Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Smithsonian: A Friend Acting Strangely

You probably saw the story about the Smithsonian toning down an exhibit on climate change because of a desire not to offend the Bush Administration:

' The Smithsonian Institution toned down an exhibit on climate change in the Arctic for fear of angering Congress and the Bush administration, says a former administrator at the museum.

''Among other things, the script, or official text, of last year's exhibit was rewritten to minimize and inject more uncertainty into the relationship between global warming and humans, said Robert Sullivan, who was associate director in charge of exhibitions at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

'Also, officials omitted scientists' interpretation of some research and let visitors draw their own conclusions from the data, he said. In addition, graphs were altered "to show that global warming could go either way," Sullivan said.

"It just became tooth-pulling to get solid science out without toning it down," said Sullivan, who resigned last fall after 16 years at the museum. He said he left after higher-ups tried to reassign him.

'Smithsonian officials denied that political concerns influenced the exhibit, saying the changes were made for reasons of objectivity. And some scientists who consulted on the project said nothing major was omitted.'


Well, no surprises there. I wrote about this de-fanged exhibit when it debuted. Here's my story:


'Is there any controversy about climate change? Not at the Smithsonian! The National Museum of Natural History has found a way to open two new climate change exhibits, starting Friday, without a single smithereen of contentiousness. We get just the facts: Planet's getting warmer, arctic ice is melting, Inuit are out of sorts, Siberia is thawing. The future? "Models predict different outcomes," a sign says.

'It's all rather low-key. The museum declined to include any stuffed polar bears. The one stuffed caribou is too high on a platform to pet. Nor did anyone realize how cool it would have been to have an Al Gore statue -- one that, every 20 minutes, suddenly starts talking (because, you know, it's really him !!!). Instead we see pictures of dwindling ice caps, and graphs of the greenhouse effect and fluctuating surface albedo. We learn about the primitive atmosphere, the rise of photosynthesis, the Oxygen Boom, the Cambrian Explosion, the hot Eocene, the cold Pleistocene, the comfy Holocene....

[blah blah blah]

'Any exhibit on the atmosphere runs the risk of being gaseous. And then the argon crowd will say that, once again, they didn't get their due, and the helium people will complain in their squeaky voices. The methane guys will make their abominable noises. But many visitors of all persuasions might wonder why there's not more in these exhibits about carbon dioxide.

You can't pick up a newspaper or a national magazine without hearing that greenhouse gas emissions, and specifically CO2, are threatening life as we know it. Even Vanity Fair has made climate change a cover story, complete with photo illustrations of how rising sea levels would terrorize Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons. (End. Of. The. World.) So where is the CO2in these exhibits? You have to hunt for it. You can find a mention on a panel that is otherwise devoted to a Smithsonian experiment to study how plants absorb carbon dioxide:

"Human activity increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere -- mainly carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). The extra greenhouse gas may be trapping too much heat, abnormally raising Earth's temperature."

Asked about the neutral tone of the exhibits, the museum's director, Cristian Samper, said: "We do not advocate a particular solution, just because that's not our role as a museum of natural history. We won't tell you what to think."

When a reporter asked exhibit designer Barbara Stauffer why there wasn't more of a discussion about the role of humans in climate change, she said, "It's about the science." She added, "I think it undermines what we do in the exhibit if we start pointing fingers."

She went further: "It's about functions of the atmosphere. It's not a climate change exhibit."

No argument here.
'

:

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 22, 2007; 3:54 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Yau-Man For President
Next: The Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle Show

Comments

The Al Gore statue alone would have been worth the price of admission. One assumes it would have been solar.

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

winters = cold. summers = hot.

Posted by: farfrombeltway | May 22, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Did Raysmom alert everyone without claiming first? How honorable.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

First?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 22, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and, FIRST!

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

from the last boodle, and apparently Weingarten chatters will understand-

Button fly jeans are all about chemistry, methinkgs.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

*slinking away in shame* for not being as honorable as Raysmom.

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG, SCC methinks.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

A thousand pardons dbG for appearing to cast aspersions through praise of Raysmom. I was neither criticizing nor behaving very honorably myself as the comment count still read 0 when I hit submit on my 4:07.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

If that was in response to me, frosti, no worries. I'm truly not big on guilt and/or shame.

Just procrastinating from what they pay me to do.

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

>*slinking away in shame* for not being as honorable as Raysmom.

Don't you dare. It was delayed, and the solar crack was excellent.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 22, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

It was actually a great comment, and Raysmom totally deserved it. My experience has shown Raysmom is far more civilized than I, as are many people here. And that's okay because I like myself just the way I am. :-)

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Solar crack?

Posted by: Shiloh | May 22, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Not slinking, but back to work. Thanks, Error!

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

dbG, obviously I am not doing a good job at showing my true self here. I've been known to have sharp elbows at times.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 22, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The Smithsonian will open a new hall of coevolution next year, focusing on butterflies and plants.

http://persoon.si.edu/sbs/

I don't know whether the Republican candidate for President will hold a rally against the new exhibit on the mall in front of the National Museum.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 22, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the Smithsonian is going to do about all those exhibits that claim the earth is more than 6,000 years old. They've got dinosaurs claiming to be millions of years old, and of course there's skeletons and diramas about Neandertals and Cro-Magnons. Gotta find a way to split the difference there, too, I guess.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 22, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wildly off-topic and parochial to boot, sometimes David does not slay Goliath:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070522/SPORTS03/70522035

God, I hate the fording Cowboys.

Posted by: bill everything | May 22, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

When we were working with the exhibit designers for the exhibits in our new museum building, our scientists and educators represented the museum in the planning meetings, and remained involved right up through construction.

When I described this to other paleontologists at a conference, they were amazed that our scientists were even invited to participate in the exhibit design, much less play a leading role. Apparently at many museums (especially big ones), exhibits/education and research are completely isolated from each other. Scientists may be questioned on a particular point of fact, but that's all.

Posted by: Dooley | May 22, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Nina Burleigh's book about James Percy Macie Smithson and the founding of the museum in Washington, D.C. named after him has a nifty cutline associated with a reproduction of a lithograph (I believe) of John Calhoun (you decide if there are parallels to the Kit):

John Calhoun, the senator from South Carolina, was a slave owner adamantly opposed to any expansion of federal power, including the creation of an institution to diffuse knowledge. He argued that to accept money from an anonymous Englishman was "beneath the dignity" of the United States. [Heaven forbid that the federal government should diffuse real knowledge!]

Interesting to Google and learn that William Blaine Richardson I (the first) was a Boston biologist affiliated with New York City's American Museum of Natural History. Wonder what the Democratic governor of New Mexico thinks of this Smithsonian brouhaha, given his past experience as energy secretary?

Thanks for your article on Richardson, BTW, Joel, and his background. Without your coverage, I wouldn't have realized that Loomis descendant James Stillman was most likely indirectly reponsible for giving WBR II a job as bank manager down in Mexico.

Demo presidential contender Bill Richardson makes much of his "La Raza" connection and is really playing that race card, but a closer reading of the article by the Albuquerque Journal reporter earlier this year reveals that Bill Richardson is the son of privilege and wealth. Richardson is clearly a White Hispanic or White Hispanic-American, much like our own family's Raquel Welch.

Posted by: Loomis | May 22, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Clearly you're working for a pretty dysfunctional organization, Dooley, allowing for the free flow of information and ideas. I don't know what this world is coming to.

Actually, I do know: the fording Cowboys are hosting the 2011 Super Bowl. I'm as ticked off as bill everything.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 22, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Gagging over Gene's poetry-sense, especially in the "marked" difference he sees in the poems he listed. Sure right.

I also gagged at having to read Blake again. Vorgon poetry would be an improvement.

I like Ozymandias, and Lake Isle of Innisfree suffers because it's not Yeat's best poem.

I put in a vote for Browning's the Duchess because it's an amazing feat, it reads like prose and poetry at the same time. You could skip the line breaks and it'd read even better.

And as Andy Kaufman the comic pointed out in a play analyzing Shakespeare, that flowing effect composed of extending long sentences across more than one line can create a sense of unhinged madness.

http://www.professorandy.com/Shakespeare.shtml

But to say "The Road Not Taken" is opaque and therefore worse than "the Tyger" (which made me retch), shows that he's an a**hat.

It made perfect sense to me from the start. Just because he can't suss why the poet called it "the road not taken" means nothing.
My entire life is the road less travelled, and indeed I wonder about the road not taken. Simple as that.

That said, I believe the "The Hired Man", "The mending wall" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" to be better poems.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If it's any consolation Bill Everything my absence from the 2011 Super Bowl will now be a true boycott. Had Indianapolis been chosen to host it would have been more like not being able to go.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I know you've had a rough couple of weeks at work, P.r.-wise. How'd you like this headache: apparently USA Today has a photo of Bush driving on his ranch without his seat belt. DOT has just kicked off its annual major "Click It or Ticket" campaign.

Perhaps instead of "Commander Guy" Bush can get a new nickname: "The First Offender." (It works on oh so many leveles.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 22, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

By the way, found this "Ballad of the Girlie Man". Far more hip than claiming Frost is inferior to Blake.

http://www.milkmag.org/CHBERNSTEIN6.html

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Here it is:

http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/05/president_bush__2.html?csp=34

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 22, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I am glad Joel chose to remind us of climate change. It helps me delude myself into believing that gasoline at $3.15 a gallon is actually a good thing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of SUVs...

Breaking news about a Starbucks that was accidentally retrofitted into a Carbucks.
http://www.nbc4.com/news/13367348/detail.html?rss=dc&psp=news

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

It's unsetttling to learn that a member of the Loomis family is guilty of promulgating the Creationist carnard that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Censorship is alive and well in the museum world. It happened all the time at the institution I used to work at. Donors often had an unofficial say in what curators put into the exhibits. So much for academic freedom.

Posted by: Aloha | May 22, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

You should trademark that phrase, Mudge.

Posted by: dr | May 22, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Gas at $5.15 or $6.15 would be a better thing. In the future, when it's unavailable to anyone except Bill Gates and USAF, We'll look back and ask ourselves, What do we have to show for using it up twice as fast as we needed to? We got to go to the store in a car twice as heavy. Whoopee.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 22, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I find it suspicious that the unsigned blank posts appeared in the last boodle just before Joel posted his new kit.
I tried to mess up omni's timeline by posting one myself but was thwarted.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I fear that if gas gets too dear too fast, the shock may exceed what we can absorb.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

My museum has also taken the route of plastering the names of big donors on various rooms for a sponsorship fee (although they don't get any say as to what goes in the rooms). I can't say I'm really opposed to that, since we need the money. I like to believe that if Discovery Institute offered us gobs of money we would turn it down. Personally, I'm hoping that Viagara or Enzyte will sponsor my lab.

If I win the lottery, I think I'll sponsor the lab of someone who doesn't like me, so they'll always have to work in a space named after me.

Posted by: Dooley | May 22, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, a most tasteless joke about old bones just occurred to me, but I am far too sophisticated to pass it along.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Two theories on Bush sans seat belt:

1) saw Corzine approval numbers soar after accident and is waiting for the right moment to get back that all important "mo."

2) just another proof that he is a pontiachead.

Sorry, that automotive kit has me still thinking of cars.

Posted by: bill everything | May 22, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your five something comment had me laughing out loud. I suspect there are lots of people that don't wear their seat belts, especially in that crowd that tells everyone else to wear theirs. Someone reported that the governor that was in that bad accident, when he left the hospital he did not have his seat belt on.

I don't quite understand why museums would want to keep the science out of an exhibit. I mean are we talking good science or is the science kind of iffy? Is the science on global warming iffy or is it good science? I don't know a lot about that, but I'm thinking that humans impact the environment in lots of ways and many of those ways are not good. So why would they not have some impact in the global warming question? And what's the point of not telling people, does that not make it so? I feel like I'm living in the century where people thought one could walk to the edge of the earth and fall off, when someone finally said, hey it's round or something to that effect.

Why would the Bush administration be offended with good science? I am really perplexed by this. I don't know science that well, and I know that man cannot answer all the questions, but there are some things that have been answered.

This is too hard. Someone suggest some good books about global warming, please.

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 22, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Boko999 writes:
It's unsetttling to learn that a member of the Loomis family is guilty of promulgating the Creationist carnard that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

Sorry to inform you, Boko, that I never saw the film One Million Years B.C., but your disappointment is as great as my own. If it's any consolation (I checked my distant cousin's work--he the true genealogist), she comes down on the White line (Mary White marrying Joseph Loomis and settling Windsor, Conn., in 1638--it is from Mary's brother, John, that Raquel is descended). But it does make Raquel and Richard Gere very distant cousins!

But you have to admit, Raquel did look rather fetching in those animal skins, long before PETA ever existed.

Posted by: Loomis | May 22, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I liked the Yeats poem for the boodle because of the sometimes-mentioned worry and longing for bees.

(Who sent a great link -- promptly lost -- about a kind of bee set-up we could could buy and keep in the yard? Resend?)

Bird report, especially for Raysmom: along the Anacostia today, near Bladensburg, I saw TWO HUGE, absolutely huge Great Herons. They were not together: one was flying very low along the creek channel; the other stalking the backwash of high tide. (My father calls them "Needle-nose Plyers of Death." Pliers works too.)

Also:
an osprey
a green eyed vireo
either two killdeer or the same one twice

For Frosti: the "penned" wild rice is finally up and looks fine. Arum and arrowhead looking green, too. Still, many geese waddle about, hoping the net will disappear and they can eat the tender shoots.

I was thinking of all the fine Indian names along this stretch:
Potomac
Mattaponi
Piscataway
Patuxent
Tiak
Accoceek

Beautiful sounds in the mouth. These tribes are so deeply buried in colonial and slave history that I don't think a casino movement will arrive soon.

Oh, 'Mudge! Lots of Naval history here too:

Battle of Bladensburg (we lost, Washington overrun, Dolly Madison saved some paintings

Stephen Decatur was shot in a duel near this bike trek at Dueling Creek

Ft. Lincoln includes a monument to one Marine Barney, who was valiant, etc., and died.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Loomis |Your distant cousin can wrap my mangy pelt around herself anytime she likes.

Posted by: Boko9999 | May 22, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I have finished Shakespeare's biography.
I am ready, I hope, to read his plays.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

CP I live along the Cacapon river here in West by god. Cacapon is the Shawnee word for healing waters. I feel like I am being healed everytime I get in for a dip.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 22, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, RD. WATCH ONE. GO STRAIGHT TO VIDEO....meant to be watched.

Ken Branaugh's Henry V

is great and your son may like it to.

Try the Carter Baron Free for All this month: LOVES LABOUR LOST

LLL is my favorite all-time Shakespeare play. The theme? love, including love of words.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

GWE -- well, here is a secret: W VA is simply MT, east-coast outpoint. This is a compliment, you see.

You dip into the river? How lovely! The Anacostia is not for dipping, for a number of chemical and biological reasons.

But my brain burns: S.K.I.N.N.Y dipping? Oh my!

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

RD, which bio of dear Will? UMCP is Sam Schoenbaum-land, regarding Shakepeare studies.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I have acheived lilacs. The first blooms erupted yesterday four years after transplant and today there were two honey bees and a bumble serviceing(e?)them.
On our morning walk Buddy999 paddled through the wetland adjacent the road and disturbed a huge passle o' frogs. My concerns vis a vis the bees and frogs may have been a bit premature.
On our drive home from Ottawa yesterday I spotted 30-40 wild turkeys in a field a mile from the house. I'm sure Buddy999 was wondering what they tasted like. We'll find out this fall with a bit of good luck. Good luck for us, not the turkeys.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

CP - It's "Shakespeare: The Biography" by Peter Ackroyd. I have no idea if it is reputable or disreputable. But it's gotten me all psyched over iambic pentameter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I hear that Falstaff dude is quite the card.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

RD, you might like this about how Shakepeare is a pivot for Western literary tradition:
Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1999).

I also like Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World (2004)

But Sam Schoembaum's bio IS THE SCHOLARLY REFERENCE:
S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare, A Compact Documentary Life (Oxford U. Press, 1977

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Boko: Bravo on your lilacs. Can I visit ? I'll stay outside and simply smell them.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll seconfd CPs recommendation of Branagh's Henry V.

That delivery of the St. Crispin's day speech is worth the price of the rental all by itself IMO.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 22, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes CP, I dip in the river a lot, as much as I can. No not skinny dip though. I would be afraid to scare all the fish away. I also fish, kayak and float down on innertubes. Nothing finer then floating down a lazy river on a hot summer day.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 22, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I should add that I'd meant to see "Titus Andronicus" in town this month, but I never got round to it.

Hopefully there will be some video of it available at some point.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 22, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

>Oh dear, RD. WATCH ONE. GO STRAIGHT TO VIDEO....meant to be watched.

RD, anything with Lawrence Olivier.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 22, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

RD.. I second that suggestion to watch Henry V. Excellent movie; the kids will like it too.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone who can do Shakespeare like Kenneth Branagh. He makes it sound like everyday language. After seeing his Hamlet I tried to watch Olivier's and it was just plain comical.

After you see Henry V, make sure you also watch Much Ado About Nothing with Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton... etc... even Keanu Reeves. Lots of fun.

Posted by: TBG | May 22, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Skinny dipping - I'm all for it.

But then, I'm likely to be mistaken for some sort of river grass. No danger from fish, but I gotta keep an eye on the ducks.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 22, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Sam Schoenbaum's obit from 1996. He was a truly kind and loving person, as well as a scholar. Frosti collects news of notsuing. I am collecting news of kindness among the accomplished. (John Mather is one such exhibit.)

http://calbears.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19960403/ai_n14051454

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Sure CP but you don't have to stay outside, you can come in the garage, I cleaned that up today. If the house caught fire I'd be embarrassed to call the fire dept. because they might come in and see the mess.
Your post reminded me that Niki told me to thin out the rhubarb patch to keep them growing.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

SCC it growing

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I hear "The Twelfth Night" is quite the bawdy romp.

