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Wolfe's antonomasia, etc.

Surely everyone saw James Rosen's piece in Outlook on the young Tom Wolfe's tenure on the City Desk of the Washington Post. Wolfe was already Wolfean. He already used, Rosen reports, the literary trick of "antonomasia":

"Wolfe soon began experimenting with other innovative devices. One was antonomasia, the usually derisive practice of describing an individual by a certain characteristic, then making it into a proper noun. Thus Wolfe depicted the gunman in a botched liquor store robbery as 'slightly built and snappy-talking.' Seven paragraphs later: 'Turner retreated but now the truck pulled up. Snappytalk opened fire.'

So that's what that's called. (Let the antonomasiamania begin!)

Romenesko has comprehensive coverage of the White House vs. Bill Keller et al. Via Romenesko we come across Mike Getler's ombudsman column for PBS, and if you poke around you'll find a rather succinct and persuasive statement about the mission of a newspaper, from Ben Bradlee:

"We're trying to tell you everyday what really went on in the last 24 hours," Bradlee said, "that's all, not what they said happened and not what you think should happen, but what did happen. Readers should expect a honest, straightforward account of what the hell went on yesterday, what's important."

Here's Rebecca Dana on the mystery of Anderson Cooper's mediocre ratings:

"Why don't more people tune in? One theory is that the evening cable news audience is more interested in Fox fare than the emo-cocktail offered up on 360. Another is that 360 itself is an inconsistent show, varying widely in topic and tone.

"Another--a surprisingly popular one--is that Mr. Cooper himself, for all his vaunted good looks, is aesthetically ill-suited to television. The silver hair and piercing blue eyes make him all light and no contrast, a human green screen. 'He's wispy,' said the head of one cable news network. 'I don't know how to describe it.'

From the New Yorker, funny stuff from David Sedaris.

Forgive me for pilfering the boodle, but Pixel posted a nice ode this morning to the bike race in France:

"Am I the only one here watching the Tour de France?

This race is such an eloquent metaphor for life: The beauty of the French countryside, the suffering of the competitors, the interconnectedness of the teammates battling amongst the larger swarm of the peloton. When one rider errs, he can bring the whole pack down with him, or open up an opportunity for someone in the back to break free for an unexpected sprint to the finish. And sadly, one rider's mistake can cause the crash and burn of another, robbing him of his dream to finish the race.

The drama is embroidered with the festive colors of the team uniforms- colors that aren't found in American sports. The fuschia of T-Mobile, the bright soda-pop orange of Rabobank and Euskatel, and the neon green of LiquiGas, not to mention all the yellow worn by the fans, the polka-dot jersey for the King of the Mountains, all give the entire event a circus-like atmosphere.

Each stage ends with a nail-biting sprint, and finally with the presentation of the jerseys- beautiful women giving kisses and flowers to the day's champions.

And we who are watching have the satisfaction of knowing that we get to do it all again tomorrow, for three whole weeks. Ah, the suspense!"

Finally, an email from Lora Krall, a reader in Minnesota, about the use of the F-bomb:

'I agree that youngsters use this word as a way to promote their adulthood however, I find that it also has become a test for parental control. Only a year ago, my 17 year old son would not think to use the "F" word let alone any curse word in front of me but once he turned 18, forget that. It started out with an occasional use of "sh*t" or "damn" but then progressed to "J.C." I told him that could be considered blasphemous and potentially very offensive to right-wing religious groups. He simply used it as a means to express his new found atheistic beliefs. "It is just a word mother and a name at that." We discussed the many ramifications of cursing and the apperance it gives a young person yet he continued to persist. Finally the day came, he used the "F" word as a form of expletive. I was shocked. He smiled.... This for me became the moment when I knew my son was no longer a child, my child, and had become an adult. He had used the forbidden word and he was testing me. I used the standard phase, "as long as you live in my house..." but he knew and so did I, I was no longer in charge.

... I have challenged him to find more interesting words and he agreed to try. He thought "knoodle" a good word... -- L.K.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 6, 2006; 10:53 AM ET
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Next: Zizou the Butthead


From Curmudgeon in the previous boodle, re: Pixel's ode to the bike thang:

I hate to admit it, Pixel, but I know very little about the Tour de France. Do the rules allow hitting? Can they stop and have canapes and tulipstems of Montrechat '84 every now and then? Can you tackle an opponent? When they crash, does anything burst into flame? Are there scantily-clad cheerleaders? Are you allowed to use your hands (unlike, say, that weenie soccer rule)? Can they put lots of sponsor decals all over their bikes? Can you find a nice shady spot under a tree and watch the whole race, or do you, like, have to move around a lot? Do they go to Deauville? Are any of the racers married to former Spice Girls?

Sorry to burden you with so many questions. I just thing the Tour de France might be more interesting if, say, they match-raced Julia Child against Jacques Pepin, or Bobby Flay against David Beckham on a Formula One version of "Iron Chef Mille Miglia."

Posted by: Achenbach | July 6, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I got to be first commenter--and I didn't even lift a finger to do it! Makes me wish I'd corrected "thing" to "think."

P.S. SofC, your final post on the previous made me snort coffee through my nose. Well done, sir!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

So now the Boodle can Knoodle.

I can't imagine Anderson Cooper with black shoe-polish hair.

As for sports colors, this year, male kids here in Florida all seem to be wearing gray tee shirts. A tour d'Amerique might be kinda dull, with all those gray shirts and camouflage. Imagine a hillside of spectators all dressed up to stalk wild turkeys.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 6, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

So Boodlepilferer is going to France? What happens in his absence?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse


I recommend the umbrella girls from Formula One. You get a different nationality every race.

Joel, I think we should do a talking heads version of the Mille Miglia. Did you see the pic of Tony Snow and Dan Bartlett in the chopper when Bush went to Iraq? They'd look so silly in a proper race car nobody would ever pay attention to them again. Although come to think of it, I'm not sure they could look more silly than that pic.

Nevermind, give me and bc the car.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Another potpourri Kit from Joel, but do like the Ben Bradlee quote.

As far as the eff word, much to my surprise, it is generously sprinkled throughout Suskind's latest book. Obviously, not much has changed in D.C. since the Watergate days.

And though not intentional, I believe, nelson, that the proffering of the arm of Zawahiri's brother by the Egyptians provided comic relief.

Posted by: Loomis | July 6, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Boodlepilferer seems kind of snarky, maybe Potpourrier?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Bush and Harper must have read the previous boodle re-annexing blue states - they are dressing alike already.

Error enjoyed that photo of Snow are Barlett, certainly don't look like they are enjoying the ride.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, Mudge, there's lots and lots of blood when the riders crash, if that's any incentive for you. Blood and serious road-rash. Sometimes, such as happened a couple of years ago, a femur might be exposed. Gruesome.

If you were to go to France to watch, you'd find a shady spot, stay up all night drinking and partying, and eventually be rewarded with a glimpse of lycra-clad demi-gods flashing before you in a burst of color and pure adrenaline, at speeds well in excess of 40mph.

The podium girls aren't scantily clad. That sort of beauty doesn't need to rely on skin exposure to attract attention.

Team Discovery is doing very well so far, but one of the guys, Egoi Martinez, had a [Phil Liggett accent on] rather nasty crash [PL accent off] today and lost some time. But the guy I want to win, George Hincapie, is staying healthy and out of trouble . He is married to a former podium girl, BTW.

The thing with the Tour is, these guys have to ride 2000 miles and over two mountain ranges in the course of three weeks with only two days' rest. Absolutely anything can happen- they can get sick, injured, go off the side of a mountain, be knocked off their bike by a spectator, or any of a hundred other things. It is grueling and painful and unpredictable and exciting and beautiful.

A lot like life.

Posted by: Pixel | July 6, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Pixel, you don't admire the healthy physiques of the riders in their aero-tight clothing? Not *too* healthy, seeing how several of the top riders were suspended for a doping scandal a couple of weeks ago.

Ah, the Mille Miglia (or "Thousand Miles"), perhaps the greatest open road motor race ever. From Brescia to Rome and back non-stop through the Italian countryside. Mudge, have you ever read Denis Jenkinson's coverage from "MotorSport" magazine of the 1955 race, where he served as Sterling Moss' navigator in the winning #722 Mercedes? It's a wonderful bit of first-person journalism. The MM still runs today as a rally for historic cars.

There are still similar events here in North America, including the one I'd really love to run: Targa Newfoundland.

Ah, the spectre of Anderson Cooper.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

And when Bush meets with Vicente Fox, he dresses like Fox.

Posted by: Loomis | July 6, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Error, I was asked to drive a car at the Targa Newfie last year, but the owner didn't get some expected sponsorship so the deal fell through.

Put a cage and a fire system in your Porsche, and we'll take a crack at it.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Guys word of caution re Targa Newfoundland, I only heard about its existance recently, the caution is this MOOSE. There is currently an on air advertising campaign in Newfoundland warning all drivers of the dangers of collisions with Moose (large population in NFLD). :)

Looks like an amazing race, and knowing Newfoundland a great party.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear Harper correctly at that news conference?

Did he just propose putting up a fence between the US and Canada? Is he serious about buying up all the unwanted SUVs on new and used car lots and lining them up bumper-to-bumper along the border?

Ironic (or maybe steelic?) if true.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

No, bc, I hate the doping. I was saddened by the last-minute suspensions of so many top riders implicated in the Spanish investigation. Please note that they were not "caught" doping, but they are suspected--- guilt by association, at this point. It was the right decision to pull them out of the race and makes a huge statement that it will not be tolerated. Unlike our pro organizations' piddly "suspensions" or fines, the cycling federation has adopted a zero-tolerance policy. Anyone caught doping gets an automatic 2-year suspension from the sport. Two strikes, you're out forever.

None of the Discovery riders were implicated, BTW.

Posted by: Pixel | July 6, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind Anderson so much, but to me he always seems like he's about ready to cry (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Did anyone happen to catch the CNN storymercial on Cafferty the other day? Talk about the anti-Anderson. I'll bet he shakes Anderson down in the elevator for his lunch money just for laughs. I just went to look for it and it seems to have disappeared.

Posted by: martooni | July 6, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to driving conditions in NFLD, note the listing for Moose Advisory!

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I hear you, dmd.

Living in the hills north of DC, I go past evidence of several fresh deer/vehicle impacts per day. I'm used to looking for them.

Still, a moose is about 10x the weight of the typical deer I see around here (about 2000 lb. for a bull, IIRC).


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

bc, where did you see Harpers comments looking for it up here but don't see it yet.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Using the F-bomb as a challenge to LK does not sound to me as though the kid is now an adult -- that's a teenage trick. They're lucky my two girls (now 20 and 18) never tried that. Can it have been because I gave them both a copy of "Thy Father Is a Gorbellied Codpiece..." (book on how to develop your own Shakespearesque insults) when it was first published in 1998?

Off topic, but may I just say, responding to yesterday's Boodle, that from an early age I was girl who loved to blow things up at least as well as any boy I've ever met?

Posted by: Stampede | July 6, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if LK's son was actually saying "canoodle"?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

A girl bomber? Stampede, I think I love you.

Newfoundland is a great party town? Who knew?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge you are correct I should have specified the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

A fence of SUVs between US & Canada? What a great idea! I don't know how this will affect the proposed merger, though. Maybe we ought to move it to the border with Mexico. Just stay with me as I expand on this for a minute. SUVs, particularly those Hummers & giant luxury things, could be an effective desert barricade AND provide needed habitat for rodents and scorpions. Discouraged, abandoned or injured migrants could use them for shelter until picked up by the Border Patrol (or National Guard, or vigilantes, or whatever we're using that week). The car culture is so ingrained in the Southwest and West anyway that it won't be a big stretch to accept Miles 'O Cars, and gas will be too expensive for anyone to steal them.

I appreciated Davis Sedaris on the days of yore at Princeton. I too attended an ivied institution and learned early that the proper response to "Where'd you go to graduate school?" is "Back East."

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 6, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I should have been more specific: I thought I heard that Canada was going to buy up unwanted American SUVs for that neighborly fence.

Perhaps I misheard.

A friend of mine ran the TN last year, said it's not a party *town*. It's a party *island*.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

On the F-bomb topic: Let's face it, I was once a sailor, so it's hard to make me blush. What really gets my blood boiling, though, is when complete strangers are mouthing off in public places, cursing like sailors (or worse) well within hearing distance of little old ladies, moms, kids, and me, whomever. They don't care. Sometimes it's packs of low-lifes on the Metro; other times, it's prep-school kids, full-grown adults, just about anyone. Usually, they're male, but not always. Oh, and of course, people on their mobile phones cursing up a storm, like we can't hear them or something.

I have spoken up in the past- "Excuse me-- this is my MOTHER here!" but sometimes, I'm afraid to.

Posted by: Pixel | July 6, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I think we'd established in the previous Boodle that the Quebecois would want no part of 100 million ex-Americans suddenly citizens of their country.

Merger is out, though I'm sure that the folks in Ottawa wouldn't mind the additional tax revenue. Until the Camericans cost more to keep than they contributed to the General Welfare, that is.

Thus, the SUFence. Or is it FUFence?


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The Escalade Curtain?

bc, what kind of racing events have you driven or participated in?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

bc, too true Newfoundlanders are a special breed. Although that party atmosphere extends to much of the east coast. It is quite literally a cultural that would give you the shirt of their back and a drink at the same time, then bring out the fiddles.

My in-laws are from the east, and although I am one of the detested :) ones from Ontario we do get along.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Since the subject came up, I just want to tell you guys that I did something that I hadn't done in over 15 years- ride a bike! A friend of mine and I took out a tandom from Vienna to across the county line to Loudon.

What a rush! It was a 20 mile bike trip, and I discovered I only have an 18 mile butt. Ouch! Nothing that a few beers at the Vienna Inn couldn't fix though.

Glad I was wearing a helmut, we almost hit a box turtle. Turtles are cool!

Posted by: Pat | July 6, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

>Error, I was asked to drive a car at the Targa Newfie last year

bc, that's cool. Too bad about the sponsor. I'd hate to hit a moose though! The last time I hit a deer (at about 45mph) I found myself headed towards someone's living room. I managed to get ahold of it, but ended up on the other side of the road heading in the direction we came. Fortunately no one else was occupying that bit of road at the time. The deer shook it off and leapt away, although my guess is he went looking for some aspirin. My girlfriend's old Toyota Celica held up pretty well, considering.

I think Joel should arrange for a set of assorted cars (don't forget Mudge's Morgan!) and have the WaPo sponsor a Boodle Miglia so we can visit our friends north of the border in style.

I *have* been thinking it's time for a roll-cage. :-)

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Pixel, I had to tell my 1 year old "I don't care what you say, you can't enlist until you are 17!". Sheesh. What you get when you leave the baby with the older kids.

Posted by: Pat | July 6, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

There is one small problem with the merger of nations discussed on the previous boodle. Refer to the following:

In the US red is republican and conservative, blue is democratic and essentially liberal. In Canada, red is Liberal, and blue is conservative. That part is easy. We have also briefly discussed the light blue of Quebec.

The problem is that no one has considered those large chunks of orange on the Canadian map. Who is going to take them is what I want to know.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

SoC, I've been road racing for about 20 years, have had various flavors of SCCA, IMSA, and NASA (the ground bound one) (I didn't say *other* groundbound one, Tim) comp licenses during that time.

I also do a fair amount of autocrossing, kart racing (the kind where you have to bring your own) and I've done some drag racing and smallbore oval stuff, too.

Error, I'm leery about driving a street car much with a full cage in it (and yes, I've done it). The cage and padding are OK when you're wearing a helmet, but you *don't* want to conk your bare noggin on some 4130 in an accident. Safety glass would do less damage to your skull. Cages are great for dedicated track cars, but they're best with safety seats, 5/6-point harnesses, and SA rated helmets. I'm not saying *don't*, but I am saying: think about it.

The TN is centered around the St. John's part of Newfoundland, so it is indeed party time.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Pat - I think you've touched on why cyclists always seem so grumpy. They have to ride a bike with seat shaped like an axe blade for hundreds of miles.

Posted by: CowTown | July 6, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I'd look silly with a full cage. Besides it'd be harder for the ladies to see how good we look.

But I wouldn't mind a nice chome-plated roll-bar to tart it up a bit. One does consider the possibility of a garden variety roll-over. I saw the Champ Car Cleveland race re-broadcast on SPEED yesterday, Paul Tracy's side pod was basically resting on Sebastian Bourdais' roll-bar. Better than his head.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

A four-point roll bar might be the trick, Error.

I was going to go into some gory open-wheel open-top race car stuff here, but I'm just going to skip it.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

bc, am I missing something (always a possibility). Here is the map for TN, from what I read the course is 2200 km long, starts in St. John's but tours quite a distance.

Check out the whats Newfoundland like link below the map some beautiful pictures.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey, bc, if you do that Bullwinkle 2200 race, do you need a navigator? Pit crew? Maybe the boodle could sponsor your car: The Achenblogmobile Umbragefire Mark XCMLR-GOBP-III GT Gran Marnierissimo. With a handle like that, I'm sure velocity ensues.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

What do you think you're missing, dmd?


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

When you go to that Newfoundland link be sure to watch the videos on the bottom of the page. These are the tourism adds that were running over the last year. They really give a sense of what Newfounland is and who her people are.

We were going to drive east for vacation last year, and then the gas prices rose, blew the budget, and we went to the west coast. But one day soon, I am going there.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Very linky, Joel. Good job.

I think your only purpose in linking to the Sedaris article is to subtly lord your Ivy League credentials over us again as if that will make us forget that you have yet to win that Prize all your coworkers have.

And what did that fancy schmancy education get Sedaris? He's writing silly stories for an obscure magazine people only read for the cartoons. He might as well work on a blog solely to amuse underemployed government workers.

At least he didn't go to Harvard. Then he'd be stuck writing fart jokes for primetime cartoons.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The first time I heard of the TN in was on Dream Car Garage via the Speed Channel. Somebody lent the hosts an outrageously expensive sports car and it was subsequently thrashed ala the fabled C/D test drives on a portion of the TN course. To joy ride is such sport. Curses on the local cable company; it was bought out and the new service has dropped OLN for the Outdoor network. It took me a week and a half to figure that one out during the Cup playoff. No hockey at the appointed time...DUH, network change. Now no Tour. *pounding head on persnickety keyboard*

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen Mr. Cooper's program. I'd like to see Jeanne Moos or Christiane Amanpour anchor a news program. Both have covered national and international news, the Gulf War, political corruption, the Beijing student uprising. Both are rather quirky in an enjoyable and interesting way and no disrespect to Baba Wawa, but who wants to watch interviews with such questionable notables as Monica Lewinsky and Mary Kay?

Posted by: Nani | July 6, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Ha, Mudge!

"Bullwinkle Race 2200", starring Sylvester Stallone.

Mudge, believe it or not, there's literally a line to be my co-driver/navigator if I ever do the event. Bring enough money or sponsorship to actually run it and move to the head of the line. Probably $6-7k if we use an existing Targa-ready car (I *might* be able to get my hands on one), maybe 3x that if we made a Morgan +4, MGB GT, or something else race ready.

Cogito ergo zoom, as David E. Davis used to say.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

bc said "Cogito ergo zoom"

That brings back memories of the days when I used to read car-pr0n. You know, people doing things you could never do with cars you'll never drive. C/D was the king of automotive purple prose. I used to subsribe but I got blackballed when the wife put a minivan in the garage and I bought my third Camry. I was driving down their demographics.

Typical articles:

Best Italian Limited Edition F1 Racer NOW.

Which Eurosedan Gets Speeding Tickets The Fastest?

We Add A V-16 To A Trabant: Test Results Torched

Not to mention the running letters column debate with Officer Bob Speed of the beloved MHP.

Good times, good times.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I am wandering aimlessly on the internet and came across this.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

bc, why the GT version of an MGB? Not just a reg'lar ol' MGB?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I can't comment on Dream Car Garage (or Sports Car Revolution, for that matter - from the same production company), because I know people that work on that show both behind and in front of the cameras.

They're great guys, but there'd be a "you break it, you bought it" clause for my *ever* lending them a car.

Speaking of Canuckistanis, Tom Hnatiw used to do a hilarious hockey-and car-obsessed-Franco-Canadian character on DGC. Always had a hat with earflaps, and a beer or a hockey stick in his hands. Sometimes both.



Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge asks, "bc, why the GT version of an MGB? Not just a reg'lar ol' MGB?"

Mudge, when you and I are airborne and upside down heading into a Newfoundland farmer's field at 120 mph, I'm going to look over at you and ask if you remember asking me that question, because you're just about to find out the answer.

yellojkt, would it surprise you to find out that I've written some of that purple prose? Not for C/D, though I do know the Yates'...


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

bc, that's why God gave all Canadians two hands.

I was working in a newsroom in New York years ago (where lots of other Canadians had worked over the years). A senior editor commented that only way to get rid of them (us) was to, "set out small tins of beer at night. They come to drink, fall into the tins, and drown. You can dispose of them in the morning."

Posted by: Stampede | July 6, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I know the book well, dr; in fact, I suppose it may be the source for my handle. (To those who haven't gone to the URL, we're talking about a book called "The Portable Curmudgeon," a compendium of quotes by many of my fellow sourpusses: Mencken, W.C. Fields, Dorothy Parker, etc. The same guy (Jon Winokur) also wrote "A Curmudgeon's Garden of Love," "The Traveling Curmudgeon," and "Encyclopedia Neorotica." He's part writer/part collector-editor-compiler of stuff. I've been a fan for years. His "Advice to Writers" is very good, too; won't help you write much, but will make you laugh.

His definition of a curmudgeon is: "Anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Anderson Cooper's news program, and one doesn't get that same fire that was shown during Hurricane Katrina. I think the move to the studio took some of the energy. I still believe he's a good news person, just probably not in his element sitting in that chair where there is usually just a talking head.

