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Man and Nature at the Beach

The camping trip to Assateague this weekend was both extremely raw, in the sense of exposure to the elements, and extremely gourmet, in the sense of marinated lamb chops and fresh bread ingeniously baked on the grill. It was primitive, but not so primitive that there wasn't a fine Sauternes for the dessert wine. It is important when camping to surrender oneself to nature, but to bring along about two coolers of supplies per person.

There were a couple of dozen of us, approximately half adult and half juvenile, plus a dog, though some of us drifted from one category to another. (The dog, however, remained a dog).

I spent most of the weekend playing sports in the sand and using muscles that had been inactive for so many years that their reactivation proved crippling. There are exotic muscles in the legs and hips and hindquarter regions that evolved millions of years ago to enable humans to run after wild game, flee from lions and occasionally play capture the flag. When these muscles are dormant for years at a time, they shrivel to the dimensions of piano wire. This weekend they were conscripted, and ever since they have been filing protests and formal grievances and generally making a ruckus. The good news is that the boys won capture the flag for the first time in memory.

We had a full moon that broke through the mottled clouds in the wake of a Nor'easter. The sea remained angry, and impossibly large, a reminder that most of our world remains uncolonized, if not exactly unexplored. The primary dune had been notched by the surging tide during the storm, and much of the campground had been flooded. The ocean showed who's boss.

To the north we could see Ocean City, beacon-bright, but to the south the beach vanished into the kind of darkness you rarely see anymore. Not a solitary light anywhere. This is what the whole continent used to look like. The island was once slated for development, and there are still remnants of a paved road that would have been a glittering boulevard. Wiser heads saved the island, and the darkness.

--

Last night I dipped into The Bonehunter's Revenge, by David Rains Wallace, an account of the notorious "Bone War" between paleontologists Cope and Marsh in the 19th Century, and came across a quote from E.O. Wilson:

"When the [20th] century began, people could still easily think of themselves as transcendent beings, dark angels confined to Earth awaiting redemption by either soul or intellect. Now most or all of the relevant evidence from science points in the opposite direction, that having been born into the natural world and devolved there step by step over millions of years, we are bound to the rest of life in our ecology, our physiology, and even our spirit."

This is a basic truth that many of us still have trouble accepting. Complications ensue. We know from science that we are but a twig on the tree of life (an interesting twig, to be sure), but we treat that tree as though it's just a source of lumber.

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 11, 2006; 6:16 AM ET
 
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Comments

I think it might be fair to say that a great many things treat US as lumber, too...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Complications ensue indeed.
"Just a source of lumber" -- yes!


"Thousands of years ago, man lived in harmony with the rest of the natural world. Through what we would today call Telepathy, he communicated with animals, plants, and other forms of life -- none of which he considered 'beneath' himself, only different, with different jobs to perform. He worked side by side with earth angels and nature spirits, with whom he shared responsibility for taking care of the world.

". . . But, gradually at first, and then with increasing intensity, man's Ego began to grow and assert itself. Finally, after it had caused many unpleasant incidents, the consensus was reached that man should go out into the world alone, to learn the necessary lessons. The connections were broken."

-- from "The Te of Piglet," by Benjamin Hoff

Posted by: Dreamer | October 11, 2006 8:22 AM | Report abuse

And speaking of E. O. Wilson, Achenbuddy Bob Wright's interview with him can be found here:

(scroll to the bottom of the list of speakers)

http://meaningoflife.tv/


Posted by: Dreamer | October 11, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Great Kit, Joel. Reminds me of younger days when we would descend on "The Teagues" with two coolers each, but ours were filled pretty much only with beer.

I don't think it was wiser heads that saved Assateague. I think it was the hurricane in 1933 that created the inlet between Assateague and Ocean City. Until then it was one long peninsula.

Posted by: TBG | October 11, 2006 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Love the transition from Sauterne to saturnine.

Re. the Bone Wars, I am familar with Cope's Law, which is alive and well in America, that's for sure.

It must have been tempting for Marsh and Cope to consider a "Piltdown man" somewhere along the line.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I never ponied up the bucks for Sauternes. Wikipedia tells me the nice substitute was Loupiac. Neither ever showed up at the supermarket.

New Scientist has a story on Harvard anthropologist Dan Lieberman's theory that we're built(the story mentions large buttocks)to run long distances to get to carrion or to run down live animals, sorta like Scott Carrier's book on "Running After Antelope." Having run with pronghorns observing me, I'm certain that no one in their right mind ever tried to run one down to eat it. Just won't work. You see them only because they're curious. It was disconcerting to sit in alpine vegetation on a mountain south of Cody, hear a snort, and find that a pronghorn had come up from the rear just to check me out.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225724.800-food-was-prize-in-early-marathons.html

The Jurassic dinosaurs still are in Wyoming, according to a remarkable story by the Post's Guy Gugliotta. Scientific times have really changed.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/08/AR2006080800983.html

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 11, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"...the kind of dark you rarely see anymore." We have that kind of dark in many parts of the county. When the double tailed comet (Hale-Bopp?) was visible a few years ago, I drove out toward my SIL's home to observe every night that I could, contemplating what the ancients would have made of it. Likewise, we could observe the Aurora Borealis outside of Potsdam. You'd expect something like that to make noise. The silence was deafening. NOw if I only had someone to help me with those star charts so I could recognise more that just the Big Dipper, Venus, Mars and the few other major features out there. The coolest thing I ever saw through a telescope, set up in a city park of all places, was Jupiter and five of its satellites, lined up neatly in a row. You could even make out the red spot, although the entire field was like looking at a sepia tinted photograph. Ah, but we are collectively so many bits of intelligent dust.

Posted by: jack | October 11, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Are we not men? No, we are Devo!

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I feel like an embodiment of Cope's Law myself. On the other hand, it seems Europeans were big and well-fed during the Dark Ages and kept shrinking until about 1800. At the time of the Revolution, people raised in America were apparently quite a bit bigger than the Redcoats who came to subdue them.

Cope's Law seems to apply to plants as well as to animals. Here's a technical-but-fascinating article on palms by Barry Tomlinson, illustrated with the huge Chilean palm at Kew. Charismatic megaflora, for sure.
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1095-8339.2006.00520.x

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 11, 2006 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Whip it good, yellojkt... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Dave: Thanks for the link to the Jurrasic Park piece. I remember seeing it in the magazine, but never got around to reading it then. Great stuff. Sky report from central Montgomery County--the sky is essentially a pewter grey, with patches of slightly lighter color interspersed. There's just a bit of breeze. Probably no rain imminenet.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 11, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

jack, I was lucky when the comets came through. I could see them by just walking out my front door.

Joel writes: "We know from science that we are but a twig on the tree of life (an interesting twig, to be sure), but we treat that tree as though it's just a source of lumber."

Hmmm. I think that tree of life is more of a picnic table set with a buffet.

AFAIK, all animal life on earth is heterotropic, meaning that animals consume organic matter (other animals, plants, etc.) for energy. This makes sense, because it's more efficient for an organism to extract carbon that's already bound up in an organic compound than to synthesize carbon from minerals. The more efficient production of energy for heterotropic organisms has provided them with excess energy for things like flagrant and wanton reproduction, specialization and evolution, colonization and societal structures, complex thought, communcation (verbal, visual, and written) and technology, culminating in the apex of western culture, YouTube. To this point, I'm not aware that any plant has actually understood Newton's Principia Mathematica, no matter how many times I've read it to them.

When you think about it, heterotropism reigns at the highest level of our petroleum based culture. The big problem is that we're living in our litter box.

Perhaps a compromise for not chopping Haeckel's tree down completely would be to consider it a fruit tree?

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Muscles in the legs and hips and hindquarters when dormant for years at a time, shrivel to the dimensions of piano wire.

Gee, Joel, this means that your buns are probably flat or nonexistent? *w*

I guess I'm headed off on this tangent after seeing a big naked baboon at the breakfast table this morning (no, not my husband):

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/medical/stories/MYSA101106.01B.fatbaboon.351af4e.html

A few years ago, scientist Tony Comuzzie saw something that roused his curiosity as he wandered past the baboon enclosures at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. [Used to drive past thir cages every day on the route to work. Nothing like pungent baboon urine to shock the senses--right up the nose and into the brain. For waking up, better than two or three cups of coffee.]

Some of them had, well, beer guts. One of them, in fact, was twice the size of some of his leaner cage mates. Even his tail was larded with fat.

That observation led to research that now shows promise of providing insights into human obesity and the diseases that often follow.

It turns out that fat baboons, like fat people, can develop diabetes.


Must read the Cope/Drinker saga some day soon. Anyone know if Lasky's ("The Bone Wars") telling of the story surpasses Wallace's?

Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, bc, for the set-up...

The more efficient production of energy for heterotropic organisms has provided them with excess energy for...(list follows)

Too much excess energy or too heavily larded coolers at the beach...turns to lard.

Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Found some of those rarely used and mostly atrophied muscles myself over the last week. Nothing like ripping out and replacing windows to make you feel prematurely 92 years old. Went over to the rental property this morning and got another one out, then realized I forgot my pencil -- can't measure/mark/cut properly without one -- so I just had to come back home to get one (and put on another pot of coffee, read the boodle, give Little Bean her morning hug, etc., etc.).

btw... if anyone ever needs windows replaced, I've now got it down to a science. Have toolbelt, will travel.

dreamer... I'm gonna have to check that Benjamin Hoff book out -- Piglet is well known and quite popular in this house. I suppose even Very Small Animals have something significant to teach us lumber-ish types.

Posted by: martooni | October 11, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Re being lumber: I know I sure feel like I've been weathered by the elements and termite-ridden some mornings.

There is now "Plant neurobiology". Research seems that plants, whether genetic or not, do seem to have different abilities to adapt to the environment-- more effective in growing to the sun around obstacles, etc.

And of course, we do know some trees live in symbiosis with rabid ants that devour pests that would threaten them.

It's not much, but if trees are plotting to take back the world, we had better know before we see an oak sniggering in the wind while it unleashes armys of carpenter ants into the nearby house to make room for itself.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Re being lumber: I know I sure feel like I've been weathered by the elements and termite-ridden some mornings.

There is now "Plant neurobiology". Research seems that plants, whether genetic or not, do seem to have different abilities to adapt to the environment-- more effective in growing to the sun around obstacles, etc.

And of course, we do know some trees live in symbiosis with rabid ants that devour pests that would threaten them.

It's not much, but if trees are plotting to take back the world, we had better know before we see an oak snickering in the wind as it unleashes armys of carpenter ants into the nearby house to make room for itself.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed that picture of the big naked baboon, Loomis.
He looks so . . . human!
Pictures like that always make me wonder, How could anyone *not* believe in evolution?

Posted by: Dreamer | October 11, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, martooni, why are we endowed with Sequoia gigantea attitudes?

Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, "have toolbelt, will travel", HOW FAR!!. Boy do I have a list for you. I too spent most of the last week, doing projects around the house, the worst was dealing with emptying and moving the remaining boxes that were all stored in the crawl space, about 4.5' high. It was like a three hour squat workout.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 10:14 AM | Report abuse

dmd, if Martooni is indeed a long-haired leaping gnome, he won't have to squat much in a space that size.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You're welcome Linda.

Any chance that Baboon will retain his House seat in next month's election?

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, Loomis... I think we're just programmed that way -- of course, the source code for our programming is proprietary and only available in a carbon-based format, and therefore very difficult to be inspected, peer-reviewed, debugged, or otherwise looked at. God (or whatever you want to call Her) is apparently not a fan of Linux.

dmd... I feel your pain. Unfortunately, I'm limited to a 40 mile radius of Youngstown, Ohio ("Stella" the Very Old VW Bus is not rated for extended highway travel).

Posted by: martooni | October 11, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"To this point, I'm not aware that any plant has actually understood Newton's Principia Mathematica, no matter how many times I've read it to them."

bc, I am heartbroken. Are you saying Mr. Stripey didn't understand?

Posted by: dr | October 11, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Wellingborough Redburn." What is a Wellingborough Redburn?
Dwelling in a borough....is it "everyman."
A simple life lived, finding ones way, questions abound and answers remain elusive, society is harsh, who rules the pack and who calls the shots entered mankinds realm from the first "budd" Billy boy.
Wellingborough Redburn is the title character in Herman Melvilles novel, "Redburn."
It's a story about a young man searching for answers and his place in the woods and it's as relevant in todays time as it was in Melvilles, it's an easy read, yet pointedly psychological, it incorporates dominance and submission correllaries from scenes set in New York to Liverpool, England and on board the sailing vessel "Highlander." Borough, highlander, so whats in a name? Status, influence, prestige, finery. Or not.
I'm two-hundred pages through a four-hundred page book and if you think you know American Literature and it's best, yet you've never read "Redburn" well then, me hearties, you don't know squat.
Your local libraries a great place to swipe a copy.

Posted by: cookkenusa | October 11, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... even overfed long-haired leaping gnomes sometimes find themselves in uncomfortable positions. For instance, I've noticed that I break out in a rash whenever seated next to a conservative Republican (could be the cologne they wear, but who knows?).

Posted by: martooni | October 11, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

dr, you'd have to talk to RD about the late Mr. Stripey's reading level.

Loomis writes: "Too much excess energy or too heavily larded coolers at the beach...turns to lard."

Depending on where you are in Assateague, you're only part of a cooler away from Assawoman, just on the other side of Wallops Island, IIRC.

Just thought I'd point that out before Mudge pounced on it.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Or it could be the soon-to-be-banned-due-to-carcinogenicity-drycleaning stuff on their suits, martooni.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Stripey possessed all knowledge. But much like Sir Isaac, he was just woefully bad at communicating.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I think we are all transcendent twigs.

This weekend I discovered some of those exotic muscles myself. I took the Boy and Visiting Boy to our local rock-climbing center, in a converted silo. They climbed while I belayed. My shoulder and arm muscles were initially bemused, then downright annoyed at the unfamiliar demands placed on them. They're still complaining.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

bc;

'Mudge is the pouncy type, isn't he? Must be a corollary of perky or something.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Pouncy= perky + bouncy portmaneau. Yeah, that could work.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Scotty.

RD, you did eat of Mr. Stripey didn't you?

Presumably at the behest of the Mrs...?

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, finally an explanation about why so many of us humans have lower back problems: lumber vertabrae.

bc, if you think I'm going anywhere near that Assawoman set-up, you're crazy. My momma didn't raise any maroons. (Well, actually, she did, but he's a year and a half younger than me. And the bald one in the family, too, which I point out to him as often as possible.)

Normally I'd be umbraged to the max, but Sen. McCain's claim that the N. Korea problem is all the Clintons' fault just has me laughing. If I understand it correctly, he contends that Clinton talking to and negotiating with N. Korea was a dismal failure, so this administration's refusal to talk and negotiate FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS has been ... uh ... um ... er ... ah ...

Anyway, now it's all Hillary's fault. I think that's what he said.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

When I was a boy in the Pacific Northwest we used to visit Ocean City State Park. The water was usually way too cold to swim in, but the coarse sand made for some truly epic Sand Fortresses. These were best made at low tide so that they could be defended by my brothers and me against the incoming deluge of the Pacific. Not surprisingly, these heroic battles always ended in defeat.

Our desire for valiant combat also led us to bare-knuckle clamming. (No wimpy clam guns for us.) We would get on our knees, dig down into the sand, and attempt to extract a tenacious razor clam by hand. It was a classic battle of man verses mollusk. And in these battles sometimes we actually won. Of course, we always let the poor clams go. We were just in it for the glory of the sport.

Sadly, the beaches I visit nowadays are embarrassingly unsuitable for catch-and-release clamming. But, to me, the sand still yearns to be transformed into a majestic Sand Fortress. (On rare occasions, my children will actually help.) And after I have spent an afternoon moving around large quantities of wet sand, I can confirm that, as Joel reports, the middle-aged anatomy is just chock full of underutilized muscles. Muscles that are just waiting to take an awful revenge.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

RD, you are my hero -- you and your brother won against the ocean. . . oh. You meant your defeat. Well, I still admire you for the battle.

Girl Scout camping was the only kind I did as a child. After boyhood on a farm and years overseas in World War II my dad wasn't interested in tents or the great outdoors, unless you could come in at night, sit in a comfortable chair, and sleep in a bed. We rented a camper one summer, which convinced him (and me) that RV living was not his destiny. I scrupulously follow this family tradition, though I may take the Boy out in Colorado sometime. From Girl Scouts, I remember cooking that hamburger-potato-carrot thing in foil. Very tasty, especially after the backbreaking labor involved in gathering wood and the suspense of starting a fire itself.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Pat, I thought of you on my drive to work this morning. Most of the sky this morning is a bland layer (ha ha Freudian typo - I typed lawyer) of cloud with a clear area off to the east.

Anyway, for about two or three minutes the angle was right and the whole cloud layer was a glorious shade of orange. It was truly a marvel. Then, just like so many things, it passed and the cloud layer returned to slate gray.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 11, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Attn. parents of children attending public schools in northewest Mongomery County, MD:

There was some unspecified gun threat overheard at a school bus stop at or near Germantown this AM, and there's a limited lockdown:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101100528.html

For any of you who this may affect, my heart's with you. Hopefully, this will turn out to be idle chatter or a misunderstanding. There's *nothing* more wracking to me than worrying about my kids (who are attending schools a few miles north of there).

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Funny you should mention my well-known pounciness. Just last night going through a family photo album I found an old photo of me in one of my perky, pensive, pouncy moments. You can see it at http://www.dreamstime.com/catnap-image4166

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Just trying to refresh myself what this kit's topic is about. I haven't see anything about clouds today, so I'm lost.

Speaking of clouds, the maple tree next to a brick building is being illuminated by the white cloudy sky in a manner that reminds me of one of those Hudson river school paintings, or something.
I expect to see somebody in knee pants, stockings, a jacket, and a tricorn sleeping under the tree with a grey mare grazing nearby. Maybe a kid or two running down the cobblestone lane with wooden hoops being controlled by sticks.

Of course, this probably says more about the mental landscape in my head today.

I just got the raspberry from somebody who loved my resume but not my disablity today, and gave me a song and dance about how difficult it would be for *gasp* to work with hearing people. "Oh an interview would be a waste of time."

I guess I better go back to my cupboard because I'm obviously unfit for the Big Bad World without a nanny. ;).

(Rolling my eyes big time). Not by the hair of my chinny-chin. Okay, vent over.

Life's a beach... uh, a beech full of beechnuts and nuts.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

slyness: strong bad (of www.homestarrunner.com) wrote a nice song to deal with the its/it's problem. oddly enough, i never really had problems with its/it's until i heard the song:
If it supposed to be posessive
It's just I-T-S,
But if it's supposed to be a contraction
Then it's I-T-apostrophe-S!
Scalawag!

okay, now reading today's posts.

Posted by: sparks | October 11, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I apologize. The grammar, she leaves when I get verklempt.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I've NEVER understood why people have problem with its. You don't say "her's" or "hi's."

Although I HAVE seen overuse of apostrophes to that degree, especially in flyers plastered inside government buildings. I blame the DC school system, myself. When I was 16 I worked in the same building with a sweet girl from a DC public school, who wanted to be a lawyer. Her command of basic punctation and the finer points was so awful, that I was like "you're not gonna be a lawyer unless you get a REAL English teacher to teach you."

I felt kind of sad for her, and I do hope she learned what she needed for her dreams.

Apparently they need to clone a few Curmudgeons and strew them around where they can clean people's grammar clocks, in the DC school system (the horror!) as well as in the government buildings.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Still verklempt. SCC:

Apparently they need to clone a few Curmudgeons and strew them around where they can clean people's grammar clocks in the DC school system and the government buildings. Quelle horreur!

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of of bc's note, I note the following from Dana Milbank's piece in the Post on the School Violence summit:

"President Bush has always been a disciplined man, but yesterday he set a new standard for self-control: He moderated an hour-long discussion about the rash of school shootings in the past week without once mentioning the word 'guns.' . . .

"This was no misfire. The White House, hastily arranging yesterday's forum to react to shootings over the past fortnight at schools in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin and Missouri, neglected to invite any gun-control advocates. . . .

