so predictable.

Posted by: Achenfan and Tom fan | August 26, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Nice, Cow San! Can you work in some ninja stars in the next installment? And possibly a sumo match?

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, Cow San!

Posted by: TA | August 26, 2005 4:10 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't? But the squirrels...

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 4:10 PM | Report abuse

All Videlicets are liars. This post is not from me.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Um, that really was me, Deborah!

Posted by: TA | August 26, 2005 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh! I should check the time stamp. So the great squirrel story was you?

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, time to punch the clock. Later 'gators.

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 4:17 PM | Report abuse


in your search for hooters, try this:

hutasu wa doko desuka?

Posted by: lostinlondon | August 26, 2005 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah, now I think I know who this person is. Had to be someone I know, or why would he go to all this trouble?

I know where this guy works (or at least, where he used to work -- not sure if he's still there.)

Didn't know he was this messed up, though.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer,
Of course, it may not be so funny if you're being outed as a porn queen, so I should probably be more sensitive about that. But I doubt any of us thought that comment coming from you was serious.

Posted by: TA | August 26, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

No offense, but in this instance the concept is not plausible, which is good for the person said to be a porn star. Ridiculous.

Posted by: omnigasm | August 26, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

After while crocodile.

I had to answer in the correct manner otherwise I would have regretted it. Fleetingly regretted it, but still.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 4:20 PM | Report abuse

4:11:23 is not mine either. Glad you all enjoyed the story. I couldn't fit in the love triangle, though. No time. Later.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer,
I used your name so you would know it was really me, TA, and not the 'loper. Shoot, I didn't mean to add more confusion. Should have said you had the ceviche at PH instead.

Posted by: TA | August 26, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You know who it is and where he works Achenfan? You're an Achensleuth!

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Videlicet, your right people won't really care about the war until we start a draft or rationing gasoline. Considering the price of a gallon of gas right now, I think a lot of families are beginning to ration on their own.

Here in Tulsa we typically have the lowest priced gas in the nation and today it went up to $2.56. Two years ago, when I moved back home, the cost of a gallon hovered just over a dollar. At this point, I don't know how someone working a minimum wage job can even begin to afford the cost of getting to and from work, not to mention other costs of living.

Posted by: TulsaFan | August 26, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse

That was just a guess, Sara. And probably not correct.

Obviously we had a real-life, real-time lurker at the BPH.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You know you're getting old when the fantasies you get e-mail about concern fantasy football.

Posted by: Videlicet | August 26, 2005 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Cow San, that was great!

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 4:40 PM | Report abuse

We've had a lurker at least since about 3:00 pm. Just so you know, I work under a certain ethic: Don't pick on your fellow Bloggers, even the new ones. So, if you see a "Cow Town" post that is even vaguely snotty, that's not me. I think that applies to the SG-15 and most recent joiners as well. The lurker exposes him/herself my his/her impoliteness.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I meant "BY his/her impoliteness."

And, thank you Eurotrash.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the lurker was one of the bartenders.

Posted by: omnigood | August 26, 2005 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit late with this remark about St. Anthony, but I would like to share this piece of ethimological stuff.

In the part of Belgium where my mom grew up, people who lost something would face their statue of St. Anthony towards the wall as punishement and say a insulting ryme to him. It wasn't nice towards the good saint, but it must have helped since it seems to be a popular thing to do.

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The word "lenticular" means lens-like. Lenticular clouds have the shape of a lens. They typically form over mountains, which push air flowing over them up, producing cooling due to the pressure drop. If the air temperature drops enough, water condenses out of the air, forming a cloud. Sometimes you can see a similar process forming "clouds" right above airplane wings, typically while the plane is landing or taking off. Something to look for on the trip to Japan.

Posted by: iamdbc | August 26, 2005 4:49 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, Eurotrash is the interloper. Go take a look at some of Eurotrash's previous posts.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, interloper. But you're too transparent to be effective. Go pester another blog.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 4:54 PM | Report abuse

He IS transparent, isn't he? The sad thing is, he doesn't seem to realize it. He must go through life thinking he's getting away with all sorts of things that he's not really getting away with. Probably doesn't even realize that washpost.com could figure out fairly easily that all his posts are coming from the same place. This is the sort of person you hear about in those "Knuckleheads in the News" stories.

