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Thank God It's Monday

An office. A desk. Work to do. A professional existence. How nice! This is suddenly refreshing, invigorating. Here is my keyboard, here is my phone. No more eating. No more cramming the face with meat and potatoes. No more flicking channels from ballgame to ballgame as the body turns into a repulsive, bloated, gelatinous, lard-clogged sack of protoplasm that in a freakish quirk of depravity and mathematics somehow manages to be a monument to no fewer than nine of the seven deadly sins.

Onward: This will be a newsy week, with the Baker-Hamilton group convening in DC to offer up sage advice about what to do in Iraq, or "manage defeat," as Lara Logan put it in her interview with Gen. Abizaid on 60 Minutes (Abizaid took umbrage). Logan asked a key question: Aren't we essentially already at war with Iran, via Iran's proxies in Iraq?

Abizaid: "No. We're not at war with Iran through its proxies. We are in a period of making it clear to the Iranians that they need to move to help stabilize Iraq and not destabilize it....I believe that there are people within the Iranian government, especially those that are very much encumbered by this revolutionary idea of expansion and supporting the various movements inside Iraq that are splinter movements, that they would prefer to see a southern Lebanon-like solution to Iraq, where they can control the militia and have a weak central government as opposed to have a strong central government emerge. No doubt that Iran is playing a very unhelpful role in Iraq, in southern Lebanon."

Reading shelf:

Here's Tom Wolfe on historic preservation in NYC. In the print edition The Times gave him a double-truck to savage the wimpy commission that won't protect architectural treasures.

Coulter Watch: In the Times, Jacob Heilbrun eviscerates three books on Ann Coulter, saying they take her too seriously:

"Ultimately, Estrich's book, which lurches from pleading for one liberal pet cause to another, is a case study in intellectual flaccidity that can't muster the energy to become a proper polemic....{H]er detractors supply no evidence that she has ever had an original thought. And they can't. Instead of exposing Coulter as a mortal threat to the Republic, the only thing they expose is their own credulity. In the end, these witless little books don't puncture the Coulter myth. They inflate it."

Interesting piece by Laurie David in Outlook about a science teachers association not accepting a donation of Gore's movie. Note the comments, mostly anti-David.

Sean Bell: Stories here from AP and from the Times on the killing of the groom on his wedding day. The Times piece focuses on "contagious shooting" as an explanation of why five officers fired 50 times at three unarmed men. One officer fired 31 times. An expert cites a kind of "fog of war" scenario.

I don't know what happened there, obviously, but the excessive use of force is reminiscent of that story out of Lakeland a couple of months ago. You might recall the big manhunt for the killer of a sheriff's deputy. Five hundred law enforcement officers did a sweep, and a SWAT team of 10 officers found the suspect hiding under a tree, holding a gun. They shot him 68 times. That doesn't include the 42 bullets that missed. The Polk County Sheriff later said, "I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had."

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 27, 2006; 10:13 AM ET
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Next: George Washington's Iraq Strategy


Our sky report is mostly light snow, followed by more light snow. There is a light grey blanket of clouds in the sky, no ripples, no elevation just the socked in. The long slow and dangerous commute leads to idle thought. I'm thinking of inventing skates for cars.

Posted by: dr | November 27, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

>excessive use of force

"Excessive use of deadly force is approved."

-The Blues Brothers

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

If one guy holding a wallet can merit 41 shots (hat tip to The Boss), 50 shots at three guys sounds like the model of restraint.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Abizaid "60 Minutes" interview...saw it. Should we be surprised that Lara Logan asked tough questions? What surprises me is that Abizaid was caught off-guard by the word "defeat."

What also amazes me about Abizaid is how far he rose from his origins in Coleville, California. To the east of the the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, to the southeast of Lake Tahoe, and probably no further than five miles from the Nevada border, Coleville is a speck on the map. Blink and you'll miss it. Yet, Abizaid attended Stanford and the U.S. Military Acedemy at West Point.

Not much talk here on the blog as far as what happened in Iraq on Thanksgiving and over the weekend. Bob Herbert's column at NYT was poignant today.

As far as historic preservation, Mayor Phil Hardberger of San Antonio has his knickers in recent knots over the feisty Historic Review Commission and how its meetings are holding up major downtown projects, seemingly just opposite of NYC's problem. Today's story: (Headline) Design review panel making enemies in high places. (First graf) Chances are most people have never heard of the Historic and Design Review Commission, a 15-member panel that keeps a close eye over the city's historic districts. Can't get the link to work.

Ahh, yes, Monday. Stringing lights on our Frasier fir, when an Achenblogger associated with the Nazi decorating police put a nice damper on my mindset and activities. Let's discuss Richard Dawkins, shall we?

Target ad over the weekend: Faux firs. I remember when faux furs meant acrylic coats, approximating a furry texture between Bigfoot and Chewbaca.

Posted by: Loomis | November 27, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sky report: invisible due to heavy snow.
Temperature with windchill: -38F (-39 C).
Wind report: NNW 26 km/h (16 mph).
Drive to work: horrendous.

Posted by: Yoki | November 27, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Joel, your first paragraph is hilarious. Funnier than Bill Bryson describing himself sleeping in "In a Sunburnt Country."

Posted by: Yoki | November 27, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

*poking head above piles of paper*

TGIM, my &$@!!!!! I barely have the time to post this! Oh, and I'm very jealous of Yoki, too.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I've lost something, and I'm hoping you can all help. I've looked everywhere, even the big garbage bin out back. I'm pretty much at the end of my rope.

Could you look under your desks and in hidden corners for November please. It seems to be missing.

Posted by: dr | November 27, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The most damning indictment of Ann Coulter, and people like her, is that I can always anticipate pretty much what she is going to say about any situation.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

dr, I would love to help but we have moved temporarily into April in my area. My sympathies for all in Western Canada - it is headed out way and expected around Friday.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, dr, can't help you. We had two Octobers back-to-back here. (I know you didn't wanna hear that.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

dr, I will aid you in your search for November if you can help me find the ability to type correct.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

In the last kit, Dmd wanted to know what mummers are-- it's an old English folk tradition that, as Mudge says, in Pittsburgh been turned into a clown parade and a musical ruckus inflicted on people by drunks armed with glockenspiels and banjos, in exchange for money to make them go away.

Many english villages has a pantomime tradition for Christmas as well-- taking a simple story such as Cinderella, maybe, and putting in lots of sight gags, jokes, and so on. The women characters are always played by men-- part of the fun, and the Principal Boy is always played by a woman.

(Think Peter Pan; nutcracker ballets..)

The mummers are a related tradition-- they travel and enact a brief storyline that tends, for some reason, to focus on King George and imaginary battles, probably because they want to play-fight (think grown men doing cowboy scenes). And of course, it gives a role for the Quack Doctor (very important), who has crutches for lame ducks and all.

The mummers ask for money and take a drink or two of eggnog and move on and keep performing until their legs are rubber. It varies whether they were talented to start with.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 27, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Many English villages have a...

I is drinking too much eggnog.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 27, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

And too many other SCCs. I gotta stop thinking about drunks when I type.

Posted by: WIlbrod | November 27, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I am very familiar with the TGIM phenomenon. Here at work I can sit still for several minutes without a dog jumping on my lap to be let out, a child complaining that the computer has gotten all messed up again, or a wife pointing out that there seems to be this strange greenish puddle forming under the dishwasher.