"The Bush administration has for years been known for its use of human props to make its points: middle-class 'tax families' to pitch for tax cuts, victims of Saddam Hussein's torture to pitch for the Iraq war, and friendly partisans to pitch soft questions at 'Ask President Bush' sessions. The technique is not new; Bill Clinton did much the same when hosting events about race.

"Still, yesterday's forum was unusual. While experts dispute how much blame to place on children's access to guns, even the invited guests found it a bit odd to banish the topic entirely from a school-violence forum."

*sigh*

Posted by: ebtnut | October 11, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

End school violence: arm kindergarteners and give them sniper training to take down the baddies. Then lower the military enlistment age.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, Wilbrod, did they actually say "Oh an interview would be a waste of time." Wow. Even if they didn't say that verbatim, I'm amazed at the attitude.

I think it was Dave Barry who said that nowadays an apostrophe just means an "s" is coming up.

Posted by: ac in sj | October 11, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Aw, Mudge, you're lyin'.

That's a picture of a female. And before you ask, I have no idea if she posts on the mommy blog.

Here's a better picture of you from a recent BPH (I hope this works):

http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0220099/Ss/0220099/3?path=gallery&path_key=0220099

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"It's" is spreading. Within a decade,"its" will be confined to the New Yorker, a genteel anachronism.

RD Padouk wrote of Ocean City State Park. I think that's where I made it to the Pacific, having driven from NW Wyoming via the environs of Mt St Helens, which had blown up less than two months previously. Mt Rainier's campgrounds were nearly empty. I'd planned the trips months before,intending to camp at St. Helens to avoid the crowds at Rainier.

My favorite Oregon beach was Otter Rock, excellent spot for incompetent surfers.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | October 11, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

That's an intriguing solution, Wilbrod, and the kindergartners would probably take their duties VERY seriously. [Parenthetical umbrage taken on your behalf re: foolish job person. Would it be worthwhile to contact Fool's superior in HR, or even company CEO, re hiring policies, just for fun?]

I like the way the Attorney General deflected the question by agreeing that kids shouldn't have access to assault weapons. The issue being, of course, that adults have access to assault weapons with which to enter schools and shoot kids.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah Wilbrod, for you, a link. I know it does not address your specific disability, but you may find these kind of on the money, particularly second row, last one.

http://homepage.mac.com/karin.schwier/copestone/illustration.html

Prideful parental moment alert: if you click on the link to Books, and scroll to the bottom, you will see a book called Keith Edward's Different Day. This book was inspired by my number 2 son, and the fact that he could not wink. She used it to help illustrate that different is not bad, it's just different. On the cover, little Keith Edward is the guy in the green shirt. Keith Edward is now fully grown, and occasionally reads and posts here as just another imaginary friend.

Posted by: dr | October 11, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Behind at work and can't catch up on the comments from last kit and this one, but wanted to give Pat a quick sky report:

When we woke up, the sun was just hitting the mountains, tinging them with pink and a big fluffy cloud above them was that impossible shade somewhere between gold and pink. By the time I set out to drive down to Colorado Springs, the sky was clear blue to the south, a few wispy clouds on other horizons, but perfect visibility in the direction I was going - the sun highlighting the ridges and shadows on Pikes Peak's snowy summit and a clean, clear shot all the way down the front range.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Posted by: Megan | October 11, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

That IS a much better picture; thanks, bc. (But you have to admit my haircut looks much more like the photo I posted than a lion with a full mane.)

Wilbrod, I wouldn't blame the DC school system; I'd blame all school systems everywhere. One might like to think the situation is better in the suburbs, but I don't see much sign of it.

As for strewing the contryside with curmudgeons, that's what they used to do back in the "good old days" --and they were called "schoolmarms." They eventually transitioned into "teachers," but I believe the breakdown started when the "teachers" became "educators" and "grammar" transitioned to "language arts." But don't get me started. (Well, I guess you already have.)

I like and respect teachers. I don't much care for educators. And as for pedagogic professionals....

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Dr, thanks for the chuckle. I was briefly one of the massive wheeled forces of America as a kid, and some of the issues are not that different, including the violin cartoon. That is SO on target.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

*waving to the different (but aren't we all?) KE*

bc;

So in that pic, I'd obviouly be Owl, right?

Not sure about Eeyore, though.

Wilbrod is Piglet? *ducking and running*

*L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, Mudge, I could understand folks blaming Clinton for things he did while in office IF he was running for President. He is not running for President and will not run for President again. These folks need to get over whatever they need to get over. Let us talk about the folks that are holding down the job now? And what was so wrong in talking to North Korea, isn't that what the present administration is doing? I don't have kind words for the leader of North Korea, starving all those people just so he can have new play toys, and destructive ones at that. You see how hateful and mean some can be in this world?

Joel, I laughed out loud at your description of muscles hollering and screaming from lack of use. And there are some places here that are so dark at night it's like living in another century. I try not to get caught anywhere near those places at night. They even have the animals to complete the picture.

Your description of man as a twig slightly coincides with Scripture, which calls man dirt,in the sense that he came from the earth, and it also states that man tries hard to get back to whence he came, the dirt, all while living a life sometimes that could be called "dirty".

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 11, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

You know, Mudge, I could understand folks blaming Clinton for things he did while in office IF he was running for President. He is not running for President and will not run for President again. These folks need to get over whatever they need to get over. Let us talk about the folks that are holding down the job now? And what was so wrong in talking to North Korea, isn't that what the present administration is doing? I don't have kind words for the leader of North Korea, starving all those people just so he can have new play toys, and destructive ones at that. You see how hateful and mean some can be in this world?

Joel, I laughed out loud at your description of muscles hollering and screaming from lack of use. And there are some places here that are so dark at night it's like living in another century. I try not to get caught anywhere near those places at night. They even have the animals to complete the picture.

Your description of man as a twig slightly coincides with Scripture, which calls man dirt,in the sense that he came from the earth, and it also states that man tries hard to get back to whence he came, the dirt, all while living a life sometimes that could be called "dirty".

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 11, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I think you should pursue College Parkian's idea of online teaching. You are a natural.

We've all learned so much from your knowledge of so many things. You explain clearly, you write well and you're interesting.

And you certainly won't need a nanny.

Posted by: TBG | October 11, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Only superfically, Scottynuke, although it is a little-known factthat Trespassers W. actually stands for Trespassers Wilbrod, not William.

I like the "Te of Piglet" myself.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I find I have slightly misquoted myself in an earlier post. The phrase that set me off was "an intensive experiential learning process" and I changed it to "the class." The sentence was "During an intensive experiential learning process participants will..." etc. You can be sure the DC school system didn't produce this abomination.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Glad you liked that, Wilbrod. Her work has been been largely with the mentally handicapped, but issues is issues if you are different at all. The same goofy suppositions keep coming up.

Posted by: dr | October 11, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

wilbrod, I am shocked & appalled that in 2006 you have to put up with such boorishness.

dbG, thanks for telling me/the boodle about your jewelry. It sounds very cool. I like minimalistic things as well. I am visualizing your bayleaf cast in silver with a citrine... very nice.

TBG, thanks for the grafitto update yesterday. I'm sorry that it is gone.

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 11, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Sounds at Assateague include the booms and blasts from Wallops: rocket scientists at play.

My son and his buddies, on the first of three day trips to Assateague this summer, wondered if were we being bombed. Children coming of age-post 9-11 still show such scars.

Best picture from the beach, any beach, would be William Carlos Williams as he describes foam patterns on water thusly:

Flowers by the Sea

by William Carlos Williams
1883-1963, written in 2004

When over the flowery, sharp pasture's
edge, unseen, the salt ocean

lifts its form--chicory and daisies
tied, released, seem hardly flowers alone

but color and the movement--or the shape
perhaps--of restlessness, whereas

the sea is circled and sways
peacefully upon its plantlike stem.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 11, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

scotty, I can't be Eeyore but he is my favorite Milne character. Nobody else is so completely original and integral. His emotional content is completely authentic. And complex. He is great.

I'm going to ask this about Eeyore, somebody tell me, how stupid am I, it took me 45 years to figure out how Eeyore got his name. Is it obvious to everyone else right away?

Posted by: kbertocci | October 11, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Late sky report today as I was trying to figure out a new way to say cloudy and blah. Pretty much white to flint gray clouds. Even the river appears as just a white stripe slicing the brown marsh grass in two. Occasionally the sun tries to burn through, but it seems a half-hearted effort. The foliage is becoming more intense, bringing patches of color to an otherwise dreary day.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 11, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

kbert;

He's not names for the Eeees of yore???

*confused*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC: named

*applying extended forefinger and thumb to forehead*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Now all I need is an advanced degree, TBG, something I've been putting off for years.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure, but I think I'm having a family emergency. My daughter called to say she cut the grass this morning, and is making dinner for my wife and me this evening (spaghetti). Clearly, my "real" daughter has been kidnapped, and some space alien has taken her place.

I may or may not report the kidnapping to the police, depending on how this imposter works out.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, it is possible that your daughter is not kidnapped but perhaps has her eye on something that financial assistance from Mom and Dad might help facilitate?

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Think onomatopoeia, Scotty.

I think in one of the Disney cartoons Eeyore Has Some Cause For Great Excitement, and runs around braying his name. However, kbertooch, don't feel bad.
I did not actually recognize this until I was in college, watching it over a girlfriend's house.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

No, dmd, if it was money she wanted, she'd just steal it from us. This is clearly an alien abduction. I have no doubt.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I'm tracking with you.

You and the Mrs. keep a tight grip on your wallets this evening, Mudge.

I's also recommend not signing any papers, either.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I've always wondered about that. i know he spells it eoR, and I thought maybe it was from a donkey's bray.

Personally not a fan of his constant negativism, although he is certainly more complex and the sacrasm is good.

I saw a donkey in the rain once, hunched over and standing still to keep warm, ears splayed irritably, a perfect picture of equine misery. Ee-yore!.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. It might not be too bad, Mudge.

I'm thinking "My Favorite Daughter".

Geez, I think both Ray Walston and Bill Bixby have passed to the great SAG in the sky...

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe (shudder), she wants to move back in. Or she has some big news to break to you.

Hope the sphagetti is good, anyway. You use any authentic Italian recipes in your family?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I will have you know that at this moment I am drinking green tea from a purple Eeyore mug. Eeyore is my hero.

Just don't let it get around.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, check the garage when you get home.

If there's a car-sized bubble-topped interplanetary space ship in there, I think you know what's up.

BTW, try not to get abducted yourself. They've got a hazing ritual that'll put a hitch in your giddy-up for *days*.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

bc: OK, thanks for being nice--the masochistic part of me hoped there would be a chorus of "you moron! of course it's obvious!!" but that would be against the Achenrules, I guess.

But listen carefully:

**DISNEY POOH IS NOT POOH.**

I'll spare the extended rant--I know I posted it already sometime in the past.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 11, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

That should be a momentous dinner. My personal gut is she has big news. I hope it's good news such as a job in California, rather than an declaration of enlisting in anything but the Merchant Marines.

Hope the sphagetti is good, anyway. Do you use any authentic Italian recipes in your family?

Never let "its" go into that good night of obsolete words, but rage, rage, against the dying art of the word nerds.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

That should be a memorable dinner, Mudge. My gut says that your daughter is setting you up for some "big news." May the food and news be good!

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse


Okay, nobody click here except RD Padouk

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B000H2NB0W/ref=sib_dp_srch_pop/102-4327779-0220102?v=search-inside&keywords=what+color+was+it

Posted by: kbertocci | October 11, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I was on jury duty yesterday and missed most of the boodle as well as Gene's chat and want to know if anyone has 'fessed up to baiting GWeingarten about his blog being better than Joel's.

Unless Gene fabricated the question just so he could use the word Hackenbach in a sentence.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

RD, one thing that bothered me about the Tao-through-Pooh books was how negative the author was about Tigger and Eeyore.

It's very obvious to me that you can definitely see the pair as yin and yang in so many ways.
I'm a little surprised to find that in the books that Kanga is the only "girl."

Rabbit always sounded like a really bossy older sister to me, and of course the Disney cartoons accidentally draw him as a female rabbit.
(Males have an arched skull, females don't.).


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

RDP;

I can rest easy now knowing that vital personal fact.

If I'd been drinking anything when I read that, my PC would also be resting now. Permanently.

*LOL*

onomatopeia, bc? the restroom's over there-a...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

SCC:

REALLY nobody click on the link, it didn't work out. Sorry RDP, I was just trying to give you a little present, like the balloon Piglet gave Eeyore, and ironically my present met a similar fate and "fell flat" so to speak.

THIS is why we love Eeyore, because we understand what his life is like!

Posted by: kbertocci | October 11, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci, I didn't make the eeyore connection till just now. But I cheated, I wikied it.

Posted by: omni | October 11, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

JA wrote :This weekend they were conscripted, and ever since they have been filing protests and formal grievances and generally making a ruckus." I feel your pain, literally, I still hurt from pretending to remember how to dance. And that most unfortunate incident happened last June.
I'm happy to see that somebody still can afford Sauternes. These bottles must have come by ways of JA's romp in the Old Europe. Back in the days when the product of the noble rot could be purchased without getting into payment plans involving a bunch of "easy payments" I enjoyed it a few times. In my recollection it was good with fruit and fruity dessert but shined the brightest when served in opposition with a slightly acidic shellfish or fish dish. Kids, mortgage and car payments got in the way of my epicurean life I say.

Dave of the Coonties, there is a wine that is the poor man's Sauternes. A good Vouvray "moëlleux" i.e. sweet may not be the complex delight that a good Sauternes is but it is a most satisfying wine as well. Again, its sweetness sets off nicely against a fish or shellfish meal. The boss could have picked up a few bottles during his car epic in the Loire valley. Further down the river the valley does not grow castles only but grape wines of chenin blanc too. The chenin blanc grapes turned into Vouvray can be sweet (moëlleux), semi dry (demi sec) or dry (sec), depending on the vintage and location. The dry and semi-dry are good wines, a little like white Bordeaux, but it is the moëlleux that is special. I am told that the moëlleux was produced in 2005 and it means that it should be available in a good wine store near you. OK, back to your regular programming.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 11, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Just for those wondering what we should do in Iraq and whether there's any good option and whether Bush will listen to John Warner and if the Baker-Hamilton group can come up with a magic bullet, here's Bush today in his news conference (translate as you see fit):

QUESTION: Senator Warner says Iraq appears to be drifting sideways. And James Baker says a change in strategy may be needed.

Are you willing to acknowledge that a change may be needed?

BUSH: We're constantly changing tactics to achieve a strategic goal. Our strategic goal is a country which can defend itself, sustain itself and govern itself.

The strategic goal is to help this young democracy succeed in a world in which extremists are trying to intimidate rational people in order to topple moderate governments and to extend the caliphate.

The stakes couldn't be any higher, as I said earlier, in the world in which we live. There are extreme elements that use religion to achieve objectives. And they want us to leave. And they want to topple government. They want to extend an ideological caliphate that has no concept of liberty inherent in their beliefs.

BUSH: They want to control oil resources and they want to plot and plan and attack us again. That's their objectives.

And so -- and our strategic objective is to prevent them from doing that. And we're constantly changing tactics to achieve that objective. And I appreciate Senator Warner going over there and taking a look.

I want you to notice what he did say is: If the plan is now not working, the plan that's in place isn't working, America needs to adjust. I completely agree. That's what I talked to General Casey about.

I said: General, the Baghdad security plan is in its early implementation. I support you strongly but, if you come into this office and say we need to do something differently, I support you. If you need more troops, I support you. If you're going to devise a new strategy, we're with you. Because I trust General Casey to make the judgments necessary to put the tactics in place to help us achieve an objective.

And I appreciate Jimmy Baker's willingness to -- he and Lee Hamilton are putting this -- they got a group they put together that -- I think it was Congressman Wolf's suggestion -- or passed into law.

BUSH: We supported the idea. I think it's good to have some of our elder statesmen -- I hate to call Baker an elder statesman -- but to go over there and take a look and to come back and make recommendations.

Somebody said he said, "Well, you know, cut-and-run isn't working." That's not our policy.

Our policy is to help this country succeed, because I understand the stakes. And I'm going to repeat them one more time. As a matter of fact, I'm going to spend a lot of time repeating the stakes about what life is like in the Middle East.

It is conceivable that there will be a world in which radical forms -- extreme forms of religion fight each other for influence in the Middle East; in which they've got the capacity to use oil as an economic weapon.

BUSH: And when you throw into that mix a nuclear weapon in the hands of a sworn enemy of the United States, you begin to see an environment that would cause some later on in history to look back and say, "How come they couldn't see the problem? What happened to them in the year 2006? Why weren't they able to see the problems now and deal with them before it came too late?"

And so Iraq is an important part of dealing with this problem. And my vow to the American people is I understand the stakes, and I understand what it would mean for us to leave before the job is done.

And I look forward to listening to how -- what Jimmy Baker and Lee Hamilton say about how to get the job done.

BUSH: I appreciate them working on this issue, because I think they understand what I know: The stakes are high.

And the stakes are high when it comes to developing a Palestinian state so that Israel can live at peace.

And the stakes are high when it comes to making sure the young democracy of Lebanon is able to fend off the extremists and radicals that want to crater that democracy.

This is a real challenge of the 21st century. I like to tell people we're in an ideological struggle. And it's a struggle between extremists and radicals and people of moderation who want to simply live a peaceful life.

And the calling of this country and in this century is whether or not we will help the forces of moderation prevail. That's the fundamental question facing the United States of America beyond my presidency.

BUSH: And you can tell I've made my choice. And I made my choice because the most solemn duty of the American president, in government, is to protect this country from harm.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 11, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

//bc: OK, thanks for being nice--the masochistic part of me hoped there would be a chorus of "you moron! of course it's obvious!!" but that would be against the Achenrules, I guess.//
Posted by: kbertocci | October 11, 2006 01:47 PM

Kbertocci, if you want people to mistreat you you, there is always the mommieblog.

Posted by: whyrleygyge | October 11, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Never read those Tao books. I just like Eeyore. His worldview is so refreshingly consistent.

Regarding wine - check out this Slate article about the new bargain basement French wines.

http://www.slate.com/id/2151272/

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, in 1972, I got a vinyl album (I know some of the younger boodlers are probably wondering what vinyl albums are) of Winnie the Pooh and the honey tree which was a read-along book. And yes, it is one of the Disney mutations, but I love both the Milne books and the Disney mutations. On the recording, Eeyore actually says his name like a donkey bray and so I knew pretty early on how he got his name.

Hmmm...I think I still have that album in storage somewhere. Having moved six months ago, I know where many things are, but there are still a few things that have not yet shown up.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | October 11, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I clicked. I love those classic pre-Disney drawings. Alas, my mug is Disney, but the spirit of Eeyore surives.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

That quote from Bush sounds like he wrote out a bunch of phrases on a deck of cards and then dropped them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Joel, that reminds me of the Kerry-Bush debates when Bush kept using the phrase "it's hard work", refering to the presidency/nation-building/whatever.
Did he really say "crater that democracy"?

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 11, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I have 76 seconds today. Just wanted to say I loved RD's "catch and release clamming" line. Still chuckling. Enjoy the day.

Posted by: CowTown | October 11, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

//That quote from Bush sounds like he wrote out a bunch of phrases on a deck of cards and then dropped them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 02:26 PM //

Exactly. I wouldn't be surprised if you were onto him.

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 11, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"Our policy is to help this country succeed, because I understand the stakes. And I'm going to repeat them one more time. As a matter of fact, I'm going to spend a lot of time repeating the stakes about what life is like in the Middle East."

Does someone write this for him, or is that his own words? Can someone explain the last sentence?

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Being out here in the boonies, I had never heard of the Iraq Study Group, the Baker-Hamilton group, until last Sunday's morning's ABC talk show.

One writers's take on the effort--love the term consigliere and Trojan horse, used pretty much in the same breath:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/popupsubscribe.html

Amid the highly charged political infighting in Washington over what to do in Iraq, you might be excused for not noticing that a bipartisan commission quietly started work last spring with a mandate to help the Bush administration rethink its policy toward the war. Of course, anything labeled "bipartisan commission" seems almost guaranteed to be ignored by a highly partisan White House that is notoriously hostile to outside advice and famously devoted to "staying the course." But what makes this particular commission hard to dismiss is that it is led by perhaps the one man who might be able to break through the tight phalanx of senior officials who advise the president and filter his information. That person is the former secretary of state, Republican insider, and consigliere of the Bush family, James A. Baker III.
Since March, Baker, backed by a team of experienced national-security hands, has been busily at work trying to devise a fresh set of policies to help the president chart a new course in--or, perhaps, to get the he11 out of--Iraq.