The guy Anderson replaced, can't think of his name, talked rough to a female reporter during Katrina, right on television. He scolded her for a statement she made. I felt bad for her. Thought he should have done it later, not in front of the camera. I'll bet she wasn't too crazy about it either.

Mudge I feel bad, I hope you're not upset with me? I know what you were saying. I get that way sometimes too.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 6, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Book Description: The Curmudgeon Woman

Curmudgeons have for ages spiked life and literature with barbs and arrows, which are never so sharp as when shot from a woman's sling. From Shakespeare's Shrew to television's Maude, they've added pepper to the often bland stew of human conversation. Organized into 50 broad categories, The Curmudgeon Woman is a collection of 500 quotations from more than 300 razor-witted females. Covering a period from the 1600s to the present, they share their needle-sharp points of view on such engaging topics as aging, happiness, sex, marriage, inequality, fashion, life, and death. Not just funny, not just nasty, The Curmudgeon Woman combines sharp wit with deep truths. With contributions ranging from Minna Antrim ("Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.") to Natalie Wood ("The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby."), The Curmudgeon Woman displays a wry sense of humor and more wisdom than ought to be allowed.

Posted by: Loomis | July 6, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

>airborne and upside down heading into a Newfoundland farmer's field at 120 mph

Note to Mudge and bc: be warned that the only farms in Newfoundland are fish farms

bc, you should write on your racing experience for your blog. Those of us that know jack about racing (and I'm not talking about Jacques Villeneuve) would be interested.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

bc, that's where the hockey stick and Mudge's seafaring experience comes in. He can use it as a rudder to navigate the cow patties.

Stampede, come with me. You can toss ordnance overboard to clear a path.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Princeton sounds as if it was great back inthe day.

Posted by: ILL-logical | July 6, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Brock Yates and Csaba Csere were my favorite C/D writers. They had a way with metaphor that hadn't been seen since O'Rourke left NatLamp. Now that I have put my foot in my mouth by implicitly saying that Road and Track was an inferior copy and Automobile was a pretentious wannabe to C/D, what automotive magiazines did you write for, bc?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 6, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

SoC, nice NewTown pun!

Eh, maybe I will write about that stuff. I need to figure out what's been in magazines, though, because there may be some copyright issues.

Thanks for the heads-up (or down?) on the Newfie farmers, though I seem to recall seeing some dirt-type farming along the Targa stages. Good idea to pack life preservers in the car, though. Ya never know.

For those still guessing, the MGB GT is the hardtop version of the MGB. A roof of questionable Brit metal is better than none at all. Most of the time.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Sedaris thinks Princeton was primitive? I've heard stories of Ithaca being isolated from the world for months, while State College seemingly stocked up on noodles, lebanon bologna, Creamsicles, and Coke and hunkered down until spring. Apples and ice cream were, fortunately, prepared locally and were always in good supply. On opening day, the local department store had a Deer Lost Ladies' Day Sale.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 6, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I've been in AutoWeek, Classic Motorsports, Hot Rod, Up Front, Grassroots Motorsports, SportsCar and Mopar Action, just to name a few. Actually, I think I've had something or other in C/D too, but that was a long time ago (about as long as AW, come to think of it).

There are probably some others that I'm forgetting right now. Oh, here's one: On Track.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I could never be upset at you. And you were right, you know. (And I know.)

OK, ivansmom, you mentioned it, so now you have to 'fess up: which Ivy did you go to?

bc, wouldn't we have, like, a roll bar, whether we had a top or not? (I was thinking of volunteering my old MGB if it'll get me a right-hand seat....) Anyway, I'm less afraid of going airborne and upside down than I am or running into a bullwinkle and going from 120 mph to zero mph in approximately 0.000 seconds. (On the other hand, with my MGB, I guess we could go under the bullwinkle, couldn't we?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

All righty then, Mudge. I went to Harvard. But I swear, Yellojkt, I didn't even know any fart jokes until the boy hit fourth grade, and the only primetime network cartoon show I watch is The Simpsons (still & always, best show on TV hands down). I have devoted my career to ensuring I'm "underemployed" doing gummint work, rather than making lotsa money or garnering fame, so that should count for something!

Posted by: ivansmom | July 6, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the especially dangerous part of moose v. vehicle is that they have long spindly legs that tend to get taken out by the front end, with the 2K lbs then landing in the front seat.

Here's some photos from a quick search:

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

>making lotsa money

Mudge, didn't ivansmom get a signing bonus like the rest of us?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmoms says "the only primetime network cartoon show I watch is The Simpsons"

You do know that the writers' office at "The Simpsons" is the Harvard Lampoon's alumni lounge. It's good to have connections.

Posted by: yelllojkt | July 6, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, buddy, I'm pretty sure that the regs for the competitive end of the event specify a rollcage of 4130 chrome moly or an equivalent thick-walled mild steel, though there is a "touring" class which is a traditional Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally and has lesser safety requirements.

And yeah, I think I could get an MGB through a Moose's legs like Luke Skywalker threading a snowspeeder under an Imperial Walker on Hoth. Provided that Lucas, the Prince of Darkness doesn't let us down, that is.

I think I deserve some sort of King of the D0rks award for my performance today, and in particular this post, which is a remarkable display of d0rkitude. Even for me, which is saying something.



Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, dorkitude, notwithstanding, bc, I was impressed with the number of car/racing publications you've been in. Were those swimsuit layouts? topless? all-the-way?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Yup that guy is lucky to be alive. Even a baby moose can do tremendous damage. I used to see a lot of those kinds of things, but thankfully am now spared from doing the photo work for the reconstruction people.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, forgot the rimshot. ba-rummm bum.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Well bc, that list o' magazines may yeild fruit. With 3 sons who move out but their 'important' stuff behind, I am going to have to have a look in the boxes of car magasines. Maybe you have been lurking under the table in the basement these last few years. Its as good an excuse as any to get the boys to sit for a spell and go through it all. Need food, check, need cola, check, check.

You and your trusty droid, R2DCurmudgeon, could thread between those legs but only if you saw it coming first AND if you made the right decision as you asked yourself, is that moose coming or going? They are notoriously likely to cross the road when they look like they are heading back to the bush.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Pat, that is extremely cool that you went for a bike ride. In a previous boodle I thought of suggesting that you try the back seat of a tandem, but decided that it was too intrusive -- plus, your kids are too young to take the front with an adult on the back.

I have a tandem sitting in my garage. One of these days, I need to fix it up and get it rideable.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 6, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Boop. Beep boodly-boop-beep. Beep boop bip bapbeep. Tweet.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

bc, I fully enjoyed your posts today, they got me in the mood for the Grand Prix in Toronto this weekend.

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

*image of bc and Mudge as Han Solo and Chewbacca*

*image of bc lurking in dr's basement under the table*

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

SoC - Too funny, I am also picturing the two trying to squeeze under a Moose in a red MGB :)

Posted by: dmd | July 6, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm much closer in height and general shape to R2D2 than Chewbacca, alas. And the MGB is yellow. (I also have about as much hair as R2D2, come to think of it.)

I'm not worried about going under a moose--I'm short. It's bc who has the altitude problem.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, when I was reading Dave Sedaris's column I had the funny feeling you must have gone to Princeton with him, although you'd have been a whaling major.

I'm going off the 'Net for a week or two while I do beachcombing and shake a few fists at the clouds ;). Maybe I'll find some booty. Arrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 6, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone!

I'll have to go back and catch up on the last two kits.

Thought some of you might want to know JA's interactivity kit's predictions about comments everywhere is not science fiction. I'm reloading software on my computer, and while browsing the Firefox add-ons, saw a few interesting ones.

Boingle allows you to leave comments on any website for other Boingle users to read.

Quickchat lets you chat with other quickchat users when you happen to meet at any website.

Can you imagine how interesting those comments and chats are? Do any of the boodlers use them?

Posted by: a bea c | July 6, 2006 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I have to get up early and Not A Morning Person complains that I shower too loudly. I drive CrappyCar to Remote Government Facility where I have to deal with Mr. BigGuns. After convincing Mr.BigGuns that I really am who I claim, despite driving CrappyCar, I have to deal with Miss Procedure who refuses to let the meeting start until everyone has signed his name three times. Finally Miss Procedure relinquishes the floor to Sir LikesHisVoice. After a whole day of this I am finally released by Miss Procedure and get back into CrappyCar. On the drive home I get tailgated by Damn Right I Drive a Big Truck for about an hour. When I get home GrumpyGirl and HyperBoy are fighting and Ms Not A Morning Person has morphed into Gotta Get Out of the House for a While.

It's been a day made for Antonomania.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 6, 2006 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I am laughing RD, but very, very quietly. (Not laughing at you, but at your wonderful response)

One possible solution would be to place GrumpyGirl and HyperBoy in their rooms to draw their newly assigned superhero identity costumes, and to proceed to Mr. Bud E. Weiser.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 6:42 PM | Report abuse

RD, I, like,bc, am laughing too. I can't help it. You just have a way with words, and I can imagine you deliver these words with a straight face. You know I believe you are not in your element. Stand-up is written all over you.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 6, 2006 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, here is a link where you can find the lyrics to Himo Antioqueno in Spanish. You can use babelfish to translate, but you'll get a very literal translation. I'm looking for the music still.

Posted by: a bea c | July 6, 2006 7:24 PM | Report abuse

RDP, time to use your Power Word:


Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 7:24 PM | Report abuse

sheesh i missed you guys! having some technical difficulties at work (some security breach or another) so blogging has been temperaily blocked... just so's yall know i'm still there and laffing - just not able to boodle - i feel so TRAPPED! but i DID get to catch the radio show - i had mild burnt umbrage that i wasn't listed but i understand 'mudge got cut off... still doing a "write-up" of my panama trip for my blog but i, alas, am hopelessly lazy...

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, here is a link where you can find the lyrics to Himo Antioqueno in Spanish. You can use babelfish to translate, but you'll get a very literal translation. I'm looking for the music still.

Posted by: a bea c | July 6, 2006 7:33 PM | Report abuse

mo, I've been dying to know: what ever happened to the Frazetta figurine you were trying to unload?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 6, 2006 7:34 PM | Report abuse

>Frazetta figurine

As in Frank Frazetta? Great stuff.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse

still got it! you want it? frazetta's princess - limited edition in the original box!

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

oh, and i called the radio station (just barely missing the broadcast) and informed them that mr. stripey was still alive... the screener lady was laughing - i guess she figured "whoa! someone is actually listening!"

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 7:42 PM | Report abuse

mo - So you're why I kept getting the busy signal.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 6, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, here is a link where you can find the lyrics to Himo Antioqueno in Spanish. You can use babelfish to translate, but you'll get a very literal translation. I'm looking for the music still.

Posted by: a bea c | July 6, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, I don't know why my post is up there twice. Hal, go ahead and delete the repeat.

Martooni, found a website with the lyrics and the audio link all the way at the bottom of the page.

Posted by: a bea c | July 6, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

cut me some slack rd! i can't boodle so i gotta contact the outside world somehow!

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 7:51 PM | Report abuse

> i can't boodle so i gotta contact the outside world somehow!

I thought I saw some smoke from that direction. As the Hicawi's would say "No problem, fire already going".

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Mo, you haven't had to break down and use...dare I say it, snail mail yet have you? ~~shudder~~
Oh you poor soul.

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey speaking of the radio show, how is the attempt at getting a text copy progressing? Maybe a rebroadcast? In the evening when news is slow, and the kids aren't listening?

What plays late in the evening at WaPo Radio anyway?

Posted by: dr | July 6, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

dr - shut your mouth! snail mail! the horrors! actually, nope - still have the e-mail - otherwise, i might have needed counseling or something! it's just blogging that's currently being restricted...

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

mo, I would have loved it if you'd been *on* the radio program with bc and Curmudgeon. (As Loomis pointed out, why were no female 'boodlers involved?) Sounds like you were in town and would have been available to come on down to the studio. And you would have been great!

Bah. It's a man's blog. (But it would be nothing without us women.)

Posted by: Achenfan | July 6, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse


V-16 inna Trabi???


bc and 'Mudge as Han and R2D2...

"I've got a bad feeling about this..."


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 6, 2006 8:43 PM | Report abuse

>"I've got a bad feeling about this..."

We need a Flash movie of a yellow MGB at speed, bc in a DOT helmet and fire suit, Mudge in a fur cap unfolding a map while holding a beer and a hockey stick and a cross-eyed Bullwinkle Moose on the road ahead.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Blessings upon you, RD. We all have days like yours occasionally. Your account made me giggle helplessly. Hope the evening has been more pleasant...

Posted by: Slyness | July 6, 2006 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the nice compliments. By the way, my wife and I have referred to our offspring as GrumpyGirl and HyperBoy for years now without realizing we were indulging in antonomasiamania.

How very embarrassing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 6, 2006 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge and BC can take my son along for the ride. When he's in one of his moods, he stomps on my daughter's toys as he "ton-ton-ton"s his way through the Imperial March. Today for show and tell at his daycare, he took his John Williams Star Wars CD.

Will the Ewoks pick up the moose carcass and invite you to their party?

Posted by: a bea c | July 6, 2006 9:17 PM | Report abuse

put in two solid days of work, wrote 7 new programs (to be run once, and I'm done; might use them again, we'll see).

anyhow, I was thinking and started on a song and couldn't get anything right (even managed one verse to insult our friends to the north)

Then out of nowhere:

Scene: highscool (or middle school):

actors: bully and nerd...

Bully: give me your lunch money.

Nerd: um, er.

Bully: you have two choices, swirly or wedgy.

Nerd: er,um...wedgy?

Bully: I should warn you that the wedgies I give are very painfull, but the swirly is merely getting your hair washed.

Nerd: er, um, wedgy please, I'm afraid of alligators.

Posted by: omni | July 6, 2006 9:23 PM | Report abuse

aw shucks achenfan - i just had a blast listening to them, even if it was the boy's club... they represented well...

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The basic reason there weren't more boodlers invited to the Great Radio Broadcast of 2006 is that the WaPo studio is the size of the average downstairs half-bathroom, with only three available mikes (plus Joel's), one of which they don't like to use because it doesn't work very well. So basically it was just two guests.

We're still trying to find out about a transcript.

I assume the Flash of me in the navigator's seat with a fur caps means one of those really dorky fur caps with the side-flap ear pieces, etc. (because that image made even me laugh). And I pictured the moose in a crosshairs scene.

Scotty, I know ROFL and figured out PMP, but what is GETE?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

>even if it was the boy's club... they represented well...

Oh come on now, must every situation be represented in equal numbers by gender, race and religion? Don't we really want individuals first, color-blind, gender-blind? It's not like I was invited, should I be miffed?

Think I could get a gig with "The View"?

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 9:46 PM | Report abuse

> means one of those really dorky fur caps with the side-flap ear pieces,

You got it! I have Flash, wish I was more talented. Guess I'm just fated to be a producer/director type. *sigh*

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 9:48 PM | Report abuse

What a bi-polar sort of day... One minute I'm up in the clouds (I made the Kit! Woo-hoo!) only to be bounced to the low-down lows (changing a tire tube not far from the GW Parkway after running over heaps of broken glass left on the trail by inconsiderate bustards (sic) from the July 4th celebrations. Fortunately, I was wearing my "Sharapova" top and someone stopped to help me out.)

Before I got the flat tire, I was conjuring up some half-baked metaphors comparing the Tour de France to the UN, with each team representing a sort of "coalition of the willing" while the entire pelaton is like the full UN.

After the flat, the whole analogy went to hell in a handbasket.

There's a lesson in here, though: To succeed in an international sport such as cycling, one must learn the languages and customs of other cultures. This is why the son of a struggling single mother from Plano, TX --who never attended college-- is more articulate, intelligent, thoughtful, engaging, and personable than the president of the United States.

And, from the "It's all about me" category, I have a couple of new dive videos up. Anyone who's interested in WWII B-17 bombers might like the one of our dive in Papua New Guinea. The porcelain shrimp are mighty cute, too.

Posted by: Pixel | July 6, 2006 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, I' ve never put a V-16 in a Trabant, but I have helped shoehorn a 302 V8 into a Miata (without a kit), and planned out a 440 Chrysler (out of an early 70's New Yorker) into the middle of a Plymouth Voyager using Olds Toronado parts.

Han Solo, huh?
I suppose I can live with that.

Though when we go under the moose, I hope it's a non-nursing female. A male, or a nursing female, and my altitude problem could suddenly get a lot worse (and no fun for the moose getting clipped, either. Bullwinkle sez: "What the -- OW!"

dr, if you find me lurking under one of your tables, please do let me know.

I loved that Sedaris piece, too.

It's a Man's Man's Man's Man's Blog?


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 10:00 PM | Report abuse

bc - clearly, with all this car talk - i'm over here treading in testosterone! *grin*

hey, i'm not complaining about it being boys club - i mean, come on, 'mudge in that elton john robe and his perky self?? o la la!

Posted by: mo | July 6, 2006 10:06 PM | Report abuse

mo, somebody had to provide the fashion perspective in that chat. Who else but little moi? *bats eyelashes*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 6, 2006 10:19 PM | Report abuse

bc in an open face helmet with goggles and Mudge navigating in a flap hat with goldenbeverage and hockey sticks in hand, hitting a lactating cow, sending them careening a$$ over tea kettle into a fish pond upside down in a yellow MGB...hawhawhawhawhawhaw

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 10:34 PM | Report abuse

bc to Mudge upon impact in the fish pond: "Got milk?"

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge in the flap hat ends up chest deep, beer saved, looking at bc who is upside-down, strapped into the MGB with a five point harness while it hangs off the edge of a boat dock, hands still on the wheel saying "GT, I TOLD you MGB GEE-TEE".

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge's face is hidden by the earflap of his hat. He spins it around so the bill faces forward (his face is no longer obscured, though is glasses are askew) and spits out a mouthful of milk, followed by a fish.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Should have added: Mudge is still holding his beer over his head, having not spilled a drop through the enitre incident.


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I dunno... bc and Mudge in a road race across Newfoundland?

I've never met either of them or seen photos of them or nuttin', but the mental images... forgive me, guys, but I've got triple-dueling memes going on here and none are pretty, but all are hilarious from my point of view:

1. Thelma and Louise
2. Grumpy Old Men
3. Trains, Plains & Automobiles

I'm picturing a cliff, the smell of a four-week-old planted fish, and a "pillow"... combined with all the other visuals mentioned here (pregnant moose, leather cap with ear flaps, goggles, and a yellow MGB) I'm sooo glad I heeded nature's call before all those images came together.

Posted by: martooni | July 6, 2006 11:02 PM | Report abuse

MGB , teetering on the dock, falls into the water on account of Mudge quaffing his Brador. Lake trout wrigggles forth out of bc's helmet.

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Guano... I forgot the polka band playing "Roll Out the Barrel" from the very cramped "trunk" of that yellow MGB.

Posted by: martooni | July 6, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

All the while, background music plays GD cover of "It's a Man's World"...

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

martooni, if you've ever seen the film "The Great Race" or the old "Wacky Racers" TV cartoons, that might be a place to start, too.

Flying a MGB-shaped Milennium Falcon, I mean.

bc: "Mudge, is that a trout in your pants, or are you *really* happy to see me?"

Mudge: "It's a trout, and it's pretty nice, actually. And I meant 'left' at that last corner before the moose. Or cow. Or whatever it was you *almost* managed to avoid."


Posted by: bc | July 6, 2006 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Cut shot to two scantily clad islanders, looking at the trout : "Y'all have a wreck?"

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey WaPo muckity-mucks-in-charge-of-advertising:

What's with the audio ads all of a sudden? My four-year-old FINALLY falls asleep and I'm settling in for a quiet few minutes of boodling, when I reload this page and WHAM! we're all hanging from the ceiling by our fingernails. Not nice. Not nice at all. Downright ignorant and overly intrusive, if you ask me. You can tell "CHF" that whatever it is they're selling, I'll never buy it. Ads are irritating enough when they're silent (I know they help pay the bills, so I don't mind), but when they start blasting unbidden through speakers without warning, grrrrrrr..... the least you could do is give a warning so I could turn the speakers off.

Posted by: martooni | July 6, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth I have "The Great Race" and watch it several times a year. I also have the entire Wacky Races on DVD if anyone needs refreshing. Also hand paint resin models of same. I've got Peter Perfect and The Turbo Terrific, Mutley and Dick Dastardly done and I'm working on "The Creepy Coupe". The only place I could find them was at "" and they take about 6 weeks to get here on a slow boat from China.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 11:26 PM | Report abuse

EF: Is there any chance of finding the Thunderbolt Greaseslapper? If you want, I can still sing the theme song as well as that for Super Chicken...

Posted by: jack | July 6, 2006 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Wacky Racers? Was that Dastardly Dan and his flying machines? With "Precious Pup" (rassrrmassrmthrfrassrheheheheheheheehhe)?

If that's what you're talking about, I think they did both... road races and air races. I *loved* that cartoon.

What about "Penelope Pitstop"?

ROFL... (and PMP)... Didn't Penelope wear a leather cap with earflaps and goggles? Oh my... work that in with my other twisted mental images and ... AAAAHahahahaha... "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". Holy Mega-Guano, Batman! I am *so* sorry Mudge and bc. But the recent news about Mudge's "Elton John's robe" thing now has me picturing the two of you in drag trekking across the Australian outback in a beat up old school bus.

Maybe I need to start drinking again. I used to think strange thoughts back then, but this is really pushing it.

Posted by: martooni | July 6, 2006 11:42 PM | Report abuse

>f you want, I can still sing the theme song as well as that for Super Chicken...

