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Hillary: I'll End the War

Some sketchy notes from the DNC winter meeting at the Washington Hilton:

Hillary Clinton: "I'm Hillary Clinton and I'm running for president." [Royalty paid to J. Carter, Plains, Ga.]

"If I had been president in 2002, I would not have started this war."

"If we in Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will."

Many other speakers. Wes Clark spent perhaps too much time quoting Douglas MacArthur. Kucinich told a long tale of visiting Lebanon. Caught the last part of Obama, who got lots of applause but didn't generate the intensity that Edwards did. Edwards more than anyone else turned his talk into a rally. Edwards has an advantage, in that he doesn't have a job. He's a full-time presidential candidate. His stump speech is honed and the entire hall at the Washington Hilton seemed to be filled magically with Edwards supporters waving their Edwards signs ("Tomorrow Begins Today").


You can find the pdf of the IPCC report via this story in The Post. Note apparent increase in the rate at which the sea level is rising, post-1993. Also note that Antarctic sea ice isn't decreasing. GW a Northern Hemisphere problem? Heeeelp meeeee....

And I love the hierarchy of certainty:

More Likely Than Not
Very Likely
Virtually Certain

[Note: "Certain" is apparently not part of the scientific vocabulary.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 2, 2007; 12:50 PM ET
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Next: Sloppy Super Bowl; Barrel Full of Senators


me first

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

In the local paper this morning, the two headlines above the fold were global warming and Exxon's profits last year. What an interesting juxtaposition. Could they possibly be related?


Posted by: Slyness | February 2, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

All right all you slackers out there...34 minutes since the mini kit went up and I'm still the first poster...must be friday.

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Why am i thinking of the phrase "frequently wrong, always certain"? Virtually certain has such a Matrix-y ring to it. Someone in the previous kit mentioned George Will's favorite rebuttal about scientists a few decades ago being worried about new ice ages. I think a lot of that fear-mongering was outgrowth of the nuclear winter Chicken Littles (of which the beloved around here Carl Sagan was a major Cassandra).

Modest Proposal: Resume atmospheric testing of thermonuclear weapons until global warming is reversed. The idea has something for everybody to hate. Which reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker: Nuke The Gay Unborn Whales.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Quick query, with a note I don't have time to read the link, but isn't Antarctica possibly rising, or rebounding with the weight of less ice cover? I seem to remember somewhere in my dark and distant memory, that scientists used to disscuss this phenomenon. I may be horrendously out of date, but if the water in one ocean goes up eventually the water should go up in all connected parts, yes? No?

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else catch this?

Bush seeks $245B more for war..;_ylt=AtwmMEnVorP4XwMDjPD6NfOyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--

If this is "fighting on the cheap", I don't even want to imagine what he considers an "expensive" war.

Posted by: martooni | February 2, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

dr, I learned that when a floating body of ice melts, it has no effect on the level of the surrounding water.

Posted by: Pat | February 2, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

But, then again, I could be yet another victim of bad information.

Posted by: Pat | February 2, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Antarctica is a continent, so most of the ice down there isn't floating. When it melts (and greenland too) the oceans rise.

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Scientists are also concerned about future changes in the large West Antarctic ice sheet on the main continent because its collapse could raise sea level by as much as 19 feet (5.8 meters)."

"although ice shelves are floating and do not add to sea level when they melt or break up, land based glaciers released by such events definitely will add to sea level."

Posted by: Penguin | February 2, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

and don't forget Alaska and Siberia too.

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

In regards to "GW a Northern Hemisphere problem", I can't help reading "GW" and adding a "B" - but that's worldwide, I guess.

So, on topic try (deep breath): Didn't the models of the last ice age and aftermath show that the northern ice cap over the continents as much larger than the southern, and the climate change affecting many more species above the equator than below, for whatever reason (oceanic depth, different currents, whatever)? If so, it would make sense for GW to affect the northern hemisphere first and hardest.

(I need-want-musthave a better physical globe+map. My computer's processing speed won't handle the models I want to observe on-line)

Posted by: sevenswans | February 2, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, thanks for the input, but what I was thinking of is the rebound effect.

I know it's a Wiki reference, so if someone could weigh in with actual knowledge.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse


The rebound to which you refer is due to a property of continental plates called isostasy, wherein as mass is removed, the continent itself (not the sea level) rebounds to a higher elevation. Usually associated with mass loss by erosion, the same can happen if mass is removed by the melting of ice sheets.

Consider, though, as the continent rises due to rebound, stream gradient increases, causing the glaciers to flow faster, exacerbating the problem of mass loss due to ice loss, as ice sheets are not replenished faster than they flow away.

Open to critique by a REAL scientist...

Posted by: Gomer | February 2, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm like Dick Cheney: a half full glass kinda guy. I like to think that when Antarctica's ice sheets melt, those poor penguins from "March of the Penguins" won't have nearly so far to go to get to the open water. And we'll save a lot of bucks on icebreakers and stuff.

I'd say that was win-win all around.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Watch out where the huskies go,
and don't you eat that orange snow...

Posted by: martooni | February 2, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Responding to dr's 1:42:

When you have a whole bunch of ice (like, miles thick) on top of a continent, it pushes the continent down. Relatively ductile mantle rocks are squeezed out of the way to accommodate the sinking continent (this ductile mantle layer is what allows tectonic plates to meve around).

All that ice weighs a lot. If you melt it, the continent, now much lighter, will start to rise back up (essentially it floats higher)--this is isostatic rebound.

Isostatic rebound is a much slower process than melting ice, so there's a lag-time; North America is still rebounding from our last ice sheet, 10,000 years ago. Also, even though the Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting, there's still a lot of ice there. The amount that's melted so far is a tiny percentage of the total amount of ice (although the percentage is rapidly increasing).

Posted by: Dooley | February 2, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

To heck with all this waiting. I have a plan to get things over with fast -- none of this tiresome and dreary waiting for a watery Doomsday. Let's just do it, man!

(1) Seal up nuclear waste in corrosion-resistant drums -- I think that aluminum canisters with multiple layers of polymer jacketing should do the job, but I'm open to suggestions for a better vessel.

(2) Transport the waste to Antarctica.

(3) Locate the uphill part of stranded ice sheets -- that is, ice that is sitting on top of rock so that it is held higher above water level than natural flotation would allow.

(4) Set the canisters of waste down at the top of the ice sheets.

(5) Heat generated by the radioactive decay of materials in the canisters will cause them to sink down into the ice.

(6) The sunken canisters will warm the glaciers and cause them to melt faster.

(7) Perhaps the canisters will even sever the glaciers from their upper slopes -- causing a masive slide into the ocean! Woo-hoo, what a ride!

The only downside I see is that the glacial grinding within and beneath the glacier is likely to tear open the canisters, which might be a bit of a gigantic toxic waste hazard. Oh, yeah, and the drowning of many billions of dollars worth of worldwide coastal infrastructure (I'm assuming that most people will move fast enough to avoid drowning, personally). But hey, that was going to happen eventually, anyway. Oh, yeah, also the tidal wave from the glacier suddenly falling into the sea. Well, you have to break a few eggs.

Posted by: ShortAttentionSpanTim | February 2, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What SASTim said. Everyone likes eggs!

Posted by: byoolin | February 2, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Waiting is where it's at.
The founding fathers waited for the black man to fall into the "all people are created equal category." We waiting for Fort Sumter to be fired upon. We waited for women to get the vote. We waited for the Civil Rights amendment. We're still waiting for an energy efficient vehicle, even after the energy crisis of the 1970s and the long gas lines. As the richest country in the world, we're waiting for universal health care. Despite the World Trade Center being bombed once, we waited for it to be bombed again. So we might as well wait and see what this global warming thing is all about--even as the water approaches our collective noses.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we could drain some of the Paciffic Ocean by drilling a hole in it the goes to Death Valley?

Posted by: Pat | February 2, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Tomorrow Begins Today?"

So why am I sitting here on a Saturday?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Tim's scenario makes it a lot more likely that my Central Texas property becomes oceanfront within my lifetime, raising its value immensely. I say, go for it!

Posted by: Gomer | February 2, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

John Stewart has raised the only salient question of this year: "When do we get jetpacks?"

Posted by: CowTown | February 2, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"If we in Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will." --Hillary

That's a nice Presidential-type soundbite; I derived about 1.5 seconds of comfort from it. But on reflection, I realize that 2009 is a long way away, measured in dead bodies and maimed humans and destroyed property and missed opportunities. I'd prefer to hear SENATOR Clinton detail her SENATE strategy for ending the war. What is she doing today to achieve that goal? I'm afraid she is too busy thinking about the White House to spend much time doing the hard work necessary to craft a strategy and a coalition to get something accomplished in Congress. And I believe it is fair to ask her to tell us what she has done already, not just, as we say at my house, her "gonna-do" list.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 2, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Tim, the heat from the nuclear waste cannisters can also be used to keep those poor shivering penguins from "March of the Penguins" warmer. Somebody need to knit those poor creatures some scarves or something.

More (or maybe less, who knows) seriously, aluminum corrodes too easily. Make the cannisters out of ferrocement that has a high (perhaps 20%) portion of epoxy in it. This seals it from leakage and water damage, prevents corrosion, and the density of the cement helps contain the radioactivity. (Believe it or not I used to work in this field, and have a teeny-weeny bit of knowledge about it, perhaps the only thing in any of these technical discussions I have yet to know anything about.)

Of course, it won't keep the penguins quite as warm.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

CowTown - The required flame-proof underwear has proven to be a surprisingly difficult technology to perfect. It keeps chafing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

It's getting fascinatinger and fascinatinger in these parts:

Part I:

From Laurie Garrett's 1994 book, "The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance," pp. 574-575:

In 1992-93 researchers at the University of Pittsburgh tranplanted baboon livers into two men who suffered hepatitis B virus-related destruction of their own organs. Though both patients succumbed, the transplants were not the causes of their deaths, and physicians hailed the breakthrough.

But infectious disease experts cried foul. The donor baboons came from the Southwest Foundation [for Biomedical Research], the largest research monkey facility in the United States. Officials at the San Antonio-based primate center were shocked to learn that the baboon organ had been transplanted into a human being. The baboon used in the first Pittsburgh transplant experiment was infected with SIV (the simian AIDS virus), CMV (the simian cytomegalovirus), EBV (the simian type of Epstein-Barr virus), and Simian Agent 8 (the baboon form of B virus). If the thirty-five-year old man had survived for months after receiving the baboon liver, critics asked, what might have happened with those viruses?

[Feel free to Google xenotransplantation.]

"We assume as a given tht these primates carry pathogens that are infectious to humans," Southwest Foundation Biomedical Research Center scientist Jon Allan* said. "You assume it's something that can kill you. But then in the next breath we turn around and ship a baboon up to Pittsburgh [Heinz country], they open it up, probably every human in the OR is exposed to whatever is in there, and they stick its liver into a human."

"Does that seem rational?"

*Jon Allan's name is also mentioned a handful of times in various locations in Brit Edward Hooper's 1999 "The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS," a somewhat controversial book that examines the myriad theories about the origin of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. (Both Garett and Hooper were in teh bookcase directly behind my home office chair, so there was little or no serching on my part.

Now, note Jon Allan's name in the text in the following link:

So, it turns out that our Helotes mulch fire mayor is the notable HIV/AIDS primate researcher at Southwest Founcation for Biomedical Researcher, also well-known in the xenotransplantation community, along with Harold Vanderpool, which, in itself, is fascinatinger and fascinatinger.

So, Allen is one of us--those pointy, aluminum-foil hat types. His leadership skills, that I've seen demonstrated on an increasing number of occasions and for longer periods of time, piques my interest. I may say more later on his six degrees of separation to others in the San Antonio community, and right on up to a national level.

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I remember reading in "My Weekly Reader", back when I was a wee little pre-scientist, about proposals to carve giant icebergs from Antarctica, tow them to arid places, and pump off the meltwater to "make the desert bloom." (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Never mind the thought that perhaps deserts can be biologically healthy without being agriculturally productive, it had vision! And stuff!

It was crazy, but it wasn't thinking small. I don't know if anyone beyond the editorial offfices of My Weekly Reader thought that it was a good idea.

Anyway, now it looks like it's going to happen no matter what, melting vast amounts of Antarctic ice into the oceans. Furthermore, we have places like Los Angeles which already divert vast amounts of water from the environment in which it would be natural for that water to exist. Why not get some benefit from the looming catastrophe? Maybe it's time to revisit that crazy idea. Go chip a multi-million ton ice barge (nukes would do the job best, but someone might complain about the radiation. Sissies). Reshape it with a few conventional explosive devices. Don't bother with towing it -- build remote-controlled diesel-electric semi-submersibles with heated noses and sink them into the 'berg all around, to turn it into a giant boat. Heck, use some actual submersibles (also remote-controlled) and attach them below the water line, with snorkels running up the side of the iceberg. The Antarctic Ocean can be rough, but I can't imagine a more steady vessel than your own personal iceberg. Attach an apartment and control complex well above the water line and charge tens of thousands of dollars for the several-month cruise to get from Antarctica to LA. Drive that puppy up to LA (poisoning fish all along the way with the cold low-salinity water from the melt). Pull it up outside LA and pump the water in-land to refill Mono Lake. Detach the submersibles and apartment complex for refit and re-use. Put big black mylar blankets on top of the 'berg to encourage heating by the Sun, and the water will simply pour off. Carve slides and tubes through the ice, and you can make more millions off of using it as an amusement park in hot weather. Six Flags Over Antarctica!

Alternative: cover the top of the iceberg with solar panels and use electric motors to transport it. Slow, but energy-efficient.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

of course eventually all that radioactive material will start a chain reaction and blow up, sending earth out of its solar orbit. Coming to a PBS station near you soon: Earth:2099. Whooohooo, now that's a ride...of course everything will get really REALLY cold then.

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

We'll need to replace Barbara Bain, I think.

Posted by: byoolin | February 2, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Medbourne was involved in a calculation of dollars and cents, with which was strangely intermingled a project for supplying the East Indies with ice, by harnessing a team of whales to the polar icebergs"

"Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, didn't a huge chuck of ice just break off in the Canadian arctic, IIRC its several miles long. Would save the cost of separating it, now it just needs to be towed.

Posted by: dmd | February 2, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Tim, that iceberg already exists and is waiting, rarin' to go. It used to be called B-15, 115 kilometers long, until it calved off a big chuck and became B-15A. Then it calved off into 9 major chunks. Some of it ran aground on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica; all you gotta do is nudge off that shoal and she's ready to go. (And saw a show on Modern Marvels about icebreakers and such a few weeks ago, where B-15 had a cameo.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Barbara Bain is gonna be kinda old for Space:2099. I'm still waiting for Sealab 2020 where we all live in underwater research cities covered by an airtight bubble. Like Orlando. Or Venice.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I used to wish that the forward-thinkers of the 1950s were right in their prognostications of jetpacks and flying cars. But I realize now that everyone flying about would be sheer folly. Just look at how people drive their primitive automobiles. I am constantly amazed at the stupid things people do in and with their cars. Now imagine every one of those mouth-breathers in a flying conveyance. Fewer hit-and-runs (because after you hit, you can't run), but far more trouble with carplanes hitting my home and beer cans/cig. butts falling on me from 10,000 feet.

I'll definitely call in the skycops on that lady in the carplane in front of me with the kid bouncing up and down in the aft jump-seat. If you can't buckle up your kids, you get no flying car.

Posted by: Gomer | February 2, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm very frightened that we are on the same wavelength.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

yello, this is clearly much more of a "great minds think alike" situation than it is a "fools seldom differ" one. No need to worry.

Posted by: byoolin | February 2, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Nope, nope, nope...

Not gonna.

Not gonna say it...

Even though I'm alreay home.


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I can see that I will have to go read more of Hawthorne. Was he being humorous on purpose (what a thought!), or did it just come out that way?

Posted by: StorytellerTim | February 2, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Aw, g'wan, Scotty. You're among friends.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Nuh-uh. *crossing arms*

I LIKE my job... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Just think of it as more implausibility research by the entertainment industry Scotty.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are providing aid and comfort to global warming y'know. If you insist, a nonbinding Congressional resolution advocating withdrawal from the IPCC might be feasible, but not if those dem Islamofascists expect to divert that $245 billion from this year's crusade to building dikes around Florida.

If we had just elected Jeb in 2000 there would be no GW. I read that just recently, didn't I?

Posted by: Monaute | February 2, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that should be plausible implausibility research.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse


I always aim for plausible deniability m'self...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I think we should put Scotty in charge of the nuclear waste disposal problem. Do I hear a nomination from the floor?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It's time to put to rest the old trope about "scientists in the 70's predicted a new ice age." Baloney. Bad history. It was more like some science-challenged (or oil-company funded) mass media writers circulated that hogwash for a month or two. It's simply not serious. Deniers have seized on this science-impugning urban legend for too long.

Posted by: Jumper | February 2, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Full details of Artic ice shelf.

Posted by: dmd | February 2, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Before I get any more really swell ideas, I'm running for the bus (gonna take the Ol' Ball-and-Chain to dinner, maybe some place top-notch, like Bob Evans, or even Red Lobster). Everybody who is/are bailing out have a good weekend.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I'll vote for Scotty, but only if I get a position on the costs/benifits analysis committee.

Posted by: Pat | February 2, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I'm trying to think what it is that you might say, in response to the nuclear craziness suggested today, that would not be supported by your fine employer as an example of welcome rationality. I guess that just means that our crazy ideas actually must be MORE rational than what your fine government agency is thinking of.

Okay, now I'm really worried.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If nominated, I will not run.

If elected, I will not serve.

Probably because I already HAVE the damn job, sorta kinda not really and don't listen to me anyway 'cuz I'm at home...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Several of us who attended the SRO community forum at Helotes City Hall on Monday night have subsequently talked and wondered why San Antonio Express-News staff was there--I think I recognized the reporter and the photographer was indeed crouched next to me for quite some time, snapping away with her camera--yet there has been no subsequent press coverage of the meeting?