But as with all things involving James Baker, there's a deeper political agenda at work as well. "Baker is primarily motivated by his desire to avoid a war at home--that things will fall apart not on the battlefield but at home. So he wants a ceasefire in American politics," a member of one of the commission's working groups told me. Specifically, he said, if the Democrats win back one or both houses of Congress in November, they would unleash a series of investigative hearings on Iraq, the war on terrorism, and civil liberties that could fatally weaken the administration and remove the last props of political support for the war, setting the stage for a potential Republican electoral disaster in 2008. "I guess there are people in the [Republican] party, on the Hill and in the White House, who see a political train wreck coming, and they've called in Baker to try to reroute the train."

The fact that Baker is involved has sent the Washington rumor mill buzzing with the theory that the commission is really a Trojan Horse for the views of Baker's friend and former boss, George H.W. Bush....


The Wapo's Dana Milbank;s article on the bipartisan group headed by the consigliere was far funnier and tragic:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/19/AR2006091901341.html?nav=rss_print/asection

Wednesday, September 20, 2006; Page A02

If President Bush and the Iraqi government are hoping for some solutions from the congressionally commissioned Iraq Study Group, they might want to start thinking about a Plan B.

Former secretary of state James Baker and former congressman Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), the study group's co-chairmen, called a briefing yesterday to give a "progress report" on their activities. A dozen television cameras and scores of reporters filled the hall -- only to discover that Baker and Hamilton had revived Jerry Seinfeld's "show about nothing" format....


Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Nice article. We started noticing the very different and trendy bottle, and labeling this spring on French wines. The article is incorrect, the cheesy labels and eye catching colours have their place. If they can make you pick up the bottle at the store, the battle is half won. If they can make me laugh, I'll try it. Not sure about elsewhere, but up here, goofy is as good a reason to buy a wine without tasting it as any.

When I was young, the liquor store was in the back of the hardware store. It stocked only the most basic of wines, things like the dense heavy sherries and ports that old men drank whilst standing at the bar (so that they could answer truthfully to their wives that they were not sitting in the bar, and which was familially referred to as porch climber), a lone Canadian made white that had the temerity to call itself a sauterrne, and lastly, Manischewitz Kosher wine.

And then there was Baby Duck.

"Baby Duck represents a non-threatening entry into the sophisticated world of wine drinking. This sweet, pink, fizzy wine is modeled after Mateus, the world's most popular wine. Like the spritzers and wine coolers that would follow, Baby Duck eased the transition from soft drinks to alcohol for many new drinkers." (the Quote is from the blurb at CBC.ca)

Good times.

Posted by: dr | October 11, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

dr, that description of Baby Duck excludes one pertinent detail, it eased the transition for underage female drinkers.

FYI here's a link to CBC's "Sweeping the Nation" collection of audio and video related to curling in Canada.

http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-41-550/sports/curling/

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, I am sorry, but you want to know (of course you do, don't be shy) that bothers me much more than the promiscuous use of apostrophes in these degenerate modern days?

The use of the nominative case following a preposition by people who think (and would no doubt term it thus)that it's classier.

"I have written to both he and his boss." "I thought it was a present for my wife and I."

We all have our irrational obsessions. That is mine. (One of them, anyway.)

Thank you for listening.

Posted by: annie | October 11, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

annie, the funny thing about that is that if you drop the noun out of the subject and leave just the pronoun, it's glaringly obvious that the pronoun is in the wrong case.

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 11, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news: a small plane has apparently just crashed into an apartment building on 71st St. in NYC.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Long ago I used to be modestly knowledgeable about wines. I bought futures and read Kevin Zraly. Then priorities changed and my favorite variety of wine became something called "House."

Once the children are all educated and everything, I am looking forward to such joys as the double-blind wine tasting. I am hopeful that a rediscovery of wine will be a way to ease the pain of getting older.

Or at least make it so I don't notice so much.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Now they're saying it was a chopper, and not terror-related.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Wag the Dog.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

dr:
Riunite, back when I lived back of the liquor store and laundromat.

Shrieking Denizen:
Vouvray "moëlleux" (sweet) sounds worth looking for. Maybe findable in Palm Beach County? I'm taking a med that doesn't work if you consume alcohol, so now it's worth looking for celebratory wines that are good in small quantities. Dessert wines are perfect. No more cheap sherry on the ice cream. In fact, essentially no more ice cream or other calorific stuff. I've gotta become a lettuce and greens lover. Might even try swiss chard for the first time.

Next week, the menus will be Japanese. Hotel breakfast buffets, munchies from 7-11 and undoubtedly mochi at Ichinoseki, once the home base of the Fujiwara clan.
http://www.infocreate.co.jp/hometown/ichinoseki/tabe-e.html

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 11, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

dr, dmd, please do not associate the alcoholic beverage Baby Duck with wine. Baby Duck was the cooler of the Canadian baby boomers. BTW I have a bottle of a related product, Bright's President Canadian Champagne that was offered to us by the realtor who sold us our first house, ca 1990. I'm keeping it for a really important occasion, my funeral maybe. LOL
GWB "And the calling of this country and in this century is whether or not we will help the forces of moderation prevail. That's the fundamental question facing the United States of America beyond my presidency"
Hum, so this is a decision to be made AFTER his mandate. He cannot make his own mind, torn as he is between extremism and moderation. What a strange turn of phrase, his brains must be scrambled.


Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 11, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Dooley,
This is for you...

The painter Frederick Church is a Loomis descendant. Church was a childhood friend of railroad magnate William Henry Osborne, who was brought up in Connecticut. Henry Fairfield Osborne was Osborne's son and J.P. Morgan's nephew.

Henry Fairfield Osborne, went to Princeton as an undergraduate where he studied paleontology (graduating in 1877). He did graduate work at Princeton, Columbia and in England and he worked under T. H. Huxley and even met Charles Darwin.

He earned a doctorate from Princeton in 1880 and taught comparative anatomy at that school until 1890 when he became the head of Columbia's Biology Department. He also served as curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. In 1908 he became president of the museum. He married Lucretia Perry, a descendant of Oliver Hazard Perry and Commodore Matthew Perry.

Weren't you, Dooley, at the American Museum of Natural History in the past month doing some work? Sorry to be so late with this question...

Church-Osborne link:
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_3_114/ai_n13665007

Osborne's link to the museum (Under Henry Fairfield Osborn, founder of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1892 (and later museum president), the Department's collection became the largest repository of fossils in the world.):

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_3_114/ai_n13665007

Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! My mom grew up in a very modest apartment building near where that aircraft crashed into a highrise condo on East 72nd Street near the East River and near New York Hospital.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 11, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Froom Froomking today and topping SonofCarl's jw letter:

Monty Python member Terry Jones writes in The Guardian:

"Dear President Bush,

"I write to you in my capacity as secretary of the World League of Despots.

"It is with great pleasure that I am finally able to extend an official invitation to you to join our ranks. . . .

"[Y]our unstinting efforts to make torture an internationally accepted aspect of human life have surpassed everything we could have ever hoped for. I don't think there is a single member of the league who could have imagined, six short years ago, that our activities in tormenting our fellow creatures would once again be recognised as acceptable, civilised behaviour, as it once was in the middle ages.

"Despite these achievements, we had, until now, felt unable to extend our invitation to you because you had been unable to fulfil one of our basic requirements: the ability to carry out arbitrary arrests, imprisonment without trial, secret torture and executions at will."

Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking, I am laughing, I do not like champagne, good or bad. I will say the Baby Duck was a popular with some friends of mine back when we were young and silly. I like white Bordeau/Chablis, I do not have a particularly broad range of preferences in wine. As long as it is at least moderately strong tasting, dry and not fruity and white I can drink it.

Shrieking perhaps you could recommend some Ice Wines for DOTC, as I am not that familiar with them.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Footage on TV indicates a very small aircraft. Not clear yet about casualties.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101101116.html

Posted by: Achenbach | October 11, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

re: Bush's ramble...

*Jimmy* Baker? Well, that and everything else he said. I'd call him a maroon if he didn't scare me so much.

Posted by: ac in sj | October 11, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I was in New York at the American Museum a couple of weeks ago (was it really that recently?). Huge fossil collections there. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see everything I had planned--the area where the tapirs and rhinoceroses are stored are closed for asbestos removal.

In the morning, I'm off to Cleveland (where it's supposed to snow), then Buffalo (more snow), then Hamilton (more snow), and finally Ottawa by Tuesday. All the snow is really going to put a crimp in my plans for Niagara Falls, the Buffalo Naval Park, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, and the HMCS Haida, all of which are at leaast partly outdoors. Of course, I have been known to visit airplane museums during snowstorms in the past.

For Ottawa boodlers, the Canadian Museum of Nature reopens on October 20, and includes a new gallery on dinosaurs and early mammals. From what I've heard, it's supposed to be a nice exhibit. (I get to see it on Oct. 18--they're hosting a reception for the conference I'm attending.)

Posted by: Dooley | October 11, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

aircraft story, no real details:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101101116.html

took me a long time to catch up. real work to do today.

Posted by: sparks | October 11, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Dooley you will be safe for Niagara and Hamilton, NO SNOW, I REPEAT NO SNOW, it will be perhaps wet and cool. Seriously it is in the low 60's today. Since you are in the area, I am close to Hamilton if you need weather predictions.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, all kidding aside, are you driving? If you are on your drive from Niagara Falls to Hamilton, take the detour and go down the Niagara Parkway to Niagara on the Lake. With the leaves, the parkway will be beautiful, might add 30 to 45 minutes but it is all parkland along the river upto Queenston Heights/Niagara on the Lake. Depending on if or where you are staying in Hamilton you may then want to venture up the escarpment to travel one of the lesser highways, great views of the lake on a clear day, and a few parks with some of the remaining waterfalls that are left on the escarpment.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Man, I'm getting an ulcer from 2 days on the mommyblog.

First some kid (I think) who supports voluntary eugenics and has no conception whatsoever of medical genetics, disabilities, or anything.

And now some "ex-teacher" complains about IEPs and all and blaming the ADA, which has nothing to do with the IEPs by law, actually.

I want my own blog.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd. Current plan is to be in the Hamilton area on Sunday and part of Monday. HMCS Haida has to be Sunday (closed Monday), and Monday morning I have to deliver some specimens to a casting company in St. Catherines.

Since our schedule is light on Sunday, I think I'll take your suggestion and take the Niagara Parkway. I kind of wanted to see Queenston, anyway--Stan Rogers did a song about the battle there.

Posted by: Dooley | October 11, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I had a real Achenbloggy lunch experience today, many of you Boodlers would have appreciated it far more than I. The head of our planetarium here came and gave a slide talk on the Cassini expedition, focusing on Saturn and its moons and with a little time left over for the rest of the solar system. It was amazing. Several of my fellow lunchers asked intelligent questions (several asked not-so-intelligent ones as well) but I just sat there in childlike amazement. It was completely fascinating and I learned a whole bunch of cool stuff. I would have been sad to return to work but, fortunately, I have the Boodle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, you're embarrassing me - I didn't know that Stan Rogers did a song about the Battle of Queenston Heights.

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/stan+rogers/macdonnell+on+the+heights_20252142.html

Info on Queenston Heights:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Queenston_Heights

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 11, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, Wilbrod, any idiot can have their own blog. I do.

Here's a nobel effort I whipped up over lunch today, from an idea that had been baking for week or so:

http://www.10thcircle.com/10/?p=128

Now getting *paid* for this kind of nonsense, that's the trick.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I should clarify here that I don't think you're an idiot, Wilbrod. I am the idiot that I refer to in my 4:39 PM post.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

One last thing before I go: this *is* the month for Achenbloggy experiences.

Zeptember is over, we're well into Achtober now.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks SoC, now I don't feel so bad not knowing who Stan Rogers is, and he grew up next door to me (as in city next door).

Dooley, if you want to put songs to places, and you are familiar with Rush, the song Lakeside Park is referencing a park in St. Catherines. While I am at it may I say neither St. Catherines or Hamilton are the best representatives of Canadian cities. I grew up across the water from Hamilton and the spouse is from St. Catherines, trust me we have done better!

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Dooley we will expect a full report on all the Ottawa vertebrates.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 11, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Dooley

One of my favorite restaurants anywhere is near Ottawa. On the Hull side of the river, west of town. Called "Eschelle du Jacob" -Jacob's ladder - (not entirely sure of the spelling). It's been years, but I believe it's still there. French cooking. A small (maybe 15 tables) place. Romantic. Was taken there the first time with a (small) business group. Went back with my wife. Better with the spouse.

Posted by: Steve-2 | October 11, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, are you taking specimens across the border? Just curious, is it more of a hassle these days.

Posted by: dr | October 11, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Just remembered a funny story, last summer the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) had a mobile dinosaur exhibit parked at our lakeside park. One evening when we were walking by our five year old asked if she could see the dinosaur, but it was closed. Rather than be good parents, we choose to tell her that the dinosaur was sleeping and my husband walked up to the door and made noises like a dinosaur might. Not sure if she fell for it but it amused us greatly.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Just came back from reading the rest of yesterdays boodle. I write magasine rather than magazine, because I have a lazy little finger and typing it is such a pain.

Then there is the other big thing, spelling. And that other thing, editing. Ok, its all too much.

Posted by: dr | October 11, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod and your very own Wilblog. Nice.

Lots of free blogware or nearly free-platforms. I like www.squarespace.com best. Little hard to set up, but you get greated customization of the look and pages, etc.

I wonder if the deaf community is active on blogs.

Again about the teaching online. I wonder if you could also create a job for yourself on helping online educational "thingies" market distance learning or e-learning to deaf professionals.

I often had deaf people in my USDA Grad School technical writing courses. Great interpreters made for such a good experience for all. Best interaction, however, with this students took place online, in email and with MSWord document sharing. Technology is a boon for so many.
----
Thank you all for the edification on what Eeyore means. I still think this paraphrased line at the close of some Pooh-venture is best:

"Everyone is all right, really, Pooh."

Edward Shephard? Earnest Shepherd? Beats Disney hands down. But I do like Paul Winchell's voice as Tigger.

Off to soccer. Hoping the rain holds off.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 11, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

JA: Dooley we will expect a full report on all the Ottawa vertebrates.

Oh Achenbach, you naughty boy, tempting me with set ups like that.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 11, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

yankees pitcher was the one that hit the bldg in nyc!

Posted by: mo | October 11, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

someone brought in pastries this morning, and now that everyone has gone home, i can eat all the leftovers! hooray!

Posted by: sparks | October 11, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I checked into the "On Balance" 'blog. I found Pat's guest post and read through most of those comments, and then read through today's.

Wow! Those kids DO NOT play well together!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Ooops! The most recent "On Balance" that I had read was yesterday's, not today's.

I just glanced over today's comments there, and they were much more congenial.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Joel,

Nice kit but why o' why do you usually write about "man" and something? Is it because you are the only male in your household? Or could it be because you have a wo...man boss? Or maybe you want to feel more man...ly? Hmmmmm. Or is it possibly the 'woman is the rib' thingamasuperior gingee and you don't want us wo...men to forget?

Posted by: Random Commenter | October 11, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, what the heck. Frederick Church's painting of Niagara Falls, pretty much full-screen:

http://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/cjackson/c/p-church3.htm

If, Dooley, you're delivering specimens to a casting company, what movie are they trying out for? *haha*

Posted by: Loomis | October 11, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Random Commenter, the J-man hardly ever answers /our/ questions, which usually have at least some intellectual merit, what makes you think he's gonna take your bait? especially when your premise is flawed.

Posted by: sparks | October 11, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Random Commenter has stumbled across the thing that has held Joel back from that Pulitzer for all this time. It's the misogyny with which all his work is imbued, which alienates all of the potential female readers (except for the pointy-science types here).

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2006 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Random Commenter -

In this case I think the gender neutral interpretation of "Man" is justified.

"People and Nature" sounds silly.

"Man and Woman and Nature" sounds like a porn flick.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2006 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Dooley we will expect a full report on all the Ottawa vertebrates."

Well, with Mrs. D. and son of D with me, I'm not sure I can check out EVERY vertebrate...but I'll do the best I can.

I'm not giving a talk this year, which means I can relax and listen to other talks, instead of trying to get my own prepared.

Typically there are around 500 talks and posters at the meeting, which lasts 4 days. There are always 4 or 5 specialty seminars (this year there's a seminar on whales, and another one on marine reptiles). Each day there will generally be 3 concurrent sessions in different broad areas (often mammals, non-mammals, and paleontological techniques), plus a poster session.

Posted by: Dooley | October 11, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

bc's obviously a better idiot than I am...

*contemplating my bloglessness*

:-)

___________________

mo, it's a tragedy, and I do mean that.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Random Commenter: I don't write the headlines.

Oh, wait, I do write the headlines. Never mind.

I think there are situations where "Man" sounds right and has a gender neutral ring to it. This would be such a situation, to my ear at least. "Humans and Nature" is awkward, and "People" doesn't sound right -- sounds too much like a specific group of folks rather than a species.

And sparks is right, I don't answer very many questions directly, because this isn't a chat, and I think the boodling is better when I'm way in the background (or shunned altogether). Go find Weingarten. He answers questions 24 hours a day. He lives to chat.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 11, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse

And the beat goes on...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101101050.html

I particularly like the "Eff you" the guy wrote in reply... *rolling my eyes*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 7:18 PM | Report abuse

SN, I think he meant "formerly unblemished career".

20 employees for his nephew's high school video project! Someone has to get that video for Youtube.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 11, 2006 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, since you have a military theme going you may also want to see Fort George in Niagara on the Lake, from the waters edge in Niagara on the Lake you can look across the mouth of the river to see the fort on the US side.

You will also be going through the heart of Ontario's wine country.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/index_e.asp

http://www.oldfortniagara.org/

I hope you and your family have a good and safe trip, I have heard really good things about the War Plane Museum in Hamilton, and the Haida is now in an area of Hamilton bay where they have worked really hard to improve the waterfront, there is also a Marine Discover Centre and a large park. There are many good things about Hamilton, unfortunately parts of it have gone done hill since I was a child, despite many attempts at improvements they struggle with getting a strong enough economic base to keep the city vibrant. I grew up looking across the bay at Hamilton and went there a lot, but now I don't go very often, my husband however works downtown Hamilton.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

SoC, scary thing is, I don't get the impression he thinks of this as a blemish... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2006 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, if Son of Dooley is traveling with you, stop by Niagara University and the power plant (they are across the street from each other). Both are wonderful places.

Niagara University is in my son's top four college choices right now. Let's just see if he's in their top 400.

Posted by: TBG | October 11, 2006 7:44 PM | Report abuse

While we're Monday-night quarterbacking your headline decision, I need to say you have guts to write a blog that attracts so many editors.

That said, "Hairless Apes in Nature" has a ring to it. Or "Naturally Achenbach."

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I was interested in Joel's blog, but astonished to find that everyone was talking about their own thing. Three points of information: Assateague stopped being a major shore real estate development as a result of the nor'easter of 1962 which washed away the "street" and much of the early construction. Wallops Island is south east of Assateague, across Chincoteague inlet. Assawoman Bay lies along the north end of Ocean City, considerably north of Assateague.

Posted by: John L. | October 11, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

We know, John, we know. We're nerds here.

Cool painting, Loomis, but since I'm on three diuretics I can only look at it for about ten seconds before...well...you know...

uh, gotta run. Back in a minute...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog,

Do you know how to open the refrigerator? If you do, can you teach us?

We thought that, as domestic animals, we should learn how to cook. We're sure dbG would appreciate coming home to a dog-cooked meal every night!

Wags!

Posted by: dbG's_dogz | October 11, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Show me anothger blog with this much inter-species communication!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Meow...

Posted by: TBGcat | October 11, 2006 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, you know. Canines at my house, space aliens at yours.

Posted by: dbG | October 11, 2006 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Thought she'd never leave!