Plus, at work they think I'm smart.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, RD, Coulter's completely predictable in what she says.

I suspect it's because her mind is actually busy wondering about herself: "Does he think I'm hot? Does she think I'm pretty? Does this dress show off my legs enough? Did I leave my broom double-parked?"


Posted by: bc | November 27, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Tom Wolfe is an acknowledged critic of "Modern" architecture and (from the second paragraph) a self-confessed NIMBY-ist. For what it's worth, I was at Bryant Park (the site that marked the irrelevance of the Landmarks Commission according to the article) and it was a paean to crass commercialism. The center of the park had a large temporary ice rink surrounded by bannered light poles touting the sponsorship of Citicorp. At one end of the rink was a Canadian themed bar and restaurant serving glorified comfort food and over-priced cocktails. The rest of the grounds had been turned into a large festival of tented souvenir shops where about every other booth sold knit Alanis Morissette ski-caps.

And it was wildly successful. The place was packed. There was a line around the block for the skating rink (I'm sure the price point -free- helped); the lounge was standing room only; and the shops were doing fantastic business. My wife made us extend our trip a couple of hours because I had dragged her into the world famous New York Public Library to look at antique Japanese books without realizing there was a semi-permanent street festival out back.

We dropped money on glass animals, knit caps, cheap imported gloves, and for my son, a weird metallic finger claw that would get him expelled if he took it to school. As I reported yesterday, we also ate gourmet mac-and-cheese while watching the zamboni drive in circles.

I doubt a Landmarks Commission would approve of any of these activities. Just a hunch, but I don't envision Tom Wolfe browsing through twenty stands of sterling silver jewelry. My wife marveled that just two blocks down from Times Square was yet another location packed with people well after dark. Any other city in America would yearn for that level of street traffic. Only in New York.

Bryant Park used to be a dump for junkies, now it has free wi-fi access for the hundreds of people that come out during their lunch hour, many who eat at the restaurant the Landmarks Commission wanted to deny the public.

The Time Warner Center was an end run around the permitting process as it was built as an "addition" to an existing parking deck. Last Thursday you could have spent over $500 a person to watch the Macy's parade from the window of Café Grey.

2 Columbus Circle was a windowless eyesore overlooking the greatest urban park in the world. Its last economic contribution to New York was as a bike rack for a company that led tours of Central Park. At whatever price Manhattan real estate goes for, it was a monument to inefficient use.

Historic preservation is a good thing, but not everything is worth encasing in amber out of some misplaced sense of history.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the New York shootings. I have never fired a gun in my life, and want to keep it that way. However, I have several coworkers who used to be in the military. They tell me that if you are going to fire your weapon with the intent to kill it is wisest to use all of your bullets. Few things are as dangerous as a wounded combatant.

Now, as to whether this has anything to do with what happened in New York, I have no idea. However, I must admit I have very little interest in what Al Sharpton has to say on the matter, as he is about as predictable as Ann Coulter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

TGIM, indeed! Four whole days of our two-year-old running amok while I ran a high fever and snorted and snuffled. I am feeling better just in time for TGIM.

The little one, she learned how to *climb* out of her crib on Thanksgiving night. Not fall, mind you, but scale the side and lower herself to the floor on the other side. We discovered this when we heard a knocking from the other side of her bedroom door shortly after we had put her to sleep Thanksgiving night. We looked at each other, confirming that yes, we had put her to sleep in her crib (as opposed to the middle of her floor), and oh, CRAP, now is the time to set up the toddler bed!

At which point every subsequent bedtime and naptime has turned into a monumental struggle to get her to STAY. IN. HER. BED.

So, yes, TGIM, and hopefully TG for a good night's sleep tonight!

Posted by: PLS | November 27, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

On the news today, CNN, that is, "Kramer" cannot apologize enough. He looks rough. Perhaps it is because he does not have the make-up on, and we get to see the real deal. I can imagine he was surprised himself when that filth came out of his mouth. I bet he thought it was buried so deep, no one would ever know, not even him.

I suspect he is sorry for what he said. It is ugly once it is expressed, and even uglier when felt in the heart.

Lord, we still got a lot of work to do.

And JA, in reference to your comment about the sheriff citing why there weren't more bullets, here the police department got new cars, and along with those cars, they got some new equipment. Needless to say, they try the cars out, and as for the new equipment, they pull people over using the new technology in front of grocery stores and businesses so everyone can see.

We used to have a mixed police force, minorities as well as Whites. Not so anymore.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 27, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

We're actually posting on-topic.. or is it Joel who's finally on-topic at last?

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 27, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, RD, I can imagine one would have "balance" if that is the case, Sharpton-Coulter?

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 27, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I can truthfully say that while I don't miss being at work at all, my dear husband will be really glad to have the house to himself again - tomorrow, since I'm still on vacation. I should start on the Christmas cards, or at least the December bills.

On the Christmas fireworks discussion - we watched (on TV) the traditional lighting of the Seattle Christmas tree, in front of the ubiquitous Macy's. Fireworks were shot off from the top of the store - my husband and I giggled about how funny it would be if they set the tree on fire.

Very sad about the shooting in NYC. The victims were unarmed, although it sounds like they weren't driving too well.

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 27, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse


Cassandra, are you suggesting a soulless pairing of Al Sharpton and Ann Coulter, joined in hyphenated marriage, leading to the production of some kind of hybrid spawn (or is that a whelp)? Would the evil reactionary zombie cancel out with the self-promoting bloviating zealot? Would they cancel, or would they add? Would it produce a stable human being, or a super-loon? Only experimentation can tell us the answer.

FASCinating idea... but wrong. Surely, it would be wrong.

Wouldn't it?

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 27, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Consumerism update:

My oldest son and I ventured out at 4 AM on Black Friday for the first and last time to witness the event. There were a bunch of bleary-eyed folks, mostly young, to my son's surprise, shivering but orderly, standing, sitting, or lying in long lines waiting to get a real deal. We decided sleep was more important. There will always be deals.

Posted by: Random Commenter | November 27, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the info Wilbrod.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure you could mate Al and Ann without an entire lab full of genetic engineers. And anyone with any level of bioethics would balk at the task.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that Sharpton-Coulter would lead to some sort of nasty matter-antimatter explosion or implosion or something rending the space-time continuum. Whatever it is, I don't wanna be anywhere near. Of course, I suppose there is the possibility there'd be a little Hollywood special effects puff of smoke and they'd both disappear instantly, cancelling each other out.

Padouk, I concur about TGIM. I look forward to Mondays so I can get some rest. That woman I work for on weekends is (you should all pardon the phrase) a slavedriver.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Eeeeeewwwwwww, yellojkt. Curse you for that image of Coulter and Sharpton mating. Now I have to go tear my eyes out.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, PLS! Welcome back, and a good Monday to you all. I'm certainly relieved to be back in my nice quiet office. I'm even more relieved to be upright and able to think again (I think; I haven't really tried yet today) after the Evil Respiratory Infection of last week. It could have been worse; there's a stomach virus going around here as well. Of course, the Quiet Monday-ness of it was diminished by the fact that today, in a miracle of bad timing, was our office lunch. We all brought in brunch-type foods. Yesterday I picked up a quarter of a ham, sliced, because I didn't want to even think of dealing with something with Ingredients.