Could it possibly be that there is no coverage by our only newspaper in town because the city is vying to bring a [possibly a second] Category 4 biological research lab to San Antonio to study a number of dangerous pathogens, including anthrax, and the local powers-that-are don't want the public to know how dismal the state and county reponse has been to an incident as inconsequential (compared to anthrax) as a mountain of burning brush?

Inquiring minds would really, really like to know. The Helotes City Hall council chamber was filled to its capacity with about 50 people on Monday night, with another 50 or so outside the three opened French doors that lead into the chamber.

Don Finley
Express-News Medical Writer

The city's top research institutions are preparing to make their case to the Department of Homeland Security later this month about why San Antonio should be the home of a new national laboratory charged with studying the world's most dangerous disease threats.

Their final task, and among the most important, is making sure the community supports the idea -- or at least doesn't oppose it.

Three local sites -- Brooks City-Base [formerly Brroks AFB], Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research [Helotes Mayor Jon Allan's employer] and the Texas Research Park [a facilty halfway between the far west side of San Antonio and the Alsatiqn community of Castroville] -- are among 14 across the country still in the running for the proposed $450 million National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility. Initially, 29 sites asked to be considered.

[I say, put the lab in Wisconsin, near the Canuckistanis or in Maryland.]

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Ol' Ball-and-Chain


Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

SCC: all typos

Got interviewed by local FOX News during my two posts about the fact that there is a Red Cross Shelter available at Helotes City Hall for those who might need to use it.

I would go back there for the evenings until my allergist appointment on Tuesday morning if I knew that I would not be the only one using it.

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

You will need to cancel George Will's Lexis-Nexis subscription. From this article back in April, George finds a half-dozen articles over a four year span from such crack-pot sources as Science, Time, and NYT.

(pretend there is an HTML quote tag here)

While worrying about Montana's receding glaciers, Schweitzer, who is 50, should also worry about the fact that when he was 20 he was told to be worried, very worried, about global cooling. Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation." Science Digest (February 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age." The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect," Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers "have begun to advance," "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter" and "the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool." Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World," April 28, 1975) that meteorologists "are almost unanimous" that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that the New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age." The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" now that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."
(pretend the quote tag is over)

Do you see how deniers could get the impression global cooling was once considered a threat?

Just sayin'.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 2, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

If YouTube is removing clips ( home page), then I'll post this clip about AIDS activist Jeff Getty and how he was transfused with baboon cells in the hope that it would help his body in its quest to fight AIDS. The seven-minute plus clip also contains scenes from Getty's interview with Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes.

Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

By the by, thanks pointy science types for better info and knowledge on isostatic rebound. It was such a vague memory of something I read once, probably in something like Tim's Weekly Reader.

Now about March of the Penguins, can someone please tell me what happens after the females head back to the coast postpartum and
before the end credits run. I've watched, make that sat in front of the darn thing at least 7 times, and every time I fall asleep in about the same place, and wake up in the same place. I think it has something to do with the voice of Morgan Freeman.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Wait, wait, wait! It's not MY Weekly Reader; it's just My Weekly Reader.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify that point.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

scotty said: "If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve."

I'll bet if we held you down and force-fed you massive quantities of Mudge's infamous mojit-o-call-its, we could convince you that even though you may already *have* the job, it would be much more fun to be *elected* to it as well.

That way you'll get to enjoy criticism not only from your pointy-haired bosses, but all the Monday morning armchair nuclear experts too.

btw... how much plutonium is too much for a milkshake?

Posted by: martooni | February 2, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

As soon as the females start the trek back to the coast, they commence to clucking about their mates, "Well, mine didn't get back from the bar until it was past midnight!" "You think that's bad, mine was at snowball fight night three days running!" "Girls, don't you realize that we all have babysitters right now? Let's get our nails and beaks done!"

So they all waddle over to the pedicurist by the bay and ditch the males to do the child-rearing, all to the hypnotizing tones of Morgan Freeman.

At least, that's how I remember the ending...

Posted by: Gomer | February 2, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I made it as far as the males caring for the eggs in the ever-darkening Antarctic evening. The females already were back at the water. Then I nodded off. When I awakened, everything was over. How did it end? Did the good guys win?

The ScienceKids watched the whole thing. They are presently torn between their affection for penguins and their affection for seals. It's a tough world out there.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 2, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

See I knew it. I knew those critters would end up going Hollywood. It might be the night to watch the Penguin movie just to see if I can. To that end, I need a cup of coffee or 3. If I lack the motivation, I might watch Beowulf and Grendel, which the boy of broken leg fame rented.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse


re: how much is too much...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

scotty... I'm sure you've seen it, but I'm thinking of the old SNL skit with Ed Asner retiring from his job at a nuclear plant and passing on his words of wisdom:

"Remember... you can never put too much water in a nuclear reactor."

... and what did the operations manual say?

"You can never put too much water in a nuclear reactor."

... and then at the beach, the advice he gives his female companion:

"You can never stare too long at a nuclear explosion."

Ambiguity is so much fun.

Posted by: martooni | February 2, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

My admiration for Senator Clinton aside, I'm not spending much time thinking about who will be, or should be, the next president. It's partly a "Who could be worse?" feeling, but it's mostly a nagging doubt about the sanity of anyone who thinks she, or he, will be able to steer us out of the Iraq mess without many, many, missteps. Don't all the candidates realize they're competing for a chance to compete with W for the "Worst President Ever" title?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 2, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

martooni... we use that ambiguous statement as an example all the time.

I just love it... the argument between whether you can't put too much water in the nuclear reactor or whether you can't put too much water in the nuclear reactor.

Posted by: TBG | February 2, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

You are right, frosty; and yet, the situations that could make one Worst President Ever, also offer the opportunity to be Best President Ever (unless you are the fool who created the situation, as W has done).

But one should also remember: just because politicians are understood to be two-faced self-serving scum doesn't mean that they can't also be running because they care deeply about their nation and the condition in which our generation leaves it. The great thing about the Constitution, despite the current stumble, is that it puts personal ambition to work for the people. The goals of the ambitious are best served when they mesh with the ambitions and needs of the people. Which is why most Americans now understand that W was a mistake and it is why Tom Delay is facing the law. They tried to override the guidance of the Constitution and of the nation. They tried to bend the nation to their will, and they got broken for doing so.

Posted by: Tim | February 2, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of overreaching, I was overreaching with "most Americans now understand that W was a mistake". The words can get ahead of the brain. But still, an increasing majority understand that the war in Iraq, at least, was a mistake, and maybe even realize that it was a predictable mistake -- meaning that it should be more than just a lesson-learned about how to conduct a war, it should be a lesson-learned about how to decide on whether to have a war.

Posted by: Tim | February 2, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well Yellojkt, you made me do the homework. Good. By the way, I would defend a position that one might do better than getting ones science from Newsweek. Or Barbara Walters, or George Will either. And that reasonably serious people knew as well in the '70s

This is the best I can do so far.

Posted by: Jumper | February 2, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

had a bit of slow down at the end of the day and did some research on groundhog day. what I discovered is that it has pagan roots. according to my research, pagans were famous for their study of nature and after awhile they noticed that the groundhog would come out of its den and sniff the air (i can just see their whiskers wiggling) and either come out of hibernation or go back into their den. hence the six more weeks of winter predicticator. however, i also uncovered a little known factoid: if the groundhog comes out on a full moon the opposite occurs. so, yes, six more weeks of winter(sorry). but, after thousands of years of observations (this is the part lost in the oral histories) what it really means is ONE REALLY BIG SNOW DUMP. the prognosticator progosticates BIG DUMP after the first week of March and before the third week of March.

My sources also tell me it will snow enough to set on the ground on April 31. so be warned...and dress apropriatley and stock up on toilet paper...

AND if you think I'm making this up, well really, I don't have large bridges to sell (sorry once again).

Posted by: omni | February 2, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Wait, you mean Barbara Walters isn't a reliable source?

Well, so much for the latest NIE.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Son of G says Obama was awesome today.

Full report to follow.. when I actually see the boy again (teenagers! humph)

Posted by: TBG | February 2, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

TBG, soon enough he will show up. Remember you provide free food.

If you feed them they will come.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Which boodler among you posted that link to the puzzle site? That could intefere with my boodling. Its also a nice change of pace from free cell.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

AND, mostlylurking...Yarn Harlot? Its almost not fair.

Posted by: dr | February 2, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

TBG - Just be happy your son is politically aware and is willing to leave the house!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Tell me, is there anyone else out there who gets a zen-like thrill out of the "Puppy Bowl"?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 2, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I also enjoy the Puppy Bowl and the halftime show with the kittens. Zen indeed.

And now, for something not so completely different... I no longer have any reservations concerning the military's correctness in court-martialing Lt. Watada:

"The other defense motion sought the dismissal of the conduct-unbecoming charges, which stem from public comments Lieutenant Watada made encouraging soldiers 'to throw down their weapons' to resist an authoritarian government at home, according to Reuters.
The defense argued that the charges should be thrown out becasue the lietuenant's comments were protected under the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, but Colonel Head rejected that motion, too:
An officer challenging the lawfulness of a war or combat action could tend to interfere with or prevent the orderly accomplishment of the mission or present a clear danger to loyalty, discipline, mission, or morale of the troops. ... [T]he accused identifies himself as an officer and urges soldiers not to participate in the war. This could have a clear and present danger to the loyalty, discipline, mission, or morale of the troops. These are questions of fact for the members."

He's very fortunate they didn't charge him with insurrection or mutiny.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 2, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke, I presume those charges would carry the death penalty?

Posted by: Slyness | February 2, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"...meaning that it should be more than just a lesson-learned about how to conduct a war, it should be a lesson-learned about how to decide on whether to have a war."

So well said Tim, I have nothing to add.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 2, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"Ol' Ball and Chain" was just for you, Loomis. I knew you'd appreciate its post-modernist self-referential irony.

OK, Scotty. If you don't wanna be the Czar of Yucca Flats I won't press the issue. I know you've had a hard couple of weeks. Go ahead, take tomorrow and Sunday off.

Martooni, I didn't comment on it at the time, but I enjoyed your post earlier today about Molly Ivins and God, and then you and God going on a bender at the Pearly Gates. I've been playing with a tabloid headline in my head all afternoon, trying to come up with the perfect mix 'n' match, perhaps as one of Rupert Murdoch's fine publications might print it on the cover of, say, the Pearly Gates Examiner:

kicker hed: Double Date Turns Ugly

main hed: Cherubim Cops Nab God, Ivins, Lohan, Martooni After All-Night NY Pub Crawl, Street Brawl

and the promo screamer and Fox News crawl:

Ivins Cackles as St. Pete Bails Out Boss, Lohan Re-enters Rehab; Martooni Apologizes for 'Unfortunate Big Schnoze' Dig, Vows to Seek Nasal Counseling

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 2, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I have been frighteningly productive the last two days and am finally catching up. Just as well as I have nothing competent to say about Global Warming that hasn't been better said by y'all pointy types. However, I'm powerfully fond of ScienceTim's various projections, particularly the acceleration by nuclear waste. G'wan, Scottynuke, just propose that on Monday. Oops, I know, someone is already there and they'll send the black snowmobiles for you.

Martooni, I am sorry to hear of your grandmother's death. You're right about the consoling powers of "Ave Maria". That said, it has also been referred to as the only song a soprano needs to know, and is genetically coded in our DNA.

Today was COLD but clear and bright, and, oh joy! the septic tank cleaner guys came. The pleasures of country living. . . .

Howdy Cassandra.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 2, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Is there anything duct tape can't do?

Posted by: byoolin | February 2, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

omni, I'll see if I can track it down, but there's another legend about Groundhog's Day in Punx. A group of guys went drinking, roasted some groundhogs and had a great time, so they decided to *pretty* it all up for their SOs and do it again, evolving into today's celebration.

Anyone ever go? I've thought about it.

Posted by: dbG | February 2, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I grew up about 30 miles from Punxsutawney, and it never entered my mind to go to the ceremony. I suppose because it seemed so cheesy, and it was in the dead of winter, and "Punxy" was just so uncool. Oh, and it's incredibly early in the morning, no? I don't think it's anything like it was depicted in the movie (but how do I know, since I've never been there), although the guys do dress up in tuxedoes.

dr, you're welcome.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 2, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, is septic cleaning a service you have to use often? I ask with trepidation, since we have a septic system at the mountain cottage. Once upon a time, we had a fire station on a system, and it had to be pumped weekly. Not a pleasant situation...

There is much to be said for municipal services: fire, police, water/sewer, solid waste collection...

Posted by: Slyness | February 2, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I didn't mean to say you shouldn't go! I realize my post may have sounded like that. You know how kids are - I kind of wish I had gone at least once. And it may be more fun and festival-like now - I don't think it was like that a hundred years ago. I do love the movie Groundhog Day.

yellojkt, I realized you hadn't posted a Studio 60 recap - you made the right call. Not sure it can get any worse - and I spent a lot of time looking away so I wouldn't see a snake. Yuk! (Nothing against snakes, except that I am phobic to the point I cannot look at pictures of them. I realize it is my problem, not the nasty snake's.)

I think I need a nice glass of wine.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 2, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Re: origins of GHD celebration -- my guess is everyone at the original festivities was sworn to secrecy, laughed their butts off every time they thought about it, probably had some secret handshake. Skull & Bones kind of stuff. They probably told their wives some cockamamie story but took the true story to their graves.
And today, we yank some poor unsuspecting animal out of a peaceful existence and stuff him face first into a sea of paparazzi.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 2, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

No problem, Mostly. Didn't take it that way, it just sounded like the way I feel about the Mummer's Parade here in Philly. Why would anyone go? However, I do have a lovely framed watercolor of one of the fancy brigades.

Posted by: dbG | February 2, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I did consider going this year, but it's about 5 hours away and starts at 7 or so in the morning. Day off + somewhere at 7 a.m. doesn't make any sense to me.

Anyone else think GWB saying CEO compensation should be related to results means we deserve a refund of $400K a year from him?

Posted by: dbG | February 2, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

LiT, at least we don't roll him in a bowl of batter and dump him into a deep fryer.

Pux Phil Funnel Cake?
Groundhog Poppers?
Gdog Fritters?

Boodlers, you've made me laugh this evening.


Posted by: bc | February 2, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

My busy (but mostly empty!) brain at work on yesterday's comments:

"I heard Molly Ivins speak, Maya Angelou heard Molly speak and knew her, Maya knows the Rev. Robert Tabscott of St. Louis and has worked closely with him on a video, Tabscott's interest is the printer Elijah Lovejoy, first martyr of the American press, David Burt Loomis was in the warehouse the night an angry mob in Alton, Ill., stormed Elijah Lovejoy's new press, I'm related to David Burt Loomis, and have exchanged letters with Tabscott since he doesn't use the Internet..."
( Posted by: Loomis | February 2, 2007 08:47 AM )
Why do I feel like Loomis was cut off before the 'rest of the story':

"Rev. Robert Tabscott is a good friend of mine, and you, sir/ma'am, are NO Robert Tabscott!"


re: human extinction -
"I think I need a drink and to keep repeating I hope RD is right, I hope RD is right."
(Posted by: dmd | February 2, 2007 09:23 AM)
dmd - don't get too relieved! It ain't gonna help you personally! : )

Posted by: Bob S. | February 3, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

It was a good Groundhogs Day,I can take my tree down.

A good day Dad

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 3, 2007 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra. Miss you.

Posted by: daiwanlan | February 3, 2007 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Morning Cassandra, Error, everyone! *waving*

Slyness, mutiny can result in the death penalty, yes. But upon further review, another soldier would have had to join Watada for the charge to apply.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, my friends. I do miss you all. I did not realize how much I would miss you, and all of you. I am doing okay, just doing what I usually do. The snow came, and it left just as quickly. The cold remained. I am not walking yet, but hope to get out soon.

I have lurked, laughed, and cried. You are a funny group. And oh, so, smart.

Have a good weekend. Give God some of your time, show your family that you love them, and by all means, get some rest.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Ivansmom, and D. *waving* to all.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 3, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse


Apart from the tragedy here, would JA, Hal or SOMEBODY please remind the reporting and editing staffs on the dead-tree side that Charleston is the capitol of WV, but it's [[[Charles Town]]] in Jefferson County, WV.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

CASSANDRA!!! *waving even more madly than usual* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Good to see your Cassandra.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 3, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I mean good to see *you* Cassandra.

Where's the coffee.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 3, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Mea Culpa SCC: "staffs on the print side"

My apologies.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra! I'm glad to hear from you.

The snow was pretty, wasn't it? I stayed in all day and got all the tax stuff together, so Thursday was a very productive day. Boy, did I have cabin fever yesterday, though! Had to get out.

I've decided that if there's no precipitation, I'll walk, as long as the temperature is 25 degrees or higher. Even with long underwear, I'm uncomfortable when it's colder than that. I'm just glad we're having some winter now.

Posted by: Slyness | February 3, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I've got the caffeine IV drip over here, RDP...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm conflicted here, really...

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The rumors were true. Van Halen will reunite with original singer David Lee Roth for a summer tour of North America.


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Scotty what is bigger Van Halen or Genesis reunion?

Re Watada, what you posted yesterday, providing it is acurate would convince even me that he should be charged.

Its my anniversary today, awoke to brilliant sunshine but FREEZING, huge icicles hanging from the eves outside my kitchen window, (mental note look into adding more insulation/ventinlation in attic).

Just a tip for the guys out there, sending the card and flowers two days early does not mean we are celebrating "Anniversary week", but rather you couldn't remember the day and wanted to be safe - funny but obvious!

Hi Cassandra - good to hear from you.

Have a great day all.

Posted by: dmd | February 3, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

'morning all...

We're at a whopping 1ËšF here in Ohio and from what I hear, it's going to be this way for a while (sure hope that groundhog got it right).

Mudge... loved the headlines -- especially the Fox News ticker.

Cassandra... very nice to see you. :-)

Ivansmom... thanks. And yes, "Ave Maria" does seem to be tied to DNA. I've posted before about how some tunes just seem to resonate at the cellular level (and I'm not talking about ringtones). Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" has a similar effect on me -- immediate "lump in throat" and irrational need to squeeze Little Bean.