Seriously, after hearing all you sophisticated literate-type folks just go on and on about this Shakespeare feller's plays, I felt I needed to check them out. But I wanted a little historical context first.

Further, my younger brother and his wife are obsessive patrons of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon, and I am getting tired of being the Philistine Eastern Bumpkin.

For I fear I have never seen a Shakespearean play, either on stage or on film, with the exception of Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo and Juliet" which I really liked. But I am a big fan of the "Red Curtain Trilogy" so I was probably appreciating the visual splendor more that the Bard's prose.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I shall rent Henry V with Kenneth Branagh and view it on my trusty laptop post haste. Then I shall be all cultured-like.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

RD -- Branaugh's Hamlet too, with the most gorgeous Julie Christie in full middle-aged glory as Gertrude.

She is lovely, crows-feet and all.

I like KB's Loves Labor Lost, but the critics panned it.

Fun to pair Taming of the Shrew with broadway Cole Porter's Kiss me Kate.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

And, RD (then I exeunt, as in the manner of a bear), do see Franco Zefferilli (sp?) Romeo and Juliet...Olivia Hussey at 15. First movie I ever saw with a brief suggestion of her nether and plether regions.

Done.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 22, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

>Henry V with Kenneth Branagh

When I lived in NYC on 25th St. and 2nd Ave., the guy upstairs with the vibrating foot massager was a bus driver named Will Shakespeare.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 22, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

RD, for grins and giggles, see if you can find the Julius Caesar that was done late 40's with a galaxy of stars...it was old when I saw it in high school after studying the play. We chanted along with the actors. If you can stand the mannerisms it's quite the movie.

Posted by: Slyness | May 22, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"plether regions"? Man. Just when you thought you thought you had it all figured out.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

CP- Thanks for the rice and other aquatics report. I think there is great hope in the Anacostia. Our little river, part of the Hudson Bay watershed, is considerably cleaner than it was when I was young.

Monarch butterflies arrived today, probably helped along by the 35mph winds. Big box 'o plants called to me yesterday and I bought, gasp, yellow orange marigolds, purple petunias, and red salvia to plant in great garish drifts with the tomatoes and basil. I'll stick some in pots on either side of the garage door with trailing chartreuse and not quite black ipomoea and make the excuse that the hummingbirds love the salvia and petunias. This twin planter homage to auto storage is required to prevent gossip about one's dedication to "keeping a nice place."

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm stuttering with the keyboard. Time to herd the bunnies back into their Palatial Bunny Habitat and head upstairs.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please not done, neither CP nor Error.

Weingarten is a idiot. He thinks, because he is an arbiter of humour, that he is an arbiter of everything literary (ha!).

He is a idiot.

I will tell you (without in the least thinking I can influence anybody else) that of the four pomes he gave us, The Tyger and My Last Duchess are the greatest of them. All the others are just fine. Just fine. But that is my aesthetic. There is no right answer. I wish Gene would pop in here and answer, in real time, to some equally-comfortable critics. He is not the arbiter of all things great.

And he'd already telegraphed that he loves Ozymandias more than other pome. Remember when he wouldn't discuss his own views on abortion-on-demand, because he thinks he carries too much weight as the chat host? Well, he has fallen into the same trap as the host of the potry poll. I don't care what he thinks! He's just wrong about it.

Gene Weingarten cannot, and will not, appreciate Augustian or Justinian rhetoric. I cannot help him with that, because he cannot hear what I have say about writing.

I love him as a humourist, but not so much as a thoughtful reader of everything else. He is not right just because he says something, anything, and assures us that he knows more than we do, about what we know.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

How cow! I took some time to compose a thoughtful critical post, and found you'd all moved beyond me!

G'night friends.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy,

Our family and friends canoed the Cacapon several times and loved each and every trip. It's a fun river with some challenging parts and just beautiful countryside. That is a lovely area and I'm getting a bit green right now. Thanks for bringing back those memories!

Posted by: pj | May 22, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm still here, Yoki. You don't have to leave yet.

:)

Posted by: TBG | May 22, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, no one has moved beyond you. That is impossible.

Weingarten was a fish out of water today. For the first time I can remember, I didn't even read, let alone vote, in the poll and, as you know, I can at least cut and paste, if not fully appreciate, poetry.

Posted by: bill everything | May 22, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Hi TBG! *hugs*

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

On my first real date we went to see Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Julliet. There must have been other actors in it but I couldn't tell you who. It took years of reading other playwrights and watching movies of Shakespeares work before the scars of the high school Shakespeare experience could heal enough for me to enjoy reading his plays.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I apologize for the number of commas in the prior post, approx. one per word, (there I go again) and will not let it happen again.

Posted by: bill everything | May 22, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

CP - I loved Will in the World. I listened to that on CD during a period when I was doing a lot of driving. Excellent. The narrator was riveting.

Have to go back and read the Weingarten chat...I did the poll, which I kind of enjoyed because my daughter's 8th grade class recently had a Poetry Alive Cafe and 3 of those poems were recited by exuberant, although slightley self conscious tweens...very fun, but it was nice to read them so soon after the event.

Posted by: Kim | May 22, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Uh, that's "exeunt, pursued by a bear."

Ahh, that bear is the one shakespearean role I would love to snag.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 22, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC - slightly....must start previewing.

Posted by: Kim | May 22, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I was first introduced to Shakespeare through what must have been Zeffirelli's 1967 film of the London stage version, shown on public television. Chock full of now Sir this and Dame that, it was captivating. I loved Shakespeare, until '77 when a high school teacher sucked every breath out of the bard. The love returned, but it took years and half a dozen good movies and stage productions to wash away the pain.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

bill everything, yes.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

SCC-should read "Chock full of actors who are now Sir this and Dame that..."

Boko999-we were typing of our highschool Shakespeare scars at the same time. I fear the antidote to murdering Shakespeare has often been ignoring him.

Then again, perhaps it's just as well. When the movies are good enough to keep him alive in pop culture, why kill him at school.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm still undecided as to who is the better Shakespearian actor, Mickey Rooney or John Cleese.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog, just keep auditioning. We are bear-like, and know you would totally pone that role.

Posted by: Yokisdogs | May 22, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yoki, clearly Weingarten crossed the line with you, but I hope you manage to forgive him. I read Gene as a very self-deprecating and genuinely sensitive guy. Part of his "shtick" is this arrogant claim that he is infallible in matters of humor and taste. Sure he's full of mulch sometimes (like when he tried to improve on the lyrics to "Your Song"), but that's all part of his charm.

Besides, he's a dog person.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 22, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Cleese! That vicious, vicious, Bustard.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

>Boko999-we were typing of our highschool Shakespeare scars at the same time.

I guess I lucked out. I had a h/s Shakespeare class with a guy who really brought it to life. A real ham, but it was good.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 22, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I know this, RD. I like him. That is why he disappoints me so. I think he really gets most of it. I like him! And I know he is being sardonic (ironic, sarcastic) when he lays-down-the-law. And yet he is faithless. That is with which I have a problem.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Gosh thanks! I've also considered playing Hamlet, but in movies only.

Admit it, what human can look remotely as depressed as a black dog can while having his chin between paws? And there's a reason why Prince is a common dog's name, no?

Also, I live by the motto that if "'tis to be done, 'twas better done quickly", especially when it comes to getting ready for walks. I know the agony of indecision all too well.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 22, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I posted about the Orchard Mason Bees awhile back:
http://www.knoxcellars.com/

Ours came out, did their job, and are now back in their house, covered by mud. I haven't seen any praying mantises yet. frostbitten, you have Monarchs! I don't get to have Monarchs here.

After my Austen marathon, I'll have to get some Shakespeare movies. I loved Zeffirelli's R&J, and The Taming of the Shrew with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton - very funny.

I thought GeneW's poetry poll was ok - of course he's not absolutely right, but he's got some good points. You can always comment on the chat. Personally, I can't make any sense out of the Browning, and I think he's overanalyzing the Frost.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 22, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

A hit! A very palpable hit!

Posted by: Yokisdogs | May 22, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

As usual, RD says it best. That's Weingarten's schtick, but I have to confess to feeling like he may be off his game and overdoing that particular schtick...

Don't give up, Yoki! I can't help thinking that anyone who has a piece like The Great Zucchini has to be worth waiting out the rough spots.

Posted by: Kim | May 22, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

SCC...sigh...can write a piece like....

Posted by: Kim | May 22, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

It is that to which I object, mostlylurking. He called out some very banal sentiments; the thing is, is, that most poetry deals with banal sentiment. That life is short and uncertain is not a new insight, and so Ozymandias is not more original in subject-matter that any other pome. I think Gene was seduced by romanticsm. Ozymandias is not a better pome than any of the other three, Weingarten simply prefers it for reasons of his own.

That we've made irrevocable choices is not new, either. That we love our home-place is obvious.

I think the wonderful thing about the Browning is that it broke new ground, literally. My Last Duchess deald, for one of the first times, with an ignoble spirit rendered in fine language. Shocking! And Frost used, in one of the original forms, a uniquely American language and cadence. Excellent!

What is poetry for, after all? I think and believe and feel that it is meant to encompass, very compactly, human experience. How to express that experience in the fewest possible words? Pomes.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of mulch, you mulch-happy folks might want to read Adrian Higgins' chat from today. Specifically about mulching too close to trees - it's too long to post here (basically, he's agin it).

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 22, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog and Yokisdogs-If you haven't already, you need to round up the Wishbone version of Romeo and Juliet. Wishbone is the Jack Russell Terrier featured in the PBS children's series and he could have been called the dog of a thousand faces.

I shall have to check out the Weingarten chat. I rarely see Ozymandias noted at all, much less as a great poem. Sister Mary Patrick assigned it for memorization in 4th grade, and it was well worth the effort.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Kim. And I think I loved the Josh/violin story even more than The Great Zucchini (and that is saying something). That is why I am so very very angry with him. I waited, yearning, for him to come back. And what do I get for my faith?

But note that I still put all my work on hold to read his chats, and post here about my ponderings. I love this man.

Not as much as I love all of you (because I don't know him) but quite a bit.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

mostly-Higgins is so right about mulch and trees. It's not only not good for the trees, but nothing looks sillier than a perfect little circle around a tree.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

One of the best reasons to read Willie The Shake is to better appreciate modern classics.

Like "Queen of The Barbarians 2".

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 22, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

My favourite poet is Ed Sanders. I've never read any of his poetry but I loved his band The Fugs. Ah, the hours I spent curled up next to the pilot light listening to "Golden Filth." *wipes away tear*

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

hahahahaha!

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten - Wishbone! I had forgotten him! How my kids loved those videos! Ok, me too.
Thanks for making me smile.

Yoki - isn't it funny how we know our imaginary friends? At least, some aren't imaginary to you since you've been to a BPH...I have to laugh when something reminds me of something a boodler has said. Happens a lot!

Posted by: Kim | May 22, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

It is truly amazing you can appreciate both "The Tyger" and "the Duchess" as great poems, Yoki. They are so different.

I'd take your opinion over Gene's anyday, then. I already gave my opinion on the Duchess.

OTH, I've always hated Blake with a visceral hatred, and the Tyger is the one poem I can stomach, but don't love.

Of course, Poetry can indeed be lost in translation even within the same language.

How can a Bronx-born boy appreciate nature imagery as well as, for instance, somebody living out near wolves and elk would?

The murmuring of bees under immemorial elms would speak to my bee-catching soul far more than it would speak to the heart of a guy whose only acquaintance with striped insects would be avoiding the yellowjackets buzzing around garbage cans and inside empty soda cans.

So this is a roundabout way of explaining why Gene is a twit, and also why I loathe the Tiger, even with the beautiful imagery.

I don't have that ear-savoring tradition of enjoying music and songs with what appear to be mindless repetition-- (and I do like some ballads, but they come with a different structure).

What is poetic about repeating words at all?

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, dread, dread, dread, dare, dare, dare, hand, hand, hand, hand, eye, eye, eyes, and...

FOURTEEN "what"s.

IMO, the poem would be better without that. And what's with all the questions? What, he's asking the reader for advice on how to rewrite the poem?

So, no matter how wonderful it is, I couldn't in honesty rank The Tyger as "great", because it grates rather than treats me, what with all those dread "what"s.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Yoki's yammering, "Yikes! Yearning... now yawning."

Mostly's mulching; missing monarchs.

CP's picking peonies, parsing papers, placating parents.

RD's begging a bard's best.

Frosti's finding favor with flashy flowers.

Kim's keeping cozy; commenting coherently...

Posted by: TBG | May 22, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Caught Yoki and RD's discussion. All good points.

Hey... remember that column in which gene outs that he routinely mispronounces "what" as "wat" instead of whut or wot?

Imagine Gene reading "The Tyger" and mispronuncing all the fourteen WHATS in a loud voice. Beautiful, no?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

NEWSFLASH!! NDP wins in Manitoba.
Socialist hordes chalk up victory in Manitoba with third straight majority government.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 22, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

TBG's twittering bright gems
And the boodle keeps grinding...
This Gene bashing is fun, indeed.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, Weingarten = comedy provacateur.

He forgot the title to his chat "Funny?" today. Imagine, though, the burden that creates.

It is an unspoken covenant that those who submit comments are subject to the most sarcastic criticism if they fall outside the ambit of his "all-knowing being."

Which he would readily tell you is all a joke.

This difficult for most sane people to accept.

Posted by: bill everything | May 22, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

TBG, you're making me dizzy!

Posted by: dbG | May 22, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Boko-whopping majority, CBC Manitoba has called it a night already and is going back to NHL coverage.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC: >This difficult for most sane people to accept.<

This is difficult for most sane people to accept.

Posted by: bill everything | May 22, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I preferred it when he would pompously dissect banal subjects, Bill everything. That in itself was very funny.

Nowadays, he's trying to tackle things that are kind of personal, with strong cultural biases involved.

If he keeps this trend up, he'll be comparing holy books to each other, and starting a religious war on his chat.

On the other hand, he should totally do a chat about Freud and dream interpretion and solicit dreams (real or made-up).

That would be funny.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 22, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"He called out some very banal sentiments; the thing is, is, that most poetry deals with banal sentiment. That life is short and uncertain is not a new insight, and so Ozymandias is not more original in subject-matter that any other pome."

Mozart, Brahms, Mahler and Richard Strauss used the same instruments, same scales, and wrote pretty much in the same forms. Nothing new there, and nothing to criticize, either. Some of the pieces I like more than others, but that doesn't mean the ones down the list are bad.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 22, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, LTL.

Wilbrod, the 'Whats' are like downbeats in conducted music. They give the piece its rhythm.

I am *so interested* in how you and I read things (or hear them?) differently. I am very glad to know you, and be given some insight into this difference. Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | May 22, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

This runs a bit long but the Stephen Colbert/Sean Penn "Metaphor Off" has a priceless use of Ozymandias. Frost gets a mention too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dtqYYnNvOo

Posted by: frostbitten | May 22, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Catching up after a long (fun) day. Random thoughts...

TBG...good. very good. That mind of yours just twists around into weird shapes sometimes, doesn't it?

Wilbrod...(or maybe Wilbroddog)...ya made me laugh. Andy Kaufman the comedic. As opposed to who? Andy Kaufman they guy at Starbucks? What other Andy Kaufman is there? (Sorry, but to those of us a tad older, there's just the one).

Boko..Cleese? Now there's someone who would do it justice. Thanks for making me giggle like a fourth grader.

bc...I saw Titus Andronicus. Messy, bloody, violent. Yet an excellent play. I kept thinking of Medea...the way a woman in that position acts (no mercy), and of Mo (Queen of Goth).

ScienceTim...are you out there? I've got a science question, and (as you know) I just don't have a science mind. I'm hiding out at The Cabin in West Virginia, and the FM radio is WAY screwy. I mean way. I only really pick up two stations here, and the occassional pilot heading to Dulles, but lately I'm picking up stations from left field. My neighbor picked up a Nebraska station yesterday, I've been getting Chicago and somewhere with a deep deep drawl. Sunspots? Aliens? Government experiments? What's the deal?


Posted by: LostInThought | May 22, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

cancelling my smithsonian mag subscription at this very moment

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: way too many for me fix. If you could just blip over my errors, that would be cool. Thanks.

And ScienceTim...let me know if I should head for the hills. Oh wait. That's where I am.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 22, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

LostinThought- Your unusual radio reception is probably from "tropospheric ducting." FM signals are affected by weather, and when you have a temperature inversion they can be bent and travel upwards of 1,000 miles beyond their usual range. Or so says Mr. F, the Signal Geek.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, I would listen from LA to KSL in SLC, KDKA Pittsburgh, and the one in St Louis that carried the Cardinals (KMOX?). SF stations were easy to get sometimes even in daylight, esp KGO and KCBS (before the LA station took that call sign). Strongest of all was "the ring man" from Del Rio, TX (transmitter in Mexico). Probably too much electro-noise to do that these days.

Posted by: LTL-CA | May 23, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Ah, LTL those "border blaster" stations were very powerful, didn't need help from the weather. We used to listen to WGN (AM)from Chicago at night up here near the Canuckistani border.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Evenin' all...

A very long day here and I promised myself I would go straight to bed when I got home, but I see that potree is being discussed and I just can't pass up a potree discussion. Wouldn't be natural.