To continue, what would be the harm if one night dbG got our food and we got hers? We're sure she'd love the salmon kibble topped with cooked rabbit, baby peas and diced carrots as much as we'd like the tortellini with marinara sauce. . . Maybe more!

Posted by: dbG's_dogz | October 11, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I think I can figure it out, but the kitchen is too small here for me to do it, and Wilbrod's watching me.

Cooking-- too much work, trust me.

I already work hard in the kitchen by alerting to teakettles, boiling water, microwaves, toasters, kitchen timers,

And, once in a while if I'm in the mood and not asleep and dreaming of nigara falls, I will tell Wilbrod of overflowing water in the sink.

And I am trained to point or touch food on the floor but not bolt it immediately, unless it's REALLY, REALLY good and I think Wilbrod wants me to. Or that God wants me to.

I will alert when the meat is about done or ready to burn, too. I'm supposed to say when the gas goes out but I'm not really sure what the difference is yet. I do know smoke is definitely bad in the house.

Wow, listing all this makes me tired. I better go back to bed.


Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 11, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking of the previous boodle when I commuted in today, specifically about Mudge's dislike of he/she. As an invisible woman, a la Yoki, I agree with Random Commentator's post today (if I understood her correctly).

Why are masculine pronouns always the English standard? I'm not very interested in other people's rules, so I use feminine pronouns instead. One small step for woman, but a giant step for womankind.

P.S. Re: inter-species communication. You boodlers give great silly.

Posted by: dbG | October 11, 2006 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, dbG, between your 9:28 and Evangaline Lilly on "Lost," I think I need a cold shower.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, I think.

It's really hard taking those giant steps in heels, though!

Posted by: dbG | October 11, 2006 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I think Curmudgeon's dirty copyeditor side took over for a moment there, dbG.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 10:01 PM | Report abuse

kb, you made me laugh when you mentioned you didn't "get" Eeyore's name! Equinophile (is that a word? - sounds better than horse nut) that I am, of course I knew why he was named that. I was a tomboy, though, and thought Christopher Robin was a sissy, so I wasn't really into Pooh. My kiddo liked the books. It's weird - I knew things about horses when I was 3, before I could read, that I don't know how I picked up - no one in my immediate family had much experience with horses, although my grandfather was supposed to be a good judge of horses (he farmed with them).

dbG, I see lots of examples in writing these days that use she rather than he. The he/she formation is awkward.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2006 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Barbaro update (he's doing ok):
http://www.vet.upenn.edu/newsandevents/news/Barbaro_Update10-10.htm

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2006 10:08 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking,

The revolution will not be televised.

Now that tune cootie will be in my head tonight!

Posted by: dbG | October 11, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I reread Misty of Chincoteague over the weekend. It's about kids and the wild ponies of Assateague Island. In all the years I lived near DC, I never made it to those islands. Sigh.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2006 10:13 PM | Report abuse

dbG -
You mean that Winnie the Pooh song? It's kb's fault - or Disney's, I guess. I recommend heavy metal - or Steely Dan - or yeah, Gil Scott Heron.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I was watching some commercials tonight when I kept being interrupted by "Lost." I finally started timing it all around 9:25. There were three segments of six minutes each with four minutes of ads in between. I think the last segment went a bit longer, but I was laughing at the Red Sox World Series reference (that was brilliant!) and forgot to check. Looks like Hurley and Locke will be back next week, thank goodness, Jack is becoming tiresome. I guess I'll keep watching for a while as I only wanted to scream at the TV once, when Sahid and Jin were watching the jungle for the Others while right behinds them, if they'd bothered to turn their heads just once, the might have seen the boat being borded. And Sahid is supposed to be so smart. Duh. (I know, it's a TV show and the plot requires certain things, but it was d. u. m. dumb.)

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 11, 2006 10:39 PM | Report abuse

mostly, perhaps you were a horse expert in a past life.

I'm reminded of this excerpt from Tom Shroder's book:


"A young boy in Virginia had been obsessed with cowboy boots and blue jeans from a very early age. He refused to wear anything else, and constantly talked about 'his' farm. One day his mother was driving with him out in the country, and he started yelling, 'That's my farm.'

". . . 'What was the first time where you thought he might be talking about a previous life?' I asked.

"'It began as a joke. My husband and I would be out in public and Robert would always be talking about, "My farm," and people would say, "Oh, you live on a farm," and we'd say, "No, that was in his previous life." So we would joke about it -- literally joke about it.'

"Robert was about two then. The Lentzes lived about a half hour to the north of their present home in an older suburban area. 'There were some farms around, but Robert never had a reaction to them. It was always "at my farm."'

"'The older he got, the more his vocabulary improved, the more he'd say. At three, we learned that he smoked at age thirteen in the shed. That came out of the blue: "Mama, on my farm, when I was thirteen we were smoking." But it hit me. Ever since he could walk, he would pick up a stick, he would pick up a pencil, he would pick up anything, and pretend to smoke. Neither my husband nor I smoke. We won't even be around smoke. And at day care he's not around it at all.'

"'What else would he talk about? He'd talk about tractors, he'd talk about farm things, working on the farm, waking up on the farm, cows . . . There were always cows on his farm. Oh, and he said that a shed had been blown down in a storm.'

"'Not too long ago, maybe this past winter, he and I were sitting there watching TV and my husband made a fire and it got real quiet, and all of a sudden he said, "My mom used to stand by the fire when she was pregnant." And he said, "Mama, let me show you." And he went over and he stood there and he said, "She would rub her tummy and it would be real big and she'd stand and warm herself on the fire." And then we'd ask him, "How many children did she have?" And he'd say, "Six."'

"'At one point, the lady who takes care of him out of her home said, "Debbie, what is with this farm?" . . . So we sat down for about an hour and our notes were identical. He had a mother who "left him" and he had a mean sister, and a green tractor, and a black pickup truck. Everything was identical. And that's what's so interesting. You can talk to kids and the story changes all the time, but when you have one story since birth that never changed, it was almost incredible.'"

-- from "Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives," by Tom Shroder [THE Tom]

Posted by: Tom fan | October 11, 2006 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Remarkably, it takes more than Ms. Lilly to keep my interest in "Lost".

As soon as Sahid said the dock was "safe", they Lost me. Too contrived for my taste.

To John L's point, there is the popular Assawoman Bay up there in DE, north of Ocean City MD as he points out. IIRC, there is also an Assawoman in VA, south of Wallops, as I suggested.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 10:48 PM | Report abuse

SCC: I should have said "near" Wallops, don't remember exactly if it were north or south of Wallops Island. It's not too far from Assateague, I do remember that much.

Oh, and good morning, Dreamer. I do enjoy those nuggets from Tom the *.

'night, all.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 11, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, agreed, Bad Sneakers. I'll watch another week, too, but I've about had it with the plotting. In particular, I'm pretty disgusted with the bgratuitous sadism of the Others. Speaking as a writer, their characters lack motivation--we have no more clue why they are doing what they're doing than the castaways do, and I've lost what little trust I had in the show's writers. It's clear beyond argument that Ben and the Others are bad guys. So what's the point in trying to convince us (or the castaways) that they are the good guys, as they claim? I really just don't care what their motivation is, or what the island's and/or the Others' secrets are.

It just isn't fun watching any more.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 11, 2006 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Tom the *surgeon*, bc. Tom the Surgeon.

Posted by: Tom fan | October 11, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Hello all, I've been for awhile, trying to spend less time in front of the computer (and I have been managing to use my muscles more lately).

Checking in now to recommend an article to the boodle. It's in that other paper, the NYT mag, titled "An Elephant Crackup?"
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/08/magazine/08elephant.html?em&ex=1160712000&en=0d17a29fe50b61e5&ei=5087%0A

I clicked on it expecting to read another enjoyable analysis of the breakdown of the republican party. Instead, I found the most interesting thing I've read in awhile,
this engaging, disturbing, and enlightening account of breakdowns in elephant social structure. I can't do it justice, just give it a read. It'll make for a good discussion for this group.

Posted by: silvertongue | October 11, 2006 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Those stories of past lives are interesting, especially the age range they tend to occur in with children.
Saw a thesis the other day-- "DNA has memory", meaning that sometimes you experience unconscious memories and behavior patterns tracing back to ancestors.

The bible also says "the sins of the father extend unto the 7th generation" and psychologists think that may be accurate and that the effects of trauma last several generations, from studying Holocaust survivors, their children, their grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren etc.

There's something transmitted between generations that is unspoken.

On an unconscious note, I also find the continuity of certain dream sequences interesting. I've had dreams refer back to memories of previous dreams and so on.

That said, I rather like the idea of reincarnation, if only because it makes for good stories.

I was once told that in India, the belief is a man who is unfaithful to his wife gets reborn as a street dog. There are quite a few of them about in India, I must say.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Silvertongue, it's a good article. Scottynuke mentioned it as well, and it draws the research together in a wonderful general picture of what is going on with elephantkind.

Ironically it dovetails with what I was talking about just now with Holocaust survivors.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 11:39 PM | Report abuse

SCC: wonderfully written picture. Sorry.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2006 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. I swore I wouldn't bore all y'all any more with my ramblings, but I've been *drawn in.*

Ernest H. Shepard was the Pooh illustrator. And what a superb illustrator he was. Also, Pooh has nothing to do with p**. P**r GW. I think I always knew where Eeyore's name came from. I have a beautiful first edition of The House at Pooh Corner signed by Shepard. It was given to my stepfather the year he was born and it was published.

I am now reminded of the great Flanders & Swan turn, "Pee Po Belly Bum Drawers." I think it was Michael Flanders who interjected, "People now say in public words I would hesitate to say in private!"

dBg, I cannot tell you how flattered I am to be referenced "a la Yoki," but I have never felt invisible on the blog, only to live men in my real post-menopausal life. Which, as I said, I find liberating. No wonder crones are known as wise women.

Au contraire, as some super French people might say. I take up a lot of space in my own mind and life. As one of the original feminists, and a former copy editor, I object not at all to "man" as shorthand for humankind. I do object to bastardizing the English language for a political purpose. It serves us (humankind) well as it is and will be. The beauty of the King James would be marred by replacing poetry with gender-neutral terms (and has been!). I have much more important battles to fight with the patriarchy and the world on behalf of #1 and #2 than a convention which works well in English usage.

Go Joel.

I do believe that several weeks ago I published a meditation on a child's art which referenced the "place of man in nature." I stand by it.

'Mudge, I appreciated your recommendations for usage/grammar sources. I have a 2nd edition Fowler's which, because of hard use, is bound up with duct tape to preserve it, and agree that the 3rd edition (and subsequent?) edited by others have lost the pure joy in good English (and the wit) that Fowler brought to the exercise.

In re: John L, I would only remind us all not to f*** th* t***ls.

bc, if you want explore the possibilities we discussed a couple of months ago, let me know. If not, I shall move on to other causes.

OK then! Back to not boring you with my ramblings, hehehe.

But before I do, someone should post an appreciation of my very funny contribution yesterday which not only referenced the horrid jargon of the World Bank, but played cleverly with the very usage question then being debated.

Love to all.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Well, Sparks...the J-man answered my question. Fancy that and much appreciated. I still think Joel is very proud of his ... manliness...which is really okay. But a nice reference (intellectual or not) to the other side every so often can't hurt. And it did sound like a wonderful weekend. I miss the East coast sometimes.

Posted by: Random Commenter | October 12, 2006 12:35 AM | Report abuse

The first West Coast Expeditionary Boodle Porching Hour has come to a satisfactory close. I can confirm that L.A. Lurker is indeed female and brunette -- couldn't be a day over 27 -- and she can indeed make noises involving consonants that have no business being in such close proximity to each other. It's just wrong. She can attest, I expect, that I am in fact a male science nerd who talks a lot. Also, I was wearing a jacket and a silly necktie. I was very needy and tried to convince her that I am truly a nerd, but I didn't have my stuff with me. I felt so defenseless. What if she tried to take advantage of me? Fortunately, her intentions were honorable. We ate the traditional M&S fare of cheeseburgers (hold the cheese from mine), although we arrived too late to take advantage of Happy Hour pricing. Weirdly, the Pasadena M&S serves burgers that taste like meatloaf.

Tinfoil headgear was worn (well, aluminum). Pictures will be sent to mo.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2006 1:00 AM | Report abuse

All right, Yoki, it was so brilliant it went over my head, the only acronym I recognized was MDG.

I thought S was pronounced "Ess", so should be aN STG, no?

I give you an A for Achievement, a B for brilliance, a C for clarity...

I can see I have a new alphabet to memorize.

Give me an A, a B, a C, a D, an E, an F, a G, an H, an I, a J, a K, a L, an M, an N, an O, a P, a Q, an R, an S, a T, an U, a W, an X, a Y, a Z.


An un, a uni, a eu, an ew, a url, an UL,
It's all an honor, a horror, a humility,
Tiddley tiddle pom, tiddle tiddle pom, '
do I see an eeyore yonder,
Or has he escaped this grammar noir?

*Sound of mental fuses blowing*


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Wibrod,

Regarding your mention of DNA having memory I truly believe that. Sometimes while grilling, over the stove in a pan no less, pork chops in particular,(silly but true) I have this strange feeling pass over me of doing the same thing centuries ago. My ancestry is Scotch, Irish and English. Three cheers for the ageless pig.

Posted by: Random Commenter | October 12, 2006 1:05 AM | Report abuse

SCC: a U.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Okay once again...

An un, a uni, a eu, an ew, AN url, a UL...

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 1:09 AM | Report abuse

And Welsh...forgot. :-)

Posted by: Random Commenter | October 12, 2006 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Och, you better not smell any haggis cooking, then.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 1:17 AM | Report abuse

WaPo headline & sub:
A Cheaper House May Cost You -
Houses in suburbs may cost less, but study shows costs of longer commutes can outweigh discount.

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101101883.html)

----

Well, gosh, what a surprise! Didn't Adam Smith and all subsequent economists settle this issue long ago?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2006 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I meant to post this in honor of a bea c -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR2006100900766.html
New bird in Colombian cloud forest! It's a bit disturbing that one bird that they captured and examined later died...hope there are lots more, or it will be like the ivory-billed woodpecker. a bea c, hope you're doing ok.

Wilbrod, your ABC's reminded me. I never thought about how hard it would be to learn grammar and spelling rules without being able to hear. You have an amazing way with words.

Random, my ancestry is Irish, Scottish, Welsh. We don't admit to any English blood. And Tom Fan, of course I thought about previous lives, or DNA memory. I bet there's something to that.

SciTim, thanks for the update - glad you had a good time!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2006 1:48 AM | Report abuse

As long as it's written down SOMEWHERE, there's no problem learning it. One of my favorite websites is www.rhymezone.com

I used to be exceptionally fond of the old versions of Wordperfect in spite of the crazy command keyboard, since you could pretty much search the spellcheck by wildcards. Hence, it could serve as a quasi-rhyme dictionary, an alliteration dictionary, a spelling dictionary if you weren't too sure of the letters, etc. Cu*g*n could yield you curmudgeon, cudgeon, etc.

Then they made it more like MsWord and what I liked the best about it vanished. Boo.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 2:19 AM | Report abuse

yes, sciencetim felt the need to prove his geekiness with various gadgets, but trust me, the eyeglasses alone were sufficient for this - especially when he put on two pairs to read the menu. :-)

it was very nice to meet one of my imaginary friends.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 12, 2006 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Well, the recent Achentopics reminded me of a poem I heard many years ago and I thought I'd pass this along. It is best when read aloud. The author was a Dutch observer or teacher of English (different sources say different things). Enjoy!

English is Tough Stuff

We've all cursed written English as capricious and sentenced American Pronunciation Rules as but half-truths at best. Examples and practice always seem better than studying worn and obsolete phonetic guides.

Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language ... until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.

(Read aloud, with a friend! After all, laughter is the true universal language!)
The Chaos

by Dr. Gerald Nolst Trenite (1870-1946), a Dutch observer of English.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;

Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.

Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?

It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

Posted by: DadWannaBe | October 12, 2006 2:56 AM | Report abuse

DadWannaBe, Jaws read that poem kwite remarkably.
Has read.
Will read.

Wow, The latest version of Jaws is context sensitive too.

Posted by: Pat | October 12, 2006 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Busy day yesterday, all day. Enjoyed it to the max. I saw part of the news, and the plane that flew in the building in New York. At first I thought, not again, but it was a private plane. Still, it was sad.

As to the Bush plan for Iraq, and the other mess that has come up, it just does not look good to me. I seriously believe that there are things concerning this administration that if they are ever brought to light, we would shake our heads in disbelief. Just go back to the history of empires of the past and see what secrecy promotes, not good, not good at all. And I don't profess to have the answers, I just vote.

Slyness, Error, and Nani, good morning to you. Hope your life and your family's life is going just super.

Today is math and reading day so I'll be out again, and will be wrapping up some work I've been doing for the past two months. I'm so looking forward to that.

I've said my prayers this morning, and thanked God through Christ for so many things, and one of those things, the folks here at the "Achenblog". It is my prayer always,that you and I come to know that God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Sorry for the double post earlier.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 12, 2006 6:41 AM | Report abuse

From the wine article in Slate:

//Politically and culturally, France is not very popular at the moment, and French wines, save for the finest examples, have become a particularly tough sell.//

A bit American-centered, I would say. (Surprise!)

Don't know about wines, but that marketing campaign is worldwide, and while France may indeed not be very popular in America, it is very popular in the rest of the world. According to a PIPA study, in fact the most widely seen as having a positive influence in the world.

http://www.globescan.com/news_archives/GS_PIPA_EU.html

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 6:53 AM | Report abuse

I appreciate your comments and am delighted in your delight of Assateague and the beauty of our planet and ourselves. Now take an extra step if you can and learn to appreciate that perhaps we ought to attempt to preserve the eco-system of this planet by reducing our greed and ego-needs to dominate the environment and each other. Perhaps you will be less charmed by the barbarians who hold high office in this country who refuse to take measures to insure our children will have a healthy planet to live in.

Posted by: Chris | October 12, 2006 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Cassandra! I'm fine; too busy, but fine. Ready to be done with this work thing, it's getting in the way of stuff I really need to do...

The sky is completely gray this morning. We had a storm in the night and now everything is wet. I heard the thunder but turned over and went right back to sleep. I'm ready for the temperature to cool down. After all, it's the middle of October!

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2006 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I phrased that poorly. I was referring to the liberation you found, not inferring you felt invisible on the blog.

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2006 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Chris;

That was a particularly well-crafted backhand swipe, but please take a moment to check out the history of this blog. You'll see a distinct lack of being "charmed" by elected office-holders.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 7:46 AM | Report abuse

7:37 AM -- Sky report but angled lower. Today, the sun glanced off the slates of the roof washing the dark green tiles in shades of pigeon: at once, purple, teal, grey, and metallic flash.

I see at least four layers of clouds. The top lid is dark and still heavy with rain. Underneath and above the roof are small shell-pink clouds. Something about them suggests modesty, as if they are in their underwear.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Short sky report as the carpenter is coming and I have to go babysit. Love those kids but I am getting really tired. Too much going on here.

It rained very hard all night, gurgling through the downspouts. This morning it is foggy but the white sky is brightening and there are mirage-like glimpses of blue to the north and west. Promising to be a warm and humid day, among the last of them I bet.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 12, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Chris writes: "Perhaps you will be less charmed by the barbarians who hold high office in this country who refuse to take measures to insure our children will have a healthy planet to live in."

Chris... it would be hard to be less charmed with those folks than I already am.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I am in my windowless cubicle now, but have the memory of the morning sky to sustain me. I'm looking forward to the end of Daylight Savings Time; until then, I'm leaving in darkness. The sky is pretty dark but not like in the country--lots of Earthlight in the atmosphere. About 25 minutes into the commute, I turn towards the east, and at that point I can notice that there is something happening on the horizon. Looking up the sky is still dark blue, but in the east it lightens to a kind of sapphire blue and then there's some yellow and then all along the horizon a bright tangerine/orange color. The small occasional clouds have most of the light behind them, so they are in silhouette. Also in black outline are the palm trees and buildings. Looking back up to the middle of the sky I could still see some stars. Soon I turn north again and the best view is coming up--a bridge over an inlet, where all the colors--indigo, sapphire, yellow, orange--are reflected in the water, so it's twice as beautiful. Time for a deep breath and renewed appreciation for this amazing world we live in.