Posted by: The REAL Achenfan | August 26, 2005 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This kaboodle is getting to confusing.

But to be honnest, I thought it was a funny post, whoever wrote it. Good enough to encourage the interloper to get his own handle to post.

Anyway something to cheer you guys (and galls) up. I pay 6,4 USD a galon for 98Ron fuel.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2005 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I just thought that maybe the short story was insulting and I totaly not got it.

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey - Eurotrash, have you ever heard of a Belgian comedian/TV guy name Gil? Tall/dark hair?

Posted by: pipermkd | August 26, 2005 5:03 PM | Report abuse

4:58:50 isn't mine. I'm quite sure our interloper is about 17. He's very intelligent for his age, but he's 17. Need I say more.

(Now watch the fir fly)

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

whew - a lot to catch up on! i actually had work away from my computer so i couldn't multitask - which of COURSE joel is the patron saint for - and his first miracle was the bph - oh, and teaching me how to spell weird - even tho he didn't directly teach me that...
i went to saint anthony's (school) for a year - not too popular with the nuns i can tell ya!
and cow san - i bow to you! that was GREAT!

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:06 PM | Report abuse

as for the loper - remember i pointed out the guy sitting alone across the bar... hmmm... me thinks 'loper made a shady appearance!

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:07 PM | Report abuse

AUTHOR: omnibad/ghostposter/mwahahaha
EMAIL:
IP: 192.168.24.119
URL:
DATE: 08/26/2005 05:08:55 PM

Posted by: omnibad/ghostposter/mwahahaha | August 26, 2005 5:08 PM | Report abuse

achenara

Posted by: omnigood | August 26, 2005 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Uh, that looks funny.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 26, 2005 5:10 PM | Report abuse

and shhhhhh about the bathwater! yeesh! that's our little achensecret!

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:10 PM | Report abuse

How does omnibad post those blank posts?

Posted by: omnigood | August 26, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Pipermkd: I must say I haven't.

But I am too anglofile when it comes to the media. I always watch the BBC, CNN, national geographic and other US/UK channels.

Should I know him? Is he actually one of the 10 famous Belgians? (There are a lot more of course)

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

pipermkd, you are brilliant. Good test. Of course he hasn't heard of him.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Was/am I suspected of being the interloper? I'm offended.

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Have a good weekend everyone.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Eurotrash. It could be the last Achenfan post was by the interloper. It's out of charactor for Achenfan.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:18 PM | Report abuse

No, Eurotrash - I didn't think you were an interloper! I just met this guy while vacationing in Belize - he said he was on the Belgian version of Saturday Night Live...anyway, he gave me his email address, I lost it, can't remember his last name, long story short - you don't find a lot of Belgians out there so I thought I would strike while the iron was hot!

Posted by: pipermkd | August 26, 2005 5:19 PM | Report abuse

No, Eurotrash. The interloper accused you of being the interloper under the guise of Achenfan and then turned around and claimed that CowTown was the interloper, also under the guise of Achenfan. That last Achenfan post is also not really Achenfan. I'm about 99% positive on that.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Have a wonderful weekend, Sara, and all other fellow Boodlers. I'm sure I speak for all by wishing a fun and safe journey for the Boss.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:20 PM | Report abuse

jw, this is for you--
Did you see my post a couple days ago about the Loomis, Fargo and Co. truck I saw? Any connection?

Loomis Armored (now Loomis Fargo, having been acquired by Wells Fargo) got its start thanks to Loomis cousin Lee B. "Ike" Loomis. There is quite a fascinating story behind it. To be brief, Loomis used to ferry the gold bullion from the gold mining camps to safer repositories during the Klondike goldrush days in Alaska--often by dogsled in snowy weather. But the story is far richer, with the details, than what I've summarized.

Sorry I didn't see your post, jw.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 26, 2005 5:21 PM | Report abuse

See ya next week, CowTown. And yes, good luck and be safe, Joel. Work on "hooters" in Japanese because really, the wings are amazing and should be eaten whenever possible.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Guys, that WAS me. (You really think all of Eurotrash's posts have been OK? And sweetiefur's? And comehither's? And . . . And . . .?)

I hate to say this, but I give up . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I knew I should have paid attention to the 1% of me that was saying, "But Sara..." I'm sorry, Achenfan.

