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The Seven Years' British, French & Indian War

[My article in Style about an exhibit at the Smithsonian.]

For most people, the French and Indian War is one of those distant, foggy, inscrutable, eye-crossing wars that seem to exist primarily as fodder for history textbooks written to bore the bejabbers out of sixth-graders. Most of us know only that it happened sometime before the American Revolution, and involved the French, and possibly the last of the Mohicans.

The very phrase, "French and Indian War," is punch line material (e.g., "He hasn't had a hit movie since the French and Indian War").

But this may change. The Civil War has always been popular, the Revolution has been on a hot streak, and now it may be the French and Indian War's turn.

Thus the first thing we ask the historian at the new French and Indian War exhibit down at the Smithsonian is "Who won?"

Click here to keep reading the story.

More from Wikipedia:

"In Canada and the United Kingdom, the Seven Years' War is used to describe the North American conflict as well as the European and Asian conflicts. The conflict in India is termed the Second Carnatic War while the fighting between Prussia and Austria is called the Third Silesian War."


[Speaking of wars, here's an excellent review of Iraq books by Mark Danner, in the New York Review of Books. He discusses the books by Woodward, Suskind and Risen, and draws also from comments made by the late George Kennan in 2002. Kennan, 98 at the time, said:

"Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end...

"Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end, you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before. In other words, war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it."]

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 18, 2006; 10:08 AM ET
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Next: The Holiday Frenzy


Am I first? Too bad I have nothing relevant to say.

Just wanted to let the Boodle know that I'm ok. We lost power Thursday at 10 pm - got it back Sunday at 9 pm - 71 hours. I didn't turn on the computer till this morning, so I have a lot of back-boodling to do. Hope everyone's fine - see ya later!

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 18, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you got your power back Mostly, thought of you on the weekend as I was speaking with my sister, her area was OK but she spoke of all the damage and loss of power in other areas.

Posted by: dmd | December 18, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you're ok, mostly. That sounds awkward. "Press a button and you can hear..." Historic displays with sound take too much away from the significance of the event for me. I prefer reading history. At Gettysburg, for example, I was struck by the sheer horror of reading how the soldiers in the Ohio battery I was standing in discharged double loads of grapeshot, point blank, into Confederate troops as they climbed over the walls of the battery. Sound wasn't necessary.

Posted by: jack | December 18, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad you're okay, mostlylurking. I was was thinking of you when I heard about those 100 mph gusts.

Posted by: ac in sj | December 18, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Mostly, good to hear from you. I was watching the coast news and was thinking of you.

Posted by: dr | December 18, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"city of Quebec"; how quaint Joel, I love it!

The 7 to 10 Year War wasn't very popular in France at the time. Voltaire famously described the prize (Canada+Ohio valley, Minnesota, Michigan, etc) as "quelques arpents de neige" e.g. a few acres of snow.

His reading of the situation was sound however. North America would become British, it was just a question of time. The ill-conceived immigration policy of the French monarchy made the British so much more numerous than the French that it was pre-ordained the Brits would prevail. Of course a little revolution threw a couple of big wrenches in the British wheel a few years later but eh, everything can't go your way all the time.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 18, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Been watching the coverage of the storms sweeping into the Pacific Northwest over the last few weeks. They were something--intense flooding. We, last Friday, were moved on the regional drought index from "extreme," back into the worst category,"exceptional"--again.

mostlurking, please send rain (although it is expected here on Wednesday and hubby and I were both involved yesterday, working against time, I carrying bricks and he laying them.)

Ah, yes, the French and Indian War. What grabs me from this period is how Chris Gist died in 1759, he being George's sidekick, their exploits beautifully explained in Joel's "The Grand Idea." That same year, the virus swept into Connecticut, felling my family members in several different parts of the state.

kb, thanks for the links.

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Shrieking. Without your post, I would not have made the connection to "A Few Acres of Snow." I have more books than I have time to read.

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Nice write up Joel. That man in the basement was helping wasn't he?

The comment about when American history started made me wonder. In Canada The Seven Years War and Montcalm's victory at the Plains of Abraham very much set up the form of what became Canada. Outside of George Washinton, were other of your founding fathers affected professionally and personally by that war? What happened to George Washington surely affected his choices when the revolution began, but surely there were others whose experiences in that war would have left them feeling very unBritish. In the long and quiet buildup to the revolution and was the French and Indian war the first straw?

Posted by: dr | December 18, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I think Wolfe won at the Plains of Abraham dr. Montcalm and Wolfe make good tragic figures both dying as generals at a very young age from the same battle.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 18, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I blame my error on a lack of coffee SD, gotta go fix that. Wolfe and Montcalm are actually a very fascinating pairing of generals.

In some ways it would have been easier if the French would have won. There would be no seperate Quebec, we'd have all been speaking one language, French, and when the French revolution happened we'd have all revolutioned. All these seperate revolutions, and acts of parliament are really quite messy.

Posted by: dr | December 18, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Should the French & Indian War actually make it onto the kids' history radar screen, there's another advantage. This is a good example of how complex the U.S.'s Native American history really is. For years Injuns Were Bad. Then Native Americans were peaceful, innocent victims of the White Man and Manifest Destiny. Of course, the truth is much more interesting. On occasion, in parts of the country, Indians did affect the balance of power, fighting for or with U.S. (or future U.S.) interests. Throughout the shameful and lengthy periods of warfare, broken treaties and forced relocation (very much alive still in Oklahoma) some tribes managed, at least for a while, to give almost as good as they got. They did their best, anyway, and earned the respect of some of their adversaries.

From the last Boodle: We are all characters in the Red King's dream. I read it in a book.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 18, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

If I remember the history book correctly, Wolfe's attack was more than a bit crazy, which served to discombobulate and fluster Montcalm, whose troops should have slaughtered the attacking Brits.

Do I get a feeling that everyone thinks 18th century battles were costume parties with fireworks? David Hackett Fischer's "Washington's Crossing" was at pains to debunk that notion.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | December 18, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

dr - Ben Franklin's career was certainly influenced by the French and Indian War. His efforts to secure defense funding from the Pennsylvania legislature, despite the initial opposition of many Quakers, did much to increase his visibility in politics. This lead to greater role in colonial matters, and his eventual involvement in the nascent American government.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I freely admit that I'm looking forward to learning something from this Kit and Boodle - in fact, I already have - because I don't know beans or sour apples about the French and Indian War. Once again, the Achenblog proves to be the Source of All Knowledge, and I appreciate it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 18, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Science fiction author Orson Scott Card has an in-progress series called the Tales of Alvin Maker which take place in an alternate antebellum United States where the political climate in North America is much different. In it, the Indian nations have separate sovereign territory and the French remain a military force on the continent. What we consider the United States is divided into the US and the Crown Colonies still loyal to the British. It gets very confusing if you don't pay attention closely.

Oh, and magic like hexes and knacks work.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Silly word alert:
In the Wiki entry JA include is this phrase:
Pomeranian War

I am laughing at the prospect of masses of fluffy dogs marching toward each other.

Since my nuns, in Montana, were Franco, they taught us about the Seven Years war. In the wake were the Accadian movements into the hills, and of course, to Louisiana, to become Cajun.

I saw a very scary movie years ago, circa 1980, set in the aftermath of this war. Does any one recall this?

Posted by: College Parkian | December 18, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I've always viewed the F&I war as being a bit like WWI. A nasty and complicated thing whose resolution set the stage for the much more famous war that followed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

why does this community say so much the same?

