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You Call It Dog Days, I Call It Freedom

I'm working on a story that, although incomprehensible, and so dim-witted as to need massive revision merely to rise to the level of drivel, is nonetheless good enough for summer. We are now adhering to summer standards. Any day now we'll be able to ratchet things down yet another level, to August standards. Yessssssss.

I love it when the bosses are so easily pleased. Look, an employee! Thank him for showing up! Fabulous job on that gibberish you produced today!

You know I'm a fan of summer: Am on the record on this. This has been a particularly good summer in DC because we've had plenty of excellent weather, with days of low humidity, kind of like Maine without all the gift shops.

Yesterday the humidity kicked in. Getting swampy out there. The sun rises ripe and juicy. It looks like my tomatoes. We're having a decent harvest this year -- the Cherokee Purples are particularly fine. (Shouldn't there be agate-type box scores in the newspaper every day detailing how the different types of heirloom tomatoes are doing? Will mention to superiors.) The blight has wiped out a few of my plants, however, and I'm now scheming about wholesale removal of tainted soil, maybe restructuring the entire yard. Dynamite the whole thing. Start from scratch. I could try for an English garden look, maybe. With little statues lurking in the bushes. Some cupids. I've long felt that I'm just one piece of evocative statuary away from regaining my self-respect. There could be stone paths winding amid the flowerbeds to a precocious fountain, and then, just beyond that, the Wiffle Ball Stadium with the Marlboro ad on the outfield wall.

It's all coming together in my head. There must be a cornfield, for obvious reasons ($4 a bushel!!!). A barn for my tractor. A swimming pool disguised as a rock quarry. Will need a rope swing dangling from an ancient oak. For aesthetic purposes I'll need an abandoned pickup truck rusting somewhere in sight, or maybe at the bottom of the pool. Definitely need a grocery cart down there (so obvious -- why even say it??).

I won't put in a tennis court because I think tennis is snobby, a sport for the quiche-eating, chablis-swilling set. And have you seen my backhand? Not for public display!!! But we'll need a putting green and maybe a small par-3 course, nothing fancy, just 9 holes that finish with a tee shot over the water to an island green like they have at Sawgrass. A modest clubhouse, with a long veranda with huge umbrellas shading the tables, and a stocked bar and maybe a video arcade and definitely a billiard room with one of those plush old Brunswick tables with netted pockets. The walls and floors and ceiling beams would need to be made of the rarest South African hardwoods. Big ol' jaguar head mounted on the wall. Or maybe a bluefin tuna. A real mancave, complete with endangered species. You want your visitors to suspect that the thing on the wall was the very last one.

Supervising all this construction is going to keep me away from the office, clearly. I can still work Tuesdays and Thursdays. That should keep everybody happy.


A reader named Andrej Ancina has a response to my article on leftovers:

' I read your article about leftovers and I want to give you some advice: Buy
less food!

'I was born in Slovakia in 1981 during communism. We never had too much to
eat, sometimes we had leftovers, but they were always eaten on the next
day. We never threw food away and I have never in my life seen my parents
do so. Their generation doesn´t even have the concept "throw away food".

'I first saw throwing away food in 2001 in France and I was slightly
schocked. I knew it existed, but I have never seen it with my own eyes.
Then I have lived for some time in Austria and Brussels and started to
throw food away sometimes. Now I am spending the summer in Washington D.C.
and I already "had to" throw some of my food away.

'You throw food away only when you have to much money and too much choice. I
know how it feels like walking in a supermarket with plenty of tasty food
to eat. The problem is, you can eat only as much as you eat and as you get
older your body needs less and less food.

'Have you seen the film "La grande bouffe" about four friends eating
themselves to death? If you haven´t, you should do so. In rich countries
people often eat food to compensate their everyday frustrations, it´s a way
of consumerism.

'The next time you have a party, you should buy only 75% or 50% of the food
you think you will need and you´ll have no problems with leftovers.'