I'm taking a blog vacation next week, I think. This is ridiculous.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Good weekend Sara, and thanks for clearing that up.

pipermkd: Gil sounds like a Waloon first name (Walloons are the French speaking Belgians), I'm Flemmish (Dutch speaking) and as such am not current on their television.
The website of both big walloon channels are: www.la1.be and www.la2.be They are in french but if you browse through them and see his picture tell me and I maybe I can find out some more. (he might have his own website.)

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan: It looks like our pimply-faced interloper is clever enough to confuse us, so we think all posters are interlopers. Let's just hang it up for the weekend. We'll see you next week, eh?

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:27 PM | Report abuse

And yes, I have had problems with posts from all three. They are definitely not always appropriate so I see your point, Achenfan. Now I'm off. For real this time. Bye y'all.

Posted by: Sara | August 26, 2005 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Yep, CowTown. Thanks for hanging out with me today.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Eurotrash! I will look into it more and get back to you next week - everyone, have a good weekend!

Posted by: pipermkd | August 26, 2005 5:29 PM | Report abuse

No need to apologize, Sara. Your're right -- this IS ridiculous. Have a good weekend.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 26, 2005 5:31 PM | Report abuse

i achenhug ya achenfan - don't know why he keeps pickin on ya - i think eurotrash may be legit - his links work and the lopers links never do... but nuff o that... today was a great boodle - i'm so sorry i was absent... but i have a potty mouth so...

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this could be a good time to start a conversation on how our identities would be best protected on this blog.

Does anyone have some technical knowledge on websites? Is it hard to setup accounts with passwords?

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 5:34 PM | Report abuse


history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Vietnam was tragic. Iraq is a farce. The war is a farce. The war protests are a farce.

nothing seems real. how did we end up like this??

i will just try to make good in my daily life, its all I can do.

Posted by: pete | August 26, 2005 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Well spoken, pete. Good to hear from you today.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:41 PM | Report abuse

there's a way for the blog admin to approve each comment - but there's no way joel has time to do that esp with the traffic we generate!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2005 5:42 PM | Report abuse

But it must be possible right now to have protected identities. I assume we can't post as Achenbach. Otherwise the interloper would already have done that.
I think a system like Slate has, which links your nick to an email adress and/or a password would be a good thing.

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 5:45 PM | Report abuse

You're right, "|" Another problem would be filtering. The "real" Boodlers engage in a lot of chiding, joking, and general tomfoolery. An administrator would have to real a lot of this blog to get a feel for whom the "real" people are. It can be done, but it would be labor intensive. But, Joel said, he's got to staff up. Maybe his driver could do it, you know, when he's not driving Joel around?

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:46 PM | Report abuse

oops "|" was me...

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:49 PM | Report abuse

testing (this is mo)

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 5:50 PM | Report abuse

alas, eurotrash, one can indeed post as Achenbach but hopefully (HOPEFULLY)no one will (except for my test)... it would be sacriligous (sp?) and wrong!

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:51 PM | Report abuse

mo

You've just revealed a major flaw in the system. However, I'm confident no one could pose as Joel, not even the most clever of us. That's our protection. Read carefully.

Mo, many hugs, have a great weekend. And let us know if you see the creepy guy from the bar again. If he's a problem, he may get a visit from some bushy-tailed friends of mine.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 5:54 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHA! problem was cowtown - he was actually quite hot... that's why i noticed he was alone the whole time...

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:56 PM | Report abuse

obviously not me...

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll assume the real CowTown posted at 5:46:12 PM.

CowTown, the problem with that is that it takes a while for someone posting style to be known. I know there is a hirarchy on this blog where some people are real regulars, but others like me who only joined not long ago would be realy hard to filter by the admin. (OK, I make a lot of vocabulary and grammar mistakes so I'm easy to spot but other newbies don't)


By the way, Joel must have his own corporate jet and pilot to take him to Japan?

Posted by: Eurotrash. | August 26, 2005 5:58 PM | Report abuse

i mean the 5:54:52 wasn't - the 5:56:08 was... i think we all know i notice cute men! meowwwwwwwwww

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm off. soon the interloper will be posting large threads by himself. He can be Achenbach, Mo, Sara, Achenfan, maybe myself aswel. Like a kid playing with his barbiedolls. All those voices in his/her head must be a cacophonie.

Have a great WE.
Tot ziens

Posted by: Eurotrash | August 26, 2005 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh...things are really going crazy!