Posted by: cowabonga | December 18, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, yellojkt. I should have said the book title I'm looking for is NOT in the Travis McGee series. But I am pretty sure it is "The Last One Left." And I will look for it.

One thing about all the moves when you spend years in the military -- books get tossed/trashed/torn up and just generally disappeared.

Posted by: nellie | December 18, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

CP, I almost posted something about the Pomerainian War, but thought it would be, like, an accessory.

Like the references to a few acres of snow.

And and the fact that mostlylurking's inadvertent carbon footprint reduction experiment is over.


Posted by: bc | December 18, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

RD, World War I was called, at the time, The Great War and sometimes hyped (thanks to H.G. Wells) The War To End All War, and so I'm not sure it lives in the shadow of the second world war in the way that the F&I war is obscured by the Revolution. How many people died in those trenches? Millions, no?

Posted by: Achenbach | December 18, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I got interested in the F&I War when we stumbled upon Fort Necessity on a family road trip. I was amazed to discover that we nearly lost George Washington there.

I was also entertained by the fort's funny name.

Posted by: TBG | December 18, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of wars: Here is an excellent piece by Mark Danner reviewing Iraq books, from the New York Review of Books (I'll add it to the kit too):

Posted by: Achenbach | December 18, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Joel, my point certainly wasn't to minimize the horror or importance of WWI. Clearly, the F&I war has been eclipsed by the Revolutionary War far more than has WWI by WWII. (Although I still assert that contemporary American awareness of WWI has been, at least partially, swamped by the drama of WWII)

The point I was trying to make is that both WWI and the F&I war established a set of conditions that almost guaranteed another war.

In WWI, the vengeful Treaty of Versailles is believed by most historians to have led straight to Hitler. While the F&I war, as you know better than most, established a crushing British debt and an increased political and military sophistication among the colonialists which helped spur the American Revolution.

I guess I am just making a very sloppy argument for some sort of general observation about the nature of warfare. Wars can breed wars.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The sixth index in our genealogy tome is the Military Index. In the French and Indian wars were the following Loomises, residents of Connecticut, as shown in the records of the Connecticut Historical Society, Vols. I and II:

Aaron, Abel (2 by that name), Adiah, Bariah, Benoni (5), Caleb (2), Charles, Daniel, David, Ebenezer (5), Elijah, Eliphalet (6), Epaphras, Ephraham, Ephraim (2), Ezra, Gideon, Hezekiah, Isachar, Israel, John (2), Joseph (2), Matthew, Nathaniel (2), Simeon, Solomon, Thomas, Timothy, Zachariah.

Ft. William Henry, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Lake George, Canadian Expedition, some commanders, many privates, some killed or died of wounds or disease, and a deserter.

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

RD, I agree although I would tend to go further and say ways breed war - no ifs, ands or buts. Someday we will realize armed conflict solves nothing, of course then we would be living in Utopia but wouldn't that be nice. :-)

Posted by: dmd | December 18, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The Great War indeed. The battle of Verdun ended with 700 000 soldiers dead. One ten-month long butchery. Considering WWI has an insignificant prelude to WWII is a valid point of view for the US only. The late involvement of the US in WWI limited the US casualty to a small fraction of what was to come in WWII. Not so for the European nations (and Canada as part of the British Empire). Canada suffered 60 000 deaths and more than 150 000 were wounded out of the +400 000 that went overseas. That was a steep price for a country that has a population of less than 10 millions at the time. I think the US, with a population at least 10 times larger, lost 125 000 men and had about a quarter million wounded in the same conflict.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 18, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

BC -- and pommie dogs are accessory-sized, save for the voluminous fluff. Funny. And, of course, my apologies to anyone of Pomeria-heritage. Do you call yourself Pomeranians?

Of course, the Dalmatia Coast-people are well used to being called Dalmatians....

Posted by: College Parkian | December 18, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I too just stumbled onto Fort Necessity. It's definitely one of the lesser publicized National Parks. The recreation of the fort is very thorough and amazingly complicated for what really amounted to an expeditionary mission.

The National Park Service has a good description of the battle:

It also calls the battle the opening shots in the French and Indian War. For such a major milestone in both American history and the biography of Washington it sure gets short shrift. I'm sure the fact that it was a lopsided defeat plays a part in its obscurity.

The Park also has a museum in a historic building on the National Road. The road doesn't seem to have changed alignment at all in hundreds of years.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

6 Eliphalet Loomises died in the FI war? the mere fact that there was six guys called Eliphalet boggles the mind already.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 18, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Loomis is the one among us with super-lineage fibers threading back so deeply, that I know he is related to 'Mudge through some fabulous story that 'Mudge will relate after vacationing.

Loomis, I hope these names are sprinkled among your descendants. Who needs the "Parkers" and "Morgans" with such gems as in your leaves.

Posted by: College Parkian | December 18, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Again, I would never assert WWI is an insignificant anything. I have just read a book about that conflict that still keeps me up at night. Yet, in America at least, WWII seems to have gotten far more historical attention and cultural traction. Perhaps this because, and not despite, the obscene horrors of trench warfare.

Let me again stress, and then mercifully abandon, my point. Wars tend to cluster. One war can breed another. This is not always the case, but if a war is not ended well, it is not ended at all.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The F&I War seems to be a total Boodle Killer. We must be all quickly skimming 'The Grand Idea' for witty repartee. Once again I've been caught not doing the required reading.

But, hey, I finally put together my take on the McEwan affair. It's not totally original, but that's in keeping with the zeitgeist of the topic.

This is a re-plug from the last boodle, so if you read it already, thank you for your support. (see, even that is stolen)

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Skimming to catch up...the talk of WW1 brings the novel All Quiet On The Western Front to mind. I once heard that capitalist societies needs a war every once and a while in order to keep the system between the lines, as it were.

Posted by: jack | December 18, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Valid point, RD. No need to abandon it. I think "the war to end war" turned out to be one of H.G. Well's predictions that didn't come true. Like: He predicted the end of the family, as the government took over the duty of raising children.

He was right on a lot of stuff, too, like the World Brain, which prefigures the Internet; and of course he anticipated biotechnology.

Posted by: Achenbach | December 18, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I read 'The Guns of August' (well, listened to the unabridged audio book) a little before Dubya started saber-rattling and deploying troops to the Middle East. That is how I realized that an invasion of Iraq was a done deal and all our diplomatic posturing was a red herring.

Once the beast has been awakened, the momentum is too great. Much the pity.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Excellent op ed piece today by James Carroll in the Boston Globe.

His final paragraph:

This column began with an eye on the far past. Because of the destructiveness of modern weapons, there will be no distant future unless humans, having seen through the congenital illusion of justice-and-peace through violence, come to the rejection of war. That must begin now. Democrats, take heed: Bush must not be allowed to further the chaos. Having led the world into this moral wilderness, America has a grave responsibility to lead the way out. We have to cease killing other people's children, which is the way to stop them from killing ours. Stop the war by stopping.

Posted by: maggie o'd | December 18, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget the Time Machine, Joel.

He was right about that, too.
Oh, wait, I'm going to screw up the timeline by letting that one slip...

