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Leftovers A-Go-Go

[My article in the Outlook section.]

Recently my wife and I helped throw a party and, at the end of the night, found ourselves in possession of multiple large vats of leftovers. This was a problem, bordering on a calamity. Leftovers can be great, but not by the bucketful -- not by the tub, not by the drum. These leftovers, we quickly realized, were going to shadow our every waking moment. Most problematic was the chicken: thousands of little strips crammed and wedged and mashed together in a rectangular, nearly solid block of meat. The very act of removing chicken from the meat-block seemed to generate more chicken than had been there before. This was the ultimate leftovers nightmare: spontaneously generating leftovers. Like something out of ancient mythology. The more you eat, the more there's left over!

We sensed that we would not find peace and serenity until we found a way to eat all that chicken. Every meal suddenly had to involve it. Chicken sandwiches, chicken soup, chicken salad, chicken and eggs, chicken smoothies. Chicken was, for us, what coconuts are to castaways.

Excellent social plans would be thrown into chaos because of our need to process our increasingly dry and unpalatable poultry.

"The guy at work gave us four tickets to the ballgame tonight."

"But . . . what about the chicken?"

The chicken soon became almost like an additional member of the family. But a crazy one. We would try not to talk about the deranged bird in the refrigerator, but we all knew it was there. Our friends gradually came to understand that we had a mysterious Issue that was not to be discussed. Only a few confidants were allowed into the loop, and they would ask, forming their words as sensitively as possible, "Any progress on the, um . . . you know . . . ?"

They meant well, but I noticed that they didn't volunteer to come over and eat any of it. No! When it came to concern, they phoned it in. They drew a line, with them on one side and our leftovers on the other. That's the thing about most modern friendships: They never, ever extend to eating your leftovers. For that you have to rely on immediate family members, and random neighborhood boys.

Let's pull back and think about leftovers in general. Are they an asset or an obligation? Food or just foodstuff?

The very word is fraught with ambiguity. Plural or singular? Clearly it appears to be a plural word, but sometimes we use it as a singular: "We ate leftovers and it was pretty good." The individual components of leftovers can get mixed up and undifferentiated. Left to their own devices, leftovers have a natural desire to become mush.

Everyone has a Leftovers Policy. Like, three days for a drumstick, two for a burger, one for sushi. The policy may be unwritten, or even slightly subconscious, and certainly subject to revision/abrogation should the specific leftover item prove unexpectedly repugnant. The goal for most of us is to be fair to the leftovers. But we've all been burned by them. Nefarious leftover items have wriggled and burrowed and smooth-talked their way into

unseen corners of the refrigerator. We all know what we're talking about: food that turns into a little ecosystem that ought to be in a natural history museum. Used to be guacamole, now it's just fuzz.

My wife and I are in a very vulnerable position when it comes to leftovers, because we're affluent enough to buy plenty of food, but not so affluent that we can throw any of it away without hating ourselves. Especially meat. One hears the mewling of the lambs on their way to slaughter.

The problem is, we're also a house full of people -- to be specific, girls -- for whom eating is often a survival tool of last resort. It's something one does only under extreme pressure and after every possible alternative (existing entirely on water and air, for example) has been exhausted.

The purchase of groceries is considered the first act in the long drama of How Will We Get Rid of the Food. My suggestion -- let's eat it! -- inspires heavy sighs and rolling of eyes. This is particularly the case when it comes to leftovers, which tend to be, to put it mildly, disrespected. They're icky. It's like: Ew.

At some point, the chicken took complete control of our lives. We were not really "eating" anymore, much less "dining" or "enjoying a repast." We were just processing food. We were heaving our stomachs into the path of the chicken as it considered its options. Chicken pizza. Chicken Jell-O. Chicken a la mode.

My wife found ways to distribute the chicken around town. She became the Chicken Lady. We also threw another little party and invited some friends who had missed the previous one. But they all knew the back story, and their attitude was, "Great! We'll eat old food from a party to which we weren't even invited!" No one touched the chicken sandwiches except for my wife and me.

We dropped off a tub of chicken with my friend Mike, who was gracious enough to accept our food debris. He, in turn, quickly got on the horn and made a bunch of calls: "We've got all this leftover chicken! Drop by and eat some!" What Mike didn't realize is that:

1) In his haste he did not make clear, in his invitation, whether he, Mike, would actually be in attendance at the leftover-chicken-eating event.

2) His invitation did not communicate to the invited parties that they possessed any social attribute other than their ability to consume the old food. And thus:

3) The invited parties felt as though they were being treated, literally, like dogs.

Gradually, piece by piece, we put some serious dents in the meat-block. One day we realized that we had reached a turning point, as it were: The chicken, dried out, unpalatable, had lost its plausible edibility. Oh, happy day! Yes, it would still be wasteful and shameful to throw it away (I hear my Mom, circa 1967: "People are starving in India!"), but it wasn't entirely our fault. We'd tried to eat it, but it had gone bad, or was thinking of going bad imminently. It had malign intentions. Also it now had the moisture content of rubber bands. The chicken strips were suddenly useful only as packing material or Christmas ornaments.

So we gave it the heave-ho. Bagged it up, hurled it into the SuperCan. Free at last!

Except that when you have a very close relationship to a specific batch of leftovers, you never really say goodbye. They infiltrate your dreams, mocking you, chiding you, taunting you.

They always say the same thing: Eat me.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 23, 2007; 8:44 AM ET
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Just back from the Beach. I'll check on Mudge, bring him a laptop and see if we can get a wireless signal.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 23, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Good to see you back. Good morning, Cassandra. Hi, Martooni. Take care, Mudge.

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 23, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Late at night the leftovers around my house cry out to me with desperate longing: "RD. RD. Come to us. We belong together."

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse


RE: comment in previous Boodle

That guy's an idiot, and incapable of taking responsibility for his idiocy.

*still rolling my eyes*

Did I see Ivansmom volunteering for deputy shop steward? *hiding under fainting couch*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 23, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Doggie party!!!!

A few years ago, a guide dog in the office got treats from a couple of designated-treat people. Gave her a bit of recreation during the day.

Bought a Japanese ceramic kitchen knife over the weekend--now to see what it can do to veggies. Despite having sent things like Kyocera's ceramic-bladed veggie peelers to my sister, it's disconcerting strange to behold a white knife.

Anyone in the Daytona Beach area who likes marimbas, vibraphones, and such should see if tickets are available to the Evelyn Glennie recital tonight (Florida International Festival). Actually, she's now Dame Evelyn Glennie. Same rank, I think, as Sir James Bond was given by Ian Flemming. As if the real James Bond wasn't an ornithologist specialising in the Caribbean.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 23, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

One year I made a huge bowl of potato salad to take to a friend's Memorial Day party. We brought home the leftovers and the bowl sat in the fridge until after Labor Day. By the time we threw it out, it looked like an entire universe was expanding in it.

We still say, "Remember that potato salad we had one summer?

Posted by: TBG | July 23, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I nominate "meat-block" to be The Word Of The Day.

Posted by: byoolin | July 23, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

From Yahoo News...

WASHINGTON - A Georgia meat processor expanded its recall of canned meat products that may be connected to a botulism outbreak.

Castleberry's Food Co. of Augusta recalled more than 80 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash and other meat products over the weekend, in addition to the 10 brands it recalled Thursday.

Brand names of the recalled products include Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry's, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time.


The recall also includes four varieties of Natural Balance dog food.

Posted by: TBG | July 23, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Mmmm, I do like the taste of leftover Kit for breakfast.


Posted by: bc | July 23, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does the phrase "Natural Balance dog food" seem more appetizing than "Piggly Wiggly brand chili"?

Had some fine (presumably home-made) chili yesterday at Barkley's (formerly Mitchell's) in Moundsville, WV yesterday.

Posted by: byoolin | July 23, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Meant to add that when served properly, leftover Kit can give you your Daily Recommended allowance of Irony.


Posted by: bc | July 23, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

One too many yesterdays there. Sorry about that.

Posted by: byoolin | July 23, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Blackadder: Baldrick, have you no idea what irony is?
Baldrick: Yes, it's like goldy and bronzy only it's made out of iron.

Posted by: byoolin | July 23, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

One of the marvels of the present age is that the number of places in the world where people are starving has shrunk over the past three centuries. Back then, people starved in England, Sweden, and the rest of Europe. No scandal. Just the nuisance to find a new servant or farm hand. By the 1700s, though, it wasn't sporting for British troops to kill food rioters.

(One of the more entertaining books I've read is "Riot, Risings and Revolution: Governance and Violence in Eighteenth- Century England" by Ian Gilmour. The subtitle is much too stuffy).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 23, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Like Joel, I was raised to believe that the starving masses would be cross if I didn't gorge myself on surplus food. This questionable notion, along my innate miserliness, still drives me to eat leftovers on those occasions when I am left to fend for myself. This can, however, lead to problems.

One evening, while my wife was out, I discovered some scraps of roast beef from which I made myself a sandwich. Although the flavor was fine, I found the meat surprisingly tough. Further, as I chewed an alarming amount of gristle made itself known. I paused, and considered tossing the sandwich, but I felt it a moral imperative not to do so. Instead, I added more barbecue sauce and soldiered on.

So it was with no small amount of smugness that I informed my wife, when she returned home, that I had eaten the leftover roast beef for dinner. Leftovers, I was soon to discover, which had been specially selected by my wife as a special treat.