Haven't seen the Thunderbolt Greaseslapper. I was lucky to find the Wacky Races stuff, and they don't have them all. I'd love to have the Red Max.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 11:44 PM | Report abuse

The theme song for the BC-Mudge road trip is an obscure Richard Thompson tune (is there any other kind?) called, of course, "MGB-GT." As Thompson describes it on a live disc, he took a nifty little Beach Boys-esque love song about a car and grafted it onto an unwieldy 14th-century dance tune. The lyrics:

Oh I've got a little car and she might go far
She's the mistress of my heart now
She's a '65 with an overdrive
And I fixed her in every part now
Two in the front and two in the back
110 on the old Hog's Back
My MGB-GT, she's a runner now
Oh my MGB-GT, she's a runner now

Oh I welded the sills and the old floor pan
Cut the rust with the torch and the hacksaw
Took the Rostyles off, put the spoked wheels on
Got a brand new Salisbury axle
When I come to town the girls all smile
They say "Here's the man with the retro style"
My MGB-GT, she's a runner now
Oh my MGB-GT, she's a runner now

Lockheed discs and twin SUs
Original chrome on the grille now
She looks like a dream in her racing green
Competition's standing still now
I sprayed up her body, I strenghtened the frame
I stripped her right down and I built her up again

Now an Alpine's fine if you've got the time
And a Healey'll set you back some
And a TR4 costs a little bit more
But it don't have the same attraction
Hard top handy, in case of the weather
I don't care if it rains forever
In my MGB-GT, she's a runner now
In my MGB-GT, she's a runner now
In my MGB-GT, she's a runner now

Although it's a catchy tune, it's not in a league with his other vehicle song, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," which is quite simply one of the finest ballads written in the last twenty years. And damned near impossible for anyone else to play.

Posted by: silvertongue | July 6, 2006 11:47 PM | Report abuse

martooni, Dick Dastardly and the Flying Machines came later in "Catch The Pidgeon". Penelope Pitstop got her own spin-off too where she was always being chased by the Evil Dr. Claw.

I think you can get them all at Warner Bros.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 11:49 PM | Report abuse

silvertongue, you do justice to your handle! Didn't know about that one. Agreed on the "1952 Vincent Black Lightning", I can't imagine it in any voice but his.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 6, 2006 11:52 PM | Report abuse

This is really silly. The Flesh, Thunder Girl, Melt Man, Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Flash and Jack Jack protect the TV room from Syndrome. Wanna guess who set them up?

Posted by: jack | July 7, 2006 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Pixel, great video. I was thinking to myself it was pretty good visibility, but surprisingly not much reef formation or fish for that long under water. Then I read the comment and it all made sense: 150 ft. That's really deep for recreational diving.

I think bc gets La Premiere Etoile/The First Star for today's boodle (other than the Boss/Potpourrier of course).

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 12:32 AM | Report abuse

James Rosen on Tom Wolfe:
When Federal Aviation Administration officials unveiled a new machine that immediately malfunctioned, Wolfe recorded its "ta-pocket-ta-pocket-ta-pocket-ta" noise.

James Thurber on Walter Mitty:
"WE'RE going through!" The Commander's voice was like thin ice breaking. He wore his full-dress uniform, with the heavily braided white cap pulled down rakishly over one cold gray eye. "We can't make it, sir. It's spoiling for a hurricane, if you ask me." "I'm not asking you, Lieutenant Berg," said the Commander. "Throw on the power lights! Rev her up to 8500! We're going through!" The pounding of the cylinders increased: ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.

Posted by: StRick | July 7, 2006 4:17 AM | Report abuse

*further ROFLGETEPMP, which is terribly inconvenient in one's cubicle*


Grinning Ear To Ear, 'Mudge...


Back to meetings, dadgumbit...

SoC, no putting the Maple Leaf on the brassard!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2006 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Had the walk, and ready for another day. This morning it was actually cool outside. I needed a jacket. After a hundred degree weather, I was shocked, but pleased. Soon came out of the jacket when started walking. Looks like it's going to be another beautiful day. Oh, all the comforts God does provide, I thank Him much. I hope your day is everything you want, and your weekend a blast. Mudge, thanks. Nani, I've been digging in the dirt this morning, and I love that. My tomatoes are still green, but I'm hoping red is in the future. Please know that God loves you more than you can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Does anyone here really know what is going on with North Korea? Are these folks aiming at something or just dropping those things in the water?

And the Mexican election. Do we really want a riot in that country? According to Eugene Robinson's op-ed piece, does not look good for the winner.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 7, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra: regarding N. Korea's missiles...

I might fall over dead for saying this, but I agree with Bush's assessment: Kim Jong Il "wants us to either fear him or pay attention to him."

That said, it appears to me that the North Korean's would be easy pickings at a poker game. They have missiles. We know they have missiles. They know we know they have missiles. But nobody (including them) knew whether they worked as advertised. Now they've shot them off and everyone knows they were basically duds.

I think Kim Jong Il *wanted* us to fear him and his regime (successful launches might have done that), but was willing to settle for the attention if it failed.

Personally, I think he's full of bull guano, but he's more of a threat than Iraq or Iran. I think the only reason we're in Iraq instead of Korea is that Iraq was an easier war to sell. We already fought in Korea (and basically pulled a Solomon and split the baby down the middle to end it). We'd already beaten Iraq once (though never finished the job). Given the choices, and the potential rewards -- an oil-rich country vs. one afflicted by famine and lacking any significantly useful natural resources -- the Bushies went for Iraq.

I think the solution to N. Korea actually lies in China. China may be a bugger when it comes to human rights and civil liberties, and they may be communist (in name only), but they're more greedy than Ken Lay when it comes to capitalism. They know if they want the money, they have to at least *try* to play by the world's rules. N. Korea, on the other hand, would like the same thing but instead tells the world to eff off -- and gives China a major black eye because they're technically allies. I wouldn't be surprised if China invaded N. Korea and took over. They've got too many WalMart orders to fill and the last thing they need is a deranged idiot on their border with premature missile issues.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Pixel, I finally had a chance to look at those dive videos of yours.

Nice work!

silvertongue, I had forgotten all about that R. Thompson song. Thanks for the reminder. Scarily, I know and have done most of the work he describes in that song (though not necessarily on an MG). I hope he used a 4-pinion Salisbury diff rather than a 2-pinion.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 8:39 AM | Report abuse

While I'm thinking about it, I had floated the proposal for a BPH on Wednesday 2 August. This is one of the few days that I can actually attend. Does this still work for people?

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Kim Jong Ill:
"It is inevitable that you will pay attention to me! I said, it is inevitable!"

Considering that KJ couldn't keep his Taepodong up for more than 40 seconds before going off, I don't think that that that particular weapon is potent enough to be a real threat yet. Mr. Ill can hide behind bluster, but he ended up having to shoot off a bunch of other fireworks to rattle S. Korea and Japan and other countries in the region (and maybe to distract Mrs. Ill).

Now, the Govt. is making a big deal about how they've deployed a missile defense system this week, consisting of 11 ABMs, and a radar network that's never actually been fully tested against a single warhead much less a sophisticated MIRV (Muliple Independet Reentry Vehicle) system with decoys. While the current network might be able to knock out one or two N Korean missiles should the actually head toward the continental US (rather than the easier and less well defended target of Hawaii) , they won't do any good in defending the Far East countries, or very little if countries with lots of missiles (like Russia or China) decided to send a salvo over. And they won't do much good against a missile sub surfacing just outside US waters on either coast because there won't be enough time for the system to react (it takes several minutes to triangulate IIRC).

As far as the Mexican elections, I think they were probably saying the same things about us 5 and a half years ago.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I think so, RD.

I seem to recall that another Boodler was going to be in DC in late July, and that they'd like to get together with us then.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Dick Dastardly's sidekick was Muttley, a large snickering dog that demanded a medal for any activity that did or did not end in disaster.

Pixel, that B-17 looked really cool. It doesn't look as big as I would think. I guess being underwater distorts the sense of scale. It's also in a little better shape than the plastic model version I blew up in my driveway.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2006 9:12 AM | Report abuse

And I think watching Penelope Pitstop at the age of five was when I realized I was heterosexual. Boy, was she scrumptious.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

SoC and bc, thanks for looking at the clips. For the record, Mr. Pixel is behind the camera. My job is to find stuff, and occasionally, to act silly. At 150', most people get a little thing called Nitrogen Narcosis, which induces a sort of euphoria generally associated with controlled substances. It's dangerous precisely because the diver feels so darned happy that carelessness can ensue.

I can BPH on Aug 2. It will be my birthday week (month). Hint.

Posted by: Pixel | July 7, 2006 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Already got Aug. 2 on my calendar, Padouk.

Cassandra, I've never quite understood the N. Korea thing, nor our reaction to it. On the one hand, I agree with everyone else that Kim is a nutcase, and very dangerous because of it. And I agree he wants attention. But so what? If he wants one-on-one negotiations, why not do it, even if we think they'll go nowhere? What does it hurt? I agree that China is the key...but what has that got to do with us sitting down with Kim?

The other thing I also don't quite understand is our alleged mock horror that he's suddenly test-firing missiles all over the place. So what? As far as I'm concerned, the more time, effort and money he fritters away sending up fireworks, the better; it just depletes his relatively puny arsenal, and helps deplete his own economy. If he accidentally hits something, well then the ---really hits the fan, and he's the one who'll suffer for it. And of course, if he ever actually launches an attack, then his life expectancy and the life expectancy of his regime is about, maybe, three minutes, because then he's chow-chow. And as crazy as I think he is, I think he realizes that much.

I've been a fairly close student of nuclear diplomacy for nearly 40 years now, ever since Herman Kahn's "Thinking About the Unthinkable" and the Cuban Missile Crisis, MAD, throw weights, strategy and tactics, etc., and I just plain don't see the missiles as a problem; if anything they are a distraction and a red herring. As I see it, the big problem is whether he's crazy enough to sell a suitcase nuke to some terrorist nutcase. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with missiles. Let him build and test-fire all the Roman candles he wants, if that's how he gets his jollies.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. Hey Cassandra, we had a nice steady soaking rain last night and it is delightfully crisp and cool this morning. I'm attempting to start a rock garden this weekend. (Sure wish I had Uncle Claude's old concrete pig trough - they make them out of metal nowadays). Instead I'm using concrete mix and some large old metal salad bowls. Here's the "recipe" if you and the children at the center would like to try it: 1 - Spray the bowl with a non stick spray; 2 - Mix concrete as you would dough, not soupy. 3 - spread the mix in the bowl thickly like you're making crust for the bottom. Then set in sun for half a day. Remove from bowls and there is a mini concrete garden. Not sure what I'll fill them with. Cacti perhaps?

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 9:27 AM | Report abuse

SCCs: too many to mention in my 9:10 post, but I think we all know what they are.

yellojkt, PP may have been *fine*, but it was Lt. Uhura and Yeoman Rand that sealed the deal for me. Oh, and that Dohlman Elaan (sp?), too. She could cry on my shoulder as much as she wanted.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge sez:
>and helps deplete his own economy.

Which would assume that he actually had an economy to deplete. While his people are starving, he's launching expensive (and unsuccessful) missiles, which must p*ss the starving people off, if they even know what's going on.

Posted by: Pixel | July 7, 2006 9:32 AM | Report abuse

RD and martooni: Please help me with my woodworking side. I hung an old cupboard in our kitchen a couple of weeks ago. The piece measures 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide. I cut a 5 ft piece of 1x4 pine at a 45 degree angle and fabricated a cleat. The piece of cleat with the apex of the 45 facing up was fixed to the wall using 3 31/2 inch deck screws that ran through the cleat and into studs in the wall. The other part of the cleat was fixed to the back of the cupboard; I ran screws through the cleat and into the back of the top shelf. Another small ipece of 1 by was attached to the back of the cupboard toward the low side so it would sit correctly on the wall. Now that the unit has stuff in it, somethig is up with the cleat. The unit is leaning from the top down such that there is an inch gap between the unit and the wall at the top of the cupboard and about 1/2 inch gap at the bottom. Instinct tells me to take the unit down and see what's up with the cleat. The daring side of me suspects settling on the unit on the wall; since it's been loaded for two weeks I'd think that it would have fallen by now. Advice, please.

Posted by: jack | July 7, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Yeoman Rand. Whooooooooooooooooooooo.

August 2 works for me, last I was told by my fearless leaders.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2006 9:37 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt - my realization came at age 5 also; Randolph Scott! That flashing toothy smile and red pinafore type western shirt. Of course his horse had a lot to do with it!

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the explainations concerning North Korea. They ease my mind a lot. I just hope attention is all this person wants, and not destruction, although destruction may be a way to get attention. I certainly don't want it to go that far, yet when dealing with unstable folks sometimes, you just don't know what you might end up with.

Nani, thanks for the suggestion. The Center has a nice little lady that comes in that works with ceramics, and the children are enjoying that.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 7, 2006 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Dear friends:
The blog is going to go into extended vacation mode at the end of next week. Rather than let it flap and gasp like a dying fish I thought I'd post some archival material from my own files, maybe get a few Post writers to fill in some, and also post some guest kits from the boodlers. So if anyone is so inspired, write a guest kit, and email it to me at I can't promise I'll use it, but I'll let you know forthwith (you could always post it to the boodle instead). I fear there is no compensation, just glory. Try to send it by, say, Tuesday midday, or end of business Tuesday. It can be short. It can be anything. Even a cattle buyer joke would work!

Posted by: Achenbach | July 7, 2006 9:47 AM | Report abuse

jack, I'd go with instinct and forget daring. This is an engineering problem, and engineering problems normally gravitate towards the worst possible outcome if left to their own devices, since that is precisely the outcome that your engineering efforts were designed to stave off.

Missiles are relatively cheap, compared to things like fleets of large bombers, and developing atomic bombs. That's why all the world's best nations with a homicidal bent prefer to work with missiles -- they're cheap and horribly efficient, compared to bombers. The major expense in buliding missiles is in paying the workmen. The materials are relatively minor, since a missile tries to be as light as possible. Since Kim is willing to let his people starve, paying them doesn't take much wealth. Therefore, missiles are no big problem. Remember, we built our first missiles in the early days of computers, and built our first ICBMs with computer guidance that was trivial compared to modern pocket calculators. These things can be done with technologies that are quite primitive compared to what we have developed over the past 40-50 years. North Korea is technologically in the 1940's, I'd guess, maybe 1950's. Consider what we were able to accomplish in those times. In the intervening few decades, our engineering solutions have become more refined and elegant, but not necessarily more effective.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - I think you are right in regards to NK. The thing to keep in mind is that the more repressive the regime, the more tightly linked are it's actions to the psychological quirks of the leader. This is very hard for Americans to grasp sometimes. Iraq was a problem because people failed to appreciate Sadam's genius for self-delusion and the extent those myths had permeated the nation. In Vietnam there was a failure to appreciate that Ho Chi Min would not react to bribery and intimidation as if he were George Meaney.

The problem with NK and, to an extent Iran, is that it is very hard to figure out the psychological motivation of the leadership. These are not rational people, at least not in the western sense of the word. They will not necessarily act in ways that are in the best interest of their nation, nor even themselves. So the question becomes, just what does Kim Jong Il want?

Perhaps Trey Parker and Matt Stone are right and he just "wants to be roved."

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm one of those paranoid geeks who wonders if the NKoreans scuttled the missile early, in the middle of a satisfactory test flight, in order to provide a confused impression of whether the missile worked. I'm reminded of a Roman commander in North Africa. His legion faced a well-defended and well-supplied fortress. So, he set up camp and began daily drills before the walls of the fortress. It became a daily show for the defenders who became quite lax. One day, the legion, in the middle of full-dress drills, was given the order to turn, and attack. They took the city with a minimum of fuss and effort and minimal Roman casualties. Kim may have some lunatic idea of similar action. He may not fully comprehend the size and capability of the forces that oppose him. After all, if he has kept his entire country in the dark, it's hard to imagine how any of his advisers could be sufficiently aware of the world to provide good analysis or good information. He might try it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I've got bouffant hair and platform shoes,
I shoot off missiles whenever I choose.
They may fall into the ocean like misfired duds.
Hey, I ain't afraid of none of your incoming SCUDs.

I'm the Il, the Il, the Kim Jong Il.

I may stand only five feet four--from the floor
Got Japan nervous about what's comin' at them from their back door.
Hawaii's a drop in the bucket from ol Pyongyang.
Anything to rattle Dick Cheney and the Bushie gang.

I'm the Il, the Il, the Kim Jong Il.

Thought I shouldn't launch missiles on the Fourth of July?
Just checkin' how high they'd fly up, up into the sky!
You, fiddlin' with Iran who's learning to enrich uranium?
I've got nuclear secrets embedded in my cranium!

I'm the Il, the Il, the Kim Jong Il.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

bc, 'tis I who will be in town the last week in July, but it appears that August 2 works for everyone, so don't change it.

Posted by: slyness | July 7, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Nani, if you line the bowl-mold with SaranWrap or something like that, you can get the outer surface to come out smooth and shiny instead of rough-concrete-looking. You can also put various kinds of dyes in the mix to get different colors. If it is thin-walled and your are worried about structural strength, you can even put in some epoxy (mix resin and hardner first). You can also line the bowl with pieces of cut glass, shiny pebbles/stones, etc., to make a mosaic surface.

To get highest possible strength, when you are letting it dry, keep it in the shade, cover it with a damp towel, keep the furface moist as long as possible.

If you are going to Lowe's or Home Depot to buy a bag of cement, get Type III High Early--it develops a bit more strength earlier in the cure. Everybody needs to wear gloves handling the cement powder, and be careful about getting the dust in kids' eyes.

(I used to work in a business that did extremely fancy experimental work on cement products for companies like Boeing, Burlington Industries and Pratt & Whitney. Our lab people were so good we could make a deck of playing cards out of cement, as well as a torsion spring. The big secret to high-strength and fancy cement work is in the sand and the other filler stuff, like fly ash, cenospheres, etc. The mad scientist bench chemists I mentioned the other day who designed solid rocket fuels were the guys who helped us design our work, because the same "tricks" used to make solid fuel for rockets is used to make super-high-strength cement products.)

OK, now I'm boring even myself.

Pixel, loved the B-17 video. I'm surprised at how much ambient light there was down at 150 feet.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Jeepers Jack, my woodworking is limited to small art boxes and the like, but it seems to me that your cleat may be pulling from the wall or, perhaps, biting into the drywall. The prudent thng would probably be to take everything down and take a look. Another approach would be to add to your lower support so as to make things vertical again. If you can live with the gap this might stabilize things. But it is risky.

Good luck!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

That was me at 10:00 in case there was any doubt.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Want to apologize for that stupid joke I told last night. I blame the three greyhounds I had to drink. I swear I thought it was funny at the time (which is actually funnier that the joke). Here's a little excerpt from 'Double Whammy' to make up for it:

There was something magnetic and comforting and entirely natural about holding a sweet smelling woman in a silken nightie on a strange bed in a strange motel room in a strange town where neither one of you belonged.

Posted by: omni | July 7, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

China surely is going to have to be involved in any solution to North Korea.

There was a short blurb on the news the other day showing soldiers parading in front of Jong Il. There were those great big 'I am a dictator' pictures in the background. Are those giant pictures on buildings, and street corners a cultural phenomenon or is it something which arises from the form of government people find themselves in? Is it a 'make sure he sees I support him' statement from otherwise normal people.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the analogy to Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam works, Padouk, for two reasons: first, Ho wasn't crazy nor self-deluded (and he had Giap, who was nothing if not brilliant), whereas Kim and Saddam are/were self-deluded (and probably neither had anyone of Giap's abilities advising them, because neither tolerates/ed advice nor competent help who were potential threats).

But otherwise, yes, I agree that the repression links them closer to the leader's psychosis. But there is always a price to pay for that, too; even Bush has this problem: when you surround yourself with fierce idealogues who all agree with you, the decision-making process becomes increasingly flawed. Having nay-sayers and devil's advocates and different points of view around you makes decision-making much more difficult, but at least you have a wide range of inputs and some self-correction and reality-testing going on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to imply Ho was crazy. Rather, that his value system was so alien from what LBJ understood that there was a fundamental misunderstanding of how the NV would react.

And yes, any leader who works in a syncopathic cacoon is heading for trouble. I am reading a biography of Hirohito that highlights this.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

North Korea Boodle antinomasiamania:

Bull Guano Governor
Nutcase Negotiator
Firework Fritterer
Chow-Chow Chief
Bouffant Bantam

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 7, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

RD, what is the book on Hirohito you are reading?

Posted by: dmd | July 7, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Betcha a donut it's Herbert Bix's "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"his value system was so alien from what LBJ understood that there was a fundamental misunderstanding of how the NV would react. "

RD, is this same issue still part of the problem in Iraq, and is it also a problem with Iran? That our cultures are so different we western nations are having trouble really understanding the shades of meanings of their cultures?

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Mudge if you are right I will send you one Tim Horton's donut.

Posted by: dmd | July 7, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

dmd, it is called "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan" by Herbert Bix. Here is the Amazon link

It is not an easy read, but quite well researched. It makes the case that Hirohito was not a passive pawn, but was actually a prime driver of 20th century Japan.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Oops just remembered shipping food across the border is a tricky issue now, we had an incident in the office, where one of our interoffice envelopes got stuck in customs as we had added "Moose droppings", chocolate covered almonds in the package.

Might have to be a virtual donut.

Posted by: dmd | July 7, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

dr - that is the key problem. It is called the "problem of intent," and is, in my personal opinion, why the emphasis on technical collections of the past few decade have caused problems. Unfortunately, simply getting "feet in country" will not cure this, because it is very easy to misinterpret a foreign culture even if you are living there. Especially if you refuse to hire anyone who, you know, actually has current links to the countries in question.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks RD it sounds good, the kind of history books I like.

Mudge one virtual donut being sent your way :).