Here's a new blog on the DC music scene.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 26, 2007; 4:56 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Be Careful What You Wish For
Next: It's a Weird Life After All


And you're going to do all that on the quarter acre that's your backyard? I'm so impressed.

Posted by: Slyness | July 27, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Yep, the summer doldrums are here. "S" ordered a hammock swinger and has been tracking its progress across the country from Des Moines to Kansas City. Can't wait for his updates today on its whereabouts. He's hoping it will arrive for the weekend, I have my doubts if he means this weekend.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 27, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

The left-field wall will be green and very tall, no doubt.

More room for the ad, doncha know.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse


"You want you visitors"

I wasn't going to say anything, but TomFan doesn't seem to be around. You might want a "your" in there.

Posted by: martooni | July 27, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Sneaks, are they shipping it by ox cart or something??? *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Not that I dislike summer, but I'm more of a fall guy (in more ways than one). I like my mornings crisp, my afternoons sunny, and my nights free of haze and filled with big sky. To me, mid-70's is more than hot enough. Humidity is anathema.

To be honest, this summer hasn't been all that bad. Ohio is usually very hot and humid this time of year, but we've been lucky. It's actually raining right now -- one of those lazy, all-day thunder rumblers.

This may be premature, but "welcome home, Mudge". Loomis was the perfect shop steward -- no radical redecorations or changes in policy. Her hands off approach worked well.

Anyway, slow week here in Handy Hippie land (which was a good thing, since I was able to get caught up on things). Got a small painting job to do today, but otherwise taking it easy.

Peace out, my friends...


Posted by: martooni | July 27, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I added a couple things and changed the headline. Thanks for typo help!

Posted by: Achenbach | July 27, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

There are few things in life more fundamentally satisfying than staring proudly at one's vast estate and feeling the sense of validation that comes from being a Landowner.

Sadly, when said estate consists of a motley yard filled with naught but dead grass and thriving weeds some of the thrill is lost. Which leads to the phenomenon Joel describes. The sly seduction of undeveloped property. For there is great joy in sitting on one's deck with an open notebook and a cold Gewürztraminer while sketching out epic visions of landscaping splendor.

Of course, then you sober up. You start adding up the cost. You take into account the considerable Operation and Maintenance expenses, especially given the notorious unreliability of your labor supply. You ask yourself that if you have to struggle to keep a lawn alive, what hope do you have with a miniature garden of Versailles? You notice that your back still hurts from chopping that oak and remember that the living room still needs to be painted and your wife wants new carpet and there is that whole business of maybe getting your son a car.

That is the way of it, I fear. Such schemes remain fantasy for for all but the truly gifted, truly driven, truly wealthy, or the truly mad.

The rest of us go visit the National Arboretum. And dream.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

My wife has been buying fruit and produce at the local nursery. She found some cherries the other day that reminded me of the Ranier cherries I had bought from the back of a truck in Seattle.

Earlier this week, she brought home some corn. She boiled it for over an hour and it came out tender and delicious. I eat my corn without butter, salt, pepper, Old Bay, mustard, or foie gras. Just corn.

In China, steamed corn on the cob was being sold by vendors as a snack at the Summer Palace complex. I have a picture of me enjoying a good ear of corn on the other side of the world. The picture is not online yet, I will have to get it uploaded this weekend.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

This is a really good kit.

I'm with you, Martooni. I'd be happy if the temperature never got higher than 20 C. Here on the prairies we are caught in a heat wave that just won't move; a Canadian record was set yesterday when the temperature in a small town in Manitoba reached 57 C. I've been to India and the Philippines in summer, and thought 47 was nearly beyond the limits of what humans can survive.

Posted by: Yoki | July 27, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

You'll need a shubbery to go along that stone path, maybe two, arranged to get a nice two level effect.

Posted by: A Kinght of Nic999 | July 27, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The spelling on this blog is bad today.

Posted by: A Shrubber999 | July 27, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

One of many possible quizzes today...



Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

We were in the process of building a mini golf out on the back 40 (its really more like the back 2, but I digress). It was the kids choosen summer project. We brought in the dirt, and the kids were supposed to level it out, and then we were going to lay sod, but it sort of stopped at the kids level the dirt part. I'm fairly sure at least one of them drew plans up for it though. Maybe that was what stopped the project. All the planning was more exciting than actually doing something. Come to think of it, we see a lot of planning but never actually doing it.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

And not too expensive.

Posted by: Yoki | July 27, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Scrounging shrubberies is surely superior to cutting down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, I have better sense than to attempt *that* quiz!

Mr. T is an immediate-results kinda guy. He has never caught on that the best way to garden is to plant small plants and watch them grow, and to do different things in different years, just to mix the garden up a bit. He wants the gardens at Versailles right now!

Me, I love the evolution of the yard. Put things in, move them, take them out. Try different things in different places. I'm about to outgrow impatiens and begonias, tho. There are others that bloom just a profusely without needing so much attention.

Before I get too rhapsodic, I better go renew the water in the birdbath and water the papyrus...leaving in a little while to drive up the mountain.

Posted by: Slyness | July 27, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm with you. What happened to a sensible summer of 23, 24 degrees, with the occassional foray to close to 30? Its been so hot for so long that the last few days at 24 and 25 have been postively balmy. Its been hot so long we aren't even worrying about closing the windows on the house anymore. Its just hot. Thankfully we have the hot tub cranked down. Call me if anyone needs a dip.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that the reaction of Andrej is not unique. For there is no doubt that we treat food here with a cavalier attitude.

Now, on a rational level, there is nothing more vile about wasting food than there is about wasting energy or water or money. But food is still considered special. Few people say grace before bathing to thank the Good Lord for hot clean water. But maybe we should. For compared to many people in the world, and nearly everybody in the distant past, we live like kings.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Yello - I remember Ranier cherries fondly. They were almost as good as Ranier beer.

My family is evenly split over the salt on your corn issue. Half of my family believes that a light sprinkling of salt brings out the subtle sweetness of fresh Silver Queen.

And the other half is wrong.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Hi all... not enough time to backboodle yesterday's wisdom; I'm just here to give a few Grover waves from Santa Monica. One amazing thing here is that our hotel has no air conditioning... better yet.. we don't need it! We are three blocks from the ocean and the air is perfect in here... no conditioning needed.

Son of G and I had dinner last night at the Boodle-recommended Border Grill. You are right: the skirt steak is delicious!

We're leaving S.M. today and spending tonight in Pasadena. Having dinner with L.A. Lurker. Got a nice couple of emails from LTL-CA, who won't be able to join us tonight. Also heard from ac in sj, who also won't be able to but sends her greetings nonetheless.

Who knew the California boodlers were such a nice bunch? Oh yeah, that's right... I had figured as much!

Y'all are doing a fine job here holding down the Boodle. I'm not worried at all.


Posted by: TBG | July 27, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Actually, RD, I'd say we live better than kings. What with sanitation and all.

Posted by: Slyness | July 27, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

What's with the metric, Canuckis? I'll play along.

When I was in China and all the forecasts were in Celsius. Nearly every day was above 32 and some hit 35 or 36. In my mind anything over 30 is hot. My wife wants to live somewhere where it stays 23 year round.

40 is when electronics start to fry and 47 is Death Valley level. I gotta call "bullshake" on the 57. That is close to the highest temperature ever anywhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

According to this web page, the highest temperature ever in Hot Maine was 45.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

4/7. In #1 a side of square C does not look like it's composed of side of A and B. It looks 2(side o' B) to me. Hey, I can run around the outside of a house and give you a good estimate of the sqft. My powers of estimation are considered 'expert' at the Assessment Review Board. So there.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

a little butter on the corn is perfect.

came across this classic outtake from the carol burnett show (or mama's family?). still makes me laugh:

happy friday!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 27, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

7/7. C'mon, give me a hard one! That is, a difficult test. What were you thinking?