Yoki rhetorically asked and then answered herself... "What is poetry for, after all? I think and believe and feel that it is meant to encompass, very compactly, human experience. How to express that experience in the fewest possible words? Pomes."

I agree to a degree, but compactness is only one aspect of poetry -- and not necessarily a requirement in order for the form to achieve its purpose. It is true that concise is generally better, but that path ultimately leads to really bad haiku.

I think the purpose of poetry is to not just express, but give life to the human experience via the inherent music and imagery of language. I suppose you could say the same for prose but while good prose is often called "poetic", good poetry is rarely (if ever) called "prosaic".

I would also add that poetry has the double (and many would think self-contradictory) task of describing something, yet leaving that something open to interpretation (which brings up one of my poetic pet peeves -- inordinate abuse of obtuseness).

--

Off the top of my head, some thoughts on poetry:

Poetry is the only contagious mental disorder known to humankind, but not everyone is susceptible to it -- you either get it, or you don't.

"I write poetry" is the perfect thing to say to a publisher if you don't want to be published.

Poetry is an excellent psycho-chick/dude magnet.

"I write poetry" is basically an admission that you don't have the attention span required to write complete para

--

(oh... 57 down... must have missed a tic)

Peace :-)

Posted by: martooni | May 23, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Ann Scott Tyson's story on Iraq strategy in the Wed. Post looks interesting. Not sure that any Iraqi nationalists would like the US sacking "excessively sectarian" officials. 'night.

For the mess in that Lebanese "camp" for Palestinians, Christopher Dickey at Newsweek seems to have figured things out as well as anyone, by finding a French sociologist who actually knows one of the camps.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 23, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Well, it seems obvious that the subhead here was written by a man...

==
Birth Control Pill Stops Periods
FDA approves contraceptive designed for women who find menstruation too painful or unpleasant.
==

I wonder if there is a woman alive now--or ever--that doesn't find it unpleasant.

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

On that count, TBG, I suspect many men would raise their hands too.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 23, 2007 2:08 AM | Report abuse

LiT... What are you doing up? I'm still at work. Just put our newsletter to bed and am going home to do the same soon.

:)

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Just got done talking to Sis-On-the-Coast. You're still at work? Dear L0rd woman, you are dedicated. Sleep well. I plan on doing the same (once I pour more benedryl into Dear Child...oh, the pollen!)

Posted by: LostInThought | May 23, 2007 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - I don't really know you (except I kinda do, a little, in a strange way!) but I feel like I could trust you in many situations.

I've got a feeling that (smug sarcasm and all) Weingarten would also be someone that I could trust.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 23, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

From pomes to the unpleasantness of menstruation is but a single post.

Martooni apparently channeled the boodl

Posted by: Koalatea | May 23, 2007 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, you will best understand how I see poetry through discussing Lord Tennyson and ASL.

ASL poetry relies on changing of handshapes, motion, rhythm, inflection, expression, tone, etc. You never have to use a sign exactly the same way twice. Unfortunately "what" is not very poetic in ASL.

Here's a selection from "the Princess" (Tennyson) that I completely love.

The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

First of all, I love the kinetic imagery of this. Internal rhymes, check. But note further the varying S-consonant clusters-- the Spl, ls, stl, ls, sn, s_m_t, St-r...

I developed a new way of looking at poetry in ASL and English by translating this into ASL.

/the splendor falls on castle walls/

Splendor=(Wonderful + light shines), They both have the same handshapes so the pattern is like 5-o-5 (finger five, small o handshape, finger-five again).

Wonderful climbs up in a single shallow arc with a double beat '-' . The o handshape starts above my head and spreads open into rays of light falling to where the castle walls are, in front of me. It's like an oì sort of... long falling tone, with a very slight tremble (shine) at the start which calms down.

The light's shine stops at the imaginary walls and then changes plane as I close the fingers of that hand flat, to sign on another flat hand- "ON" A short -' beat.

Then with a short move to a different handshape, I draw my hands apart to sign the castle's turrets above with downwards arcs, '-'-'

Then I do the same kind of motion to sign walls with flat hands (as used in ON) without any "beat". -- Walls rhymes with Castle-- but not perfectly.

So in a five sign sequence, I've created the sun, shown how the sunlight shines down on castle walls, then its turreted outline and the flat walls, and also did a serial partial rhyme (assonance) with castle-walls, and handshape consonance between "wonderful light, and "on" and "walls".

RHYTHM '-'oì-''-'-'--

Note: Hands can be used together, singly, or in alternating pattern inside a sign itself to create a new level of pattern.

HANDSHAPE PATTERN:
(wonderful) (light falls) on castle walls
2A (bA) 2C D 2C

..And snowy summits old in story

1(AE)-' (slow) And
2(A)'-- (weak flutter beat) Snowy
2(FA)'- (strong, slow, rising) Mountains
1(BG) (weak flutter beat, similar to 2A)
Old
2(E/H)-' In
2(AF,AF,AF) '- '- '- (strong, slow)
Story
L/R(F''') Handed down, inherited (L/R= left and right hands moving alternatively for a total of 3 beats.)

STORY is also a partial rhyme to CASTLE or WALL, but the rhythm is longer and more circular.

It's sorta like the CaSTLe and SToRy sound pattern in English, actually.

The long light shakes across the lakes...

This time, the light hits the lake surface before it trembles across the lake in a long motion-- very similar to ASL for waves compounded with the motion for "shine", and "spread". So in one sign, it indicates the appearance of light spreading across the waves in a broken, glittery pattern. Then bingo, I got the image in my head.

I had to do this before I understood what the heck Tennyson meant by "light shaking across lakes". I liked the rhyme, sure, but light doesn't shake like coins or a spear.

Short point: repeating words unnecessarily merely to create rhythm without sense is overkill in ASL-- and in English, too. Tennyson proved that to me.

Blake does make some use of assonance and consonance, but he ain't Tennyson.

From the Idylls of the King:

And indeed He seems to me
Scarce other than my king's ideal knight,
`Who reverenced his conscience as his king;
Whose glory was, redressing human wrong;
Who spake no slander, no, nor listened to it;
Who loved one only and who clave to her--'
Her--over all whose realms to their last isle,
Commingled with the gloom of imminent war,
The shadow of His loss drew like eclipse,
Darkening the world. We have lost him: he is gone:
We know him now:

Like the light shaking across lakes, his rhythms are spread out into glimmers of sounds instead of full rhymes.

Indeed, Ideal, knight, wrong, king, to it, slander, nor, her, over, war, isle, eclipse, gone...reverenced, conscience, redressing, loved, clave...

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Martooni is absolutely right, so in his honor I commit bad haiku-karu and go to bed.

Beware, psycho chicks
dig Aphrosadiacal
Pseudopoetry

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Morning, friends. Poetry. I used poetry during a trying time in my life, and by that I mean I attempted to write poetry. Not good at that, but it helped me. It pulled me through a dark place. I think I sent a poem to a newspaper once, but I'm sure they totally disregarded it.

I read the story about the movie made by Jolie on Daniel Pearls' life. I would really like to see that movie. Daniel Pearls widow seems to be an exceptional person, and people like that are always interesting. I also think Angelina Jolie is one good actress.


Have a busy day ahead, and I want to get started early. I hope your day is just fantastic.

I will ask again, can someone lead me to a good book or place to get the right understanding about global warming? Not too in-depth, just the basics if possible. On the surface it seems to be important.

Morning, all.*waving*


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

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 23, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Missed the poetry chat. TBG -- parsing papers! Love it! I will say that to the peeps whose papers I parse....have not spoken to a parent yet. But sent my standard email to three students: I need a week without looking at papers, if I am to think clearly about a grade adjustment. In the next phase, I ask them to write me, arguments appearing in paragraphs, a detailed letter arguing for the higher mark.

What so many of you said, re poetry. Oh Yoki! Yes. Yes. Yes. About Gene W. and poems. I was disapointed and very confused.

Wilbrod -- from what you said, I now know that I must see poetry in motion. During my oldest child's communion preparation, much of it was signed because two siblings also preparing were deaf, as were their parents. Theology and liturgical terms, signed, are deeply moving.

Martooni -- poetry can speak about ideas and feeling that resist being put in to words.

TBG and Frosti -- still, this morning late in May and peonies....an anemic set for blooms, overpowered by a holly, wafting scent in the moist, cool air.

Happy email from two students, civil engineers, who arrived hale and whole in Thailand yesterday. They will be buiding low impact sewage drainage ponds in three rural communities.

Engineers Without Borders is a fab student/professional organization.

MostlyL: No Mason Orchard bees are shipped in the spring, so I will try this in the fall. You know, I would like a "bee-loud glade" for flowers and so that I can channel William Yeats.

Poetry and Peonies: I am one lucky gal.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 23, 2007 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Also would like to be able to talk to the children about global warming in simple terms for me and them. Thanks.

We have a meeting tomorrow to plan the summer fun program for the children, and I am interested in all ideas. We did the sunflower seeds last summer and the children loved that. Feel free to offer any and all suggestions.

I hope you don't mind, JA. Some science stuff would be really good. Not complicated, but just simple stuff. The children really do like that.

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 23, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra:
Try this link, for starters:

http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/f101.asp

Posted by: Dreamer | May 23, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Also these:

http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/globalwarming/primer/primer.html


http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/


http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/

Posted by: Dreamer | May 23, 2007 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra -- tomorrow, I will post a note with links to a few web exhibits about climate change. I think you can find a range of information on the web.

The short answer here is that the vast majority of scientists in earth science and biological science believe that the burning of fossil fuels is of such a volume and duration that these pollutants in the atmosphere are changing our climate.

Weather is what happens every day; climate is the patterns of weather and seasons we expect based on a record of observations.

Our climate patterns do vary over time, without the greenhouse effect factored in. Scientists have ways to tease-out this "background variability." Most scientists -- atmospheric chemists, geologists, oceanographers, climatologists, and the like -- see evidence that our climate is shifting in response to increased carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

Does this mean warming everywhere? No. Climate change will look more like regional variations away from the expected pattern of day and night average temperatures, growing seasons, rain fall, storm intensity, wind and jet stream paths.

www.realclimate.org is a blog authored by many climate scientists. Some of the discussion is complex, but lurking there and using the search engine might be helpful.

But you may like to start with some exhibits at this NASA site:
http://terra.nasa.gov/About/

I think the most important work at NASA is not about space (sorry buds and JA). NASA studies EARTH, too. Hey, we are a planet and worth some time.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 23, 2007 7:14 AM | Report abuse

O the pain! the agony! My Comcast Internet link has been down at home for the last day, and only came back up overnight--and what do I find but that I've missed major, major threads on petry as well Shakespeare and Shakespeare movies! O I die! I swoon! *clasps back of wrist to forehead, collapses in theatrical lump upon greensward*

Morning, Boodle and Cassandra. I feel like there's been a big party here last night and I couldn't go because my parents said I had to finish my trig homework. Yuck.

Cassandra, Corzine was actually correct not to wear his seat belt when he got out of the hospital. Doctors generally recommend you don't wear one for a while right after most kinds of chest surgery. He'd broken, I think, 12 ribs and his sternum in the crash (when the damn fool SHOULD have been wearing the belt), and was probably still wired up like a Christmas tree. When I had my quad bypass, they also told me not to wear my belt for a few weeks afterward. But other than recovering chest surgery patients, you're quite right about seat belts -- and the hypocrisy of those in high places who don't wear them.

OK, let's see, what's next? Gotta pretty much agree with Yoki on Weingarten. I understand the infallibility schtick, but it only works under humorous situations, and I'm pretty tired of it in his normal discussions. I, too, voted for "My Last Duchess" and Innisfrtee, and I liked the Frost; he just doesn't get it, for some reason. And while I raved about the "Great Zuchini" piece I was one of the first critics of the violin thing as being snobby and elitist. I was so far out front on that one I thought I was alone on it, but after a while other people said the same thing.

OK, the Shakespeare. Have to endorse what everyone else has said, Padouk; I've boodled before about my esteem for Branagh's Henry V and Zefferelli's R & J masterpiece. I also want to throw in "Shakespeare in Love," which is a great movie, mainly because of Finnes and because of Tom Stoppard's fantastic script. And I liked Paltrow in it, too. And the secondary characters in were wonderful, especially Geoofrey Rush and Tom Wilkinson. (Wilkinson is really an amazing actor, especially when you count the number of roles he's had where you never really who it is until the credits roll at the end.) Critics will say that historically "S. in Love" is poppycock about the R & J play, and they may be entirely correct. But ultimately they miss that S in L captures the spirit and "truthiness" of R&J. And Fiennes' Shakespeare is utterly believable as a writer.

Also second the referral to the Harold Bloom book. (I'm a Bloom fan from way back.)

I own a three-vol. set of audio lectures on Shakespeare from the Great Courses tape from "The Teaching Company" people; this one is by Prof. Peter Saccio of Dartmouth. He is really outstanding and I listen to them over and over. In vol. 2 lecture 17 his discussion of the death of Falstaff in Henry V is just mind-blowingly good. It is amazingly simple and quite moving, and then when you see the Branagh movie it is that much more meaningful. If you could buy just that one cassette from them it would be worth it.

In Branagh's Henry V, during the death scene, Falstaff is played by the great Robbie Coltrane (alas, from Harry Potter fame); Mistress Quickly is played by Judi Dench (what more can one say?) and Pistol is played by a great but somewhat obscure actor named Robert Stephens, who played the Prince at the end of Zefferelli's R&J, when he he does the great "all...all...all are punish-ed" speech.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Oops -- I posted that second one twice. I meant to include this one:

http://www2.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200612/tows_past_20061205.jhtml

Posted by: Dreamer | May 23, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

RD, can you think on this question? (I often wonder about the lack of core knowledge in my darling, nerdy, sci-tech-engineering students.) How did you miss Shakespeare in your edumacation? Harvey Mudd? The other Claremont schools? Please don't prickle as I am asking, with a sort of courtsy-bow. (Recall that you can now earn English degrees at UMCP and Georgtown without one IOTA of time spent with Wil-the-Whisp Shakesbear)

One left-handed compliment I get from my tech writing students (am also reading their evaluations of the course...and me :o !!!! ) goes like this:

very practical class, no Shakespeare or poetry or other irritating topics

instructor knows her stuff, makes grammar and comp useful for the scientist; does not dwell on metaphor and symbolism

best English class ever; very practical; helped me with my lab reports; did not have to fake my writing and pretend to care about poetry and novels

(perhaps later I can say what they say about me....funny, actually, and a bit one-dimensional)

I want to cry, at these evals. Somewhere, there are scientists who love Shakespeare and Einstein, nearly in equal measures. Here.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 23, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm here, really... *quick wave*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I've noticed some really weird radio reception over the past couple of days myself.

Since there's been a decent high pressure system over the eastern US (clear blue skies, mild/warm temps) I wasn't thinking about inversions for radio "skip", but it could very well be.

I checked some of the space/solar weather sites, and the forecast is for relatively calm solar activity, though the magnetic component of the solar wind is on the high side. They're keeping an eye on a sunspot that could toss up a flare, though.

Or it could be that big alien starship that quietly slipped into orbit this past weekend. Rove must be ready to go on summer vacation, his ride's here.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 23, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody. Quite a discussion overnight. I'm in a rush to get to the volunteer opportunity so I'll catch up with everybody this afternoon.

Posted by: Slyness | May 23, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

CP, Maybe in some act of cosmic karmic balance another teacher somewhere is reading reviews that say things like:

very practical class, no Einstein or cosmology or other irritating topics

instructor knows her stuff, makes addition and subtraction useful for the non-scientist; does not dwell on trigonometry and logarithms

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

and he/she is back

what is it with the fourth minute???

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

bc: Your Rove's ride is here comment was timely. I watched "Night Skies" yesterday, a film about the mysterious 1997 lights over the Arizona desert. It includes snippets of John McCain's comments at the time to lend credibility to the dramatization of a creepy encounters tale told under hypnotic regression.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm backBoodling as best I can, so forgive any BOOOs... :-)

'Mudge, even though I always wear my seatbelt, I can't complain if a guy (even a Commander Guy) does his own thing on his own proprty. Further deponent sayeth not, since he likes his job very much indeed, thankee.

And speaking of John Cleese, it's good to see him and Eric Idle getting plum gigs in "Shrek the Third." Yep, it was derivative but enjoyable, particularly with NukeSpawn giggling next to me.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

<om>

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

MISSED,SNAP!!!

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Instead of dealing in real science, the Smithsonian has adopted the old TV Network goal of "Least Objectionable Programming". The idea is not to educate an audience, but to avoid offending it.

In this case, the main audience is not the American people, but the Bush administration's loathing of scientific facts. It would be a shame for them to risk their funding just to maintain their integrity.

In the long-run, the Smithsonian's exhibit will be like old TV reruns: quaint, boring pablum that people 20 years from now will regard as naive and irresponsible.

Posted by: AxelDC | May 23, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Instead of dealing in real science, the Smithsonian has adopted the old TV Network goal of "Least Objectionable Programming". The idea is not to educate an audience, but to avoid offending it.

In this case, the main audience is not the American people, but the Bush administration's loathing of scientific facts. It would be a shame for them to risk their funding just to maintain their integrity.

In the long-run, the Smithsonian's exhibit will be like old TV reruns: quaint, boring pablum that people 20 years from now will regard as naive and irresponsible.

Posted by: AxelDC | May 23, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Instead of dealing in real science, the Smithsonian has adopted the old TV Network goal of "Least Objectionable Programming". The idea is not to educate an audience, but to avoid offending it.

In this case, the main audience is not the American people, but the Bush administration's loathing of scientific facts. It would be a shame for them to risk their funding just to maintain their integrity.