Anyway, I'm off to do more work on the rental house, a.k.a. the never-ending project from Hell.

Hope everyone has a great day...

Posted by: martooni | February 3, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

18 below here this morning, true temp not windchill. The real weather news that has locals talking is about birds. All 19 of the young whooping cranes that were led from Wisconsin down to Florida by ultra light aircraft, to teach them how to migrate, were killed in the supercell thunderstorm that spawned the tornadoes.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 3, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I've been to Punxsutawney and it looks nothing like the picturesque town in the movie. There is a town square, however, and Phil and his "wife" live in a glassed-in cage built into the side of the library.

But the ceremony apparently doesn't even take place in the town square. They go to a place called Gobbler's Knob, in a "picturesque woodland setting."

Oh, and Ivansmom... I saw the devastation of your terrible ice storms when I was visiting Grove. There were trees and branches down everywhere. And every house seemed to have a big pile of kindling gathered in the front yard.

How did your property fare? Lots of damage?

Posted by: TBG | February 3, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Punxsutawney Phil has a "wife"?
Oh, that is just *adorable*!

I seem to recall that the ceremony takes place at Gobbler's Knob in the movie, too -- except, said Knob looks just like a city park, complete with bandstand, etc.

Posted by: Dreamer | February 3, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG! That's the problem with the movies. Location not scenic enough? Film it somewhere else! They seem to use the same places over and over. Was the killer's house in *Silence of the Lambs* te same place as the killees' house for *Capote*? I believe it's in Canada, not WV or KS.

Cassandra! Welcome back! Tell us everything!

Here, it's an exciting and somewhat tearful day. My foster lab has a truly well-matched application in for him. I'm going to talk with the family later today, and if all the formalities go well, I'll be taking him halfway to his real home maybe next weekend. When I got him 5 weeks ago, he was skin and bones and very ill. Now, he's gorgeous and healthy. I'm verklempt, but it'll be nice to go back to the old routine. In case you want to see him:

Hope everyone's weekend is good. Maybe I'll make some of bc's Gdog Fritters.

Posted by: dbG | February 3, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all

Well it seems the coldest part of winter has arrived here and will be around for a week or so.We got a little bit of snow and it makes the mountains stand out in their slendor and awe.With the cold temps and the clear sky,this should be a beautifully crisp day and night,Almost still a full moon tonight so it will be bright.Enjoy whatever activities are planned for this day.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 3, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

dbG-I don't think it's the same house. The killee's house in Capote was an abandoned Manitoba farm house not far from Winnipeg. Gordon is beautiful!

Cassandra-you don't know me as I finally quit lurking and started posting a few days ago. It is good to see you back.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 3, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

News from New York: part of the greater NYC Council Agenda for the coming week:

** Meetings for Friday, February 9, 2007 **
Committee(s) on: Immigration
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Hearing Room - 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Chairperson(s): Kendall Stewart

Proposed Res 366-A - Resolution calling upon the United States Congress to reintroduce and pass the Uniting American Families Act, which would provide a mechanism under the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow United States citizens and legal permanent residents in binational same-sex relationships to sponsor their foreign-born partners for immigration to the United States in a manner consistent with the legal requirements and rights currently enjoyed by opposite-sex couples.

News from Texas--A1, below the banner and above the fold this morning:

First graf:
AUSTIN -- Acting on an issue stirring controversy in the Legislature, Gov. Rick Perry on Friday made Texas the first state to require girls to get a new vaccine for a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

Ninth and tenth grafs:
Mike Toomey, former chief of staff to Perry, is a lobbyist for Merck. The pharmaceutical company has donated $6,000 to Perry since 2005 and $38,000 to legislative leaders and lawmakers.

Merck spokesman Ray Kerins downplayed the company's role in Perry's order, saying "we're working in all 50 states to achieve the widest vaccination possible." He said those efforts vary from state to state.

MUCH, MUCH LATER in the article--the fact that the vaccine can also be given to boys to stop the spread of the virus [Oh, the he11 of being a ball and chain! So why not target all the preteens who could be sexually active in a few years' time rather than the female gender?]

A recent study found 90 percent of cervical cancer cases could be eliminated IF BOYS and GIRLS got the vaccine [three shots over several months' time].

If only girls get it, just over three-quarters of the cases would be eliminated.

Posted by: Loomis | February 3, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Gotta take the Little Darling sledding, but I wanted to pop in, say hi.

Cassandra, I am so glad you're back. I felt a degree of responsibility, and was carrying it around like a stone. I missed you. Welcome home. You really are among family here.

Good morning S'nuke. I'm back from the Pokes, but now up in WV, freezing. As much traveling as I do, ya think I'd end up somewhere warm in the winter. No such luck. See you on Wed?

TBG..Myannis AND Punxsutawney? My guess road trips with you are a hoot.

Have a happy day.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 3, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

If we're watching for songs that resonate, look no further than your local theaters for the Feb. 23 release of the British movie, "Amazing Grace," that tells via moving and dramtic cinema the history of the song.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make our world.


Posted by: Loomis | February 3, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey LiT!! *HUGS* Wednesday looks good, yes. :-)

dmd, I think the Van Halen reunion has the greater damage potential, so...

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 3, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Van Halen? Genesis?

Balderdash. Son of CP will play drums in a The WHo tribute band performance this spring.

I believe, I win for the moment.

Son of CP channeling Keith Moon. What is better than this.

Hi Cassandra. I like my blessings in digital form, so thank you. I know they continued on the celestial plane. But real is good. Here is my favorite blessing these days:
God is present. Simple statement that works if you are in need, in sorrow, joyful, or just blah.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 3, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I was quite displeased when I awoke without Andie MacDowell next to me. Sigh.

Posted by: Jumper | February 3, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Howdy all. Cold and not-quite-clear here today, leaving the sky a vague grayish-pink.

Cassandra, I'm glad you're back. Don't be a stranger - I hoped you were lurking but I'd much rather hear from you.

TGB, this part of the state was very fortunate. We didn't get the ice buildup that bedeviled the eastern half, so I lost no tree limbs and had power. I'm sure those water hoses we neglected to bring in are frozen solid, though. The bottom of the driveway is still solid ice. It never melted from the big storm, then we had a little more snow this week.

Slyness, we have a really big septic tank and get it pumped out every few years. As long as your tank is fairly big and your lateral lines are up to code and working, very frequent pumping shouldn't be necessary. It sounds like that fire department system wasn't quite up to code. One interesting thing about moving back into my childhood home was seeing (in the shuddering reaction of various repairmen) how much building septic, plumbing and electrical codes have changed in the last fifty years.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice that today they announced England's turkeys have H5N1?

(swans notice these things)

(chanting, "owa tagoo siam")

Hi Cassandra! (*waves*) I've lurked here for over 2 years, so I'm happy to see you even though you don't know me.

Loomis, my relatives in San Antonio have been sending me clippings and anecdotes about the mulch fire, and I have been stunning them in return with my superior Loomis-boodle-derived knowledge of events. Thank you!

Posted by: sevenswans | February 3, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

You know, maybe I've been watching too much YouTube, but *friends* who tape you doing something stupid and then post it for the world to watch aren't really friends. I know the haircutting-bride turned out to be a hoax, but . . .
these are friends:

Posted by: dbG | February 3, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, it is great to see your name back in the posting. Don't disappear again, I look for your post first, every morning.

Posted by: nellie | February 3, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

dbG, saw that Jim Gray was missing when his picture popped up on the evening news last week.

For the non-computer types out there, Jim Gray is a transaction processing researcher who has written many core papers plus the encyclopedic "Transaction Processing: Concepts and Techniques." I had to look up the title because everyone calls it simply Gray and Reuter.

I've seen a few Jim Gray talks and they were informative and fun. He's also a kind and patient person.

He went sailing last weekend and hasn't been seen since. Here's to his safe return.

Posted by: Fifty | February 3, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm wearing war paint instead of makeup this morning, stirred up by Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement yesterday of his mandate (issued through Executive Order, with no, none, zero involvement of the Texas legislature, not too dissimilar from Bush's commander in chief role) to universally inoculate 11- and 12-year-old girls about the human papilloma virus.

Rick, fella, you gotta throttle down and drag your boots on this one. This executive order is just bad public health policy. If men and young boys are carriers of this virus, while not showing its progressive symptoms and deleterious effects, shouldn't the male gender also be subject to the same mandate of universal inoculation for residents of the state of Texass? Your mama, bless her heart, raised a pretty boy, but let's hope that she didn't raise a dumb one, neither.

Please show us tht all who could carry the virus will be inoculated, if it's really your intent to stop cervical cancer. Please show us that you have an IQ greater than that of a Pecos cataloupe.

Posted by: Loomis | February 3, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Cassandra back.

The deaths of 18 young whooping cranes at Florida's Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge adds to the mourning for at least 20 people killed in tornadoes and storms.

The whooping crane program should continue despite the tragic setback. "Chassahowitzka" by the way, is a Creek (Seminole) word, supposedly meaning "hanging pumpkin."

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 3, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse


There is so much more to report--I have three great stories (and a new one when I stopped in at our neighborhood hamburger joint for lunch Friday) of people affected by the fire. I also have stories of indifference.

Between working the beat, so to speak, research activities, four television appearances, and taking care of my own health, it's been a challenge!

I had to cancel my appointment for an interview with Stephen Gladstone, regional liaison officer with the division of emergency management on Thursday afternoon because I was too tired and too sleep deprived to think at all clearly. We have rescheduled our meeting for Tuesday at 2 p.m. He promised me going into this that no question would be off the table. We'll see.

I see the most media-affiliated allergist in town on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., Dr. Paul Ratner. I just spent an hour filling out all the necessary paperwork before the Tuesday appointment. I also received a phone call yesterday morning from Ratner's office reminding me not only of the time and date of the appointment, but also advising me that I must discontinue all antihistamines starting as of midnight last night.

Yvonne Escamilla was on TV last night, she a spokeperson for the county and the giver of inadequate information about the hotel voucher program, informing residents that the fire should be out by Feb. 21 and advising that the smoke will really be bad again, starting Tuesday, when Oil Mop begins to pull the mountain of brush apart.

Helotes Police Chief Morton Ault in beginning to research the whereabouts of the T-shirt vendor who promised proceeds from the sale of his merchandise through would benefit the Helotes Fire Department.

I can truly tell you how much I admire Helotes City Mayor Jon Allan. I have such interesting background information about Helotes City Council, the result of a stop I made Friday morning to the office of The Echo, the weekly Helotes newspaper, where I met Editor Newton Renfro, who graciously provided a hot cup of coffee and access to his morgue (archives). The conversation and interview with Renfro was important in a number of ways and the information contained in past issues of The Echo was priceless.

Allan wants his town's citizens to be regularly updated with information. At the end of last Monday's townhall, he identified the two biggest challenges as sheltering and mass communications.

There is another meeting scheduled for Helotes City Hall Monday night at 7 p.m. I am so torn. Brush fire or see NYT columnist Frank Rich at Trinity University? Rich wins, since I may never see him in such a live forum again. There is hardly an op-ed writer whom I admire more.

I sure hope that I can get an upate or see video from Monday night's meeting. And perhaps on Monday I can do a little bit more writing before my interview notes get too old.

Posted by: Loomis | February 3, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, nice to see you!

It's true that the town in Groundhog Day is somewhere in Illinois. It's prettier and "cleaner" (meaning less grit and grime) than the real place I remember. Some of the highway shots along Route 119 looked real to me - at least the signs look real. I should have known that TBG's been there.

frostbitten, that's so sad about the cranes. And sevenswans, I was going to ask you about your name. I love swans - their long, curved necks and graceful way of moving are so beautiful to me. I have a bit of a swan collection.

Hope the Florida boodlers are ok - that was a terrible storm. We're finally having some normal weather here - it's been cold and cloudless all week, but the clouds starting moving in yesterday.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 3, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I have mixed thoughts about the vaccine. (I've got a 17-year old candidate at home.)
It's a three-shot series. The vaccine is so new, they don't know about long-term efficacy *or* side-effects. They've only tested it on 11,000 women world-wide. Ideally, I'd like more research, longer-term research, better numbers, before I go sticking this into my beautiful child. And facing facts, condoms are in her future. She will have *some* protection. Aside from that, there's the whole argument that this just doesn't sound like something that should be legislated.
Testing/studies are only beginning on a vaccine for boys. Be interesting (or frustrating) to see how the marketing for that plays out.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 3, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Dave of the Coonties, I'm glad to hear from you. I hope kbertocci and the other Florida Boodlers escaped the storm damage. We in Oklahoma are very familiar with the devastation tornadoes produce.

LostinThought, one argument for legislation is public health. Here is a vaccine preventing against a cancer (a real breakthrough in itself) which is otherwise relatively difficult to detect and thus, when it isn't caught, often fatal. Even non-fatal cases can curtail childbearing. It makes sense to require vaccinations for everyone who could get (or, I agree, Loomis, carry) the disease. We do this with polio, some hepatitis, measles, etc., to protect children and the general population. We also, for all intents and purposes, mandate those vaccines and provide them to the public. Vaccines cost money. Without legislation, insurance companies may choose not to cover this vaccine. Without insurance coverage or state distribution, most people won't get it.

I'm actually surprised Perry mandated the vaccine; of course, this could be characterized as being more influenced by the pharmaceutical lobby than the conservative Christian right lobby (which tends to oppose the vaccine because it might, somehow, encourage premarital intercourse - don't ask me how, I'm just repeating the argument).

Of course, I believe in seat belt and helmet laws too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

howdy, cassandra!

was just reading about the obama facebook campaign. tbg, is that how your son found out about the speech? i find the new role of the internet, etc. in campaigns very interesting. not that obama did anything in this one - the facebook stuff is grassroots. it'll be interesting to see if things like this get young voters engaged in the election. had an interesting conversation with an undergrad a couple of months ago. her peers idolize bill clinton because bush 43 has been so bad. getting out the youth vote would probably help the dems a lot. i think that's always been the case, but the internet might actually mobilize them.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 3, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

ivansmom, the tornadoes didn't come near me; I'm far to the south of the affected area. Thanks for thinking of me.

I spoke to my parents in Oklahoma this morning and teased them a little, you Oklahoma people think you have tornadoes, but Florida has them worse... My dad said that "Florida opens the tornado season"--they start in the Sunshine State and next they'll show up in Alabama and by summer they'll be in the infamous "tornado alley."

I have childhood memories of Seminole, Oklahoma, which is squarely in the Alley. Our neighbors had a storm cellar and when the sirens went off we would go there and stay for a few hours until the danger passed. Where I live now I'm out of the tornado zone--we have enough fun with the hurricanes, thanks very much.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 3, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I agree. There are so many different aspects to think about.
Parenting can be tough.

About social policy, it's the only one that requires sexual contact (and not just casual contact, as in HepA and B.) Not exactly legislating sex, but sort of. This makes me uneasy.

About public health R&D good enough yet to give this across the board? It seems to me that more study is the way to go on this point. Fears of thelidamide.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 3, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Loomis - I hope Oil Mop can do the job, but has anyone followed up on the contaminated ground water problem? California doesn't have the same type of soil or climate, and I don't think they're taking that into account when applying their standard-use fire retardant chemicals and technique.

The best clipping I received from San Antonio, this week, was from the Express News Real Estate section. It had a big panoramic pic of the burning mulch, and the caption: "The mulch fire in Helotes has caused some problems for real estate agents trying to show homes in the area" . . .

(ya think?)

Posted by: sevenswans | February 3, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and to divert back to pop culture - The Police are reuniting, at least for the Grammies (Feb 11, I believe). I've heard rumors of a tour, but I haven't confirmed that myself. Looking forward to that - Van Halen - not so much. And I assume Peter Gabriel is not part of the Genesis reunion.

Scotty, I could never keep all the Charleston, Charles Town, Charlotte, Charlottesville places straight myself.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 3, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

howdy all,

Cassandra -- so glad to see you back in the saddle. I always get a boost from your posts.

Thanks for all the very real get well cards from imaginary friends. A real card confers instant tangibility onto y'all. Especially the Canucks . . . you know who you are. :-)

Sadly, we missed out on any real snow. It's a seasonal 40 degrees right now. Any chance for snow is receding with each calendar day.

My brother, in Denver, has had enough snow for a while. He can't ride his mountain bike, which keeps him sane. The only part of the backyard his family can use is the deck they managed to free of snow. This is since the Christmas blizzard. He says they just shoveled off the front walk last week. And more snow is in the forecast.

Oddly, the mountains aren't getting hit. He went skiing (the other thing that keeps him sane) a few weeks ago at Keystone and said the snow was lame. The snow is falling only along the Front Range and out into the plains.

I remember winters like this from my Colorado childhood. When snow seemed never-ending and the ground disappeared for months at a time.

But Denver never got snow like that.
I was raised at 7000 ft in elevation, and in a different weather pattern than Denver. Denver just never got hit. That's what makes this all so unusual.

I loved all the comments on global warming. I normally become quite depressed when reading or thinking about what we're doing to the planet. Tim, thanks for giving me a hearty laugh!

Perhaps someone can explain to me, with humor, why Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the country right now. I've yet to hear anyone discuss this phenonmenon in relation to the environmental insanity of yet another huge city, with temperate features (green lawns and gold courses)being built smack dab in the middle of the desert.

I can't seem to get back in the saddle myself. I go two steps forward, three back in trying to recover from surgery.

Am still taking antibiotics for infections that I got while in the hospital 3 weeks ago. Have lost 4 more pounds in the last two weeks. I look spectral. Yikes!! I know it will all turn around eventually, but . . .

It's Hard Out Here For a Gimp :-)

Actually, it is my gimpiness, due to fibromyalgia, that is making recovery difficult. Can't seem to take care of myself. And nelsons *Don't Ask For Help*!

Sigh . . . the laundry piles high, the kitchen is a toxic waste zone. I am cleaning out the cat box regularly, thank god.

Eating is the biggest problem. I still have no appetite -- tired of beating around the bush -- so will let the cat out of the bag re: type of surgery. (sorry about the mixed metaphors)

I had a full colectomy with ileo-rectal anastamosis. That means my colon is history, and my upper intestine is now "hooked up" to my rectal vault. I had this procedure done to get rid of a paralyzed (more or less) colon.