Never mind. Forget I said that. Can't let you all see too much of the Shape of Things to Come. Hint: It's shaped like a


Posted by: bc | December 18, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Here's my acceptance speech for being named Time's Person of the Year:


Posted by: bc | December 18, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

OK, why was there a different comment box at the end of the initial kit? And it was different than this one we are used to. I think it is a good thing to try and remind folks that there was over 150 years of British-American history before 1776. Seems today that most history courses seem to skim direct from Jamestown and Plymouth to a certain summer in Philly. Most seem to ignore the Spanish entirely, even though at one point they controlled (or claimed) Florida and most of the southwest from Texas to California.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 18, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

bc, congratulations on PoTY. And miraculously your link didn't get caught in my employer's dragnet. The thing that really hacks me about Time's announcement is that it came too late to incorporate into our annual Christmas letter.
F&I does seem to be a boodle-killer. To counter it, I propose that we all submit topics of equal BK caliber, such as Comparison of Photosynthesis Dynamics Between a Philodendron and a Dracena.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 18, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Websense dragnet.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 18, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse


Not to go all jingoistic, but who owns all that land now? Well, maybe that's not a good example. History is written by the winners and posession is nine-tenths of the law. Manifest Destiny. Go West, Young Man. Rememeber the Alamo, the Maine, and Pearl Harbor. 54-40 or Fight. Boo-Yah!

Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I also spent time on my own blog today that could have been devoted to researching the F&I War. So sorry.

Here's the result:

Posted by: kbertocci | December 18, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

CP killed the boodle, broke its skull with a tomahawk and washed her hands with its brain.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 18, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I just realized something...I've met a doggie that understands ASL

Thanks for attending the BPH Wilbrod...looking forward to the next...virtual hugs to Wilbrodog until then (one for you too, of course)

maybe this is sufficiently off-topic to get the boodle off life support...

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

These French and Indian wars' Loomises were all the participants--not war dead. Not all died. Without opening the book again, I'd strongly gainsay that far more lived than died.

But the list does strongly indicate which names were the most popular boys' names of the time.

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about spelling your name like Shrek. I'm still hauling bricks this peeyem.

I'm a she, not a he. No descendants, I'm mutant. If Mudge can figure if or when and where we're related on the S****** surname, then more power to him. Be prepared for tales of the Swedish Royal Guard, a mysterious gravesite in Florida, Nebraska cornhuskers, and, of course, a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Naturally, he'll have an explanation for why he got the short gene, while I got the tall one.

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

AAAHHhhhahahh Loomis, I'm trying to resuscitate the Boodle.

I remember reading 'Puppet Masters' and the part where they went to the library to access some kind of world wide data base of information (I read this book years and years ago, before my Glaucoma Test Pilot days, so forgive the vagueness of my recollect), and I remember thinking this will be so cool (I really, really believed this would come about). Today I have that on my desk. At work AND at home.

All hail Al Gore....Thank you...Thank you...Thank you

Note to Curmudgeon: What kinds of depravities are our amigos south of the border subjecting you to lately??? I sincerely hope you can survive this ordeal...I truly wish I was there to help you in this time..of..of..words escape me I'm so distraught. Just know this: you have the support of something around 100 boodlers who are holding you dear in their thoughts...we hope you make it safe and sound...and just remember: say the word, and we are all down there on the next flight (your dime of course, but we'll buy the drinks...oh wait, those are free...alright everybody...start booking your flights NOW...'Mudge needs us...and I'm thirsty). Oh, wait, where are you again???

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

To kick the Boodle in the shins and wake it up, here are two for Mudge:

A Christmas gift of heirloom whale barf:

and Sweden's giant Christmas goat:

"...the seasonal sculpture has 'been hit by flaming arrows, run over by a car and even had its legs cut off' and has made it intact past Christmas Day only 10 times."

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I spent soooo much time on the second part of my submission that the first part might be construed as a BOoO...

Anyhoo, Loomis, you made me laugh with 5:04 last sentence...

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

apparently Loomis and I have 'Mudge on the brain

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Is it scary that I just heard a chia pet commercial and want to get one?

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Is it scary that I just heard a chia pet commercial and want to get one?

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

and why do I always get the lamest google ads:

REI Expert Gift Picks
$20 off $100 or more Spent at REI. Ends 12/24. Find a Nearby Store.

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: oops | December 18, 2006 5:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: oops | December 18, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: oops | December 18, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I just skipped over to the sonia belle blog, since everyone here seems to be asleep and found this (I'd post a link, but her blog is not work safe, nor family friendly (by most standards...OK... all standards)

Hell breaks loose as Teresa has sex with an ''A'' student

hat tip, Bluto Scones

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term

The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct... leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

um, TV amongst yourselves ... ... ... PLEASE!!!

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

*Boodling from an undisclosed location somewhere in Terminal C, waiting for a flight to arrive*

Jeez, 'Mudge and I go off on vacation and y'all go slack on the tune cooties!!! I CANNOT believe the last Kit started with "Life is but a dream" and nobody went

Ya da da da da da da da da da da da
Sha-boom sha-boom


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 18, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention the Boston Santa Speedo run (also reminding me of Mudge down there in Cancun):

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
And while I'm no expert on Santa's whole credo,
It seemed kind of strange that he wore a red Speedo

Eeeewwwwww! Santas, as far as the eye can see, running in red Speedos. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for charity.

Posted by: Loomis | December 18, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately those guys look younger and more fit than St. Nick is supposed to be, so I didn't go blind.

Wilbrodog says wags back at you, Omni!

Pat had a mysterious post... so he has a loaner dog for Xmas and a yard, so he can show his kids what keeping a dog is all about?

It's unrealistic to expect a kid under age 12 to take on even half of the responsibility of taking care of a dog on a full-time basis. The shelters are full of dogs that parents got and then took away because the kid didn't keep their promise to take care of the dog.

But let's be realistic, is a kid going to drive the dog to the vet? Pay the vet bills? Find a trainer to help train the dog?

You want to teach about the responsibility of feeding and looking after an animal, get a hamster. They are easy keepers and only live 1-3 years maximum.

What a kid CAN do is walk the dog at least 3 times a week and help with the feeding when the parents remind them to, if the kid(s) are truly motivated animal people, they will be happy to read basic books on dog training and follow them. At age 8 I trained my dog out of a book, but never mastered "heeling", because the books stopped talking about food and started talking choke collars etc.

(I finally figured it out myself using targeting, but any tips from Yoki would be welcome).

But was I old enough to feed my dog responsibly everyday? Check nails, schedule heartworms, train a puppy not to chew, etc? No.

Ideally, a family dog is like another furry sibling and a bit of a surrogate child at times. They're not Nana or Lassie unless they have dog-smart owners at work with them.

A truly mean daddy would get a guide dog and then ban his kids playing with the dog for 3 months so the dog can bond with him more than the kids. Grin...

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 7:11 PM | Report abuse

>Yogi Bear's co-creator dies at 95

RIP Joe Barbera.

Posted by: Error Flynn | December 18, 2006 7:25 PM | Report abuse

One of the writers for "Rocky and Bullwinkle" has died:

He has an impressive resume. I can now say something favorable about someone (actually two people, including Allan Burns) who was involved in the disaster that was "My Mother the Car."

Posted by: pj | December 18, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I was going to say it's a sad day for the cartoon world - you guys beat me to it.

I could regale you all with my tales of being without power for 3 days - but I'll spare you. We were pretty well equipped with battery powered radios, candles, firewood (left over from the year 2000, when my husband was convinced the world as we know it would cease) - so it was uncomfortable and boring and stressful, but we made it. Mostly we were ticked off at the power company. bc, you're right, I'm way ahead on the carbon footprint now! I did remark about how it was like living 100 years ago, or maybe 100 years from now.

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 18, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Late to the party once again, and nobody probably wants to talk F&I anymore.

The precurser to F&I/Seven Years' War was the War of the Austrian Succession. You want to talk about wars started on flimsy pretexts and really about the balance of power, that era is pretty much the gold standard.