I really like the idea of a Coulter-Sharpton matchup. I'm sorry Susan Estrich's book (we used to call her Big Sue, for intellectual stature) apparently gives Ann more credit than she deserves. I have to agree with the article's author, though; she's an unoriginal publicity-seeking shill. Perhaps if everyone stopped paying attention to her right-wing venom she'd pull an Arianna Huffington and change spots.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 27, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, to be in the office, and innundated with work!

My in-laws are still here (till Wednesday, lucky me), and my head is about to explode. If I leave a dirty dish or bowl on the counter for more than half a minute, they clean up after me. Last night my FIL went around locking every damn door so that when we got back from running errands this morning, we were practically locked out.

What I wouldn't do for a last-minute panic right about now!

Posted by: Aimily | November 27, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The one phrase I've ever heard both liberal and conservative friends use in reference to Ann Coulter is entirely unprintable. But still funny.

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

dmd--in your 1:32 PM post shouldn't "...type correct" be ...type correctly? I notice more and more people people dropping the 'ly' on words and wonder if anyone knows what is proper diction anymore. Or maybe I am wrong? Or it was a typo?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 27, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Not a marriage, Science Tim. RD, stated that Sharpton is as predictable as Coulter. What I was trying to say is perhaps both of these folks may by chance bring a certain balance to a situation, and it was a question, not really a statement.

Coulter to my way of thinking is extreme in everything. I've always thought she needed something sweet to eat. Sugar, period.

As to Rev. Sharpton, I'm probably wearing blinders. I see him as a voice for African-Americans, but I am not that familiar with his work. He does seem to speak up, and does not seem to be intimadated by much.

Coulter and Sharpton would probably hang it each other out to dry. It would probably be down and dirty.

We as a people don't want to hear our faults or errors. We don't see ourselves as people that hate each other because of our race. We don't believe that we could do some of the stuff that happens in America. We see that as happening to someone else, but not us. We're better than that, we don't believe that, we couldn't do that, we just don't feel that way, we are not like those people.

But it is us. We are the ones hurting each other. We are the ones doing this stuff. We will never succeed in this country, and reach our full potential, until we have this conversation. It is the elephant in the room, and we've ignored it long enough. There has to be a serious effort toward race relations in America, and we keep stalling, hoping the problem will go away. But it will not. It is here, has been here, and will stay here, until we decided to honestly move forward. And not just one group, but all involved, and that is everyone of us in this country. It is sad, so very sad.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 27, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Loomis wrote:
"What also amazes me about Abizaid is how far he rose from his origins in Coleville, California. To the east of the the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, to the southeast of Lake Tahoe, and probably no further than five miles from the Nevada border, Coleville is a speck on the map. Blink and you'll miss it. Yet, Abizaid attended Stanford and the U.S. Military Acedemy at West Point."

Hyawl. Back from an avalanche of grading and prepping for the end of the semester.

But Loomis, why so amazed about A's orgins? I'm from west-of-nowhere-that- -is-somewhere-to-many. And while I am no Abizaid, am faring well, thank you very much..

I know you mean this in a complimentary way, but sheesh! You may be committing ruralism.

Do we need a roll call of people who hail from No-Where?

(And now I am of thinking of Horton who heard the "Who" cry of "We are HERE. We are HERE. WE ARE HEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.")

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

One guy shot 31 of the 50 shots? That is 19 shots left for the other 4 guys, 5 apiece is a little high but not out of proportion if the car of the victims was indeed ramming the police car. The guy who emptied his chamber, his first clip of 15, reloaded with a fresh clip and emptied it again has some 'splaining to do IMOO...
I wonder if The Reloader was in the ace team that unloaded 19 bullets (out of total of 41 shot at him) into this African immigrant a few years back. Talk about the Spray and Pray technique.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 27, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oops...that was me posting to dmd. I am still obviously bleary-eyed from the holidays. And regarding Ann Coulter, I'm glad we have her to kick around.

Posted by: Random Commenter | November 27, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

re: CP's 2:30:

Grew up in Goodview, VA; went to high school in Moneta, VA, which once got a salute on "Hee-Haw".

Posted by: Dooley | November 27, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

My small towns:

Black Eagle, Montana (near Great Falls, home to Charley Pride and Evil Knieval)

Visalia, California (next door to Hanford, home of 1960s Disney-dreamboat Jan Michael Vincent)

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse


Can we get someone to clean up the mess that this FranknVA 'bot left?

A scooper of some sort?


Posted by: bc | November 27, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Ivansmom! :-)

Found the article re: the NYC shootings. What a horrible situation! That poor bride-to-be, how awful. I hope there's more to the story than what's been reported.

Posted by: PLS | November 27, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I already e-mailed Joel and left a comment on FranknVA's blog. Of course, that may have been what he wanted.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Also lived for various periods in Troutville and Horsepasture.

Posted by: Dooley | November 27, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I spent a year and a half in Cockeysville when I first moved to Baltimore.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hi, PLS and College Parkian!

I didn't think FranknVA's post was offensive - but that's just me, I guess.

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 27, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Off topic.

The kit with the Monty Hall problem appeared just as i was leaving on a trip so I did not post anything, but I have been gnawing on it ever since and finally came up with a short explanation so I am posting it now. The approach is to think about guessing wrong instead of guessing right.

Recall the problem. There are two goats and one car hidden behind three doors. You guess a door and get what's behind it. (The assumption is that you prefer cars to goats.) You have a one in three chance of picking the correct door. But after you choose a door Monty opens another door and reveals a goat, and offers you the chance to pick another door. The question is: should you change your choice? The answer is: yes, changing your choice will double your odds of success from one in three to two in three. Why?

Your chance of picking the correct door is one in three so your chance of picking the wrong door is two in three. That is, two-thirds of the time the car is behind one of the two doors that you did not pick. Monty then shows you which of those two doors the car is not behind.

Posted by: gah | November 27, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I expected more of the NYPD than something like that Lakeland shooting fest.

During the Vietnam war, I recall feeling rather odd stopping by the new mall in Raleigh during the runup to Christmas.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 27, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking, the irritation was not caused by the posting of FranknVA's comment, but by the fact that it is identical to a posting in the last Boodle. I don't think it's a 'bot, however; in the last kit, the signature was FrankinVA, whereas the 'i' is missing this time. Still, there should be some acknowledgment that the posting is a repeat -- otherwise, it's just spam.

I think most of us, here, agree with the sentiment of the article. The repetition-without-acknowledgement conveys the notion that we are clueless nitwits to be advertised-at, rather than conversed-with. That is irritating.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 27, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the most famous Lebanese American is the poet and writer Kahlil Gibran, whose book The Prophet, published in 1923, has provided inspiration for thousands around the world. Although Gibran died in 1931, his fame endures and his writings continue to find an audience.

A number of other Lebanese Americans have made important contributions to American culture, business, and life. They include singer and songwriter Paul Anka, screenwriter Callie Khoury, who won an Oscar for the hit movie Thelma and Louise, actresses Kathy Najimy and Marlo Thomas, and actor, director, and screenwriter Harold Ramis. In politics, Lebanese Americans have occupied offices from the mayor of Waterville, Maine (Ruth Joseph) to the governor of Oregon (Victor Aityes) to the Secretary of Energy (former U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham).

John Elway, the former quarterback of the Denver Broncos, the Maloof Brothers, who owned the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association, Bobby Rahal, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1986, and Faud Ruebiz, the former kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, are Lebanese Americans. In business, the Lebanese American community has been well represented. Camille Chebeir was president of SEDCO Services, an investment firm owned by the Bin Mahfouz family of Saudi Arabia. Chebeir also served as president of the Arab Bankers Association of North America. Raymond Debbane was president of the Invus Group, a multimillion dollar private equity firm specializing in buyouts and venture capital. Richard Debs is former president of Morgan Stanley International. Ned Mansour was president of Mattel, and Jack Nasser is the former president of the Ford Motor Company.