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 27, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Boko, I think the problem is that they drew the figures so that they don't look much like the numerical values offered in the problems. Once you have the basic geometry of the problem, you need to ignore the details of the figures, which are intentionally misleading.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 27, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Joel - That music scene blog is fun to read. I must admit my last involvement in the DC music scene involved dancing Pokemon, but it's nice to peak into a different world now and again.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Aloha, I overlooked your question from earlier this AM, but I wanted to take a moment to address it: I usually follow my heart and treat people as I would want to be treated in that situation. The Golden Rule works well for me, and not just in word, but in deed.

Joel, I'm disappointed that you didn't consider a go-kart track around your back yard.

Reposted from earlier:

Good morning, all.

*Tim, I meant to thank you for the Marine Boy reference yesterday. I hadn't thought of that show in *years*.

On an unrelated note, I see that there was a tragic accident yesterday at the Scaled Composites facility as that company is developing the engines for SpaceShip 2.

We don't always think of rocket scientists as brave, but sometimes they are.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know what a squabby cupid is?

Following his return to the Museum in August after a period as the Henry Moore Lecturer in the History of Sculpture at the University of York, Malcolm Baker completed his study of Roubiliac's tomb sculpture...Blah, blah, blah...

Among the papers he gave to conferences and research seminars were: 'Squabby Cupids and clumsy Graces: garden sculpture as luxury in eighteenth century England' to the 'Luxury' symposium at the University of East Anglia...

Is this squabby sculpture something that Mudge would have in his backyard? Perhaps I'm thinking of swabbie? According to this website of unusual words:

squab: fat, clumsy, unfledged, newly hatched

Hey, perhaps the squabby sculptures ate the leftovers?

I've been thinking of Andrej's reply to Joel, having picked up yesterday a special order that arrived at a local big-box book retailer, a book very recently reviewed by the NYT, titled, "Shadow of the Silk Road," by British travel write Colin Thubron. I read several chapters last night.

His first chapter details a side trip, a pilgrimage to Huangling, site of the temple dedicated to Chinese inheritance with its Hall of the Founder of Human Civilization, honoring the ancient Yellow Emperor. The Chinese credit the Emperor with the invention of writing, music and mathematics. Nearby is the Emperor's actual small mountaintop grave-mound.

In the second chapter, Thubron actually sets the stage for beginning his journey, revisiting Xian, which Thubron has discovered has changed radically in the 18 years since he last roamed the streets of this formerly run-down provincial capital.

He writes:
Already he shops and hoardings are persuading you that everywhere is here: Paris, New York, London. The supermarkets are stacked with goods inaccessible even five years ago: electrical products pour in from Eastern China; food is piled up in what to older people seems a curious dream. ...On this transforming city, old people gazed as if at some heartless pageant. Dressed in their leftover Mao caps and frayed cloth slippers, they would settle by a roundabout or park and stare for hours as the changed world unfolded. It was hard to look at them unmoved. Men and women born in civil war and Japanse invasion, who had eked out their lives through famine in the Great Leap Forward and survived the Cultural Revolution, had emerged at last to find themselves redundant.

I agree with Andrej that overconsumption is a luxury, and with it, the accompanying squabbiness.

Posted by: Loomis | July 27, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"This has been a particularly good summer in DC because we've had plenty of excellent weather, with days of low humidity, kind of like Maine without all the gift shops." Joel, I just got back from Maine. I've been to Maine many times. Many Mainers are friends of mine. Joel, D.C. is no Maine. We spent the last week on Great Chebeague Island, the newest town in Maine, having just gained its independence from the mainland town of Cumberland. Great Chebeague is the largest island in Casco Bay, being five miles long by three wide, and has only one gift shop, across the road from the clam shack, don't forget to try the lobsta rolls and if you can't stop, wave as you go by.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

A think a squabby cupid may be pidgeon like. I wonder if it would poop on its own head.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Leftover squab and servings of fried squash.Mmmmmm

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Great kit! I love magical thinking. In my case, I'd add the thought that surely everything could be done in just 1 weekend of working straight through. Nay, half a weekend if I really set my mind to it!