The whole N.A. war was a sideshow at the time, which all of us find hard to accept. Quebec, the largest engagement as far as I know, was less than 5K per side. Back in Europe at Minden, earlier that year, was over 60K per side.

Trivia: One of the traditions of the Royal Welch Fusiliers is their commemoration of their regiment's participation in the Battle of Minden, when they wear flowers in their helmets as they did on the approach to the battle.

Further trivia re: Seven Years War. At the negotiations at the Treaty of Paris France could have had either New France (Quebec) or Guadalupe back. They took the sugar island.

Interesting connection between Canada-US history is the fall out from this war in the form of the Quebec Act 1774; the basis of the "distinct society" in Canada and one of the "Intolerable Acts" in the US, IIRC.

A tie-in between College Parkian's reference to Pomeranians and a Google ad to learn Serbian: Bismarck once said that the whole of the Balkans wasn't worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.

re: tune cooties. Everytime I hear the name "Fort Necessity" I always start humming "Bare Necessities" from the Jungle Book.

Posted by: SonofCarl | December 18, 2006 8:07 PM | Report abuse

No help will be forthcoming on heeling, because I seldom train for it. I work with puppies on walking nicely on a loose lead. I did heel with Gus, because I wanted to take him into the obedience ring where it is required, but I'm not a big fan of it in every day pet life. Why? Because my guys are draft dogs who are supposed to work in front of me independently (that is, I give commands (or in my case, polite requests!) and they must perform the action, but they do it on their own.

I find that with my dogs, they eventually just naturally sort of heel (sloppily) when walking in a crowd with me. This is fine for the life we lead. I find it easy to reinforce because I often walk with my hand on their head or shoulders (hence a reason to have tall dogs).

This post is already too long, but I deeply deeply want to reinforce Wilbrod's words about not expecting a kid to look after a dog. They don't have the frontal lobes to do it; to organize the information in their minds. I would raise the age at which I would expect some commitment to the animal to 16 or 17. Even then, a young person just does not have the experience to interpret the signals a dog gives off when they are in ill or in pain.

If you are not going to be 100% committed and responsible for the animal (any animal) don't get one. And also, please people, *do not* get an animal during the holidays. There is too much to-ing and fro-ing and confusion for an animal to settle in properly. A holiday pet gift is universally a bad idea, and an especially bad one if the animal in question is an infant. There are too many hazards (glass christmas tree balls, lengths of ribbon, etc.) to safely raise a baby during the Christmas season. Just not.

If you want your kid to have something to do with an animal, get a book on the breed, a video of care and training tips, leashes, collars... The gift possibilities are practically endless. And then pick up your pet (from a shelter or a responsible breeder, not a pet shop) when things calm down and the routine is re-established. If that means you need to take more vacation in January than during the holidays proper, that's not much to ask when you consider the pet will be with you for years and years and year, and the better start it has the happier those years will be.

Here ends the sermon.

Posted by: Yoki | December 18, 2006 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, and my power's back in time for the J.P. Patches and Stan Boreson Christmas show. There is streaming video here:

It's the featured video today.

RD, how's your brother in Puyallup?

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 18, 2006 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Now, SonofCarl, you are bringing back the memories of History 101, Western Civ from the beginning to about, oh, 1750, IIRC.

It was the War of Spanish Succession that set me off. The professor, in his dryly witty way, noted that it was caused by the death of a king whose name I do not recall (Mudge? You were there, refresh my memory!). This king should not have survived infancy but did and managed to have every disease but one he couldn't catch.

I had hysterics right there in the classroom. Nobody else caught it. I finally had to put my head down on the desk and giggle till I could control myself.

I was a freshman.

Posted by: Slyness | December 18, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

And a couple of good articles in the Sunday paper on books, if you're looking for gift ideas (or not):

Books about maps - these sound fascinating to me:

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 18, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

In an attempt to make my pedantic earlier posts remotely relevant, let me suggest the following. I believe it is important to understand how wars such as the F&I and WWI led to later wars because of our current situation in Iraq. Although everyone, including me, would love to see the Iraqi war ended quickly, I think it essential that it also be ended well. I don't want some future boy in 2100 to read about how our current conflict was ended so poorly that it triggered a much more dramatic war.

You know, one with nukes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

SofC, that's a bit ironic that France chose not to keep Quebec.

I know nothing about the F&I war, even though I grew up in that neck of the woods (but I've never been to Fort Necessity). I'm sure we studied it in school, but I can't remember much about it. Had no idea it set off the wars all over the world - yikes.

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 18, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Mostlylurking - thanks for asking! The Puyallup Padouks (Hey that sounds cool) are all fine. They were only out for a few hours. And they are made of hardy stuff.

JP Patches and Stan Boreson together? I may swoon. I still have my JP poster filed away somewhere... To this day I associate Benny Goodman's "In The Mood" with the "Mr. Announcer Man Theme Song" from JP's old show.

Gosh - the Furple in the secret room. Gertrude. Stan's little dog SloMoShun.
So many memories.

I must go lie down now.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't I recall that it was really the other way around? That the F&I War was the North American theater of the larger conflict? And that it was Parliment's determination to tax the colonies for the expense to fight the F&I that set the Muricans off?

Really, I'm much sounder in 16th century history than 18th.

Posted by: Slyness | December 18, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Yoki, I don't think any kid under age 16 or 17 can do tasks consistently and independently in taking care of a dog.

I meant like the parents would have to be telling the kid it's time to walk and feed the dog all time, be ready to pick up when the kid is sick or busy with activities, and NOT lose their tempers.

Farm kids are helping with the daily chores from a young age, including taking care of animals, but they directly model from the parents and have direct guidance.

So really, you can't expect the kids to do what you are not willing to do.

I mean, when I was 8 I was helping my 12, 13 year old sibling with their paper route by being a substitute when they were sick and helping on Sundays. I remember I hated it because I felt like I had no say in the matter. I got paid $1 a week for my grand efforts, which even back then I thought was chump change.

As per experience, yes, it does. Younger kids aren't teens but they need to learn carefully. Teens actually have impaired judgement because they are less responsive to negative emotion.

At the same time, kids simply aren't going to be experience enough to do it without guidance.

I remember a coworker was talking to me about her husband wanting a dog, and I said Wilbrodog was like having a 3 year-old all the time (he was still under 2)-- and she blanched. I also said I would suggest that she wait until her youngest (a boy) was at least 8 before getting a dog because both parents work full-time and have 2 kids, thats too much.

Besides, the top cause of dog bites are little boys... and I had met her kids.

She thanked me effusively for saying that and swore she'd relay it to her husband. (LOL). So I hope they do wait and when the time comes, she can delay it a while longer...

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It depends on the kid too, as far as how much they'll take care of animals. I fed and walked my dog from about age 9, and pretty much took care of the various cats. But of course the parents have to transport the animals, etc. And I pretended I was on a farm. I lost interest more in my teenage years, and then went away to college, leaving my parents with the pets.

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 18, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

It's...It's's ALIVE

(commercial break here)

Hi Wilbrod ( and W-dog )

Hi pj...and all the rest...I was beginning to think you all were wrapping presents...or something...or something,,,

Posted by: omni | December 18, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I got my dog because a coworker wanted to give his up on the flimsy excuse he was allergic to it. I think it might have been because the dog did not get along well with his very young children. I got the dog for my son, but we took the dog home while my son was at camp.