This is Coleville/Walker. It's small. Not sayin' that A. or anyone else can't make good from a small community. Just would like to know more of A's story--a good California story, to be sure; how his parents got to Coleville if it's his garndparents who were emigrants from Lebanon?:

Posted by: Loomis | November 27, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I once heard Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O'Donnell talk about being Lebanese.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Posted by: TBG | November 27, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to mo on Wednesday, I had "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" as a tune cootie all weekend. Tried replacing it (oldies radio), giving it away (handing off the the Spousal Unit sometimes works), nothing worked. Will one of you take it? Please??? (Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya...)

Posted by: Raysmom | November 27, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey there Loomis.

I see what you are saying about Abizaid's small town story. We need to know these stories, including the details.

Is there perhaps a small Lebanese community there? Even one family can be the invitation for other immigrants...old story, repeated generation after generation....unless we fence people out.

Near Fresno, and other points in the San Joaquin Valley, is a large Armenian community. Writer William Saroyan hails from there.

Bob Dylan was from a town near Ely, MN, if not Ely itself. Somewhere in the Iron Range of Minnesota, home to hearty and tall Scandihoovians and Finns lived Bob's Jewish family.

George McGovern was born in Mitchell, South Dakota, pop. now about 5,000. See the world's only CORN PALACE, there too.

Willa Cather was born in Gore, VA (pop. about 350) and moved at age ten to rural Nebraska.

Stephen King is from some small spot in Maine.....

Lots of other "small town" stories....some starring famouse personages and the others, well, you and me.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse


The tune cootie should move on once December gets here. Surely you can hold out three more days...


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of Nebraska, Johnny Carson was very generous to his small town somewhere moderately west of Omaha.

And speaking of Omaha, how 'bout that Mr. Buffet?

And speaking of Mr. Buffet, how about parrotheads... and speaking of birds a little tweeter told me that Warren Buffet and Jimmy Buffett are related....

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse


The best way to get rid of a tune cootie is to replace it with La Bamba. Gets rid of any song right away.

Of course, then you're stuck with La Bamba...

Posted by: TBG | November 27, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I think I'd have to say Marlo's dad, Danny Thomas, is/was even more famous than she is/was, and that Danny Thomas in his day was more famous than Kahlil Gibran, at least to an American audience. But admittedly that one could be a toss-up: 20 years of TV watchers versus 50 to 60 years of book readers.

(LL, how old were you when you read "The Prophet"? I think I was a senior in high school. Underlined, high-lighted and memorized major pieces of it, of course, as did everyone. And weren't some sections potentially useful making-out/seduction lines? I seem to remember back in the haze of my mind that being the case...)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom: tune cootie cure -- sing "Amazing Grace" to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song.

Unless you're in one of two metropolitan areas, pretty much everyone in Oklahoma is from a small town. We have a very large Lebanese community in Oklahoma City, though; the families began coming close to statehood and have been involved in business, community service and politics for many years.

How you know it is Christmas season in Oklahoma: The B.C.Clark Jewelers Christmas jingle begins again. They've used it for 50 years. It is a more reliable way to identify Okies, current former and temporary, than anything else. All across the country, people know this happy, insidious tune with its cheery message. I know some of you know it. Let's all sing it together now, to begin the season right.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 27, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I'd bet against a 'bot, SciTim.

The guys who write them are smart enough to change the "Name" field by a single letter, to keep them from being blocked.

Also, the generic salutation - "great blog, I feel the same way", blah, blah.

We a lot of those at the 10thcircle.


Posted by: bc | November 27, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

>Underlined, high-lighted and memorized major pieces of it,

"... past an original leather-bound edition of The Prophet, will all the significant passages underlined. Every word in the book was underlined."

- David Bromberg

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mudge.

Song of Soloman. The Prophet. Desiderata.

All contain seduction-worthy lines for the soulful creatures who emerged in the mid 60s and into the 70s.

Please recall that Desiderata, which sounds very Gibran-ish, was recorded by Leonard Nimoy in something that may have been called "Spock Thoughts."

I am NOT making this up!!!!!
Now, 'Medge, shall we describe the clothing of the era? Can Jay get Robin Givhan on the boodle to deconstruct what we wore back in the day?

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Okay, for those of you who don't remember the words:

Jewelry is the gift to give 'cuase it's the gift that'll live and live
So give the gift you know can't fail --
from B.C.Clark's
Annivers'ry Sale.
Most sales are after Christmas, but ours is just before,
Most ev'rything is marked way down,
Savings you can't ignore
at Oklahoma's oldests jeweler --
since eighteen-ninety-two --
So give the gift you know can't fail
From B.C.Clark's
Annivers'ry Sale.

The tune, worthy of a tune cootie itself, can be found at, available in audio, video, ringtone, iTunes, and sheet music formats, and as heard on Jay Leno.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 27, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

On my blog, I had to turn on the Blogger Turing Test because the spam comments were up to several a day. I'm amazed that WaPo doesn't have a bigger problem than it does. They must have some sort of mojo working behind the scenes. Something tells me that FranknVA is just an overzealous blog promoter since his content is non-commercial. Takes one to know one.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Desiderata, how about "Deteriorata" by National Lampoon?

"You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back."

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

To anonymous poster, yes not message should have included the ly, I frequently leave the endings off when I type or write, verbally I am fine. I apologize, however, I was called into a meeting and unable to SCC and then forgot.

Deepest shame.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

And after two months here I still don't know what


means, other than

pardon me
typing badly again

SCC = ?

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse


It's the Self-Castigation Club.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 27, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

SCC = Self Castigation Club

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

And a son of a son of a sailor said, what of the Curmudgeon, does not his blue bottom and zesty wordplay bring thoughtfulness and joy to all?

And the Prophet said:

The Curmudgeon's reason is not that of other men. He is old, and has seen much, and passed many lives and much dusty gas.

He is irascable and ineffable, and still some find wisdom in his written emissions. This is the way of the Curmudgeon.

He can give you his thoughts, yet he cannot think for you.

He can tell you his jokes, but he cannot laugh for you. Or grant you an actual sense of humor, should you lack one.

He wallendas the tightrope between genius and truth and silliness. Each must decide for ourselves the difference, even he cannot tell you.

When the Curmudgeon speaks from deep within his aged inner self, let each laugh or cry or wonder or endure confusion as they strive for meaning within the mists of his words as they see fit. With time and the wind of his passing will clear, and the fresh air of understanding will come to all.

When the Curmudgeon passes, you cannot help but think about the meaning in his passing.
That is the way of the Curmudgeon.


Posted by: bc | November 27, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Random saw your post, after I posted my reply.

I am having a particularly bad day, noticed errors in my correction. Sorry

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

And anonymous poster violated it, perhaps knowingly. We work on the 'judge not lest ye be judged' rule here, a/k/a The Glass Houses Principle (not to be confused with the death metal Billy Joel cover band of the same name).

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Here is a Get-out-of-Shame card.