For our dog.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Mudge! Hope this morning finds the your little bacterial visitors very much less welcome.

There was a point in my mother-in-law's dimentia where we daughters-in-law were cooking and freezing meals for her, so that all she had to do was reheat and add veggies. It wasn't any trouble to do because that is how we all seem to cook. If you are cooking one meal, you cook it double volume, and freeze it. I don't know anyone who doesn't do this. We failed to take into account the cultural shift from 50s housewife to modern working person. To them, it was leftovers, to us it was simply how to cook. They don't do casseroles, strictly meat and potatoes. It was sort of funny how none of us realized how much cooking and meal prep has changed over time.

The single most important thing I did before my sons wedding was clean out the fridge. I'm certain that dozens of scientific advances were sitting there, waiting for some attention, but I didn't have the time to check it out.

Posted by: dr | July 23, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

When I was but a small ScienceKid myself, we had in our basement a second refrigerator. We didn't use it all that much, but it was there. One time, a watermelon was put down there, by persons unknown, because, of course, there was no room for a watermelon in the regular refrigerator. Proceed to a later time. How much later? I do not know. Do not fast-forward, you have to slow-forward. Allow time. Let things marinate. Stew. Grow. Ferment. Mutate. My memory is not clear -- fear allows one to perceive only the critical element, not the supporting details. I opened the door. Something dark, its roof caved in, surrounded by a puddle of dark fluids, with an eerie phosphorescent glow struggling through the tangle of fluffy rhizomes. I screamed and slammed the door, racing upstairs to inform my mother. It is the power of parents to make such evil go away when no one is looking. Was it destroyed? Or just relocated?

Some other time, I'll recount the story of The Refrigerator and The Ducklings.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 23, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Is Georgtown Hospital near the C&O?
When I was in the hospital fighting a nasty infection my room had a view of the Rideau river. Not as good as view of the Rideau canal but nice enough.
Perhaps The Boss can use his massive influence and arrange a room for Mudge overlooking some body of water if not that storied waterway (the C&O, not the Rideau).

Posted by: Boko999 | July 23, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Bold move, Joel, to follow-up Harry Potter Weekend with a Kit that has nothing to do with HP. You radical, you. Has the AchenFamily now read it, or do you eschew such lowbrow swill?

No spoilers, please. I'm only up to Chapter 8. I have to share the book with ScienceKid#2, who is up to Chapter 15, I believe. ScienceKid#1 must wait, due to attendance at a camp run by the Friends of the National Zoo, out at the Smithsonian's facility near Front Royal. Population counts, studying animal ecology, that sort of thing. The camp has a special edict for this week -- no Harry Potter discussions, since many campers have not had a chance to read the book yet. When SK1 returns from camp, we'll do the Dad Reads the Book Aloud (With Character Voices) thing. I'm hoping that Hagrid buys it pretty early in the book -- his voice is hard to do.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | July 23, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I discovered one of those mysterious science experiments in my parents kitchen. It was in the cupboard where potatoes or onions were normally kept. However what was inside the plastic bag was not decipherable. Attached to the bag was something resembling a small decorative guord (sp). The good news is the item was so old the smell was gone, it just looked bad.

Posted by: dmd | July 23, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Ah, leftovers. Your description of cooking made me laugh, dr. I still occasionally make a dish which will serve for several meals, and of course roast chicken is a staple. However, I've grown quite good at fixing meals just large enough for the three of us with perhaps a lunch portion leftover. I personally like leftovers. Ivansdad says he likes leftovers but I suspect he likes the idea of leftovers in the refrigerator, as he seldom if ever eats them. The Boy previously viewed them with suspicion but appears to be entering that stage when anything edible in the house is fair game.

ScienceTim, that's a splendid story. I used to have science experiments in my refrigerator as well. Now I discard anything left once a week; any vegetables and fruits out on market day (compost heap) and meat and dairy on trash day. I was inspired by visits to my in-laws. Estimable folk, surely, but with canned goods in the pantry since the Reagan administration and little formerly edible dabs of something someone might snack on. I believe they have changed their ways now, but the memory stays with me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 23, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone.

You know, when I read the article yesterday, the only thing I could think of was -- what? They don't have a freezer????

Ah, entirely too practical.

Good karma being sent to those who need it. Other karma to, well, you know. . . .

Gotta go delve into the miraculousness (or whatever else it's called) of the law.

Until I re-emerge. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 23, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

With two teenagers in the house (and the skinny little 13 year old girl can sometimes out-eat her 18 yo brother), any attempts at doubling recipes for later use are futile.

Posted by: TBG | July 23, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I'd be honored to take up the mantle of deputy shop steward, if no actual work is involved.

Let me hasten to add, regarding leftovers, that judging from my family's behavior there is no such thing as leftover pizza. Pizza is always pizza, a culinary universe unto itself, and edible without normal constraints of sanitation.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 23, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I love leftovers. Leftovers are the best. Leftover are food(s) that you can eat with little shame -- "by golly, it had to be done." Except, when my kids eat them and I find myself left longing for just exactly the leftover I had wanted to eat, myself. Oh, those dirty rats.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | July 23, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, gird your loins. Households with boys will function very differently than Joel's description of households with girls.

I recall one day, at full teen boy eating mode, where after school, an entire sanwich sized loaf was made into grilled cheese sandwiches to get the fellas to supper. And there were still 2 of them cruising for more food. It was like watching sharks feeding.

Its no wonder that dried legumes mean security to me.

Posted by: dr | July 23, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Scc sandwiches

Posted by: dr | July 23, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

My wife and kid eschew leftovers, which leaves me holding the bag. I was supposed to bring some leftover jambalaya for lunch today, but it was not in the car when I got to the office. I hope someone notices it and puts it back in the fridge.

In college, we had some potatoes in the back of the pantry that had budded and grown roots and were about to walk on their own. My roommate was very squeamish about those things. For April Fools Day, I distributed the potatoes to various parts of his room including in his shoes and under his pillow. The whole day went by without seeing him.

He told me the next morning that he found them when he got in at 2 am and was going to wake me up when he remembered what the previous day was.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 23, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

firsttime, I wondered the same thing. Of course, in my freezer, stuff like that (i.e., stuff you really don't want to eat) gradually drifts to the bottom. Where it isn't found until the (rare) occasion of the freezer being cleaned out. My only saving grace is that I write the date on the freezer bag. There's a name for anything found with a date more than a year in the past: dog food. The dog loves the taste of freezer-burned meat.

Leftovers make the ideal lunch. Today I have last night's chicken, Saturday's roasted potatoes, and the last of the melon-zilla I got at the farm stand last week.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 23, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mostly. This morning the street was glistening -- it rained overnight! Not a lot, but I'm glad to have it after 5 months with none.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 23, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Sending good wishes Mudge's way, thanks for the news bc, keep us updated as you can.

Georgetown Univ. Hospital, the west wing is about 1500 ft from the canal I believe, but can't be seen for all the trees.

Cold leftover pizza in the morning for breakfast is divine Ivansmom. You really don't know what you're missing. The best is plain cheese pizza with mushrooms.

And where the heck was that spelling quiz???

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

A few months ago we learned that my daughter had outgrown her allergy to chicken. For the first time in over seven years she was free too consume poultry with wild abandon. Which she has proceeded to do. We have attempted to guide her eating habits to other sources of protein, but to no avail. It's chicken, chicken, chicken. So although Joel's wife might be known as the "Chicken Lady," around our house we have the Chicken Girl.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

oops, of course the plain cheese pizza has to have tomato sauce

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Omni, I like cold pizza too. In fact, I'm the only one who likes cold pizza -- Ivansdad and the Boy insist on heating it first. I will, however, count the days it has been pizza and determine that at some point it is no longer food. That's the difference.

Chicken Girl, eh? Feed her Chicken Smoothies. Chicken Jell-O. No wonder the Misses Achenbach rebel at leftovers.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 23, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

When I order pizza (usually on a Friday eve), it's always the same: medium with mushroom. I'll usually only be able to eat half of it (maybe one more slice a little later). The rest is for Saturday breakfast.

Dang, I'm getting hungry and I have a semi-working lunch and it's not for another 38 minutes. Grumble-grumble-grumble.

I hate when work interferes with my eating habits.

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Jello should only be used to get rid of leftover voldka.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 23, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I guess voldka is well-aged vodka.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 23, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I'm only on page 150 or so, but the three girls are all past page 500 and i assume will finish it tonight. We only had 2 copies over the weekend, but 2 more showed up in the mail, so we're a 4-book household (not eco-friendly admittedly).

I talked to Mudge and he's being very Mudgelike, rambling the halls of the hospital, visiting various sick people, no doubt stirring up trouble. I'll check in with him later and report back.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 23, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

*hand with a raised index finger slowly submerging into a morass of paperwork*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 23, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

please pass along my best wishes to mudge.

rd, your 10:16 cracked me up.

martooni, keep it up friend.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 23, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I have had occasion this week to both eat out quite a bit and end up with a amazing assortment of excellent Chinese and Italian and good old chicken salad leftovers. I've been soldiering through on general principle that there's a ton of money actually represented there *and* it was all darn good food, but there's only so much you can do sometimes.

Like just throw it out. My garbage weighed a ton this morning.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 23, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

LTL, ehhhh-cellent...

Except we still have rain here. Will try harder.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 23, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mudge,
I think that the bunker would be okay with a fainting couch, but for Mudge, he should have a hospital bed that goes up and down. He needs the exercise.