The dog bonded with me and has treated my son as a minor rival for my affection. The dog is highly sociable and insists on being in the same room as another person most of the time. When my son is the only one home he will do.

This was nearly seven years ago and my wife and son constantly refer to him as 'your dog' meaning mine, not theirs. My wife does do afternoon walks when she beats me home since the kid's alleged walks after school don't seem to do any good.

The moral is that I wanted the dog and used my son as a pretext. I ended up with the dog anyways, so it all worked out.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Durn you, SoC for the Jungle Book tune cootie. Durn you to heck.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 18, 2006 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I have been amused by my google ads, the topics today have created an interesting mixture. I oould trace my roots, which wouldn't apply as my family did not come to Canada until the early 1830's and 40's, or I could read about the next war according to Nostrodamus - hopefully not as a result of the situation in Iraq or more inextricably learn Serbian.

French and indian wars
Search Canadian military records to find heroes in your ancestry.

The Coming World War
Find out what Nostradamus says about the years 2007 - 2012.

Learn Serbian for Free
Download your Free BYKIâ„¢ Software and start learning Serbian fast!

Also noted that the Scottish army has a shortage of kilts - requiring the soldiers to share.

Posted by: dmd | December 18, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, if it's any consolation there was a lot of blowback on that particularly tune cootie.

Posted by: SonofCarl | December 18, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

But, I LIKE "Bare necessities", especially Baloo dancing around as he sings it.

I just wish i could remember every last lyric. "The bare necessities of life are Mother Nature's recipes...."

SoC started it and I will keep it going....

*Evil laugh*

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Found it! Ahhhh...

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Now that the boodle is now killed as subsequent readers frantically scratch their backs against trees and try to hum anything else to drive out that tune cootie...

I'm going to make a brief comment, since I've been reading a time capsule of a book written back in 1993 (Why things are volume II), I noted a chapter on serial killers. What was written is accurate, however, I was also struck by the fact that the BTK killer and the October Snipers directly break the comfortable pattern as explained.

Also, spree killers were not mentioned, although they have some connection to serial killers; spree killers if uncaught often become serial killers-- such as the October snipers did. Likewise, as serial killers get addicted to killing, they often go out in a spree.

So while serial killer sure are dumb sickos and chronic losers (just look at Muhammed. End of discussion), I think some of the psychological models in place 13 years ago have been decidedly upset.

Just funny and so sad to read this in 2003. We have such a high rate of crime and murder, I think it's time to ask ourselves seriously: are we poisoning ourselves into criminal insanity? What IS going on?

Is it the lack of kissing in p0rn movies?

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 9:10 PM | Report abuse

My daughter was actually walking around the house singing that tune but actually singing the words, "Fort Necessity..." and then asked why she was doing so.

Is this our first case of boodling by osmosis?

Posted by: TBG | December 18, 2006 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I was agreeing with you. Emphaticly.

Posted by: Yoki | December 18, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually Wilbrod - the violent crime rates are way down.

It's our insatiable need for information about such crimes that are up.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 18, 2006 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, gang. Just got back to the hotel room a few minutes ago after another grueling day (details to follow, omni; thanks for your patience), and read the boodle only to discover you folks have whipped up a little Mudge historical to-do list.

First things first: had the best breakfast yet in the La Gondola restuarant here, then killed a few minutes basking in the sun before my 10 a.m. massage (with Marlene. Who has wonderful hands. Oh yeah. Er, I mean, 25 minutes of physical abuse. Yeah, that's the ticket. Physical abuse. O it was pure torture, especially the part where she annointed my whatchamacallit with oil.) But trooper than I am, I used my phenomenal powers of recovery and regeneration, and in no time at all I was able to crawl out of there on my hands and knees, pleading with her to do it some more. But she wouldn't, the hussy. So I killed some more time until my wife's manicure, pedicure, elbowicure, kneeicure, earlobeicure and a couple of other carnauba waxings were finished, and then we hoped a bus into town for some bionic shopping (bought two of those hammocky-looking string hammock chairs), concluding with dinner at Perico's, which was the best meal we've had down here to date. Coming back through the lobby to our rooms, we stopped at the bar where we picked up an amoretto/rocks for my wife and a Galiano/rocks/con limon twist for me--a little nightcap, as it were, after another punishing day. Tomorrow we depart at 8:15 a.m. for an all-day field trip to inspect the ruins at Ek Balam (q.v.). So, omni, thanks for your very kind offer to bring the boodle reinforcements down here to rescue me, but I believe I can tough it out for a few more days.

As an amateur military historian, my specialty is WWI. I think I can say pretty safely that it has virtually nothing in common with the Fr.&Ind. War in any way, shape, or form, other than some of the same nations involved. But virtually nothing significant. (However, I do get a mite testy whenever anybody suggests that the XYZ War (you name it--Pelopponesian, Fr.&Ind., Korean, whatever) is a "forgotten" war of some sort. The only reason any of them are "forgotten" is because history teachers and history books do such a godawful job of teaching history in general, and military history in particular, which has a singularly undeserved bad reputation under the horribly misguided "politically correct" notion that if we don't teach kids about it somehow the world will become a better and more peaqceful place. This is utter crap. The way to minimize/reduce war in general is to teach MORE about it to everyone, not less. Jam it down everyone's freaking throats until they've learned every nuance and detail. Because if they current maroons in the White House had any kind of inkling about it, they'd have never got us into this mess, which was predictable from the git-go.

OK, moving on: slyness, you were referring to King Charles II of Spain, aka Carlos Secundo, aka Chuckie Upchuck, who went by the nickname of "the Bewitched" ["el Hechizado" as we say here in Cancun] who suffered from just about every known malady and mental disorder except scurvy (which I had pretty much cured him of, thanks to some judicious oral administrations of Tom Collinses). Chuckie assumed he had so many illnesses because he was bewitched. The real cause, of course, was centuries of inbreeding in the Hapsburg dynasty. More than once I cautioned one Hapsburg or another, "Eewwwww, dude, she's your sister!" [Or cousin, in some cases.] But would they listen? Uncles doing it with nieces was especially popular, god knows why. I mean, these were rich and powerful men; couldn't they, like, get a date? Now Henry VIII of England--there was a guy who knew how to the wealth arounbd, as it were. But the Hapsburgs? Ewwwwwwwwww. Chuckie's aunt, Empress Marie Ana was both his aunt and his grandmother, and his mon was his dad's neice. His great=great grandmother was Joanna the Mad- What kind of clue does this bunch need? And she was mother of Charles I (aka Holy Roman Empire King Charles V) who was mad as a hatter himself. Didn't Chuckie get the freakin' memo? Helllllloooooo? It was like living in West Virginia. I offered a couple times to take him out to Hooters, show him a nice set of gazongas he wasn't already related to, but by then it was pretty much too late. He had an incredibly oversize tongue, which some guys might have turned into an asset and chick-magnet, but in Chuckie's case he just drooled, which didn't help him get to first base with anybody who wasn't also a bit deranged, i.e., cousin EllieMae. Chuckie actually had two failed marriages, and when he died he was the last of the Hapsburgs, and not a moment too soon, genetically speaking. But yep, this touched off that War of Spanish Sucession, an 11-year tete-a-tete that finally went to a Bourbon (if you're going to establish a new dynastic family, why not pick a good drinking whiskey, I always say), Philip V (a former Duke of Anjou, who, as they say, "had a real pear." OK, just a little fruit humor).