This card entitles
the bearer to endless
and automatic SCC status

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

[Hits head] [Emits 'Doh' ala Homer Simpson]

I should know that since I am a card-carrying, charter member of the
SFC = self-flagellation club

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

CP, bowing down to kiss your feet! :-)

PLS, CP nice to see you back.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

dmd, just blame it on Apple's "Think Different" ads.

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

EF, I wonder who at IBM got blamed for not copy righting that?

Posted by: bh | November 27, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom--thanks! Now I have the Gilligan's Island theme. Better than waiting for December, I guess. The mate was a mighty sailin' man, the skipper brave and sure....

Posted by: Raysmom | November 27, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

bc, you're on a roll....! That was great.

Posted by: Slyness | November 27, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

CP, you may need a refresher by checking out the AchenFAQs. As scotty says, SCC is self-castigation club. Generally, the rules of the boodle say one may correct one's own typos, misspellings, etc., but not anyone else's (but several of us have dispensation to point out typos in Joel's kits, mainly Dreamer/Achenfan). An SCC introduces one's correction of one's own boo-boos. They are entirely optional.

Error, have you read the take-off of "The Prophet" called "The Profit" by Kehlog Albran?

Oh, and CP, reference to the clothes we wore in the 1960s and 1970s is strictly forbidden. There must have been something in the water. Ditto the haircuts. Ssshhh. Mum's the word. Wink and a nod. Nuff said. Word to the wise.

Yes, I remember that Bromberg quote. It's very funny, actually.

Was never a great fan of the Desiderata. Don't know why.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Damn you, bc, I think I have wet myself.

Yes, I'm sure of it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

On a related matter, I see that Pamela Anderson and her breasts have filed for divorce from Kid Rock. I'm devastated. I never saw it coming.

Yawn. What a waste of precious bandwidth.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I realized after I posted it was the bot'ishness that was annoying you all. A thousand apologies. It seemed well-written and almost on topic, so that was why it got by me.

Isn't Jamie Farr Lebanese? From Toledo, where there's a large Lebanese community (or is that a joke)?

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 27, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

>Error, have you read the take-off of "The Prophet" called "The Profit" by Kehlog Albran?

No, but it sounds like I should. I do remember I had a band named "Prophet" back in the day and everyone thought it was spelled "Profit", which annoyed us to no end.

Clothes were t-shirts or denim work shirts, jeans and either Adidas ROM sneakers or steel-toed boots. Better to break down foliage with when you're being chased by The Man.

bh, I think many people at IBM are kicking themselves for many things over the last 20 years, but they're hardly alone.

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse


You made an Oklahoma boy's day. I mentioned the jingle, and as the credit card commercial shamelessly intones:


He wondered how I knew.

"Imaginary friends."

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

People we've all ben asleep at the switch all day. Joel has given us a perfect opportunity by mentioning "nine of the seven deadly sins," and no one -- not one of us --has risen to the bait. So what are the other two deadly sins?

C'mon, peeps! Get those brain cells moving! This is how we old foggies fight Alzheimer's, ya know.

No. 8: Channel-surfing?

No. 9: Talking in movie theaters?

Talking on a cell phone in a public place? Adjusting a wedgie? Invading a foreign country under false pretenses? Watching Bill O'Reilly? Flatulence in an elevator?

Let's go, people. I can't carry the weight and responsibility of this thing all by myself.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing one of them involves not putting the seat back down. But I am just guessing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Passing gas in an elevator is one of the Silent But Deadly Sins.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 27, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

C-mudge, one of the funniest things to do is make fake flatulence in an elevator; fake as in, with your mouth not your, ummm, not mouth. especially if it's you and a bunch of friends and 2 total strangers. not that i've done it. good times. definately displaying adolescent, teenage humor, lo siento. not a teenager anymore (as of Friday)

here are my suggestions:
8) being Anne Coulter.
9) Assigning lots of pointless busywork at the end of the semester when exams and

Posted by: Tangent | November 27, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

8th deadly sin: Familicidal Urges.

(If that child doesn't stop kicking the table, I'm gonna go mediveal)

9th deadly sin: Wastefulness.

Dumping that 3-bean salad nobody really likes in the trash, callously uncaring about all the starving people who would sell their starving cows for a magic bean or three. Even if it was in a salad.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 27, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

But Wilbrod, in my enchiridion

going mediveal (sp?)

Is a virture, not a vice.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Please people. Before this degenerates to Weingartian levels, I believe we should identify two more deadly sins that Joel might commit. Come on. He lives in a household of women. The possibilities are endless.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 6:05 PM | Report abuse

From now on I shall Depends on bc for my daily laugh. Have pity on the menopausal, my good man. That was priceless!

Posted by: Yoki | November 27, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget, send boodle recipes to

I amused myself yesterday by downloading some of the recipes and calling the file "Achenfood"

Posted by: Yoki | November 27, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay RD, you have a good point.

8th Deadly Sin: Obesity-ogling. Failing to speedily lie that a wife doesn't look extra fat the day after shoveling down 5 lbs of food at Thanksgiving dinner.

9th deadly Sin: Shop-shunning.

"Honey, I already paid for a bed and breakfast 1000 miles from any sales at Macy's for the whole Thanksgiving weekend, and all of a sudden, you need to shop? You didn't shop last Friday"

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 27, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Kerric... I'm trying out your "Mud in the Eye Pie" recipe as I type this (well, it's currently gelling in the fridge, so we'll see how it turns out in about two hours).

Boss Man said: "Here is my keyboard, here is my phone."

Did anyone else immediately think of "The Teapot Song"?

eeewwww... now that's a nasty tune cootie.

Mrs. Martooni is playing with the grill and it's all I can do to keep my mouth shut, sit on my hands and let her burn down our back porch unaided. As I passed the window that overlooks the spot where she set up the little hibachi (on my way here to Boodle, of course), I noticed a very bright orange glow and heard what sounded like several angry, drunken sailors on leave.

Good thing we have aluminum siding and not vinyl.

Sad news on the Old Bus front:

Needs a whole new drive axle assembly, including CV joint, wheel bearing housing and other miscellaneous drivetrain-related stuff. When you add in the need for a new muffler, new manifold, new brakes, new tires and an as-yet-unidentified electrical short that cause the turn signals and brake lights to only work 40% of the time, not to mention the absence of heat... I'm thinking Stella is either going on the block or will be retired under a tarp in the back yard until I have the time and money to restore her properly. Breaks my heart, but even Old Yeller had to finally be put down.

So... I'm looking for an olderish Ford F150 under $1000 in the Youngstown (Ohio) area.

Sounds like the sailors left so it must be time for dinner. I'll be back later with a blackened flank of mystery meat report later (as well as the results of Kerric's recipe).

Posted by: martooni | November 27, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I seem to have a few folders and files on my computer with the Achen- prefix. It does make me laugh every time I see them.

Posted by: TBG | November 27, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, your 5:49, made me laugh. Never viewed that as a deadly sin, but I'm sure it's a possibility.

I'm off to bed. G-girl and I raked leaves today. We're both tired, although I suspect the g-girl has unlimited energy compared to my weak source. Have a good evening everyone. Peace.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 27, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

9th sin:
Shopping for groceries at WaWa/CVS for two straight weeks in a row.

10th sin:
Not letting certain friends borrow certain books.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 27, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps drinking the last diet soda and then not writing it down on the shopping list?

But maybe that's just my household.