And, of course, the bunker should have a nurse. I'll fax her right over.

(Looking for her in the pages of the Playboy Magazine. How do copy and paste images anyway?)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 23, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I found the perfect nurse! I'm faxing her over now.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 23, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Laughing about the DR story about turning a loaf of bread into tide-em-over grilled cheese. My four brothers ate like that. CeePeeBoy does too, but alas, he is one. (Such a great all-around dude that he should be franchised ;) )

Like the Achengirls, CeePeeGals 1 and 2 were not reliable about leftovers, save for pizza, which enjoys an ex cathedra Papal dispensation. My favorite leftover story is eating popcorn from the night before for breakfast, with half/half and a drizzle of honey. My mom said that they ate "puffed corn" for breakfast during the Depression. She hailed, of course, from Mitchell, SD, home to the Corn Palace:

About five years ago, a cousin positioned himself there for 30 minutes, and some of us (63 first cousins in that set) logged in to see this. Ain't technology grand?

Posted by: College Parkian | July 23, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Jeezy-peezy, Maggie. You don't want Mudge to leave the hospital any time soon, do you?

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

The best cure for Cap 'Mudge would be no fripperies, etc. However, the fainting couch with turbo hospital-bed infrastructure would be best. BC and Martooni can make such a contraption. Blue ripcord slip covers with nautical cordage trim. How about a flat screen hidden behind the doggies-at-poker painting. We can play a continous loop of H. Hornblower or even the Sharpe's series on the Penisula Wars (landlubbing yes, but such good solidering-derring do...)

Posted by: College Parkian | July 23, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, of course I want Mudge out of the hospital as soon as possible. That's why I faxed the nurse to the BUNKER!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 23, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Now I get it, Maggie! *muttering at my lack of reading comprehension skills*

Posted by: Raysmom | July 23, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon everyone. Coming up for air as the 'rents leave and Pa Frost-in-law and Frostdottir arrive. This is not the frozen north today. Supposed to be in the 90s with much humidity. Yuck.

Faxing healing rhubarb and fresh caught walleye filets to Mudge.

S'nuke-back boodled enough to catch your link to the sham soldier whiner. Thanks, though now my head hurts from rolling my eyes in wonder.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 23, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Quick, Quick -- need boodle confirmation ASAP.

I was just looking at a Maryland case from 1926, where one of the attorneys for the appellant was none other than (*drum roll*)Edgar Allan Poe!

"Holy s-word!" I yelped, looking for a long lost bottle of Amantillado sherry. My heart pounds in anticipation that one of my fellow boodlers knows and can confirm that this guy was the ACTUAL, CERTIFIABLE EAP.

It would be cool beyond belief to be able to use this case for the proposition that agency can be implied (based on acts, of course).

Awaiting your response breathlessly. . .

I remain, your humble (mostly) servant (yeah, right).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 23, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The original Poe died at the age of 40 in October 1849.

Posted by: dr | July 23, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

This just in.

Ralph Lauren offered to redecorate The Bunker in Mudge's honor. He intends to use a nautical theme, with sea horse, giant squid, and killer whale images, and appropriately enough, blue bottoms. And, along with the giant plasma screen, a state-of-the-art audio system to play sea chanties, sailor hornpipes, and the music from Jaws!The Musical!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 23, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

And this.

curiouser, and curiouser.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the 1926 lawyer Poe must have been a descendent, or his parents were admirers.

I didn't realize Poe went to West Point, and deliberately got court martialed to get out. I read a lot of Poe when I was in high school.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 23, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dr -- then I wonder who this interloper is -- an offspring, perhaps?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 23, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

EAP would have 16 going on 17 in 1826. b-day:January 19, 1809. So I don't think it's the same EAP. Sorry fst

Posted by: OMNI | July 23, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

E A Poe died October 1849 in Baltimore of alcohol related problems,other causes may have contributed including previous attempted suicide

Posted by: Tonk | July 23, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

aw, geez. When I saw EAP's name that 9 magically transformed itself into an 8. So in reality he would have been 116 going on 117.

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Ah, well, reality intervenes again. But it was fun while it lasted. To me, Poe always was a good read (and then go to sleep with the lights on).

Thanks, guys.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 23, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Just spoke with Mudge myself; as Joel pointed out, the man's irrepressible.

If he doesn't think the hospital's doing something right (breakfast, skin care, etc.), he just gets out of the bed and does it himself, making friends along the way.

He's having a nice day, reading Stephen Hunter's "Point of Impact" (I hope I have that title correct) and watching women's beach volleyball on one of the ESPN channels. He seems to really enjoy the conclusion of each point when the ladies congratualte each other with friendly pats to the posterior.

Wilbrod, Mudge said that he has already considered the idea of a peg leg, and that if this one continues to bother him (he's had trouble with cellulitis in this leg for years, since he had a vein removed from it for his bypass operation), he's just going to have the docs hack it off Civil War style ("Time me, Lieutenant, I'm going to try to break the 20 second barrier!") and go with the aforementioned wooden prosthesis. And knowing him, we'll probably work on some custom attachments as well...

He says to thank you all for the well wishes, and that he'll be back on the Boodle's bridge in no time.

As I was talking to him the doc came in, and reported that one of his blood tests came back OK (I think it had to do with his kidney function). He seemed almost as pleased with that as the fact that the volleyball was tied 10-10 and going into overtime.


Posted by: bc | July 23, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

bc... I thought you were going to say that the volleyball was tied 10-10 and going into slow motion.

Posted by: TBG | July 23, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse


Perhaps the leftovers topic doesn't have quite the inspirational power we had expected. Or, perhaps it's just that we lack Curmudgeon, who could inform us about the experience of leftovers in the dark days before refrigeration.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 23, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Joel, bc, thanks for the updates.

I don't have a microwave, so that pretty much limits my leftovers to soup/stews and that which tastes good cold the next day. Am I forgetting something? Probably!

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

When I start hawking parenting wares online, and in a glossy catalogue, my site/dead tree mailings will be filled with ad copy that dispenses wisdom as well as waxing poetic about products one can live without. First among them will be the advice to exclaim about any food that might be held for a second meal "Oh I just love _____, but it's even better the second day." Some items should even be cooked a day ahead to work appetites and begging offspring into a frenzy over their eventual consumption. For parents of teen boys I have designed locking mini fridges that look like night stands. Available in transitional, eclectic, French country, mid century modern, and Shaker styles. Mission and Eastlake versions available via special order.

At Ma Frostbitten's house the Frostisters announce the placement of the delivery box in the refrigerator thusly "I spit on the pizza so you probably want to leave it for me."

Posted by: frostbitten | July 23, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Everybody is just off reading Harry Potter.

omni - microwave? My approach to leftovers is that if something has been heated once, to do so again is just redundant.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Joel, bc, thanks for the updates.

I don't have a microwave, so that pretty much limits my leftovers to soup/stews and that which tastes good cold the next day. Am I forgetting something? Probably!

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

uh, RD, somethings just don't taste good cold. At least to me anyways.

The first part of my previous post was apperently important enough to post twice (Don't how that happened though...).

Posted by: omni | July 23, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Although my teenaged son can certainly hooverize leftover food, he is oddly selective. For example, he evidently has far too sophisticated a palate to consume leftover pizza from the wrong vendor. Also, his appreciation of the nuances associated with different types of chicken strips is legendary. Some can be consumed the following day, and some, most certainly, cannot.

It is as if his lust for food is in direct conflict with his innate desire to annoy his parents.

Observing these kinds of delicate behavioral trade-offs is part of what makes parenting an endless joy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

omni - true. But you would be amazed at good cold food can taste if properly seasoned. By which I mean, of course, Tobasco.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm up for air, having spent the day reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Okay, I had second thoughts and erased the spoiler. As always, a thrilling ending. Rowling did tie up a lot of loose ends there.

Posted by: Slyness | July 23, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Two beautiful Boston Globe op eds from two of my favorite novelists.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 23, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I remember once when Mom made chocolate pudding (the cooked kind) and put the leftovers in the fridge. Looking for an after-school snack, I pulled the container out, got a spoon, and, anticipating chocolate goodness, took a big mouthful. I then ran for the sink to spit out what was actually beef gravy.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 23, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm noodling this Weird Life topic. Hmmm....might be a story.

Also came across this pre-9/11 Rough Draft column (trip to family farm in Indiana) that is dated in many ways, not least of which is that corn is now $4 a bushel and not $2. Farming PAYS. Who'd a thunk it. Surely there's a corn story to be done.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 23, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was an excellent piece on Elizabeth Edwards, in the WSJ:

Posted by: Achenbach | July 23, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I did that same thing, Raysmom. What a horrible sensation that was!

I like leftovers. Stews, goulash, and soups usually taste better after a day or two. Making fried rice with leftover rice was also a tasty dish. But the best leftover food is pie. For breakfast, of course. If it's blueberry pie, you can convince yourself you are getting your daily servings of fruit.

Posted by: pj | July 23, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Most of my leftovers either go in the freezer,for some future batch of soup or in the compost pile or just in the yard. Living in the woods,
everything gets taken by something. I just went out to water my plants and something got into the trash and carted off a whole bag of smelly goodies. I looked around the house for remnants of it and it seems to be totally gone, bag and all. It must have been coons, the bear is just more of a smash and grab type dude.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 23, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the old farm column. I, too, have family with a family farm in Indiana. However, I believe the actual farming is done by people who've contracted out to farm, as the young-uns of my generation, and their (gulp) adult children don't farm for a living. Our folks grew corn that could be eaten by humans, not animals; we'd stop at the side of the field, pick a few ears and instant supper. No leftovers there.