Linda, I knew it! I think I would be surprised if you DIDN'T have a connection!

Posted by: jw | August 26, 2005 6:03 PM | Report abuse

oh, the loper can try but he'll never be me! or achenfan, sara, bc, jw, cowtown, TA, cubedweller, omnigood, pj, eurotrash, et al... and DEFINETLY not achenbach... i'm out as well! hugs all around and have a great weekend... me, i live for the boodle...

Posted by: mo | August 26, 2005 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Eurotrash: No, 5:56 wasn't me. You've got the right idea, let the interloper play with himself. Good weekend, all.

Posted by: CowTown | August 26, 2005 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Where is everybody? Why won't you come out and play? WAAAAAAAAAH!

Posted by: Interloper | August 26, 2005 6:41 PM | Report abuse

oh, did everyone leave already?

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm so lonely. Please play with me. Waaaaaaaah!

Posted by: Interloper | August 26, 2005 6:52 PM | Report abuse

well........ it is friday night. I should have better things to do.

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 6:53 PM | Report abuse

In fact, I do have better things to do. My date's here. Have a good weekend all!

Posted by: LP | August 26, 2005 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I AM THE INTOERLOPER

Posted by: omnibad | August 26, 2005 7:52 PM | Report abuse

nO youR snoT

Posted by: OMNIGOOD | August 26, 2005 7:53 PM | Report abuse

No, I am. Piss off.

Posted by: Interloper | August 26, 2005 7:54 PM | Report abuse

can smell Tha t wasn't mE/.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 26, 2005 7:55 PM | Report abuse

What is an "intoerloper" anyway?

Posted by: Inter Loper | August 26, 2005 7:55 PM | Report abuse

AUTHOR: you're still here
EMAIL:
IP: 172.134.180.42
URL:
DATE: 08/26/2005 07:56:19 PM

Posted by: you're still here | August 26, 2005 7:56 PM | Report abuse

AUTHOR: a ghost poster
EMAIL:
IP: 172.134.180.42
URL:
DATE: 08/26/2005 07:57:14 PM

Posted by: a ghost poster | August 26, 2005 7:57 PM | Report abuse

AUTHOR: I figured out omnibad's secret
EMAIL:
IP: 172.134.180.42
URL:
DATE: 08/26/2005 07:58:16 PM

Posted by: I figured out omnibad's secret | August 26, 2005 7:58 PM | Report abuse

You're a pest. Go away.

Posted by: Inter Loper | August 26, 2005 7:59 PM | Report abuse

AUTHOR: wanT tO plaY a gamE
EMAIL:
IP: 172.134.180.42
URL:
DATE: 08/26/2005 08:00:27 PM

Posted by: wanT tO plaY a gamE | August 26, 2005 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Game is: You disappear.

Posted by: Inter Loper | August 26, 2005 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Whoa....OK here's an idea. And for the record, this is the real Achenbach, on the actual authentic porch, checking into the blog to make sure no one has done anything inappropriate, no one has been libeled, and "lenticular" hasn't been completely ridiculed as inaccurate or, worse, pretentious. I think I will turn off the comments function for the weekend. I have that awesome power. Everyone thus takes a breather and that includes the pimply interloper. As you by now know, the blog is an open forum. I do not police it minute by minute or even hour by hour. Or day by day, if I'm in some crazy distant place. The interloper gets some kind of sad thrill from posing as someone else. It is a compliment to the literary and intellectual powers of certain boodlers that the loper would wish to be them, to share, for a moment, the glory that comes from their brilliance. But as has been stated eloquently today, the Kode of the Kaboodle is fundamentally life-affirming; in a world gone mad, where rancor is the coin of the realm, we seek meaning and joy and the salve of humor. We also take seriously what we write: That's why, by and large, the comments posted here are thoughtful, and include words that have the virtue of being not only contextually appropriate but spelled correctly. I don't know what the solution is to someone appropriating other's handles. I can do some backstage computer work and solve the problem incrementally. But just a suggestion: No one is ever going to pretend to be Linda Loomis, because no one could possibly imitate her. The more unique the voice, the more carefully constructed the post, the harder it is for some ding-dong to steal your handle -- credibly.
I'm off to Japan in the morning and will blog when I can, and if I can't, I'll call in the cavalry.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 26, 2005 8:01 PM | Report abuse

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