I have been trying to write a smell-description of my morning commute, but it's difficult and I'm just not that good a writer. The first day I concentrated on it, I was very surprised at the different aromas I could discern--everything from fresh cut lumber to damp grass to the remnants of a carnival (corndog grease!) and of course the salt air by the water, the traffic smells, the train tracks, some industrial smells. Water, you can smell water when the sprinklers are on. Night blooming jessamine, on my street when I first leave the house, it's so sweet that it reminds me of a tacky air-freshener, but once I convince myself it's natural, then I like it. When I went by people waiting for the bus, I tried to smell them; usually there is some olfactory information there. Mostly perfume, soap, not real people smells.

I have to say thank you to all the boodlers who share their unique experiences. It reminds me to use all my senses, and that makes my life better.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 12, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

And the fan gets switched to high speed as the mud begins to fly... *SIGH*

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/10/11/shays.kennedy.ap/index.html

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Yoki.. I loved your acronym-laden post.

I used to do a lot of temp work in Crystal City for Navy contractors and those Navy acronyms are hilarious. They're not just the first letter, but the first few letters or even letters from the middle of a word, so you get stuff like NAVSEASYSCOM and COMNAVAIRLANT.

Now I work for an investment-newsletter publisher so I get fun phrases like "going forward." But we always try to include some standard favorite words like "eschew" and "bevy."

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2006 8:24 AM | Report abuse

KBertocci,

Thank you, also. Yes, senses. Who know that a blog linked to a major paper would be an invitation to the sensual life.

This morning, the street is in phase two or three of resurfacing. So the smell is industrial oil asphalt: Progress!

Since my hill is a fave of skateboarders, eventually this smoothness will be a boon, I think.

I hear the backup warnings on all the brown and orange vehicles. Some are Caterpillar brand, but I think on the Tonka trucks my brothers worked to into rust-state circa 1965.

I agree about the jessamine and other sweet pungents. Too much cloys; but the right amount on damp morning air annoints us into the day.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Eschew going forward.

Tangents work much better, especially here.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Sky report from an undisclosed town in Missouri.

It got cold here last night! Hopefully all the nasty brown recluse spiders are all froze outside; either that or they all ran in my house. Oh, the sky, it is wonderful today. There are big, fluffy clouds over my house that look like someone shaded them in with a dark pencil. Behind the clouds, the sky is a beautiful pink color. The color reminds me of that iridescent pink finger nail polish that when you put it on you can still see through it, but it leaves a hint of color.

Posted by: scarry | October 12, 2006 8:33 AM | Report abuse

You have to be careful about those acronyns. A few years back when the Reform and the Progressive Conservative (don't ask) parties merged the first name that was voted in by the delegates was: Canadian Reform Alliance Party. Somebody noticed the problem and a different name was picked by the delegates (Conservative Party of Canada).

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 12, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Before we were married, I'd read Winnie the Pooh stories to my future bride at bedtime. Sometimes this would occur person to person, othertimes over the phone. The sweetest thing was that during the OTP readings, she would fall asleep, softly snoring into the handset. I would then bid her goodnight...

This morning one of my co-workers commented on the difficulty with which Pres. Arbusto had articulated the details of the plane accident and subsequent response in NYC. I would assume that the statement didn't make her feel more confident in our Fearless Leader. BTW, one of our citizens has been indicted for treason. This fellow probably deserves it. Speculation, however, is that the timing of the indictment so close to election time is not a coincidence.

Posted by: jack | October 12, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Orhan Pamuk wins Nobel for Literature.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101200164.html

I find the early Pamuk to be more accessible than the later Pamuk, particularly when read in the original Turkish. The recent translations are abominable.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Turkey, keep an eye on those Southern Kurds. If Iraq starts to follow the Balkan model (Which I dearly hope it does not) things could get dicey.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"His works, written in Turkish, have been translated into languages, including English, French, Swedish and German."

Since I'm not so highly educated as "some people" (would like us to think) I can't read Turkish; I would have to read one of the books that has been translated into a language.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 12, 2006 9:06 AM | Report abuse

DadWannaBe, that poem's wonderful.

Yoki, I will be in contact shortly as I am still interested (and in fact, have been doing some work in regards to the mattter) but first let me apologize for my poor manners.

Re. Pamuk - well, I have nothing. Good for him, now he has one more Nobel prize for literature than Kitty Kelley.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Just saw this in my quotes of the day and thought it was very applicable.

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.
- Bertrand Russell

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The 2004 book by David Rains Wallace, "Beasts of Eden" (A Notable Book of the Year, NYT Book Review) takes up the rivalry of Marsh and Cope and injects Henry Fairfield Osborn into what would become on ongoing conflict, even after Cope's death, between the two camps of paleontologists.

p. 71
Darwin and Huxley had every reason to promote Marsh's career--he was one of their few really strong supporters. Henry Fairfield Osborn recalled that when, as a graduate student in London, he had met Darwin, the great man had "smiled broadly" and said that he hoped "Marsh with his students would not be hindered in his work." Marsh stiffened many younger evolutionists' resistance to Darwinism, however, by treating them as meanly as he had Cope. When Osborn and his Princeton classmate William Berryman Scott collected uintatheres at Fort Bridger in 1877, Marsh's henchmen went into action, and the Princetonians didn't forget it. They became Cope's henchmen, spying and tattling on Marsh, and they proved more effective at it than frontier thugs, since they were rising scientists. Scott would become Princeton's professor of paleontology; Osborn the American Museum of Natural History's paleontology curator.

p. 96-7
After Cope's death, Osborn became Marsh's chief rival, and a more effective one, because his hatred of the Yale tyrant was almost as strong, and he wielded it more subtly. He had refused to attack Marsh in the 1890 Herald scandal, but he later wrote to a friend, Iowa Senator William B. Allison, condemning Marsh's Geological Survey work. Named the American Museum's curator of vertebrate paleontology in 1891, Osborn used magazine and newspaper articles to tout Cope at Marsh's expense...

A bit on Osborn, p. 105
Named to succeed Jessup as the American Museum's president in 1908, he began to see himself in regal terms [Oh, to be a son of privilege and a Princetonian!], and tales of his own vainglory are legion, as when he published a book devoted entirely to his own publications and honors, or serenely bid his chauffeur to drive against traffic on one-way streets. He ruled the museum magnanimously on the whole, however, and his institutional megalomania had its creative side. He behaved like a sientific King Arthur, sending paleontological paladins after orthogenetic grails. [Osborn remained firmly committed to fossil discovries, as long as he (in his middle age) didn't have to look for them.]

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I saw "Hammer & Tickle: The Communist Joke Book" by Ben Lewis, on the documentary channel last night and thought of you. Pursuant to your interest in all things Russian, if you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. A different slice of life in the USSR. They showed several clips of Breshnev telling jokes, and not one person in the crowd cracked a smile. They clapped. Next clip, bad joke, they gave him a standing ovation. All in all very interesting.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Funny Commie jokes???

"One dozen Communist Revolutions, coming up!"

*poke*

*SPINNNNN*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Mark Warner not running:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101200510.html

Wife and kids don't like political limelight. Not eager to dive into presidential campaign madness. Obviously these people are weirdos.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"See, these two Communists and a Panamanian walk into a bar..."

The above may be the most impossible set-up of all time, given our previous inability to come up with even one Panamanian joke.

Joel, I thought your 8:46 was so dry it made me laugh in admiration. I admire your dessication to literature.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Pamuk was prosecuted by the Turkish government (but not convicted, I think) for criticizing the Armenian genocide.

Meanwhile, a very timely act:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6043730.stm

I don't think the Turks are about to get in to the EU, despite their 50-year old insistance...

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Re: Shays on Foley (boy is that ripe for misinterpretaion):

We need a corollary to the Internet-Nazi Rule (The first person to compare his opponent to a Nazi loses the argument) that states that the first person to compare a scandal to Chappaquiddick has to resign.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

dr, did they have any of the jokes about brezhnev? there were tons of those.

Brezhnev begins his official speech opening the 1980 Olympics: 'O! O! O!'

His aide interrupts him with a whisper: 'The speech starts below, Leonid Ilich. That is the Olympic symbol.'

http://context.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/07/22/107.html

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 12, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, can we add that commenting that "at least no one died", be added to that rule.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

No question, JA is the king of aridite literary jokes.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

My wife would love the opportunity to redecorate the White House. Say, contemporary, with lots of mocha, taupe, and darker earth tones. All the colonial stuff goes in the dumpster. My kids would hate the new digs and my job, but being teenagers they already hate everything, so nothing would change. Therefore, I should be president.

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

From the link superfrenchie posted:

"Wednesday saw Turkish politicians consider a law that would make it a crime to deny that French killings in Algeria in 1945 were genocide."

Is that really the best they can come up with?

And Joel, getting back to earlier posts protesting your anthrocentrism, perhaps you could have titled your kit "Man and Assawoman and Nature at the Beach".

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

uh oh 'mudge - our "grey's anatomy" stars had a scuffle!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/12/greys.anatomy.ap/index.html

but no worries, they seem to have made up! Can't hurt Dr. McDreamy's face now... (i met him once about 10 years ago... *swoon*)

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Cowtown, if I were American I would vote for you just for your wifes good taste in design (and presumably spouses).

I saw this this morning and like some of you with grammar errors, this is the kind of thing that drives me nuts (goofy governments stuff applies to most governments). It seems the US Federal has realized that illegal immigrants are sending money home, and want to encourage them to send the money through them.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06284/729083-28.stm

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Superfrenchie, a timely article. I was wondering after looking at your link earlier why Turks had a surprisingly high unfavorable view of France. Maybe related?

Commie jokes. Hmmm. Don't think I know/recall any. Not really a joke, but I always liked the story about Krushchev's denunciation of Stalin. During his speech, an anonymous voice says "And where were you during all these events, comrade?" Krushchev says "will the speaker please identify himself?" Silence. Krushchev: "now you know what I was doing"

Here's one:
Q. How many decadent capitalist reactionaries does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: What's a lightbulb?

re: Eeyore. I knew that one, but until recently I didn't clue in that Swift's houinyms (sp) were similarly named.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 12, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Howdy, everyone! A nice gray sky today, but we'll see blue before the day is done. It is actually chilly here! At this rate, some leaves might turn and it might actually be fall. But sssh, I don't want to jinx it.

DadWannaBe, thank you so much! I am sharing that poem with other language lovers. Hilarious. Yoki, I also laughed at your acronym post yesterday. So many clever people here, it is always a pleasure to see what's next.

A story in today's NYT, about extinction cycles & the earth's orbit, begins, "If rodents in Spain are any guide. . ." For some reason I'm very taken with that phrase, and its possibilities for everyday use.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

//Superfrenchie, a timely article. I was wondering after looking at your link earlier why Turks had a surprisingly high unfavorable view of France. Maybe related?//

Sure, one of the best known critics of the Armenian genocide is Charles Aznavour, the French star crooner and an ethnic Armenian. He's been very visible lately. (and was in concert in Washington last month).

But the main reason I think is our public opposition to their entry in the EU. That was a major reason for the "non" in the Constitution referendum. Although officially France is for it, the public is against.

Personally, I'm unsure. I think it would be a tremendous accomplishment for the EU to bring a muslim country in the Western sphere of influence. Voluntarily, without even invading their country!

On the other hand, as most of the public is opposed, all it does is slow down the EU integration in other matters, like not having a constitution. If the public is not ready, I don't see why the governments should go against their wills. Right now, that's what they're doing with Turkey. The French Parliament understood that very well, and threw a very timely obstacle in the way.

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Holy cow! Preston Burke tried to strangle McDreamy! And his right hand isn't even fully recovered! If there's was anybody in that cast who I thought would've gotten his lights punched out, it would be Alex Korev. (Notwithstanding the fact that McDreamy himself punched out Plastic Surgeon Guy who's boffing his wife.)

It suddenly occurs to me I know waaaaay too much about this show...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Hi Ivansmom (like your name) Your priceless, "If rodents in Spain are any guide..." fits well with this piece posted today in the WaPo.
------
Reuters
Thursday, October 12, 2006; Page A20

MADRID, Oct. 11 -- The discovery of radioactive snails at a site in southeastern Spain where three U.S. hydrogen bombs fell by accident 40 years ago may trigger a new joint U.S.-Spanish cleanup operation, officials said Wednesday.

Here is the rest:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101101945_pf.html

So one motto might be: "Don't eat radioactive snails."

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

'mudge - that ok, it's a really good show...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

College Parkian, were any of those snails by any chance escarglow?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

That was the really interesting thing about the doc. It was not really that funny by my very western view. It was Eastern Europeans talking about humour while under and oppressive regime, and the forms that the humour took. It was a picture of how they coped, how they viewed the absurdities of daily life, what they were allowed to laugh at, what was safe to laugh at. It was more of a revelation of the subtle differences between our thinking and thiers, very culturally revealing. Made me wonder if the real clues to understanding how any culture thinks is to learn to understand what is funny and why they find it funny.

We saw some of the subtleties of humour with Joel's France columns, and how easily certain forms of humour could be misunderstood. This doc is revealing for the same reasons.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Joel's France columns were subtley funny? Who knew...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

*GROAN*

there's also a new species of mouse found in cyprus - bigger head... not sure that's a good thing...

http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-10-12-voa20.cfm

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think after I have alienated all of you under this handle, I will switch to "Cypriot Mouse".

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Loomis writes: "Scott would become Princeton's professor of paleontology; Osborn the American Museum of Natural History's paleontology curator."

Guyot Hall at Princeton used to have quite the dinosaur and fossil exhibit on the ground floor, kind of a mini-AMNH, but I am pretty sure they dismantled it. A few years back, fyi, I did a piece for Nat Geo on dinosaur behavior and had the chance to go through the attic (or was it the basement??) of Osborn's old museum and was quite stunned that so many fossils collected during the golden age had never actually been prepared -- they were still completely encased in plaster. The tedious work of preparing a fossil and understanding it never got done. They ought to ship those things to schools across America and the rest of the world, methinks.

here's a snippet of that story but NGM doesn't put the whole text online:

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0303/feature1/


Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

As opposed to Countriot Mouse???

*confused*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Curmudge... (Are you 'mudge?) (Question for grammar gals/guys: do we cap that?)

Escarglow -- too funny. Where is your permit for that?

To Whurley-gigge: Cypriot Mouse -- If mice in Cyprus are any guide..."

Mr. Curmudg... I will send a link to you later today, in honor of your glowing gastronomic mono-pod.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

On dry, aridite humor or, in England, humour:

Years ago I heard Calvin Trillin give a talk in which he discussed how he writes humor. Someone had asked him how he achieves that special tone of "just a little bit funny." Trillin answered that he's always going full bore, top speed, pedal to the metal. All out. What is "dry" to the reader might well be as funny as the writer can possibly be.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

C. Parkian, I missed a step somewhere, so I did not quite get you.

Scottynuke, you are a riot. Do you know how to say that in Turkish?

Joel, that's a great C. Trillin vignette. Although I suspect he was being a little disingenuous.

FYI, the word of the day at www.m-w.com is "gnomic".

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

the soviet humor most accessible to westerners is probably the jokes on the absurdities of enormous bureaucracies and what happens to you they control your life. some folks in dc might relate.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 12, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

commie jokes? all you have to do is ask yakov smirnoff!

Homosexuality in Russia is a crime and the punishment is seven years in prison, locked up with the other men. There is a three year waiting list.

In America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, The Party can always find you!

In Russia we only had two TV channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One.

Many people are surprised to hear that we have comedians in Russia, but they are there. They are dead, but they are there.

Posted by: sparks | October 12, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/11/AR2006101101557_2.html?

He made good on that promise. Five times he said "the stakes are high," occasionally adding that "the stakes are really high" and even that, "as a matter of fact, they couldn't be higher."

"I know this sounds [as if] I'm just saying it over and over again," Bush admitted. But repetition is crucial to learning; to that end, Bush also said four times that the enemy is trying to establish a "caliphate."

Oh lord...

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Here's a commie joke I remember: "The SovietExpress Card: Don't Leave Home!"

Posted by: CowTown | October 12, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Whyrlegyge -- earlier today Ivansmom posted the opening lines of a NYT article:

"If rodents in Spain are any guide....."

Your name makes me think of words like:
calliope
Hurdy-Gurdy

Something other-century about them. Great images evoked by these words that also, sound pretty darn good.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of Trillin, too--would have loved to hear him lecture. Nothing at all wrong with dry wit--finest kind.

Yes, CP, I am also 'mudge (lowercase with the apostrophe, methinks) or Mudge, capped without the apostrophe.

I can send you a copy of my permit for "escarglow" by snail mail. I have no conch-science when it comes to puns, the result of having been molluscted as a child.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

whyrlegyge;

I'm not sure I know how to say it in English! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Snuke, if not Countriot Mouse, that would be very un-sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 12, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge also clams up at every opportunity, but has been known to mussel his way into a BPH or two.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

C. Parkian, thank you. I do want to read that article Ivansmom provided to us. Re: the handle. I came across it a few years ago while browsing an unabridged dictionary .

You might like this:
http://www.wordorigins.org/Words/LetterG/gig.html

"...the source of some other senses, such as a giddy or flighty person, fun, merriment, and a whim." That's me!

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

To dadwannabe, that poem gave me a headache. Phonetic gloss, please, as I am aware of the phonetic differences of around 15 out of those 9,999 words in the poem.

Hope Mr. Washington doesn't do that again. Choking is not a good way to argue.


Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Is the wilbrodblog up and running yet? How about the wilbrodogblog?

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Or the one about Joseph Stalin taking his mother to his new dacha. He showed her the gold-plate, the porcelain dinner service, the silk draperies, the extensive grounds...

"Oh Joe," she said. "It's beautiful! But what if the Communists come back?"

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mudge has rather a shellfish streak in him, he's always on the conch at home and won't scallop unless oystered to do so.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS

I WROTE some lines once on a time
In wondrous merry mood,
And thought, as usual, men would say
They were exceeding good.

They were so queer, so very queer,
I laughed as I would die;
Albeit, in the general way,
A sober man am I.

I called my servant, and he came;
How kind it was of him
To mind a slender man like me,
He of the mighty limb.

"These to the printer," I exclaimed,
And, in my humorous way,
I added, (as a trifling jest,)
"There'll be the devil to pay."

He took the paper, and I watched,
And saw him peep within;
At the first line he read, his face
Was all upon the grin.

He read the next; the grin grew broad,
And shot from ear to ear;
He read the third; a chuckling noise
I now began to hear.

The fourth; he broke into a roar;
The fifth; his waistband split;
The sixth; he burst five buttons off,
And tumbled in a fit.

Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye,
I watched that wretched man,
And since, I never dare to write
As funny as I can.

--Oliver Wendell Holmes

Posted by: kbertocci | October 12, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Or the one about Joseph Stalin taking his mother to his new dacha. He showed her the gold-plate, the porcelain dinner service, the silk draperies, the extensive grounds...

"Oh Joe," she said. "It's beautiful! But what if the Communists come back?"

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

My Google ads at the moment:

Romantic Chinocteague B&B
Victorian Luxury in Modern Comfort jacuzzi tubs, near Assateague beach
www.poplarcorner.com

Appetizer recipes
From easy to elaborate, dishes sure to please. Plan meals & get coupons
www.Albertsons.com

Assateague Island Cruises
Join Wild Pony Watching Cruises from Chincoteague. Birds, Dolphins
www.assateagueisland.com

The first and third are obvious--but one lousy reference to "escarglow" and snails prompted the seond one? Weird. However, on a related matter, I made three quarts of crab-and-key-lime ceviche Tuesday night, and it has been marinating ever since, and will be consumed at an office autumn picnic in an hour or so. Pretty good, If I do say so myself. The "heat" is delayed reaction type, and stays with you for quite a while. The pucker factor isn't too strong, and dissipates quickly. I used a Bahamian sauce made with tamarind in lieu of tabasco.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Tamarind beats tabasco anyday as an ingredient, Mudge.
That said, I also think cooked beats raw when it comes to animal flesh.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

you know what the scoville rating on that sauce was, mudge? you should do some tests. i know tabasco charts about 2500.