Loss of appetite is common after this procedure. But I can't seem to get mine back. I had no solid food for over two weeks -- due to the complications I had --and I never ate regularly before the surgery, for obvious reasons.

So now I have to train myself to eat. 6 small meals a day. I know, I know. Most of the country has the opposite problem.

When I was 28 and 25 lbs under weight, due to colonic inertia, I looked, well, rather like today's runway models -- sick, but pretty in a haunting way.

At 48, at just 10-15 lbs underweight I look cadaverous. Ain't nothing purty about what I see in the mirror. I'm probably scaring small children when I go out.

So I'm setting up a special one-way caloric giveaway. All of you with a few extra calories to give away -- send them to me!! Heck, if imaginary friends can send real cards, why not send a few calories each through cyberspace?!! :-)

Time to get out of the house and go for my walk. The good news is I got permission from my surgeon yesterday to start swimming again. A hige endorphin booster for me!!

Happy weekend to all. will try to check in on a more frequent basis. Heck, there are boodlers that don't even know who I am -- welcome to gomer and others who broke through the lurker realm to become actual boodlers. The more the merrier!

Posted by: nelson | February 3, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Genesis is reuniting? I can't imagine them without Gabriel -- and the Police for the Emmy Awards? Geez -- I'm really out of it . . .

I am surprised that Van Halen is putting David Lee Roth in front again. I was sure that arrangement was dead for all time.

College Parkian, am not so sure I'd want my son to be channeling Keith Moon -- at least not all of Keith Moon!

Posted by: nelson | February 3, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

byoolin , Do you have a connection to Southern Oregon?

Posted by: bh | February 3, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

nelson, nice to see you back. My best friend from college had similar problems - she had colitis and wound up with an ileostomy. So good luck to you - hope your appetite comes back. Take my calories, please! I have always had a slow metabolism and it seems to get slower as I age. Plus I only get hungry for carbohydrates.

I was going to say the same thing about Keith Moon - hope it's only the drumming style he's emulating!

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 3, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

nelson, thinking healthful and caloric thoughts in your direction!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 3, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Nelson! Good to hear from you. You can live well, I know. My cousin does well with the same situation. If the appetite problem persists, consider Remeron sp? Mild anti depressant but stimulates appetite quite well.

May Son of CP channel Moon's energy and thrasherness and not the chemical infusions he no doubt enjoyed.

Tulips in a pot outside about 1/2 inch up. Force hyacinth in window about to pop open.

Talk care.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 3, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Take Care!
ForcED hyacinths in a pot: "Carnegie" a pale primrose yellow and "Blue Jacket" a jaunty medium blue.

Nothing red or pink for Valentine's upcoming. Do you have a plant report, Nelson?

Posted by: College Contrite-ain | February 3, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear from you Cassandra! Please keep checking in with us--I miss you!

nelson *faxing you extra calories from last night's pizza*

Joel, thanks for bring Arkin and Army Strong to our attention.

Have been taking first pass at 2006 income taxes. *crawling out of cave, blinking at bright lights* Even with TurboTax, it's a pain. But still better than baring my soft financial underbelly to a CPA...

Posted by: Raysmom | February 3, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, nelson. Glad to see you well enough to post.

Himself had colitis for years, and had his colon removed about 17 years ago; had an ileostomy for a year, then construction of a rectal loop. It took him a good two years to fully recover his appetite and general vim (he too had some complications which set him back). The great thing for him was, once the colon was gone, so was the disease, permanently. He's now fat and as happy as anyone who lives with me can be :0

Keep on keepin' on, as my Mum would say. Look after yourself.

Posted by: Yoki | February 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi mostlylurking! I love birds in general, but swans have the distinction of being in many a fairy-tale, and the image of seven swans in flight is one I use for meditation. (so I guess you could say it was cygnificant...)(or that I was sending a cygnal) (ok, I'll stop now)

I actually considered using "seven wondrous stags" as a handle instead, but the forest-king, Celtic-legend, poetic reference (for me) isn't strong enough to overcome the, er, other possible interpretations.

Posted by: sevenswans | February 3, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Nelson wonderful to hear from you, sending all my empty calories to you - seeing as I just polished off a few handfuls of peanuts I have calories to spare :-).

Posted by: dmd | February 3, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

For Grey's Anatomy fans, an interesting article about upcoming episodes (a bit of a spoiler alert):

This quote from the head of the Washinton State Ferries made me laugh:
"We were concerned that whatever incident the show portrayed as causing the problem not imply negligence on the part of the ferry system."
Oh my no, wouldn't want that.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 3, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Glad you're on the mend, nelson!

The best thing I can think of to improve appetite is a certain herbal remedy that's also known to help with glaucoma. I doubt they stock it at Walgreen's, but I'll betcha the kids that stock the shelves at Walgreen's could hook you up.

As for Vegas... never been there, but I know quite a few people from this area who have moved there and not a one of them regrets it. How they sustain the growth is definitely a mystery -- at least from the ecological perspective. I'm reminded of Sam Kinison's rant about Ethiopia -- "You can't grow food in the desert! Don't send them food! Send them moving trucks!" But in the case of Vegas, there's probably a small army of guys named Vinnie who take care of those little things in life like water.

"Where'd you get the water, Vinnie?"

"It fell off a truck. You gotta problem wit dat?"

Posted by: martooni | February 3, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Good to see both of you Nelson and Cassandra. A toast with my tea to your good and improving health.

Loomis, I too hope that OilMop will be able to deal with the 'mulch'. This whole story and everything around it ties in so well with the GW stuff from yesterday. Not that it causes GW, (smoke or no) but it sure does highlight how disconnected we are from the results of our lifestyles and how we pay the piper one way or another.

Posted by: dr | February 3, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow.. this is a busy boodle for a Saturday. Must be cold outside.

Not that I have anything interesting to say...

Posted by: TBG | February 3, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I have never let my inability to have anything interesting to say keep me from posting.

Posted by: dmd | February 3, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone, it is good to be back. Nelson, I am sending lots of prayers and good thoughts your way. It's like coming home.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 3, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Nelson, I'm glad you're back among the Boodling! Boy, this is like Old Home Week all in one day. This makes me very cheerful. Nelson, not only will I send you extra calories, but I'll selflessly donate several pounds you might want to add -- a quick weight infusion. I'll just ask Scottynuke to fax them along (in stages of course, I don't want to break the machine!). [If I used emoticons there'd be one here.]

I went to the grocery (okay, the SuperTarget) with the family today. A trip to the store with everyone is always an interesting experience, as things migrate into the shopping cart mysteriously, with no regard for the list.

The sun came out and it is beautiful, but cold. All the tree trunks and branches look happy; even the yellow grass seems like it is reaching upwards. The frost-bitten daffodils look pleased too. Yesterday I saw and heard a big flock of geese flying overhead. The setting sun reflected off their bellies and they just looked stunning.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if anyone posted this, but here's JA's RD for the week. Good to see he's getting some mileage from spending so much time on the Hill lately:

PS Thompson's illustration is a hoot.

Cassandra, it's so nice to see you in here again.


Posted by: bc | February 3, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Something | February 3, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, welcome back. Also to Nelson. My little appendectomy pales in comparison, but I do feel for you as this abdominal surgery stuff isn't fun.

re: Van Halen. I'm kind of excited about that; hopefully they come to Western Canada. I heard the Eagles are finishing a new album too.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 3, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to change the subject,but there is an event taking place tomorrow.

No big deal just the unveiling of next year's commercial creations.

And a game too.I think it starts in 24 hours,47 minutes and 25.2 seconds from now.

Any predictions or comments would be appreciated.

maybe 19.6 seconds now

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 3, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

For a couple of weeks Ivansdad has been giving me a quiz: What happens in (two weeks, tomorrow, etc)? [A football game?] What time will it be? [Late afternoon?] Who is playing? [Two football teams.] Today I was able to say it is the Bears and Colts. Will I watch the game? Hah. Will I see the commercials? Perhaps, though one really should be in the room with the game to watch the commercial breaks.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 3, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

there's a football game tomorrow?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 3, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm boycotting the game tomorrow due to the prohibition on tailgating.

Posted by: Fifty | February 3, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Pretend I know how to make this a hot link and read about Al Gore's foot soldiers (GW, not presidential campaign).

Posted by: frostbitten | February 3, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

My football prediction: the Puppy Bowl team with the lab mixes on it will win. They should have called it *The Supper Bowl.*

Posted by: dbG | February 3, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

dbG: no fair rooting for the labs! Your foster dog sounds wonderful and I hope the adoption process goes well. No wonder they are so popular.

Our dog (not a lab, so you see the troubles you can have) summoned me to wakefulness this morning by sneezing in my face.

Posted by: Fifty | February 3, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

They are so thoughtful that way! S/he knew you weren't keeping up with your MDR of dog snot.

Foster guy is the 3rd black lab in the house. I love watching them in the yard; I'd say it's a *herd* of labs, but I think it should be a *wag* of labs. I just e-mailed his prospective family new pictures to suck them in further. It's like Internet Dating for Dogs.

dmd, TBG, love you!

Posted by: dbG | February 3, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

So, I guess DLR is ready to pull his chaps out of retirement and hit the road with Eddie and Alex (Is Mike Anthony rejoining too? That would be a big surprise to me), since the Howard Stern replacement gig didn't go so well.

Prediction for Uber Bowl XLI: if the Bears can run for over 150 yards and can control the clock, get good field position from Hester and the rest of the Chi special teams (and maybe one runback for a score), pressure Manning into throwing at least 3 pickles and under 60% completion rate, hold Addai and the Colts running game to under 120 yards total, they have a reasonable shot to win.

I think the Colts win this one.

I'm reminded of when the Patriots played the "greatest show on turf" Rams a few years back. Nobody gave the Pats a chance, just as few are giving the Bears a chance.
Unfortunately, Rex Grossman is no Tom Brady.


Posted by: bc | February 3, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

News about Gardasil (see Texas Gov. Rick Perry posts above) from Australia:

Boys Too

Gardasil was approved June 16 by the department's Therapeutic Goods Administration for females aged 9 to 26 years and males aged 9 to 15.

After a two-year catch up period inoculating women as old as 26 years with Gardasil, the National Immunisation Program aims to target schoolgirls aged 12 and 13 to immunize them before they become sexually active.

HPV viruses are responsible for about 20 percent of head and neck cancers, and are a chief cause of cancer of the pen1s, anuts and some types of skin cancer in men who have sex with other men. HPV viruses, of which there are about 200 different types, also cause genit@l warts.

Silent Carriers

In 98 percent of infections, the body's own immune response successfully fights the virus. In the remainder of cases, it will persist, potentially causing disease, the University of Queensland's Frazer said.

``From a public health point of view, vaccinating men and women is the quickest way to reduce the total burden of virus in the community,'' Frazer said in an interview in Melbourne last month. The vaccine is safe in men though more studies are needed to demonstrate its efficacy, he said.

Infected men who are immunized will secrete protective antibodies along with the virus, making them less likely to spread HPV, Frazer said.

``Since this is a virus that you generally don't know you've got, especially in men, there's a case to be made for immunizing men to prevent them from infecting women even if they've already been infected themselves,'' he said.

**I see that my friend Dawn Richardson of Austin, Texas, who is unpaid and gives a tremendous amount of her time to PROVE, Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education here in the state, was part of John Siegenthaler's NBC's Nightly News program this evening about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's executive order to vaccinate all 11- or 12-year-old only girls against the human papilloma virus.

I think Perry should issue an executive order mandating all 11- and 12-year-old Texas boys to carry those tubular rubberized one-time products in their wallets--at all times.

Posted by: Loomis | February 3, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh Cassandra, you have no idea how happy I was to see your post. Please stick around, I have missed you. Also welcome back Nelson, glad you're feeling better. Been really busy the last few days and have only skimmed the boodle. I will be working again, another 'temp' job but with possibilities and a much more interesting position.

I'm rooting for the Bears tomorrow just to spite the Colts for beating the Pats. But I don't really care much either way, will watch for the commercials as they're usually better than the game (when the Pats aren't involved).

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 3, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

bh, re your 2.16: No direct connection to southern Oregon - but the Lovely Mrs. byoolin grew up in Banks and lived in Portland; her brother lives in Bend. We've been thinking about moving and our short list includes Eugene, Salem & Portland.

Posted by: byoolin | February 3, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

You know, it's almost cold enough here for me to attempt to relive my childhood by sticking my tongue to a fencepost. (Or door, shovel, swingset, bicycle, metal clasp on mittens, another door, icicle, toboggan, sled, goalpost.)

Posted by: byoolin | February 3, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, no sticking tongues on fence posts here today, really cold, -13 now but a wicked wind chill. The drive back from seeing Dad today was nasty, white outs, blowing snow, snow, wind and cold.

Read an article up here todays, that brought the issue of Obama's smoking up. I did not realize he was a smoker, anyone think that would affect their opinion of him. I am curious to hear peoples opinions.

DBG big hug to you and Gordon.

Posted by: dmd | February 3, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The daughter is very eager to vote for Obama, and with campaigns lasting so long now the just turned 17yo will be old enough in time for the primary. She has somehow managed to put his smoking aside-surprising since she used to rant and rave about police driving right by smoking teenagers without arresting them.

I bet if we actually see him smoking it will be on YouTube.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 3, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the bad phrasing in my post (too much wine at the anniversary supper). I ment that the topic of Obama's smoking was raised as an issue, not that he was "smoking up".

Personally I find it strange that is would even be a topic of discussion, I was unaware he smoked, I hope if he continues his run he will give it up - what a great role model that would be, however I do not believe it should be a determining factor. It is time to look for a quality leader and not a perfect leader.

Posted by: dmd | February 3, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

We nipped south to see the fog rising off Lake Superior at dawn. My feet and Wilbrod's camera hand nearly froze at -18F in the process. Bah.

We went somewhere else to stay warm for the day, and I opened up a new branch of my personal fan club in the process.

The drive back was extremely long, and we went through pockets of -24 degree weather before getting home. I got a steaming warm foot wash, food, and I'm about ready to hit the dog bed.

Cold? You don't know cold unless you're trying to do your business barepawed in freezing weather, especially when you need to be on both rear paws instead of one, if you take my meaning.

I can't wait for my boots to arrive. Heck, I'll take toddler-size wool socks, even. Anything, or I may wind up holding it in until spring thaw.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | February 3, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

My wife is insisting we go see The Police or Genesis if they come anywhere near us. We saw Sting last summer and he was just cashing a check. I would hope the original crew would put some life back into him.

I saw the original Van Halen line-up over 25 years ago.

I don't need to see the fat and bald version of Diamond Dave.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 3, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

dbG: I love to watch dogs play, but I don't understand why they do it.

At work, they're having an informal pool on the super bowl. Winner gets weekend duty next week, so I predicted a 0-0 tie at the end of regulation, with the Cleveland Browns prevailing with a field goal in overtime. That should do it.

Posted by: Fifty | February 3, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I saw the Police in '79 and VH in '80 (possibly on the same tour you did).

The Police, I'd think about seeing again, VH, um, I doubt it. Especially if Diamond Dave does the "chaps with nothing under them but a leather codpiece" trick. Yikes.


Posted by: bc | February 3, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I googled for a confirmation of the Police tour, but I didn't find anything. They're probably trying to figure out what to charge for tickets. At least they'll be on the Grammies.

Speaking of wool socks, I got Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter" from the library today. I read the first chapter while I was waiting in the parking lot of a movie theater (so I don't have to sit through endless commercials and previews). It is hilarious - I was laughing out loud and hoping no one thought I was too weird! She's very funny - I don't think you'd have to be a knitter or crocheter or a woman to enjoy her writing. She has a blog, natch:

(She's also Canadian.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I too love to see dogs play. I live with a bunch of them, and I think they do it because it's fun. Gives them something to (within their means) think about, some exercise, some skills (and if you look closely at their faces, they are grinning).

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki. It certainly looks like great fun. I'll bet you're right that they practice their skills and maybe also work out their doggy relationships while playing.

Posted by: Fifty | February 4, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

"A Barrel Full of Senators"

Good one, Joel. Keen observations. Hey, maybe you are becoming an expert.

Posted by: Random Commenter | February 4, 2007 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Just passing through during the "wee" hours, if you know what I mean...

Joel... I just noticed the filename for this kit: "hillary_ill_end_the_war.html". The power of punctuation amazes me sometimes. I wonder how a Googlebot would interpret it?

a. Joel is saying "Hillary, I'll end the war"

b. Hillary is ill, so we must end the war

c. Hillary is an ill end to the war

d. SCC: Hillary *will* end the war

Okay... I'm now going to click submit and slowly back away from the computer. Must go back to bed. Need sleep. Must. Stop. Boodling.

Posted by: martooni | February 4, 2007 5:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Sneakers, it is good to be back, and thanks. Sonofcarl, sorry to hear you have been sick, good thoughts and prayers your way.

frostbitten, welcome to the boodle, you're going to love it, we do.

martooni, what would the boodle be without you. You keep me in stitches, although very insightful comments.

Joel, I would love to hear and see you in person, keep up the good work. God bless.

I am up and about, going to Sunday school, have studied the lesson for the day. I believe the g-girl might be here today for a little while. Grandsons, and the rest of the clan in Philly.

A child wrote a letter to the editor here in our local paper in response to the guy that said women are not capable of doing a man's job, God made women to be pretty so men would have something to look at. In her response she says that women can do anything, even President. Yet she clarified this answer with not Hillary Clinton, but Elizabeth Dole or Condi. And she said, "Condi", as if on a first name basis with the woman, and dollars to donuts she doesn't know Miss Rice. I thought, gee whiz, already.

I saw a movie where the guy, a therapist, says to another guy(his patient), God gave man alcohol(sp?) as a lubricant, it makes men brave, and women loose. I thought it was funny, but a bit of truth also.

Super Bowl today. Have fun guys and gals.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ. And it is so true, and I believe with all my heart, don't you?

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 4, 2007 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Godd Mornng Cassandra.

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra.

Gosh, it's nice to see you here in the mornings.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Hi Cassandra,

Math resources on the way.