(Let's just hope being absent minded doesn't count as a deadly sin, or I'm in deep, deep, trouble.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 7:07 PM | Report abuse


8. If you do

9. If you don't

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 27, 2006 7:10 PM | Report abuse

>I'm thinking Stella is either going on the block or will be retired under a tarp in the back yard until I have the time and money to restore her properly.

martooni, yer breaking my heart, although I understand that position all too well. If it comes down to it. there's a place next to my tiki bar for her.

I also have an opening for a boat with a nice interior and big hole in the side, sans engines and electronics. Turns out all the expensive pieces of these things aren't needed if they're just going to be yard sculpture.

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I have two that particularly apply to myself today.

8. lazy proofreading
9. taking advantage of unsecured wireless connections.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 7:25 PM | Report abuse

martooni - I did indeed think of the little teapot song.

And it scared me.

SonofCarl - You are right. That's a twofer!

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 27, 2006 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I should note there was no illegal activity in number 9.

Posted by: dmd | November 27, 2006 7:28 PM | Report abuse

When you say "Lakeland", you gotta toss the Florida out there, too. Not everyone's a born Gator!

Posted by: depeche | November 27, 2006 7:30 PM | Report abuse


Did you see Howard Kurtz's article today about the Philadelphia Inquirer? The new editor thinks its fine to have a front page section consisting of solely outside sources. It's very, very sad. It is so disturbing to see papers like the Inquirer or the Baltimore Sun turned into shadows of their previous selves with the owners so happy to watch it happen.

Posted by: pj | November 27, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

dmd--I am so relieved! :-)

Posted by: Random Commenter | November 27, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, regarding flatus in the elevator (sounds better) the very worst is being left in the elevator after someone has done this and someone gets in on the next stop. Whew.

Posted by: Random Commenter | November 27, 2006 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Easy, just gasp and say "don't come in here, toxic gas alert! Toxiiiccccc" aaarrgrgh *thud*.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 27, 2006 8:12 PM | Report abuse

We can finally call it a civil war. See Froomkin's column today. NBC, LA Times, Newsweek decided to cut the semantics phony baloney. I do think Modo helped lead the charge last week in her op-ed, a detail omitted by Froomkin:

With Iraq splitting, Tony Snow indulges in the ludicrous exercise of hair-splitting. He said that in past civil wars, "people break up into clearly identifiable feuding sides clashing for supremacy." In Iraq, "you do have a lot of different forces that are trying to put pressure on the government and trying to undermine it. But it's not clear that they are operating as a unified force." But Lebanon was a shambles with multiple factions, and everybody called that a civil war.

Mr. Snow has said this is not a civil war because the fighting is not taking place in every province and because Iraqis voted in free elections. But that's like saying that the Battle of Gettysburg only took place in one small corner of the country, so there was no real American Civil War. And there were elections during our civil war too. President Lincoln was re-elected months before the war's end.

Posted by: Loomis | November 27, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Martooni Grilling Report: Amazingly, the back porch is still standing and the mystery meat turned out pretty well. A little well-done for my taste (it no longer "mooed"), but good eatin' none-the-less and I'm sure Mrs. Martooni's eyebrows will grow back.

Error... the thought of converting Stella into a functional yard/outdoor-bar ornament has crossed my mind. I know they used to use VW motors to power zambonis -- maybe I could turn her into an ice cube machine. Or maybe a 1600cc blender.

RD... glad I wasn't the only one who thought of the teapot tune. (btw... the Army/Navy Store is having a two-for-one sale on straight jackets -- you in?)

I just noticed it's after 9:00... that gives me about 30 seconds to come up with a new night-night story for Bean. I'm thinking "Handy Manny Goes to the Hundred Acre Wood to Fix Something for Pooh." (btw... if you haven't encountered Handy Manny yet, he's a computer-animated Latino fix-it guy that Disney recently invented who's like a Norm Abrams for kids)

Oh... Kerric... the Mud Pie hasn't finished setting up yet so I'll have to let you know tomorrow how it turned out. It *does* look yummy though (if a bit runny right now).

'night everyone...

Posted by: martooni | November 27, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

somebody ought to smack snow up the side of the head. yeah right, the factions aren't identifiable. it's just a strange coincidence that the sunnis are killing the shiites and the shiites are killing the sunnis.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | November 27, 2006 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Snow fortunately does not have to read the Post

"The Marines' August memo, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Post, is far more bleak than some officials suggested when they described it in late summer. The report describes Iraq's Sunni minority as "embroiled in a daily fight for survival," fearful of "pogroms" by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on al-Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across the capital."

"True or not, the memo says, "from the Sunni perspective, their greatest fears have been realized: Iran controls Baghdad and Anbaris have been marginalized." Moreover, most Sunnis now believe it would be unwise to count on or help U.S. forces because they are seen as likely to leave the country before imposing stability."

Posted by: bill everything | November 27, 2006 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Got off the bus tonight, hopped in my pickup--and heard the dulcet tones of our Joel on WaPo radio, discussing Jason Campbell, 700-mile-long fences (and the utter silliness thereof), eco villages, etc. It was a re-run of the Hillary Howard show from earlier today, I guess. Woulda been nice to have a little warning, there, J-Man.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 27, 2006 10:09 PM | Report abuse

ivansmom: I don't know how I avoided being innoculated by the jewelry jingle. Over in Tulsa we had Reeves TV and Appliance:

The whole town's ravin' about the Reeves boys
The Reeves boys
The Reeves boys
The whole town's ravin' about the Reeves boys,
If you didn't buy at Reeves you paid too much!

No need to pay for a new commercial when the one you created back in 1963 is still perfectly good, right?

Anyway, I've been a bad boodler and I know this particular comment didn't do anything to redeem me.


I've been offline due to technical difficulties and work responsibilities, and I can't predict how things will go in the immediate future. I finally did get my Miami Book Fair adventures written up:

Probably not a second too soon, because I fully expect my computer to crash at any moment.

Thanks to all you guys for keeping me cheered up through a few stressful days.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 27, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I am no arbiter of humor but bc's 4:29 was nose-spurting worthy

Posted by: bill everythin | November 27, 2006 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, do I hope you've cleaned up after yourself from earlier.

I think there's a larger game afoot re. JA and WaPoRadio; sometimes telling us when he's on, sometimes not.

It probably has to do with enormous sums of money and political power struggles, but I'm not savvy enough to suss out exactly how.

BTW, have I ever mentioned that I learned years ago to not bet against Brett Farve on Monday night?
Seattle TE Jeramy Stevens is going to want to forget this game. Which could be easy, since he might not be able to remember it if he wanted to. Dude is getting pummeled.

Also, I *liked* Jimmy Kimmel in the MNF booth.


Posted by: bc | November 27, 2006 10:41 PM | Report abuse

>Also, I *liked* Jimmy Kimmel in the MNF booth.

yeah, it worked a heckuva lot better than Dennis Miller!

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 27, 2006 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Looks like everyone is accounted for and survived holiday. We were innundated with rain early last week, but it dried out and was nearly windless on Thanksgiving day. Good thing, as the fryer came out. I did a good deed and fried a bird for our new neighbours from Michigan, then fried another and roasted another while the fryer was operating. We had sweet potatoes but nobody does them like my late Mom did. We salvaged mashed potatoes from the wreckage of a pyrex dish that slipped from the fridge. My wife made dressing. Stuffing is right out...too yankee. Three weeks left in the term and we get a new baatch of kids for the winter and spring. Rock 'n' roll...

Posted by: jack | November 28, 2006 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Seattle 34, Green Bay 24

Just sayin'.