In the long-run, the Smithsonian's exhibit will be like old TV reruns: quaint, boring pablum that people 20 years from now will regard as naive and irresponsible.

Posted by: AxelDC | May 23, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning!

I'm sorry I missed a good discussion last night. I have to admit to an entire evening devoted to reality TV. I'm so ashamed...

CP, great bird report. We saw a green heron last night, and the ducks are still regulars every evening, looking for a handout. They're almost ready to nest, and I'm doing my best to discourage the geese from staying here. They are sometimes cruel to duckilings.

Like RD I was not exposed to Shakespeare in high school. I think I've mentioned the great experiment in English "electives" that resulted in most teens not electing any course that contained literature.

Yoki, RD, great dissection of Weingarten. Where do you stand on the merry, marry, Mary issue?

LiT, no need to remind me to blip over errors. Many times I don't see them until someone SCCs. My mind just sees what the writer intended, vs. what is actually there. I am a terrible copy editor.

Mudge, I keep forgetting to tell you that I quite enjoyed Motherless Brooklyn, especially the wording of his tics and the thought process leading up to them.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

To my shame, as I quite pride myself on the clarity of my enunciation (arctic, not artic, etc.) I think I pronounce merry, Mary and marry exactly the same.

But whole wat/what, mirror/mirr elision has me stumped. How can that occur?

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Only 607 more days of this awful administration. But how long will it take to undo the mess? The Smithsonian story adds to my impression that we are living a real life version of "1984." Goodling's testimony today should be very interesting, wish I could hang around to follow it closely.

The bad and good about being out of work is the time I have to do other things. Babysitting this morning for a few hours, then off to the cemetary to visit my parents. I never got there last year as I moved just before Memorial Day weekend and then it rained for a month. Tomorrow is the funeral for my cousin, I will be gone all day. I did buy tomato plants yesterday and hope "S" and I can get them in the ground tonight. I have one Mr. Stripey. Based on last year's results, I'm not super hopeful for him, but everyone deserves a second chance. I did make one expensive purchase yesterday. I bought an everblooming hydrangea. The only way I could love those flowers more would be if they smelled like lilacs.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 23, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

My condolences on your cousin, Sneaks. Many *hugs* headed your way.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Quick comment on Weingarten, now that I've caught up on the last two weeks' columns and chats: the infallibility thing, it has the power to irritate me, especially when Gene is blatantly WRONG. But the more I think about it the more amused I am; I think it's great as a schtick, an ongoing inside joke. The man posts a "poll" and then after you give your honest opinion, which is what he repeatedly begs for, he reveals the "correct" answers, as if it weren't a poll at all, but an IQ test or the GMATs or something. That is funny.

Incidentally, I picked "My Last Duchess" for some of the reasons GW cited, mainly its complexity of tone. And I picked "Tyger, Tyger" for second place for sentimental reasons--as I mentioned in this boodle many moons ago, I once had a class of restless fifth graders, it was a hot Friday afternoon. We were coming to the concept of symmetry in math, and I got out this poem, thinking I'd be lucky to get through it before the spitwads started. I was amazed by the class's reaction. The kids were mesmerized, they were stupefied, they absolutely loved that poem. I wasn't a fan of it before, so it's not a matter of salesmanship. The poem sold itself. It has some kind of magic in it, and that is the essence of great poetry.

I also like that about 30% of the Weingarten chat occurs over here on Achenblog; and I think it would be a hoot if he stopped by here, especially in light of Dave Barry's guest appearance on Chatological Humor yesterday.

Ouch, did I say this was going to be a quick comment?

Posted by: kbertocci | May 23, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

CP - I don't know how I missed Shakespeare. In high school we focused on Greek plays, like that one where this guy gets all weird over his mother. And in college we seemed to focus more on novels than plays. I think Will just fell through the cracks.

Raysmom - Regarding merry, marry, and Mary. I'm from the Pacific Northwest. To me the three sound pretty much alike.

But then again, I also think "Dawn" sounds like "Don."

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Fate has temporarily set me amongst twenty some odd students that are finished with their exams, and for all intents and purposes, school for the next two hours. I feel like...singing...

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm seeing a lot of triple posts on the fourth minute...surely a sign of the end

             ...
             ...
             ...

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm seeing a lot of triple posts on the fourth minute...surely a sign of the end

             ...
             ...
             ...

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm seeing a lot of triple posts on the fourth minute...surely a sign of the end

             ...
             ...
             ...

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - I have been accused of sounding Canadian, which I take as a great compliment.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, reluctantly gotta agree, Scotty, that Bush being on his own private property sansabelt, takes all the fun out of the umbrage. The man is just a total let-down, even when he screws up.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

This may explain, in part, the large number of lawyers and lawyer jokes...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/22/AR2007052201405.html

Then again, maybe not.

DLD

Posted by: DLD | May 23, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

RD, I also think dawn sounds like don, I do have a question any views on the correct pronounciation of clematis?

CP you inspired me to purchase a lilac, and a peony, I also purchased one of the dwarf hydrangeas that Jack purchased for his wife (before I read his comment).

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

dmd - I'm going with CLEMatis. I'm not sure, but after that whole "You mean it doesn't rhyme with Lavoris?" incident I'm not taking any chances.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

buttercup

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

RD -- you channel your English forebears with that pronounciation. Most here say cle MAT is...
(and last time, we all giggled about how words and special body bits sound so lascivious....frills and furbelows....no go wash your hands, RD, as we know that you are blushing, English-style)

I have no idea about Canoochis.... sometimes they are with us rebels and other times with the Mother Tongue...

Boolie -- so fair about the high math profs....laughing all the way to a meeting with another prof so we can deconstruct the year. (recovering AA sort and my greatest achievement is that he says that laughing with me is like being on the sauce....I think this is good.)

Raysmom/RD: the experiential cafeteria of electives must be like the new math stuff....marks a generation and leaves gaps.

Since I went to plaid school mostly, we always were served up the cannons.....classics, old-school, thought for the ages, great books, etc.

Really have computer probs now...may need boodle support....I HATE MICROSOFT. That is all.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 23, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

RD -- you channel your English forebears with that pronounciation. Most here say cle MAT is...
(and last time, we all giggled about how words and special body bits sound so lascivious....frills and furbelows....no go wash your hands, RD, as we know that you are blushing, English-style)

I have no idea about Canoochis.... sometimes they are with us rebels and other times with the Mother Tongue...

Boolie -- so fair about the high math profs....laughing all the way to a meeting with another prof so we can deconstruct the year. (recovering AA sort and my greatest achievement is that he says that laughing with me is like being on the sauce....I think this is good.)

Raysmom/RD: the experiential cafeteria of electives must be like the new math stuff....marks a generation and leaves gaps.

Since I went to plaid school mostly, we always were served up the cannons.....classics, old-school, thought for the ages, great books, etc.

Really have computer probs now...may need boodle support....I HATE MICROSOFT. That is all.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 23, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I had a great teacher for all my high school Shakespeare. The very first play he did with the class was Taming of the Shrew. We spent a lot of time talking about definitions of words followed by a lot of giggling. Then we dived into he more serious stuff.

Shakespeare filmed in the 50's and earlier seemed to treat the very words as reverential, as something to be put on a pedestal. It was Shakepseare after all, man, Don't mess with it.

Branagh is the single brightest thing that has happened to Shakespeare in decades. He loves it as a living breathing thing. He shows us all again how Shakespeare was a man of the people, a man who did not hide from the smutty, grimy sides of life even as he sees the sublime, the silly, the refined. Branagh reminds us why, after all these years Shakespeare remains relevant.

Besides he played a great foppish fellow in Harry Potter.

Robbie Coltrane from Harry Potter. You wound me. Cracker, always Cracker.

Posted by: dr | May 23, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

CP you have nailed the reason for my confusion completely, I hear both pronounciations of clematis, I too would say cle MAT is.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

CP, it gets worse. Instead of individual classrooms, we had "lofts," which were big open areas with clusters of desks for "classrooms." IIRC by the time I graduated, many mobile dividers had been purchased and deployed.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Jack, through the wonderful invention of the hyphen, perhaps we may deduce whether you are dealing with:

1) 20 students, some of whom are odd;

2) 20-some students (a number not precisely known but somewhere between 20 or 21 on the low end and 29 on the high end), all of whom are odd;

3) or 20-some-odd students, odd being a redundant amplifier of "-some" (as in "20-odd" students), meaning you have an unknown number of students where the quantity is guesstimated to be between 21 and 29, but in any event, none of them are in any way peculiar (so far as is known).

I'm guessing you meant the third choice, but statistically, I'm sure that at least a few of them are bound to be "odd." Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Yes, DLD, I just KNEW that shark story was going to turn into a lawyer joke pretty durn quick. Of course, when you think about it logically and from the point of view of Darwin and natural selection...who the hell would want to boff a hammerhead? Do you have to cuddle afterward? Who gets to sleep in the dry spot? It is a situation just fraught, fraught I say, with complications.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

It's the 300th birtday of Linnaeus, the founding father of the system of scientific names for plants and animals, and the most famous Swede.

http://www.linnaeus2007.se/

He named a surprising number of North American plants, including the magnificent Magnolia grandiflora L. (That L. is the abbreviation for Linnaeus).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 23, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Knowing nothing of the landscape architecture, aside from what I've seen on DIY shows, I think the dwarf hydrangias will find a place along the low side of the porch. The framing sits on a block wall that's about three feet tall, so the plants wil reach their mature height at three-four feet and still not hide the balusters and handrails on the porch.

Speaking of plants, GCC will mean the demise of many crop plants. This article makes the case for establishing seed banks. I didn't think about this until I first read about these repositories a number of months ago. They are the means by which crops get reestablished in areas wrecked by natural or anthropomorphic phenomena.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/wire/sns-ap-climate-change-crops,1,1420380.story?coll=sns-ap-science-headlines

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought Britt Eklund was the most famous Swede.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

How can one trust the Smithsonian if it wants to be manipulative and deceitful. Maybe the Board thanks that pretending to be ethical is a satisfactory substitute because if they give the appearance of being ethical then they can get away with their lies.

If it quacks like a duck then they must be honest.

Posted by: Robert James | May 23, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Mary Goodnight

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

On the global warming front, Ford announced today that Florida will be the first state to receive a fleet of hydrogen fueled shuttle busses. They will be deployed in Orlando at the airport and convention center and refueled at an existing hydrogen refueling station in Orlando.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

In keeping with the Shakespeare comments, just read this article on Canadian Actor Graham Greene, a native Canadian who is playing Shylock at Stratford this year. His viewpoint on the role is interesting and is in keeping with the way I was taught the play. Our teacher stressed the situation for the Jews at the time, it was taught with a great deal of sympathy for Shylock.

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/theatre/grahamgreene.html

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Will Chapter 823, "Public Nuisances," Florida Statutes have to be amended to add hyphen violations in addition to apostrophe violations? The punctuation police will be hard-pressed to enforce new laws without a major budget increase.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Clematis? CLEM a tis

http://www.calflora.net/botanicalnames/pronunciation.html

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 23, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dave, apparently clematis was not the only plant I was mispronouncing.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Shakespeare subject to political pressure (not unlike the Smithsonian) in writing about my distant great grand-pappy Duncan?

http://shakespeare.about.com/od/characterprofiles/p/duncanprofile.htm

Usurping a divinely appointed ruler was always the most serious of crimes, but to usurp a valiant and benevolent monarch was wicked beyond comprehension. Thus, for reasons both dramatic and political, Shakespeare had to make notable changes to the historical Duncan. The real King Duncan, according to Shakespeare's sources, was your regular nasty warlord; nastier, it appears, than the actual historical Macbeth. If Shakespeare's Macbeth planned to kill this Duncan he would be justified, and hence there would be no play. So Duncan morphs into a delightful and much beloved ruler, kind to the point of annoyance. With his 'silver skin' and 'golden blood' (2.3.97), Shakespeare's Duncan epitomizes the perfect ruler. Shakespeare's changes to Duncan's character are also in keeping with other changes he made to his sources, all seemingly intended to cater to his king and patron, James I.

Posted by: Loomis | May 23, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.

Another good rain last night and my CLEMatis should find its way into the ground this afternoon.

I can hear the difference between Don and Dawn, but say them in a way that Minnesotan's can't seem to differentiate. From Tennessee south my speech problem seems to disappear, so I think my neighbors have a hearing problem.

CP-very funny comments from your students.

KB writes about reading Blake's, Tyger Tyger: "The kids were mesmerized, they were stupefied, they absolutely loved that poem. I wasn't a fan of it before, so it's not a matter of salesmanship. The poem sold itself. It has some kind of magic in it, and that is the essence of great poetry."

I firmly believe that children need to hear lots of poetry and be allowed to love it, or not, based on their own tastes and without having to analyze it to death-to find every metaphor, and instance of symbolism. I don't know if it is still on the 3rd grade SOL in Virginia but the poetry selection was always a nightmare. In '05 kids were asked to identify what the poem was about, the correct answer was "spring" but the other answer choices weren't seasons. Hey, these are third graders-if you talk about leaves sprouting, things turning green, and then ask them to choose which season is being described they'll get it right. Ask them if a poem is "about" spring, chickens, weather,or gardening and every word but spring actually appears in the poem, you get hands raised with this question "Is this one of those questions where they try to trick you into picking wrong?" To top it off, the poems on the 3rd grade test seem to be specifically chosen for their lack of appeal to young people.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ok DotC how about some expert opinion on this issue - the great "Worm Poop" lawsuit. I note with humour what inspired this upstart product.

http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070523.wrworms23/BNStory/Business/home

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Dave: What I know of Linnaeus' life is fascinating to me. I'd put his work right up there in the top 10 scientific works of all time. The one that takes the cake for me was Newton and his treatise on the calculus that he completed, IIRC, at the ripe old age of 21.

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

...and a bit of disconcerting news: bubonic plague at the Denver Zoo...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/us/23zoo.html

Y'all probably know this. Ring Around the Rosey is about the pneumonic plague, I think..."achoo, achoo, we all fall down"...

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Einstein biographer on the Diane Rehm show as I type. Is it unkind to be glad when she has a guest host?

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Jack, that is bad news. I saw two dead birds on my way to work this morning, and the sight of any dead animal that isn't obviously roadkill never fails to remind me of the opening pages of _The Plague_ by A. Camus. Now, of course, the dead birds also lead directly to thoughts of avian flu.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 23, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I followed the link in your post, and am surprised Scott isn't suing every detergent manufacturer in America because the product packaging looks identical!

I suspect there are more than a few CEOs in the world whose major job perk should be unlimited worm poop.

Posted by: dbG | May 23, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, kb. The article mentions that transmission from the zoo animals to humans would be pretty unlikely and that bubonic plague, if detected early, responds quickly to an antibiotic regimen. Regardless, I would rather pass on the plague, particularly the pneumonic iteration. It's nasty.

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Ack! I mean, good morning. I missed the Shakespeare. I am compelled to two comments. First, RD, this year is officially Shakespeare year in DC. All kinds of arts organizations are doing plays, dances, music, museum exhibits etc. Surely you can find a play to attend. Most of the DC theater is pretty good (and of course you do have the Folger Shakespeare) so go see something. In addition to renting the Branagh. Then try reading something, occasionally aloud to the rabbits, just for fun. Don't start with "Troilus" or "Titus" though; try a comedy.

bc, about a video of "Titus Andronicus": look for Julie Taymor's "Titus", starring Anthony Hopkins. It is awesome. Bloody, violent, emotional, moving -- all the stuff "Titus" should be. Not for children, though, even ones steeped in Shakespeare.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

About 10 years ago, I was deeply amused to see a career ad in Canada's National Newspaper, placed by a prairie University, for a "Manure Management Expert." Of course, we are all that, at work, aren't we?

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

dmd, *DotC*? Have I been gone that long?

byoolin, thank you. I was thinking something along those lines myself and you beat me to it in an eloquent fashion.

CP, even technical people hate Microsoft too!

Posted by: dbG | May 23, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

While Weingarten's taste a decidedly debatable, I too despise Frost. I find him obvious, sentimental, and sing-songy. I am disposed to irony and hence like 'Ozymandias' very much.

Other than that, he's welcome to play his silly chatalogical games.

I had a high school English teacher that asserted you just weren't civilized if you hadn't studied Shakespeare. Since I respected her opinion, I took the one class in it that GT offered and it was the worst humanities course I took. He had assigned seats, no excused absences, and just read passages aloud with his eyes closed. He was very fond of all the dirty parts.

The survey of science fiction course I took was much better.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 23, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I know he's acted in many wonderful things, but to me Graham Greene will always be Edgar K.B. Montrose.

CP, my neighbor's gorgeous peonies made me think of you and how much you would enjoy them. They're that deep luscious pink and thick as the dandelions in another neighbor's yard.

Planting is in my future. Mom sent me a dozen daylillies and some seeds for beautiful flowers I'd never seen before! (Sorry, can't remember their names.)

Mudge, when you convert a document to .pdf, does it remove the two spaces after a period?

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I actually had to look up who Edgar Montrose was, quietly saying I do not believe I have ever watched a full episode of Red Green!

Also thanks for reminding me I need to buy daylillies.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I'm embarrassed to admit to once having had quite the Red Green addiction. Even more embarrassed that when I first saw Dances With Wolves, I said "Look! It's Edgar Montrose!" (It was on DVD, so at least I didn't humiliate myself publicly.)

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Are daylillies the same as 24-hourlillies??

*head tilt*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Scotty at this time of year more like 15-16 hour lillies.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't be embarrassed Raysmom, when I first think of Graham Greene it is a Mr. Crabbytree from the children's show Dudley the Dragon!!!