Ground report:
Colonies of daffodils up between 2 and 4 inches. Nubs on day lilies peeking up, too. We expect cold without the cover of snow this week.

Snow drops up and about to bloom.

I like how Canadian boodlers make their vowel sounds on words like 'about' and 'process' and my favorite, 'schedule.'

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra, and a pleasant Sunday morning to you!

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2007 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone! Off to breakfast with my DBG and friends. We just got up, too.

The 13 yr old girl was out last night to see some one-act plays with a friend (and her dad) and came in late. It was the first time she was the one climbing up the stairs and popping into our room to say, "I'm home."

Times they are a-changin'. And it's good.


Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The governor weighs in on the Duke case:

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

When George Stephanopolous asked Sen. McCain about hiring the people who had swift boated him in the S. Carolina primary he descibed them as good people who were following instructions.
I love Sunday. Started off with Alan Keyes on D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries, a little Stooges and on to the talking heads, delicious.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

WaPo headline: Cheney's Shadow Looms at Trial

And if he sees his shadow, we'll have an early pullback of troops, if he doesn't, we'll be there 6 more years.

If only it were that easy.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. I know I left something dangling in my last post.
It's just so hard ot find.

Posted by: Snipper999 | February 4, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Special good morning to you Cassandra.
Another cold morning, yet Dear Child still insists on running around with next to no clothes on. Gotta love her.
Have a happy day all. "starts with a C, ends in an O, and in the middle is HICAG."

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I have been flip flopping all week on who to root for.But last night I watched The Princess Bride( a classic)and little Fred Savage was wearing a Chicago Jersey,so I am going with Da Bears.

Now almost all of my post season picks have gone opposite of what I wanted.So the Colts will probably win.

I hope they defense can rattle Manning into a poor performance and they can get a score or great field position out of their special teams and Rex Grossman can manage them to a win.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra writes;

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ. And it is so true, and I believe with all my heart, don't you?

Here we go again.

Cassandra, no, no, and no.

"The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Chill out it is Sunday morning

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra writes:

A child wrote a letter to the editor here in our local paper in response to the guy that said women are not capable of doing a man's job, God made women to be pretty so men would have something to look at. In her response she says that women can do anything, even President. Yet she clarified this answer with not Hillary Clinton, but Elizabeth Dole or Condi. And she said, "Condi", as if on a first name basis with the woman, and dollars to donuts she doesn't know Miss Rice. I thought, gee whiz, already.

Gore Vidal writes in his *1971* essay, "Women's Liberation: Feminism and Its Discontents":

Today we are witnessing the breakup of patterns thousands of years old (see other Vidal essays on Sky-Gods). The patriarchal response is predictable: if man on top of woman has been the pattern for all our known history, it must be right. This of course was the same argument he made when the institution of slavery was challenged. After all, slavery was quite as old an institution as marriage. With the rejection of the idea of ownership of one person by another at the time of our Civil War, Women's Lib truly began. If you could not own a black man, then you could not own a woman either. So the war began. Needless to say, the forces of reaction are very much in the sadle (in every sense), and women must fight for their equality in a system which wants to keep them in manageable family groups, buying consumer goods, raising future consumers until the end of time--or the world's raw resources, which is rather cloer at hand.

Cassandra, it is very unfortunate that the child you wrote about didn't call Condi "Dr. Rice," indicating Condi's educational status, or "Madam Secretary" Condi's position within the federal government, but instead chose to label our current Secretary of State "Miss Rice" which reflects Condi's marital status.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Typically, it's not chilly in Texas on Sunday mornings in February.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Late mornin' all...

I rarely get to sleep in -- between work, side work, nature calling and Little Bean, 6:00 is the norm (even on weekends). I can't remember the last time I saw 9:51am on the alarm clock. I might have made it to 10:35, but the Bean got me. She decided that my hair needed braiding whether I was awake or not. Thank the FSM we don't allow her to play with scissors.

Hello again, Cassandra. You've been missed. :-)

And Error, too... do we need to send in the Coast Guard? Surface, man... surface!

As for the Super Bowl, I personally don't care who wins and most likely won't even watch it. I suppose I might lean toward the Bears, but only because I have some family in Chicago.

Speaking of the Super Bowl... Came across this quote in George Will's piece today (*not* a Will fan, only read him to keep an eye on the conservatives): "[...] Dallas Cowboys running back Duane Thomas asked a subversive question about the game: 'If it's the ultimate, how come they're playing it again next year?'"

Posted by: martooni | February 4, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking | Thanks for the link to the yarnharlot. I enjoyed it even though I'm not a woman. However I am a Canadian and knit my brow when I'm crotchety.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Typically, it's not chilly in Texas on Sunday mornings in February."

Must be all that hot air coming from San Antonio.

Posted by: martooni | February 4, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I saw last night where Micheal Irvin was elected to the Pro Football hall of fame and Art Monk was not.

Art has better numbers,played longer,he was a great citizen to the community and an all around nice guy.

It is a shame that glitz and glamour sometimes outweigh class and grace.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, gang, 'morning, Cassandra. (Though I've been up for several hours.)

Super Bowl Sunday. Yawn. Yeah, I'll watch the game, but may channel surf from time to time, especially if it's a blowout. (70% of all previous XMVSDLLCXIIZMI Super Bowls have been dull, one-sided games. Truth. I counted 'em myself. Nothing like a good old-fashioned home-made statistic.)

My prediction: Colts, 21-3 in a schnoozer. (This pretty much guarantees a Bears victory in a close, hard-fought, exciting game.)

I'm about to embark upon the creation of a gigunda all-day slow-cooked beef stew, with overtones of beef burgundy and/or beef bourguignon, an ideal dinner for an extra-chilly winter day. Gotta few tricks up my sleeve. I think I'm going to finish it by popping it into a giant casserole dish and putting a pie crust on top. As the say in Maine (don't know about Haute Maine), "Finest kind." Haven't figured out yet if I wanna scratch-build the crust, or get a store-bought. Decisions, decisions....

Be happy to fax some to any boodlers, if somebody would volunteer to clean the fax machine.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I've never been a big fan of titles received by appointment. I can be appointed Grand Poobah of Football Pools by my MNF group (statistics can be fun!). I could take the title to some pretty funny extremes. Get myself a robe (I think I'd have to go for green), maybe a crown. Oh! A scepter! But really, how would I really be any different?
Being a DC area native, I realized at an early age that some elected officials can't find their butts with both hands. (In 5th grade, I thought *everyone* knew who Speaker of the House was, and was shocked to find out differently). Educationally, I know someone who is extremely well educated but with NO (and I mean no) common sense. I'm tellin' ya, she could miss the broad side of a barn.
Come to think of it, across the board, titles have very little meaning for me. Are titles really just (green) robes to be worn?
Time to go tackle the youngest, get her into some clothes. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Braided hair, knitted brows. A liberal application of body paint and 'Tooni 'n me are ready for ignoring the big game.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Today, I must exercise my powers as President (aka, el Jefe) of Voices in the Glen, a (the?) DC Metro Area storytelling organization. I hope to pass on the title to some other poor sucker, but my suspicion is that I'll be pressed back into service. This makes me feel bad, because I have done basically squat in the past two years of my three-year term, after an initially promising first year. Can I muster more energy for a second term? Who can tell?

Posted by: StorytellerTim | February 4, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, I'm with you 100% on Art Monk. Dude deserves to be in. Irvin cultivated the media (even when he was being a Bad 'boy), Monk just let the facts speak for themselves. Too bad that's not enough for the writers who vote to put those busts in Canton (still thinking about the TV guy who put down $40 so TO can go see Bill Parcells' bust there in '12).

Mudge, I won't be home for the game, otherwise I'd have you fax me some of that beef stew at some point in the 2nd quarter. Sounds yummy. Still, I think I'll be eating quite well without it.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm trying to catch up but knew I had to get into the swing ASAP...

I'll be taking the fax in for an overhaul so it'll be ready for all those calories we're sending nelson's way!! Great to see you back, nelson!! :-)

Sneaks, I am SO with you on rooting for the Bears. I can even forgive them for Super Bowl XX if they smash the Colts.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse


Finest kind, indeed! *thinkin' you must have visited Ogunquit at some point and seen the whole FK family of boats at anchor*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think some here might like to check in on author David Brin's blog at times. It's mostly politics, some science, and he's upbeat by nature although disturbed by current trends. Hmm...

Posted by: Jumper | February 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

*Sigh.* The return of Spiney Norman.

Posted by: Python Fan | February 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

And the password is


Thank you 'Mudge.

DR and ML -- are we the knitty-kitties here? Bok, real men do knit! Wade on in the yarn is fine.

I will NOT be watching the Stupor Bowl, which often inconveniences me on my late January b-day. But I turned another year older without football interference last week.

(I love the OTHER football, known best as the "Beautiful" game.)

I hear that some Cable channels in the US and Canadia will include a few knitting-fest shows: DIY for do-it-yourself channel, I believe.

Anyway, enjoy the game. God is on their side(s). Feast on the comestables and inbibe moderately of the bottled convivialties.

Sunny here, with little finches and other birdlets seeking seeds or berries missed yesterday.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

An oldie, but a goodie....

A man had front row, 50 yard line tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sits down, a man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him.

"No," he says, "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?"

He says, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we haven't been to together since we got married in 1987."

"Oh ... I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shakes his head. "No, they're all at the funeral."

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Read, Loomis, read!

The child referred to Dr. Rice as "Condi" not "Miss Rice".

I thought you knew enough to get your citations correct when you're being rude.

Posted by: HilFan | February 4, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, go on and make your pastry from scratch. The stew sounds wonderful and deserves a good crust. Besides, it's fun to do the final mix with your hands and roll the dough out.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. The stuffy paper (the Other Leading Brand) introduces the Secretary of State in articles with full title and name and repeats her name as Ms. Rice. I thought perhaps they reserve Dr. for MDs, but they alternately call Kissinger Dr. and Mr. in other articles.

The WaPo neatly sidesteps the issue with last name only after first mention. A case of less is more.

Yesterday's Maureen Dowd column points out a problem for presidential candidates from the Senate. You can't discount a vote for the war in Iraq by saying you were fooled by the administration since no one was. (In late 2002 as we raced to war in Iraq, I for one couldn't understand why.) Instead, Dowd [this blog's in the WaPo after all] attributes Democratic votes for the war to fear of political consequences if the war went well.

Dowd makes the point specifically about Senator Clinton, but don't several candidates have the same problem? The Iraq war authorization may lend further advantage to governors over senators in 2008.

On the other hand, we will probably choose candidates based on the ability to raise money. What makes a candidate a successful fund-raiser? Why was Bush so successful at fundraising in the 2000 campaign?

Posted by: Fifty | February 4, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse


I really should let this go, but...

There's something very unprofessional about the Post having messed up the spelling of Charles Town in yesterday's print coverage of the heartbreaking discovery of the two local girls. There's something even MORE unprofessional about today's article employing semantic twists to avoid having to use "Charles Town" again.


And where are my manners??? HI CASSANDRA!!! *waving* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

BLUB.. BLUB..BLUB... I agree global warming may not BLUB..BLUB>> be real. But..BLUB...BLUB..I have a hard time...BLUB...BLUB...making a rational decision while trying to keep my head above the....BLUB...BLUB....rising water!!!Gil in Tex

Posted by: Treblig | February 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, thanks for the David Brin blog link! I love finding author blogs, but most are disappointing semi-advertisements. This one's a keeper (bookmarked).

Posted by: sevenswans | February 4, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

TBG, nice.

I would watch that game today but I'm failry certain that the commercials will show up somewhere else on a best of show. Am I mistaken thinking that the whole Superbowl exeprience is about the buildup, and not the game? That the game is really a sidelight? Without all the history of Grey Cup?

Mudge, now question, not sotre bought.

Posted by: dr | February 4, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, SCC NO question.

Posted by: dr | February 4, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

TBG, loved the joke.

I'm a longtime David Brin fan (circa "Sundiver"), but I'd never read his blog before. Thanks, jumper.

Python fan, if we ever meet (or ever have met), remind me to tell you a funny (and true) story about Spiney Norman.


Posted by: bc | February 4, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-not store bought! Use lard if you have it, and replace some of the flour with a little cornmeal. The texture and flavor hold up better with the burgundy/bourguignon undertones.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 4, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I think there's going to be a role reversal in the Super Bowl. Rex is going 20-27, 275, 3 TDs, and Payton 12-38, 158, 1 TD, 3 INTs. The Bears get to Payton early and often, he doesn't get set, the run gets stuffed, and they score 13 points. Bears in an upset, 27-13.

Loomis: what do you mean when you say "here we go again?" Shouldn't it be, "here I go again" seeing as you are the only one who feels the constant urge to rip Cassandra's posts?

Posted by: Tangent | February 4, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Mudge -- would love for you to fax me the stew -- it sounds so good!!! I'd clean out the fax machine on this end, anyway!

Cassandra -- I thank you for your prayers. Keep walking!!

CP -- Sadly, my garden is all gone. I had to move last Fall and leave it all behind. I don't have enough light in the new place to force anything.

Last year I probably had over 30 pots full of hyacinths, hippeastrums, narcissus and even those cute tiny iris that I forced. Crocus too -- I have an odd dislike of grape hyacinth and so ignored them.

Someone gave me a primrose souped up on flower-boost food when I got home from the hospital. It's still pushing up blooms 3 weeks later. So I bought two more and fed them some super-flowering food. Hopefully this will get me through February.

I should go back over to the old place and see what's coming up in the back. There are daffodils up all over town -- 2 freakish weeks of 70+ weather in January pushed them to bloom. Even saw a forsythia in full regalia in mid-January.

I probably won't be planting even annuals this summer -- the idea being to be in Albuquerque by year's end. My eldest niece is getting married in mid-September in Atlanta -- I hope to be moving soon after her wedding.

When I get settled, I plan to start a xerophilic garden -- whole different can of worms (perfect!) than gardening in an area that gets 4 feet of rain a year.

Zone 5 and very little rainfall. Finally, I'll be able to grow huge drifts of lavender!! Penstemons! Agastache! Hooray!

I guess its because I am in an "in-between" phase I don't want to stick anything in the ground -- fear of getting "rooted" to a place I want to be leaving by year's end.

It's 50 degrees here today and sunny. Georgeous! Tomorrow and Tuesday to have highs in low 30's -- but no precip. Can live with that.

No interest in the game. I did see though, that both teams have head coaches who are black. Wow!! Finally! Very cool.

Sorry for the spotty posting. Feeling a bit better today -- but still have a ways to go. Thanks to all who shared stories of cousins, friends and hubbies who had similar procedures with good outcomes.

Sheesh! I should have known to tell the whole tale from the beginning! Yoki -- my condition is completely cured too. I suspect by mid-summer, if not sooner, I'll have my weight back on, my muscle tone back and my stamina will be back to it's pre-surgical level.

Fortunately this was done laparascopically, so there is no huge incision to heal.

This may be my one post for the day. For game-watchers, may it be close and up-gor-grabs until the end; for everyone else (is there anyone *not* watching the game tonite?) enjoy Sunday!

Posted by: nelson | February 4, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi Cassandra! I come late to reading the boodle as I have been preparing dinner for #2 daughter and her fiance. She has just returned from a week in Mexico with her father, his wife wouldn't go, afraid of germs or something, you know Mexicos' reputation. It was a business/award thingy. She has been away most of the month between Costa Rica with her fiance and then this past week. I miss her terribly when she's away as she is one of those people who light up the room when they walk in, plus she's very funny. So I'm making roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, squash and green beans, the old standby menu I grew up on.

They are bringing the laptop with plenty of photos of their travels and I'm sure some good stories too. Don't want to sound mean but her relationship with her dad is not the best and I'm very pleased that she got thru the week by acting in a mature and reasonable manner in the face of some not so mature incidents.

Cassandra, you just keep reminding us that God loves us, those who choose not to buy into it can be ignored, and you will be able to read the boodle much quicker. And Mudge, store bought pie crust - an abomination surely!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Loomis isn't "the only one who feels the constant urge."

Every time I see "God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ," that sound the rest of you hear is my eyes rolling back so far in my head that my optic muscles snap.

And the rest of us don't end every post with "Praise Allah, PBUH" or "Valhalla I am coming" or "Satan, I love you" or even "There is NO god!"

But Cassandra does, and when Loomis calls "enough already," gets jumped on for it.

Cassandra - please don't take this as an attack on you specifically. Please keep boodling to your heart's content. But there are people here who don't give a tinker's cuss about your religious beliefs (or mine, for that matter).

And it is so true, and I believe with all my heart, don't you?

Posted by: byoolin | February 4, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Nelson -- loved the flower details
....blessings aren't they, both the real flowers, the words about flowers, and even the thoughts of such vegetable love.

You are an inspiration:flexible and loving about beloved yet former plots.

I am sure you will make the deserty clime bloom: agave, succulents, air plants, etc.

Glad you feel better.

Mudge, store-bought crust 'tis only a venial-rhymes-with-menial sin. I can arrange a pardon or indulgence, by wat of the aether. You don't need to be tethered by a fax machine

However, if you need a crust and can't manage a pure hand-done one, well, that could be a "worse" sin.

As my Grand Da was want to say, "The enemy of done is perfect." Yet, he was a finish carpenter whose dovetail drawer butts were a thing of fierce beauty.

Go Team. Beat the Enemy. God is on your side.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Oops, the 1:01 was me.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 4, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

byoolin: apologies. I didn't mean to suggest that Loomis was the only one who disagrees w/ Cassandra; many (most?) of the boodlers here don't share her faith. I just don't understand why it has to be an issue, why it has to be a "here we go again." We've already had this discussion, ad nauseum. Scroll past. I have no problem w/ the post on feminism, I think that it adds to the conversation. Perhaps I am just as culpable as Loomis, as I called her on it, thus perpetuating the conversation. Again, my apologies. Happy Weekend.

Posted by: Tangent | February 4, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Tangent - no offense taken. I think you're right about the topic having been done to death.

Posted by: byoolin | February 4, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

nelson, take comfort from the fine Canadian poet Lorna Crozier.