I'm about 5 miles south of Qwest Field - we got only a little of the snow that was falling during the beginning of the game.

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 28, 2006 12:28 AM | Report abuse

...left me out in the cold rain and snow...

Posted by: jack | November 28, 2006 12:35 AM | Report abuse

BTW, like your handle, Bill everything. Sounds like what the nameless toad lawyer should have been called in "The Wee Free Men"-- the leader of that Nac Mac Feegle clan was called Rob Anybody.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 28, 2006 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Interesting column by Richard Cohen this morning:

I'm going to have to think about whether or not I agree. I hope he's right, though.

Posted by: slyness | November 28, 2006 7:23 AM | Report abuse

slyness - I think Richard Cohen is absolutely right. That the repulsive statements Cohen quotes have been so universally reviled is encouraging. I strongly reject the suggestion by some that the occasional isolated racist outburst somehow indicates that racism is alive and well. On the contrary, the reaction of society as a whole, and the individuals involved in particular, show that racism as a concept has become appropriately marginalized.

There will always be individuals who spew hateful words, but for a white person who has always taken MLK's words to heart, I am horrified not only by the words themselves, but by the way racial demagogues seek to exploit these events.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 28, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, when I see weather reports like yours I really (no, really!) miss Canada.

Posted by: byoolin | November 28, 2006 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Studio 60 Recap
Week 10 - Everybody Gets Sick, Including The Audience


Somehow the script got completely rearranged and nobody noticed until the show had been edited, so at the last minute they added a lot of Battlestar Galactica style "three days ago" captions at random places.

Since I am short on time this week, we will just hit the Sorkin Cliché Checklist™:

Addictive Substance: Nicotine gum
Random Internet Bashing: Dilbert27 from
Running Unfunny Gag: JesusGirl can't tell an anti-Semitic joke properly.
Obscure Reference To High Brow Culture: Some famous depressing play that had been translated into Dutch for laughs.
Bizarrely Lame Sketch That Everybody Inexplicably Loves: Spit Take Theater
Art Versus Commerce Tirade: Shows that only have 7 million viewers, er, movies that only gross 9 million dollars should be judged on their merit not their rating, I mean box-office, numbers.
Heavily Foreshadowed Big Reveal That Shocks Nobody: Jordan can't take a B-12 shot because she is preggers. That is a relief, because I swore she was shoplifting bowling balls.

Next week: The religion-bashing Christmas episode.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 28, 2006 8:10 AM | Report abuse


I was looking through the oldest of oldest Boodles yesterday and saw your posts and wondered if you were still hanging around here.

This is the post that I loved and think it represents a good portion of the Boodle's thoughts...

"I fervently hope that you're not an idiot. Ever since the first "Rough Draft," I have based my life on your teachings. If you've been wrong all along, I'm surely irredeemable by now."

Posted by: TBG | November 28, 2006 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Joel has teachings? I always got the feeling he was more a "make it up as you go along" kind of guy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 28, 2006 8:35 AM | Report abuse

And this is an encouraging sign that there are still sane people in the world:

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 28, 2006 8:38 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking, I am a object lesson in projecting results far too early. I will refrain from same in Nov. '08.

RD, why the horror over demagogy? I think of it as an expressive art form, like mimery or pole dancing.


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

>And this is an encouraging sign that there are still sane people in the world:

That's how I felt upon hearing this daffy homeowners association will stop fining the lady who had a peace sign-shaped Xmas wreath:

I find it especially frightening that people would see the classic hippie peace sign as a satanic symbol. Let's face it, once you've been tagged as a Satan worshiper there's not much to keep your house from being burned to the ground with you in it.

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 28, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to speak for JA here, but I suspect if he did have a single teaching for all of us, it would be "Don't do what I do."

Go back and read that first para in this Kit, and think about it.

He lives a life of service for us all, not so much as a teacher, but as a warning.

And I, for one, thank him for that.


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I saw that article as well Error, found it strange that the community would forbid flags or signs that could cause division.

Isn't peace the ultimate goal in a war, how can hoping for peace be a negative?

Posted by: dmd | November 28, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! *waving*

Would someone mind telling me how in the world I can be expected to Boodle competently when faced with holiday shopping, piles of papers AND a tummy bug?



Posted by: Scottynuke | November 28, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Use my strategy Scotty, boodle incompetantly!!

Posted by: dmd | November 28, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I hear there is a nasty viral strain going around. Evidently it hit lots of people over Thanksgiving. That's why I am presently sitting behind a roaring fire surrounded with poppies. Sure, it makes some of the more rigid members of the facilities staff testy, but I don't like to take chances when it comes to my health.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 28, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

But dmd, I pride myself on my multitasking skills!!! *L*

RDP, we all have our stones to bear, no?


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 28, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

....sitting behind a roaring fire surrounded with poppies....

Thus spake RDP.

Am trying to visualize this, and keep coming up with two images:

*burning at the stake or on a spit, like say, good ole St. Lawrence AND

the poppy plus snow scene in the Wizard of Oz.

(Feel better SN. BRAT diet works: banana, rice, applesauce, and tea.)

Posted by: College Parkian | November 28, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse


I'm more likely to grill a couple brats, of course, but I appreciate the kind words.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 28, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Re. war:
dmd, it depends on whose terms peace is achieved (i.e. are you on the winning or losing side?).

Isn't the ultimate goal in a war complete victory on your own terms?

This is why waging wars for nonexistent entities like the post-Hussein Iraqi government (which did not exist at the beginning of the war in March '03) or proxy wars like Vietnam and Korea are tragically wasteful IMO.

Those kinds of wars always seem to leave power vacuums that invite those that are willing to assume that power through violence and intimidation, since there's little infrastucture or convention for anything else.

Sadly, history is littered with examples of such things, and it's amazing to me that our leaders have such titanic egos as to believe that they're somehow better or immune. They learn, but at what cost?


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Brats, as in Wisco-speak for wurst, expectially the red ones. Knock is white? I can never remember.

But, don't put children on a spit or grill. That would ruin Christmas, entirely.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 28, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

>That's why I am presently sitting behind a roaring fire surrounded with poppies.

RD, they sent you to Afghanistan?!

Posted by: Error Flynn | November 28, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

bc, the problem with the ultimate victory is that it is so one side that bad feelings result - causing long term issues.
Peace with dignity if possible, and I sure hope I am on the right side!

Posted by: dmd | November 28, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Two more deadly sins. Hmmm. As I'm currently on my way to another pointless meeting, let's give honorable mention to:

(a) Asking one last question when the meeting ends in three minutes and the speaker is passionate about the answer.

I agree with RD that the whole "toilet seat location" is worthy of note as well.

I submit also: (9) omitting to mention a previously scheduled event requiring an obligation on someone else's part until the day before or morning of the occasion.

(10) Perkiness (Mudge aside).

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 28, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Perkiness a deadly sin? I may have to go away and sulk about that possibility for a few minutes.

Wilbrod, a cautionary note: do whatever you can to keep Wilbrodog from reading Michael Kinsley's column about Web sites and anonimity. The fifth and sixth grafs, in particular, refer to canine blogging, and in a way that might put Wilbrodog into a snit, if not high dugeon and total umbragitude. It's at for any interested non-four-footed friends (especially those who have blogs).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 28, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I knew I could come up with another deadly sin if I thought about it for 24 hours or so. My eighth deadly sin is what the AA folks call "working the other person's program." So much of the world's trouble could be avoided if each of us would just work his own program diligently (the 12 steps or Hinduism or humanism or WHATEVER) and leave others to do the same. (Jesus's version of this is found in the seventh chapter of Matthew.) And when I say this is MY 8th sin, you can believe it.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 28, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I think maybe the 8th deadly sin ought to be having anything to do with tofu.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 28, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

bc speaks for me.