Posted by: dmd | July 7, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Send the donut Mudge.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I meant "to Mudge."

I think I will do some work now....

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Today is the anniversary of the terrorist bombings in the London subway system. Both WaPo and NYT are doing the story in big ways--upper left-hand corner of online editions.

Bless Suskind for giving us the backstory, pp. 198-203. We had the ringleader, Mohammed Sidique Khan on our radar--humint, finint, sigint, not clear. But thanks to huge quibbles between FBI and CIA that were then escalated to higher-ups, neither agency decided to invest the manpower to put a close human tail on Khan after he was to arrive in the United States from Heathrow. The escalating bickering between our two domestic intelligence agencies resulted in Mohammed Sidique Khan being put on a no-fly list to the States and unable to leave Britain.

Being tipped of to the fact that his activities were being electronically followed by several countries' security agencies, Khan never entered our country, but returned to his job as a schoolteacher in Leeds, England, north of London, where he worked intensively with three young Muslim men he recruited. On July 7, 2005, he masterminded a series of terrorist attacks in London subways that killed 56, injured 700, and brought England to its knees.

Both papers' coverage are still trying to grapple with whether the Leeds groups had connections to al Qaeda. But none presents Suskind's side of the story.

Just out of curiosity, Froomkin's column yesterday mentioned Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain's M16, as the author of the Downing Street Memos. Does anyone know when, exactly, the knowledge that Dearlove was the author was made public? Yes, I could Google it, but someone here might know right off the bat.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Mudge here's your virtual donut, sorry for the plug to Tim's but couldn't think of another way to do this.

From one of our soldiers in Kandahar to you, one coffee and partially eaten donut.

Posted by: dmd | July 7, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I'm on a virtual diet, so for the sake of my virtual cholesterol, how about a virtual oat bran muffin? (Since it's virtual, I don't have to actually eat it, because I'd really rather have a non-virtual cherry-cheese Danish, to which my wife would say, "YOU ATE A WHAT!???!! ARE YOU CRAZY?????")

But since it's the thought that counts, muchas gracias. Oops, wrong border. Make that, "Merci, beaucoup."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse


Not being able to inspect it visually, it's hard to say, but here are some questions/suggestions...

Where did you mount the cleat (in regards to the height of the cabinet)?

Considering the size (4' x 6'), I would think it would require more than one mounting point.

For something that large I would recommend eliminating the cleat and instead driving the screws directly into the studs from inside the cabinet. If it's a hard wood (like oak or cherry), you can drill countersink holes in the cabinet's back wall to hide the screw heads. Otherwise, I would recommend using at least a 1/2" diamaeter washer between the screw head and the inside of the cabinet's back wall. In either case, three screws for each stud should suffice (one at the top, middle and bottom).

If this is an "open back" piece, you're in for a challenge. You'll be stuck with the cleats and will have to use one at the top of the unit and one at the bottom. An additional one in the middle would make it even more secure.

If you can send a pic of it to "sales AT", I'll have a better idea what you're up against and will get back to you with suggestions later tonight or tomorrow.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Loomis - There's a complication that Suskind may have missed. Although I know nothing of this specific incident, I know that, in general, much of the "bickering" between CIA and FBI is because the security bureacracy refuses to allow certain information to be passed due to fear of leaks. In other words, they sometimes refuse to share information not because they are cliquish, but because the rules, and the unsmiling enforcers thereof, forbid it.

And, thanks to the many recent leaks the rules are getting tighter, not looser.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

RD, hmm. Interesting isn't it, that for all our technologies, it still comes back to what a group of peple will choose to beleive about another group of people.

People have a really easy time picking up what is within their expectations, the things they want to hear and see.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Similar constraints apply to manpower. The law forbids certain activities by one agency but not another. Many of the conflicts between agencies are not due to "turf" or any other childish matters, but because the lawyers cannot figure out how to do things and still not violate the law, which is taken very seriously. Nobody wants to end up in jail, or on the front of the Post, and so they end up being paralyzed. This is where true community reform is needed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm troubled by the words of these wise sages:

Mudge: "when you surround yourself with fierce idealogues who all agree with you, the decision-making process becomes increasingly flawed"

RD: "any leader who works in a syncopathic cacoon is heading for trouble"

Lessons for the nation, absolutely. But for you too, Joel? Much as I love your writing, I fear all the "dear leader" praise you get from the boodle may compromise your journalistic integrity, transforming you into a maniacal kitting dictator with hideous fashion sense.

Posted by: silvertongue | July 7, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

dr - you are exactly right. It is a true challenge to understand and interpret a contrary worldview. Especially when you are dealing with a single all-powerful individual.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks for all the good suggestions and information. I've never worked with concrete before and didn't even think about the dust. That recipe, which did sound suspiciously easy, came from a short article in the gardening section of our paper. The rough finish might look good with cactus; and the smooth with more delicate flowers like petunias. (I like the purple ones, they smell like cloves).

Joel, on your travels, be sure to send us some "wish you were here" postcards. Have a great vacation!

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

silvertongue. Your criticism of Dear Leader has been noted. The next sound you hear will be the black helicopters.

Actually, I think in Joel's position he has no shortage of criticism aimed at him. I am always amazed that any journalist doesn't go home each night and cry into a glass of single-malt whiskey.

No I am going to unplug my machine because I clearly have no self control today.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Joel's not going to blog from France? My delightful hotel in the Seventh Androissement (or however that's spelled) had a public computer in the converted phone booth in the lobby. Once you got used to the messed up keyboard and how to get to the English version of Google, it worked fine.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 7, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

joel granted sovereignty to the boodle a little while back. he's now invited guest kits for while he's on a vacation, during which i hope he will completely ignore us for 3 weeks. i think the ball is in your court.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 7, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse


As a result of your post the boodle is, as I write, pouring into the streets in a spontaneous outpouring of support for Potpourrier (or at least mumbling over their second cups of coffee).

I, for one, think it would be grand to see Potpourrier's image in hundred foot high murals.

Report to the Mommy Blog for re-education.

Finally, (and off-topic) I'm sure this is unnecessary, but the impending release of Pirates of the Caribbean should not be taken as an early Speak Like a Pirate Day.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of leaders, ours is on TV tripping all over his tongue, telling us all how good the economy is. Pre-empted MASH. You don't make any friends like that.

Being somewhat familiar with the actual numbers, I found it astounding he just takes the sum of 3 years running to come up with a good-sounding one. Of course, I find much astounding.

Yes, productivity is way up. That's because I'm doing twice the job for the same money I made 3 years ago, and local taxes and inflation increases mean it's actually less. He doesn't appear to understand this anymore than his father knew how a supermarket check-out worked.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I posted something on the 10thcircle related to Joel's Frenzied Interactivity, and the WaPo radio bit here:



Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mudge and bc,
hitting a moose at high speed often results in death of the front seat occupants of the car.
See the pictures here:

These are a little untypical as the poorly designed roof of the car car was destroyed by the rather small moose (a cow, bulls are bigger) and the lady survived. Moose have long legs, cars litterally cut them at the knee and the moose falls into the windshield wjhen impacted at high speed. Most bulls are 1000+ lbs, that's a major impact. At lower speed most accidents don't cause any damage to the occupants as the moose falls on the hood.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | July 7, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Joel... I'd be happy to do a kit on the seductive (some might say aphrodisiac) scent of sawdust. Maybe a diatribe against master PBS carpenter Norm Abrams (Mr. LookHowEasyItIsWhenYouHaveAMillionDollarWorkshop)?

Honestly, nothing against Norm. But it does get irritating when you're halfway through one of his projects and suddenly realize you need to go buy a $5000 planer (or some other specialized piece of equipment worth more than a decent used car) to finish the darned thing.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

>t lower speed most accidents don't cause any damage to the occupants as the moose falls on the hood.

This indicates a long hood and high mass would be suggested. I hereby offer the '68 Caddy. With a 7ft long hood there should be plenty of space for moose-sitting, and at 4600lbs we'll outweigh the largest bull. It's fast and comfortable, and sleeps six.

bc, you may have to adjust your driving style a bit.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, you're 2/3rds of the way there already! That's a kit!!!!

Posted by: Achenbach | July 7, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Padouk, in regard to your 10:59, a Brit report, BTW (Longer version denied by Hal the Schemer...why?):

FBI hacker was trying to get his job done
Spooks' red tape was a pain in the colon

By Nick Farrell: Friday 07 July 2006, 15:18

A CONTRACTOR who was so cross that he had to get authorisation to do the slightest thing, hacked the password of FBI director Robert Mueller to make sure he had no approval problems, a court was told.
Joseph Thomas Colon (no really) has pleaded guilty to four counts of intentionally exceeding his authorised computer access and prosecutors want to send him down for a year.

The FBI gave Colon a password to get into the secret system to speed the installation of the Trilogy project which went t*ts up last year.

According to court documents he had enough of the bureaucratic delays in performing "such routine and mundane tasks as setting up workstations, printers, user accounts and to move individual computers from one operating system to another". In 2004 Colon found and decrypted Mueller's password.

Needless to say he didn't have any problems with authorisation after that, however his cunning plan was revealed when he loaned the password to another onsite worker. The worker thought this was a little dodgy and called his supervisor.

Prosecutors admit that they do not believe Colon was trying to damage national security or use the information for financial gain. But the FBI was forced to take significant steps to make sure there was no harm from Colon's movements. Mueller had to change his password for example.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

>But it does get irritating

martooni, you're on to something. However, I always assumed that the home craftsmen were willing participants in the Dance of the New Equipment, which has steps thus:

1. See beautiful item on program
2 Get family excited over possibility owning said item
3. Begin project
4. "Realize" said project cannot be completed without major new purchase
5. Obtain family support for purchase
6. Make major new purchase

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I have another thought on those big "I am a dictator" posters, since they all have them; Great Leader, Dear Leader, Saddam, Mao, Stalin...

I think it's to keep the people in line in a repressive regime. Did you see this last week?

If it is universally true that we do what we think we are supposed to when watched even by an image, then those giant posters exert psychological power over the people as much as the person himself.

Posted by: Stampede | July 7, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Still think that you should have had a woman on the radio gig, no matter how small the booth or the number of operational mikes. It's called...sharing!

Or at least had mo or TBG or slyness or one of the female locals on the phone, fer crying out loud!

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Dang, I had filed that Colon thing away for emergency output. It's an explosive issue.

Thanks for sharing that one LindaLoo. I bet Farrell was *dying* to write that second to last sentence.

Liked the Blackadder reference with the "cunning plan", too.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

That reminds me, has anyone watched Couric's program?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, Mr. LookHowEasyItIsWhenYouHaveaMillionDollarWorkshop gave our family one of its rallying cries. Way back when he was just a functionary on This Old House, they were checking out a decrepit barn on some property and someone else (Tom?) had looked at the foundations. As Norm started toward the door, he shouted, "Norm! Don't go in there!"

Our home improvement motto, applicable to all sorts of situations: "Well, it's better than it was when we started."

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 7, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

And this is what happens when a moose hits a truck at 85 km per hour. The moose bounced and hit the roof. mr. dr's truck lived to see another day. Sadly not the young moose.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

stampede -

while i think that the leader poster phenomenon is often a byproduct of a big-brother-is-watching-you dictatorship (lenin, stalin, mao), it also occurs when there's a "cult of personality" around a popular leader (ataturk, for example, whose posters can still be seen around turkey).

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 7, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, I like to watch those woodworking shows, too, but like, you, I grumble at the the TV and Norm. One day my wife turned to me and said, "What, you can't build a Chippendale armoire in 27 minutes?"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of David Sedairs, I see that they've made a movie out of the old Comedy Central TV show his sister starred in, "Strangers with Candy".

'twas an amusing bit 'o TV. May have to catch that movie.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Some of the blogettes have sighed over Vin Diesel and others, but for me, it's always been Norm. The plaid shirts, the beard, the knowing how to use a tool. And he can fix things, too.

Posted by: Gran | July 7, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "Sedaris". Dang it.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, RD, and martooni: Thanks for the advice. Gravity sucks. I'll take the cupboard down and see where my feeble attempt at engineering went awry. I suspect that heavier fasteners may solve the problem, in short, reworking the cleat. Rats.

martooni: The cupboard was built in the 30's, based on the hardware. The back of the piece is probably 1/4 inch plywood, not lauan. I ran three screws into the wall part of the cleat after I centered it on three studs. Thus, 1 screw in the center, and 1 to the left and right, respectively. This part seems to be bowing somewhat at the ends as there is 4 inches or so bewteen the end of the cleat and the first screw. I'll bet that thee wntire upper margin of the cleat is curving away from the wall (sheetrock over plaster and lath)The cabinet portion of the cleat has five screws run through the cleat and into the shelf on the inside of the cabinet. I don't think that running the cleat the full width of the cupboard will allow me to reach two more studs. If so, a full width cleat would seem to be in order along with a matching cleat at the bottom. Whaddya think?

SciTim: I hope you're doing better. I'm saying this in hindsight, but I was mentally in the ditch at the end of the school year, what with the end of school stress, a self-made crisis about turning 49, and the premature passing of my wife's stepbrother. I tend to make mountains out of molehills and it causes me to become depressed. Not in the bed depressed, but enough so that its a relief when it passes.

Posted by: jack | July 7, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Of those "before" the wedding photos, Sara posted, the most arresting one was of her eyes. I looked into her startlingly expressive eyes for quite awhile trying to determine what message or subliminal clue was there and decided that Jeremy has married himself many Saras all in one.

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Back to the Tour. It's quite a lovely race so far. Tom Boonen has yet to pull together a great sprint yet retains the maillot jaune. Robbie McEwen has had his number so far. The wrecks show what happens when you don't pay attention for even one second.

The thing about bicycle racing is that beyond the beauty and the amazing athletic feats (yes doping is a scourge) it always boils down to somebody riding a bicycle - how cool is that? Something most of us have been able to do since childhood.

As somebody who could care less about basketball and American football this has been the best few weeks of sports viewing in awhile - The World Cup, NCAA College World Series tournaments for both men and women, and now Le Tour. Of course I will be glad for them to all end so I can get back out on my own bike. My virtual diet just isn't doing the trick.

Posted by: rshields | July 7, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

World class bikers have tuff bunns.

For the rest of us, gel seats takes care of that handily.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

dr, HEY!! Oh you mean the bicycle seat.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Jack, if the back of that cupboard is plywood, it couldn't have been built before the 1950s, at the earliest. (Of course, it might not be the original back, especially if the hardware indicates 1930s). Plywood didn't come into common use until after WWII, and wasn't very common nor reliable until the mid 50s and later. No Luan at all until the 1960s or later.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

L.A.Lurker, cult of personality indeed. Certainly in light of the gents under discussion above.

Maybe there has to be somewhat of a cultural element to it as well. Its not acceptable to be a face on a big wall in the western world right now. Not that cult of personality is not and issue in the west. In North America, the choosen candidates are the ones who look good, and sound good. How they dress, how they appear in the media gets a lot more play than the message of policy. Often it ends up being a cult of personality (think Pierre Trudeau) only, we play it out on tv, and photo ops.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Luan strikes me as such an abomination. Once upon a time I lived in a 60's ranch with Luan doors, and they were not a good thing. I do like the solid wood, raised panel doors in my current home...

Posted by: slyness | July 7, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

> Martooni, you're 2/3rds of the way there already! That's a kit!!!!

I'll work on it, Boss. Should be able to get you the other 1/3rd by Tuesday.

Maybe I'll add in a bit about "Extreme Makeover - Home Edition" (they built a house about a mile from mine last summer). I could cover how it's possible to build a house from scratch in 7 days if...

1. you have several hundred laborers

2. a bottomless pit of money

3. a half-dozen espresso-crazed television producers running around with a camera crew distracting everyone from doing anything productive while they come up with creative new ways to film nails being hammered into wood


4. bring in the Amish

(important caveat: never let the Amish install your electric service -- see Simpson's treehouse episode if you don't believe me)

Honestly, the Amish are amazing when it comes to construction. Our area got whacked by several tornados back in '85 and within days it was like a horse-and-buggy convention. All the Amish homes and barns were rebuilt within a week, while the "English" victims of the storms were still standing in their front yards desperately waiting for the insurance adjusters to show up.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

dr and LA lurker, I think the phenomenon of those giant posters need to be placed in context of the notions of Soviet art during the 1920s and 1930s. They loved to have those massive murals of all the workers (which go under the generally curious name of "soviet realism," the word "realism" in this case only meaning working people ("the proletariat"): farmers, carpenters, steel workers, yadda yadda, and the "citizens" building the socialist state, yadda yadda. This in turn kind of comes from American murals, especially those of Thomas Hart Benton and others (see the walls of any Post Office built during the Depression by the WPA).

The main point is that huge, oversize murals were about the only common visual medium, of those days, there being no TV, and extremely limited (or non-existent) publications and literacy in general. So, as a propaganda tool, if you couldn't send out a zillion magazines and flyers and paphlets (esp. to people who couldn't read anyway), what you did was put up huge murals everyone could see, and, in theory, "celebrate" the workers and the revolution. (This has nothing to do with whether you actually approve of or agree with the politics; it only has to do with how a regime communicates ideas to a mass, dispersed, illiterate population (or, if literate, a population that has 10, 15, 20 different dialects and languages). Being visual images, specific language and literacy are (quite intelligently) bypassed.

Over time, the faces of the leadership began to creep into the murals, since very few people knew what Lenin or Stalin looked like. So yes, the "cult of personality" tended to grow out of this, but notwithstanding the idealogy, there was nothing inherently wrong about showing a hundred million people what the Boss looks like. (And, of course, you also get to work in whatever propaganda themes you want, too. But basically it is just an early form of visual mass communication.)

Nowadays, we tend to think of it all as a bit of a joke, but in its context that kind of showmanship was pretty effective. (And if you think we don't do basically the same thing with our Memorial Day and Veterans Day and 4th of July extravaganzas with giant flags and giant eagles, etc., then you just aren't paying attention. At the conclusion of Desert Storm you may remember that huge extravaganza on the Mall, with those giant Arbitron TV screens, etc.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

It *was* commnunication, but I tend to think of it as mass marketing.

It's no accident we show the flag and have jets fly over big sporting events. Even for those that are televised.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

martooni, I await your kit eagerly. Get all the noted stuff in.

I'm more or less out next week. I am at home playing with my 2 neices aged 10 and 12. As a mother of only males, but aunt these fine young ladies, I take my responsibility to seriously warp their minds before they are returned home. We are anticipating such fine events as first ever Edmonton Tacky Jewllery Contest, and the What Sofa is Softest Challenge, and the What the Heck is That Wildflower event as well as multiples of cookie baking, cake baking attempts, and assorted culinary disasters that only our various mothers will ever understand or eat. We are also going to take out the hideoulsy large spotting scope and look at the night sky.

I have been told they are bringing girl movies and their mothers have told me about some of their secret plans for me.

I might sneak off the read the boodle once or twice though.

JA, have a great vacation.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I love those huge murals. In 1940s-50s San Antonio, you could drive through an area called "Mexican Town" and see them, mostly Our Lady of Guadalupe, but other religious figures as well, on the sides of buildings and even homes. Huge elaborate neon signs depicting all types of art (lots of it western) graced most restaurants and backs of drive-in theatre screens. You don't see those much anymore.

dr, have fun with the girls! I have 50 yrs. of old costume jewelry that my g-girls loved playing with. (Can't believe I actually wore some of that stuff)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hours ago, while I was busy installing flooring with the ScienceGrandpa, silvertongue noted the danger of sycophantic adulation for Joel. He might turn into an evil homicidal producer of psychotically-ranting Kits. We can't let that happen, and so I take it upon myself to provide the following:

Aschenbach (hee-hee), you are scum. You are vermin. You are a stinking gob of bat poop. Guano is too good for you. You deserve to live in an alligator-infested sewer, so that your deranged mutant seed will be consumed by ravenous albino crocodilians (not that I have anything against your children, who appear to be very sweet). You have the intellectual capacity of a concave object (that's a thinkin' man's insult). How anyone could be so stupid as to be unfamiliar with anto ... nonatonto ... ant, no .... with basic literary devices is beyond me. You don't merit use as Tom Wolfe's bath mat, you ignorant stain. I would use some o' that literary stuff right here, but I don't have any good adjectival phrases handy for me to convert into proper nouns, but I would do it if I had them ready, you betcha. Caesar is mortal, and will die like other mortals. This, too, shall pass.

Whew! Sorry to be so rough on you, big guy. You know we love you. You're like a god to us, but smaller, and less god-like. Know what I'm sayin'?

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

On the money.

Thomas Hart Benton
Diego Rivera
(Heck,) the Bayeux Tapestry
Trajan's Column
The frescoes of the Catholic church and ubiquitous iconography

See: Tony Schwartz's "Media: The Second God"

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Nani writes:
Mudge, I love those huge murals. In 1940s-50s San Antonio, you could drive through an area called "Mexican Town" and see them, mostly Our Lady of Guadalupe, but other religious figures as well, on the sides of buildings and even homes.

More like nasty graffiti than true art. For some, it takes no skill to slap color on the side of a building.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I beg your pardon?

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Not in my neighborhood, thanks!

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse


What possible better method of niece-warping could there be than the Boodle????


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, ScienceTim. Joel is pond scum. silvertongue, which part of "Joel, you're a gob of bat poop" and the late lamented Lone Mule's plaintive cries of "THIS BLOG SUCKS" do you think are liable to go to Joel's head? :-)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think the BIG thing we have to worry about Joel is that after three weeks in France, he's going to come back all Frenchified, wearing a beret, extolling the virtues of fond in the sauces in the cuisine in Provence, going to sidewalk cafes to sip pernod and discuss existentialism, the works of Rene Magritte and the subtle tonal qualities of light in "Jules et Jim" versus, say, "Last Year in Marienbad" or "La Guerre est finie" and "Retour de Martin Guerre."