Mmmm, leftover pie. . . I have too many peaches and think I must make a peach pie this evening. Scotty, can you fax some to Mudge for me?

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 23, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that was a great article on Elizabeth Edwards. Thanks for the link Joel. She has an enormous amount of courage and yet is still able to show her real feelings about the cancer. What a load that woman is bearing.

Well wishes for a speedy recovery to Mudge! Although it sounds like he's having a pretty good time there in that hospital. Bet he's gettin' to eat ice cream too...

Posted by: Aloha | July 23, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Ah, that's because no one can really afford to farm for a living anymore. Price out machinery sometime, and you will begin to understand. Even small machinery is heinously expensive. This of course explains why even worn out machinery holds a high price for those mechanic types out there. People fight for it.

Omni, you have grown in my esteem, you have no micorwave. So do you cook over a campfire?

Posted by: dr | July 23, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

RD, I believe hoover is a verb in its own right, and doesn't need the -ize.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 23, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Invite all the hungry neighborhood dogs over for chicken. (Me first.)

We're not too proud to eat chicken!

Secondly, leftovers to work for Monday morning "feasts". If you cook decently, no coworkers mind eating food from a party they weren't invited to.

Thirdly, insist your guests do not leave emptyhanded.

A Japanese couple I once knew managed to foist off a lot of food on their guests that way.

Good cultural custom. Steal it. Maybe you can tell your guests that your family name was originally Akibakyo, meaning "Autumn Fullness from Leftovers." Just take your shoes off at the door.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 23, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but I thought "hooverize" sounded more funnyish.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice farming article even though the date gave me the shivers.

One of the things I enjoy about visiting Pennsylvania Dutch country are the corn fields. Acres and acres of the stuff. Some even as high as an elephant's eye. (Or so I've heard.)

Anyway, many of these are Mennonite farms, which are worked by people of simple material needs - with the Amish being the extreme. Whether or not this religion is the path to righteousness I will leave to others. But it is hard to beat it as an economic strategy. They live an eighteenth century lifestyle while selling food in a 21st century marketplace.


Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, I just mentioned it because I like words like that.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 23, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

It's cool LTL-CA. You are performing a valuable public service. With Mudge laid up someone has to police this place for spurious use of "ize." Otherwise we might end up prioritizing our actualized metrics, and goodness knows he's probably in enough pain as it is.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't sure what cellulitis was so I looked it up. There were pictures.


Definitely looks like no fun and absolutely not a laughing matter. I mean, I wouldn't even begin to relate how I heard that it can be aggravated by thinking impure thoughts about fanny-slapping female beach-volleyball players. Wouldn't think of it.

Get better fast Mudge.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 23, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Mudge would appreciate as he dreams of unfurling the mizen on his motorized sail-yacht down to Belize where he'll utilize his editorial skill as he poetizes at the wizened and ebonized denizens there, as he uses his oversized atomizer to moisturize his brow while dining on his maize appetizer.

To summarize, we should all recognize that there are more than one way to annoyize boodle citizens with -izes.

Posted by: Wilbrodized | July 23, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Someone should compile a list of foods that are better on day 2. I can begin with the Joy of Cooking gazpacho recipe (not pureed, crunchy bits remain). Delicious on day 2. Often homemade potato salad improves in the fridge overnight. A good beef stew often peaks on day 2. Tonight is leftover steak, and I can tell you I am not really licking my chops over the prospect.

Two words for you, Joel: chicken salad. If you really had a huge pile, then know that chicken-noodle casseroles can be frozen. If you use sour cream in the recipe, the reheated dish even becomes something to look forward to.

I've got the local homeless shelter on speed-dial. Although I wouldn't try to pawn off leftover pizza on them, if I had all that chicken, a telephone call would be in order. They would probably pause, do some calculations, and agree. It would probably be beneficent if one had a prior relationship going with them, so they knew you weren't giving them crap, because they already knew you. I once delivered a load of eggplant, and the dude scowled a little. I now have enough sense to just go buy a couple of big boxes of crackers, a dozen eggs, and some ketchup, and hand them the whole shipment, eggplant and all. It's not that they didn't want the eggplant, but they are always basically broke, and giving them something that makes them have to buy more stuff just to cook it with, is a pain.

Posted by: Jumper | July 23, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Hello, my friends. Just checking in, and JA, the kit is really wonderful. I had leftover chicken a few minutes ago, from yesterday. I wish you had contacted me about all that chicken. Those kids at the Center would have wiped you out in no time. And I am not saying that to make you feel guilty, it's just true.

Will someone please tell me what has happened to Mudge? I did not go back and read the boodle. Please update me.

A really funny thing happened to me today while outside watching the kids play ball. I felt a drop of water in my eye, but the sun was shining bright, not raining. And I said to the director, I believe a bird peed in my eye. Every one within hearing distance laughed. But before I could finish the sentence, the stuff that goes with the pee, landed on my shirt. And it was the Achenblog shirt. The yellow one. I am laughing as I write this. The kids laughed so hard. And so did I. But now I'm worried because the eye feels like sands in it. If it doesn't feel better I'm going to the eye doctor. This was meant for me. All the people out there in that space, and I get it. Isn't life wonderful? You just have to laugh sometimes. I certainly believe God has a sense of humor.

Got to go. The g-girl is in the bathroom, and it's quiet. Not good. I am so tired. It isn't even dark yet, but the bed is calling my name. I'm going to try and read a little bit. That will probably put me to sleep right away.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 23, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - Oh, my! Well, I've never actually heard of anyone going blind from bird dookie, but a thorough rinse (including under the eyelids) is definitely in order, and yep, to the doctor if it doesn't feel pretty normal pretty soon.

Posted by: Bob S. | July 23, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

>Someone should compile a list of foods that are better on day 2.

I think it'd be easy to make a case for lots of chilli and stews in there. My mom had a way to re-heat spaghetti and sauce the next day that I actually liked better than the first, but that was only done with store-bought sauce.

When my stepfather made sauce there were no leftovers. In fact, when he made anything there were no leftovers.

What a shame, the guy worked construction all his life and would've made a great restaurant owner/chef/maitre d'...

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 23, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, Mudge is in the hospital with cellulitus. Joel checked in on him yesterday and threatened to take him a laptop and find a WiFi connection.

Posted by: Slyness | July 23, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Error Flynn -

Well, a good meal is a wondrous thing, but buildings are nice, too!

Posted by: Bob S. | July 23, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

>but buildings are nice, too!

This is true, but he drove a dump truck and hated every minute of it. On the other hand I still have dreams of one particular dinner of huge stuffed pork chops, simmered in this sauce for two days and just a wonder.

Then one day came the big heart attack, and I didn't even get a chance to say good-bye. RIP Joey D'.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 23, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much Slyness for the information. Mudge, I hope everything works out for you if you're listening.

Bob, it wasn't the solid waste, but the liquid stuff. And yes, I will check with the doctor if it doesn't feel any better.

Martooni, where are you? Hope it is working for you.

Night, night, boodlers.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 23, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know birds had two excretory systems. I thought they just vented.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 23, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Close, Boko99--they have a cloaca-- a single vent, but the waste are processed in separate place, so may feed into the vent at different intervals.

BTW, do not look up cloacal respiration if you don't want to giggle about backward-farting underwater turtles all evening.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 23, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Wilbrod. See ya later I've got to go lo.. go take care of something.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 23, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

A belated get well soon to Mudge. I too had to look up cellulitis, RD. It looks like something you don't want to fool with so I'm glad Mudge is in the hospital, although it sounds like he's having way too much fun there.

I don't like leftovers in general and try to cook just enough for the meal, unless I've planned ahead to do something with the leftovers. A few are better the next day, most anything that's tomato sauce-based for example. Grilled chicken can always go into a salad on the second day, after three days it goes into the trash. Chinese food is a very bad leftover. When it's reheated, all that grease comes out and just looks disgusting. The worst leftover to me is roast beef. Almost every Monday night growing up we had leftover roast beef for dinner. Because we always had Yorkshire pudding on Sundays (which was never, ever leftover!), there was no gravy. So it was just lukewarm slices of the beef with leftover potatoes and vegetables. Very uninspiring. English cooking, meat and potatoes, that's all my Dad would eat.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 23, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers I had left over roast beef most Mondays as well, Mom would grind the left over beef and make Sheperds Pie with it, probably using the left over potatoes for the topping. As we always had left over potatoes that isn't a large assumption. I didn't mind the sheperds pie that much just didn't like it when she put peas in, corn was OK.

We have left overs a lot here and when we do I tend to take them to work for lunch, if I don't more often than not the food goes to waste or the dog. The amount of leftovers seems to depend on who does the cooking, my husband cooks large manly amounts of food, mine more moderate.

My favorite leftover is my husbands crock pot scallop potatoes, the next day he will fry them, turning a amazingly high calorie dish (cream of mushroom soup, butter lots of it, onions, cheese and potatoes)into something that eaten to often will greatly diminish you life expectancy - but it tastes fantastic - fried scallop potatoes.

Posted by: dmd | July 23, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll never forget a cute coffee-table book I picked up (but no longer have) in England. "50 Great Irish Meals"

It was (surprise!) fifty beautifully-photographed variations of meat & potatoes, with essentially no other ingredients. As spoofs go, it was pretty well-done.