Posted by: Achenbach | November 28, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about that, dmd.
There are *always* post-war issues on the defeated side of a war. Heck, there are issues on the *winning* side.

Here's a question (and probably a horrible oversimplification): what countries would be considered better off 20 years after a war - Japan and West Germany 20 years after WWII, or Afghanistan and Iraq 16 years from now?

Perhaps WWII and today's conflicts are apples and oranges, but it *is* something I think about.


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

There's a big difference between opening fire on 5 unarmed guys and shooting an armed cop killer. I'm don't think many were suprised when he was killed while "resisting arrest"

Posted by: jed | November 28, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wow, I am the AchenLorax?

I should add here that it takes one to know one.


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

bc writes:
Perhaps WWII and today's conflicts are apples and oranges, but it *is* something I think about.

Apples and oranges: Similar to comparing the population of Visalia, Calif., to Coleville, Calif. *w*

Posted by: Loomis | November 28, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

bc, Apples and oranges probably but I would put my money on Germany and Japan.

Concerning the issues I was thinking more in terms of Germany post WWI and WWII, the terms of the peace left so much hostility after WWI and distrust.

Mudge, re tofu - I agree completely!

Posted by: dmd | November 28, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

TBG: Yes, I am still here.

RD: Yes, Joel has "teachings." Although they may very well qualify as "made up as he goes along."

JA: And on the subject of "teachings," when it gets to be 11:11am and there are no new teachings, some of us here in the boodleverse get very antsy. We need our fix, man. You can't just expect us to come to work and, well, work.

Posted by: byoolin | November 28, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

P.F. Chang's does a wonderful tofu dish with mixed vegetables--one of my favorites on the entire menu, along with the lamb.

But not eating a dish because it's too Yankee is just plain weird. I don't eat poi because I don't like the taste or texture, not because it's too Hawaiian.

The deadly sin my husband commits here is breaking things and not telling me. Years ago, hubby broke a plate and put it in the trash where I chanced upom it. Propped a rake against lawn furniture and it fell and took a hunk out of the rim of a Talavera pot, glued it, and I discovered it months later. When I was in Connecticut, hubby mopped the kitchen floor and broke several collectibles--admitted to one, then I found the additional glued and patched up ones months later. Honesty is the best policy.

Posted by: Loomis | November 28, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Tofu is not a sin; it is pure evil in a gelatinous jiggly form.

Mudge, I spotted that book while waiting for my turn at my favourite hardware store. It is about ship figureheads. It made me thinks of you. Lee Valley sometimes publishes old book that have stroked Mr. Lee's fancy.,104,53216&ap=3

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 28, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Tofu poem here. Interesting chef picture at the bottom of the page for the wimmen:

Posted by: Loomis | November 28, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I like the classic quote by Karl Von Clausewitz that war is the continuation of politics by other means. I interpret that as meaning that a war must have a well defined goal, and be fought with the strategy and tools consistent with that goal.

While many think Vietnam and Iraq to be good cases where these principles were violated, I believe a better example is World War I, where they fought because they fought because they fought.

Although it is clear that not all of the lessons of that conflict have been learned, I do take comfort in one fact. The tolerance of each generation for death in war is dropping. In WWI a total of 8,500,000 died and total casualties exceeded 37,500,000 on all sides.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 28, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I like tofu. There. I said it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 28, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of possible oversimplification: I saw this addition on the front page of, and I'm not sure what to make of it.

It's kind of interesting in a visual way that makes me think of a National Newspaper based in Northern VA, but even when I drill down on some of the supporting information, I don't see how it's weighted and/or what value data are assigned, or who this "Global Thought" person is.

Perhaps it's interesting for fomenting discussion, but I'm not sure it has more value than plastering "bc Sez 'Borat' is the 'Gandhi' of the 21st Century" across the front page of the WaPo.

Well, it *probably* does.


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Tuesday morning weather report says its very very cold. -28C this monring without the wind chill, and there is a breeze. I would check the sky this monring, but that would mean exposing my neck.

-28C is a between temperature. Its not so cold that all the little hairs inside your nasal passages freeze the moment you step outside and its not so cold that your tires are frozen flat on one side, but it is cold enough that you think about these things.

Posted by: dr | November 28, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

bc - I believe Global Thought is the guy who sits a few cubicles over from me and leaves Twinkie wrappers all over the place.

Posted by: RD Paoduk | November 28, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to rub it in dr, I really don't. The weather forecast calls for 12C tomorrow and 16C Thursday in Ottawa. There you go. You have to pay in some ways for all that money oozing from the (frozen) ground in AB.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 28, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

CP, I learned a new word from you today: enchiridion. I'm going to have to figure out a way to use it in conversation. What a fine word.

And I like tofu, too, if it's prepared properly. Otherwise it's just a bland gooshy substance..

Posted by: ac in sj | November 28, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

-28 is cold enough that your tongue will sick to the swingset. Or the fence. Or the back door. Or the rivet on the handle of the shovel. (Ahh, the good old days.)

And -28 is cold enough for some pretty fast ice. Short shifts, everyone.

Posted by: byoolin | November 28, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

A chocolate fondue of deep fried tofu
Sounds wonderfully sinny to me.

I'm not so through with that coagualted bean goo
that I won't take just one, I'll take three!



Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Stick, not sick.

-28 is apparently cold enough to make one drop one's 't's.

Posted by: byoolin | November 28, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

dr, I will go easy on the weather comparisons, we had more fun teasing Vancouver colleagues yesterday, since they usually rub in out nice it is out there, they received little sympathy yesterday.

It is weird though, I was outside a 10:00 pm last night - temp around 11 celcius.

RD, that WWI number is staggering, I once looked at the Canadian numbers and was surprised at how high they were, I then looked up the population of the time, the ratios today would clearly be unacceptable - progress I hope. I liked you description of why we fought WWI, and in our case it was because Britian fought ...

Posted by: dmd | November 28, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

byoolin, fine, give me a minute and I'll post the sixteenth-baked thing I started a while ago, and will abandon the attempt to make it quarter-baked or at the very least eighth-baked.

New motto: All gibberish all the time.

Posted by: Achenbach | November 28, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

RD, I shoulda known that you'd know Global Thought.

Does he throw the Twinkie wrappers in the flowerpot with the red flag that seems to be migrating all over his cube?


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Gibberish is my native tongue.


Posted by: bc | November 28, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

BC -- I was just about to post a Lorax at you about the trees, comma, speaking for.



8a) too much perkiness (Tigger)
8b) too much moroseness (Eyore)

9a) packing/unpacking other people's baggage
9b) not packing, checking, rearranging, etc. one's OWN baggage.

A virtue would be carefullness and humility about the boundaries between your baggage and others....

Does this make God (god, the godhead, the Deity....etc.) head of TSA?

And what about the gallon zip lock baggies....

Posted by: College Parkian | November 28, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Joel... I guess that replaces your previous motto: "All Drivel All the Time"

Posted by: TBG | November 28, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

New Kit. Got to be 1/16th baked gibberish.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 28, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Egads! Weingarten's chat is going on hiatus until April!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 28, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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