Posted by: sparks | October 12, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

*hoping 'Mudge realizes we've avoided the possible "crab" permutations in our very punny postings*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Joel's observation that so many of the collected fossils have never been analyzed fits into a general theory I have about measurement missions. Data analysis often gets the short end of the stick.

The problem is, as soon as one mission is over, all the interest and money goes to the next. The joke is that nobody ever made SIS analyzing data.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Cooked beats raw? Then you wouldn't like carpaccio or steak tartar, Wilbrod. Two of my all time favorites. (Gastronomically, I've often suspected I'm a step or two behind the rest of the western world, or maybe it's just my buccaneer or Viking genes.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, this one is for you. You should be able to enter the Flickr site without a registration routine.

Enjoy.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/89858699@N00/267872178/

BTW -- re your Google ads, do you have a blog, or are these the ads that pop up on WaPo?

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Re Google Ads. Mine are as follows:

Romantic Chinocteague B&B
Victorian Luxury in Modern Comfort jacuzzi tubs, near Assateague beach
www.poplarcorner.com

Appetizer recipes
From easy to elaborate, dishes sure to please. Plan meals & get coupons
www.Albertsons.com

Assateague Island Cruises
Join Wild Pony Watching Cruises from Chincoteague. Birds, Dolphins

(Hmm. Joel didn't mention the jacuzzi tubs.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - have you been using my computer again?

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

No, CP, I was just referring to the Google ads that pop up at the bottom of this page. But now I've jinxed them--the only one showing now is

Internet Fax - Try Free
Send & receive faxes by email. eFax Plus offers numbers worldwide!
www.efax.com

No idea what made that one pop up.

Good question about the Scoville rating, Sparks; I don't know what it was for that sauce.

Posted by: Curmdugeon | October 12, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

What would radioactive snail ceviche taste like?

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Joel writes:
Guyot Hall at Princeton used to have quite the dinosaur and fossil exhibit on the ground floor, kind of a mini-AMNH, but I am pretty sure they dismantled it. A few years back, fyi, I did a piece for Nat Geo on dinosaur behavior and had the chance to go through the attic (or was it the basement??) of Osborn's old museum and was quite stunned that so many fossils collected during the golden age had never actually been prepared -- they were still completely encased in plaster. The tedious work of preparing a fossil and understanding it never got done. They ought to ship those things to schools across America and the rest of the world, methinks.
***

Osborn's curator of vertebrate paleontology was William Dillard Matthew, a Canadian with a Ph.D. in geology, who disliked Osborne so intensely that it was thought that O.C. Marsh's spirit possessed the man. Matthews' assistant was 22-year-old George Gaylord Simpson, who first attended the University of Colorado, where he studied to be a writer, but then, deciding he needed something to write about, cultivated an interest in geology and paleontology.

After transferring to Yale after his family's fortunes improved, Simpson had the happy accident of finding Marsh's basement treasures. He had discovered Marsh's Peabody fossils, which were still largely unstudied. "I went collecting in the basement," he recalled, " and decided that the most important fossils there were the exceedingly rare remains of the earliest mammals." His advisor wasn't sure he should put precious jaws into a neophyte's hands, but Simpson wrote his Ph.D. thesis on them, and it was the best study of American Mesozoic mammals to date, taking up the subject where Marsh and [John Bell] Hatcher had left it.

Don't know if I'm a day late with the news, but Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book about the Green Zone is a finalist in the nonfiction category for the National Book Award. Taylor Branch's third in the series may give Rajiv some stiff competition.

I am spot in the middle of the Mary White Rowlandson Talcott tale in "Mayflower," but what read next? I'm most tempted by a British version of the Pilgrim story written in 1947. Chandrasekaran's book is on the bedroom floor, along with Woodward's, a half-read Rich, and Wallace's "Beasts of Eden," from which the above info is derived.

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Google ad report:

LionCountrySafari KOA, FL
Full-service KOA & Safari Park, WPB Camping Specials, Save Money
www.lioncountrysafari.com

Island Manor House B&B
Charming Island Bed and Breakfast! Romantic get-a-way, biking, hiking
www.islandmanor.com

Bullhead City Motel & RV
Your premier playground on Bullhead city's Colorado River.
www.elriorv.com

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if we keep mentioning CEVICHE often (and loudly) enough, Google Ads will have a CEVICHE craving and go Googling for all things CEVICHE, which will hopefully give us directions to 'Mudge's fridge.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

_I_ don't like rare steak. It's all red, cold, lumpy and soft like strawberries. Ugh.

Wilbrod doesn't eat raw meat because of all the sicks she is always telling me I will pick up if I eat food I find lying around anywhere.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 12, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Before I purchased my blog platform, I used the google-ad-demo-free version. I didn't really notice the ads, so intent was I on creating a course space for technical writing students.

Two semesters later:
A student alerts me to the ads touting the "We Write College Papers -- Plagiarism-Free: 69.95."

I bought the fuller version despite a vow to not "pay to teach."

Occasionally I notice similar ads near Jay Mathews and his Class Stuggle space.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

re:"at least no one died."
I always thought that there were worse things than death.

Completely off topic:
I just got back from the second of two lectures by a Muslim Imam, who came to speak with students in the honors program that I'm in. It was very interesting, to say the least, to read and be taught the Qur'an by someone who is extremely knowledgable in the subject. He constantly reinforced the idea that Islam is inherently a peaceful religion, which focuses more on tolerance and patience than violence. He pointed out many of the verses that Bin Laden and others use as proof texts for their jihad. These problem verses are so because they are taken out of the historical context in which they were written, much like similar verses in the Bible that are isolated and used to propagate selfish motives. It was clear that he is every bit as against fundamentalist Muslims, and probably more, than non-Muslim Americans. The importance of truly understanding other people's beliefs rather than accepting popular stereotypes cannot be overemphasized in today's world, and something that is not done enough (IMHO).

Posted by: tangent | October 12, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Skimmed last night's and this morming's posts and can't find a report on 'mudge's daughters's visit. If it there, please post the tme stamp. Thanks.

Posted by: bh | October 12, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

At school last night I saw flyers tacked up on the walls advertising a service that will write a personal statement for you. Ha!

Posted by: ac in sj | October 12, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

bh;

I second that motion for an update from 'Mudge -- what was it, alien or big news?

Show of hands?

The Ayes have it.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Loomis's 12:53 post explains how George Gaylord Simpson got into the mammal business. Maybe it's worth noting that he had a fabulous career with fossil mammals and evolution. He deserves a statue on a college campus so conservative students can pelt it with eggs and tomatoes.

I don't know if there's a botanical equivalent from the same period. Ledyard Stebbins was later and didn't play with fossils. Possibly Harvard's Irving W. Bailey, whose work on wood anatomy helped determine which flowering plants are "primitive." I wonder whether some of those plants were discovered in New Guinea and other South Pacific islands partly due to American presence during World War II.

Maybe Joel could talk to Pamela and Douglas Soltis at the University of Florida sometime. They know as much about the origins and diversification of flowering plants as anyone, and knowledge has proliferated like dandelions in recent years.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 12, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If rodents from Spain are any guide, one should beware allowing another to write one's own material. I once trusted a colleague -- and good friend -- to type in the very long list of a defendant's convictions at the beginning of a draft opinion, then failed to closely review the paragraph. Fortunately, before it was handed down, someone suggested that we might edit the phrase "[defendant] was tried by jury and convicted of some very bad s!!!." Ha ha.

this morning, Man and Nature has been expanded to rodents from Spain, Cypriot mice and radioactive snails. Did I mention the four poodles visiting my house? Combined with the three black labs, I don't even have to go camping to be surrounded by Nature.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to insult the French, a little less to insult a Panamanian, but has anybody ever tried "insulting Turkishness"?

A Nobel Prize winner has tried...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4527318.stm

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

ivansmom, you've got a Boy in your house, so you're always Surrounded by Nature.

See, Joel has only women in the house and I have to tell you from experience (three sisters, no brothers; one son, one daughter) that the Achenhouse is most likely a much different place than the Ivanhouse--even with Joel in it.

My dad was a real guy, but you shoulda seen him in a house full of wimmin. I can understand why Joel was so pleased that the boys won Capture the Flag.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, when I first "saw" or heard your posting name, I thought it was "College Partying". For a few weeks, I thought you were a dorm student. When I tried to run a search on "Partying", it couldn't be found. Then I ran a search on "College", found your name, and decoded your name letter by letter.

College Parkian is cool, but I can't shake the image of you being a dorm student.

Posted by: Pat | October 12, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree the atmosphere is almost certainly different with a Boy. Of course in our house I am the outdoors-player and Ivansdad is the shopper, so our balance may be a little skewed. As one devoted to gender-neutral childrearing, particularly in the infant and toddler years, I was taken aback by the number of guy-like characteristics displayed by the Boy with no particular parental encouragement. Big sticks, bugs, and wild creatures are NOT allowed in the house (unless they were there first, of course).

Please note: I am NOT claiming any remote skill in outdoors-playing, just a willingness to get out there. Lucky for me, the Boy usually plays Calvinball, so skill is optional.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

au contrair superf - it seems to be quite IMPOSSIBLE to insult the panamanians... we are a thick skinned bunch... all that alcohol doesn't hurt much neither...

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I used to play Calvinball. But my kids kept moving the backward flag invisibility no-touch zone.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

DARN! lo siento superf scc=au contraire ('sat right?)

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

DARN! lo siento superf scc=au contraire ('sat right?)

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think Mudge is off at an office picnic/teambuilding/competitive eating event or something this afternoon.

Didn't see this mentioned in the Post anywhere, though I do believe others have mentioned it earlier: more evidence that the earth's orbital and axial wobbles correspond to mammillian extinctions.

http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/061011_earth_wobble.html

Which brings up an interesting point: instead of fighting global warming by reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses, why don't we just nudge good ol' Gaia into an orbit that suits our atmospheric conditions (and a more circular one at that, for stability's sake)?

If implemented, this proposal will have the side benefits of making the year a little longer (presuming that we're going to have to move a little further from the sun), I should think a couple of days could be tacked on to February for starters. I propose we make at least one day of the new days (Daylight Savings Days?) a global holiday to be called "Tax Day" where everyone stays home from work to prepare their taxes. Maybe we can make that day April 14.5 or April 14 B or something.

Another side benefit would be to reduce the amount of annual retirement benefits paid out to Boomers, since they won't be living as long (longer years, get it?). Anyone expected to retire between now and Moving Earth Day, would be grandfathered in, naturally.

Ok, the big question: how do we do this? Forget that old "if I had a lever long enough" business, ME Day might be easier than changing all the calendars and computer systems in the world: we all vote Republican in November and in Nov. 2008, and keep the Arbusto Administration at odds with North Korea and the Axis of Evil. North Korea (and maybe Iran and some others) keeps testing nuclear weapons, and if we play everything right, they could bump draft all of us further and further from the sun. We could ratchet international tensions (with Presidential News Conferences and such) up and down to manage their tests in order to fine tune the orbit. When the astrophysicists determine we're where we want to be, we make friends with North Korea (and Iran, and whoever else), shake hands, and pay them the money (for services rendered) we would have spent on fighting Global Warming.

QED, eh?

bc
(Suuuuper Genius)

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

RD, it's not the moving invisible no-touch zone I mind so much as the addition of apparently supernatural "attacks" against which there is no defense, or the hordes of invisible extra players who must be separately defeated (usually but not always in the person of the Boy), or the cavalier addition of staffs, weapons, etc., mid-game to add interest.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

bc, I see your president is doing his part to make the years longer already.

From Froomkins column today,

This morning my administration released the budget numbers for fiscal 2006. These budget numbers are not just estimates; these are the actual results for the fiscal year that ended February the 30th.* [sic]"

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I'm weeping with joy here.

Thank you.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I am agog to find out if The Curmudgette was in fact kidnapped by aliens.

I did read your hints and I have launched an primitive blog at
http://wilbrodthegnome.blogspot.com/

One grand entry. ONE! I'll let y'all swoon. :-P. Coments are enabled, I think, as is moderation. I hope.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hello folks,

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the poem. It was first sent to me in 1993 and I frequently come back to it because of its cleverness.

And to add to it, another fun little item:

=====

[..] published in 'The Linguist', No.2, 1991

We'll begin with a box and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes.
Then one fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I spoke of a foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose.
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.
So English I fancy you will agree,
Is the craziest language you ever did see.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | October 12, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Extra points to wilbrod for using the word of the day in the wilblog.

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

bc, CNN has already been moving some things around:

http://superfrenchie.com/Pics/Blog/maps/cnn_funny_europe_iraq.jpg

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm quite gnomic about vocabulary, Whyrlegyge.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find anonymous comments are not allowed.

I mean, really... How else are we supposed to have plausible deniability???

Da noive!!!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Pat -- the College Partying handle is very funny since I was one of the studious library types who wanted my parents' dollars well spent!

Perhaps partying a bit more would be a balance, but this is the OTHER BLOG.

(Everyone: go check out WilBlog; recommended by dogs and gnomes everywhere).

http://wilbrodthegnome.blogspot.com/

--
Ivansmom, regarding boys-in-the-house. I survived four brothers, thank you very much.

When the lone boy at our house does normal-dorky-boy things, I think that a stray molecule of testoterone found an active site somewhere: CONNECT, CONNECT, BOYNESS/GUYNESS commence.

These "molecular" moments happen more often than not, lately.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

wilbrod - good luck with the blog. I hope we still see you lots around here.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian - My sister survived three older brothers. I think it made her a lot smarter about men.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

CLASSIC sf!

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

my two favorite games are actually played inside, but are good exercise nonetheless: patrol and australian rules indoor quidditch.

patrol is a game played in building 16 at MIT. all the doors are opened, desks are pushed back to the walls, and everyone is issued equipment consisting of: one headband, of a color of your choice, denoting team (black signifying a lone wolf), one dart gun (the kind that shoots those clear orange rubber suction cup darts. the patrol models are specially modified to be more accurate and have longer range. well, to have longer range, anyways.), and three darts. the objective is to shoot members of the other teams. shooter calls whether or not a shot is made, and therefore a certain degree of sportsmanship is required for participation. if you are shot, you must take off your headband, go to the end of the hall, run up and back down the steps, and put your headband back on to be resurrected (later in the night, people start taking the elevator. this is frowned upon, but acceptable.) if you are alive, you may pick up ammunition from the ground. the winner is whoever has the most fun.

australian rules indoor quidditch is played with one of those superballs with the flashy lights inside that go off whenever it hits someone. it is played in a long hallway that is sealable (dorm hallways are ideal for this purpose.) the doors are closed, and lights turned off. you play by throwing the ball as hard as you can at the other players. you are permitted to defend yourself in any way that does not make you look like a cringing wuss. use of broomsticks is permitted, but not encouraged. the game is over when you stop playing.

oh. i forgot my favorite sport, which i don't classify as a game. it is even rougher than the two previously mentioned. it is probably the most intense game still regularly played in the western hemisphere: Spartan Madball. Spartan Madball is played twice a year, at the Reality celebrations of St. John's College in Annapolis and Santa Fe. It has been speculated that the purpose of the three day reality celebration is in fact to get drunk enough for Madball to seem like a good idea. It is played means vs. extremes (freshmen and seniors vs juniors and sophomores), and is played on a soccer field in santa fe, and a football field in annapolis. There are no shoes, no weapons, and no vehicles. there is no limit to the number of players allowed on the field, and play is not restricted to the field. points are scored by putting the ball in the goal. watching madball is sort of similar to watching 150 4 year olds to whom the rules have not been explained trying to play soccer, all at once. the game ends after a 3 point lead, 3 hours, the loss of 3 balls, 3 hospitalizations, or one death. the last is probably a joke.

Posted by: sparks | October 12, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

My sister survivied five younger brothers.

I have no idea how, though.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course you will keep seeing us, RD. All those other bloggers somehow find more time to blog here than on their own blogs ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with S'nuke - the Cypriot Mouse and her country cousin wanted to leave a few (hopefully gnomic) comments on the Wilblog.

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Dave of the Coonties, UC Davis' Ledyard Stebbins a descendant of the early settlers of the upper Connecticut River Valley--Westfield, Deerfield?

Science Tim, Nobel Prize's and Goddard's Mather part of the Richard-Increase-Cotton Mather axis? (4.0 in his Ph.d. program at Berkeley)

Anyone, Nobel Prize's economist Phelps part of the Phelps family whose old homestead is on the Loomis Chaffee campus?

If yes to all the above, it's looking like old home week for the sciences--economical, planetary, botanical--from the descendants of the early colonists of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Nature or nurture or $$$?

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Good start, Wilbrod.

I'm amused at the idea of the 10thcircle being a pointy-sciency blog. Some of the stuff I write in the "bc's playhouse" section and almost all of the "Monday Morning Cosmologist" section are science-related, but the English-challenged guys I share the site with don't wonder about their place in the universe as much as I do.

They are funny (at least to me), even if they can't spell or construct a sentence to save their souls.

bc

P.S. Put me down as another who would prefer anonymous comments.

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

More commentary on Kim John Il:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/12/opinion/12myers.html

Scary stuff.

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Tsk tsk Wilbrod! "take my sparkle and wit somewhere else" no no; share your sparkle and wit with others who may not have found our pointy sciency realm!

If rodents in Spain. . . the Wilbrog is very nice so far, but follow the example of bc, yellojkt, et al and post here while you blog there. No shirking here.

That CNN shot was great, Superfrenchie. I'm sure President Arbusto's "February 30th" comment would be appropriate somewhere there.

bc, yesterday the planetarium guy told us that the moon is trying to get away from the Earth and, as they move farther apart, our days lengthen at a very very very slow rate. By the end of the world (or so I gathered) our days will be about 43 hours long.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Iraq and France Trading Spaces?

I think it's wishful thinking on somebody's part, probably someone involved with the Arbusto Administration's war planning.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Kim Jong Il

Posted by: whyrlegyge | October 12, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Still no ceviche results in Google Ads...

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

whyrlegyge;

IF ONLY Kim Jong Il would join the SCC!!!!! *LOL*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It was more like Germany, but at any rate they seem to have trouble to decide: in this one, they put Switzerland where the Czech Republic used to be:

http://superfrenchie.com/Pics/Blog/maps/cnn_funny_europe_suisse.jpg

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Google Ad Report:

Romantic Chinocteague B&B
Victorian Luxury in Modern Comfort jacuzzi tubs, near Assateague beach
www.poplarcorner.com

Appetizer recipes
From easy to elaborate, dishes sure to please. Plan meals & get coupons
www.Albertsons.com

Common Sense vs Evolution
A frank essay showing some pitfalls of evolution using common sense
www.EveryStudent.com

I find that last a tad alarming.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, they did switch us with Poland, and made quite a mess with our cities.

If you're planning to go there, you won't recognize the place. Toulouse has moved about 300 miles northeast and finds itself in the middle of the French Alps (would make a great ski resort, if you ask me!), while Lyon has moved a good 200 miles the other way. Cannes has left the doorstep of Italy to establish itself on the doorstep of Spain, and Strasbourg is somewhere in Switzerland.

http://superfrenchie.com/Pics/Blog/maps/cnn_funny_france.jpg

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

bc;

We DO have this Google Ad contribution, though...

Dog-Friendly Camping Book
Find Pet-Friendly Campgrounds & RV Parks with Detailed Pet Policies
DogFriendly.com/RVandCamping

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

For the record, sf, my 3:20 included a joke at myself as a dumb American. I know that Poland and France don't share a border.

I suppose I'm going to have to Czech up on that...

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

what's that scotty nuke? you want some ceviche google ads about ceviche which mention ceviche? i too think it would be interesting to have google tell me all about ceviche. personally, i find ceviche fascinating. i also think ceviche is delicious. (ceviche ceviche ceviche)

I have the same google ads as bc.

ceviche.

Posted by: sparks | October 12, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Sparks! I am cutting and pasting your two game decs into MSWord, and will later try to put in Command format -- you know, instructions.

Now, tell me they are real. Because the Q-game in particular would make some nerdy boys in the 'hood very happy.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, that Moon / Earth distance/roation nugget is a good one.