Also, the pencil-thin moustache.

Boodlekillers, all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget the HH episodes, too... Very little danger of JA suffering cranial expansion from all that.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, what was I thinking? But of course "true art' belongs to one social class and excludes others.

Posted by: Nani | July 7, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Another troubling possibility is that in France, Joel's mania for hands-on reporting will overtake him (or, if that is a stretch, he will develop a sudden desire to try that style of work). He will join the Tour de France, first as a camp follower, then grab a bike and actually try to ride. Given the length and hardships of the course, and painful characteristics of the ride itself, he may return unable either to Kit or Boodle. Or he may be so exhilarated by the whole thing that he continues this activity. Making discoveries and repressing results at the science agencies, hunting with Dick Cheney, and (gasp) appearing with Ann Coulter on whatever those media outlets are. The Boodle will never be the same.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 7, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, what if it was a Jimmy Buffett "Pencil-Thin Moustache?"


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 7, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Aschenbach, make sure you leave that joie de vivre doo-doo back in France.

Nani, National Velvet was on TCM last night and I thought of you.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Nani - you can't win this. Art is subjective. Personally I love those big loud colorful murals. But then, I also like those dirty pictures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on that, Nani. Wasn't it Tolstoy who argued that folk art was the only "true" art because it doesn't rely on the viewer's education or intelligence to "get"? I mean, I do appreciate art at many levels, but is it really art if you need a doctorate, a glass of wine and a lump of cheese to appreciate it?

Of course, I drive a piece of "folk art", so maybe I'm biased...

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

How come no one ever uses the word "proletariat" anymore? Or "proles"?

The bad thing about going away from the blog for 3 weeks or so is that I know, as surely as I know anything in the world, that the blog will keep rolling by itself and that everyone will realize how unnecessary the official "blogger" is.

Silvertongue, I hear you, but fyi, every writer I know ignores praise and obsesses over criticism. It's a pathology of sorts. The praise doesn't stick but the criticism burns into the flesh. That said, the very best thing about this blog is that it usually (the HH episode aside) avoids getting caught up in the sniping that is common among blogs. I mean, call up almost any blog right now and you'll see that someone is in a major peeing match with another blogger.

LindaLoo, I agree it would have been nice to have a woman or two or three in the studio. (Maybe next time I will give up my own spot at the mike and watch through the window and make distracting gestures, like clutching the throat.)

Posted by: Achenbach | July 7, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Sacre bleu! Suppose he comes back a Francois Hardy groupie? Saying things like, "Ya know, that Serge Gainsbourg wasn't such a bad singer after all."

O the horror!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

martooni, I LOVE your VW bus. I am thinking about getting into the folk-art automobile area, myself. I want a newer, cuter, more-inspirational car than what I have now. What I really want is a Prius, with lightning bolts from the nose and daisies all over (I didn't say it would be good art). The ScienceSpouse is opposed to the painting of anything actually new, so she has suggested an alternative -- painted magnetic sheets. The ScienceKids and I will have a great time.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Have a good time, Joel. We expect a full report, including photos and video.

So call me when next you go into the studio. Maybe I'll have $.015 to contribute. That's what I like about this blog, I learn so much (seriously!). Oh, and it's fun too.

Posted by: slyness | July 7, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of folk art, every afternoon a train passes by our office building. At least half of the box cars have some kind of graffiti on them. My fellow employees and me will comment on the more elaborate or colorful among them, as if the train were a rolling art gallery. Tagging is a nuisance and worse on walls and fences, but on a train, well, it's like advertising on a bus.

Posted by: CowTown | July 7, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Cows, where ya been? Nice to have you back in the corral.

"a Prius, with lightning bolts"--LOL, Tim.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Luv ya Nani.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Linda, would it surprise you to hear that I would prefer that kind of colorful, interesting art (with a cultural heritage, I might add) to billboards for ED treatments, TV shows, casinos, gentlemen's clubs (really!), or South of the Border?

It *is* religious in nature (and I'm pretty much *not*), but I see the value in the the hispanic cultural heritage aspects of it.

And I'd be OK with it in my neighborhood, especially if I lived in Texaco. But, that's just me.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, you should consider vinyl graphics for your Prius. They look better and adhere better than the magnetic sheets (which will scratch/mar the finish if left on a long time).

I've done a lot of race car graphics both ways, and vinyl is definitely the way to go IMO.

The vinyl takes a bit of doing to remove, but there is special vinyl for auto finishes, and the adhesive cleans up pretty easily.

"Tonight on 'Primp my Ride', Science Tim Bolts and Blooms his Righteous Prius!"


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Then, I suppose, Nani, you would like Sandra Cisneros' periwinkle purple house? (Gotta scroll down a bit.)

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

No, bc, you've beat us so much with the constant references to Lamisil ads, your preference wouln't surprise me a bit.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Proles = Doubleplusungood.

Remember, if you're reading this blog item from a corporate or government computer, everything you're doing is being recorded somewhere for review later.

*This Message Brought to You By the Ministry of Love (Miniluv) and the Inner Party*


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I really had no worries that our Dear Leader would morph into a Kim Joel Il, but you know, eternal vigilence is the price of liberty, or something like that. Joel, please don't come back from France all Sun King-like, you know, thinking "le blog c'est moi."

Kidding aside, I know firsthand the praise/criticism dichotomy with writers and greatly appreciate the civility, wit, and intelligence of this blog. Appreciate is an understatement; overwhelmed is more like it most days.

Martooni, your van is awesome. I'm a big fan of "art cars" where folks glue on all sorts of figurines and tsatskes. The Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore has some (, and Houston just had their art car parade (

Posted by: silvertongue | July 7, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tim... That's my "Stella" (also known as "Frau Sonnenshinen" or as my daughter says "Bouncy Bus").

I would say lightning bolts on a Prius would be acceptable. Just make sure you're wearing shoes with real rubber soles.

btw... I recommend Rustoleum (the brush on variety) for decorating cars. I heard the same thing from Mrs. Martooni when we bought the new minivan for her to drive ("if you even go NEAR that car with a paint brush...").

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Loomis, love the purple house.

My neighbors have shutters that color. Works great against the white of the house and all the green of the yard.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Joel, you're *not* going to "press hams" while they're in there, are you?

If you don't, I will.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought the periwinkle house came out as more of a blue -- maybe it's just the reproduction on the web. I think it needs some contrasting color in the trim. Truth is, though, I kinda like it. Maybe not for my OWN home, but I like the thought of it being around -- maybe even in my own neighborhood, which has no home-owners' association.

bc, where can I get the proper materials for the vinyl graphics? Do I buy it pre-colored, or does it take some appropriate kind of paint?

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 7, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, speaking of full reports... hello? Grand Canyon?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that is an excellent point (about the murals, I mean) and in the same way, certainly, the list Linda posted. They were all putting across a message and telling the people just what was important (in the eyes of those sponsoring the work). In a lot of ways whether its a political view or a religious view it is immaterial.

Linda I looked up some of the work of Benton. I found several things very reminiscent of El Greco, whose work is so very striking. Tehre is a quality of light there that fascinates me. Thank you for the book recommendation. Its going to have to get added to a long list.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Once, a prominent Democratic politician was going to praise the rare Madagascar Periwinkle for its cancer-fighting properties, during a visit to Miami. Just in time, someone pointed out that this plant, no matter how rare it might be back home in Madagascar, is a weed in Florida.

dr mentioned seeing video of the Big Military Parade in Pyonyang. I think the networks all show the same video clip. I think I recall Bradley K. Martin saying in his "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty" that parades like that haven't been held for at least a decade. They cost too much and use up too much precious fuel. Of course maybe the aboveground poverty is a sham, and they hold grand military parades in a giant tunnel carved from the living rock, with the Army hosting a big food festival in nearby underground dining halls.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 7, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I like that purple house. Would make giving directions very easy: "We're the second house past the purple one" is much easier to follow than "We're the fifteenth beige house with brown trim on the right".

I remember going to visit my Dad in one of those gated communities outside Orlando where every single house is the same color, same layout, same landscaping as the next, and just couldn't believe people would spend a quarter million dollar to live in such a boring setting. How do they remember who's house is who's?

To each his own, but I'd go crazy living in a neighborhood like that.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Expose my girls to the boodle?
I don't think they are old enough. I do want their mothers to speak to me post-warping.

SciTim, You may have saved Joel with your 2:41. The angst will carry him home relatively unscathed. If he was going the Sun King route, he'd have had to go for long curls in his hair, and I'm not so sure the flyaway hair thing he has going would hold curls.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Nani, I didn't mean to cut you short about the suggestion for the center with the concrete. I'm working with the children in the reading area. My passion is reading to the children, and getting them to read. We do have an art instructor coming in that works with ceramics. I'm also doing the sunflower thing with the big pot. Your suggestion sounds really good, I may try it myself.

Oh, Nani, our children have such a huge problem with reading. That is one of the area that needs the most work. I want them to love reading, and in loving it, do it. Anytime you have suggestions send them my way, I'm open to them.

And as far as art is concerned, if it has color I like it. I'm crazy about all the different colors. I still love crayons and coloring books, especially the big box of crayons with all the colors.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 7, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot, have a wonderful vacation, Joel.

Martooni, looking forward to your kit.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 7, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I was only joking about submitting a kit, Cassandra, but I'll send one in anyway and we'll see what happens.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Joel wrote:
I mean, call up almost any blog right now and you'll see that someone is in a major peeing match with another blogger.

I call them "pithing contests" since, well, the blogs are really about the pith. Except this one. Except when someone like skippy (aka Mrs. Linda Lay) chimes.

Mr. Mudgeon, you are one smart man and one hell of a writer.

Posted by: myteebyte | July 7, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, just about any good sign or graphics place can sell you vinyl of just about any color, or you can design the graphics yourself and they'll laser cut it and apply it (for a fee, natch). I'd bet there are several within a half hour of your house.

Make some drawings of what you want, and show them to a couple of sign/graphics places and discuss with them what you want to do, and ask them for advice and price estimates for your options (i.e. DIY, they cut and you apply, or they do everything). If they don't want to talk to you, move on. There are lots of places around doing this kind of stuff.

Applying vinyl yourself (I prefer 3M products, BTW) takes some patience, soapy water (to allow you to position the vinyl before the adhesive takes hold) and tools like X-acto blades for cutting and trimming, and hard plastic spatulas to gently push the soapy water and air bubbles out once you've got the graphics positioned.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: Thanks for the insights regarding plywood and the age of our cupboard in your 1.29. I'm no Norm.

Posted by: jack | July 7, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, that quarter of a million will buy you only a basic beige box of a house in Orlando. You need half a million for something a bit personalized, three-quarters of a million for something that would suit a family of successful professionals, and well north of a million for a trophy house. All the better to learn some French so the Canadians might let me retire to British Columbia.

Here on the coast, the 100% chance of rain has finally materialized. It looks like a bad day at Jurassic Park out there.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 7, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Dave, the Pyongyang parade is a mere replica of the same kinds of parades that were held in Moscow on May Day. These parades had an interesting side feature, which was that there was a certain balcony in the Kremlin where all the top party animals stood to watch the parade. The casual observer would have thought the selection of who got to stand up there, and who next to who, might have been somewhat random, but in fact this was how Muscovites (and Soviets in general) got to know who was in charge, and where various people stood in the elite power structure. It meant one think if Molotov stood to the right or Malenkov, or to the left, if Khruscheve was next to Beria, etc. Was Andropov in or out? One year their top idealogue, Michail Suslov, was sick, and wasn't up on the podium and everyone concluded he had been "disappeared" and there was a big shake-up going on. (I don't remember the disease, but he was just hospitalized for something). All our embassy spooks in Moscow used to photograph the hell out of the balcony and study who was standing next to who and What It All Meant. (Once upon a time I wanted to be a Kremlinologist, and my hero was Harrison Salisbury, the great NYT foreign correspondent in Moscow. Actually, I would have done ANYTHING to have a job where I got to wear a foreign correspondent's trenchcoat, standing in Red Square in the cold and drizzle watching all those SAM-3 missiles going by on their mobile launchers and scribbling notes in my reporter's notebook under the watchful eyes of the NKVD apparatchiks, and having drinks in Harry's Bar in Vienna with Graham Greene.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, SonofCarl! This being the beginning of a new fiscal year, it's my busy time. Gotta write up the FY06 performance report and such, which is due next Wednesday. Hopefully, I'll have some time this weekend to blog it up. The pictures came out pretty well.

Posted by: Slyness | July 7, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, would you possibly consider writing about the kids you work with to submit to Joel as a kit? I think it would be emminently kittable, and when you are passionate about something you write so beautifully.

There are so darn many people round here that write so well that I hope Joel is flooded with stuff to use.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Dave, you don't have to learn any French to live in B.C., but the housing prices are just as silly. Here's a little starter home in Vancouver:

$599,000 CDN = approx $533,000 USD

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

myteebyte, pithing contests are more fun if you're wearing the right helmet.

Or not.


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I know all about the real estate prices there Dave -- and the homeowner associations. One of the reasons I came back to Ohio. We have our own version of the cookie-cutter houses here, but they start around $100K and at least have a little brick on them.

Believe it or not, we only paid about $45K for our house -- a very small (but very comfy) 3 bedroom fixer-upper bungalow -- great neighborhood, good schools. I could probably knock the house down and get more just for the property, but I like our little house -- feels like the country cottage my great-grandparents lived in.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

dr, you made me smile, a big old grin. Thank you for the compliment. I don't know about writing a kit. That sounds more like Mudge, Nani, Lindaloo,Science Tim, RD,Martooni, and some of the others. That seems to be their turf.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 7, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

just catching up after being away a few hours.

re: soviet posters and art - it's interesting that the poster art came out of the avant garde artistic trends associated with revolutionary zeal and maintained some of that pizazz even after socialist realism became the official communist doctrine of art in the early 1930s. socialist realism specifically toned down the revolutionary style, while keeping the basic ideological message, in order to reach the masses, who were not necessarily literate as mudge noted or appreciative of radical art (something like the reception of conceptual art today).

i don't quite follow mudge's connection with american art as a source of socialist realism, although there are probably parallels. the question of realism in art was a highly-debated intellectual topic in russian culture going back to the mid 19th century, and the conscious adoption of this approach to art had a long intellectual and ideological tradition behind it.

propaganda aside, i think that the voluntary display of leader's pictures (like ataturk) is really interesting and has a kind of religious sensibility to it. while fixation on personality exists in any society, i don't think we have the same practice of displaying a large picture of leaders in our offices and homes the way some places do. in the soviet context, for example, displaying a picture of the leader would have, at least in some cases, replaced the practice of displaying religious icons.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 7, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I never figured out how Harrison Salisbury managed to be in Beijing for the Tiananmen massacre. Earlier on, I'd read his "900 Days" on the siege of Leningrad. After that, nothing about the Soviet experience in World War II surprised me. He was one of those journalists who made me wonder whether the CIA was smart enough simply to read the newspapers rather than rummage through the dumpster stuff they seem to have obtained from their own sources.

SonofCarl, when I lived in Portland seven years ago, it seemed Vancouver was going completely crazy. Sliver-shaped condo buildings everywhere. It was becoming a cooler version of Hong Kong. Portlanders were wondering when the Sliver Buildings would arrive in their own town. They finally have arrived in small numbers in an urban renewal area. Portland had an abundance of new five story all-wood condo buildings. One was set fire while under construction, the day before the sprinkler system was to have been activated. Quite a bonfire.

I think the North Koreans built a lot tall condo buildings in Pyonyang to give it a prosperous look. I wonder if anyone today lives on a 20th floor, presumably without elevators, electricity, or running water.

Anyhow, I had supposed there'd be some nice hinterlands in BC, even if Oregon's prime hinterland town, Bend, has become more expensive than Portland. Maybe I should move to St. Helens or Corvallis and pretend it's in BC.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 7, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

martooni's Ohio cottage sounds pretty good. I might even be able to grow a needle palm in the yard of such a place. There was a news story recently about the collapse of house prices in Canton. It sounded like the area around the Kennedy Space Center after the Apollo project ended. My parents obtained a lovely one-acre lot on the Indian River for $10,000 around 1972.

I've read about New York artists fleeing to Philly, and Washingtonians moving to Baltimore to find affordable places to live. Vancouver's geography doesn't seem to allow such migrations.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 7, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Dave... I seem to remember a Chinese restaurant here that had planted some coconut palms (i'm no botanist so wouldn't know the difference if one landed on my head). The restaurant went out of business and the palms disappeared with them. If your needle palms can handle cold winters, lots of rain and ground water (most of this area was wetlands back in the day), they might survive.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you are absolutely selling yourself short. I would love to see one of your stories or experiences expanded into a kit.

Dave, some writer (maybe Kristof?) wrote about travel in NK and said they have official "shoppers" to fill out the pretend "mall". I've read that the Soviets when they were short on kit would drive around the block a few times on their parades (easy way of increasing the volume).

Here's a neat link (I'm very linky today) with the early Olympic posters that translate pretty easily into early socialist realism. Check out Paris 1924; I don't think you'll see that particular design again. How high? This high!

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

LA, I didn't mean to imply exactly that American realism in art led directly to socialist realism; rather, just that the two styles appear to be similar. (And in fact, the American school, and maybe some of the others, do indeed go back to Diego Rivera and that group in Mexico, in a slightly earlier period.) Basically all I meant to suggest was celebratory paintings of working people. (To me what is curious is that the word "realism" is applied to painting that to my eye isn't at all "realistic," in the sense that, say, Wyeth or Hooper are. Rivera, Benton, the socialist murals--all look a bit cartoonish, IMHO. Not that I don't like a lot of it; I do. But "realistic"? No. But then, a lot of "schools"/styles of art have names I don't quite get.)

And I think your insight that the giant pictures have a "religious sensibility" is quite good. I've always been fascinated with the Russian "character" and "soul," and how that character twisted itself inside out almost overnight going from a highly religious society to an alleged atheistic one--the entire revolution has an unconscious religious sensibility to it. Strelnikov in "Dr. Zhivago" is basically Cotton Mather or Oliver Cromwell with a pistol.

I think I hear my bus.

Everybody have a good weekend.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

How high? hahahahahaha!!!

Somebody call the producers of "Queer Eye"... I think we've found the cast for next season.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

SoC... whatever you do, don't stare at the Mexico '68 poster for too long. Unless you're high and have access to a black light.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I saw that one too. I think we just found the perfect accessory for Stella.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh man! That would make a great headliner. Or curtains. Stella is in need of both.

I bet if I painted the outside like that it would make the cops' laser speed guns explode.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Dave I agree about the '900 Days'. I read that and a previous disinterest in WWII and the Soviets into strong interest. It affected who I read, and what I read about for years, and in a way still influences some of my reading for pleasure (Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and that kind of Soviet action adventure stuff). Solzhenitsyn was big on my reading list in those days. One day soon, I shall venture into the budding pile of Russian literature that is building on my shelves. Maybe that will help me understand the people more.

Mudge, one thing I do know about Russia is that in part to understand the people look to the weather, and the land. A lot of the Russain character is tied to the land and its vastness and coldness. '900 days' told me that a long long time ago.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of history:

"Genealogists discover royal roots for all"

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Dave, if you are interested in the BC interior, start looking now. As the baby boomers are looking for places to retire to, the prices are going up and up. Think Fernie, and Cranbrook, and The Radium-Fairmont areas if you are looking for tiny teny blink through hamlets, soon to be condo centrals.

and then if you want to fare more north, look to the area around Prince George. we went through last fall, and that is some of the most beautiful rolling countryside I've seen. I don't know about the winters though, and it is far from everywhere.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse


Indeed. Or umbrella. Sorta ties in with the Rovestorm thing I suppose.

Posted by: myteebyte | July 7, 2006 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I encourage everyone to send something in to Joel. I tried to write something, you know, all significant and deep and stuff.

In other words, the bar has been set really, really low.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

News breaking...very sketchy...about military wrapping up investigation into massacre of Iraqi civilians at Haditha--last November I think it was. Not good news about the behavior of our soldiers and their brass.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 7:19 PM | Report abuse

What Padouk says, send in. I'm afraid if I did, it would sound a lot like a combination of Miss Procedure and Sir LikesHisVoice.

Posted by: dr | July 7, 2006 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Not getting into discussion of house color or what is or is not proper art.

Just wanted to say hi to all -- me TBG and her family last nite in Virginia Beach.

We had a swell visit.

Padouk -- I decided on lavender and pale purple curled ribbons for a shoulder bow. The bow accessorized my white tee-shirt beautifully. Givhan probably would have ripped the outfit to shreds (metaphorically, of course) -- but it was fun.

Staying away from Dear Leaders and missiles too. Now that's it's cooled off, plant to play in my garden and try and ignore the state of the world for a few days.

Wilbrod -- I think I have the upper hand on the japanese beetles! One of my roses is actually blooming!

A good weekend to all boodlers and future kit writers.

Posted by: nelson | July 7, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse

It is hard to do. You want to write something meaningful because this might be your only shot. Plus, without Joel's kit to stimulate thought, you have to think of something all on your own. But I hope everyone goes for it. You will be a better person because of it. Sort of like eating your veggies.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 7, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I encourage everyone to submit a kit too -- I'm sure Joel has plenty of room in his mailbox and all the time in the world to peruse our musings at his leisure.

Just keep all yer dirty mitts off woodworking-related topics.


Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

OK, gang, time for a TV alert. If you are a fan of the show "Monk" (and I am) tonight is a "big night." Some years ago, Tony SHaloub and Stanely Tucchi made a great little movie called "Big Night," about two brothers who ran a restaurant. A very nice little flick, and a joy just to watch those two guys working. Tonight at 9, on the USA channel, on the "season premiere" of Monk Stanley Tucchi is the guest--and he's portraying an actor who is portraying Monk in a movie based on Monk's life. So we have Tucchi's character, a method actor most likely, spookily imitating Monk. If hilarity doesn't ensue, it never will.