In Moonlight

Something moves
just beyond the mind's
clumsy fingers.

It has to do with seeds.
The earth's insomnia.
The garden going on
without us

needing no one
to watch it

not even the moon.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering why, as Tangent said, some people just can't scroll past posts that bother them. If we were all at a party and the conversation in one group wasn't to your liking, you'd excuse yourself and move on. I don't see the point in being rude to someone whose intentions are good. When the discussion here gets too technical or involved in things I don't know or care much about, I just skim and let it go. "Live and let live."

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 4, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I know football's a guy thing, but I've been watching 2 labs playing rough with a smallish green plastic football that makes duck noises (well, halfway between a honk and toot). Wouldn't the SB be far more interesting if there weren't all those rules, the action was constant, and the ball made funny noises? :-) *ducking*

Cassandra, it is so good to hear your thoughts again!

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Good point, Bad Sneakers!

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

dbG, the squeaky football would indeed be funny. That said Superbowl proceedings are in full swing, chilli on, snacks, aloohol purchased. Five different stores this morning in the Freezing cold, and I probably won't even watch the game but we are having friends over so must be prepared.

Go Bears!

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

HilFan writes:
The child referred to Dr. Rice as "Condi" not "Miss Rice".

As Cassandra tells it, the child did refer to Dr. Rice as Condi (correct), it was Cassandra who referrred to Condi as Miss Rice (although none of us saw the letter in Cassandra's local paper, to make that clear). I stand corrected. Rude? No. Countering with a passage from a Gore Vidal essay is not rude.

So let me do a rewrite:

Cassandra, it is *insert word of your choice* that you didn't call Condi "Dr. Rice," indicating Condi's educational status, or "Madam Secretary" Condi's position within the federal government, but instead chose to label our current Secretary of State "Miss Rice" which reflects Condi's marital status.

I would rather have come on the Boodle to talk about the the simian 40 virus and human papilloma virus (but I'll just refer you back to byoolin's 1:14 p.m.), since the Superbowl doesn't hold my interest though the overpriced advertising throughout the game might.

Should we have some sort of rules and guidelines about what can be discussed and when? So, it's O.K. to talk about God and Jesus Christ on a Sunday, but not agnosticism or atheism? Or maybe there should be a guideline or rule that we all stay on-topic for a 24-hour period, *she asks in a devil's advocate manner*? Hmmm?

Outstanding issue of National Geographic on newstands presently including an interview with Francis Collins about science and religious belief. Collins, of the Human Genome Project, also talks about the ineffectiveness of prayer during his interview.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article about sky reports (and bad information) in the local paper - stunning picture, too, from the new Olympic Sculpture Park, which I have not been to yet. When I read this in the dead tree copy of the paper, I immediately thought of sharing it with the boodle, so I'm glad it's online.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra's faith based messages don't bother me, but I do get really irked when people (ok, military associated family type people) say everyone needs faith in God to get them through having a loved one in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Not so. Not once in all the deployments the husband has been through from Mogadishu (2x) to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, have I ever felt the need to pray or otherwise seek solace in faith. I have none. Keeping one foot in front of the other and knowing he no longer has to commute on I-95 keep me going.

However, today my dog of 17 years is not doing well and after talking to the emergency vet we are in the process of saying goodbye. It is in times like these, and when beloved humans are in certain peril, that it is comforting to know that others have a faith that moves them to reach out in love.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 4, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

So, it's O.K. to talk about God and Jesus Christ on a Sunday, but not agnosticism or atheism?

Let me rephrase this:
So, it's O.K. to talk about God and Jesus Christ (the same old chant or song and dance as a tag line) on a daily basis, but not agnosticism or atheism? What's good for the goose is not good for the gander--or choose your own analogy or metaphor, considering First Amendment rights to free speech and all...

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I stand corrected.

*Condescending* is the word I should have used, although I would add that it takes a certain amount of social skill to recognize *rude* also.

Please just skip Cassandra's posts in the same way others skip yours.

Posted by: HilFan | February 4, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

One doesn't have to have faith to reach out in love.

Providing information can also be a way of loving. The current National Geographic has a long feature story on the genetic underpinnings of heart disease, as well as the importance of diet and exercise.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Isn't setting up a strawman to knock down one of Bush's techniques?

I think it's not that topics are verboten, but that tone of post and attitude should reflect respect for other posters.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should just devise two different Boodle threads--religious vs. non-religious.

Heck, I'd enthusiastically endorse that! People would be free to alternate or stay only on one of the threads, as suits her or his fancy. What a novel idea!

Condescending has absolutely nothing to do with that.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Cassandra. It's a pleasure to see you here again.

nelson, it's good to see you as well. It sounds like you are well on your way to recovery. Take care of yourself and all will be well.

Posted by: pj | February 4, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Loomis ,you are correct faith is not the only manner to reach out. Over the past year I have been the recipient of many people reaching out in their own ways.

I have the current Nat. Geographic and the information is useful and helpful but just doesn't feel as warm and fuzzy as someone offering me a heartfelt greating, I may not share their belief but I can understand the sentiment with which it is given and appreciate that. Just as I appreciate information when it is provided to me.

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I vote for rude.
-adjective, rud·er, rud·est.
1. discourteous or impolite, esp. in a deliberate way: a rude reply.
2. without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants.
3. rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth.
4. rough, harsh, or ungentle: rude hands.
5. roughly wrought, built, or formed; of a crude construction or kind: a rude cottage.
6. not properly or fully developed; raw; unevolved: a rude first stage of development.
7. harsh to the ear: rude sounds.
8. without artistic elegance; of a primitive simplicity: a rude design.
9. violent or tempestuous, as the waves.
10. robust, sturdy, or vigorous: rude strength.
11. approximate or tentative: a rude first calculation of costs.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I respect the rest (beyond the issue of Christian faith) of Cassandra's posts the majority of the time. I feel that she has street sense and common wisdom, a sense of justice, to make myself perfectly clear, as I have said on previous occasions.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

And I found these WaPo articles interesting too, about race and words:
Eugene Robinson on Biden's remarks:

Virginia's "Profound Regret":

frostbitten, very tough to lose old friends. You have my sympathy.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Sure. Perhaps we'd need a third one to hold your family tree and fire coverage.

Posted by: HilFan | February 4, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I have nothing against greetings of support or well wishes--without the references to a specific religion. It's one of Dr. Phil's rules of recognizing others, to use Phil McGraw as an example.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Loomis: I can't speak for anyone else, but if you would like to end your posts with, "Let reason and reason alone guide you and your loved ones throughout this day," go for it. No offense taken here.
Sorry, I'm done. Enjoy the game those of you watching it; enjoy the rest of your weekend those who aren't.

Posted by: Tangent | February 4, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

A third thread? Fine by me. Let's set one up for Mitzi FleeberhoffenGottversammlung, as well.

Posted by: Loomis | February 4, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Once again, mostlylurking has come up with better words than I.

Frostbitten, you have my sincere empathy.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

> Mitzi FleeberhoffenGottversammlung

Last time I checked Mitzi wasn't a boodlehog.

Posted by: HilFan | February 4, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

In reference to That Football Game Thing, I caused much hilarity among my Texas friends and relatives when on Monday I proudly drew their attention to the careful note I made on the calendar that helped me remember not to call anyone during the day. . . last Sunday.

In reference to That Religion Argument Thing, I can see both sides. Having lived in the Deep South for far too many years of my life, I'm immune to conversations, emails and cards that bless me, remind me to Praise God, exhort me to remember that Jesus Saves, etc., during the course of information exchange. Being closer in philosophy to Carl Sagan than to Billy Graham, I can also sympathize with the irritation caused by religious references in general conversation - atheism and discordianism included.

Belief is always an individual decision. And I believe I'll have another piece of pie.

(nelson, you're welcome to the calories!)

Posted by: sevenswans | February 4, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks mostlylurking and dbG.

Though female, Alex was named after Lamar Alexander because she was a stray dog who just showed up on my Tennesse doorstep one day. I have often said that she, and her late kennel mate Valerie, gave more for their country than most humans. Both were spayed by 5th Special Forces Group medics who needed the surgical practice.

She is resting comfortably now and I am sending Nelson the uneaten portion of the vat of ice cream I dived into for lunch.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 4, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, Alex is a great name.

I've been through the dog part recently. My "old" lab developed some major medical problems and quality of life issues last June. They trust you to take care of them to the very end, and it sounds as if that's exactly what you're doing.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I love you too. And I would be lost on the streets, as I am so many times here. But thanks anyway.

I am black as midnight, and too, too, fat. My hair is very short, and with the help of a barber, I keep it even shorter. I am short of stature, and don't walk too well. My eyes are big and brown, my teeth crooked, but then there's that big old smile. I love cats. I am deaf, and talk too loud, and laugh even louder. I am a member of the Achenblog, and tell everyone I meet that I am so. I love the volunteer work I do, and would feel bad if I couldn't do it. I like people, but I am so shy. God made me, and He loves me, oh, so much. Say what you will, you cannot take my joy or my peace. I love you all. And I would not have it any other way, me and the feelings.

What a great day! I'm like James Brown, I feel good.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 4, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

At every dog funeral in my big, sentimental and boisterous family this is said:

You brought laughter in life and tears in death. No one can do more.

Sorry sorry, from that same hard place: the heart that watches a good dog go.


Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I always say, in total truth, "You were the best dog in the world." I'm sure that's true of Alex.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I feel so much better. Thank you.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 4, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

James Brown "I feel good!" So do I. You go girl, Cassandra, and you too, Loomis.

[Footnote: I've just about got over the "girl"/"woman" thing with that phrase, and mean it in the nicest possible way.] And hey, Hal, when we get our italics could I have some footnotes please? I really miss them.

Frostbitten, I'm so sorry. And your phrase, "it is comforting to know that others have a faith that moves them to reach out in love" was beautifully expressed.

dbG, your "Cheney shadow" joke made the whole house ring with laughter. Thanks!

About that Super Bowl. I don't care who wins, nor will I actually watch. But, since I may be in the room, I'll root for the Colts. This is because I don't think the Bears should have allowed the Tank person with criminal charges to play, and I don't think the Chicago judge should have let him off house arrest to do so. I do understand that decision, however; wow! what pressure.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Two items in our newspaper today:

First, pure amusement. China built a new staduim in Grenada, and by mistake at the inauguration thereof they played the national anthem of Taiwan. Who says there's no God?

Second, a big headline screams "Bush proposes slashing social programs". [Fn: As if that miniscule portion of the budget will pay for the war.] Ivansdad and I talked it over and decided we need to institute the draft for people below a certain income and insurance level. That way, we'll be paying them a salary for services instead of them consuming precious national resources. Rather than just cutting them, we can abolish all kinds of social services after shifting their recipients to the front lines.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'll post the beef stew recipe this evening (after the taste test). I started working from a recipe in Cook's Country magazine, but made so made alterations and adaptions it is now truly my own recipe. Among other things, it has about 3/4 cup of cabernet sauvignon in it, and it smells potentially mind-altering. Yes, you boodlers have convinced me to scratch-build the crust.

To change the subject about as far as humanly possible, my son jst showed me a YouTube clip some of you (of stronger stomach) may find interesting. It is about a dead whale that washed up on the shores of South Africa. To get rid of the huge rotting thing, authorities towed it a few miles out to sea to a place called Seal Island, where many sharks, especially Great Whites, are known to go. Soon they were able to get never-before-seen footage of a great White feeding frenzy as something like 27 sharks feed on the corpse for more than four hours. At one point, some poor fool got into a scuba suit and got into a shark cage and went underwater to film some of it. After several hours, the shark seem to get bloated from over-eating; the narrator also hypothesized that since this was a mixed-sex group of sharks, that the male were ...uh...becoming aroused and sluggish by the presence of so many females in close proximity. No one has ever witnesses great white mating, but they think they wewre close to getting such footage.

All in all it was pretty interesting, and not very bloody, but the whale corpse was a mess. If this sort of thing bothers you, don't look at it. But if you want, it is at

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Anne Applebaum is speaking at Davidson this week, and today's Charlotte Observer had a conversation with her about how Europeans view the U.S.:

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I almost forgot to ask for some of that fine-sounding stew. I think, to be completely impartial, you'd better make one pot with homemade crust and one with boughten (as my Mom used to say). I'll try a little of both.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, that's always tough. I'm dreading the day our 16-year-old cat takes his leave. My condolences.

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 4, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, Mudge. Have to say, Strong climbing on top of the slippery carcus to get better pictures put him one shake away from getting a Darwin award.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: carcass

I wonder if YouTube will put up the recently e-mail circulated _Dog Pack Kills Alligator in Florida_ article.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

You know, my faith is very precious to me, and I don't apologize for it. I realize it is not precious to some of you here, and to many out there in the world. In fact, some people are so offended when one talks about faith and religion. They view it as something that should not be discussed in open conversation, as if it is taboo, but yet every subject under the sun is talked about, even those subjects that the sun does not touch.

My faith is very much a part of me, it is the high point of my life. Most of you here know that, and still talk to me. For those of you that it bothers, feel free to slide right on by. I don't talk about my faith to irritate you or offend you, just giving that part of me that I feel is the best. Isn't that what friends do, give friends their best?

And because this is Joel's blog, you can talk about just about anything, as long as he and the Washpost, don't find it offensive. JA, if my post and comment offend, say the word, and I am not only deaf, but mute also.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 4, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else look at Mudge's link and think that it looked a lot like Thanksgiving at mom and dad's house?

Posted by: byoolin | February 4, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I assume that was meant for Cassandra's 4:02, and not mine.

Posted by: byoolin | February 4, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, although your post was pretty funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

dbG: Here's a link to that story in someone's blog:

Posted by: kbertocci | February 4, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse


I bet your house smells better than mine. I have kielbasa (turkey type) in the crock pot with cabbage (green), potato (Yukon Gold) and onion (yellow-jacketed Spanish species).

Tastes yummy and perfect for the football party I am NOT having. However, each time I come back in from walking the doglet, the smell!!!!

I believe that the smell of cooked cabbage launched the entire Velvet Revolution in all of Eastern Europe. Any Polish dock workers out there? Bring the Lithuanian-style rye bread and come on over.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Scary video, Mudge. The teeth on that shark. I think it wanted to get the guy in the cage.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 4, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, would love to hear Anne Applebaum. I read her column sometimes. It sounds like it might be interesting.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 4, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Me too, Cassandra. The article didn't mention if the talk was open to the public; if so, I'd be tempted to drive the 35 or so minutes to hear her. I was heartened to hear that not everybody in Europe is against us.

Posted by: Slyness | February 4, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This old heathen accepts kind thoughts however they're dressed up.
For fun I goad the philosophy types over at :
They get really shirty when you suggest they're wasting their time. Then they ask you to prove it and it goes on and on about how Mrs. Thatcher ruined the country.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, if my post gave offense, I am sorry. I was trying to say that statements of faith of whatever kind or type didn't/don't (doesn't?) bother me at all. Nor do the opposite. I'm not easily offended, but I may have given offense by trying to say so, and if so, I apologize.

Posted by: sevenswans | February 4, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC ..until they start jabbering about how Mrs...

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

sevenswans, I am not offended. I realize that some people are not people of faith. I am. But no, you did not offend me one bit.

Posted by: Cassandra S | February 4, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The American Enterprise Institute is seeking experts and studies to bolster their upcoming release:
One Plank at a time.

Articles are being sought on the advantages of stacking, reduced wildlife management costs, and peasant control.
Essays on chlorophyll poisoning and snake bite amelioration will be considered.

The following have been approved for publication:
River Eradication and the Dolphin Threat: A Convergence of Economics and Security.
Gravel and the Subsistence Farmer: A Submission with a View to My Future.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 4, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kbert!

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Biggest downer of the day: Super Bowl players are introduced to great applause, except for one with a Muslim name. He gets a giant boo.

Am I proud to be an American? Not today.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 4, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Maggie! How are you doing?

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm an atheist, but am happy to meet and discuss with just about anything including religion, with just about anybody. But underneath, I have lingering doubts about the judgment of a believer. It doesn't matter in everyday life, but I have reservations about letting a believer make really important decisions that affect me, like occupying the office of POTUS. In theory such a person might follow Jesus and make more generous decisions which would benefit myself and others, but what I see instead is GWB, who seems to follow his idea of God instead. Unfortunately Jesus is important in only one of the major religious traditions, while most of them allow for God.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Rain.....I love it....a nice sloppy Super Bowl!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you been masquerading as George W. Bush again?

LTL-CA, I hear you. Totally.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Super Bowl --

Cute Budweiser commercial that starts like Lady and the Tramp.

They have these chains that are *exactly* 10 yards long which implies they are concerned with being ultra precise, right? (*Exactly* ten yards from wherever.) In front of God and everybody, a punt rolls dead and/or is downed on the 4-1/2 yard line. Come back after the commercial and see the ball is spotted on the 5. That makes it easier to judge the next first down, I guess. So much for the chain.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"A widespread assumption, which nearly everybody in our society accepts -- the non-religious included -- is that religious faith is especially vulnerable to offence and should be protected by an abnormally thick wall of respect, in a different class from the respect that any human being should pay to another."

-- from "The God Delusion," by Richard Dawkins

"Why should it be that it's perfectly legitimate to support the Labour party or the Conservative party, Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows -- but to have an opinion about how the Universe began, about who created the Universe . . . no, that's holy? . . . We are used to not challenging religious ideas but it's very interesting how much of a furore Richard [Dawkins] creates when he does it! Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you're not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be."

-- Douglas Adams, as quoted in "The God Delusion"

Posted by: Dreamer | February 4, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If Dr. Rice (and I find academic titles in the business or political world pretentious) is a "Miss", why does she refer to Dubya has her husband?

That's enough pot stirring for the day.

My wife and son don't watch the Sooper Bowl, so I am having a private game watching party. Unfortunately I have run out of dip and still have half a bag of chips left. Could someone fax me some more french onion?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, that is terrible! Judging from the activity in my local supermarket this weekend, I find it difficult to believe that ANYBODY could run out of ANYTHING snack related today. Clearly you have not been with the program, preparation-wise. Let this be a lesson to you. Meanwhile, I bet your next-door neighbor has extra dip. Send the kid over there.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 4, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I will say with no irony whatsoever that I love your posts, and assume you would come down on the Jesus side.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking. I have a new knee, and I'm doing just fine -- walking with a cane and doing my exercises. Really, I wish I had done this years ago.