I suppose we'll all be so worn out by the end of the world that every afternoon will seem like it takes forever. Sheesh, lunchtime won't even come until 21.5 o'clock, for goodness' sake.

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

i, too, find that i quite like ceviche - especially the ceviche in panama - they have very good ceviche in panama...
(see if we can get some ceviche AND panama ads!)

Posted by: mo | October 12, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Re Google Ads, while on the front page for JA, I have this one:

SAVE DARFUR

But off to the side I have

HYDRODERM -- better than Botox.

----
Does WaPo know that I am a women of a certain age? And I am very sad about the parts of Africa that we let slide into hell.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I, God help me, have actually done a Bush with dates. My work is 100% deadline driven. When I've promised a client something for the end of June, say, but it can't be delivered before July 3, and if the client is someone whose sense of humour I know, I will date the letter June 33.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

But Yoki, you did it knowingly, and I must say amusingly.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Just got back in, and so sleepy.

In my family it was four females, and my dad did not hang around long. A house full of women can be hard on women.

The math and reading program is going good. Every time we've met we get a new person, and the lady that helps me, is still going strong. And we have a new cabinet to put the books, thanks again folks.

On television the Foley story does not seem to go away. Every day they come out with some new detail about this person, and none of it good. How far up the ranks does this thing go? Now they're saying he went to the page's dorm drunk. I know there are some people in this country that wish this story would go awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Just really sleepy, but I hope once I get moving, I'll wake up.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 12, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I like ceviche (ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche) too!

I had camping ads but now this...

'Baby Lucy' fossil-find
Nature's multimedia web focus with video, audio, and print features
www.nature.com/nature/focus/hominid

Skulls Unlimited, Inc.
Natural Bone & Replica Museum Quality Skulls & Skeletons
www.skullsunlimited.com

Island Manor House B&B
Charming Island Bed and Breakfast! Romantic get-a-way, biking, hiking
www.islandmanor.com

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Dooley would like that set of Google Ads, I bet.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow sparks, those games sound like fun.

Makes Living Room Knee football/Goal Line Stand seem pretty sedate in comparison.

Now, the version of patrol/army/war/capture the flag we played as tweeners was outdoors in some local woods with pump action bb rifles, goggles, and heavy winter jackets. Sportsmanship was required in order to limit the number of times you were allowed to pump your gun (sometimes one would cheat an extra pump or two in order to make a long shot) without putting a hole in one of your friends/brothers. No sportsmanship required by the target/victim when you made a shot, they'd jump up and start cursing like Ralphie's father.

Mom never did say anything about us heading out to the woods in August carrying our winter coats, etc.

Now they have paintball, which probably leaves fewer scars.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

fear not college parkian, they are, all three of them real games, and i have played them all. patrol is definitely my favorite, but indoor quidditch is fun too, although i've only played it once. as for spartan madball, there's a reason it's only played once a year. kids come back to school in the fall still injured from the previous year's madball game.

Posted by: sparks | October 12, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I read that Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington were fighting on the set. It was reported that Washington tried to choke Dempsey. It will certainly be hard to watch that show and not have in mind that they probably hate each other, no matter what they're play acting.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 12, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I had to go look at that skulls unlimited site, they even have a catalog.

The employee profiles are very amusing,

how's this for a job description,

Dale Dorsey began working for Skulls Unlimited in November 2001. Dale serves as the Master Flenser and Brain-remover Technician. Dale is the first step in cleaning or preparing any specimen at Skulls Unlimited.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Back from the office picnic, where the ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche ceviche was well received. Brought a wee bit of leftover ceviche ceviche ceviche back to the office, which I might snack upon later this afternoon.

But popular acclaim, it appears I must needs report on the alien abduction of my daughter. Yes, I fear she is truly gone. The doppleganger in her place did indeed cut the grass AND cleaned up the lawnmower afterward, emptied the clippings bag, etc. I'm telling ya, these aliens have been paying much closer attention than I thought. Then the alien made dinner (the spaghetti was a tad overcooked, but then, I got home late and it might have just been sitting in the pan too long). The suace and meatballs were "OK" (not as good as mine, but then, no one's sauce/meatballs are as good as mine, so it's hardly a fair comparison). All in all, a credible attempt.

As to the space alien's motivation, there appears to be no one specific ulterior motive, just a general desire to remain on good terms and have shelter here on planet earth until the ship returns to pick her up and take her back to whatever distant galaxy she came from.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

TBG...tell me. Is this peninsula pronounced
PEN NEN SHUUUU LA? as President the suave eruidite Bush pronounced it yesterday? Word smith. Just interested.

Posted by: word smith | October 12, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I was just had lunch with the young lady who is taking son 3 off my hands, and how much I am enjoying thinking of her as my daughter-in-law. It sounds very strange to connect the word daughter with someone other than mom in relation to myself. She was says her mom is finding about the word son.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

wow Mudge, just wow.

It may well be time to start figuring out just how you can keep this alien.

I am all verklempt.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

dr, that's wonderful! I remember, when Himself and I had been married about 10 years, his mother introducing me to one of her cousins as "my daughter, Yoki." I was overcome with pride and gratitude. I loved her so, and was so thrilled to be part of her family.

Now that #1 has been with her boyfriend for 3 years, I quite feel that he is one of the family (though not with any intention of pressuring him to remain so).

I was interested in the descriptions above of family of origin and its impact on how we raise our kids. I was the only girl with three and a half brothers, and have always thought it had a big impact on my relationships with men; very little mystery but a lot of appreciation for the good stuff, and the ability to overlook, to a great degree, the bad. I could never have imagined that I would not have sons; wee boys and teenagers seem so familiar.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, please keep us appriased as to how long the alien stays.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, did the grass cutting even meet Mrs. Mudge's specifications?

Posted by: bh | October 12, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo: Just curious, since you seem to be related to almost everyone--any connections to Cornelius Kingsland Garrison? He was mayor of San Fran back in the 1850's (give or take). Family stories say that the City gave him a solid gold tea service when he left office. Didn't get a chance to verify that last time I was out there. He would be about 5 generations back on my mother's side.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 12, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, your older sister survived 5 younger brothers? Tough lady. I'm betting you're number 3 in that line.

I had to survive 3 brothers and an older sister.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Can't speak for anyone else, but my brothers were much easier to deal with and a lot more fun than my sister.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, prying teenage girls out of bathrooms can be major issues in family harmony, and I have the personal belief that when you have only 2 sisters in the family, they tend to polarize a LOT.

Otherwise, when you no longer room with them or have to fit in the family roles anymore, sisters can be pretty good.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Mudge. You have a cooking, yard-mowing alien! If I had an alien willing to tame the Nature surrounding my house, I wouldn't care whose specifications it met. As it is we can go out and commune with stickers whenever we want, or when we don't.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 12, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I must publicly and loudly eat crow, a quick check on the current weather on my desktop reveals that the temperature has dropped significantly during the day today, at the momemnt there is light flurries (yuck). Seem like it will be a one day anomoly though. Dooley I apologize, should be better by the time you reach my area though.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Funny story on how US agents are patroling the Montana/BC border - on horseback.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/10/12/uscanhorse.html?ref=rss

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

No, bh, the alien's grasscutting didn't meet my wife's standards (she's a Marth Stewart wannabe and likes the grass cut on the diagonal, because of the pattern it leaves, and which I refuse to do). But it met mine, since I didn't have to do it.

My "real" daughter decided to get her life together and join the Navy, which she hopes will send her to dental school (she's currently a dental assistant). We've previously talked to her about joining some branch of the military (ours, Paraguay's, the enemy's, I don't care, just so long as she GOES) and she resisted. Now she has changed her tune, and has been hanging around with the local recruiters, who take her bowling, etc. (Apparently they are so desparate for warm bodies, thank you Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld for your excellent conduction of the war, you blockheads) that they'll pick you up at your house and take you to meetings. The other night, her recruiter (a BIG guy who was an outside lineback at U of Georgia) came over, and he and I sat on our back deck, drank Coronas and "guy-bonded."

So the long and short of it is, the U.S. Navy is in the process of recruiting a gnomic space alien from Proxima Centauri who looks Korean and won't clean her room. Mozel tov and good luck, I say.

Speaking of space aliens, did anybody catch the thing on the Today Show this morning about some super new camera device that takes pictures of fetuses in the womb? They showed some--and to me they looked pretty much like orange-colored "Grays" from Proxima Centauri. (They are actually color sonograms taken by Lennart Nilsson, the famous microphotographer.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 12, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, congrats! It looks great, reads great, it's going to be a boffo blog. I tried to post a comment and, um....well...I'm an idiot and "Joel Achenbach" was not allowed as a user name and "JoelAchenbach" was not available (?) and then I got discouraged. But this is what I was gonna say: You should do what I do and just recycle everything you've already written. Recycle, recycle, recycle. No one has yet noticed that the kit posted above is verbatim what I wrote a year ago after the Columbus Day Weekend camping trip. Also you should lift, steal, and borrow from others. Google yourself and your own fine postings here and then cut and paste on your blog. You're allowed to plagiarize yourself up to a point. Also, pick a hot topic like Paris Hilton and then get everyone you know to link to your entry. Remember, NO ONE WRITES RETAIL ANYMORE. I'm not sure what that means but I know it's good advice.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

FYI, I wrote a new kit this morning but won't post it until tomorrow ayem.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Ceviche! A new greeting for the New Europe on that map everyone was talking about.

Rather amusing:
http://lmnop.blogs.com/lauren/2006/10/americas_most_f.html

Ceviche! Perhaps it needs an upside-down ! at the beginning as well.

Posted by: whyrleygyge | October 12, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

FYI, the Garreau piece on the 300 million Americans is now online:

http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2006/october/presence.php


Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

*eyeing Wilbrod warily*

How'd you kn...

WILBRODOG!!!! I TOLD you the birth order was Confidential/Compartmented/Your Eyes Only!!!! No more M&S burger bites for you!!!

*rubbin' chin*

Okay, maybe one bite...

:-)

__________________________

'Mudge, she's gonna be a busy gnomic Proxima Centaurian naval dentist; have you SEEN the size of the candy aisle in the average Ship Store these days???

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

And Wilbrod, Sis is the reason I'm still around these days. When I was about 4 or so, she was keeping an eye on my younger brother and me one day. Bro and I were racing up and down the den, which had at one end a door made up of glass panes. I couldn't stop one time and punched my hand through one pane. Red stuff everywhere.

Sis had the presence of mind to wrap my arm in a towel, get ahold of the neighbors and get me on the way to the hospital before my folks made it home. Yeah, I love her. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I am now so over verklempt, that I wish I knew more yiddish.

That's great Mudge.

Not sure if it's politically correct to rejoice over launching children, but ah, what the heck. Congratulations on another fine launch.

May her future be rosy, and may she always be on the leeward side. (With anyluck at all, I have said may she always be sheltered from the storms.)

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut,
Can't say straight out that our family tree holds Cornelius Kingsland Garrison. Is he your antecedent five generations back on your mother's side, or a distant great-uncle on your mom's branch? Whatever your connection to Garrison, you and I do have an historical connection between families in the history of the USS Augusta.

Posted by: Loomis | October 12, 2006 6:03 PM | Report abuse

DadWannaBe,
The second poem you posted sounded like something Richard Lederer would write. Below, I will copy a poem of his, from his book, CRAZY ENGLISH, dealing with tenses. It's too long for my taste, but I am copying all of it anyhow. He also has a website with many useful links for those interested in language.
http://www.verbivore.com/
Before I copy the poem, I want to tell all of you how very much I enjoy reading this blog. It keeps me up long after bedtime. (I don't live in the States so my time is different from yours. Right now, it is after midnight.) And now the poem:

The verbs in English are a fright.
How can we learn to read and write?
Today we speak, but first we spoke;
Some faucets leak, but never loke.
Today we write, but first we wrote;
We bite our tongues, but never bote.

Each day I teach, for years I taught,
And preachers preach, but never praught.
This tale I tell, this tale I told;
I smell the flowers, but never smold.

If knights still slay, as once they slew,
Then do we play, as once we plew?
If I still do as once I did,
Then do cows moo, as they once mid?

I love to win, and games I've won;
I seldom sin, and never son.
I hate to lose, and games I lost;
I didn't choose, and never chost.

I love to sing, and songs I sang;
I fling a ball, but never flang.
I strike that ball, that ball I struck;
This poem I like, but never luck.

I take a break, a break I took;
I bake a cake, but never book.
I eat that cake, that cake I ate;
I beat an egg, but never bate.

I often swim, as I once swam;
I skim some milk, but never skam.
I fly a kite that I once flew;
I tie a knot but never tew.

I see the truth, the truth I saw;
I flee from falsehood, never flaw.
I stand for truth, as once I stood;
I land a fish, but never lood.

About these verbs I sit and think.
These verbs don't fit. They seem to wink
At me, who sat for years and thought
Of verbs that never fat or wought.

Posted by: New Lurker | October 12, 2006 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog respected your privacy, although the fact he wagged his tail 3 times when greeting you tipped me off ;).

Pat, I posted a word-picture of some artworks at Gallaudet university just now at:

http://wilbrodthegnome.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I am having a really rewarding afternoon. I am building a formal inventory of materials to add to our other programs vital to our business. I am learning all kinds of cool mathematical things, like order of operations, and what the heck those little brackets in a formula do, as I teach myself how to write fancy schmancy formulas for the spreadsheets. IIRC, in the days when I was learning fancy math, I was sitting at the back of a very crowded class writing bad limericks and other poetry.

When you manage to stop laughing at my mathematical naiveté, and in my own defense, I wrote some killer poetry back in the day.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2006 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Excel and other spreadsheets are fun-- you just have to write the formula and let THEM do the hard work ;). Excel can even do some calculus. Keep going, dr!

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

This is sweaty work, blogging. I just enabled comment from non-blogspot members, but they will have to go through moderation.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure, Wilbrod... MODERATION... ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2006 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It's a hopeless cause, I know ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 7:53 PM | Report abuse

So instead of Hal at Wilbrodblog we'll have to get past Wilbrodog for form and content?

dr, your description of life at the back of the class is probably an accurate description for the work day of a lot of the boodle.

Speaking of the boodle, the big-headed, hithero unknown (and therefore underappreciated) Cypriot Mouse could practically be our mascot (look out, blogasaurus).

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 12, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Sisters... there's nothing on Earth like them.

I don't know how I could have gotten through life--mostly the past two years--without my wonderful sisters. They are easily the most amazing women I will ever know. Well.. maybe my daughter and my niece go on that list, too.

But I think my daughter has a big advantage growing up with a brother. Boys just aren't a mystery to her like they were to me.

dr.. the post about your future daughter-in-law made me smile out loud (is that possible? well, I did). I'm glad you're getting a good one. I look forward to seeing who my kids pick as mates. It's a scary thought, but I think they've seen enough good examples to do well (I can only hope so!).

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2006 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Mickey Mouse is actually a Cypriot Mouse ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

My friend Mike is going to Rome for the event mentioned here, the canonization of Mother Theo:

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/indiana-nun-on-path-to-sainthood/20061012071409990005?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Posted by: Achenbach | October 12, 2006 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I tried to post a comment to your blog, but i don't know what happened to it. Maybe it needs to be moderaterized. Also, unfortunately, it confuses Jaws. Words disappear from the edit box. and the Home and End keys on my keyboard have unexpected results. I don't quit easily, but after 2 reboots, I'm giving up until tomorrow.

Good job though, your blog reads sharp and spunky. I like it.

Posted by: Pat | October 12, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about a big-headed mouse as mascot. It should be a more pointy-headed science-type mouse, no?

Or, as we used to say in Switzerland, ein Spitzmaus.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Love the blog, Wilbrod & Wilbrodog. Whose great idea was it to create an ARCHIVES section immediately? Impressive forethought.

Mudge, congratulations on the launch!

dr, you can do Linear Algebra in Excel, a miracle in concatenation. Anyone going to see my Linear and raise me a Stochastics?

Sibling status: two older sisters, one 17 years older (mom's 1st husband), one 11 months older (mom's 2nd husband & my dad too). None by husband #3.

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2006 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The archives are Blogspot's foresight, not mine, although a word to the wise about posting wholesale is enough ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Can we post retail?

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2006 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel, she sounds a remarkable woman (though I can't get with the supernatural thing). I shall, as a recent crone, celebrate this quotation from the link you posted.

Not everyone recognized her saintliness in her lifetime: The local bishop viewed her as insubordinate, according to her journal and letters. [sic]

That happens to me all the time!

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG, loved your comment about sisters, despite our vast differences, my sister and I have grown to appreciate each other. Family is an amazing thing you can take them for granted but when life gets hard their love and support can get you through just about anything. I too have a a very difficult few years but my family were always there and it made the journey that much easier.

I hope my girls have a better bond than my sister and I did growing up.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2006 9:17 PM | Report abuse

A Jewish colleague of mine, circa 1990, went to Rome with his aging mother for the canonization of Edith Stein, also known as Sister Benedicta. His mother, a Holocaust survivor, was related to Edith Stein. He went with some concern. He returned to say that the "bells and smells" including the gilt pomp were strangely moving and majestic.

He also said he could detect Jewish ritual and similar phrases in the Mass.

I like these ecumenical moments.

Isn't it moving that the second mystery in the article concerned the healing of a "Protestant" set of eyes.

We should all be so non-sectarian as Mother Theo. Ahah! She is imitating God, who is also non sectarian. Wow.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2006 9:26 PM | Report abuse

That is cool about the Jewish ritual. I'd expect some vestiges, but would love to have heard it from his POV.
Not that I've gone to many canonization masses ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 9:37 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, jw - heard this story about Charles Swift on NPR on the way home -
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6256039
I love Nina Totenberg. And Charles Swift being forced to retire - the Navy's loss.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2006 9:42 PM | Report abuse

dmd,
One of the local news stations did a story about law enforcement in Washington state using horse patrols. There are some areas that are too rugged for Jeeps, and where helicopters can't even land. Of course, mainly what they're looking for are drug runners.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2006 10:01 PM | Report abuse

My first and only experience of sisters has been with #1 and #2. I had only brothers. #1 and #2 love each other dearly. Himself and Yoki don't take credit fot it (temperament is 90% genetics, as far as I can see). Yet, when they fall into each other's (others'?) arms when times are hard, Himself and I experience a wonderful sense of accomlishment. We raised them to love each other. Well done.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Pat, sorry you couldn't get the comments in-- College parkian manged to get one in, so things may be fine now.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Tepmporal as well as spiritual dislocation. Excellent.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I want my money back!

I looked over that article regarding the cannonization of Mother Theo and one thing stood out to me:

Sister Marie Kevin Tighe.

In case of emergency, I suppose she would call Sister Randolph Mantooth.

I also noticed a McCord in there too, and while I may not remember much about my Catholicism, one Adam, 12 stations or much of anything, I do think that I may have watched too much TV in the early 70s.

It's late and I'm trying too hard here. G'night, all.
And Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 12, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

>>Sister Marie Kevin Tighe

Do you think she had a great sense of humor and requested that name?

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2006 11:11 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing like a miserable childhood to make a novelist, unless it is a miserable Catholicc childhood.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 11:13 PM | Report abuse

About the "Cypriot Mouse": It's interesting to see that the news articles are describing Cyprus as being in Europe.

Yet geographically, Cyprus is decidedly in Asia.

But... it's an EU member.

Then again, Malta is a member and is in Africa, and even Israel has had talks about becoming part of the EU.

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to offer my discordant voice in this sea of concurring voices, but most sisters, like the churches to whom they pledge their allegiance (as opoosed to the poor) are fraud!

Christopher Hitchens published a book, "The Missionary Position" on the most well-known of them, Mother Teresa, the "the most respected woman in the world."

Instead of spending her considerable money on helping the poor, she spent most of it on spreading her stupid religious dogma!

Here is an interview with Hitchens:

//The care facilities are grotesquely simple: rudimentary, unscientific, miles behind any modern conception of what medical science is supposed to do. There have been a number of articles - I've collected some more since my book came out - about the failure and primitivism of her treatment of lepers and the dying, of her attitude towards medication and prophylaxis. Very rightly is it said that she tends to the dying, because if you were doing anything but dying she hasn't really got much to offer.//

http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/490/theresa.htm

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Catholic childhood

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

SF, what is your point? Of couse Mt was self-serving.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2006 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's my point. I don't believe that's obvious to most people. But maybe I'm wrong.