There's also a premiere after it that looks like it might be good: Dule Hill from West Wing co-stars.

29 minutes until Monk. Ok, 28. No, well, 28 and a half. Now 28....

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

And Laura Croft is on the TNT HD channel.

Yeah baby!

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: First Night was a great movie, and thanks for the online tv guide. I'll really have to move it and get the kids to bed and my feed the animals chores done to catch it.

Posted by: jack | July 7, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

mudge, the term socialist realism is problematic, as you note, because it's only realism from the marxist-leninist perspective. one instinctively inserts mental quotation marks around the word realism when using the term. my fascination with russian culture let me to live in moscow 4 years and now get a phd in slavic lit. but i'm more interested in the late 19th and early 20th (pre-soviet) period than the soviet period, for literature anyway.

dr - i think the idea of the expansive russian soul resulting from geography and and climate is mentioned in nikolai berdyaevs's book "the russian idea" (on russian religious philsophy and cultural identity). it's been awhile since i read it, so if he doesn't say this exact thing, he says pretty similar things. it's an interesting read.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 7, 2006 9:19 PM | Report abuse

looking forward to the random guest kits as well as the post-vacation humorous-observations-about-france kits (but please joel, no guest appearances in the tour de france).

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 7, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, folks, I'm leaving at 4 AM for a week on the Outer Banks. Have a great week, and I'll see you when I get back.

Mudge, you have the conn.
[As if it were mine to give...]


Posted by: bc | July 7, 2006 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree that all inclined, or even not so, should attempt a kit. What's the worst that can happen? Joel might not post it? Joel might post it? Whichever. I don't know, though, RD, about your exhortation to write something meaningful. With all due respect that doesn't necessariy seem to fit in with the spirit (or letter) of many Kits.

Cassandra, absolutely you should write something about working with the kids. You are consistently interesting and, as someone else already said, one of our most eloquent Boodlers on issues you're passionate about (hey, if dangling prepositions are good enough for Churchill they're good enough for me). Also, about kids reading: Captain Underpants. Sure, the adults will cringe, but they're pretty funny, good stories, have a moral, and kids LOVE them.

The Oklahoma State Capitol (in Oklahoma City), which is filled with artwork, has many murals glorifying the workers, ballerinas, and Native Americans who made the state. Also lots of portraits and landscapes, not to mention three art galleries for seasonal changing exhibits. The mural lives!

As I recall the Fountain County Courthouse in Covington, Indiana had some pretty good murals too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 7, 2006 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Um...Jack, "First [K]Night" was a different movie, with Richard Gere as Lancelot. "Big Night" was the Tony Shaloub. (Rent the wrong one at Blockbuster and you're gonna be verrrry disappointed.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The danger in Joel's going on vacation isn't that the boodle will "flap and gasp like a dying fish," but that there will be about 6000 messages attached to the last pre-vacation kit, and we poor lurkers who can't boodle from work will be utterly lost. He has to do something to provide kits, if only as a sort of punctuation! Mudge, I know I'm getting old, because I thought your explanations of kreminology, socialist realism, and May Day parades in Red Square were things understood by anyone who reads the news once in a while and hardly needed explaining. Once, maybe, but not any more. Oog.

Posted by: Woofin | July 7, 2006 10:15 PM | Report abuse

My neighbors across the street are straight off the boat from Russia. A young couple with either two or four blonde-haired boys (they run so darned fast it's hard to keep track). They mow their lawn once a week. Every once in a while they'll wave at me as I pull into or out of my driveway. We had a yard sale and the Russian wife paid a quarter for some toy my daughter forgot about. We had mechanical issues with our old car and the Russian husband came over to offer his two cents (basically, get a new car), then he and I opened up the engine hatch on the old VW and talked about *simple* motors that anyone with a shadetree and a bucket of wrenches could maintain.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I, too, found the Clancy novels fun to read. I grew up in the "duck and cover" era, so I spent my childhood wondering whether a wood desk with steel legs would protect me from an atomic bomb. I even have Stanley Kubric's "Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb" on DVD and watch it at least once a month. But my neighbors are good people who have completely destroyed any stereotypes or pre-conceptions I've ever had of the formerly unionized Soviet empire.

They think Ohio is like Paradise, but they have no complaints about the "old country". Maybe they came from a region where food/gas/vodka was never in short supply. I don't know. All I know is that they make me think of what it must have been like for my great-grandparents (Germans, Pollacks, Italians, and Irish) coming here to start a new life. No matter how good or bad it was in Russia, it takes some serious brass spheres to pick up and leave for a country where nobody knows your name (or even how to pronounce it) and was formerly your cold-war enemy.


i lost track of where i wanted to go with this, but what the hell... i'm gonna click "submit" anyway.

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I like the periwinkle house. I live beside a purple house (most of it looks light gray, but the "peaks" and trim are painted a vibrant shade of purple). Yes, it makes directions fool proof!

Speaking of murals and Diego Rivera, I love that he painted a mural in Rockefeller Center with Lenin in it. Not that I'm an admirer of Lenin, but that took some nerve.

Looking forward to Monk and Psych tonight, and Breakfast at Wimbledon.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 7, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way, I think it must be an ancestor of yours after whom Fort Mudge, near the Okeefenokee, was named. Surely I can't be the first to draw attention to this simple fact. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Woofin | July 7, 2006 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Woofin, when you mentioned Fort Mudge, I swear I could hear 15, 20 boodlers muttering, "No, no, no, no, he [assuming you are a he] didn't mention that to Curmudgeon. Oh god, say it isn't so..."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 7, 2006 10:31 PM | Report abuse


I once hired a little guy named Leonid from Kiev who had nearly the same resume that I did, including the fusion work. How could I not hire him?

And I fell in love with a Russian girl named Maria in Philly, who looked possibly better than Angelina Jolie... I had a CD burner when they were $2k, and she said "No one has such a thing at home". I said "I do, I record my space music on it."

She said "Is no music in space. I know, my mother is physicist."

I now work with two Russian ladies, love 'em both. So as far as I'm concerned, I never met a Russian I didn't like.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 10:32 PM | Report abuse

EF... what is it with Russians and physics?

I know a couple of Russian immigrants who figured out how to pass a laser through an LCD display to etch glass plates for *animated* holographic prints. They were working in the basement of a freaking grocery store, and had to cease all operations whenever the store had a delivery because the vibrations from the semis in the parking lot screwed up their scans. Very cool stuff for a clueless but curious geek like me. They've since moved out of the grocery store's basement (got a contract with some government(s) to produce counter-counterfeiting holograms for paper money that government printing presses can handle, but nearly impossible for the average counterfeiter to reproduce).

> "Is no music in space. I know, my mother is physicist."

but what about the "music of the spheres"?

has she seen Kubric's "2001"?

Posted by: martooni | July 7, 2006 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Colby King's op-ed, posted for tomorrow:

Twenty-one-year-old Steven D. Green, honorably discharged from the Army in May for a "personality disorder," is charged with entering an Iraqi home near Mahmudiyah in March and raping a young woman (Iraqis say she was 15 years old; the U.S. military says 20), shooting her in the head and setting her body aflame...

So few in the press seem to mention that Green is from Bush's hometown of Midland, Texas...these three intro grafs from the San Jose Mercury News:

MIDLAND, Texas - Steven Green didn't appear to have lifelong footprints in this West Texas town known as a major oil and gas producer, and as the former home of his commander in chief - President Bush.

Few people seemed to have any recollection of the skinny, 21-year-old former private who is accused in the horrific rape and killing of a young Iraqi woman and the execution-style slayings of three of her relatives.

And his father, John Green, somberly declined to comment about the case when reached at an apartment complex where residents include plenty of young men fresh off tours of service in the Middle East.

Posted by: Loomis | July 7, 2006 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I joined the army shortly before the Wall came down (in my mind they are closely related), so I just squeaked under the wire as a "Cold Warrior".

One of my favorite photos of myself is on vacation in Germany in 1991, when I came across a small group of Soviet conscripts and their NCO on the EAST side of the Brandenburg Gate, and we were photographed together.

As an aside, Clancy's "Red Storm Rising" would be a fantastic movie, although it is (happily) a historical "what if" now.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 7, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

>EF... what is it with Russians and physics?

I don't know, but I can tell you why they're so good with computers. They had old crap for so long they absolutely had to get creative with their approaches to problem-solving to make up for the slow CPUs. It's kind of like why Boston is such a good college town - it's cold in the winter, and people are more likely to stay inside and read.

We need to get kids here into math and physics, it's an absolute necessity. Unfortunately they're all getting the idea that all you need is a good rap or 3-point shot to make big bucks, get the ho's and the bling. Bah. The current culture of anti-science is not helping. We need people like ScienceTim to be cultural heroes, not Terrell Owens.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 7, 2006 11:19 PM | Report abuse

EF, you have found your kit

Posted by: distant lurker | July 7, 2006 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, I was thinking maybe Error could use a Kit to expound on why he'd be such a good Presidential candidate (or, I forget, is Error a "she"?).

The truth is, it takes some willpower and some chutzpah these days to tell kids that physics is a good place to look for a career. It's true, in the karmic and philosophical sense, but not in the put-food-on-the-table sense. Our society doesn't value science very much, and so it is drawing back from putting money into basic science. Still interested in applied science, however, without any thought to where the fundamentals come from that make applied science possible.

My goal in going into classrooms as a science educator is not to make kids into physicists or other-type scientists (Remember, I'm talking about elementary-to-high school classrooms, not college, where I should be preparing them for science). Our society already produces more scientists than it is willing to employ in their field of training. My goal is to open up students' worlds and make them aware of a horizon beyond their own neighborhood. I don't know, can't know, should never choose, the path for a kid who hears me. But I can show him that there are many more paths than his map shows, and those paths can go a long, long way.

I will never be a great musician, but I value the work of musicians. I will never be a skilled visual artist, but I value the work of artists. I will never be a successful businessman (trust me), but I know we need them for our society to prosper. I will never become a biologist or acoustical scientist or oceanographer (probably) -- but I value their work and feel that I know enough to vote intelligently on matters that intersect with those fields, or at least I know enough to find out what I need to know. My goal as a science-educator is to encourage kids to learn enough science to be capable voters, so they can vote knowingly. I think it's a loftier goal, and a harder goal, than just trying to encourage the tiny subset of students who might one day choose science for their own career. Some people want to encourage the 1%, or so, who will one day be scientists and engineers. That's good, but I figure that most of those kids are already on course. My beat is the other 99%, the ones who decide whether society wants to support the work of the 1%.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 8, 2006 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, SciTim. I hope you're doing up a guest kit. I've finished my draft, and will send mine in on Monday.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 8, 2006 12:21 AM | Report abuse

heh, thanks folks, but I have already submitted a kit on the concept of... Error, and it's applications and considerations in public policy. Non-Presidential, I didn't want to get into that. But I appreciate the support.

No Tim, Error is not a she. :-)

But you've got a Cabinet position for sure.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 8, 2006 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I've been for the walk, and it is so beautiful outside this morning. The weather is cool, and the sun looked awesome on the lake. I really do thank each and every one for the compliments concerning the writing, but I'm not sure about submitting a kit. What Joel does is good, very good. And I can only imagine that writing is his call in life, not sure that it is mine. I will think about it, and give it serious consideration. Again, I thank you. Loomis I read that piece by King, and if those allegations are true it really sets us back a thousand years. That was awful, but as King said it happens everyday in places like Darfur. It's sad when it happens anywhere. I do hope everyone's weekend is good. Get some rest folks, and give God some of your time, and know that God loves you more than you can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 8, 2006 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Related to ScienceTim's 12:13 am:

I watched "Psych" last night. Funny, except the part that kept nagging at me about how believable it is. So many responsible people are so lacking in scientific knowledge and observational skills that anyone with those skills can easily pass themselves off as a psychic. Unfortunately, many people will believe a mystical or pseudoscientific explanation, even if a scientific one is staring them in the face.

Mrs. D. just got her first job in her new freelance role as a science education consultant. She's going to be teaching a group of elementary school science teachers what a scientific experiment is. Apparently, a local museum in that county sponsored a science fair, and the projects were so bad that they decided they needed outside help for the teachers. Which is encouraging, in a way--at least they realized they needed help.

I'm off on Monday for 5 weeks of field trips and excavations in Peru and Wyoming. Have fun boodling--I'll stop in when I can.

Posted by: Dooley | July 8, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Good work, SciTim. Once I was in a chain restaurant (what the KFC commercials call a "casual dining restaurant") in a booth, and the couple in the booth behind me was having a conversation with their son (somewhere around 12-14 years old) that deeply embarrassed them. The dad was a physician, and the son was giving the speech about how lame school is, and how he is never going to use most of the stuff they teach there. Now my parents would have said, in that situation, "What, you want to be a dummy? And keep your voice down, we're in public!" The embarrassing thing here was that the mom was clearly trying to come up with something more substantial and couldn't. I've thought about that kid many times since. Of course, he was mainly trying to jerk his parents around, with that infuriating adolescent twinkle in his eye; I doubt he really intended to give up studying. But taking him seriously for a moment, what should his mother have said? What would I say? (I don't have kids, so I haven't had to deal with this in real life.) I know that I've needed every ounce of knowledge I could muster, sometimes in ways I could not anticipate, and I would not have wanted do without any of the insights I've been fortunate enough to absorb from those who know more.

Posted by: Woofin | July 8, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

SoC, I KNEW there was a good reason to pass you the brassard...

I, too, am a "just barely Cold Warrior." I was in Germany from '86-'92, saw the Wall fall and all that. *salute* Having therefore experienced Trabis on the Autobahn (try visualizing a moped at the Indy 500), that made the "V-12 in a Trabant" all the more hilarious.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I worked at the southern end of the Cold War, in the proxy wars of Central America. Better beaches, but the beer was crap.

Posted by: Pixel | July 8, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

See? All these ages-old cultural traditions for male bonding. Soldiers may pass each other a brassard (I have no idea what that is?), but what do women have--passing the brassiere?

From Wikipedia:
A brassard is a roughly triangular piece of fabric designed to be worn around the upper arm, held in place by a shoulder strap on the clothing underneath. It is used as an item of military uniform to which badges indicating rank (or other insignia) may be attached, instead of to the actual clothing.

The word brassard (also brassart or brasset) is also used to refer to pieces of armour worn on the upper arms.

Gee, if its meaning is that amcient, maybe the only old piece of clothing women of that age had in common was the chastity belt?

Posted by: Loomis | July 8, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Wouldn't hats count for a female-bonding sort of clothing swap?


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 8, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"the son was giving the speech about how lame school is, and how he is never going to use most of the stuff they teach there"

What teenager doesn't feel like that at some time. One responder in my class reunion memory book says "Who knew there'd be a use for geo-trig?"

Posted by: DR | July 8, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Man, you folks are making me feel (i) old!(i/) But then, I'm an boomer from the early part of the cohort.

I'm gonna try my hand at a kit - a report from the Grand Canyon. Don't know if it'll be worthy of posting, so we'll see.

SciTim, my younger daughter is a computer science major and she has hilarious things to say about the (mostly male) other compsci majors and grad students. I gather they are generally clueless. She anticipates no problem getting a job, being a woman in a man's field. As for uses of science, her boyfriend is majoring in chemistry and plans to be a neurosurgeon. Regardless of the messed up state of medicine in the US, I think he's going to do quite well.

Posted by: Slyness | July 8, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, you got me laughing. Good thing the coffee is upstairs.

Posted by: dr | July 8, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, good thing we men prevent women from having any bonding rituals. Who knows what would happen?

Good thing they never all go the bathroom together when you're out at a club. Hope my mom realizes the total singularity she represents as the ladies go out on movie night or get together for coffee.

I'd hate to imagine a world where my mother, sister and nieces all go the mall together.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 8, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

RD--I read Marius Jansen's "The making of modern Japan" a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly, during the Meiji era, various parts of government nominally reported directly to the Emperor, but the men running the various parts were on good terms with each other, and they rarely if ever took disputes to the Emperor. Afterward, that arrangement unraveled and Japan became quite unstable between the world wars. Hirohito actually had to run the government for a few days after a coup attempt in which the prime minister escaped assasination by hiding in a closet. During the Second War, it seems the Army and the Navy reported directly to Hirohito (and not to civilians), and tended to ignore each other. The whole setup seems about as workable as the Confederate States of America.

dr--One of the conveniences of living in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming was Russian temperatures without Russian snow or, I suspect, wind. We did have a winter in which a quarter of the town's water system froze, so inviting friends over for showers became a big deal. I don't know how Russian peasants managed in those little wood houses. Perhaps the same stubborn way the Finns did.

martooni--Needle palms (Rhapidophyllum) have fan-shaped leaves. They're native from central Florida through central Alabama and Georgia. They are closely related to the Chinese windmill palms (Trachycarpus), which are also pretty hardy. There's a lot of interest in growing hardy palms--Timber Press has a book. There's a bunch of websites, some of them a bit wacky, and the International Palm Society's web forum has a contributor, BobbyinNY, who says he's trying to grow palms outdoors on Long Island that I wouldn't try in Orlando:

Here's a nice website from Bowie, Maryland, with pictures of needle palms in Washington:
This guy has lots of links. Weird ones. Reminds me of 18th century efforts to grow coffee, pineapples, and oranges in Europe. Can't the folks in Colorado be happy with columbines, penstemons, and tulips from central Asia?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Snuke writes:

Wouldn't hats count for a female-bonding sort of clothing swap?


Nah. Too much variability in size. I wear a hat size a few sizes bigger than my hubby's, for example. Getting a woman's hat to fit my head is as difficult as getting women's sock and shoes to fit my feet, or women's sized gloves to fit my hands--even in my younger days. Not an Amazon, but almost. ;-)

The brassard doen't depend on the size of the man's bicep, apparently. It wouldn't be too likely that a woman with a 34AA brassiere would be trading any time soon with a 40DD, either. :-)

Posted by: Loomis | July 8, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

On SN's brassard, the brassard at issue is the official insignia of the Achenblog Deputy Shop Steward. It would look very much like hall monitor sash/brassard, as befitting it's Very Important Status. I was thinking we should get an official rank as well: maybe Obergewurztraminer?

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 8, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Since I live in a retirement haven, the local Book Center has lots of resources for migrating Baby Boomers. I wonder if we'll see mass migrations of liberal boomers to Prince George, BC, along with conservatives going to northern Idaho or even Buffalo, Wyoming (I've seen a story to the effect that this little spot on the east side of the Bighorn range is becoming such a spot. Maybe herds of boomers could repopulate upstate New York, provided we're all allowed to drive Nissan Xterras and Toyota FJ Cruisers to get through the snow.

I need some place cloudy to make up for serious sun damage. Perhaps Pittsburgh or Tofino (the latter, on Vancouver Island, appears to have been "discovered" in the worst sort of way).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 8, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl,is it Obergewurztraminer or Ubergewurztraminer? Wouldn't that be the wine that's so spicy, you need to consume plenty of sour cream and guacamole to cool off your mouth?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 8, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"what teenager doesn't feel like that at some time"

Probably true for most, DR, but intellectual vanity was very very strong in me at that age. To the point that it actually interfered with real education.

I've probably made too much out of that particular overheard conversation, but I've often wondered about good and bad motives for education, and how to get normal, healthy kids who don't have an excessive ego hunger interested in studying.

Posted by: Woofin | July 8, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, ScienceTim. You are doing yeoman's work, or hero's work. I am constantly emphasizing the importance of citizenship and voting, but a big part of that is education -- one should know what one is voting about. People like you help us all.

Ivansdad & I have pointed out to the boy that science & math are (a) intrinsically cool and (b) absolutely necessary if he wants to create/program video and computer games. I don't much approve of the games themselves, but if it gives him a reason to apply himself to math & science I'll take it. He's about old enough to introduce to the whole blowing things up concept, too.

Loomis, thank you for "brassard". I had no idea what those guys were talking about and, after the extended automotive discussion, wasn't sure I wanted to know. Guys, women have plenty of bonding rituals. They're just a mystery to you, like everything else about us (or so we hope). They're all in the secret handbook.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 8, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse


I was at a local greenhouse earlier. Thought all Boodlers might like to know that Bat Guano retails for about $8 per pound.

Posted by: a bea c | July 8, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

That's wonderful that your daughter is majoring in computer science. I've heard that there aren't many folks of either gender majoring in that these days, which is a bit alarming. I got into computer support back in the mid-70's without a degree and have been able to do pretty well (knock on wood). Sometimes I wish I had picked something less stressful, and after all these years, a change would be nice, if only I could figure out something else to do that would pay as well. But all in all, it's a good field to be in. Best of luck to her.

Dooley, hope your travels go well. Can't wait to hear about your adventures in both places and in between.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 8, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

>Guys, women have plenty of bonding rituals.

Ivansmom, yes we know, even though we know we don't know all of them. That secret book and all.

The idea that men went to war for centuries merely to provide male bonding experiences rather than defend their property and women from other tribes or nations is absurd in the extreme. Regrettably women are now getting an opportunity to get their own combat bonding experiences.

I'm still trying to figure out where the one-armed man who prevented the female side of the human race from calling into the radio show went to.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 8, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought men went to war for centuries to get out of the house.
If you're looking for the one-armed man, he's with the dwarf eating a piece of cherry pie and drinking a cup of coffee.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 8, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

There's a fish in the coffee.

Posted by: ivansmom | July 8, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The Log Lady is still available as a boodle handle.