*puts check mark next to slyness's query, and moves on*

Next item: I know you guys have pooped out on the Fr.&Ind. war already, but I feel I must make two comments. First, about Wolfe (Wolfie, Jimmy the Wolf, the Wolfmeister, we called him) and Moncalm at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. This was actually a bit of legendary derring-so by the Wolfmeister, who was beseiging Monty in Quebec City. Seems ol' Monty had more than 13,000 troops defending the joint, but never expected Wolfie to launch a surprise amphibious assault across the St. Lawrence where he did: right in front of 150-foot tall cliffs. ("Jim," I said, "I know you're pretty young to be a brigadier general and all, but maybe you wanna rethink this one?" "Mudge," he sez, flashing me a wink, "it's the last place they'll think of us attackin', you mark my words." "Cool beans, yer lordship," I says. "I think I'll wait in the boat." Which explains why he's a dead hero and I'm a live curmudgeon.) Ennyways, Wolfie and the Brits cross the St. Lawrence, scale the unscalable cliffs, and lo and behold, there they are on top of the Plains of Abraham and knock, knock, knocking on Monty's door. Monty comes out with a couple thousand French troops, and they open fire at 400 yards, which ya might say was something of a premature ejaculation, since bullets only went about 350 yards in them days. Wolfie's lads, on the other hand, had loaded two musket balls in each musket (yes, there's a line there, but I'm just going to overlook it, unless you want a tune cootie: "Double Shot of my Baby's Love), and held their fire until only 40 yards. It only lasted 30 minutes, and when the smoke clears (and there was plenty of it), both Wolfie and Monty have been shot and mortally wounded. Wolfie dies almost right away, only seconds after hearing one of his men yell that the French have just broken and are running away. Wolfie looks up at me and says, "Blimey, we done it, Mudge, jus' like I said we would!" "Right you are, skipper," says I, but he was already gone.

Later on, when we were rounding up the wounded, we took Montcalm in to the MASH unit, but he died the next day. So that was the story: two brilliant, foolhardy young generals, both killed in the same battle. One consequence was the French lost Canada; another was that when the American Revolution rolled around a few years later, ol' Georgie Washington didn't have to go up against General Wolfe; had had a somewhat easier set of opponents. And on the other hand, George might have had a pretty good ally in Montcalm, who just might have joined Kid Layfayette in helping us out.

One final irony of the battle was that one of Moncalm's generals was a guy named Bougainville; ya mighta heard the name. They named a flower and an island next to Guadalcanal after him (he discvovered it). Seems Bougainville and his men had snuck around behind Wolfe and were about to attack him from the rear. But Montcalm wouldn't wait, and launched his attack before Bougainville got in position (speaking of premature evacuation). If Monty had just held his horses for a little while the whole thing might have gone the other way, and poutine might have become the national dish of North America.

Second point about the [censored]-Indian War: Without it we would never have had that great movie where Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis, not Alan Alda: wrong war, and not as funny as Korea was) and his faithful Indian compendium Chingatchgamuklukachatanoogachoochootuscarorakalamazoo (Russell Means, not Elliott Gould) have that great battle in the Borsht Belt in upstate New York near Grosingers Resort, where the bad guy, Wes Studi, gets killed and Danny gets to marry Madeleine Stowe. That was a terrific movie (and not a bad little novel, thanks to James Fenimore Cooper, who took my suggestion and included his middle name, because I said, "Look, Jim, nobody's gonna buy a novel about hosiery written by anybody named Jimmy Cooper." "Mudge," he says, "I keep telling you it ain't about hosiery, it's about leather stockings." "Jim," I says, "I like a little saucy erotica as much as the next red-blooded prevert, but I shoulda never loaned you that Fanny Hill book."

Long story short, I hadda read Jim's manuscript (in that cramped little handwriting scrawl he had) to see he was right. But you'll notice he took my suggestion about using his full name.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | December 18, 2006 10:41 PM | Report abuse

And I was agreeing back with you, Yoki, and clarifying what I meant by what the kids could do, and how the parents handle that.

Too many parents forget their role is to teach. I doubt you're one of those, Yoki. Just a reminder to all who would overburden kids with responsibility and fail to give them the basic skills, support, encouragment, and guidance to carry that out.

It can set a kid up for failure and resentment. Just speaking as somebody who never was able to clean up a room until I dated a neat freak who helped break it down for me.

And who then realized that my neat-freak grandma was giving me good advice when she saw me how I was struggling. Now I've been learning operant conditioning, I can see where all the factors came in play.

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Continuing the tune cootie...all in fun, folks.

I'm here in Fort Necessity
Just plain old Fort Necessity
Surrounded by the Indians and the French
I really don't want to appease
But they're looking up brain recipes
And apparently a big appetite to quench

Whenever I think back, of Jumonville
I look at his tricorn (a big one to fill)
I wash my hands of his memory
And look at this paper that they've sent me
Something about assassinate
I don't quite follow article 8
But maybe I'll sign below

And here at Fort Necessity your enemies will come to you
They'll come to you!

Posted by: SonofCarl | December 18, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

*raises cerveza in general direction of Mudge*

The tie of my old reserve regiment actually has a black stripe in it, inherited from our Brit allied regiment, who have it in theirs in perpetual mourning of the Wolfmeister.

Posted by: SonofCarl | December 18, 2006 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Just finished watching "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang" with Little Bean and Mrs. Toon...

Many here might consider it a throwback to a less politically correct and "grrrrl power" friendly era, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Anything that can the three of us together in "snuggle mode" on the couch that doesn't involve bribes or threats is a good thing (imho).

I'm now working on a derivative of the title tune that involves Stella the Bouncy Bus (at the behest of Little Bean). I just hope she doesn't expect me to outfit Stella with wings and a floating device. I'm handy, but I'm not *that* handy.

Posted by: martooni | December 18, 2006 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you really should do a history book from your unique POV. Bugger impartial "here are the facts" reporting of history.

I want gonzo history written by the one who survived everything.

It would sell, especially with firsthand accounts of all those little details. And if you can parody a little here and there, I ain't complaining.

Just let me know where to buy it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 18, 2006 11:21 PM | Report abuse

SoC, I'm impressed: you were in the Algonquin Regiment, then (allied to the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, derived from the old 28th of Foot, the fellers who fought with Wolfe and earned the black stripe).

Algonquin's Motto: Ne-Kah-Ne-Tah (We lead, others follow). Battle honors for the Hindenburg Line Festubert, Arras, St. Quentin Canal, then Cambrai ("to the green fields beyond...") in WWI, and more honors for the Falaise Gap and the Lower Maas, then into the Rhineland in WWII. 28 battle honors, in all. Helluva outfit, dude.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | December 19, 2006 12:00 AM | Report abuse

(Memo to myself: must never, never play history triva against Mudge. Black striped ties, forsooth.)

Mudge, can you tell me the historical significance of Martha's vineyard?

Posted by: Wilbrod | December 19, 2006 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Long mentally wearing day at the office means I am not holding up my end of the boodle.

You know what I find fascinating with Loomis' family history. That a well researched history touches so much of what you read of in history books whether its hundreds of years ago in the French and Indian War, or if its in 1940's LA. It makes it so alive somehow.

omni, today you were an unsung hero, valiantly breathing life into a sluggish boodle. I salute you. I'd sing an anthem to you but then you would not be unsung now would ya.

And just because its really late
(for me)and it drifted through my empty mind, did this boodle ever adopt an official theme song?