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge - Yes, I knew it was a cheap shot but I fully expected about 6 simultaneous postings along the same lines. Way too obvious. On the subject of hammerhead sharks, the boodle has already linked to photos of Wolfowitz' (sp?) girlfriend of World Bank fame, so I think nothing else needs be said on said subject.
------------------
On the pronunciation of plant names: This brings to mind my own Mother's name and the pain it always seemed to give her. Mom was the only girl of the four siblings and my grandparents, raised in Arkansas in the 19th century, living in Texas and Oklahoma, wanted a slightly exotic name for their beautiful little girl. They chose Nina but pronounced it Neye-na, having never heard it pronounced Nee-na, as the Spanish name that it is. Not a problem in OK, TX, or AR. At 17 years, however, the family moved to So. Cal. So for all of her adult life she had to explain to people how she pronounced her name and had to put up with the odd stares.

Now, did I learn anything growing up in this situation? Nah. Having met and married a lovely lass in Scotland, I proceeded to name our only child and daughter - Caledonia. The ancient Roman name for Scotland. People who hear it love it. It is just that about half of the adults she encounters either can't read it or can't pronounce it.

Ok, just where is this all headed? Well, my daughter just graduated from HS with 488 of her closest friends. Everyones' name read aloud. Only one error made by the announcer (not her fault) - some poor fellow named Daniel had his name misprinted as Daniella.

With all the unusual names and spellings that kids have to put up with today, the school had gone to the trouble to see that they had the correct pronunciation for everyone. Those of you who have attended such events know how difficult this is. And we and our daughter and about 4000 other people got to hear her name pronounced correctly. So, the point of this is to thank all of the school administrators, teachers, and volunteers who made this a memorable occasion. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: DLD | May 23, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ring-a ring o' neutrons;
A pocketful of positrons;
A fission! A fission!
We all fall down.


Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible that the Senate Judiciary Committee could have both Goodling and McNulty in the same chamber at the same time to clear up the differences in their respective testimonies? Why not Sampson, too?

Posted by: Loomis | May 23, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, no, a PDF doesn't remove double spaces. A PDF basically uses a "printer language" (in this case, a variant of the PostScript family) to convert whatever is on the page into something a printer can print. So basically think of it as a way of taking an exact picture of what is already on the document.

On the other hand, a word-processing program like the (much despised) Word sometimes sorta kinda eliminates the double-spacing by virtue of its justification program. But that in turn depends on whether the hyphenation is turned on, whether you are doing fully justified work or ragged right, centered, etc. Also, *&%$# Word "defaults" to putting a double space after a period, even if you don't. I hate Word.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does Ms. Goodling have more than a smidgen of the wide-eyed look we last saw from the real-life "runaway bride?"

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge. I was comparing the pdf to the original WP and just couldn't tell. Yes, we use WP, and it drives me crazy sometimes. The menus and functions are so similar to Word, but where they differ I struggle.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

*snorting at the Runaway Bride image*

So glad I already finished my lunch--otherwise might have passed a strawberry through my nose.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, 'Mudge, do you ever read the WAPO gossip section? This was in yesterday's column:

"Food Network superstar Giada De Laurentiis tasting crab cakes, granola and buffalo jerky at the Dupont Circle farmers' market Sunday a.m. -- and taping it all for a show, of course. Oh, and even in four-inch platforms? Shorter than you expect."

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge - One more thing, just where does a hammerhead shark find a DRY spot to sleep?

Posted by: DLD | May 23, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

My last post was from 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes', in case anyone was wondering.

And that buttercup post was a reference to clematis, not everyones favorite movie.

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Jack,
I don't think Linnaeus makes it as one of the great intellects, but he was an incredibly hard worker and inspiring teacher. And he fit right in with the Enlightenment interest in knowing everything about the natural world. His work set off a vast enterprise of inventory. I remember poking through Thomas Nuttall's "The Genera of North American Plants," published in 1818 and being amazed at its thoroughness.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 23, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

You mean...Giada was in town and I didn't KNOW!!!???!!??? I am devastated. That fickle b1tch! She said she'd call...

I don't know, DLD. I just figured that if there was a wet spot there had to be a dry counterpart. Of course, I guess it helps that most sharks never sleep anyway. And I reckon it's impossible to light a cigarette afterward. All the more reason for parthenogenesis.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Bush names Wolfowitz President of Al Qaeda"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18804699/site/newsweek/?nav=slate?from=rss

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody.

Yellojkt, what a shame you had a bad experience with Shakespeare. I was fortunate that my very favorite professor was the Shakespeare scholar on the faculty, so I had a wonderful experience. She and my advisor, whom I also adored, teamed up to write a textbook for freshman composition. They asked me to write an essay on the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet for the book, which I did. My Shakespeare prof died of a brain tumor shortly before I graduated. She autographed the textbook for me the day before she died. It's among my treasures.

Posted by: Slyness | May 23, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

You're right about Linnaeus' intellect, Dave. I was considering the work itself, in the context of longevity. I love the old floras and the engravings in them. I have a copy of a flora and a key that Asa Gray published somewhere around 1880-1900. It stays near an old copy of the Rubiyat and a real old leather bound music book of Stephen Foster's "Way Down Upon the Suanee River". *thinking of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayaam eposode*

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Good day eh? (Ottawa valley greeting, the Aussies can go jump)
Mostlylurking | Johnathan Miller directed a production of "The Taming of the Shrew" for BBC TV starring John Cleese as Petruchio. Riotious. (Riotus would be a funny faux Roman name)
I suppose it is unfair to compare John Cleese's Petruchio with the Mickey Rooney's Puck. I'd have to see Cleese as Puck but something tells me it ain't gonna happen.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081597/

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Riotious has a vewwy gweat fwiend in Wome, you know.

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Informal poll time: Mighty Ducks v. Senators. Who wins, how many games?

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

SCC sorry about the extra i in riotous.
Oh, and for not signing the last post and for any transgressions against punctuation, spelling and common decency in the future.
Thank you for your attention.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Sens in 6.

And will somebody please fire a puck at Gary Bettman's head?

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr Achenbach, by and large I cherish your deft writing and humorous tone, but please stick to blogging: the level of scrutiny is sufficiently low to excuse your blundering commentary. You wrote in Monday's paper that Bill Richardson's resume amounts to a "fuzzy profile."

As a liberal in the South, the last thing I want is another Senator to be nominated for the Democratic party. Talk all you want about fuzz and profiles, I present you with fuzzy math: no sitting Senator since JFK has been elected President from the Democratic party. Talk about handicapping the field!

Saying Bill Richardson has a mixed profile - from Energy Secretary to UN ambassador to diplomatic troubleshooter with the cajones to sit down with Kim Jong Il, Saddam, and Fidel and bargain success - to say that the Governor has a mixed profile is like saying that Kentucky Derby winner and superhorse Barbaro had a fuzzy profile because he was bred to win on the turf, on the dirt, in sprints, and in routes races. The Governor is a supercandidate, waiting to exit the phone booth.

To discount a non-divisive candidate with executive experience is remarkably short-sighted, amounting to nothing more than one more chant from the peanut gallery who wants to call this field like a horserace.

Keep up the cool beans and the potted meat.

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "a bucket of pucks"

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I too had nothing but bad experiences with the bard in HS and college. I loved to read, but at that age I just found it all incomprehensible. All those footnotes didn't help, they only made reading feel like work. About ten years ago I gave him another shot and guess what: I like them now. Of all I've read so far 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is one of my favorites.

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The Ducks won last night? Hooray!!!
Ottawa in 4.

Posted by: Biggus999 | May 23, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

potential SCC: should bard be capitalized when refering to William Shakespeare. If so: I apologize if I've offended anyone...

Posted by: omni | May 23, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ducks vs. Sens?

Canada in 5

Posted by: Kerric | May 23, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Allez-y Leafs!

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Hockey#Number_of_registered_players_by_country

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Registered"? We have to register?

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Byoolin, while you are at it, please shoot a bucket of pucks at said head, for me.

Senators. It really doesn't matter how many, just know we will beat anything named 'Ducks'. I'm not really into hockey, but there are just some things that must be done when you are Canadian.

Posted by: dr | May 23, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Simon | I think JA was just trying to point out that Richardson has trouble keeping a job.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Do I register as a goalie, or as D?

As Canadian, or by residency (US)?

As slower than Brad Marsh, or fatter than Tank Krutov?

I don't think I can handle the paperwork. Time for a beer, eh, boys?

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Sens in 5

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Another question byoolin, does the registered players include women/girls and oldtimers?

Go Sens (in 7)

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Registered hockey players are first in line for the draft in the event of war. They are the first line of defense, aka cannon fodder.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Boko999, the Governor has trouble keeping a job? He was re-elected by an overwhelming margin in 2006 in a "red" state. My point is Mr Achenbach should stop drinking the beltway Kool-Aid and stick to blogging instead of muddying the pond as a journalist.

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

dr, if we could persuade you that hockey is just like curling, only without the skip, with sticks instead of brooms, puck instead of rock, wearing skates instead of boots, aiming for a goal rather than a button, and with an entirely larger team and different rules, would you like it better?

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Sens in 7.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, ooh, ooh!! I got here just in time for a fight!

Posted by: Wheezy | May 23, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

>Boko999, the Governor has trouble keeping a job?

Simon, I think it is what we refer to as a "joke". If your tolerance of criticism re. Richardson goes off the scale at "fuzzy resume" I suggest it's going to be a long electoral season for you because he's also a serial fabricator (drafted by the A's?) and has a reputation for turning nasty on occaision.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 23, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd say the Senators, 5.

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

cojones (balls), not cajones (drawers)

Posted by: Loomis | May 23, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, thanks for that story.

Mudge, Giada's a busy woman, maybe she's waiting until she has some extra time to talk to you...

omni, I did catch that "Beneath" reference, just didn't have time to comment on it. That was a good one. Possibly James Franciscus' (sp?) finest film role.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 23, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

A-bloggers in 4(whatever that means)?

Posted by: Wheezy | May 23, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Aren't there 100 Senators?

*head tilt that would do the RCA Victor dog proud*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Simon D, "Fuzzy" is an insult? Now I have to rethink all my family and friends, if they've been insulting me non-stop.

What's a dog to do?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 23, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

39, Mr. Nuke. I just went to the Senate site to count them, and realized I know 4 Senators to speak to. How odd. I never do speak to them, of course, as I hate to wake them.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, that explains why the chamber always looks so empty on C-SPAN, I guess...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Psst Yoki, I think he ment US Senators

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

First, thanks Loomis for the correction: yet I'm left wondering if you mean by "drawers," along the lines of "dirty droors," clothing drawers, or draftsmen. You, however, knew that I meant "balls."

Error Flynn, perhaps it was intended as a joke, but there were not enough clues in context to label the phrase "fuzzy profile" as a joke. Either Mr Achenbach is a poor writer (which we all know he is not), a poor journalist, or a mouthpiece for one of the supposed "stars of rock" that have sucked the oxygen out of the primaries so far.

Hey about being drafted by the A's - big deal - you sound like a swift-boater, talk about making a long campaign. I'll take the bilingual guy with a wicked fastball.

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I used to ride the '1A Bank St.' bus to work with Canadian Senator Eugene Forsey. I didnt' go the Senate of course, just the passport office.

Posted by: Boko9999 | May 23, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

*ducking the barbs and heading for the bunker...I have the HoHo's...*

Posted by: jack | May 23, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh my! Sorry, little Canadian joke. I think I must be suffering, like some others, from humour-impairment.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, would that be a bucket of digitally-enhanced streaming blue pucks? I hear they hurt more.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Error isn't the Swift Boater. You gotta speak to 'Mudge.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry. BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA

Posted by: Steinberg999 | May 23, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Willbrodog: short hairs uber alles, fuzz notwithstanding - all God's creatures need to be nuzzled, even cats.

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else take real umbrage at silly made up verbs like "swift boating" or the appending of "gate" to every supposed scandal?

Man, either NPR's "Day to Day" just compressed the sound on some of the Goodling testimony or she took a speed talking course, or just took speed...

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I had to suffer through one of Forsey long books for a course in University (history of Trade Unionism in Canada), I still remember his near weekly letters to the editor of the Globe.

Raysmom, no blue streaks after pucks please.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I almost refused my Green Card on the basis of those Fox Pucks alone. Only when my wife assured me that they didn't do that anymore did I relent.

And when speaking that phrase, I inevitably interchange the F and the P.

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think I just snorted my tonsils through my nose re: 3:07

Anyone else watch the Bob and Doug Two For special on CBC the other night?

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

You know, we're all God's creatures.
;)

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in some poutine?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/dining/23pout.html?oref=login

Posted by: Maggie O'D | May 23, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I saw most of it Frosti.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

>Error Flynn, perhaps it was intended as a joke,

Actually Simon I was referring to Boko999's joke. If you want a list of exaggerations look no farther than than Howie Kurtz's Media Notes column this morning. Yeah, get back to his California roots, all 8 hours of them. I actually find the guy interesting, but his revelation that he'd shield Alberto Gonzales because they're both Hispanic isn't exactly a high mark on his record if you ask me.

And if you're going to refer to me a swift-boater chum I'm going to ask you to step outside. If you're interested I haven't voted for a Republican presidential candiate in my life, so don't try to pull that crap on me.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 23, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

That was on Sunday? Nooooooo, I missed the Bob and Doug day. I was looking forward to it, unfourtunately, I have a terrible sense of time, days just seem to all merge together and I don't know which is which.

Posted by: Kerric | May 23, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I love how they managed to get "caulking gun" and "poutine" into the same article.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

My wife loves poutine. She was very excited when the green card interview was in Montreal because I'd be able to order something in French for her. (Of course, everyone in Montreal is bilingual and switched to English as soon as they heard her say anything to me.)

But she has seldom been as impressed with me as when I (1) told the truck driver, en francais, that I was a tourist and didn't know where I was, nevermind where he wanted to goaucun clue of how to get where he wanted to go, and (2) when I ordered poutine at a PFK (KFC en anglais) somewhere in Pointe-Claire.

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

>>I ordered poutine at a PFK (KFC en anglais) somewhere in Pointe-Claire.

I'd keep that quiet if I were you. Or don't you want to be let back in?

Posted by: Central Scrutinizer999 | May 23, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It's the dang Hanglish I 'ave trouble wit', me.

SCC:
(1) told the truck driver, en francais, that I was a tourist and didn't know where I was, nevermind where he wanted to go

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

OMG, it's the Central Scrutinizer!

If it weren't for my wife, I'd be in love RIGHT NOW.

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I meant:

If it weren't for being in love with my wife ALREADY, I'd be in love RIGHT NOW.

Geez.

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, I'm laughing out loud (which is a dead giveaway to the rest of the office that I am not really working).

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Boko, your 3:04 made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear heavens, there is a Canadian Senator who will not be required to retire until 2037. This is just so WRONG.

We might only have 39, but we keep them longer.

Posted by: dr | May 23, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

>OMG, it's the Central Scrutinizer!

Always nice to have Zappa fans in the house.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 23, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Chill out Error Flynn, my bad for the swift-boat swipe - but you don't want to step outside: I don't fight fair. I won't consider your excitement as a threat but will refer you to the website, Gun-Toting Liberal, which hosted an entry about Mr Achenbach's bush-leauge jounalism on this topic.

Back on the ranch, along the thread, I follow Boko's joke. I'm not interested in the mud-slinging. Just editorial response, to the beltway lackeydom that I hope Mr Achenbach is not championing. The Governor means a change in the tone of the political conversation because his experience and charisma can unite America to face the big issues of our day. Time for Dems to back a winner instead of being seduced by so-called rock stars.


Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

re: shark sex

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. You know the old saying, once you've had Sphyridae, you'll need a recovery day.

re: hockey playoff picks

One is named after flat-footed, slick-coated creatures known primarily for their bills, but the other is a bird, so I'll take the Sens in 6.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 23, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

dr, I was at the Senate site earlier and noticed the length before retirement, same expression you had.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

>I'm not interested in the mud-slinging.

You could've fooled me considering how much of it you've been doing, including that very post. Piss off mate.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 23, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Now that Boodlepinion has picked the Senators to win, Mr. Bettman can cancel the final series and free up NBC's airtime for more pre-horse-racing programming.

Two buckets of pucks: one for the head and one for the a few feet lower. (Does anyone have Al MacInnis' cell phone number?)

Posted by: byoolin | May 23, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

That's my little EF. I'm so proud. *wiping away a tear*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Simon D, here's my take on the horserace, frontrunners, the money primary, the challenges facing second-tier candidates etc. -- it ran three days ago in the Post magazine in case you didn't see it. See link on this blog.

A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS NOT JUST A POLITICAL EVENT: It's a mythological narrative. There's a hero, and he or she must earn the victory somehow, overcoming obstacles, finding the strength to go on against daunting odds. The candidate doesn't have to be the Establishment favorite, doesn't have to possess the most money. The mythology states that almost anyone, with enough hard work and charm and pluck and stamina and gumption, can become the next president of the United States.

Listen to Bill Gardner, the New Hampshire secretary of state: "Ideally, we would all like a process that preserves the American Dream that anyone's son or daughter can grow up to be president. And you don't have to be the one that has the most money, or the most famous. That there's a process, and that you can start in a small place, and through the power of your character and your ideas, you have a chance."

Ideally.

But we do not live in ideal times. It's not clear that the retail route could still lead to a nomination if you're a second-tier candidate -- if your name is Huckabee or Richardson or Brownback or Dodd or Biden or something along those lines. If you're not already in the top tier, you may realistically be running for, at best, vice president, or maybe Treasury secretary.