I finally got around to reading the piece on Anderson Cooper. I have to admit I'm kind of glad his ratings aren't so good. Aaron Brown, his predecessor, was unceremoniously booted out to put Cooper in. I liked Brown a great deal for his combination of good, solid news reporting with a sly sense of humor. I wasn't sure what had happened to him - hoped he was relaxing, enjoying some time off. From Wikipedia, I learned that he's going to be teaching at Arizona State University, and here's a link to an article he wrote about the news biz -

Cassandra, Aaron is probably the guy who reprimanded the reporter that you mentioned - he was a stickler for good reporting.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 8, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and it's the cutest panda ever's birthday tomorrow (July 9) -

Everybody say, Awwwww.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 8, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, mostlylurking. She's a bright kid and should be eminently employable. Somebody has to put food on the table while the boyfriend is in med school, and she should be able to handle that nicely.

Posted by: Slyness | July 8, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the information about Aaron Brown and the fact that he is in Tempe, teaching at Arizona State University. When the news broke that he had been let go from CNN, friends wondered for quite some time where he'd end up.

I'm laughing that he landed so well--in Tempe, where he can teach broadcast journalism and pursue his love of golf on the great courses in the area. GOOD for him!

mostlylurking, thanks for the link to the article as well.

Aaron was quite involved with the O.J. Simpson trial for ABC out in Los Angeles. Wonder if Aaron would get a kick knowing that my maternal cousin Bill has retired now to Gilbert, Arizona, just a few miles to the east of Tempe. Bill was Philip Vannatter's partner for several years before Vannatter was paired with Mark Fuhrman. Bill and Phil were also partners in a small business venture--selling T-shirts at Los Angeles-area flea markets--that is until thieves stole the merchandise out of my aunt's garage!

I remember the night of the Robert Blake coverage by Aaron oh so well. Hubby was on a business trip. I had gone to the nearby, brand-new McDonald's for dinner (something I no longer do, it's so awful), saw Aaron was broadcasting the story, focused on it. Got my order, sat directly under the TV, began to watch, and my devoted attention attracted a handful of people around me. But after a time, even I thought the amount of time devoted to the story was ridiculous--this was no O.J. Simpson freeway chase. Since I worked as the communications manager of the Modesto Chamber, I also thought most of the Laci and Scott Peterson coverage was way over the top as well.

SonofCarl asked about Couric's show. I don't think she begins in the CBS anchor chair until September, after the summer vacation lull. But I saw several clips of her extended good-bye at NBC's morning show. It's going to be a real struggle for me to tune into her for serious news knowing that she sailed around the set dressed as Peter Pan. Same with Charlie Gibson, he's put himself in so many ridiculous positions, such as shooting a watergun on air at his fellow anchors at ABC, it's hard for me to take Charlie at all seriously either. My money is on the Big-Three network station (we don't get but basic cable) that is now most serious about the news--NBC.

If ever I see Brian Williams rigged to fly around the studio as Peter Pan...well, I'll just throw up my hands in the air and give up! How sad that the news isn't the star of the program, but the news readers have to pumped up as brands--to be pushed and promoted. And that news now requires what I'll call "entertainment value."

I figure the above paragraph will elicit some Boodle comments. No need. I'm a news purist when it comes to plunking myself down in front of the tube news in the evening--that's all there is to it.

And mostlurking, I'm with you. If Aaron chewed out a reporter on air, in all likelihood, she deserved it.

Posted by: Loomis | July 8, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Dave, North Vancouver Island, look for Winter Harbour, one of a great many lovely little communities. And them there is the inimitable Scarlet Ibis pub at Holberg, a very small community, but the best darn fish and chips on the north island. Neither have been Tofinoed yet.

Posted by: dr | July 8, 2006 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"How sad that the news isn't the star of the program"

You hit that nail sqare on the head, Linda. Walter Cronkite, and Edward R. Murrow were new first kind of people. They became stars, because they did it so darn well. Same for Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. People like Aaron Brown and Brian Williams make you think of the news first.

Posted by: dr | July 8, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC, pretty much something from every post through this entire boodle. From the 6:27, 'And THEN there is'. In the 6:49, square, and news, not new.

I ought to go down the road and take spelling lessons from Finola.

Posted by: dr | July 8, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

You aren't alone, dr. I'm backskimming and saw the posts about AB. I miss his broadcast as well. I partticularrly liked the morning paprs segment. Okey dokey...

Mudge: Thanks for keeping me on my toes last night. I meant to type Big Night, but in the back of my mind I had one of those flashes that it was the first night for the restaurant, or something like that, anyway, I'll attribute the error to stream of consciousness posting. I'll keep in mind that First Knight is a R. Gere movie. My wife is a fan, and I don't think she's seen it before.

Posted by: jack | July 8, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of movies, Praise Bob for public TV. I'm watching "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" by Jacques Tati. I haven't seen this since my film class in college. Pure genius.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 8, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Ahem, SofC. ICH bin der Obergewurtztraminer. Du bist der gelegentlich untergewurtztraminer.


Wie Sie waren.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 8, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

So, Herr Obergewurztraminer Mudge, wann hast du Deutsch studiert? An der Hochschule? An der Universitat? Du hast deine du's und Sie's and die Verben verwechselt (unbergoofeduppen). Sehr spass!

Und, Herr Nuke, nach meiner Meinung, ist Scheunetieregruppefuhrer.

Posted by: Loomis | July 8, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, perhaps she deserved chewing out, but she certainly did not deserve it on the air. And who died, and made Aaron Brown, god of journalism. He may be a stickler for good reporting, and that's a feather in his cap, but being rude and obnoxious to someone on television can hardly be called the high point of journalism or just your basic civility to a fellow co-worker. This female reporter was standing on that bridge in New Orleans where all those folks ended up for several days not knowing what to do, and without food or water. Perhaps she should have been more objective, and not caught up in her surrounding, but I suspect the human side of her just came out. Some of us might be able to relate to that. I'm not saying Aaron Brown should not have corrected her if there was a problem with her reporting, I thought his place and time, was not the way to go, and still don't think so.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 8, 2006 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the incident that you're talking about, so I don't know for sure that it was Aaron. Older, nerdy looking guy, brown hair, glasses. It wouldn't surprise me if it was him, although I don't recall him doing anything like that anytime in his career. He's more likely to be critical of himself, or use humor to get his point across. Oh well, CNN fired him, so there you are...

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 8, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

D ot C: Great idea to consider Pittsburgh as a retirement spot. Da 'Burgh has unmatched medical facilities and cultural amenities for a city of its size. It's got interesting architecture and beautiful physical geography, and housing is cheap. Plus it'd put you in spittin' distance from Martooni's loverly Stella van.

As for Vancouver Isle, a canuckistani friend of mine moved to the west coast town of Bamfield a few years back. I found it quite impressive during a visit--I saw more bald eagles and brown bears that week than during the rest of my relatively outdoorsy life combined. It's pretty remote, but the locals (not to mention the bears and eagles) seem to like it that way.

Posted by: silvertongue | July 8, 2006 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Cassandra, but you'd just have more credibility if you could be more specific. What was the date of the broadcast? Who was the reporter--Jeanne Meserve? Or was it a young reporter, fresh out of the CNN stables, so to speak, or local on-air talent on loan from a Louisiana or Mississippi station? If it was Merserve you can actually Google the kudos the pair, Brown and Meserve, got for their early team coverage, including the cameraman, of Katrina. Was she actually on the bridge or phoning in? Or was it simply the cameraman who was on the bridge panning the shot? How many days after Katrina struck? What was the specific topic being discussed? What did she say to get "chewed out?" How was she chewed out or scolded or reprimanded? How did the reporter react? Were you actually listening to the words or reading them on a crawl across the bottom of your viewing screen--since you are deaf?

Posted by: Loomis | July 8, 2006 11:47 PM | Report abuse

On the local level, Brinkley sees one villain above all. The Ray Nagin we meet in these pages is part coward, part showboat, part Uncle Tom. A pawn of the city's business elite, "always deferential to whites," he sold out his race, Brinkley insinuates, by breaking with "the civil rights tradition of the city's black leadership." When it came to poor people, the book suggests, the mayor couldn't have cared less.

It was Nagin who waited too long to order a mandatory evacuation, who left the buses to rot, who turned his back on those who couldn't leave. It was Nagin, "terrified for his own personal safety," who rarely visited the frantic throngs at the Superdome and the convention center, squandering the "bullhorn moment" that might have revived flagging spirits in New Orleans.

Nothing about him is too small to ignore. Before a meeting with President Bush on Air Force One, an attendant offered Nagin a chance to shower. Having been unable to bathe or change his clothes for several days, he gladly accepted, lingering under the steamy spray. "What was truly important to Nagin," Brinkley writes, "was that his head was shaved and waxed just right for his photo op. . . . There was something chillingly vain about Nagin's sense of judgment and his coiffing with the underclass suffering all around him." Forget the bullhorn moment. In Brinkley's view there is no such thing as an innocent moment for Nagin, who remains, from cover to cover, the fall guy of this book.

Posted by: Loomis | July 8, 2006 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Linda, you really cheese me off.

You'd have more credibility if you could actually point to anything you've ever done in your life other than being descended from someone.

If you want be beat up on someone try me.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 9, 2006 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I must do something about this keyboard. Now the r's, t's and e's are acting up. I can't imagine AB being coarse enough to upbraid a peer for errant reporting. He would, however, ask tough questions.

Posted by: jack | July 9, 2006 12:07 AM | Report abuse

pregnant pause...ohmigosh...I've killed the boodle

Posted by: jack | July 9, 2006 12:41 AM | Report abuse

pregnant pause...ohmigosh...I've killed the boodle

Posted by: jack | July 9, 2006 12:42 AM | Report abuse

not only that, the dreaded double post...aaaaaaaggguhhhh...

Posted by: jack | July 9, 2006 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Now is the time to discuss the pending competition between the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, and mosquitoes native to South Carolina belonging to the genera Anopheles and Aedes.
The Asian tiger mosquito, being imported in a container shipment of tires originating in Indonesia in 1982, found its way into the contiguous United States at a port in Texas, I believe. The ATM made its way through the Gulf States via prevailing easterlies in the lower troposphere through Louisiana, Missippippi and Florida, then northward through the states of the southern Atlantic seaboard. The ATM is able to reproduce in about a teaspoon of water and has an extremely rapid gestation period that produces many more offspring than the native species. Thus, the ATM has exploited a niche not taken advantage of by the native species and has become a scourge on the South in a scant twenty years.
Upon venturing outdoors for any extended period of time, one should practice the prophylactic measure of coating oneself with an insect repellent that contains DEET. In addition, it is suggested that one resist bathing for weeks at a time, lest the fragrances in bath soap attract the ATM, dress in long sleeve black tops, denim jeans, gaitors, a flap hat and steel toed boots as insurance that the ATM has lttle chance of being attracted to exposed skin. Be aware that the ATM transmits the West Nile Virus and the morph of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus that infets humans. The clothing, accessories, and odor caused by the DEET are secondary to your safety and that of our family and loved ones.

Posted by: jack | July 9, 2006 1:22 AM | Report abuse

*self indulgent drivel*

Lay down my sweet brothers

Lay down and take your rest

Why don't you lay your head

upon your Saviour's breast

I love you, but Jesus loves you the best

So I bid you good night,

good night,

good night...

And I bid you good night,

good night,

good night...

Posted by: jack | July 9, 2006 1:31 AM | Report abuse

OK, OK, everybody look at the cute little panda -

Happy Birthday, Tai Shan!

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 9, 2006 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I'm getting ready for Sunday school, and I'm also taking my grand daughter, which should be interesting, if it doesn't do me in. Linda, I don't mean to be catty about this, but the incident I'm talking about I saw myself, and it was during Brown's regular spot on CNN. Brown called her up on what she said, and she went back over what was said, but one could see that she was clearly embarassed, and I suspect her audience was too. There were people in the background, but did not seem to be close to the reporter. It was an African-American reporter, and I don't remember her name. Female, young, and looking a more than a little done in by the scenery. Now, my objection was not that Brown should not have challenged her if she erred in her reporting, that's not it. My objection is simply the time and the place. And Linda, this is not something I want to fight about, just noticed it, and thought about it, now speaking my mind about it. And yes, I do have to read the close-captioning, but I have eyes that work pretty well, and I also saw the picture. This morning our Sunday school lesson is about helping the weak, and it's a good lesson because that is certainly what those who are stronger should do for those of us not so strong. I am a weak vessel. There are folks out there much stronger than me, and that's okay, because the same God made all. And in making all, God loves all, so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Have a good day folks, and enjoy your families, get some rest, and try to give God some of your time. I love you all, and pray for you every day, and want God to do good things in your lives, and bless you much through His Son, Jesus. I don't have money to give, but I can pray to Him that has all, and that my friends, is powerful.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 9, 2006 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Cassandra, what an important lesson for this morning. After Katrina, during Yom Kipur, our Rabbi gave a sermon regarding the role of Government in the evacuation of NO. He said the bigger problem was not the Administration's response, but the attitude of the citizens of New Orleans. Had they packed their cars with people rather than television sets, things may have turned out differently. I agreed at the time, but I've thought about it a lot since. I still don't know whether I agree or not. Some days I do.

How many of us would be willing to put some stranger in a car for several hours? Remember that New Orleans has had crime problems for decades. Crime rates in cities with high influx of people from New Orleans have risen substantially. Would I have let a stranger ride in my car and have access to my children? I don't know.

Then again, isn't that what we do when we board a plane, a train, or any other form of public transport? Or, looking at it from another angle, would any stranger riding my car bite the hand that feeds him (or her) and risk being stranded on the highway?

Going back to the reporter and AB (or not AB). Cassandra is right. Young reporters need guidance, not embarrassment. Any suggestions, corrections, or scolding could have been done off-camera. This is especially true if the reporter was in an uncomfortable situation to begin with.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Great column about the value of life and death in Iraq this morning.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse


Was I demoted and not told?



Meiner Meinung nach ist das besser als Guanosteuerungstechniker.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 9, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

a bea c,
If you like Andrew Bacevich's op-ed this morning--one of several he's written in the last few years for the Washington Post, then you might want to pick up his April 2005 book (as I did), titled "The New American Militarism : How Americans Are Seduced by War." He's got some interesting credentials to back up his writing.

Andrew J. Bacevich has written a book for the ages. His "The New American Militarism: How Americans Are seduced By War" is the most coherent analysis of how America has come to its present situation in the world that I have ever read. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a Ph.D. in history from Princeton. And he is retired military officer. This background makes him almost uniquely qualified to comment on the subject.

Bacevich admits to an outlook of moderate conservatism. But in ascribing fault for our plight to virtually every administration since W.W. II, he is even-handed and clear-eyed. Since he served in the military, he understands the natural bureaucratic instincts of the best of the officer corps and is not blinded by the almost messianic status that they have achieved in the recent past.

His broad brush includes the classic period, the American Revolution - especially the impact of George Washington, but he moves quickly to the influence of Woodrow Wilson and his direct descendants of our time, the Neoconservatives. The narrative accelerates and becomes relevant for us in the depths of the despair of Vietnam. At that juncture, neocon intellectuals awakened to the horror that without a new day for our military and foreign policy, the future of America would be at stake. At almost the same time, Evangelical Christians abandoned their traditional role in society and came to views not dissimilar to the neocons. America had to get back on track to both power and goodness. The results of Vietnam on American culture, society, and - especially - values were abhorrent to both these groups.

The perfect man to idealize and mythologize America's road back was Ronald Reagan. Again, Bacevich does not shrink from seeing through the surreal qualities brought to the Oval Office by Reagan to the realities beneath them. The Great Communicator transformed the Vietnam experience into an abandonment of American ideals and reacquainted America with those who fought that horrible war. Pop culture of the period, including motion pictures such as Top Gun and best selling novels by many, including Tom Clancy completely rehabilitated the image of the military.

The author describes how Evangelical leaders came to find common cause with the neocons and provided the political muscle for Reagan and his successors of both parties to discover that the projection of military might become a reason for being for America as the last century closed.

Du hast recht. ;-)

Posted by: Loomis | July 9, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

a bea c writes:
Going back to the reporter and AB (or not AB). Cassandra is right. Young reporters need guidance, not embarrassment. Any suggestions, corrections, or scolding could have been done off-camera. This is especially true if the reporter was in an uncomfortable situation to begin with.

I disagree, strongly. As a news reporting network, you put your best talent out front, as quickly as you can get them to the scene of a big *national story.* More than anything, it's a management issue of the on-air talent chosen to cover a particular story.

NewsNight, for at least half of the broadcast, is or was live. If the young woman was incorrect or needed to be called on something--particularly as regards accuracy, the anchor--in this case, Brown--should have done it on the spot, as he did. It's not as though he can run a correction on page A2 the following day.

Would we be less sensitive to the on-air grilling, or eduication--if you will, if the young female reporter were Anglo? Or better yet, a male reporter?

My best learning experiences were baptism by fire, without doubt. Young people make mistakes. It's the name of the game. You gotta be able to take your lumps, young people, like it or not. And broadcast is a far more different animal than print journalism. But I return to my original query: Why wasn't a more experienced hand behind the mic for this particular report?

This bit from Daily Kos is interesting, if you want to follow the past CNN Katina coverage.

And if Mayor Ray Nagin had been far less incompetent, we would have had far less reporting by CNN and other television news outlets. There's irony here, as I see it. Brown, a fairly serious anchor, gets fired for not pulling in, over time, the ratings for his late evening news program, while the incompetent Mayor Ray Nagin gets reelected by New Orleans voters to serve yet another term.

There are a lot of the particulars we still don't know. What was the woman's age? By whom was she employed? Her broadcasting experience? What did she say? What did Aaron say? What was Brown's inflection, and the reporter's during this exchange? Deaf people miss a lot of tone in a conversation--I know, I live with one, who wouldn't hear without hearing aids.

Posted by: Loomis | July 9, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Silvertongue, I was an Air Force brat and did college at Penn State because I was legally a resident of Pennsylvania and didn't get into the private colleges I'd applied to. I'm not sure why I didn't check out Pitt. Anyway, it was real noticeable that Philly and Pittsburgh had entirely different urban cultures, not to mention accents. And my northern Michigan accent stuck out badly. Considerably later on, while in Wyoming, I worked with a geologist who Pittsburgh inside and out. Then later on it turned out that the playwright August Wilson was from Pittsburgh. Besides, the Youghiogheny (Yock-a-gane-ee) River from Confluence from Ohiopyle was a thing of wonder. Or at least it was, back when river canoeing was a fringe activity.

On another subject, I talked to a Baton Rouge-New Orleans native this morning at church. She's hopeful that the city will revive.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 9, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Whew.... thank goodness I'm catching up on a Sunday morning. It's only taken me since about 9:15 or so to read (for the most part) the Missed Boodles from the past week while at the beach.

The afternoon/evening spent with nelson was great. Boodle talk with me; science talk with Mr. G. And all sorts of in-between talk among all of us.

We did, however, get a picture--including the Theron Bow. When the camera is found in the midst of all the beach packing I will upload and post it for all to see.

August 2 BPH works for me (and might for nelson, too). And after Joel returns from France, he might consider getting a blog of his own. I hear Blogger works well.

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. and I also read the Missed Kits, too.

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudgemeister, Gott in Himmel! I have exceeded my authority! Sorry - I thought your Achenrank was Hauptscheitfuhrer.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 9, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I'm not going to convince you to change your mind about what I'm talking about, and that really is okay. You want to take it to another level, I don't. I said what I think, you don't agree, fine. And dragging in other bodies won't make me change my mind about the situation either. Most of us have own perception about what went wrong in New Orleans, but there is one thing we can all agree on, and that is, it was bad. Real bad.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 9, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

interesting insight

Posted by: monalisa | July 9, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I finally bothered to find Bamfield, Vancouver Island, BC, on Google Earth. My gosh, the place is remote. Americans would have built a big bridge to connect the two parts of the town.

An interesting perspective on Vancouver Island can be gained from
It's the website for a modest book on the history of surfing on the island.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 9, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

If I remember correctly, those Asian tiger mosquitos came in a load of USED tires from Taiwan. I wondered why the US was importing used tires, especially when we have such exacting phytosanitary requirements for things like live orchids, bonsai, wood for pallets (borer beetles), and so on. When the tigers arrived in Jacksonville, Florida, it seemed that everyone who was immune to mosquito bites was suddenly getting welts.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 9, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Viva Italia


Posted by: RD Padouk | July 9, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

You're Sicilian, RD?

Posted by: pj | July 9, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Earlier silvertounge mentioned Richard Thompson's songs. Thompson is proofing the first volume of authorized transcriptions of his songs and it should be available sometime this year. The songs will be done in alphabetical order, with "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" the first song. So soon we will all be able to play it like Thompson does.

Yeah, right.

Posted by: pj | July 9, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

pj - no, my paternal gandfather was born in the Bari region. I can only claim to be Italian when it serves my devious purposes. I certainly don't speak the language.

Got a wicked good spaghetti recipe though.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 9, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

What a game!! I'm so glad the Italians won. I've been rooting for them all month.

Loomis, thanks for the info on the book. I'll add it to my list.

About that reporter, maybe they would have had less inexperienced people hanging about if the situation hadn't been so messy. In any case, we agree on one thing. I wouldn't have voted for Nagin.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

And now, a question for the Boodle. I didn't realize I had a tick on my leg when I showered this morning, and I shaved it off and then found it lodged in my razor. Should I expect some terrible infection to blow up my knee to four or five times its size? I could google it, but I'm sure the answers here will be much more interesting.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, SonofCarl, the full sketch of the trip to the Grand Canyon. I say that because one cannot do a full report on a one-day trip to the park. That would take a week.

We went to Phoenix to attend the retirement dinner of the Phoenix fire chief, a person reknown in the North American fire service. That's the only reason my husband, who intensely dislikes heat, would have considered a trip to Arizona in July.