Posted by: dr | December 19, 2006 12:13 AM | Report abuse

One final quick note before I turn in, I saw a program a couple days ago about excavations on the WW1 battlefield at Somme. They were able to identify the site as an aid station, and found items belonging to a young man named Herder from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Of 3 bothers who fought that day, 1 was missing still at wars end, 1 died and is buried near the battlefield and one returned home. I saw the program and thought of you Mudge.

Posted by: dr | December 19, 2006 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Good summary of the Quebec fiasco (for Montcalm). Shows how an unbelievably stupid maneuver can cause the other side to panic. Kurosawa could have made Quebec the model for a samurai movie. I suppose it would have ended with the castle in flames.

Tonight, I'm wondering about a story in the LA Times publicizing a study by an adjunct professor at Shepherd University claiming that the cash value of the US marijuana crop is far greater than that of any other agricultural commodity. Not being an economist or knowing anything about methods for assessing the sizes of unofficial economies, I don't want to be rash, but I'd place at least a small bet on the guy's estimate being an order of magnitude too high.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | December 19, 2006 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Don't know zactly what you might be referring to, Wilbrod. MV had men at Valley Forge and in Civil War. And Clinton was on vacation there when he announced an unsuccessful air strike on Osama Bin Laden. (You aren;t confusing Martha;s Vineyard with Marblehead, are you? It was John Glover's Marblehead Mariners who ferried G. Washington across the Delaware, if that's what you had in mind.

FYI and speaking of trivia, the famous British explorer Capt. James Cook (and hero of mine) was a lowly mapmaker working for Wolfie, helped scout the cliffs in front of Quebec looking for a good landing site.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | December 19, 2006 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Badly off-topic, more relevant to the Sunday post, but here's a fun transcript (I don't think it's been referenced yet) from PBS:
[it's a .pdf file, so ya gotta have Adobe Reader onboard]

Posted by: Bob S. | December 19, 2006 1:14 AM | Report abuse

By the way... did Shrieking Denizen actually imply that 'mericans think that "The Great War" was small beans?

He/she/it/them ain't from 'round these parts, huh?

Posted by: Bob S. | December 19, 2006 1:26 AM | Report abuse

I should clarify... I was wondering about this remark:

"... Considering WWI has an insignificant prelude to WWII is a valid point of view for the US only. The late involvement of the US in WWI limited the US casualty to a small fraction of what was to come in WWII ..."

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 18, 2006 02:14 PM

Posted by: Bob S. | December 19, 2006 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I would only make the observation that the U.S. was so traumatized by WWI that the involvement in WWII was delayed until most of Europe had been overrun and the U.S. had actually been attacked.

Ummmm, I think that WWI kinda mattered, a little, maybe, sorta!

Posted by: Bob S. | December 19, 2006 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I caught a reading by Isabel Allende on a local cable channel - it's available on Real Player, along with an older interview which I have not watched yet. She is so interesting, so funny, so knowledgeable. Answering a question about how she makes her writing so vivid, so physical, she said she would make her sentences dance if she could.

And this column by Jonah Goldberg I find disgusting:

Posted by: mostlylurking | December 19, 2006 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge, I knew you'd come through for me! Carlos Secundo, yeah, that was the guy. You're right about the Hapsburgs, buncha navel-gazing fools.

An update from this morning's Charlotte Observer:

Posted by: slyness | December 19, 2006 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Bob S., I think Shriekings point was not to state that WWI was insignificant to the US but rather that is was very significant to other nations that were involved. For Canada it was our first true test as an independant nation, it is seen a time where we emerged from a colony to a nation, it came at great cost of life in relation to the general population. It was significant not just for the battles but also in our development as a nation.

When WWI is studied here it is not just in the context of the war but in terms of a developing democracy and therefore much important is given to it.

Posted by: dmd | December 19, 2006 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - you are right that the F&I and WWI wars were not similar in military strategy. However, when you consider the F&I as part of the larger European conflict, both were clearly enormously complex and sprawling. Some have even referred to the F&I as part of the true first "world war."

And what about the lessons to be learned from the diplomatic aftermath? I assert that both taught us that if you lay too heavy of a yoke on one or more of the participants (Germans or Colonials) then you are setting yourself up for much more grief.

Wilbrod - I note this morning that violent crimes are, in fact, creeping back up. Although the link to an absence of cinematic lip-lock is still undecided.

And SD was, I believe, reflecting back a misunderstanding of what I had originally implied about WWI - that it has been overshadowed by WWII. This is not to say that it should be, or that it is in any way "forgotten," but is rather a reflection of the relative ranking in the contemporary American consciousness of these two enormous conflicts.

The average person in America knows much more about the fighting at Iwo Jima then at The Somme. Which is a tragedy since WWI has, I suggest, an awful lot to teach us about Iraq and the futility of devoting more bodies to a failed strategy.

Well, today is party day. I need to help them set up the Karaoke machine. Which is the only time I will be getting close to it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | December 19, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey Wilbrod... not to take war too lightly (or ignore it altogether), but could you please post those guidelines for cleaning one's room? The one your neatfreak helped break down for you?

I would love to pass along that wisdom to my children, but failed to learn it well enough myself to do so.

Posted by: TBG | December 19, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Who's Tom Collins?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 19, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

mostllurking: your restraint in being able to name only one Jonah Goldberg column "disgusting" is admirable.

Posted by: byoolin | December 19, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse


I thought the Hapsburgs were irresistable to everyone back in their day - especially themselves - strutting around with those jutting jaws and all. Hey, "Frederick the Handsome" didn't pick up that prison nickname for nothing, did he?


Posted by: bc | December 19, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

martooni, I think Stella would be perfect for fitting a flotation device. Not great aerodynamically of course.

I watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a couple of weeks ago. I think it was one of the first movies I saw as a kid on the big screen. Very cool. Goes well with "The Great Race" and "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines".

As to WWI, I'm no military historian but whenever I hear someone trash the French as surrender monkeys I'm compelled to ask if they're familiar with The Sommes and Verdun. The response is quite predictable.

Posted by: Error Flynn | December 19, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Goof point, EF.

Stella's a good ship, like the Africa Queen or James' Giant Peach.


Posted by: bc | December 19, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

RD, I think you need to do a sound check on that Karaoke machine, perhaps Bare Necessities as inspired by SoC.

Posted by: dmd | December 19, 2006 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, Yoki, to ease your anxiety about the Pat family dog issue:

1. If we ever get a dog as a pet, It will be MY dog. I will do the feeding, walking, brusing,... and be a responsible owner. I will not pin it on my kids. If they want to help out, fine, but it's MY dog.

2. I am in no way, shape, or form ready to take on the responsibility of owning a dog, nor will I be until at least several years out.

As for the loner dog, Remmie, this is the situation. He is due to arrive tomorrow afternoon and will be acclumated to his new environment for about 5 hours before his master leaves. Remmie is a good dog, by this I mean that he has been over for half days several times and he leaves the cats alone, does not bark at the dog next door, and I don't have to worry that he will run away if one of the kids opens the gate or leaves the door open. From my experience, he kind of just hangs around where the people are.

Also, my friend is delighted to let Remmie in the care of a family that has kids. Remmie likes the activity children provide. Of course, there are risks involved. For sure, I'm not going to let my 4 year old and 9 year old take Remmie for a walk without me, and also, no going anywhere without a leash!

any other crash advice? I did grow up with a german shepard until I was about 12 years old. Ages of kids: 15g, 11g, 9b, 4b.