Aloha, I generally send a note expressing condolences and saying I'm open if they want to talk. Sometimes people like having at least 1 person they don't have to talk to about it (makes things seem more normal).

In the case of the pup, your friend's mileage may vary, but I've always found getting another waggy tail asap is therapeutic. You never forget the old one, it doesn't make it hurt any less, but the new brings her own joys at a time when it's difficult to find any. It's kind of a tribute.

Posted by: dbG | July 27, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Never heard of Triangle Inequality Theorem (or if I had I've completely forgotten it). I would be 6/7 except I cheated on #7. Didn't need a calculator for any of the problems, but for number 7 I did use paper, pencil and ruler. Sosoomee

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you about the 57, but you have to understand the source. Old farmers eyes get wonky when it gets this hot. This summer its been too hot to see. Or think.

There is a very, very good chance that someone was looking at their thermometer attached to the side of their window (and they all are, usually to the kitchen or dining room window. I kid you not), and not realizing it was currently in the sun. I'd like to make a bet that that is how they saw the reading of 57.

All that said, there are records falling left right and centre up here. Its plain old stinking hot and we are not climatically adjusted to it, nor are we mentally prepared for a stretch of weather where 30 is the norm. -30, we can do no problemo. Its this whole plus thing where we just fall apart.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The On Faith link above Joel's pic on the Columns and Blogs page is a mostly uppercase yelling. YA GOTTA LOVE THOSE GUYS. or not.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

yello is right; no wonder that report showed up only briefly yesterday. I'm so ashamed. Here is the official news from Environment Canada:

"No place in Canada has ever been as hot and humid as Carman, Manitoba was yesterday, at least since Environment Canada started keeping records more than 125 years ago.

The humidex reading topped out at a whopping 53 C yesterday, breaking the all-time Canadian humidex record of 52.1 C set in Windsor, Ont., in 1953.

The humidex is a Canadian invention that measures how the combination of heat and humidity feel to your body."

Posted by: Yoki | July 27, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm terribly jealous of your recent trip, kguy...


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... Lobstah Rolls... Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Boiled corn for an hour, yellojkt?

My mom and, more to the point, most recipes recommend much shorter cooking times. Here's one from Epicurious.

"To boil corn: Bring large pot of water to boil; add pinch of sugar, if desired. Husk corn. Add corn to pot. Return water to boil and cook corn 4 minutes. Drain corn and serve immediately . . ."

'Splain, please.

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

S'nuke, the island folks were wonderful hosts. In the course of the week we were there, no one asked me where I was from or what I did for living. I'll never get tired of listening to their incredibly strong regional accents. One day I was in the store-there's only one, and, as everywhere on Chebeague, if you can't stop, wave as you go by- and I inquired about the large spiderweb of wood taking shape in the lot next door. Ed the store owner, whose family has been on the island over 200 years, told me that his neighbor Mike was building a "fahty se'en fut lobstah boot" and that it was a four year project. Around our place, a four year project would be cleaning out the garage.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The geometry quiz doesn't work in Firefox, so I had to call up IE to do it. My son did math team competition this year and went to American Rregional Math League at Penn State. Here are the questions they used:

And the answers (no peaking):

For the record, I can't do any of them, and I'm not even sure what they are looking for in some.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, Joel; you put a gigantic tune cootie in my head with that title, because "...freedom's just another word for 'nuthin' left to lose'..."

And if these *are* the dog days for you, my friend, I'm sure you're enjoying the extensive time you have to yourself, simply because you can. Personally, I'm not that flexible.

Speaking of that DC music blog: Harrumph, no mention of the Rock 'n Roll Hotel on H street NE? I saw the Dark Romantics and garage band extraordinaire Mooney Suzuki there a couple of weeks ago. The place is a bit of a dive (can you call it a dive if it has an upstairs?), but I thought it was charming in a funky way.