"It's increasingly difficult for dark horses," says former Colorado senator Gary Hart, who won New Hampshire in 1984. "You're threading a needle. You gotta hit a home run."

He believes in retail politics, because "someone who's not well-known, who comes from a small state, who has no money but has a message, has something to say that's different and unique, has a chance. Unless you can do that -- in living rooms, 12 people at a time, where people listen and ask questions and make you prove your case -- then it's only going to be contests for well-known people and wealthy people. Otherwise, the Gary Harts have no chance. And, speaking selfishly, I think people like me ought to have a chance."

But it may well be that we live in a front-runner's world. The central dogma may be Survival of the Richest. Marginal candidates who used to be able to "emerge" -- potentially -- in Iowa and New Hampshire, are often giving up long before there's a single vote.

Evan Bayh: Gone. Mark Warner: Gone. Tom Vilsack: Gone. Bill Frist: Gone. All were plausible presidential candidates. None made it even as far as the first straw poll before going belly up.

Vilsack was blunt: He couldn't raise the money.

Consider the practical problems if you're a second-tier candidate. You want to emerge in Iowa and New Hampshire, but the votes are still so far away. You're a tough sell on the fundraising trail. Even if you do well in the early states, and capitalize on abundant free media, you don't have time to raise the money and lock in the TV airtime necessary to do well just two weeks later in the national primary.

In the past, 'round about this part of the cycle, you'd have candidates working living rooms, lining up donors, doing the micro-retail and the networking, all of it barely registering on the national radar. This year, they're already forced to run national campaigns. Every strategic move is a front-page story; every errant syllable winds up on YouTube.

The top-tier candidates might stop in New Hampshire for just a few hours before rocketing off to California or Florida. Between April 10 and April 20, Barack Obama traveled from Chicago to New York to Chicago to Washington to Charlotte to Florence, S.C., to Columbia to Atlanta to Boca Raton to Vero Beach to Orlando to Tampa to Chicago to Milwaukee to New Hampshire to Boston. New Hampshire was a late addition to the schedule. A drive-by.

This is known in the trade as "campaigning at 35,000 feet."

The small, retail stuff is still going on. John Edwards is relying on a shoe leather strategy in Iowa, where he finished second in 2004; he doesn't have a job other than presidential candidate. The top-tier candidates can't afford a face-plant in Iowa or New Hampshire (or perhaps even in the intervening Nevada caucuses). They know that retail is traditional, that it looks good, that it's the way candidates are supposed to behave.
But even your basic "town hall" is scaled up and magnified this year. Andy Smith, a professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, says: "I'm already seeing these big events; they shield the candidates from voters and from the media. They're not getting hit with the hard questions. They're not hearing people explain their day-to-day problems. They're living in that cocoon, that bubble."

He goes on: "The kind of winnowing that New Hampshire used to do is now taking place in fundraising. I think we're ending up with a situation where we're back to the smoke-filled rooms -- only they're not filled with smoke in the back of convention hotels; they're in New York and Los Angeles and Washington, where the checks are written . . ."


Posted by: Achenbach | May 23, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Error Flynn, now your frame of reference is off-kilter. I was referring to mud-slinging back and forth about the candidates. If you want to make this personal, I am more than happy to bring my smiling Irish eyes to meet you anywhere outside the District of Columbia for further alternative dispute resolution.

Go piss off likewise, or up a flagpole if that suits your wanker fancy.

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The White House has just declassified documents that claim Bin Laden has ties to al Qaeda. Jeez. I'm glad they were keeping that one a secret.

And speaking of swimming in shark-infested waters and throwing chum, as Simon was doing, ol' Christopher Hitchins has a piece equating religion with astrology. He's getting to be the Ann Coulter of the left.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I liked the Tim Flannery book that came out recently -- The Weather Makers, I think it was called.

The website has a "school resources" element:

http://www.theweathermakers.com/

Posted by: Achenbach | May 23, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, does Al hold the record for the hardest shot?

EF, I'm getting misty here...

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Water pistols at dawn. That's how we solve disputes here.

Seriously, that's enough of the chest-thumping.

Posted by: Achenbach | May 23, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

No Raysmom Al doesn't have the record, but he was one of the most consistently accurate and hardest shots when he played.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

At Dawn? I thought it was at Don.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 23, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

FYI, here's the Gun Toting Liberal blog entry on my Richardson story:

http://guntotingliberal.com/archives/1333

Posted by: Achenbach | May 23, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

My apologies if someone already posted this update from Weingarten's chat. I think 'Mudge, among others, will appreciate it:

Wisconsin: Regarding your column on gobblydigook, I worked in D.C. for a couple years in the early 1990s. Shortly after my arrival I found myself going increasingly batty as I had to adapt to the standard D.C. literary style. Fearing that I too was sliding inevitably toward terminal dillweeddom, I conspired with my roommate to compile a complete list of what we called "Washington words." I vowed that, before I left D.C., I would use them all in an Ultimate Washington Memo. And so I did. Attached here for your reading pain....

Best wishes from the state where the word for "shelf-stable protein" is cheese.

-- Curt Meine

Gene Weingarten: This is Curt's press release, which is a masterful horror to read. I'll bet you most management bureaucrats, in any department at any level of government, would get entirely through this thinking it had said something:

A Proposal for an Effective Mechanism

In order to facilitate appropriate and proactive initiatives for effective response to cross-cutting management needs, a comprehensive mechanism is proposed. The lack of hands-on, mission-oriented linkages currently hinders efforts to achieve optimal results, limits activities that foster specific innovative procedures, and fails to encourage key program components. Analysis indicates several underlying factors responsible for these negative accomplishments: a shortage of substantive guidelines to guide cross-sector commitment; inadequate coordination of methodologies; failure to dialogue among critical information networks; and significant shortfalls in available funding alternatives. While reliable data are lacking, and issues of accountability remain unresolved, it has been established that these items constitute the principal constraints on improved productivity. The net effect is that all institutional capabilities are experiencing insufficient growth. A problematic scenario is envisioned unless flexible criteria are adopted and a strategic agenda is developed and implemented.

This proposal calls for a review of the current framework to assess both short-term concerns and long-term solutions in the interest of maximum viable security. To improve the capacity of organizations to address essential challenges, a wide range of options and approaches are identified, with emphasis on cutting-edge methods that enhance vital partnerships. The cornerstone of this exercise is a strengthened model of integrated policy support. This crucial feature will enable individuals and institutions to recognize creative collaborative possibilities, to promote efficient allocation of incentives, and to optimize responsive interactions within the administrative infrastructure. It will incorporate important and necessary utilization criteria while prioritizing the potential for multiple payoffs, based on an evaluation of performance criteria. Furthermore, it offers fresh opportunities to consolidate the foundations of programmatic functions. It is hoped that these state-of-the-art measures will harness the driving forces at work within the executive arena, focus attention on the need for constructive engagement, and balance the complex risks and benefits within the operational matrix.

These concepts require further definition of objectives as well as additional consideration of system-wide feasibility. Frankly, adjustments will be called for in the allotment of assets as new methods are determined and recommended. However, the compelling and forward-looking nature of this synthesis and the challenge of seeking new techniques for impacting the process underline the certainty that success will yield mutually beneficial rewards. A win-win outcome is therefore possible, but only if the playing field is level, and only if all players take advantage of this unique opening. From this perspective, the urgent demand is for immediate action ¿ before the window of opportunity closes.

Posted by: pj | May 23, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever been proud of something you didn't write? I had a very laboured joke about Dons and firearms and duelling and seconds, and decided not to inflict it on you. Truly, sometimes less is more.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

LiT, LOL

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 23, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl, love your 3:59

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

PJ, that press release is awe-inspiring. Magnificent. A majesterial work of art. I especially enjoyed "enhance vital partnerships."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the immigration bill's been neutered in the Senate already. So much for that.

I haven't read Tim Flannery's climate book, but his book on the colonization of the Pacific, "The Future Eaters," is something of a classic. I'd like to put him and Rory Stewart in the same room.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 23, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of Don, Don From I-270 hasn't visited lately.

pj, good stuff. Sad thing is, it's more coherent than half the stuff that crosses my desk.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 23, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Joel, don't say water pistols. Last time I used that as an accpetable reference for some minor water play, this happened.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62628983@N00/222886856/

Posted by: dr | May 23, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Jeez. Someone over on Salon called me a right winger just because I questioned Michael Moore's veracity (he's a bigger serial fabricator than General Mills). And I get a gold star after every post! And I was on speaking terms with Liberal Senator Eugene...
You better watch whose(??) bull you gore. Really. Watch. It can be quite amusing.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Read the Hitchins piece. He really weenied out: all he did was chide the Post for running horoscopes, which he proceeded to expose in unnecessary detail. Yawn.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr Achenbach for the response: I believe you hit it out of the park, rhetorically - but practically, much remains to be seen how the field sizes up. I regret dropping the "w" word with one of your users; however, I am prepared to meet at dawn along with my Super-Soaker.

This chest has been thumped to stoned wheat-thin strength. Which means no more.

Let's win California for Richardson, and one for that guy, what's his name, the Gipper, the real Gipper from the gridiron, not the figurative poster-boy of the GOP, but for the greater glory of democracy, and just plain smarts going with the Governor.

Posted by: Simon D | May 23, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Curt Meine is my hero. I want to write just like him.

As Calvin said to Hobbes in the immortal cartoon: "Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding."

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Um. Blindfolds aren't for duels, dr. They're for the guy standing in front of a firing squad. But you already knew that, didn't you.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I read it too, Curmudgeon. The man is becoming tedious.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that Calvin quote, Ivansmom. I just copied it to a Word document, blew it up to 48-point type, and am printing it out to push-pin to my cubby wall.

(On the outside of my cubby I have a cartoon that shows the business end of a common toilet plunger. The caption reads: "Unplugging impacted prose, one sentence at a time.")

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, extreme umbrage and miffedness and the comment count is under 300.

Few here have decided who should be president in '08, though some may be certain they know who should not, so I'm not surprised at the conflict with a true believer. Simon-don't confuse the boodle, or JA for that matter, with a bunch of Richardson dismissers. We have a lot of discussion and fault finding to do with all of the candidates. (Besides, if you're Richardson's boodle advance party I'm not sure you aren't doing more harm than good. Assuming we're a bunch who have any influence beyond our own circle of imaginary friends.)

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Any time, Mudge. I have a collection of Calvin & Hobbes Xeroxes on my door (neatly pinned to a cork board, I save the destruction-of-gummint property tape for the Boy's deathless artwork).

The full strip, copyright 1/25(26?)/93:

Calvin: I like to verb words.
Hobbes: What?

Calvin: I take nouns and adjectives and use them as verbs. Remember when "access" was a thing? Now it's something you do.. It got verbed.

Calvin: Verbing weirds language.
Hobbes: Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding.


Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

lots of comments crossing in the ether so change

aren't doing Richardson a lot of good

to "weren't doing" in my 5:03 to acknowledge Simon's change of tone in his response to JA.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-Thank you for your 5:06.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Okay, while I'm on a roll, two more classics for Mudge (and CP, and all other writer/readers). Then I promise I'll stop.

No copyright info:

Calvin: I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them.

[C] I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.

[C] With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report?

Hobbes: "The dynamics of interbeing and monological imperatives in 'Dick and Jane': a study in psychic transrelational gender modes."
Calvin: Academia, here I come!

...........

Calvin: I read this library book you got me.
Mom: What did you think of it?

Calvin: It really made me see things differently. It's given me a lot to think about.

Mom: I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Calvin: It's complicating my life. Don't get me any more.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the very nice Calvin and Hobbs, Ivansmom.

'Mudge, you should put the caption for that toilet plunger cartoon on your business card.

Posted by: pj | May 23, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Calvin and Hobbs, Ivansmom. Don't you miss him? If it weren't for Doonesbury and Zits, I'd quit reading the comics at all.

Personally, I'm totally undecided about which Democrat I will vote for. I like what I hear about Richardson, but it's sooo early. It will be interesting to watch some of the race; most of it will be tedious.

Posted by: Slyness | May 23, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Post Modern Essay Generator
http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I just wanna put this one out there: is anybody else as irritated as I am with "informational brochure"? Is there some other kind? Will we soon be deluged with informational books, informational newspapers, and informational magazines. And can the word "infotainmental" be far behind?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Gosh darn it Mudge. Okay, last time, from 2/10(12?)19*3:

Hobbes: Aren't you supposed to be doing homework now?
Calvin: I quit doing homework. Homework is bad for my self-esteem.

Hobbes: It is?
Calvin: Sure! It sends the message that I don't know enough! All that emphasis on right answers makes me feel bad when I get them wrong.

Calvin: So instead of trying to learn, I'm just concentrating on liking myself the way I am.

Hobbes: Your self-esteem is enhanced by remaining an ignoramus?
Calvin: Please! Let's call it "informationally impaired".

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Calvin and Hobbes. I think I bought every compilation he published. My feelings about C&H are pretty much reflected in the following item posted on a comics message board long ago.


Nothing too new here friends. You can probably stop reading now.
Just another faithful reader of Calvin and Hobbes attempting to cope by
sending his words out into the ether.

In the introduction to the 1987 compilation called "Calvin and
Hobbes" Gary Treadeau states that Bill Watterson gets childhood the way it
is. This is only part of the truth. Bill Watterson gets childhood the way
it is supposed to be. Calvin and Hobbes is the way we dearly wish our own
childhood was, but wasn't, and how we desperately hope our own children's
early years will be, but probably won't be. To have woods to explore, and
summer days filled with water fights and secret clubs. To have
parents who get along and keep the adult world safely distant. To
have time to think about big questions like God and Santa and Why We
Laugh. To learn how to deal with bullies and doctors and little
sick racoons.

Calvin and Hobbes is the family photo album we all wish we
had. I will miss it.

November 28 1995

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom... I just hope you don't have any pictures of Calvin peeing on anything.

Mudge... I had a friend who quit a job at a small paper because her publisher/editor insisted on using expressions like "new innovation."

DLD.. glad to see you here and enjoying your posts. My daughter also has a name that is uncommon here, but probably the most-common name in the country of my grandparents. She shares it with my sister and numerous aunts and cousins. No one gets it right the first time and it's not really so complicated--it just looks like another name that is pronounced differently.

But living in Fairfax means my kids have friends with all different kinds and flavors of names. I love it. I'm glad to see the administrators at your daughter's school went out of their way to pronounce the names correctly. I hope the same happens at my son's graduation next month.

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

As in "infotainmental documentary?"

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Or the infotainmental exhibit at the Smithsonian featured in this kit.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, I suppose Joel's kits may be said to be highly infotainmental. *ducking*

Memo to self: never use the word "fuzzy" in political discourse.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I just hope that none of your son's classmates are named "Clematis." Cause, you know, that has the potential to cause a really ugly scene.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I think Joel ought to show Simon D's admonition to "stick to blogging" to his bosses if they suggest he give up the blog altogether.

And Simon D... glad to see you quickly figured out what it's all about here. We like nice people. (We also like Curmudgeon and Error Flynn.)

We like discourse.

We even like arguing... but the kind of arguing that happens over a few bottles of good wine, sitting out on the porch enjoying a beautiful starry night; you know... the kind that usually ends in hearty laughter and eventually forgetting who took which side.

:)

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Warm and fuzzy" is acceptable in political discourse in some quarters, but apparently just plain "fuzzy" is hairy.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Nicely amended, Shiloh.

For some reason, I thought clematis was a sexually transmitted disease.

Must hobble for the bus. Two-hour season finale of "Lost" tonight. I'm really conflicted. And there's Internet talk that one or more of the majors are gonna die; we kinda know Charlie's going, but there's talk about Kate. I'm emotionally prepared to be verklempt--and very angry--if that happens.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

TBG;

And hugging... Please don't forget the hugging, or mo will pout.

And so will I.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 23, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

My Calvin and Hobbes books travelled through a few countries and is presently somewhere in Dubai, I believe. As a gift, of course.

It turns out Calvin and Hobbes isn't well known outside of the United States-- so there are millions who have yet to laugh at Calvin and Hobbes.

I kind of envy them, and think those comic strip books should be marketed internationally in all English-speaking countries.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

My second favorite Calvin & Hobbes:

http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/ch/1994/ch940114.gif

Posted by: kbertocci | May 23, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in some poutine?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/dining/23pout.html?oref=login

Posted by: Maggie O'D | May 23, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The diverse threads of the boodle came together in a weird way when I took my noontime walk. I was thinking about Gov. Richardson, realizing that although I don't know much about his politics, I have a positive feeling about him, wondering where did that feeling come from. Thanks to the boodle I realized. I like Richardson because he reminds me of Graham Greene! (Greene is one of my favorite actors--I loved his character in Thunderheart, that was really unforgettable acting in a mediocre movie)

Posted by: kbertocci | May 23, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

From the NYT article:
"poutine goes deep into the Quebequois psyche."

Whatza Quebequois?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

C'est Quebecois, je pense'.

The NYT could use a Mudge on staff.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, first I'm told I must be a lesbian, now I'm supposed to be like, a pointy-sciency math genius type.

Who would ever have thunk palmistry could turn out to be a science?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20070523/sc_livescience/fingerlengthpredictssatperformance

I guess I could rest easy that I'm not stuck with a Y chromosome or I could have been born a Republican.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Hitchens is an Aries, which explains why he's so crabby.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 23, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

By the ring finger rule, the one to rule all pointy-sciency geeks would be the aye-aye, who is a mammalian tree engineer to rival the woodpecker.