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 12, 2006 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, different nun in this case. I was discussing this with a coworker long ago, and he mentioned that there were reports. I had already known how barebones the facilities were and how she argued against installing an elevator in NYC for her medical facilities saying they could carry patients up the stairs.

There is a mental illness that affect some people called animal collecting-- they always see themselves as savoirs of the animals, but inevitably take on more animals than they can take care of and refuse to admit it. Those are the people that you hear about on the news of having houses full of 100, 250 cats in various stages of dying or death. People do collect dogs, too, but cats are the number one favorite target.
In India human life is also cheap and there are a lot of poor, sick and suffering people. I had the disturbing thought during that conversation that Mother Theresa might have suffered from a collecting pathology, aimed at dying people.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

And yes SF, it's not actually obvious to most people. But again, different nun.

And I was taught by a Sister John who I really liked once.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately Mother Theresa also had to work in India which is not that welcoming of Christians (see the Gujarati missionary killings, riots, etc.).

One problem is that western missionaries often throw people at potential converts. I've been told about a missionary 'cult' from Europe that basically got deaf teenagers to revolt against their parents (which is very difficult to handle in that culture), gave them considerable pocket money, and yeah, knocked up quite a few of the teen girls. Missionaries come in and out a few weeks at a time and when the families realize... with normal teens its hard enough, add in disability and its much harder to find out, they go to the police? The police are bought off by rich missionaries. A year's salary in India is 120 bucks. So there's no justice and it's very easy to just want to kill the next missionary they see even if it wasn't the original missionary who is back in Europe or whatever.

The Indian government takes a very dim view of any kind of missionary work by foreigners without prior notification.

NOT spending money lavishly in public view then putting on a delibrate show of being humble to an unreasonable degree may have been a smart strategy. I know my Indian friend who is very suspicious of missionaries said Mother theresa did good.

One thing she did right was actually NOT to focus on conversions.

http://www.servelec.net/mothertheresa.htm

Indian culture is simply not European, and ostentatious display of status in the correct degree is still very important to Indians. Castes were only offically abolished a bit over 50 years ago, and rituals relating to ranks are still very important part of social niceties.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 13, 2006 12:03 AM | Report abuse

It is impossible for a person to be completely good and not have a serious flaw that can be magnified at times.

John 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

As it is, Mother Theresa has my abiding respect for keeping her order safe in India so long. Have you also read "The City of Joy", Superfrenchie?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 13, 2006 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod: //Have you also read "The City of Joy", Superfrenchie?//

No. :(

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 12:12 AM | Report abuse

sf, in your life, in what ways have you helped people, or the poor?
what positive legacy will your life leave behind?

is there anyone you admire?
if yes, who and why?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 13, 2006 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Now, L.A. Lurker, his left hand should not know what his right hand is doing in giving alms... wait, I forgot he doesn't believe anymore. Anyway, he doesn't have to answer that first question.

What he admires and what he would like to leave behind as a legacy, who he admires, now that'd be interesting to hear from SF.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 13, 2006 12:18 AM | Report abuse

LA, I'll leave the first question alone as I don't believe it's either relevant or of much interest.

//is there anyone you admire?//

I'm a fan of the Blues Brothers, does that count? :-D

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 12:20 AM | Report abuse

OT: Wilbrod, did you know that Steven Colbert is deaf in one ear (no eardrum in it)?

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 12:25 AM | Report abuse

New Lurker--thanks for the poem. I love Lederer. I have his book, "Anguished English" which is one of my favorites.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | October 13, 2006 12:27 AM | Report abuse

my overall point is that it is easy to criticize others, but what have you done? (you don't have to answer that - it is more of a rhetorical question, but it is a relevant rhetorical question.)

and since you are generally critical, i was hoping you would actually admit to admiring someone. seriously, do you admire anyone? the blue brothers is cute answer, but it's not really an answer.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 13, 2006 12:39 AM | Report abuse

No, SF, because I didn't know whom Stephen Colbert was. Ah, Comedy Central.

His character sounds funny from this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Colbert_%28character%29

I'm afraid to ask...Is he a wicked and relentless Francophobe?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 13, 2006 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod: //What he admires and what he would like to leave behind as a legacy, who he admires, now that'd be interesting to hear from SF.//

It might be. But I feel a confrontation is brewing and building a "my compassion is bigger than yours" argument seems like a ridiculous way to go.

For what's they're worth, my statements speak for themselves. They don't have to be defended with the story of my life, past or future, or with the implied endorsment of the persons I would supposedly admire. I'm my own man. If you don't like my argument and my facts, go ahead and destroy them with counter-arguments and counter-facts. That's what blogs are for. Leave the personal stuff out of the equation.

Anyway, speaking of personal, time to feed the fleas, as we say in French. 3-day mountain bike weekend in Douthat, VA starts tomorrow... :)))

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting that Christopher Hitchens interview, superfrenchie.
I found it fascinating -- not just the Mother Teresa expose, but the discussion in the latter half of the interview about religiosity in the U.S. versus in other countries, e.g.:


"In a country that very honorably and uniquely founded itself on repudiating that idea [of an established church] and saying the church and the government would always be separate, and also a country that many people came to in the hope of practicing their own religion, you have both free competition and a sense of manifest destiny. I think it's out of that sort of stew that you have all these bubbles. . . . Scientology now enjoys charitable status as a religion, which I think is a real triumph. I can't get over that. You can set some idea of what it would have been like to live in third-century Nicea when Christianity was being hammered together -- an experience I am very glad I did not have. Religious diversity is confused with pluralism. Because of multi-culturalism and what is called 'political correctness,' religion has a certain protection that it couldn't expect to have if it was a state-sponsored racket like the Church of England."


The interview probably won't sit well with everyone in the Boodle -- which kind of proves Hitchens' point.

Posted by: Dreamer | October 13, 2006 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod -

Stephen Colbert is perhaps the bravest man in America. At the Press Club dinner this Spring/Summer (can't remember) he mocked Bush cleverly and devastatingly, although the Bushes were in attendance. Not too many comics have the guts to do something like that. And, he's really funny! The original premise of his show was, apparently, that he was mocking by imitating Bill O'Reilly, from Fox News. Now, his right-wing persona is more famous than O'Reilly and he's a phenomonon in his own right.

I've got to hand it to you, BTW, going from no-blog to blog in just, what, one, two days? Amazing!

Haven't been walking my own dogs this week, been walking the neighbor's dog after the neighbor had foot surgery. And I'm ashamed, too, cause I KNEW this woman had had surgery, but didn't OFFER the dog walking. Poor soul had to call me and ask. And so I'm so deeply disgusted with myself. What was I thinking? Her poor mutt is so terrified of me walking him he's hyperventilating and making strange whimpering noises the whole time. He'll get over it, it looks like.

Anyway, congratulations again on the site.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 13, 2006 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, about Colbert: //Is he a wicked and relentless Francophobe?//

Not that I know of.

His on-screen persona is some sort of Bill O'Reilly caricature (like Bill O'Reilly is not enough of a caricature of himself...), so I'm sure he would push a joke here and there, but that would probably be tongue-in-cheek.

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Dreamer: it's always been a bit unclear to me what the difference is between a cult and a mainstream church, except for the number of members.

(So much for feeding the fleas half an hour ago... ;) )

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 1:03 AM | Report abuse

More from that interview:

//So why are you picking on this sainted old woman?

Christopher Hitchens: Partly because that impression is so widespread. But also because the sheer fact that this is considered unquestionable is a sign of what we are up against, namely the problem of credulity. One of the most salient examples of people's willingness to believe anything if it is garbed in the appearance of holiness is the uncritical acceptance of the idea of Mother Teresa as a saint by people who would normally be thinking - however lazily - in a secular or rational manner. In other words, in every sense it is an unexamined claim.

It's unexamined journalistically - no one really takes a look at what she does. And it is unexamined as to why it should be she who is spotlighted as opposed to many very selfless people who devote their lives to the relief of suffering in what we used to call the "Third World." Why is it never mentioned that her stated motive for the work is that of proselytization for religious fundamentalism, for the most extreme interpretation of Catholic doctrine? If you ask most people if they agree with the pope's views on population, for example, they say they think they are rather extreme. Well here's someone whose life's work is the propagation of the most extreme version of that.

That's the first motive. The second was a sort of journalistic curiosity as to why it was that no one had asked any serious questions about Mother Teresa's theory or practice. Regarding her practice, I couldn't help but notice that she had rallied to the side of the Duvalier family in Haiti, for instance, that she had taken money - over a million dollars - from Charles Keating, the Lincoln Savings and Loans swindler, even though it had been shown to her that the money was stolen; that she has been an ally of the most reactionary forces in India and in many other countries; that she has campaigned recently to prevent Ireland from ceasing to be the only country in Europe with a constitutional ban on divorce, that her interventions are always timed to assist the most conservative and obscurantist forces. //

Beurk!

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 1:24 AM | Report abuse

sf, the question didn't have to be answered in the area of philanthropy. you could admire/like/approve any number of people for a variety of reasons and be completely intellectual and analytical about it.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 13, 2006 1:45 AM | Report abuse

sparks, I recommend that you hunt up an ancient work called "The Rules of Moopsball." I believe it was in Orbit 10, edited by Damon Knight, although it may have been in a different number of Orbit. Published in the mid-70's.

I think that the difference between a cult and a religion is that a cult does not allow its members to speak truthfully of their religious, or "religious," experience to outsiders. Either overt lying is permissible or even encouraged (as in the case of Scientology), or cult members cannot remain in good standing unless they shun uncontrolled contact with nonbelievers. A limited amount of honest secretiveness probably is permissible without earning the title of "cult", but cults are not noted for their nuanced distinctions by degree. Note that there are many religions which have strictly limited dogma and mechanisms to shun/eject/burn at the stake, those members who are not in good standing. However, they are not cults because they do not debar their members from describing the immediate experience of their religiosity, even though they may ban their members from questioning the dogma. No Catholic is enjoined not to tell a non-Catholic about the experience of communion, for instance, or what (in general terms) takes place within the confessional.

This is, at least, my reading of the situation. Let me also note, in the interest of strict honesty, that I have not personally gathered evidence about the practices of Scientology. I have only what I have gleaned from years of encountering disturbing stories reporting what ex-Scientologists have said about the Church, plus what L. Ron Hubbard's former colleagues in the science fiction community have said about him, which is surprisingly limited, for good or ill. A number of those guys are still around, or were until recently. They are, clearly, keeping their own counsel.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 13, 2006 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Oops. I meant to make my last post as just Tim.

Is the clock corrected yet? I noticed that when I have reloaded the Boodle at various times today, there has been a modest amount of reshuffling of the last few entries. However, I have not rechecked sufficiently often to see whethr the clock is routinely correct.

The time is now 01:56 EST.
The time is now 22:56 PST.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 13, 2006 1:56 AM | Report abuse

SciTim,
The timestamps have been behaving themselves, at least I haven't noticed anything. And I don't feel queasy. Aren't we on PDT, though? Daylight time till the end of the month - then my favorite day, when we get an extra hour! I should go back and read more about the day lengthening business...

11:10 PM PDT

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 13, 2006 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Oops! You're right! We're still on daylight-savings time. I really cannot tell what time of year it is, anymore, unless I look out a window. Right now, that means looking out of a motel window, across a narrow strip of parking lot, to a stuccoed concrete wall. In Pasadena, CA. I don't have many visual cues to tell me the season.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 13, 2006 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow. 416 (now, 417) comments devolving from a Kit about, essentially nothing. It's like Seinfeld, in print.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | October 13, 2006 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy - I think that you are slightly underestimating the fearlessness of both Colbert AND Stewart. One of the things that Colbert is mocking (subtly and not-so-subtly) is Stewart's point of view, and one of the things that Colbert's doing is taking Stewart's schtick a little farther down the road than Stewart is willing to go. It's not exactly great, and it's not exactly unpredictable, but when it's good, it's pretty darned good.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2006 3:11 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I understand that Wheezy is a Cobert fan. But I'm not sure that Wheezy and I appreciate the same things about Colbert!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2006 3:15 AM | Report abuse

I mean, if sheer comic reproductive organ brass is what you're looking for, then I gotta go with Sarah Silverberg & Gilbert Gottfried.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2006 3:29 AM | Report abuse

re: Phonetic gloss, please, as I am aware of the phonetic differences of around 15 out of those 9,999 words in the poem....

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2006 12:09 PM
----

Yeah, I thought it was a little devilish when I first read it, but after your remark I read it slowly with "deaf ears" (as best I can imagine it, anyway), and realized how superbly that poem lays out many pronunciation issues.

If someone hasn't already taken up the challenge, I'll be happy to take a shot at making the sound differences clearer. But it really IS a trip down some very arbitrary side-roads!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2006 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Four hundred comments, and still going. I also see that the conversation has turned to beating up on the religious in our midst. Do we ever get tired of that? I don't think so.

I was so tired when I got in yesterday, I could hardly move to get in my bed. I slept the whole night without getting up once. I'm seriously thinking about not walking, but I probably need to. It has turned a little cold here.

Good morning, Slyness, Nani, and Error Flynn.

As one of those religious people that folks here occasionally take the boot to, I'm happy to say, I love you. That's it, just I love you.

I've prayed this morning, and as always I've asked God to bless you and everyone else in this world, and that we all come to know that God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 13, 2006 6:32 AM | Report abuse

LA Lurker: //sf, the question didn't have to be answered in the area of philanthropy. you could admire/like/approve any number of people for a variety of reasons and be completely intellectual and analytical about it.//

Sure. I just don't understand how that would somehow make my argument better, or worse, or give it some sort of legitimacy stamp.

At any rate, the Blues Brothers would still probably come closest. Remember Elwood to Sister Mary Stigmata:

"Ow, you fat penguin!"

;))

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Mostlylurking, I know horses are still used, Toronto still has horse for police patrol. My amusement came from the fact that currently all kinds of modern technology is being used to patrol the border, where I live US Coast Guard is ungoing exercises with live ammo etc. The story that they were using horses on the BC/Montana border just seemed quaint, in a way an ode to the fact that quite a bit of our shared border is not only sparsly inhabited but rugged in territory and despite all of our modern inventions what works best is the horses.

As for Mother Teresa, I guess the true test would be would the people she worked for have been better off if she had done nothing?

Posted by: dmd | October 13, 2006 7:08 AM | Report abuse

I remember a story on Mother Theresa on NPR shortly after she died, so I did quick Google to see if I could come up with the information I heard and here it is*:

==

On October 14, 2003, while listening to NPR on my car radio, I heard Barbara Bradley Hagerty's interview with Father Brain Kolodiejchuk, the chief advocate of Mother Teresa's cause for sainthood. Kolodiejchuck stated that letters written by Mother Teresa to her superiors reveal that she had serious doubts and experienced years of spiritual darkness.

The time of darkness began in 1948, the year that Mother Teresa began her new work in Calcutta, India. The darkness came after two years of intense and ecstatic spiritual experiences that began while she traveling by train to the Himalayan region of Darjeeling. On the train, she heard God calling her to devote herself to "the poorest of the poor" and to live among them. Teresa then petitioned the Catholic Church for permission to follow God's calling and to set up a convent in Calcutta. During the two years in which she prepared to begin her new work, Teresa had numerous vivid and clear visions of Jesus. Jesus spoke to her and revealed himself to her in profound ways.

In 1948, the plans were completed for her work, and Teresa began her ministry in the streets of Calcutta. Shortly after she started this new work, the visions stopped. Jesus never again came to her nor spoke to her. The incredible union she had experienced with Jesus completely disappeared, and Teresa was bereft. She felt that God had abandoned her, and she wrote of her tremendous pain in letters to her superiors. Kolodiejchuk read one letter in which she wrote, "I call, I cling, I want and there is no one to answer. The darkness is so dark and I am alone." In another letter, Teresa wrote of the "terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing."

Mother Teresa's letter revealed that this darkness, this feeling of rejection and abandonment, continued throughout her life. She never again had an ecstatic spiritual experience. She never again felt that close intimate union with Christ that she had experienced in 1946.




________________
*The Faith of Mother Teresa
By Pamela R. Durso, Associate Director
Baptist History and Heritage Society
http://tinyurl.com/yectau

Posted by: TBG | October 13, 2006 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I mentioned a while back that I had read a detailed article by an attorney who was the actual "devil's advocate" in the discussion of Mother Teresa's sainthood. That article convinced me that she should not be considered a saint.

However, I have read one of her books, as well, and found it to be full of wisdom and useful direction.

Mother Teresa chose to live her life in service to others. I think that is the best way to live, and yet I am unable to stop being selfish and self-centered in order to dedicate myself entirely to her kind of "good life." So I just do what I can, when I can, and try to forgive myself for not doing all I could. To the extent that I cannot forgive myself, I feel irritated by Mother Teresa because she embodies all that I cannot attain.

Mother Teresa was just a human being. If her service was flawed, I can forgive that. She meant well and she did some good. It could be that most of the good she did was not for the lepers but for others who saw her dedication and were inspired by it to try harder in their own lives.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 13, 2006 8:00 AM | Report abuse

It's like "Cheech and Chong" meets "Day of the Triffids"

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/10/12/canada.troops.marijuana.reut/index.html

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 13, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

TBG: Hey, simultaneous boodling again!

Posted by: kbertocci | October 13, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101201881.html

Throwing more money into PA to help Santorum, not even mentioned. Of everything I've read about how (deservedly) poorly he's doing, the implications of this are the best!

Would it be inappropriate for me to post to his very inconvenient site after his defeat?

Posted by: dbG | October 13, 2006 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link RD, that article along wih one I saw last week about our troops also being involved in the battle against the opium crops seriously makes me wonder why we are sending our troops to risk their lives.

Posted by: dmd | October 13, 2006 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but imagine if the energies devoted to worshipping imaginary beings, proselytizing competing superstitions or killing the non-believers had been devoted instead to helping the world.

Heck, the Internet and the motorized scooter may have been invented by the year 1500.

OK, come to think of it, religions might not be that bad... ;)

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

dmd, it really gives a whole new slant to the phrase, "The War on Drugs" doesn't it.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 13, 2006 8:32 AM | Report abuse

To kbertocci's point, if we only considered practically perfect people to be lifted up as examples or role models of what's good about humanity, it'd be a very short discussion.

Nobody's perfect. And I, for one, don't think I'm an absolute arbiter of human mortality. Do the reports that MT had doubts about God or took money from Papa and Baby Doc (Were they going to give that money back to the Hatian people? I think not.), really cause me to think of her considerable dedication and acts of charity in the world any less? Did she leave her part of the world a better place than the found it?

I believe so.

As to beatification, cannonization, etc., I'm no longer a Catholic, so it's none of my business.

TBG, I cannot believe that you didn't make a Sister Mary Elephant reference with your 8:01 AM comment.

bc

Posted by: bc | October 13, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Superfrenchie: Take it easy buddy, railing against organized religion isn't exactly a winning proposition on this continent. Respire par le nez comme on dit chez nous.

Mr. Padouk : I am amazed that the Canadian troops haven't used the tried and true method to destroy marijuana: it has to be rolled into a paper sheet to burn properly.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 13, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking, driving to work this morning this is the thought that popped into my head, imagine if they managed to get that field burning, it would be an interesting experience if you were downwind :-)

Posted by: dmd | October 13, 2006 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking: //Superfrenchie: Take it easy buddy, railing against organized religion isn't exactly a winning proposition on this continent.//

Ouh, I'm scared.

Posted by: superfrenchie | October 13, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

A new kit has been posted.
It is a free world and trerrists hate us for it, so you may choose to ignore it and continue on this 400+ comment boodle.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 13, 2006 9:06 AM | Report abuse

A new kit has been posted.
It is a free world and trerrists hate us for it, so you may choose to ignore it and continue on this 400+ comments boodle.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | October 13, 2006 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"...but we treat that tree as though it's just a source of lumber."

Beavers treat that tree as just a snack. So why do we insist on viewing ourselves as morally required to act differently?

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Posted by: Luke | October 29, 2006 1:04 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Judy | October 29, 2006 1:07 AM | Report abuse

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