We stayed in Phoenix Friday night, after the dinner, which was really lots of fun, and got up Saturday morning to drive to Sedona. Sedona is halfway between Phoenix and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, so it was a good compromise.

Still being on East Coast time, we were up early on Sunday and left Sedona about 7:45 to get to the park. The direct route goes through Oak Creek Canyon, where there was a serious wildfire a couple of weeks ago. The fire came perilously close to Sedona, within a couple of miles, so all over the town there were signs thanking the firefighters for their efforts. All off-road activities in the area were closed: no hiking, no camping, etc.

The trip from Sedona to Tusayan, Arizona took exactly two hours, so we were in the line to enter the park at 9:45. It being the most-visited park in the entire park system on a holiday weekend, the line stretched for a couple of miles and never got shorter. We paid our $25 and were in about 10:20.

The terrain is high plains: lots of grass, a few shrubs here and there. There are trees in the park, but they are not large. If you didn't know what lay just beyond, you'd never guess there was anything unusual in the whole area. What the region lacks is water; Tusayan means "no water." People who live there have holding tanks and truck their water in; the water table is 1000 feet below and drilling is $70 a foot, so wells are not a feasible option. So this is not an area that will become urban, ever.

The Canyon itself lives up to its name. It is spectacular, magnificent, gorgeous. We wandered along the South Rim, mesmerized by the view. The Park Service has done a good job of making it as accessible and safe as possible, and there are warning signs all over the place. We watched a group descend on mules over what looked like a path about 18 inches wide. Dunno if I could do it...

We paid for a jeep tour, which was okay, but I don't know if I'd recommend it. The ride through the back country into the park on a dirt road was fun, but not necessarily worth $70 a head. There had been a fire in the area the week before, sparked by lightning. The Park Service has learned the benefits of fire and managed this one, rather than extinguished it. Our guide said they took tours through the fire while it was burning, as it was no big deal.

Summer is their monsoon season, and we were rained upon briefly. The canyon itself was a bit hazy, probably from the wildfire on the north side that has closed the North Rim for a couple of weeks. Pollution is an issue; they are affected by smog from California. As part of the effort to lower pollution levels, the Park Service shuttlebus fleet is fueled by natural gas.

As I said, I want to go back and stay longer. But not in July! Here are a few pictures:

As a nice counterpoint, my airplane reading was Captured by Aliens. I especially enjoyed it from the vantage point of the Southwest, where so much of the book occurs. Yes, I saw people who looked like they could have been interviewed for it. I wish Joel would update the book sometime, and bring the story up to the present.

Posted by: Slyness | July 9, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, google Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever. If you start having symptoms in a couple of weeks, get yourself to the doctor in a hurry. Otherwise, I don't think you should have too much trouble from a tick bite. They are soooo nasty, though. They give me the willies.

Posted by: Slyness | July 9, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Rocky Mountain spotted fever.


Posted by: Slyness | July 9, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse


The pictures are beautiful. That's an area I'd love to visit. I'm sure as gorgeous as they are, the photos probably don't do it justice.

Thanks for sharing about your trip, too. Sounds wonderful.

Is your husband a firefighter? I know you work in that field.

Let me add my thanks, too. I've never needed firefighting services (*yet* she says with fingers crossed) but it's so nice to know you're all there.

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse


Wow! First the Patriots and now Italy. You are without a doubt a winner in 2006!

Are you rooting for the Redskins this year, by any chance? I hope so!

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

RD, I had a student-teacher in high school whose family came from Bari. In fact, his name was Bari. He was a very good teacher.

Slyness, great photos of the Grand Canyon. I have only flown over it. The pilot said we could see it from *both* sides of the airplane. I knew it was big, but I had no idea exactly how big until the pilot made that announcement. It is so dramatic that you really need to see it both from the sky and close up.

In the '30s my mom's family took a trip out west and she rode on a donkey down the side of the Canyon to the Colorado River. She still talks about it. I'm not sure I could do that.

Posted by: pj | July 9, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone assume this person (the reporter) was inexperienced? Is it because this person is African-American, and Brown is White? And why must Nagin get all the blame? There is certainly enough of it to go around, and I cannot believe that the mayor was the only one in the state or country that was made fully aware of what was to come. The mayor, like so many others, can eat a huge piece of that pie. Do you feel better blaming one person or two? Does that remove you from the situation as a people? Does that really ease your conscience? I could jump up and down on a few people's head myself, but will I feel better in doing that, and most importantly will it change what happened? And if we're going to do name calling, at least can we play fair? Let us drop all the names relevant to the situation, and not just one. The last time I checked my map, New Orleans is located in Louisiana, in the United States of America. Katrina will be recorded as one of the worst disasters in American history. And in my heart I just don't believe that we have seen the end of it. And I believe when we see it again we won't like it any better than we did the first time.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 9, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

a bea c
Florida seems to have miraculously disease-free ticks. They rarely seem to cause problems. Of course things are different in the northeast, what with lyme disease. I think the short answer about having a tick is that it, as an individual, is unlikely to make you sick.

Sedona is neat. The red rock looks a lot like Wyoming's Chugwater Formation, which makes for pink sheep, pink cows, pink everything. Good place to see it is the little town of Tensleep.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 9, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I did not know whether the reporter was inexperienced or not. Whether or not that is the case, Brown should not have corrected her so publicly. He's the big star, she's not. He should give her a hand up, not push her down. And I say that regardless of race, gender, etc. Just common decency. I didn't see the broadcast. I just read what you posted. During that time, I could not watch tv.

I'm not blaming Nagin, either. He just didn't behave like a leader I would follow during the months after the hurricane. Everything he did seemed to have a self-promoting slant. That's why I wouldn't vote for him.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yup, TBG, firefighters still make house calls. Glad you've never needed service. My husband also works for the Fire Department here; he's the health and safety officer.

pj, if I weren't so tight with my money, I would have sprung for the helicopter ride over the canyon, but it was more than I could justify to myself. The copters and small planes don't go down into the canyon any more, to avoid environmental damage. But I'd love the ride. I could easily hike down in the canyon; my problem would be hiking back up!

And you gotta be sooo careful. Two years ago, a young woman who had run the Boston Marathon with a respectable time died of heat stroke because she hiked down into the canyon without proper preparations (enough water, a map, understanding of the length of the trail she was on, etc.). Especially in the summer, the Grand Canyon is unforgiving of mistakes.

Posted by: Slyness | July 9, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

A few minutes ago, Channel 9 just ran its first promo for the upcoming Redskins football season. O joy! Be still, me heart.

a bea c, better keep an eye on the site of that tick bite. If you get a red spot in a few days, see a doctor. Also, anything with flu symptoms in the next few days.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 9, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Mudge writes: "A few minutes ago, Channel 9 just ran its first promo for the upcoming Redskins football season. O joy! Be still, me heart."

So how soon to the first Christmas ads? Six weeks? Eight weeks?

Posted by: pj | July 9, 2006 7:21 PM | Report abuse

May I present photographic evidence of the great Meeting of the Minds that took place last week in Virginia Beach:

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, great photos. When I was there (in December years ago) I went down on foot to Plateau Point. I can see how it would be common for problems, it's "reverse hiking"; you don't have that normal bail-out mechanism if you're getting tired going up a mountain.

a bea c, the first thing that came to mind for me was the risk of lyme disease. Dave notes that apparently (and fortunately) FL ticks don't carry that. Check the site for infection; watch for flu sytems; ensure you mention the tick if you do see a doctor in the next little while. Probably nothing. Change your razor, 'cause that's gross. So in short, your imaginary internet friends say you'll be fine.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 9, 2006 7:36 PM | Report abuse

But pj, the first pre-season Redskin game is a little more than a month away.

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Yep, TBG. Training camp starts three weeks from today. The exhibition games start in about a month. Nine weeks from tomorrow, the Redskins will have played their first game.

Way, way too soon for TV ads for the regular season.

Posted by: pj | July 9, 2006 7:52 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I think some people just don't get it.

BTW, I was interested to read on your blog about your father serving on an LST in WWII in the Pacific. Mine was on a subchaser, same time and place.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 9, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Well... to be a stickler (if I may)...

If channel 9 is advertising it's probably not for the regular season. They are broadcasting most of the preseason games. Skins are only on 9 for two games in the regular season.

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

That's cool about your dad, Mudge. Mine was thrilled last summer when the last-remaining LST was in Alexandria during a world tour.

The funny thing is that it had been sold to and repurchased from the Greek navy, so it was cool to see signs in Greek and the Greek flag painted on the walls inside.

Dad's LST had been refitted with a machine shop to serve as a landing-craft repair ship. Touring the one in Alexanria with him was a great experience (especially for my son).

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 8:11 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl & Slyness--

In the foreword to Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon, the park ranger says that many visitors to the canyon have a "911 mentality" (believing that help will always be immediately available) and seem to believe that a national park is like an amusement park. There's a quote from journalist Susan Trausch regarding 1993's record-setting number of falls--"...the lives were lost by sober, solid citizens who simply had no sense of danger standing on the rim of the mile-deep gorge. They died posing for pictures, leaning over for a better look, or strolling along rocky paths as nonchalantly as they walk through a shopping mall." It's a fascinating book.

Posted by: OK | July 9, 2006 8:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, our Jeep tour guide recommended that book. He said it could be morbid and depressing, or good for laughs, depending on your point of view.

He also said that the Park Service doesn't know how many people have died in the Grand Canyon, because they didn't keep statistics. If you were injured in the canyon but died in the hospital, that didn't count as a death in the canyon. How silly is that?

Posted by: Slyness | July 9, 2006 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Is this the exchange (Katrina coverage by CNN's Aaron Brown and Adaora Udoji) in question?

UDOJI: That's the bottom line.

And so, when you have all of these displaced people, again, like all of the people that we saw -- and it is hundreds that we saw along that highway, who are very upset for obvious reasons. They have lost their homes. They have nowhere to go. And even earlier this evening, it started sprinkling. So, you have all of these people have nowhere to go. There's no one is telling them. They have told us that over and over again, that no one was telling them anything, that they were looking for their city officials, that they were looking for some guidance from some official, from somewhere telling them what should happen next.

And so, there's a lot of confusion and angst and worry and concern and hurt and, of course, shock, given what's happened.

BROWN: Adaora, let me ask the question again. I'm not sure you heard it. Is there a noticeable National Guard presence on the streets of New Orleans?

UDOJI: We have not seen any. But, again, my perspective is quite small...



UDOJI: ... that we were just walking through several blocks. We have heard that they are here. I have not seen them.

BROWN: OK. We only want you to report what you know, not what you think you know, as we often say around here.

*If this is the exchange, Cassandra, then I stand by Brown and his remarks. For Brown's follow-on remarks, check the transcript. I think you made a big mountain out of a molehill, Cassandra, which drove me to Googling the Internet. I consider Brown a friend and hate to see him character-assassinated when he is only sspeaking the truth of the journalism trade.

Is this the reporter in question (photo included)?

Posted by: Loomis | July 9, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Excerpt of historian Doug Brinkley's book on Katrina from Vanity Fair:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2005. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin convened a press briefing at noon at City Hall. Casually dressed, his shaved head shining in the media lights, Nagin strained to seem like a man in charge. The day before, Louisiana's low-key governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, had declared a state of emergency. Reports from meteorologists indicated that Hurricane Katrina was growing ever more menacing. "Although the track could change, forecasters believe Hurricane Katrina will affect New Orleans," said Nagin, 49, scratching his trimmed goatee. "We may call for a voluntary evacuation later this afternoon or tomorrow morning." In terms of emergency preparedness, only a mandatory order would have been taken seriously by the public. But Nagin haltingly explained that he needed to confer with city lawyers about his options.

As politicians go, Nagin was a showboater. Just that morning, in fact, the New Orleans Times-Picayune had reported on the mayor's latest venture: acting. A few days before, he had made his film debut in an indie thriller called Labou. For five hours--in the thick of the tropical-storm season--he had rehearsed and delivered his lines. His role: a corrupt Louisiana mayor. As he left the set he was in a boastful mood, reportedly calling out, "Hollywood South, baby!"

A New Orleans native with an M.B.A. degree, Nagin had become a local powerhouse in cable TV. In 2002 he jumped into politics. A virgin candidate with no public record whatsoever, he campaigned as a law-and-order reformer who would weed out corruption. Once in power, he became a darling of the conservative business elite, an African-American who was a virtual chamber-of-commerce cheerleader when it came to New Orleans's future. (Behind his back, some African-American city-council members called him "Ray Reagan.") Though he helped bridge differences between the city's blacks, who made up 67 percent of the population, and whites, who accounted for 28 percent, his short tenure had been a rocky one. Within two years, the local murder rate had skyrocketed to almost 10 times the national average. When it came to good governance and keeping the peace, many considered the C.E.O. mayor, in Texas parlance, all hat, no cattle.

Among Nagin's chief concerns that day: that hotel owners--at the center of the city's $5 billion tourism trade--might be in a position to sue if their businesses were to be disrupted because of a mandatory evacuation. Instead of concentrating exclusively on the needs of the 112,000 citizens who didn't own cars and could not leave the area "voluntarily," instead of marshaling the personnel and deploying the resources necessary for confronting the storm, Ray Nagin stalled.

Posted by: Loomis | July 9, 2006 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Slyness, the book can be depressing. But some of the rescues are successful. And there's a lot of good information. No one will hike into the canyon in July without sufficient water after reading it. Of course, you wouldn't have thought people would do that anyway, but they do.

I'm going back in October, and try to hike down to Plateau Point and back. I have got to get in shape to do it, though.

Posted by: OK | July 9, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

OK, the fact that otherwise sane people do stupid sh*t is the reason emergency services personnel have job security.

Take lots of photos and post them so we can ooh and ahh! Oh, and good luck on the walk.

Posted by: Slyness | July 9, 2006 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, your kind nature and faith make you ill-equipped to deal with a bully. A quick Google of my own indicates this isn't the first time.

I think "suecris" pretty much said it for me, so I'm going off to find Shiloh and K-Guy.

Cheers all, and be well.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 9, 2006 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the advice regarding my shaved tick. I know about flu symptoms and all that. However, aren't you supposed to pull the tick out in some specific way to get its insidious little beak out of you? I guess I'll live the rest of my life with a tick mouthpiece somewhere behind my right knee. Or does it work itself out?

For now, I've thrown out the razor, sprayed scrubbing bubbles all over the bathroom, and checked myself and my kids very closely to make sure there are no other ticks. Yuck! This one must have hitchhiked all the way here from the blueberry patch.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I hate to add fuel to any fire here, but I think if someone said to me, in front of my peers, much less in front of a live TV audience, "OK. We only want you to report what you know, not what you think you know, as we often say around here," I would be p*ssed off. Especially if he was in a nice, warm studio and I was in the midst of a national emergency.

Brown may have been "speaking the truth of the journalism trade," but the time and place for such talk is after the camera is off. It wasn't anything she didn't already know.

I am sure if I had seen that exchange on TV it would have made me uncomfortable. I've never cared for Aaron Brown's TV presence and always avoided watching him. I can't really put my finger on it, but this could be a perfect illustration of why.

And Error... please don't leave. We need you here. We'll miss you terribly if you go.

Posted by: TBG | July 9, 2006 10:58 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I've spent the past hour or so browsing blogs, starting with TBG and following the links to all other Boodle-connected blogs. You guys write so well and are so interesting!

Years ago I read about a study regarding predictors of Alzheimer's (spelling). The researchers had compared the writings of nuns in a convent. They discovered that nuns whose sentences were varied in structure and very complex were less likely to develop Alzheimer's as they aged than nuns who wrote brief, simple sentences. Not that I'm encouraging run-ons. I'm saying if this was truly a predictor, all of you are safe from that terrible fate.

Good night.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 11:01 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that is exactly what I had said before.

Error, what exactly were you showing us with that link? As usual, I missed something.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Lots of boodling for a kit-less Sunday. There will indeed be a 5000-comment kit if Joel doesn't post guest kits or a "best of" collection.

PJ: sure, we'll all be able to play just like RT with those transcriptions...and after we grow as many arms as Vishnu.

DotC: Pittsburgh and Philly are indeed vastly different. Pittsburghers typically resent Philly. Philadelphians don't take much notice of their cross-state brethren, which in turn feeds the resentment.

So glad you googled Bamfield. Before building the bridge across the inlet, Americans would first pave the 50 mile dirt road. And it's possible that instead of building the bridge, they'd just continue to pave through the forest around the inlet. Better access to waterfront property that way.

The friend we visited there lived in a shack on the beach on the norhtwest tip of the inlet (across the water from the end of the road), no indoor plumbing or electricity. Nice view from the outhouse, though. The furniture ranged from "spartan" to nonexistent. Normally my wife would handle this better than I, but she was 6 months pregnant at the time and we had no idea what we were getting into. It's funny in retrospect, and we had a great time, but she was not amused.

Also, thanks for mentioning that you googled the town. I've never used the satellite images on Google before, and it's cool! This brings back lots of memories, although I can't find the shack.

Posted by: silvertongue | July 9, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I know the World Cup is over, but this is amusing. See if you can place all the participating countries on the map.

Posted by: a bea c | July 9, 2006 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Error, don't go. As GWB might say, that would let the terrorists win. Besides, it would seriously hamper your presidential bid.

ABeaC, go to the boodle Error links to and read the suecris comments. Error's saying, in effect, that Loomis is a bully now (not for the first time). Other insults of Loomis in suecris comments, too. His solution (to cut and run, if I may continue shrubbing) punishes the wrong people, that is, the rest of us.

Posted by: silvertongue | July 9, 2006 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh - sorry my offhand remark got all this AB controversy going. The way I read his remark, if that is the one, is that he was trying to verify if the reporter had actually seen the National Guard - he wasn't reprimanding her. As with any writing, it's hard to get the inflection or know what his expression was. Anyway, I don't see that it's anything to fight over or get bad feelings about.


Posted by: mostlylurking | July 10, 2006 12:13 AM | Report abuse

sorry linda, but for the record, YOU are the one making a mountain out of a molehill. let it go.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 10, 2006 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Error, I went back on your link, and agree with silvertongue. I vaguely recall an incident by AB during the Katrina crisis, in fact there may have been more than one.

In the end his comments to the reporters should not have been made on the air.

Posted by: dmd | July 10, 2006 6:29 AM | Report abuse

See what happens when I go offline all weekend. Chaos. Madness. Squabbles run amok.

EF, don't go!

I'll post a new kit shortly.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 10, 2006 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Silvertongue. That kit is from before I found the comments.

Posted by: a bea c | July 10, 2006 7:19 AM | Report abuse

EF, if you leave, how will we know where and when to send the write-in ballots?


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 10, 2006 7:32 AM | Report abuse


More than 400 comments! JA better have that auto-Kit-posting stuff set before he goes to the land of lait et miel...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 10, 2006 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I find your blog having interesting contents. Hope you will visit my site.

Posted by: acne | July 10, 2006 7:39 AM | Report abuse

"Chaos. Madness. Squabbles run amok."

Jeepers, it's just like being at work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 10, 2006 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I find your blog having interesting contents. Hope you will visit my site.

Posted by: acne | July 10, 2006 7:47 AM | Report abuse

A pro forma zapper request for JA, Hal & company:

As bried as "acne" is, that's still spam in my opinion. Please to be zapping. Thank you.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 10, 2006 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Why does "squabbles running amok" make me think of those cute little furry things from the original Star Trek series?

I can't seem to remember, though... as cute as they are, do they bite? Or just reproduce like rabbits?

Posted by: martooni | July 10, 2006 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I redouble my definition of "acne" as spam, given this Web site title, courtesy of Google:

"What's The Key Secret To Increasing Your Income by acne?"



The Tribbles' only sin was reproducing like rabbits on meth while consuming every bit of food they could find.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 10, 2006 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Tribbles. They were tribbles. By the way, pwerhaos the "run amok" reminded you of the famous episode called "amok time." Where Spock had to return to the planet Vulcan because his Mojo called.

Shame T'pau only had that one 1987 hit.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 10, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

pwerhaos is a secret code for perhaps. You do it by typing too fast.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 10, 2006 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Just got back from the walk, and as usual the lake is pretty this time of morning with the sun reflecting off it.

Let me say here and now, please Error don't go. Please stay. And Loomis, I do believe that is the incident I was talking about. I did not look at the link you provided because I actually saw the event on television with all the body movement and facial expressions. It was uncomfortable for me to watch, and perhaps for other viewers to watch. It looked and sounded (as much as I was able to hear) like an adult reprimanding a child. I just felt uncomfortable with it. Perhaps in the world of journalism that is the way to go. As to character assaination of Brown, I don't think I was doing that because he may truly be a great individual,just maybe got caught up in the moment. There was a lot of that during that time for a lot of us. I am not perfect, don't profess to be, wrong so many times. But the one thing I will always do is apologize. If I have offended you in any way, please forgive me. It was not my intention. In my strong feelings for the people of New Orleans I may have overstepped myself and said something that hurt, I did not mean to, I apologize to you, Loomis, and to any that feel that they have been offended. This is a place that we come to express our feelings and what we think about a situation, but never to hurt. Error, I love you, and Loomis, I love you, too. In fact I'm just plain crazy about all you folks, and look forward to talking to you each and every morning of my life. I want to know what you think about everything, and care about you. Joel, have a good vacation.

I'm off to the center with the kids. I get to read today, and maybe entice someone else to try it.

I've said my prayers this morning, and as always I prayed for you, my friends, and I hope that you know that God loves you more than you can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 10, 2006 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I think we should all have a nice warm breakfast of quatro-triticali and look forward to Joel's next kit.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 10, 2006 8:08 AM | Report abuse

And Achenfan - I hear it makes a most tasty late-night snack too.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 10, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

We have Kit!!


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 10, 2006 8:12 AM | Report abuse

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