The Aye-aye uses his super-long "math" finger to dig out grubs and insects with the dedication of a physicist working out a complex problem, then scruntizes his prey with the careful study of a microbiologist before gorging.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/mammals/primate/Ayeayeprintout.shtml

Like a bona-fide pointy-sciency type, the Aye-aye is solitary, preferring to spend long hours at night hacking trees.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Silly question is to you tell the finger length palms down or up?

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

SofC - Your 7:12 was brilliantly funny.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

>>Hitchens is an Aries, which explains why he's so crabby

HEY! I'm an Ari...
nevermind

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Capricorn married to a Cancer. A friend once told me that this was wise. Not because of any Astrological significance, but because this way the expense of birthday gifts is evenly distributed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

And like pointy headed science types the Aye-ayes are killed on sight by superstitious Madagascans because the Aye-ayes are evil and funny looking.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

RD, I'm a Virgo (oh, don't pretend you couldn't tell) married to a Capricorn. Our astrologically minded friends approved the union because apparently Capricorns are one of the few signs that can stand Virgos at all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

For the record, that 6:41 repost of the poutine story was not by me.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | May 23, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Capricorn, married Capricorn during Capricorn, one child, Capricorn. No problems, except the aforesaid RD comment about gifting, which was resolved in typical pragmatic Capricorn fashion, by combining all into one. Would Hitchens call that the will of god?

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

>>I'm a Capricorn married to a Cancer.
Lemme see. A sea-goat married to a crab.

Have you ever been proud of not continuing a post?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, Virgos are supposed to be difficult? I'm a Capricorn, "S" is a Virgo and so is my best friend. They are very different in personality and peculiarities, but I get along with both of them very well.

To go back for a minute to this afternoon's discussion about Shakespeare, I can't remember reading much else but his plays in high school. Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet and many of his sonnets. To show my age I'll tell you that we went on a field trip to Boston to see Richard Burton in Hamlet. His eyes were so blue I could see them clearly from the balcony.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 23, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Just flipping through the channels and came upon the SNL - 90's retrospective, and what is the first thing I hear - "I need more cowbells!". NBC if anyone is interested.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

You know, back to Shakespeare in Love...

Whether it's realistic or not, I absolutely love the part when the audience realizes Romeo and Juliet are both dead. We really do forget that people once saw it for the first time.

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but it was an old story, TBG. Will stole his plots from all over. Of course, I don't know if it was a story the groundlings would have been familiar with.

SIL is a great movie.

Posted by: Slyness | May 23, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

>To show my age I'll tell you that we went on a field trip to Boston to see Richard Burton in Hamlet. His eyes were so blue I could see them clearly from the balcony.

That is very cool, Bad Sneakers. That's a very nice memory to have.

Posted by: pj | May 23, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes... but SOMEONE saw it for the first time at one time, whether it was then or not; Shakespeare or not.

At one time, someone heard that story and gasped.

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, Virgos are supposed to be nitpicky, obsessive, critical, and I forget what else but it is all those "bad" things. I once dated a guy who lived by astrology, and he thought I was a typical Virgo for using coasters. I wanted to say that I used coasters because, unlike him, I didn't still live with my parents and had purchased my own furniture with my own money. The relationship didn't last long.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I prefer to think of myself as extremely thorough.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 23, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I am only now beginning to appreciate the many egregious historical errors in "Shakespeare in Love," but frankly, I don't care. It was delightful entertainment.

My favorite bit was the apothecary's obsession with finding just the right hat - as if all that stood between the production's success and its failure was his headgear.

It reminded me of some managers I have known.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Dmd, thanks for raising the alarm. It's totally worth watching... the Bush I impressions about launching Operation Desert Storm gave me chills though. Oh, why do I feel trapped in 1989 sometimes?


Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

All I know about Virgos is that when lots of them are born it suggests that the winter just past was especially nippy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the Boodle recovers from a weird afternoon and becomes the enchanting place I always count upon.

I'm back-Boodling and trusting you all to pick up my dangling threads.

SoC is always, always, very funny and, to me even more importantly (TBG? - I skimmed your conversation with Curmudgeon about this very usage, and am now uncertain) witty. I just love it when he pops in.

Wilbrod, huh? So not. Though I did attribute deep faith to you, for which I feel a bit sheepish.

Boko, you are an odd sort of person, whom I like very much. We should meet up in Ottawa/Calgary one day and meet each others' families/dogs.

I don't think bill everything knows how very honoured I was by his trust remarks. That is how I feel about myself, and about Weingarten, too. And about be.

kbertocci hit it on the head. It *was* funny, and now isn't, because GW is labouring to attain the tone. I would be very happy to have a serious conversation with him, because he strikes me as a good man. But to pretend the chat is humourous, is disengenuous.

For some reason, Bill Gates has popped into my computer and keeps urging me to restart my updated system. So I'll post without previewing, and beg your indulgence.

I remain, etc.
Yoki


Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Coasters, ivansmom, remind me of my mantra "no wet on wood" to the child. He now repeats that back to me if I dare to place a cold sweating can of brew on his furniture.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, my daughter is a mid-August birth, and though not a Virgo she certainly displays the coaster obsession. Whatever challenges this young lady will doubtless face in her life, unsightly furniture rings shall not be one of them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I think I know what TBG means. I loved the death scene in Shakespeare in Love (in the play-within-a-play) when Juliet forced the red scarf out of her sleeve to imitate blood. It was a modern (because was filmed in the 2000's) effect, but mimicked Elizabethan effects, and I had so suspended my disbelief that I saw it, as would have a London audience at the Globe, as Juliet bleeding. It was a wonderful moment and gave us insight into how these things can be done.

I was blessed to see "Shock-Headed Peter" in New York within weeks of it's lauded opening. The Tiger-Lilies did excellent original music for the show, but the schtick was that the whole production mimicked Victorian theatre, telling Victorian stories for bad children. The sets were static, but used a weird sort of perspective. I had a Victorian theatre experience in Manhatten in 2005. Wonderful!

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Greek mythology does abound in doomed lover being turned into flowers. Could be worse, they could be skunk cabbages. Still, no dramatic bleeding to death on stage.

The biggest doomed-lover story in the Middle ages as I recall would have been Abelhard and Heloise. Abelhard had been Heloise's tutor.
Abelhard got gelded by Heloise's irate uncle and became a monk, and Heloise became a nun soon after. They wrote each other for years, apparently.

Apropos of nothing, isn't "Tiktaalik" a GREAT sci-fi name?

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1181611,00.html

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

dmd | Your mention of SNL and the previous posts on Hitchens reminded me of Hitchens' claim that women aren't funny. I watched my DVD of "The Best of Gilda" last week and still break out laughing. Gilda, Lorraine Newman, Jane Curtain, Madelaine Kahn...
Hitchens is as big an ass as Belushi, who said the same thing about women, without the saving grace of Belushi's humour.
Hitchens strikes me as a frightened man.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Boy, some recent new innovations on this blog sure have made it uninfotainmental.

I should note that Governor Richardson's claim to returning to his California roots is very much like a typical Richardson joke. I suspect the Governor has little chance in national politics because he enjoys life on other levels than the purely politically scripted role that the hyper-scrutiny of modern times requires in all public and most private displays, especially of Democratic candidates. As the Howard Kurtz column illustrates, no stone will remain unturned for even second-tier candidates.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 23, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I fear my love of Shakespeare's gentle prose
one day may start to influence my own.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 23, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

that doesn't describe "S" at all, my friend is a bit critical but more prone to exaggeration than anything else.

A cute thing from today's babysitting - six year old granddaughter is telling me that she saw a skunk last night out on her deck, "they're nocturnal," says she. I wasn't sure I'd heard right, seemed like such a big word for a kindergardener, so I said, "What?" and she replied, "You know, they come out at night." It will be interesting to watch her progress in school, she already helps her second grade sister with her spelling words, sounding them out to read them. Can I just say that I love being a grandmother! Ok, bragging moment over.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 23, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The plethora of candidates, ferret, suggest that a plurality will suffer an buttwhipping, thus, no stern shall go untoned for even first tier candidates.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC -Oops, forgot the quote from Ivansmom about "nitpicky, obsessive, critical" and it's kindergartener - duh!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 23, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

A sort of "Shakespeare in Love" with Moliere as the playwright will come out this summer (Sony).

I had a sort of Calvin-Hobbes kidhood for three years in Au Sable, Michigan.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 23, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

SoC writes:
Hitchens is an Aries, which explains why he's so crabby.
***

Hitchens is a Jew. He may be an Aries, but he's a Jew.

From Mike Kinsley's (he of Time magazine) review in the NYT of Hitchens new book "God Is Not Great":

Christopher Hitchens had seemed to be solving this problem by turning his conversion into an ideological "Dance of the Seven Veils." Long ago he came out against abortion. Interesting! Then he discovered and made quite a kosher meal of the fact that his mother, deceased, was Jewish, which under Jewish law meant he himself was Jewish.

*l*
Hitchens is an old-fashioned village atheist, standing in the square trying to pick arguments with the good citizens on their way to church. The book is full of logical flourishes and conundrums, many of them entertaining to the nonbeliever. How could Christ have died for our sins, when supposedly he also did not die at all? Did the Jews not know that murder and adultery were wrong before they received the Ten Commandments, and if they did know, why was this such a wonderful gift?

*l*
But speaking of foxes, Hitchens has outfoxed the Hitchens watchers by writing a serious and deeply felt book, totally consistent with his beliefs of a lifetime. And God should be flattered: unlike most of those clamoring for his attention, Hitchens treats him like an adult.

Posted by: Loomis | May 23, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, you will appreciate how much her paternal grandparents laughed when #1, at the age of 3 years, considered and then pronounced, about their two cats, that "Sport is reclusive, and Spook is gregarious."

It was a judicious evaluation.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't it be *and* he's a Jew, not *but*?

I'm an Eyetalian, a shoe-fanatic, a wine-lover who loves an occassional scotch, an avid reader, a Libra, and a PBK. Those are all ands, not buts.

We are the sum of our experiences, no? This plus this plus this. No minuses.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 23, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I suspect, like many other Boodlers, that strangers think I'm Hobbes while my friends know I'm really Calvin.

Posted by: ? | May 23, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, again with the hugging.

SofC, loved the 7:12. TBG, loved the 6:04.

Yoki, no -ly suffix.

I think my favorite part of SIL were the constant minor alterations to the name of the play, Romeo and the Pirates Daughter, etc., and the "trade talk" by WS, Marlowe, etc., over titles and plots. BTW, I have the sound track to SIL, which is really excellent, especially the music in that final scene where she comes up on the deserted beach.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I bow to superior prognostilogical and proctological wisdom, Shiloh.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 23, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hitchens Arianism counterpoints the Judaic heritage of his mother. Surely he is conflicted, but nonetheless clever - although refutable. The lawgiver simply codified the understanding that adultery and murder were antithetic to survival of the specie, although the former is subject to question.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I, too, had a Calvin & Hobbes childhood. We had woods all around and we built forts and cleared paths, although we also watched suburbia grow all around us as we grew.

We rode our bikes for miles, down to the railroad tracks and screamed at the top of our lungs when the trains barreled by.

We had a little candy/shoe repair/fixit shop we also rode our bikes to, where we bought wax lips and wax coke bottles.

We just hung around in our yards and watched the clouds during the day and the stars at night--it seemed for hours sometimes.

We walked to the neighborhood pool, where we spent the entire day in the water (except for "break" of course). We ran through the sprinklers, we even had a pond we swam in during the summer (before the pool was built) and skated on in the winter.

I'm still good friends with my best friend from childhood; my next door neighbor from when I was 3 until we left home for good. She now lives in Richmond; her kids and my kids considering each other their best friends, or actually more like cousins.

Mine was not an usual childhood. I'm sure most of you actually had one just like it. The only thing that makes it amazing to me is that all of this took place within a mile or so from where I live now. Ask RD... you can't even picture that life around here now--at least in as wide an area that we roamed 40 years ago.

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Bowing is, ferret, an a posterori position.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The Ballad of Monica Goodling:

I keep a close watch on these DAs of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the D's out for their l'beral minds
Because Bush is mine, I crossed the line.

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself disliking every state that is blue
Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because Bush is mine, I walk the line

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep Bush on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because Bush is mine, I walk the line

You've born again to keep me on your side
You give me cause for faith that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even make the R's voting margin wide
Because you're Bush, I walk the line

I keep a close watch on these DAs of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the D's out for their l'beral minds
Because Bush is mine, I crossed the line

Posted by: bill everything | May 23, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: first line next to last stanza, "you're" not "you've"

ratsinfratzin....

Posted by: bill everything | May 23, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

You could cash in on "The Ballad of Monica Goodling," bill. It was clever.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey bc, you out there? What the hell's a "paddle shifter" (see the new Mitsubishi ad)?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Good, no AI spoilers yet. (I can't believe I care, but since I've watched this long, it may as well be a surprise.)

So, kbertocci, what is your #1 favorite C&H? I'll have to dig around here and find some of the books - haven't looked at them in a long time. My best cat did the pouncing thing like Hobbes.

I taped the Bob and Doug special - from the bits I saw, well, it wasn't that funny (but maybe it's just me). I love Graham Greene, too, especially on Red Green, and he does remind me of Bill Richardson!

I had an Aunt Nine-a. And my mom's name was Mona, pronounced Monna. So it was a very pleasant surprise when the minister at my niece's wedding mentioned the grandparents who had passed away, and pronounced her name correctly.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 23, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Thank you 'Mudge.

But? But?! That sounds dangerously anti-semitic to me.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,

Paddle shifters are these little flaps on the back of the steering wheel (or attached to the column) and you can shift just by squeezing them. Usually one is upshift and the other downshift. It's pretty nifty - very quick and you can keep your hands on the wheel.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 23, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm pleased to hear from bc, even if he doesn't want to reveal himself.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The Ballad of Monica Goodling is magnificent!

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Didn't understand your 9:43, Yoki.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I wish she'd said even more today. It sure would be nice to see another Monica take down a president.

I refuse to rewrite that sentence. No pun intended.

Posted by: TBG | May 23, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, putting aside (and I mean that) all our mutual hostility, can you tell me why you copy the works of other poets and fiction-authors and journalists and other writers onto the Boodle, rather than expressing in an original voice your own thoughts/beliefs/feelings?

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, watch the tape from the beginning particulary the explantion of what the CBC wanted from the sketches and then what they received, puts the whole thing in perspective.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Apparently this Monica has gone done on the President's wish for a friendly Justice Department.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

bc's revealing himself again? Someone throw a blanket over him, even if it is made out of tin foil.

Sheesh.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 23, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

You explained, and clarified, the use of adjectival phrases/constructions. Important, rather than importantly. Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC gone down. We need an abort key.

Posted by: Shiloh | May 23, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Never mind my 9:50, Yoki, I got it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 23, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Further SCC: replace "walk" with "crossed" in the middle three stanzas.

Well, back to the day job tomorrow . . .

Posted by: bill everything | May 23, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

We are all omni-attentive. Well done.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

TBG I love your description of where you grew up, very much like mine except I now live about 6 kilometres away, same town different part of town.

bill everything great job.

Night all.

Posted by: dmd | May 23, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Huh back at you, Yoki. Oh well, that's better than "bah humbug" ;). Don't be sheepish; maybe you'll be right one day about me. It was just funny to me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Monica Goodhead makes me think that Legally Blonde 2 was a documentary.

Also, my son's school has a very diverse population and we love to hear the administration mangle names. For example, Nguyen is a common Vietnamese name, but the 'N' is silent. The closest English pronunciation is like 'Gwen' as in the Pigeon sister. Every year, the school pronounces it 'Na-GOO-yen' and we just cringe.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 23, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Very thankful only the cats are around to here my singing impaired voice lifted in song.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I've just finished listening McGill's Beatty Memorial Lecture called "Queerer than We Suppose: The Strangeness of Science"
It was given by Richard Dawkins and though he didn't mention religion in the lecture, when he allowed questions the first person complained that they had come to hear about God. Dr. Dawkins response ? "Oh dear, I wasn't supposed to talk about god."
The lecture was about the diffulties that our brains, which evolved in what he calls "the middle world", have when dealing with the macro and microscopic worlds. Charming as always and he even used Basil Fawlty as an example.
I think Dreamer would enjoy this.
http://media.campus.mcgill.ca/misc/Beatty-Dawkins.wmv

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

If you're not impressed by Dawkins using Basil Fawly he also cited Lichtenstein.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Boko, don't you just love JBS Haldane?

"Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, that was my rationale for having children. The babies were quite happy to hear me sing, at the breast.

Whereas my family of origin asked me to only sing Over the Hills and Far Away or Sweet and Low or Crazy.

Of course, once the girls grew up, they asked me to never never sing again, within earshot of humans. And they were right!

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Dawkins cited a principality? That's just duchy.

Shiloh! Restrain yourself!

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 23, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Yoki. Dawkins quoted Haldane. It went something like ,if you remeber something from your childhood remember you weren't there. All the atoms in your current body are different. I'm going to investigate this Haldane guy this is the first I've heard of him.
I just heard the lecture on CBC's "Ideas" and because I'm on DSL I can't even use the link I posted.
I like you too Yoki. Is everything OK at your end?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Just ducky, thanks, Boko.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

>>Dawkins cited a principality? That's just duchy.
Well he wasn't singing Andorra

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm off! But I do want to call out RD Padouk, who constructed an almost perfect iambic pentameter couplet.

Thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Whew! Fighting technology fires all day. My computer has only half it's memory quota and I am running a fan directly on the innards....pointy nerdie friend helping my computer in the ICU unit.