[Don't start in on me. I'm well aware, as were the authors, that the Irish folks actually eat plenty of other things. So do the Deutsche-volk.]

Posted by: Bob S. | July 23, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Stuff better on the second day:
baked beans, tabouleh, lasagna (tomato sauce/bechamel type), most stews, chili. Leftover steaks and roast beef is best served cold, sliced thinly or diced finely in a salad. Leftover bbq'ed steaks in a green beans and potato salad (wine and oil dressing) is a family classic. For the first time in years we had leftover pesto pasta yesterday. The girls didn't dine with us so the three of us had the whole thing for ourselves. Real pesto with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, butter, pine nuts, parmigiano and romano cheese. Witch no. 1 made a scene when she came back and detected the smell of pesto in the kitchen. How did I dare serving pesto when she wasn't around? Well, I just did. She had the leftovers for lunch, having secured the right to them by threatening to behead anybody who would have the audacity to eat the pasta before she could get to it. Some leftovers are clearly worth fighting over. Eggplant soufflé, not so much.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | July 23, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Ha! dmd, Shepard's Pie would have been classified as a casserole and thus would never have made it to the table. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it tho.' The food we ate was so plain that when I worked as a cashier in a supermarket in high school, I had to ask the customers to identify things like mushrooms, peppers, artichokes and eggplant.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 23, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.,

Were there bottles of Guinness in each of the photographs?

Posted by: pj | July 23, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

:-D Several, in fact.

Posted by: Bob S. | July 23, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm.... Several of the photographs. Not several bottles in each photograph!

Posted by: Bob S. | July 23, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Irish sven course meal: A potato and a six-pack. Hey, I'm entitled.

Doggerel from my youth:

Birdie, birdie,
In the sky,
Why'd you doodie
In my eye

Me no worry,
Me no care,
Me just drop
Them anywhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 23, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I, too, had to look up cellulitis. The Mayo Clinic picture makes it look as though one's leg is smeared with poison ivy, then flame-roasted.

Oddly enough, Jacksonville, Florida was a big tabouli town. Years ago, Palestinian immigrants set up sandwich shops.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 23, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes my home was not exactly full of spice or exotic food either. Mom did broaden as she aged though.

That Irish coffee table book would almost have described our house.

Posted by: dmd | July 23, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Umbridge is being taken! Beware! Beware!

(She says, deep into Harry Potter.)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 23, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Computer's back!

dmd, fried scalloped potatoes. Mmmmmm.

Although I cook, portion and freeze soups, stews, Cincinnati chili, etc., I don't regard that as *leftovers.* I hate leftovers.

Last night, though, I had friends over for potroast and they insisted I keep the remaining noodles, roast, sauce and carrots. Have to admit, it was delicious for lunch today!

Posted by: dbG | July 23, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

>Cincinnati chili

Hmmm, y'know I'm getting a nav system this week, all the better to find Manyunck and other exotic locales on walkabout. We must speak of this chili.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 23, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Leftover beef or lamb should be cut into small chunks. Cook one or two potatoes, if there are none left over. You want about as much potato as meat. When the potato is done, cut into pieces about the size of the meat.
Chop one onion. Chop one bell pepper (or 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper.)

Cook the onion and pepper(s) in a little oil (any kind) until about half done. Add the potato and cook until some pieces of potato begin to brown. Stir in the meat, heat, add salt and pepper. The meat is cooked, don't over do it.


Posted by: nellie | July 23, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

How boring was my food upbringing, after dbG's post I can't even imagine what kind of noodles you would have with pot roast, where's the potatoes? I am very confused. :-)

Posted by: dmd | July 23, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge is fine. Had a nice visit tonight. He's in great shape in the hospital, getting his problem fixed, and will soon be doing his Master and Commander high-seas motor-boating again.

Did anyone watch the Dem debate on CNN (with the YouTube elements)? It was pretty good. I can't imagine, though, that more than 11 people nationwide saw it. It's very off-season, very deep-cable. I thought Hillary had a good night, though I missed the beginning. I'll peruse the transcript in the morning.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 23, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking-sounds like pesto pasta holds the same place in your home that it does here. No matter how much I make with home grown basil it is hard to have any leftovers, even though it really is a better the second day food.

Also better the second day- Wild Rice Hotdish, New Mexican Pork Pot Pie

I think the microwave ruins many a good leftover. Texture is so important and hot, steamy, rubberized masses don't appeal.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 23, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I am soooo jealous that Mudge gets visits from Joel while he's in the hospital. I mean, yeah, he's shop steward, but would any of the rest of us get that kind of attention? I don't think so!


Posted by: Slyness | July 23, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Garden moment: Four o' clocks are blooming wildly into the night. The smell is lovely but this year, I must insert nose. In the past, the scent would waft. We need more humidity for the perfume to carry.

My favorite leftover is pie, as in breakfast paired with good-bitter, not burnt, coffee.

Left overs were not common in a house with seven children. Besides, growing up in beef territory, 'left over' made us think of parts of cows NOT beloved: tongue, brain, liver, etc.

And once a year at the branding round-up, the 'oyster' left over from the neutering knife.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 23, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Dumpling noodles, dmd, or very wide egg noodles. If you want potatoes, potato pancakes would work well. Regular potatoes (in Phila) would go with beef stew.

:-) That looks funny! There's a brewing company restaurant AND a public parking lot which is far cheaper than the ticket inevitably received at the well-patrolled meters. . . if you want some Cincinnati chili, Error, let me know. May take a week or two, but neither of us is far from the border.

Posted by: dbG | July 23, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The only public place of entertainment here is the cinema so people just have private parties. The local custom is that most guests, if they want, would leave with the leftovers. Relatives of the host usually expect to leave with the leftovers and b'cuz of that the host deliberately cooks more food. As for food, fried vermicelli (easiest to make), curry chicken and or beef (for me, hardest to cook) plus a couple more other dishes and of course rice.

Nowadays people seemed to have more gatherings probably cuz most households have a maid (local language : amah) to help out. For gatherings of over 20 people, the host would cater.

Expatriates need a permit to employ a maid. Those with families can easily apply for one but not individuals. The gov't don't see why you can't make your own breakfast and clean your own room. Having 3 dogs is not a valid reason to be granted one even if you can afford the salary of a maid which is quite low - around B$250 (US$162).

Posted by: rain forest | July 23, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Leftover potato salad always turns runny and looks like something that's been run through a bird's colac.. cloak...kloac...*.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 23, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... we'll all be like the other little girls in Madeline!

Posted by: TBG | July 23, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Additions to better the next day: homemade pierogi, Jewish apple cake, cold potstickers eaten from the container, potroast & sauce with wine/tomatoes, thickened with sweet red pepper and onion puree. Homemade corned beef hash or leftover yu shiang eggplant.

Not bad for someone who just had cold cereal for dinner.

Joel, the answer to lots of chicken is to make stock from it. Throw away the finally-flavorless meat, freeze the broth.

Posted by: dbG | July 23, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear Mudge is doing well, I do feel guilty that the topic is food, I am sure when he returns we will have inspired some sort of left over recipe extravaganza from him.

CP, love the thought of your four o'clocks blooming, the cow oysters though - Oh My.

Posted by: dmd | July 23, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

We make sammiches with leftover roast beef and turkey...mmmm, turkey sammiches.

Cassandra, I have a Vietnamese friend who says that a bird s--tting on you is good luck. He'd go buy a lottery ticket if it happened to him! Not so good for the eye, though - hope it's ok.

I watched some of the debate (missed the beginning). Thought some of the questions (from regular Americans who are clever enough to figure out who to use youTube - ie, not me) were good, and quite creative.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 23, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Rainforest, you'll just have to get your own family, then.

Roast beef sandwiches... sigh... but then again, we didn't exactly have beef leftovers when I was growing up in a big family.

As a tiny gnome, I routinely ate like half a burger and then had the second half a hour or two later. When I started eating a burger all in one meal, my size ballooned considerably.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 23, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any Four O'Clocks this year. Must remember to plant some next year. And I think you're right about humidity and wafting. My honeysuckle is fragrant, but I have to be right next to it to smell it - not like in VA, where the smell is overwhelming. I'm hoping that I have moonflower blossoms on the way - but they could be the morning glories.

Oh, and I had a grocery store clerk, a young woman in her 20's, ask me about the bag of plain stuffing I bought last Thanksgiving. She said, "Is that what you put in the turkey?" I guess she didn't watch her mom very closely, or they didn't make stuffing, or something...My mom, of course, saved old bread (which my husband does sometimes too).

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 23, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the report on Mudge, Joel. I didn't watch he debate, I'm just not into debates yet, it's way too early. By the way, I loved 'chicken smoothies" - the image, not the reality. Homemade smoothies are my favorite part of summer. Watermelon and/or other melon, grapes, blackberries and/or raspberries, blueberries, peaches all mixed up with yogurt and lots of ice. No, I didn't forget strawberries, I'm one of the few people in the world who doesn't like them.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 23, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

We (with 2 daughters) just finished a second edition of last night's BBQ -- spit roasted tenderloin with roast potatoes and grilled zucchini, peppers & eggplant. The base was new -- lettuce & radicchio, red onion, celery, and a large Celebrity tomato fresh from the back yard -- to which I added some of everything from last night chopped up small, with raspberry vinagrette dressing from the store. Yum -- better than last night's version! Not leftovers, rather the BBQ was simply a necessary preliminary step to prepare the ingredients for the salad.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 23, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

>if you want some Cincinnati chili, Error, let me know.

dbG, I'll take you up on that! Give me a week or two to learn how to press the buttons. You should see the bleedin' manual. :-)

And we always read the manual. *cough*

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 23, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

YOKI! YOKI! Yoki! You out there?