As for my earlier rant: we've been talking all day about good manners and rudeness, booing at someone's name because of its ethnicity/religion is really over the limit. How boorish!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 4, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Another Super Bowl-related item --

Every Sunday at around 2 pm I go to buy my 92-YO mother her weekly groceries. The whole world was there today, buying beer and snacks, plus all us regulars who just happen to shop at that time. Parking lot jammed. For good reason, the store was not playing the recording that asserts, "Three's a crowd. When more than three people are in line, we open a new checkstand."

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse


My lack of foresight and planning is Bushian in its scope. I don't think the neighbors are the answer. The guy on one side is one month into his six-month tour in sunny Balad just north of Baghdad. My other neighbor is the single mom nurse that reminds me of Eva Langoria. I'd rather not go there.

Fortunately, I have a spare bag of cheddar snack mix for just this emergency.

It's been just over a year since I had my ACL replaced. Definitely do whatever your physical therapist tells you. Those people are miracle workers.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Maggie O'D - I too was horrified by the booing. I wonder if there is something more going on besides the man's name. Unfortunately, I don't follow sports well enough to know.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 4, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's an alternate topic for the Super Bowl-impaired. Today we rented "The Front Page" (the Matthau/Lemmon version) and then looked it up on and it says there this movie (which I believe started as a Broadway play?) has been made in three Hollywood versions and three television versions. That prompted my husband to ask, what other movies have been remade multiple times? And that leads to the question, which movie has had the most versions? He had a good guess with Romeo and Juliet--it has dozens of versions if you count all the tv productions. I remembered "A Star is Born" but could only find three versions listed.

What other movies have been remade ad infinitum / ad nauseum?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 4, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

dangit, the 8:05 was mine. I need my computer to enter my name in the box automatically...


Posted by: kbertocci | February 4, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

In the business world, academic titles are used as a marketing bludgeon. Our experts are better than yours, Dr Cullen for example. And it's not Joe Blow, PhD, followed by subsequent references to Mr Blow which AFAIK is correct etiquette, but rather Dr Joe Blow followed by Dr Blow every time.

I recall the course catalogs back when I was in college -- courses were all taught by Mr/Miss/Mrs Whoever, although the department list mentioned the degreees.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Prince looks like he's had a little plastic surgery, doesn't he?

Gotta give him credit for performing like that in the pouring rain, though. And it's not even purple.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I just ate a half a bowl of slop.

Posted by: Pat | February 4, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

About the booing of the Muslim-named player...

Was it Muhsin Muhammad? I believe he goes by the name "Moose" which is what they may have been yelling.

(Waylon Smithers: "they're not booing, they're saying "Boo-urns").

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

After having just read several hundred pages on the philosophical debates of the 13th century, I think I understand a bit more why so many folks get angry at religious critics like Dawkins. What makes many angry is that he and others like him frame the debate in strictly rationalist terms.

By doing so, they miss the point. It isn't that religious people haven't noticed that there is a non-rational aspect to faith, rather the religious reject the notion that something that makes no sense to our rational minds is, by definition, false.

The religious assert that this inability to fully comprehend certain beliefs reflects not a weakness of the belief, but a weakness of our minds. Indeed, an acceptance of what the mind rejects is at the very heart of what many call spirituality. To dismiss this response out of hand is, indeed, insulting.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 4, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

TBG - That bit about "Moose" gives me hope. Perhaps there will be something more about it in the papers tomorrow.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 4, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I know absolutely nothing about football; I hope you're right; that is, perhaps they're saying "Moose," or perhaps he has been behaving badly. I certainly hope that it's not his name that caused the booing.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 4, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

About the booing - that happens with Bruce Springsteen (Bruuuuce) and Lou Pinella (Louuuu) - so it's plausible they were yelling Mooooose. Sure hope so.

I was wondering why Prince et al weren't electrocuted. Obviously I'm glad, but...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Prince won the Super Bowl.

With Dave & Oprah a close second.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is booing. Only cheering. The Superbowl is a happy place to be, despite the tailgating restriction, which is petty.

Posted by: Pat | February 4, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the clarity and will try to memorize this for parties and tense web conversation.

I am a leftie-leaning but liturgically conservative practicing Catholic. "Religionists" or practictioners in higher education are a small -- and often maligned -- bunch.

I don't feel insulted, though. I see that the arguments "miss" each other entirely, partially because of the unexamined assumptions about the limits of rational thought and the inexplicable leap of faith.

I do, however, feel most welcome in the math-physics circles, partly because cosmology and the BIG MATH that supports such speculative rational pursuits sound awfully theological.

Awful, as in awe-inspiring.

I studied Teilhard de Chardin in college, along with evolutionary biology and neutral theory in ecological niche formation....wild stuff to get the head around. I have no problem with evolution, but find that some of my Christian -- and Orthodox Jewish -- conversation buddies are stunned by this.

The emerging voices in academia of my Moslem brothers and sisters are so guarded now, that I am trying very hard to listen carefully. Most do not feel safe to say much at all these days.

Recently, a Sikh student expressed such dismay at being rebuffed at a campus gathering about religious diversity. Apparently, "diversity" for that group is inter-religious dialog between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

We all need to listen more fully, within and without faith communities.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I respond to irrational or non-rational impulses, too. Some music or art or women I respond to, some I don't. But to accept a non-rational fundamental explanation of things, as opposed to continued skepticism and search for an explanation that meets scientific scrutiny, is IMHO a cop-out.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yello, faxing leftover chilli, speghetti, salad, chips, nachos and dip, fruit tray, dessert tray - PLEASE TAKE IT, I keep eating it and we have enough for a small army.

Posted by: dmd | February 4, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

The way I understand it, Dawkins fully accepts that there are mysteries of the Universe that the human mind does not comprehend. However, he differs from the more religiously devout in his belief that these mysteries could some day *be* comprehensible, through science. His beef seems to be with people who believe that we *already have* the answers to these mysteries, with all sorts of extraordinary details. Dawkins considers many of these explanations and details to be "shamelessly invented," giving the example of the nine orders of the four Choirs of Angelic Hosts: Seraphim, Cherablim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels and noting "the airy nonchalance with which these people make up the details as they go along."

I like this Sagan quote that Dawkins includes in "The God Delusion":

"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths."

-- from "Pale Blue Dot," by Carl Sagan

Posted by: Dreamer | February 4, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

RDP, good point. As I have said before, I am perfectly willing to trust science right out to its very limits--astronomy, nuclear physics, neurology, artificial intelligence, and on and on. Go for it, guys. But don't tell me that when you get to the point where you have to say, we just don't know, I have to stop thinking about it or being open to possibilities.

As Shakespeare said, "There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy." What is knowable and what is discernable and what science can prove as well as what "my heart tells me" or "what God says to me" or something I just suspect or intuit--all these things are perfectly valid parts of the human experience. I don't want to deny myself the benefit of any part of my perception or experience, or to say that any of my personal experiences are not valid.

It seems like people who have not had any religious experiences often look at people who have with the suspicion that the believers are just believing something somebody told them, or something they read in a book. But sometimes, you know, we are trusting our own experience. I'm as scientific as the next person. I am all for intellectual inquiry and empiricism. I have approached religion with that spirit and have rejected anything that doesn't make sense to me or doesn't work in my life. But guess what, God made the cut and so did Jesus. I have personal experience that indicates to me that my life is better with them than without them.

It's not my goal in life to make everybody agree with me. I enjoy hearing other viewpoints, and I'll give them consideration. The only thing I have trouble tolerating is intolerance itself. The only belief I reject is the one that says "I believe I'm right and everybody who doesn't agree with me is offensive to me."

Probably by now everybody is wishing I would go watch the Super Bowl commercials or something...okay, I won't do that but I do have a book I can read. Carry on.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 4, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dreamer, for that fabulous clip from Carl Sagan, one of my personal heroes. He showed up at a NASA facility in CA, long ago and far away. He is (was) very slight and slim. Somehow, I thought at the time he was
one part Puck
one part Ariel.

Shakespeare and Sagan. Bet they are engaged in stupendous conversation on a cloud somewhere....Seraphim and cherubin, wheels, thrones, etc., all eavesdropping and flitting about.....

That would be a metaphor for the great beyondness.....

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dreamer -- that's what I would have said if I were not so laconic.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci says...

"The only belief I reject is the one that says 'I believe I'm right and everybody who doesn't agree with me is offensive to me.'"

Even worse is the person who says "... everybody who doesn't agree with me is silly or wrong."

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

22-14......exciting Super Bowl

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 4, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

We wrote the word "Shakespeare" at nearly the same time in cyperspace. Fun. Thank you for your post, also.

Off to walk the dog and look at Orion, that mighty hunter.

The world is big and beautiful; the sky is wide, but the night is long.

Glad for the people I know in some many places, including these digi-zens.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 4, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Super Bowl score so far --

1. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
2. Sam Adams Boston Lager
2. Redhook ESB

(tie for 2nd)

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Considering Mudge's early in the day inspiration, is it ok to confess we had leftovers? I was busy watching a movie.

Actually it was a whole bunch of good movies over the last 2 days. A Soldiers Story, Mississippi Burning, Cry Freedom and Glory. There has been no time for such mundane things as cooking. And while I watch my fingers fly, crocheting and embroidering my heart out. I also managed, in between all the others, to watch An Inconvenient Truth, which the kids rented. So its been a busy, thought provoking day. This evening I shall toast to all that went before, to those who were strong enough to fight the fights that needed fighting, to those that fight the ones that need to be fought now, and to all the women in my family who passed on the knowledge that all the really special things, the important things are done one person, one stitch at a time.

Posted by: dr | February 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

When you get to the point where you have to say, "I just don't know," the response is to say, "I just don't know."

Posted by: LTL-CAq | February 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Clearly there are those on both sides who refuse to acknowledge that there is room for disagreement. Yet, there is a legitimate debate here, one that occupied some of the finest minds in both the Eastern and Western world for many, many centuries.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Here, yello, see if this helps any. (Yoki, are you there? Prepare to copy for the cookbook.)

Curmudgeon's Breton Country Beef Stew

4 to 5 pounds beef (stew beef, chuck, or top round, cut into 1-inch chunks)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (1/4-inch)
12 good-sized shallots, peeled and ends trimmed but left whole
1 small (6 oz.) can tomato paste
5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce (recommend Kikkomen's low-sodium)
1 tablespoon beef base or two beef buillon cubes (base is better)
1 pound baby carrots
1 pound parsnips (about 5 parsnips, which came in a 1-lb. bag), peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes, washed and scrubbed but left whole and in skins (they come in a 1 ½ pound bag) (OK to substitute potatoes of your choice, diced with skin left on; recommend baby red potatoes)
1 box (6.oz.) crimini (baby Portobello) mushrooms, washed but left whole
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped basil (dried is OK, if fresh)
1 teaspoon thyme (chopped fresh preferred; but dried is OK if fresh)
1 packet, McCormick's Hunter Stew sauce mix
¾ cup, red wine, divided (used a cabernet sauvignon, but any similar would do)
2 tablespoons, Minute brand tapioca
1 bag (approx. 2 cups) frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper, to taste

Crust (optional):

2 ¼ cups Bisquick mix
½ cup milk
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in very large skillet until almost smoking; add beef cubes. If using smaller skillet, you may have to do this in two batches, which is fine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste (approx. ½ teaspoon salt, about 10-12 grinds with a pepper grinder). Turn beef so all sides are browned. Do the first batch and place in large crock pot after well-browned, about 8 minutes. If necessary, brown remaining beef in skillet, and add ingredients in next step to this second batch of beef.) When all beef is browned and removed to crock pot, including any liquid, turn crock pot on to "high" setting. Use ½ cup red wine to deglaze skillet, using wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits (called "fond"), and pour red wine, fond, etc., from skillet into crock pot. Don't clean skillet; use it for next step.
2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet, add in chopped onion, garlic cloves, whole peeled shallots, sprinkle with salt (1/4 teaspoon, approx.), cook about 5 minutes until beginning to brown. (When peeling the garlic cloves, I hit individual unpeeled cloves with a meat tenderizing hammer; this makes cloves very easy to peeled, and sometimes clove is a bit smashed; this is fine and exactly how I want it. But you can substitute about 2 tablespoons chopped garlic if you prefer.) Add 6 oz. (1 small can) of tomato paste and continue cooking about two minutes. With onions still in pan, pour ¼ cup red wine into pan and use wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom, dislodging and browned stuff but leaving it in the skillet. Add 2 cups low-sodium beef broth, tablespoon of beef base, 2 bay leaves, mushrooms, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 packet McCormick's Hunter sauce mix, basil, thyme. Cook about 5 more minutes, and then add everything to crock pot, making sure to scrap fond, etc., from skillet into crock pot. Stir crock pot to mix everything.
3. Cook for approx. 1 hour in crock pot.
4. Add two tablespoons of tapioca mix to crock pot; this will thicken liquid to proper consistency. (Trust me on this.) (Alternatively use 2-3 tablespoons of flour, corn starch, or other thickener of choice. But tapioca is best because it doesn't give gravy starchy texture.)
5. Add to crock pot carrots, fingerling potatoes, parsnips. Continue to cook 2 hours on "high" or 4-5 hours on "low." Stir occasionally.
6. About 10 minutes before ready to serve, add bag (approx. 16 ounces) of thawed frozen peas; stir them in. Cook for 10 more minutes and serve.

If a pie crust is desired, replace step 6 above with this:

6. About 20 minutes before ready to serve, prepare crust mix as follows: In a medium bowl add 2 ¼ cups Bisquick mix, ½ cup milk, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and stir until well blended. Hold aside for a moment.
7. Add thawed frozen peas to crock pot and stir in. Transfer entire contents of crock pot to very large casserole dish. Spoon Bisquick mix over top of beef stew, covering entire surface with very thin layer of batter. Place casserole in oven pre-heated to 425 degrees, bake for 15 minutes until crust begins to brown. Crust will have thick, doughy, almost dumpling-like texture, not like a pie crust.

Serve. Beef stew has deliberately been made with minimal amounts of salt and pepper, so salt and pepper may be added at the table, according to people's tastes.

This dish can be partly made ahead of time: Steps 1 and 2 can be made the day/night before, and placed in separate bowls (meat in one bowl, onions/mushrooms in a separate bowl, each with their own gravies) and stored overnight in the refrigerator. Prepare carrots, potatoes and parsnips in a third bowl. The next morning, put everything in the crock pot and cook on low all day (or use a timer to turn crock pot on). When you come home, immediately add the tapioca to thicken the juice, then proceed with final steps of adding peas. If doing this, I would recommend the following procedure in the morning:

1. Place meat and onion mixtures in crock pot and stir to mix.
2. Carrots, parsnips and potatoes are in a bowl; add thyme, basil, salt and pepper, 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss until well covered. Get out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place the veggies on one side of the foil. Fold the other side of the foil over and wrap into a pack, crimping the edges to seal them. This is called a "hobo pack." Place this hobo pack on top of the meat/onions in the crock pot. This will keep the veggies from over-cooking during the all-day "low" crock pot cooking. When you get home, remove the hobo pack and dump the veggies into the crock pot and stir to mix. Then finish as above.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

1. Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark Lager (an awesome beer)
2. Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat

and remember, I'm only watching commercials.

Tie between Dave & Oprah and Robert Goulet. I think Goulet wins on the laugh-out-loud meter. Do I know what these folks were advertising? No. Do I care? No.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Well said TBG. You cut to the heart of the matter like Lincoln at Gettysburg.

And speaking of miraculous events, I think theologians with electrical training will be discussing the question of why Prince was not instantly electrocuted for eons.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 4, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... wow. That recipe certainly doesn't quite pass my "one-inch" rule.

But yummmm.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - you, like, gotta read "Aristotle's Children" and tell me what you think.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 4, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I may have the answer to the Prince Conundrum:

My daughter noticed with a hue and cry one of Prince's guitar riffs was happening without his fingers touching the strings.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Whoa!! Did you guys just see that anti-troop escalation ad in the middle of the Super Bowl? For those of you not watching the game (I confess to channel flipping, myself), there was just this doozy of an ad asking people to "support the troops" by NOT supporting the troop increase, and asking people to support John Warner's non-binding resolution.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Colts just put it in the bag.

Posted by: pat | February 4, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

RD, I am looking forward to it -- it sounds right up my alley (or my cup of tea, if you will). I just need to acquire a copy. I've written down the title two different places now.

TGB, some of those riffs were done by another lead guitarist while Prince was playing a version of rhythm guitar, so it is hard to tell. Ivansdad & I are pretty certain he was actually making the music.

Personally, I think Prince wasn't electrocuted because he is already filled with extra electricity; sort of superhuman. What more could it do?

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mudge. We were just talking about it.

"If you support escalation, you don't support the troops."


Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Prince? The lead guitar I hear are from an excerpt from Eddie Van Halen's Eruption.

Posted by: Pat | February 4, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"Only your doctor can tell if you have BPH."

What do these stupid commercials know?

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Some nice news for Bangladesh: A native son of Bangladesh now residing in Fairfax has come up with an solution for arsenic-lanced drinking water.

I have bene keeping an eye on this prize ever since I researched the issue of water safety. Arsenic is a very crucial health issue in Bangladesh. Iron will bind to arsenic, and most of the solutions proposed for this prize make some use of iron; the challenge is to increase the surface area of iron cheaply and inexpensively so it can work effectively to remove arsenic. One line of research was coating coal soot with iron... I don't remember how it was supposed to be done.

Using brick is not a bad idea if a bit unusual-- its red color comes from the iron in the clay.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 4, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... thanks for posting that. Very interesting.