This motivated me to install a Linux app on an old Window ME skeleton.(I think I love Linus Torvald; can he cook?) One particular whizmo is that you can copy PDF content to a clipboard and PASTE INTO A DOCUMENT FILE! You can select all the PDF and paste into a doc file!!!!!! (Using OpenOffice 2.0, which is standard with most Linux operating systems.)

Did I mention that this is all free? Did I mention that I handled the entire install without help from the computer nerdie give mouth-to-mouth to my year old XP computer?

---
Frosti, I picked ten peonie blooms from the shady holly corner and will drift off to the scent. May wake to ants but the smell is worth the risk.

Yoki, I missed out on you last night. GW seems to prove the adage: absolute {whatever} corrupts absolutely. Somebody needs to send him a humility vitamin with a modesty chaser.

LIT -- you are funny, funny, funny. CeePee boy had a gig this weekend and if we were closer, we coulda hadda Harp together. How is your Lead Thing-child and will he be home for summer?

Monica -- a name soon to be removed from politically savy pre-parents' lists.

Bill E -- can you sing and place a clip on YouTube? See YJ for details.

RD- Started some Italian White sunflowers and thought of you: English pale on an Italian infracstucture.

TBG and others: I had a Huck Finn/Becky Thatcher/Tom Sawyer childhood but on the Missouri not the Missisip. (The twain meet in St. Louis.) My dad and his family lived an Angela's Ashes life but would NEVER share than sorrow and shanty-linen with the world.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 23, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

How long must we keep baron these puns?

b e, loved the ballad.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 23, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

//Haldane was a friend of the author Aldous Huxley, and was the basis for the biologist Shearwater in Huxley's novel Antic Hay- Wikipedia

I didn't know that and Antic Hay is my favourite Huxley novel. Got it right over, er, under, ah, oh well.
I have a fuzzy (hazy?) recollection of Haldane in the political (NDYouth)sense but I didn't know he was an geneticist and evolutionary biologist.
Smart boy wanted.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 23, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Night all. I will try not to lie awake with thoughts of a "Ring of Fire" follow up to "The Ballad of Monica Goodling."

The last thing to be said about Blake and the poetry poll:

http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/ch/1993/ch930327.gif

Is there such a thing as a scent cootie? If so I have one for festiva maxima.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 23, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Hitchens--learning of his Jewishness and the news of his mother's suicide--The Observer, Sunday, April 14, 2002

Posted by: Loomis | May 23, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I am going to relinquish my obsession with Gene Weingarten almost immediately. But not before I note an antonym. When we speak of Gene Weingarten, we refer to him (so as not to offend JA) as GW. Hahahah! He is GW, as is GW. How galling must that be for both of them?

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Frost, that is one of my top 100 favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 23, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I really am leaving, just after this.

I learned within the last five minutes that my niece, Sarah, has given birth (to a baby girl now named Harmony, but who am I to judge?). I am a great-aunt! How wonderful. Especially since #1 and #2 assure me they are never going to have children. This might be as close as I get to the next-but-one generation. I am thrilled.

Posted by: Yoki | May 23, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Bill everything -- your ballad was super -- post it on every political blog in town!

Posted by: nellie | May 24, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

And or a is sung thusly, which is probably beyond Dawkins' talents (at least, I hope so):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wEUG0VQK6s

Boko, you might want to read the following as a caution. Some of them ain't read the gospels, y'know?

http://www.parallelpac.org/murder.htm

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 24, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

John Stewart had the leader of the Thunderbirds arobatic team. Joking about crashing and burning.

May 22, 2007

Captain Shawn McCaughey, 31, of Candiac, Quebec died May 18 when the CT-114 Tutor jet he was piloting crashed during an air show rehearsal at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Fall's, Montana.

http://www.snowbirds.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/newsroom_e.asp?cat=2&id=205

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

A couple of late evening comments:

Yoki: congratulations! A great-aunt, indeed.

Mudge, EF nailed the "paddle shifter," derived from racing cars that use computer-controlled semi-automatic transmissions (A computer controls the clutch and a hydraulic shifter mechanism for a manual transmission). There are a few of these in street cars, notably the Ferrari Cambiocorsa and the BMW SMG.

Several manufacturers have adapted paddle shifter controls to plain old automatic transmissions to sporty models to make them seem racier. The current Mitsu Lancer has just such an arrangement. The new Mitsu Lancer Evolution 10, available in the late fall, will have a real race car-style paddle-shifted semi-automatic trans, FWIW.

Loomis, "Hitchens is a Jew." What? Stalin was raised Christian and went to seminary.

My point is that while it's easy to label people due to one thing or another about their past or background, it is not as helpful in describing a person as the important things that person did or said or cared about.

Y'know, maybe LiT said it best.

bill everything, thanks for the alternative lyrics.

pj, thanks for that memo. That was nice.

Hey, who threw this sheet of foil over me?
I was just taking an air bath while boodling.

bc

Posted by: bc | May 24, 2007 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Good news Yoki

And thank the FSM for Bay Buchanan. She always lifts my spirits. She was on Colbert and I heard her say that if illegal immigrants become citizens they would demand to be treated fairly and put futher strain the economy. The audience was howling.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

In response to MedallionOfFerret's 12:38:
(is that like a disco medallion?)
Some say these people haven't read the Gospels
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/diary-of-a-christian-terr_b_49167.html
Others are afraid they have.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

hitchens is a man. he may be an aries, but he's a man.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | May 24, 2007 1:16 AM | Report abuse

The sheet was in part to give you the opportunity for uttering "Curses! Foiled again!". You have severely disappointed Shiloh, Boko, and myself, among others.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 24, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if it matters but I can't veiw Youtube as I'm on DSL .I didn't view the first link so I responded to your second with another atrocity as a ping to your pong.
I translated:
And or a is sung thusly,
As:
And, or as is sung thusly,
I'm getting a Python vibe there.
Sorry for the confusion
You miserable gits.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

boogaboogabooga.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 24, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

"Anything possible to be believed is an image of the truth."

"The cut worm forgives the plow."

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | May 24, 2007 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Hang on, Fawlty is welcoming his German guests.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Enough! or Too much

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 2:43 AM | Report abuse

"And so thusly" is killing me.
I'm hearing WC Fields but I'm also hearing:

"A door is opening in that pyramid."

"Which one?"

"The one with the widening hole in it."

All that spiritual stuff discombobulated me. All I need is powerful gasoline, a clean windsheild and a shoeshine.
Over

Posted by: Boko999 | May 24, 2007 3:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Virgo...

Apparently.

:-)

*quiet Grover waves so as to not wake Boko*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 24, 2007 4:43 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Yet another Virgo checking in (I'm sure that comes as a surprise).

I'm up earlier than usual--got a 7:30 a.m. therapy appointment at Georgetown, gotta catch the 5:30 bus.

Congrats on the grand-aunt-baby, Yoki.

I fail to see the relevance of Hitchins being Jewish; clearly by his own lights he isn't, or isn't "anymore." Should never have been raised.

I actually enjoyed last night's "Lost" (and managed to stay awake until the end). But it was a major bloodbath (spoiler alert): 12 of the "Others" were killed, including major bad guys Mikhail and Tom; only Charlie (finally) got it for the good guys. But there's major trouble brewing over the horizon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 24, 2007 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Zodiac signs? Puhlease. More evidence for "human nature." It looks to me like we prefer to be in groups, no matter what the cost. So I'd rather put myself in a category with other people, even if it's based on nonsense, instead of facing the possibility that I am a unique individual, forever alienated (love that term) and unable to share my experience with anyone.

Or possibly, it's an indication that we are built to live in clans/extended families/communities. This modern individualistic society is counter to our wiring. I owned a copy of Linda Goodman's Sun Signs as a teenager, and I studied all that stuff. But it's in the category of "bad information" and today I don't play that game any more.

Did that sound crabby? Didn't mean it to. I don't have time to revise; gotta get on the road.

mostlylurking, I will keep searching for the other two Calvin & Hobbes strips that tie for first place on my list. I really heart that cartoon!!!!! No other cartoon has ever made me laugh and think at the same time to that extent. I can feel my brain making new connections, love that feeling.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 24, 2007 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Wikipedia reliance alert:
TRANSMOGRIFIER:Origin in Calvin and Hobbes

The transmogrifier is a fictional device invented by Calvin of Bill Watterson's comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. It is capable of transmogrifying any object into any other object.

The first transmogrifier Calvin invents consists of an upside-down cardboard box (first appeared March 23, 1987) with the word "transmogrifier" handwritten on the side in marker. A dial on the side of the box may be pointed towards one of several settings, also marked on the box in marker. More settings can be added by simply writing them around the dial. A button initiates the transmogrification process, turning the thing under the box into whatever is indicated on the dial always accompanied by a loud "zap!" sound when activated. Calvin used his transmogrifier to great effect in the comic strip, transforming himself into a tiger, dinosaur, elephant and other animals.

Calvin made subsequent improvements upon the transmogrifier technology, turning the box into a duplicator (by turning it on its side and writing "duplicator" on the side) and a time machine (by turning the box upright and writing "time machine" on the side). He also produced an improved, portable transmogrifier, which was incorporated into his water pistol. (This latter invention was once used as a button icon in a paint program for the Apple Macintosh, and the operation, which randomly mixed pixels, was named transmogrify.)

---
Sorry for the long cut-paste. I believe the word-story is worth it.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 24, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Absetively, CP.

I heart Calvin & Hobbes.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 24, 2007 7:12 AM | Report abuse

KB -- you don't sound crabby at all. I think your affiliation-idea explains the astrology tendency. All of the family b-days occur in a 60-day period clustered around Christmas. Five people partake of three signs: my lived data suggests hoowey on the proposed and supposed patterns. I apologize to any star-mancers among us.

Cassandra -- what seeds did you plant? Any little seedlings? I planted Four O-Clocks this year (Miracle of Peru variety); I have not had this scented, shrubby plant since probably the mid 1970s. The seedlings are about two inches high with such sturdy, succulent first-leaves.

Frosti -- Verbena-on-stick about to pop out with dusky grape-purple balls of color. I seem to be the only one who grows this. You can get a plant from Bluestone Perennials. My progenitor-plant was bought five years ago. The spread and bounty of the progeny: wow. The bloom continues well past frost and is especially good as a foil to all the burnt yellow and orange of August.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 24, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Good word, SN.

Boko: read your sad alert on the air crash at Malstrom AFB. I went to that air show for years; MAFB childen went to my school. The other common experience was heading North for the Calgary Stampede. The thing about the air show crashes is that typically, family members are on the ground, watching in horror as the plane loses it. Imagine that and then hoping, with other families near you in the same hell.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 24, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Post-commute thoughts; what I SHOULDA said:

If I'm ever in the same room with Christopher Hitchens and he starts telling me I'm a bad mother for providing religious instruction to my offspring, I will change the subject to something we apparently agree about: I will ask him WHY do otherwise reputable newspapers persist in publishing the daily horoscopes? And can we define exactly what harm results from it?

Posted by: kbertocci | May 24, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

A scorpio here, but I'm always forgetting what that means vs. being a first born vs. army brat vs. parochial schools vs. Finn forebears. Put too much credence in any of it and I might as well subscribe to Puritan style predestination.

CP- I am not familiar with this form of verbena. It is now on my list of plants to research on Monday when I plan to ruthlessly screen all my calls and only take those originating from hospital emergency rooms.

KB-I hadn't thought of astrological signs as part of forming a group identity. Makes sense though, especially for people of my age who were bombarded with books like Goodman's. Frostdottir knows her own sign, but not its supposed meanings. Too busy selling Cafe Press t-shirts to her Internet friends I guess.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 24, 2007 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I hope it goes without saying that I do not buy into Astrology. Nor do I find horoscopes especially entertaining, with, of course, the notable exception of those published by The Onion.

Yet an awareness of the characteristics said to be associated with your sign can be fun. You can choose to identify with the traits that please you while ignoring those that do not. It's like playing dress-up with a chest full of superhero costumes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 24, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Looks like some of our boodle friends in the Midwest will have a chance to try a new snack!

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2578487.ece

Oh, er, I'm a cancer.

Posted by: rain forest | May 24, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

If there's such a thing as too beautiful a morning, this has to be it. The best part is that instead of being trapped in an office (as in my previous life as a programmer), I'll be up on a ladder getting a bird's eye view of it all as I practice "Zen and the Art of Garage Painting".

Welcome back from the wild, kbert... and waves, hugs, pats and shakes all around.

Peace :-)

(59)

Posted by: martooni | May 24, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

And although not strictly related to the Zodiac, I have found that a gift of birthstone jewelry seldom goes unappreciated.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 24, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Ongoing applause, enthusiastic type, one each, martooni.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 24, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the most hypocritical pictures I've ever seen. Apparently the VP is thinking, "MY family values are fine; yours mean nothing."

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3205613&page=1

Posted by: TBG | May 24, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Martooni - I envy you your vocation.

I am one of those guys who thinks the ideal way to spend a long weekend is to repair a fence. Not only does such labor connect you to the outdoors, but when you are finished you have that visceral sense of satisfaction that comes from completing something salient and lasting.

Alas, few creditors accept a visceral sense of satisfaction as legitimate remuneration for debts accrued. So I toil away under fluorescent lights and filtered air, where Zen is hard to find.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 24, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

One more day, martooni, and we will call this a trend. Congratulations! It feels good, doesn't it?

Picses here, but on the cusp. Can't remember how this is supposed to affect me.

Congrats, Yoki, on the new baby. My girls say the same as yours. I hope they change their minds but I'm keeping my mouth shut. I have a family heirloom, a breakfront made by my great/great/great grandfather, that has passed from mother to daughter. I would hate to break that chain, but I will will it to a cousin if neither of my two or my brother's daughter have a daughter.

Posted by: Slyness | May 24, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Well, here's another commute-thought (anything to keep from getting down to work this morning, I have a long, boring task ahead...):

One of my recurring meditations regards survival after the collapse (collapse of the economy, or the ecology, or the social structure or whatever). Since Joel wrote the Rough Draft on the subject*,that one phrase always comes to mind:

==Angus: Remind me what your skill set is. I don't need a typist.==

That's so great. When I think about the boodlers I wonder, do we have real-life skills, or are we mostly good at typing?

But the new thought I had today was, when I'm putting together my post-collapse survival group, I want to be sure to have somebody with Joel's skill-set. The ability to see humor even in difficult situations--and convey it to others. The ability to understand and explain stuff. And so on.

*http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/04/AR2005100401156.html

(I can't believe it was more than a year ago! Is it too soon to start waxing nostalgic about Rough Draft? Weingarten says humor writing is not cost-effective for newspapers. I'm afraid we just live in a time when humor--as distinct from comedy--is not valued by a lot of people.)

martooni, thanks and ongoing congratulations to you and your family.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 24, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Heckuva Job Department:

"The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan violated the federal Hatch Act when she allegedly asked GSA political appointees during a January briefing how they could "help our candidates" win the next election, according to a report by the office."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/23/AR2007052301372.html


If I were a suspicious person, I might think that I'm beginning to see the faintest outlines of a trend toward the increasing politicization of the United States government - a "vast right-wing conspiracy," if you will.

Posted by: byoolin | May 24, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Boodle.

10 cm of new snow here, 15 more predicted by this afternoon. Crashes all over the city. I just love Spring in Alberta.

Posted by: Yoki | May 24, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! :-)

Posted by: dbG | May 24, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! :-)

Posted by: dbG | May 24, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

As if *I* were doing the labeling? From the Observer article I mentioned last night (heck, I don't know if Chris is an Aries--maybe SoC was joking or getting his jollies off or had genuinely accurate inforamtion--but I do know what I've read, including one of Hitchens' books, which is probbly more than cn be said for the lot of you):

Surprisingly - given how much he writes - Christopher Hitchens has written only one autobiographical piece, the title essay of Prepared for the Worst (1988). It is self-revealing as far as it goes, but it covers only one small aspect of his life, the discovery of his Jewishness when he was 38. It happened when his brother Peter took his new bride to meet their maternal grandmother, Dodo, who was then in her nineties, and Dodo said, 'She's Jewish, isn't she?' and then announced: 'Well, I've got something to tell you. So are you.' She said that her real surname was Levin, not Lynn, and that her ancestors were Blumenthals from Poland.

Christopher was thrilled when Peter told him. By then he was living in Washington and most of his friends were Jewish. Moreover, he felt that he had somehow known all along. He remembers an odd dream in which he was on the deck of a ship and a group of men approached him and said they needed a 10th man to make up a minyan (Jewish prayer group) and he calmly strolled across the deck and joined them. He insists that he is Jewish - because Jewish descent goes through the mother - though Peter Hitchens, who has traced the family tree, says they are only one 32nd Jewish. But wasn't it odd of his mother not to tell him - or even tell his father? 'I'm practically certain I know her motivation. Dodo had had quite a thin time in the hat business and encountered some prejudice. She looked Jewish, whereas my mother didn't. And I'm sure she didn't want me to go through any of that - her plan for me was that I was to be an English gentleman - you can judge for yourself how well that worked out!'

Posted by: Loomis | May 24, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

So sad to toil before a cathode glow
where sun and sky are nothing but a rumor.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 24, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone.

btw... I hope that didn't come across as trying to "rub it in" about working outdoors vs. in an office -- I'm sure on 90+ degree days I'll be envying all of you working in climate-controlled environments.

RD... right on about the creditors. The way I look at it, though, is that I'll be eyeball-deep in debt no matter what I do for a living so I might as well enjoy what I do. I suppose for me it was a choice between being broke and happy or broke and bitter.

btw, RD... birdhouses and feeders are fun/creative weekend warrior projects to keep you busy in the off-fence season.

Posted by: martooni | May 24, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company