Just want to say "hey."

Posted by: TBG | July 23, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Bad Astronomy has a link to this cool site.
Help astronomers classify galaxies!
I got 12/15 on the qualifying test.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 23, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

A couple of four o'clocks are holding out in the back. But the basil seedlings are looking more vigorous.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 23, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, Joel lives just up the road from Georgetown Hospital from what he has described in past kits. I used to work at that hospital long ago. It helps to be a celebrity. Very nice of you Joel to visit will certainly lift his spirits and he will heal faster! Feel the power...

Cassandra, apologies from the anonymous bird for your very unfortunate experience. It was an accident, I'm sure. :-)

Posted by: birdie | July 24, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks-- 14/15, and I'm now a galactical cataloguer. Too bad I don't get paid.

I was swirling my finger to remind myself clockwise vs anticlockwise... that stuff helps.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 24, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

JA - Yes, I watched the debate. I'm not quite convinced that it was GOOD, but thought that it was worthwhile. But, then, I was dividing my attention between the debate (on the TV over my right shoulder) and the book ("The Portable Promised Land", by Touré) that I was reading.

A lot of it struck me as just a bit too precious ("Would you work for the minimum wage?", the snowman), but it was kinda cool.

Ultimately, serious questions aren't answered in thirty-second chunks, but this is essentially the only way for most potential voters to see most potential candidates other than those with the biggest warchests, so I guess I'm for it.

Posted by: Bob S. | July 24, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I thought maybe Joel lived nearby GU, but wasn't sure. birdie, when were you there? I was at Georgetown U in the early '70s, was in the hospital a couple of times (to visit friends, at the emergency room for me once).

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 24, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I will state that, while I'm not sure that I've figured out what makes a promising candidate, I'm pretty sure that seething anger isn't part of it. I can't see myself voting for Cindy Sheehan under any circumstances which are likely to unfold. I'm too old (and have seen too much stuff) to rule out unforeseen eventualities. But as much as Nancy Pelosi has annoyed me from time to time with a certain divisive condescension, I don't forsee Ms. Sheehan bringing anything better to the table.

Posted by: Bob S. | July 24, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

OOO. Good score Wilbrod. I was growing cross-eyed and lost confidence in my ability to tell clockwise from counter, so I quit for the night. I found the exercise quite enjoyable, it's fun and produces a calm Zen like state.
They should make up downloadable certicates like SETI@Home, documenting the number of units you've processed. Kids and Bokos love stuff like that.

Yours in Galactic cataloguing

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 12:44 AM | Report abuse

[I'm obviously assuming that everyone saw the news that, if Spkr. Pelosi doesn't bring a motion for impeachment against Bush, Cheney, et. al., then Sheehan threatens to run against her. Not such a safe assumption, I just realized.]

Posted by: Bob S. | July 24, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

19yo dafter is watching the debate, and I asked her why was she interested in debates so far in advance of the elections. She adamantly said it's a good idea to start debates now, because this way there is time to ask every candidate every single question rather than just have one or two packaged TV shows. I like that reply.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 24, 2007 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Boko - Thanks a million, buddy! I REALLY needed one more login/password to keep track of! But, 14/15 on the screening test for galaxies. (Whoo-hoo, you & me Wilbrod, we're off to the stars!)

Posted by: Bob S. | July 24, 2007 1:07 AM | Report abuse

As long as Pelosi et al don't remove Bush & Cheney through impeachment, B&C are left in charge of their secretive executive that apparently doesn't have to answer to anybody, not congress, not the people who elected congress, not the judiciary (which seems to go along, so aren't a problem). Do you think they will be willing to hand all that machinery over to Hillary or one of the other Dem candidates? I wouldn't take it for granted that there will be an election in 2008, or if there is, that a Democratic winner will be permitted to become President.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 24, 2007 1:18 AM | Report abuse


Your concern is noted. Let's hope it don't get quite that crazy!

Posted by: Bob S. | July 24, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

As it happens, most of us outside of California are still allowed to purchase pencils with actual lead in them, so we can dispose of any frustrating representative with sufficient literary effort.

(Ooops, did I let that secret out?)

Posted by: Bob S. | July 24, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

I think we cannot allow this administration to be in power in 2008. LTL-CA isn't the only one who's worried about this "L'Etat, c'est moi" type hubris.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 24, 2007 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.

The Wapo's Columns & blogs page is screwy. The excerpt of Joel's "leftovers" article appeared 3 times, once next to a guy by the name of Bakshi.

Posted by: rain forest | July 24, 2007 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Thanks for the update on Mudge, JA. It sounds like he is going to be fine. I will be glad when he's out, and back here.

The bird incident was funny, but the eye feels better this morning. Thanks for the concern.

Read Eugene Robinson's take on the Wall Street Journal and Rupert Murdoch. He makes a compelling case, but it just doesn't feel right. I cannot watch Fox news, just leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

Ivansmom, we are suppose to do pictures today, so hopefully I can get everything together.

Morning, Scotty, Slyness, and Mudge if you're listening, and of course, every one.*waving*

Did not see the debates, just too sleepy.

Time to get the g-girl up, we don't want to be late. Have a great day my friends.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 24, 2007 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!! *adjusting-the-miner's-lamp-before-attacking-yet-more-paperwork Grover waves* :-)

rain forest, it IS a column about leftovers, so why not re-use it??? *L*

*faxing 'Mudge a monster mulberry pie before returning to the depths of the paperwork mine*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 24, 2007 7:21 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, Cassandra, glad to hear that the eye is better. Hey everybody.

My reason for existence is to keep water in the birdbath - it holds a gallon and goes dry in less than 12 hours - but I'm glad to say I haven't received a bird bomb.

TBG, I hadn't thought about Madelaine in elder daughter loved Ramona. I should buy all those books for my niece, who just turned seven.

Posted by: Slyness | July 24, 2007 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, the videos and movies are also very good, my girls still like Madelaine.

Posted by: dmd | July 24, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

On WaPo front page this morning, "Briefings Targeted Democrats

White House gave diplomats political briefings to ensure they were attuned to 2008 election goals."
Is Democrat should be replaced by deplomats by a copy editor in WaPo?

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 24, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

SCC diplomat

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 24, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

close dr, I have a gas stove

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Dave of C: Do your Four O'Clocks form tubers and return each year? Florida, right?

MostlyL, I guess yours do not. I have read about the possibility of a low hedge of Four O' Clocks. The colors are mardi-gras riotous, but the tiny trumpets are small, enough that the effect would not be too garish. Remember: the boodle garden aesthetic is higgelty-piggetly.

Hey Canouckies, here is a snip about Four O'Clocks for you:

Next year, I hope to grow this version of Mirablis jalapa "Broken Colors"

They are fine in huge galvanized tubs, found at a salvage yard. I placed the tubs strategically on the aging asphalt drive way. Basically, the tubs cover sink holes. Miraculously, my car fits in between the three tubs. A late night dog walker asked me about the placement. I answered, "asymmetry is the next big idea in gardening." He is a physicist, so he understood the mathey idea. Not the garden idea so much. His yard is overgrown in good mad-scientist style.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.

Joel, thanks for visiting Mudge; I meant to warn you not to laugh at that that piratical hospital robe he's wearing, he gets mightily offended at that.

And you do *not* want him drawing his sword in that get up.

Didn't watch the Dem debates last night (was going for a night swim with the girls), but I figure that at this point - even with well over a year to go - it's to going to be Clinton v. Obama, with Edwards making some points here and there.

Took the galaxy quiz, went 15 for 15. I've done enough observational astronomy to be familar with all of that info beforehand. And I've always used Wilbrod's swirly-finger trick.


Posted by: bc | July 24, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse is not having a good morning. Anybody else see this headline as Medics Freed Freed from Libya?

Posted by: Slyness | July 24, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I barely qualified 10/15. But am mostly bummed that there is no feedback. Which ones did I get wrong?

And WHERE is the SPELLING quiz...I looked everywhere yesterday and couldn't find it!

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Culture comment on Harry Potter stuff with special shout out to DMD and any other swimmer peeps.

I took some pictures at our divisional swim meet and this one stood out: CeePeeBoy off to a fabulous start in backstroke, arching over and ready to go under water for about 10 feet. But, the swimmer providing "legs" is a teammate deep into the Harry Potter book.

"Legs" means that a backstroke swimmer can elect to grasp the ankles of a willing person on the edge of the pool deck. This gives a boost (psychologically, surely although we can ask RD and others to assess the launch physics). Otherwise, the swimmer clutches the eadge of the pool deck.

READING HARRY POTTER while standing in as legs. Wow. Very funny. And I wonder if reading a book while serving as legs is a possible reason for disqualification? I'll study the rule book and get back to the boodle.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

College Parkian,
The four o'clocks seduced me from the little plant store a block from the office. The herpetologist/ecologist who wrote the Floridata piece was my boss for a couple of years, just after college. He's a good observer, so I need to keep an eye on the plants. Then again, the basil plants might overwhelm the four o'clocks, or a couple of native Florida perennials, not to mention a new Heliconia.

When I was in high school in Delaware, our yard had a thicket of four o'clocks that I think grew back every year from the big tubers, which seems surprising for a tropical plant. If not tubers, then certainly lots of seedlings.