Posted by: Pat | December 19, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification Padouk.
The fun and games of the summer of 1759 in and around Quebec City makes for great stories but Montcalm's mistakes (he also dismissed the early reports of the Wolfmeister's army topping the cliff in great numbers, got to be a distractive tactic yunno) and Wolfie's clever moves only accelerated the fall of New France. The lack of reinforcement for Montcalm in the 56-59 speaks volume; France had given up. Sure there was a British blockade but they did not even tried. There was no question of giving part of continental America to France in the Versailles Treaty SoC. The stategic St-Lawrence valley along which the Canadians were living had to stay British. France abandoned its continental colonies earlier, in the 55-60 period by keeping its troops in Europe.
I was born and raised in Quebec city btw, so I had the pleasure (not!) to climb the Cap Diamant stairs (about 300 of them) many times. The staircase links the river's shore at l'Anse aux Foulons to the Plains of Abrahams. It is reputed to be located just about where Wolfie made his move. The exact location is unknown because after 200 years of rocks falling off the cliff the old maps and drawings are kind of irrelevant.

Wolfie's troops had a pretty hard 59-60 winter, with scurvy and all and the remaining French troops, mostly militia and Indians, harassing them. In a last pride inspired move, Lévis defeated the british defender early in the spring in Ste-Foy (just east of Quebec city, where Laval University my alma mater is built). When the British fleet showed up later with the re-inforcement everyone knew the game was over. It became official in Montreal later that in that summer of 1760.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 19, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Naw, I see RD doin' something like System of a Down's "Sleep Now in the Fire" at the office holiday party. Or maybe some Clash.

Couple of years ago my boss accompained himself with guitar at the holiday party, I suggested he include "Sympathy for the Devil" in his set, and even offered him money for a bet (so he'd have a lame fallback excuse). He said he'd already planned to do it. I like my boss.


Posted by: bc | December 19, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Karaoke machines are instruments of the Devil. I wish they would all explode and burn to ashes.
I have been to the gym last night so I swear that if I hear the "I don't feel like dancin'" song by the Evil Sisters once again today I'll go postal.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | December 19, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Was it you or someone else in the Boodle who mentioned that Cartier and early French colonists suffered badly from scurvy?

I guess that if the 17th and 18th centuries were befuddled by scurvy, we shouldn't think they were fools. It was apparently just as difficult to figure out pellagra (niacin deficiency) in the 20th century, and a NYT-IHT news story this week covered efforts to iodize salt in central Asia. Opponents were complaining about mandatory iodization being a civil rights violation, an evil plot, etc.--exactly the stuff you hear about fluoridation. My dad, a dentist, once had to attend a fluoridation meeting and was more or less in shock when he got home.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | December 19, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Error - you mentioned Verdun; today is the anniversary of the end of that battle. The so-called cheese-eating surrender monkeys suffered nearly 400,000 casualties, including about 120,000 dead, in that battle alone.

Posted by: byoolin | December 19, 2006 9:47 AM | Report abuse

One of the staff wanted to yank out the karaoke at the Christmas party, so the boss's wife obliged. I managed to find some doo wop girls and guys for background singers as I craftily aimed my way to the door. Then, I took off like a bat out of hell.

Posted by: dr | December 19, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I see that we're still on the French and Indian wars. This conflict is also the first instance of deliberate biowarfare on the continent, when commander Geoffrey Amherst ordered the extirpation of the Indians, with no prisoners to be taken.

Amherst probably was closely attending to the methods of his former commander "Butcher" Cumberland. However, an account book at Fort Pitt shows that smallpox-infested blankets and handerchiefs from the fort's hospital were given to the Indians on June 24, 1763 after smallpox had broken out there earlier that month, while Amherst ordered Col. Bouquet to repeat the same germ warfare on July 7, his directive carried out on July 13.)

Delaware chiefs were summoned for parlay into Fort Pitt and the blankets were distributed. An epidemic subsequently raged among the Delawares, and thereafter, the names of Delaware chiefs, Great Chief Singas and his brother Pisquetomen, no longer appear on the historical record.

As historian Frank Jenings discusses in his footnotes in his 1988 book, "Empire of Fortune: Crowns, Colonies and Tribes in the Seven Years War in America": "The situation raises more questions than if Amherst and Bouqet were to be singled out as exceptional criminals. To what extent was germ warfare against Indians accepted as legitimate, though covert, in 'frontier' war? Rumors of widespread acceptance were hinted in the nineteenth century, but I have not seen other evidence as explicit and irrefutable as that of Fort Pitt."

As far as finding the smallpox cemeteries of family members who died in Connecticut in the epidemic of 1759, I acknowledge they were wonderful accidents of research. I had been in the Suffield, Conn. library and the young, blonde librarian called the town historian for me, an older gentleman, a professional photographer, who had come in between photo appointments to talk with me. This family's name is well-known in history, particularly Texas, but is not Loomis, and is on a branch of our family tree.

In the case of the family-cluster cemetery in Lebanon, Conn., I had tracked a rumor to a distant descendant living in the Southwest, who had also heard the same rumor. When I dropped in, without appointment, at the town's visitor and historical center and described my quest (and gotten material on our family's signer of the Declaration of Independence), the staff likewise called in the town historian, an older women, to assist me. She knew precisely where to direct me.

This older pair of historians, with their strong love of community and deep knowledge of each town's past, were invaluable to me.

Posted by: Loomis | December 19, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Not quite on topic, but all this talk about Canada and Quebec reminds me of the Willa Cather (1931) novel _Shadows on the Rock_, about the early settlement of Q.

I am off by about 100 years, but boodlers looking for something to read worthy of time and thought, might consider this book.

Posted by: College Parkian | December 19, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Shrieking, had to laugh at your comment about going postal. That was funny, and I needed to laugh.

We walked this morning, and I feel so much better for it, although the bad throat is still with me. The g-girl rode in her stroller, and when asked if she was tired, she said yes.

I read Eugene Robinson's op-ed piece and the thinking now of sending more troops to Iraq. My question is, what will they do? Do we plan on getting rid of all the people in Iraq, and starting over again or will we be adding to the mess already there? And I really would like to know.

I do hope your day is good. The weather here is so beautiful and warm. Of course, the warmth is getting ready to leave us, making room for the cold, but I can't complain, it has been just wonderful. I sat in the sun yesterday, and the warmth just wrapped me up.

Pat, this morning at the lake, the sky looked like a painting in mute colors of blue, pink, and just a touch of white, and all of it looked as if someone had taken their finger and just gently mixed it all together. There was a bit of mist on the lake, and two lone baby ducks paddling about as if looking for their mother. I hope they aren't lost. And the air was cold and biting, and I too deep breaths, and as always I prayed, and thanked God.

We have so much to be thankful for in this world even among the misery that enfolds us so much of the time. All we have to do is say thank you, God, and many of us won't even do that. In thanking God we give Him the praise, honor, and glory of His creations.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And may it be a New Year of realizing that God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | December 19, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Friends, posting a new kit any second now.

Posted by: Achenbach | December 19, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

That was a good article on the French-Indian War museum display. Quite refreshing from the usual stream of conscious ramble.

Posted by: Dave | December 19, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about chiming in late here. Growing up near Lake George, NY, like I did, means, the F&IW (and Rev. War) is about all you have to talk about for history. I wish I could check out the exhibit, but crossing the Rockies prevents it. From what I've heard they all didn't look like Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, or Eric Schweig back then; Wes Studi maybe. Ah, who can forget, "When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat his heart. Before he dies, Magua will put his children under the knife, so the Grey Hair will know his seed is wiped out forever." And..."Magua said... he understands the English very well." Anyway, the Marquis is still "well remembered" in those parts.

Posted by: MikeH | January 3, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

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