Amazing to see that he will give his entire $1 million prize away (70% to make sure that the system is distributed throughout Bangladesh, 25% to research and the other 5% to GMU, where he is a chemistry professor.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

kbert: //Probably by now everybody is wishing I would go watch the Super Bowl commercials or something//
Not true. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Ivansmom, it's been a long time since I've thought about Lienies. It's also excellent as a bratwurst marinade, just add lots of sliced onions. You can poach the bratwurst after marination in the beer, then grill. Thanks for the memories.

Posted by: dbG | February 4, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

TBG, Is BPH even treatable?

Posted by: pat | February 4, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

pat, I think the only cure for BPH is cheeseburgers and Yuengling, but I may be wrong.

Oyster shooters might also work.

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Time to read the Boy more Robin Hood and fall asleep. Life is good. Enjoy the rest of the game.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 4, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Was it just me or were the commercials especially lame this year? I also thought the game was pretty boring, but maybe it's just 'cause the Pats weren't in it.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 4, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I think the Monday after Superbowl Sunday should be declared a Federal Holiday.

In a way, it already is.

Posted by: Pat | February 4, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Re Prince/electrocution - my husband thought maybe the music was recorded, but I don't think so. I'm thinking maybe it's due to wireless technology - but I really have no clue. Those dancer women did a good job not to fall down, too.

The NBC news did a bit on the project to recreate the Big Bang - but with only one particle, so not to worry. Can't find a link - I probably am not reporting it properly.

And they said one whooping crane may have survived in Florida.

Is the game over yet?

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah.. the commercials were much lamer than usual. Maybe it's because you can watch them ad nauseum (ha!) on the CBS website and MySpace and other sites.

That said.. Goodnight to all--and goodnight to Mr. Turkeyneck!

Posted by: TBG | February 4, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Bertooch, a little while ago you asked about movies that have been remade ad infinitum. Just last night on HBO, I watched the third remake of King Kong for the first time, the one with Jack Black and Naomi Watts (be still, my heart) as Ann Darrow. I was surprised that in fact it wasn't too bad at all. I especially liked the New York street scene sequences, which were done well. There was a longish central part of the movie that was basically a "Jurassic Park" wannabe (or maybe, a "better CGI than Jurrasic Park). It featured the usual mild-mannered brontosauri, a half dozen evil raptors, then some really vicious T-Rex types (at which point I was going, yeah, yeah, OK, been there, been swallowed by that), then some giant insects, then some really disgusting super-giant leech type things, then some giant bats, and by this time it was getting ridiculous, and I was happy to get back to Jack Black and Naomi and Kong. That being said, it was better than KKII, and probably almost as good as the original KK the first.

Naomi was pretty good. But then, I could just stare at a still photograph of Naomi and be happy. And Jack Black wasn't half bad, and much less obnoxious than usual.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Curmudgeon, I am not only here, but have captured the recipe. Fantatic (except for using Bisquick for the crust). Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

SCC: fantastic (not fanatic)

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I feel the Prince performance was mostly live. The vocals were just random enough to not be pre-recorded. The pre-show though was just bizarre.

I can't stomach any Irsay taking a trophy. Good night folks.

Thanks for the leftovers.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 4, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I pretty much bailed at the end, Yoki. I admit. On the other hand, there was something good about the doughy dumplingesque quality. But yes, a "proper" crust would have been better.

The opening of "Criminal Minds" is getting on my nerves. Too stagey. I think I'm going to bed. 'Night, all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 4, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm fishing for suggestions about what to get 19 YO dafter college student who lives with me, to eat. Mostly she eats leftovers from my cooking -- and my standard items are along the lines of what Mudge makes, braises of one sort or another served over pasta -- but if I'm not home and there are no leftovers, she's good at stuff like steaming tamales or slightly more complex, brown hamburger, add jar of prepared pasta sauce, cook pasta separately, and combine. I keep the kitchen full of prepared meals, mostly frozen, but would appreciate suggestions if I'm missing something. What I have discovered so far that works includes: one-dish frozen meals that cook on stovetop like "skillet sensations", frozen pot pies, frozen fish fillets that can be done in the toaster oven, frozen Mexican items, hamburger helper or similar, dried veg side dishes like Cajun rice & beans, some "ready to serve complete" meals that are unfrozen and cook in the microwave, and canned soup. Is there another general style along these lines that I haven't discovered? Presumably over time more difficult items can be added. Maybe there is a book published with suggestions along these lines?
Thanks in advance, anyone.
LongTimeLurker, CA
(Written because I just returned from the market to refill freezer for dafter, where I encountered a huge crowd apparently due to the Super Bowl.)

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

kb, sometimes it seems like all the movies are remakes, which isn't so bad if they were good to start with, but I hate when they make a movie from a sitcom (Bewitched, etc). I was surprised that The Painted Veil had been done before, in 1934 with Greta Garbo! I got the tape from the library but haven't watched it yet. I had never even heard of the book, and I love Maugham (have it on order from the library too). I haven't seen the 2006 version either - it wasn't widely shown here (Naomi Watts stars in it too. I'm not a big fan of hers - a friend of mine doesn't like her and has influenced me in that regard, I think.)

I've been watching a lot of M. Knight Shyamalan's movies. They don't always work, but at least they're original.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 4, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally lafing at LTL-CA's use of dafter. I call #1 and #2 that so often.

I worry about jarred pasta sauces, frozen meals, (etc.) because they are full of sugar and fat.

If I could suggest a couple of good things email me at and I shall send along some low-fat, low glycemic index, good-tasting, mostly (but not exclusively) vegetarian recipes (made in large enough quantities to freeze a good week's worth of meals) that 20-year-old dafters thrive on.

Posted by: Yoki | February 4, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

They're going to re-create the Big Bang?
Easy peasy lemon squeezy:

"Most people think that the vacuum is empty. But for internal self-consistency of quantum mechanics and relativity theory, there is required to be the equivalent of 10-to-the-power-of-94 grams of mass energy -- each gram being E=mc squared kind of energy. Now, that's a huge number. But what does it mean practically?

Practically, if I can assume that the Universe is flat -- and more and more astronomical data is showing that it's pretty darn flat -- then, if I take the vacuum within a single hydrogen atom -- that's about 10 to the power of minus 23 cubic centimeters -- if I take the latent energy in that, there's a trillion times more energy there than in all of the mass of all of the stars and all of the planets out to 20 billion light years. That's big . . . That's big. And if consciousness allows you to control even a fraction of that, creating a Big Bang is no problem."

-- William Tiller, Ph.D., in "What the Bleep?! Down the Rabbit Hole"

[Got it? Good.]

[Nah. I didn't really understand it either, but when Tiller says, "That's big . . . That's big," I get goosebumps -- almost as many as when Dr. Quantum says, "Are we far enough down the rabbit hole yet?"]

Posted by: Dreamer | February 4, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki. (I replied off-line.)

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

War of the Worlds has had 3 movie versions, IIRC.

I believe the Odyssey has been remade a few times (esp. if you count O Brother, Where Art Thou?).


College Parkian, let me disagree with you a bit: I actually know a moderately large number of academically advanced folks who profess a specific faith and who attend church or synagogue or mosque or other religious establishment. For some of them, this is a belief in God; for others, it is a belief in the power of tradition and community; for others, it may be something else. I certainly don't have a catalog of all the possible flavors of religious belief and attitude.


From what I have read so far, I am not a big fan of Richard Dawkins' version of humanism. It doesn't have much room for the complexity, nuance, contrarianism, and ornery cussedness of actual humans. Religious scientists, for example, are an oxymoron to him. Yet, they're all over the place. Not too many of them are fundamentalists, however. Dawkins' argumentation style is to assign fundamentalism to believers in various religions that have some sort of defining document; then, having demolished a literal interpretation of the defining document, he declares belief in the religion to be stupid, crazy, and incomprehensible. Metaphor, apparently, escapes him; or rather, he has such contempt for those who disagree with him that he cannot grant the possibility that they can grasp the concept of metaphor. There are actual fundamentalists in the world, of course, and I have a beef with them as much as Dawkins does. I do not consider the existence of fundamentalists, however, to be proof of the pernicious nature of all spiritual belief.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 4, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

ScTim, I agree that not all the attendees at church believe all the fundamentalist line, and are there more because it's a weekly social event that brings a lot of people together, bosses and workers.
I think of Gary Cooper breaking into the church service in High Noon to ask for posse volunteers against Frank Miller. Did all in attendance believe in every word in the Bible, or were they more likely huddling together against a hostile environment? But still, if you ask the priest, the party line says it's more than a social event, and those words are real. Therefore it makes sense to argue against that position, even though not everyone in the building on Sunday really believes it. Plus, there seem to be more buildings these days where everybody does believe, at least in this country.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 4, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

One more detail, SciTim -- IMHO attending Christian church means you have decided to believe in something, whereas attending synagogue means you are maintaining membership in a group or tribe. Not the same, and I wonder why they are both considered equally to signify religion. The tribe claims a unique relationship with God, but that is indirect compared to the born again Christian who has a personal relationship.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 5, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Oops, I just did what Dawkins is accused of -- assuming that attendance at Christian church = belief.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 5, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, your low-fat, low glycemic index ideas sound great. I hope you'll make them generally available.

Posted by: Fifty | February 5, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, agreed. I love vegetarian Indian food, but I'm not sure I'd call Indian food low GI. But what's my alternative-- vegetable soup?

It's the season that I want hot warm food rather than vegetarian salads, etc. So recipes that involve actual heating would be great. Will be e-mailing you for some ideas on what is low GI.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, of course. But I stupidly sent two good recipes to LTL-CA without saving them in my outbox; I hope LTL will either send them back to me or post them here (with attribution). In any case, you shall have them (tomorrow). I just don't want to re-type them (so lazy, silly old cow).

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I wouldn't want to retype them either. I'm looking forward to learning the info.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 5, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh Wilbrod! I am so happy to hear from you.

Most Indian vegetarian food is medium GI, because of the preparation. As you know, I adore Indian, but my best good-tasting low-GI recipes are not South Asian. Ragout of White Beans (French) and Ratatouille (French) and Bean Stew (Sorta-kinda Tex-Mex) are fabulous. Also, remember that you can make most any recipe calling for refined white flour with whole-grain flour (if you let it rest for a wee while) and add some non-fat dairy, and lower the GI that way.

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse


Ratatouille with Tofu:

Makes 6 small servings (but feel free to double the recipe):

2 T. olive oil
1 lrg. onion (chopped or roughly sliced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
8 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 lrg. zucchini, ruffly chopped
1 medium to large eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 t . dried thyme
1 t. dried rosemary
1 T. capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 t. salt (kosher, if poss)
1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
1 oz firm fresh tofu

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, thyme and rosemary and stir until the tomatoes break down and the juice begins to simmer, about 4 minutes.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and formed a stew, about 35 minutes.

Uncover, stir in the capers and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about another 10 minutes. Season with just another little bit of salt and pepper, to taste.

Place into freezer/microwavable dishes in serving sizes: about 1 cup or 1.5 cups, and freeze. When ready to serve, cut into cubes and add about 1/2 cup of firm tofu (for protein) and bring up to bubbling hot in microwave (usually takes 2 to 3 minutes in a 1500 watt oven). Serve with a green salad dressed with a little good olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For dessert, have a Bosc pear and 2 squares (1 oz) of 70% cocoa dark chocolate.

Bean Stew

Makes 6 small servings (but feel free to double the recipe)

2 t. olive oil
1 lrg onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 lrg red or green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin (or cumin seed, ground)
1 14.4 ounce diced tomatoes
1 c. Great Northern Beans (canned, drained, rinsed)
1 c. Pinto Beans (canned, drained, rinsed)
1 c. Red Kidney Beans (canned, drained, rinsed)
2 c. vegetable broth
1 medium sweet potato (not yam) peeled and chopped
1/2 t. kosher salt

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, then stir in the chili powder and cumin, and coo,k stirring, until aromatic (about 20 seconds).

Pour in the tomatoes, beans, and broth, and bring to a simmer.

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the sweet potato roughly, and stir into the stew. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 40 minutes. Stir in the salt, and let stand at room temp. for 5 minutes before serving.

Eat with a small green salad on the side (I like some crunchy salad veg:
radishes, cucumber, black olives, tomato, in a vinaigrette).

For dessert, have 1/2 cup peach yogurt.

YOKI NOTES: Use any combinations of beans you like: I especially use chickpeas, black beans and
romano beans (because I like those).

If you double or triple each of these recipes, there should be a good several meals in the freezer; freeze servings in bags and defrost over the course of a morning or afternoon. Very good!

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

The NBC story I mentioned was about the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. I found this article - written in 2004, but it mentions the Collider is supposed to be finished in 2007, so maybe that's why they ran a story on it. I like this article because it uses the term "kerflooey".
(Did we ever find out why Joel went to Fermilab?) And of course, they're looking for the "God particle", so here we go again.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 5, 2007 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod's post reminded me of one my better faux-pas.

The first time I went to India for business, I landed in Chennai at about 08:00 after flying for 20 hours and being in transit for some 42 (Calgary-London, London-Delhi, Delhi-Chennai, with waiting times in between). My local contact met the plane, took me to the hotel to check in and change and then to lunch. She very sweetly asked me, "Are you vegetating?" And I replied, after being awake for a full work-week in 3 days, "Yes."

Posted by: Yoki | February 5, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, thanks so much! In my youth I ate the stuff with too much fat and sugar and it's time to reform my ways. I'll take those recipes out for a spin this week.

Posted by: Fifty | February 5, 2007 1:54 AM | Report abuse

LTL-CA, crockpot soup, frozen in individual servings?

Posted by: dbG | February 5, 2007 4:48 AM | Report abuse

'Morning all.

Never heard the phrase "dafter" before. I assume it combines daughter with "daft," meaning crazoid? I have an urgent need to know, having two possible candidates amongst my offspring.

LTL, I note a general absence of chicken dishes amongst your repertoire. At BJ's Club we buy a big bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and use them fairly often in a variety of fairly simple ways. Easiest is probably just to sprinkle generously with lemon-pepper and fry in olive oil; an alternative would be to sprinkle and roast or broil.

A slightly more complex dish is one of my kids' favorites:
1. In a skillet heat olive oil and dump in the contents of a box of chicken-flavored rive-a-roni (the San Francisco Treat!). Cook until pasta part becomes light brown, then hold aside. At same time, in other half of skillet, brown two small onions that have been finely chopped. In olive oil, brown chunkcs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 chicken breast per female serving, two chicken breasts per male serving, and in my house three chicken breasts for No. 2 son, who is bottomless pit and skinny to boot) that have been cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper, to taste. When chicken is browned, throw in 1 cup of white zinfandel, deglaze bottom of pan (leaving chicken in the pan, and keeping zinfandel in pan, too), add rice-a-roni and onion back in, add two cups of water, the powder mix from the rice-a-roni, and one heaping tablespoon dollop of apricot preserves (orange preserves will also do). (Or even two more modest dollops.) Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until rice is puffed up and most liquid is absorbed. This dish makes excellent microwavable leftovers the next day, too, although it's rare that much survives initial contact with the enemy.

On the occasional Saturday night (traditionally the sloppy anything-goes minimalist night in our house), might I suggest the humble, pedestrian and unfairly mocked Franks 'n 'Beans? There are several tricks, of course. First, use only top-quality hotdogs--Nathan's or Hebrew National, all beef, skinless if available--none of those Oscar Meyer or Ballpark or Brand X abominations. Next, lightly pan-fry the dogs in butter in a big skillet. When done about halfway (whatever that is), remove the dogs, add a little more butter, and brown/carmelize one small or medium onion chopped/diced pretty fine. When they are sweated (about 8-10 minutes), cut the dogs into 1-inch pieces and add back into skillet. Dump in can(s) of baked beans. Now the crucial part, the "make-of-break" details, which in our house we call "b@st@rdizing" the baked beans: add one heaping tablespoon mustard (preferably spicy), two heaping tablespoons (approx.) ketchup, one tablespoon A-1 (or similar) steak sauce, and one tablespoon of worchestershire sauce. Stir thoroughly and cook until everything is piping hot, then serve. No, it ain't fancy and you wouldn't serve it to the in-laws in the dining room with the fancy china and silverware. But great Saturday night comfort food. (Can be eaten directly from the pot over the sink when the wife's out of town.)

Plus, it's a highly musical dish.

If you know what I mean.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 5, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Kerflooey. Thank, ML. Such fun.

Classic sunrise here with golden streaking into lims of light topped off with a layer of powder blue. The top of the dome, however, is that pewter tone that suggests the day will be da** cold.

L-CA wrote: "IMHO attending Christian church means you have decided to believe in something, whereas attending synagogue means you are maintaining membership in a group or tribe. Not the same, and I wonder why they are both considered equally to signify religion. The tribe claims a unique relationship with God, but that is indirect compared to the born again Christian who has a personal relationship."

I know several people (say, about 25 data points over the past 20 years) who compare their connection to Catholicism and time in the pews as the same as people who are Jewish with cultural, familiar or shared history accents. You say "tribe" ..... Greely (the priest who also write ghastly novels) wrote a great deal about the sociology of R.Catholic adherents including the lukewarm and lapsed. Martin Marty, of Chicago and a Lutheran, studies similar traits in Lutheran communities in the Upper Midwest. Ethnicity layers in this in a fascinating way, even after four and five generations.

You may like to look at what the data suggests about patterns in these communities. I might reexamine this too.

Otherwise, we tend to export our known experiences and "detect" patterns, that are not checked against larger and broader data sets. In short, we should be scientific and pointy headed about such matters!

Thank you for the civil and sincere conversation.

SciTim: glad that you see some different patterns. I might suspect that the sci side of campus is actually the more intellectualy liberal about when responding to a range of codes and creeds.

Now, who studies the patterns of religious and cultural critique beliefs of academes in and out of higher ed? I'll get right on it, after I grade the 66 papers due today.

Off to ride my bike to teach. Brrrrr.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 5, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!! *waving*

Maggie O'D!! Good to see you back!! :-)

New Kit!!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 5, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Dear Joel
I was there for Obama's whole speech. Intensity was there from the moment it was clear he was coming on stage. Crowd went wild and as your own paper said there were hushed moments of silence while he was speaking. Certainly more intensity than Edwards, e.g. anyone can have signs.

Posted by: Patrick | February 8, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

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