Few people bother with perennial gardens around here. There's loads of good plant material, including the native Flaveria
caladiums from Lake Placid
and beach sunflowers
and heliconias, gingers, spider lilies, leftover Christmas amaryllis, and any number of plants with nice foliage, like crotons and my favorite coonties.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 24, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Boodle degrees...DoC...can you tell us something about the counties you adore? Sure we can look em up and will. But say why you like them so much.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

CP I do love Four o'clocks, I grew them one year at my old house, they got quite large and where a riot of colour in the front of the house. I rarely grow annuals but I might just think about some for next year. One year my daughter and I grew petunias from seed, kept them in the front window until they could go outside, they were a pale lavender variety and the had a delicious fragrance (not typical petunia smell), we must have started them very early as they were in full bloom before we put them outside.

I had to read the post about your son a couple of times, just didn't click in that there we no starting blocks. Must be a great photo. My dad (well his company) made the starting blocks for our swim team, the where portable so they could be stored when not in use, once we discovered how many sandbags where required to keep them from tipping they worked great.

Swimming is a great sport to be photographed.

I am attempting to put in some new plants before my vacation, but not sure if I have time, sure hope they make it till I come back.

Posted by: dmd | July 24, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Here's a coontie page by the recent president of The Cycad Society. He grows landscape-sized cycads (many species) in central Florida.

And here's a page from Australia with some nice photos of the impressive cones

Coonties are the only cycads native to the US (Puerto Rico has a very similar plant, sometimes considered part of the same species).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 24, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

DotC while we are speaking of Caladiums, I have a potted one that is from the basket of plants we had prepared for Dad's funeral, is that something I could bring in during the winter (I will do this with the Gerbena Daisy) or would I overwinter in a garage, like I will do with the Calla lillies. I have been luck with the plants so far I have only lost one, some can stay in the garden all year, some I will have to lift before winter.

Posted by: dmd | July 24, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I *think* four o'clocks reseed readily, as in they become a nuisance around here. My mother grew them and I've also had them, but not in my current yard. They're wonderful for a shady place.

Posted by: Slyness | July 24, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

DMD -- our summer league is based in community pools who never permit the infrastructure required for starting blocks...I should have made that clear. Very cool that your dad made them for your swim team. I guess you have not hoisted yourself off someone's ankles. We have a very sweet and fussy swimmer-chick that I call, secretly, Princess and the Pea-gal. SHE DOES NOT WANT TO TOUCH THE HAIRY ANKLES SPORTED BY SOME MEN. At first, I thought she wanted to use women only -- she is tiny, shy, and about 10 -- but really, she only avoids the cavemen type of guys.

I have watched -- no film, regrettably -- two "legs" persons fall into the water, and thereby disqualifying the start. Takes a bit more skill and balance than one would think. I shall write the training manual, in my spare time.

(Sorry to have bored others with this swimming ephemera...!)

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

. . . and coonties are likeable because
1. Beautiful foliage
2. Cones!!!! Spectacular ones.
3. A plant that once carpeted southern Florida and was harvested on a massive scale for its highly mold-resistant, highly edible starch must be virtuous.

By the way, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden would very, very much like to obtain an antique hand coontie mill, the sort that was used for processing the thick, starchy underground stems on a home scale. The big commercial plants were quite large operations. I think one used water power at the rapids on the New River, near Ft. Lauderdale.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 24, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

omni, here's one spelling quiz:

and another

13/15 for me. I'm so ashamed.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 24, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

\\it IS a column about leftovers, so why not re-use it???\\

You're right, Scotty. I'm kind of slow today. Heck, I'm slow everyday.

Posted by: rain forest | July 24, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Caladiums are from the Amazon region, so the roots don't like cold conditions. A big grower recommends keeping them in something like an onion bag at 65 degrees or warmer.

I just leave them in the ground. They invariably go dormant in late summer and pop back up in late winter--at least in places where they've been happy. My guess is that they expect to dry out and go dormant for part of the year, so you wouldn't expect them to stay leafy all year. This page is from one of a number of growers in the Lake Placid area:

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 24, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Dave of the COONties...I got it wrong at least twice. Mea culpa maxima, rinse and repeat as needed.

It is all coming back to me. In Mission Santa Clara -- also a University -- there is a giant cycad. On the Botany 300 lab final, we had to say something about the reproduction cycle. Aren't the sp*rm visable with the n8ked eye? (Had trouble with this plant post,; oh, the s*xiness of flora, etc.)

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, fascinating on the shade option for 4 PM plants. Will try that!

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

CP - Unless the "legs" people somehow help the swimmer achieve a more perpendicular push-off, I don't see any physics advantage.

I guess there could be some sort of ergonomic advantage from releasing with the hands vertical instead of horizontal, but I'll leave that discussion to you swimfolk.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 24, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Reproduction alert! From
I. Cycadophyta - Commonly called cycads or sago palms

A. About 11 genera and 140 species worldwide

B. They grow up to 50 feet tall

C. Cycads go back at least 250 million years and they were especially abundant during the Mesozoic, which is often called the age of cycads and dinosaurs

D. The genus Zamia is native to Florida and widely planted in California

E. Cycads have secondary growth and their reproductive structures resemble big pine cones. The cones are produced on separate male and female plants

F. Cycad sperm, up to 0.4 mm long, are perhaps the largest in nature. The sperm also have up to 70,000 flagella

END Snip. Wow!

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

CP - maybe fussy swimmer chick has found a competitive advantage. She probably wants to swim away from those hairy ankles just as fast as she possibly can.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 24, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

COONTIE-man, Sago is mentioned in this Beatrix Potter _ Tale of Two Bad Mice_:

WHILE Tom Thumb was
up the chimney, Hunca
Munca had another
disappointment. She found some
tiny canisters upon the dresser,
labeled "Rice," "Coffee?"
"Sago"; but when she turned
them upside down there was
nothing inside except red and
blue beads.

--End snip.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the "spelling" tests. I nailed them both 15/15, but I question the premise. These tests aren't really evaluating one's ability to spell. Rather, they are evaluating word recognition, which is a slightly different skill. Although, as these tests confirm, I am very good at recognizing when a word is spelled correctly, I still struggle at spelling a word from scratch.

For example, I have a devil of a time spelling the word "bureaucracy" right the first time. I gave to go through several random permutations before I hit on the combination that "looks right" to me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 24, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

12/15 on the spelling quiz, just to note the difference from all of you, I am doing a happy dance as I did not think I would get half of them correct. I just have a lower bar than the rest of you and probably several million fewer brain cells.

Dave the Coonties are beautiful.

Posted by: dmd | July 24, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

And typos. Don't talk to9 me aboust typos..

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 24, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Isn't there something especially frustrating about words whose letters are so close on the keyboard? I mean, pairs like "live" and "love" , "have" and "gave" are just a small spasm apart.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 24, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

14/15 on the easy mistakes quiz (I am such a doo-doo head, I misspelled the one about "free weights").

The "How Well Can You Spell" quiz is the one that was linked from the grammar quiz of a few days ago -- 15/15 on that, the first time I took it (I think I could do even better, now).

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 24, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hello all. Crazy busy last week and this!

RD, there is a town north of Calgary called Red Deer. Notice that it has only three letters, all of which are immediately adjacent to each other on the qwerty, and needing only two fingers to enter. Bizarre.

Posted by: Yoki | July 24, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.
rain forest | The other Yoki dicovered Bob Novak's avatar (that can't be a human puss) next to Joel's column link (shiver).
omni | I couldn't find the spelling test Yoki was referring to either.
13/15 on both spelling tests. I missed dumbbell and liaison on the "Easy Mistake" one and pronunciation and vacuum on the "How Well Can You Spell" quiz.
I suppose that's OK for a straight C student.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

SCC fix 'em yers elves.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

Glad to hear Mudge is doing well. I imagine the old salt has several young nurses wrapped securely around his finger by now. In my case, I always seem to get stuck with Nurse Ratched's even-more-evil-and-uglier sister.

So it's good luck to have a bird poop on you? Maybe I should take our leftover stale bread downtown and feed the pigeons.

LTL... I share your suspicions regarding Bush/Cheney and the '08 election. I've mentioned this before, but until recently have been handed my tinfoil hat. What makes me think there's some shenanigans afoot is the fact that they're working so hard to consolidate power in the "unitary executive" -- why do so when there's more than a good chance that power will end up in Democratic hands? I would not be surprised in the least if a major "event" occurred right before or during the elections that would allow them to proclaim martial law or some "executive" equivalent that would prevent or delay the transfer of power.

[*taking a deep breath... must not get wound up*]

Anyway, still assessing the damage and starting to pick up the pieces from my last bender. I did make two meetings yesterday and managed to squeeze a free session out of a counselor I know down at the clinic. Two meetings on the schedule for tonight.

In the meantime, lots of work to do (unfortunately not the paying kind). My shop looks like a bomb went off in it, right after being hit by a tornado. Speaking of which, I expect to be back in business tomorrow, so if any of you who asked about fairy doors are still interested, let me know.

Hope everyone has a very groovy day.



Posted by: martooni | July 24, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Achooo.sniff.sniff.what are all these flowers doing on the boodle/ Just kidding, really liked those pictures.

13/15 and 13/15 on both those quizes. Thanks Raysmom. And thanks to Tom fan, I got weird right on both.hehe.

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Here's today's encarta quiz (9/9). Word to bc: don't even bother.

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

14/15 and 15/15 on the two spelling quizzes (I thought I'd do worse on the second one). And since I agree with RD's comments on these tests, I hope I spell all words in this post correctly.

Joel, thanks for visiting Mudge and for letting us know how he is. I hope he continues to do well.

Posted by: pj | July 24, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure I would have done better on a true spelling test than a pick the right one. One reason I always had trouble with weird is that both spellings look weird.

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I enjoyed typing the word, watercraft, as it is completely a lefthanded word.

Posted by: dmd | July 24, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

8/9 on the astronomy quiz, because they don't know that Pluto is not a planet. Also, the closest galaxy to the Milky Way is not M31, The Great Nebula in Andromeda (aka, the Andromeda Galaxy). There actually are three (or is it four?) dwarf elliptical galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way: The Large and the Small Magellanic Clouds and SagDEG = the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy. SagDEG is detectable only by careful analysis of the motion of stars and by infrared observations, because we actually have to look through stars of the galactic core to see it (or so I have read). Discovered in 1994.

Oops, just found a link to the fourth one -- the Canis Major Dwarf, discovered in 2003. This is apparently our closest intergalactic neighbor (that we know of).

Giant Red Spot? That's Great Red Spot. It's been called that for hundreds of years, so I don't think it should qualify as being so esoteric that I could give the quiz makers a pass.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 24, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Error Flynn, there is a very fine recipe for Cincinnati chili in the Boodle cook book. Or what will be the Boodle cook book, if a certain someone ever gets it finished.

Posted by: Yoki | July 24, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

8/9. When did Neptune move back inside Pluto's orbit? Date and time please or I'm claiming 9/9.
I won several beer (beer is like sheep)using that old bar bet.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I got perfect scores on both spelling quizzes. I agree that they are actually word recognition tests, but I have the spelling gene. I am convinced this exists; the Boy and I have it, Ivansdad doesn't, a cousin has it, my grandfather didn't. At our family get-togethers there was always a poker game and a Scrabble game, with only a few people able to successfully compete in both.

Hi, Cassandra, glad your eye is better. Hi Martooni, keep up the reports!

Flower report: in the midst of the lush green jungle-like foliage which passes for my "garden", I have several stands of lavender surprise lilies. I love these because they always really are a surprise. I have no idea where they are from year to year.

Conspiracy alert: for those who think the Administration may be reluctant to relinquish power in an election, I say surely you must wonder about the fairness of the last two presidential election processes?

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 24, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention that 'trick' question.

Posted by: omni | July 24, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Pluto, if it's a planet, recrossed Neptune's orbit on February 11, 1999. You're almost a decade behind the times, boko. Not that I should talk. I spend a lot of time between 1979 and 1999.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 24, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

ScienceTim's response to the latest quiz, which appears to have something to do with astronomy (gosh can you tell I didn't open it?) reminds me that it is possible to know too much about any particular subject to take a general quiz on it. This is also true of things like the bar exam - one may know too many subtleties about a topic to be able to answer the simple multiple-choice question. Often, the response is either that all the answers are wrong or that two are right.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 24, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

S'Tim | Isn't the Milky Way in the process of absorbing one of those itty bitty galaxies?

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

That itty bitty galaxy had it comin'.

Posted by: byoolin | July 24, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

omni, yes it's pretty easy to remember "we are weird" isn't it? Wonder why that is...

martooni, good to have "you" back, for real. My other most favorite recovering addict likes to say,

"You just don't know how hard it IS to be me!"

I think it does help sometimes to know it's not just you.

Curmudgeon, you better be good in the hospital and not make too much trouble for the nice nurses. Follow directions, take the medicine, elevate that leg, and so on, the better to be back on your feet ASAP. We miss you.


Posted by: kbertocci | July 24, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh oh. I suppose I have to thank you yellojkt.
Darn, the Pluto/Neptune racket was a fine earner. I'll have to stick with, "Who cut off Sampson's hair?"
Need more bar bets.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Potemkinsdad, but I can't play poker at all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 24, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

25/30 on the spelling quizzes. I think MSWord autocorrect has been a bad thing for me.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 24, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

CP-your dedication to CeePee Boy's chosen sport makes me frenvious. Frostdottir swam with summer clubs and one very long season in high school, with the requisite 5:00AM practices.


Pa Frost-in-law got stuck in Salt Lake City last night so Mr. F and Frostdottir are in Minneapolis awaiting his delayed arrival. Frostdottir will no doubt enjoy killing time at the Mall of America, Mr. F not so much.

Does anyone here want to start a business in a tax free development zone industrial park with city water, sewer, three phase electric, and high speed Internet service? Owner operators welcome, no requirement to provide X number of jobs.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 24, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and here's a topic that we passed by a while ago. My daughter came in all excited a couple of days ago because she had discovered a new artist on Youtube: Billy Idol (!) Her new fave. Hey, I did take her to see The Wedding Singer, so it's not like she's never heard the music. But the fashion! The attitude! The accent! OMG! This just couldn't happen when I was a kid. Imagine discovering, like, Paul Anka. Oh boy. Or Bobby Vinton, maybe. Just not the same thrill.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 24, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom... I agree about experts taking quizzes. When we play Facts in Five, where you try to come up with five items in each category, my husband (who has a Masters in Anatomy) has the most trouble with 'parts of the body.'

He's looking for something complicated that starts with the letter K or E and we're coming up with 'knee' and 'elbow.'

Martooni... keep it up. You're doing fine.

Posted by: TBG | July 24, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Potemkinsdad, can you explain your comment a little more, please? Because I read Ivansmom's "spelling gene" remark as a caveat -- a recognition that some people are just born to be better at spelling (at least anecdotally true; does anyone out there know the studies?) , so she can't really take credit for her skill, since she didn't work for it. How does that translate to hubris? I genuinely don't get your logic, unless you feel that any mention of one's own skills is inherently hubris-ful. (Hubrisical?)

Posted by: bia | July 24, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

>Error Flynn, there is a very fine recipe for Cincinnati chili in the Boodle cook book.

Thanks for the head's up Yoki, but that would require *me* to cook it, and I have a feeling I'd still be missing the best part. :-)

You have to remember, other than my true genius for cheesesteaks and grilled stuff I'm otherwise cooking-challenged, and *very* proud of myself to do some chicken and steam asparagus.

I want PRO chili !!!

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 24, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Frosti -- note, that summer swim is very easy, as you know. Winter AM practices? I bow down before your greatness. Did you know that enter directly into the highest Nivana/Heaven levels for that good work?

Bad think about swimming is that the options are 1) relaxed summer swim OR 2) imitatio-olympic swim rigors at off peak pool hours, which means Snuke hours. Where is the in between?

Ivansmom, I agree on the spelling gene. And, sadly, I am aquainted with the mean-gene, too. Perhaps Potemkindude carries a copy of this.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... I would be interested, but I doubt Mrs. M. would go for a climate even colder than Ohio. That, and I have absolutely no capital whatsoever.

That said, if capital were to materialize, the idea of a fairy door workshop in your neck of the woods would be much more marketable than the one I have here in suburbia. I suppose I could commute. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | July 24, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Whoopsies, I have the clutz gene.

Frosti -- your good works will help you move to the head of the line. No purgatory or continual transmigration of souls for you.

Bad THING about swimming....and more generally about the slow death of rec-sports for tweens and teens and the tyranny of elite-only sports options.

EF -- Cincy chili is worth learning. You can make a mean approximation with canned chili but you need the secret ingredients.....Yoki can reveal more about the sauce.

Warning: canned chili botulism recall underway!

Another amazing chili trick is a mole (pronounced moe LAY) version, with unsweetened cocoa in the sauce. I kid you not! Chocolate undertone in the chili!

Posted by: College Parkian | July 24, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I've been pondering the endings of things, endings that have become iconic or are becoming so. Jesus ascends to heaven. Frodo heads off to the land to the West. Bob Newhart awakens next to Suzanne Pleshette. The autistic kid shakes the snowball. Tony Soprano goes to black. Thelma and Louise drive off the cliff.

What about the end of MASH? The most-watched show ever, up to that time. Is that still true? Nobody mentions it. Not particularly iconic? Blah? Or absolutely perfect? I'm just wondering.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | July 24, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

CP, bite your tongue! I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you, that you would suggest prepared ingredients for any chili. No no no no no.

Error, you will have Cincinnati chili if I have to come down there myself and make it.

Posted by: Yoki | July 24, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

ya know, i'm not a conspiracy-oriented person, but i did just have that exact thought the other day about the exec branch, the signing statements and what have you. why would they try to consolidate power so much if they thought there was even a chance of it going to the dems? a troubling thought. i am very much against electronic balloting unless every step along the way leaves a paper trail.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 24, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

New kit posted...

Posted by: Achenbach | July 24, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

SCC: even if

Posted by: Yoki | July 24, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

CP | I add a mole/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or so of cinnamon to my pasketti sauces and chili.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 24, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse


Hubris is not to be confused with dogbris, which of course is pride over weiners.

SciTim, I was backboodling and saw some comments on endings in your post. I trust everyone realizes there's still a no-comment-on-the-HP-ending moritorium in place. I should be able to finish it tonight. Yes, CP, I'm merely taking a HP interlude from the Hussy of Husaby.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 24, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Error, chili is kind of hard to mess up, you just cook it forever--but yeah, it can be done. That's why recipes exist ;).

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