Posted by: bc | July 27, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

What other kinda boot WOULD one build on a Maine coastal island, I ask you???


Ah, memories... And the REALLY strong accents are a little fahthah DownEast, ayuh.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan has some interesting poll numbers--taken from the presidential candidates.

Clinton 44%, Giuliani 50%
Clinton 47%, Thompson 45%
Obama 52%, Giuliani 43%
Obama 56%, Thompson 36%

He wonders why, given these numbers, anyone would nominate HRC. One of his readers suggests an answer along the lines of "Democrats have a death wish". See

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

That's a fairly ugly test, yello. I have a handle on 6 or 7 of the 8, but will not take the time to do them.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 27, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

For the record, I got number 2 right on the ARML quiz. The rest were brain freezes.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Summer standards--that reminds me of summer term at college. I took a course at NYU one summer. Easy A, no work to speak of. Just show up, nod and look interested while the professor is talking. I'm sure NYU classes aren't like that during the regular school term. A few years before the NYU experience, I took a summer course at Tufts. It was Contemporary Latin American Short Fiction or something like that--I'm not sure; it was taught in Spanish and I comprehended neither the lectures nor the reading. The professor was really good-looking, though (he was from Barcelona)--overall I think it wasn't a waste of time. Not by summer standards, anyway.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 27, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I think that book is going to have to go on the list. China is such a fascinating country.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

What kind of geek test was that, not one answer was 42.

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't figure out why the quiz wouldn't work. But it's because I'm in Firefox. Thanks for the heads up yellojkt. I'm going to attempt in Safari.

Posted by: Sara | July 27, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Loomis and dr:

Another new book re China is "China Road: A Journey in the Future of a Rising Power".

Many favorable reviews. The author, Rob Gifford, was on The Daily Show last night. Was very charming and told great stories.

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

3/7. This is why I paint and am going into art history. Because I'm math-stupid. I got the number line question, but anyone who has eyes and can count the number of lines can get that one and luckily I remember how to count. Counting is the extent of my math skills.

Posted by: Sara | July 27, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Not a book, but video documentary, China Rises.

It ran a couple times over the last year on CBC's digital channel.

That channel irks me. Its content all Canadians pay for with taxes, CBC is publicly funded, but much of what is shown on that channel airs no where else. It's part of my longstanding mini rant regarding CBC.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

5/7 on the quiz which is a flippin miracle.
C'mon Scotty I need a sports quiz or fishing.

I was saddened to see that Coach Skip Prosser passed away.

I think most NFL training camps start today. I got my season tickets in the mail last week and they are ugly, but since we usually seem to win ugly I guess that is appropriate.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 27, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone, for the good advice with my grieving friend. I have said a lot of things that you all suggested and he knows that I'm here to talk anytime. I think that's why he called me last night to tell me about his dog and to have someone to cry with. Unfortunately, at the end of our conversation, he told me he felt bad for dumping on me (which is not how I saw this at all) and wouldn't burden me with his sadness anymore because he felt he was making me take time away from my family. I know this comes from his grief and it's part of the whole self-pity thing to a certain degree. Still, besides telling him that none of that was true, I couldn't figure out what to say to help him. He's really down and I suppose it will take time for him to make his way through this but I just don't want him to give up. There are friends where he is who will check in with him and who are there to talk as well. I'm counting on them to help, which I'm sure they will.

Sigh, it's so sad to be left behind, isn't it.

Thank you all again, you're a great bunch!

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Gumby999 | July 27, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm a philosopher, that's what I am!

Posted by: ScienceBruce | July 27, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry! Sorry everyone. I don't know who let Gumby out but rest assured, I'll find someone to blame and sack them.
That quiz of Gumby's is very silly. No knowledge required and easy to manipulate the outcome. Unforgivable.
Now, here's a tough one. I only got 7 out of ten and I'm a genius.
Pwsst. Typical. That other quiz is a damn insult. You might as well ask a chap what his favourite colour is.
No, I said blue.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I started power washing my house today and found I have lichens on the roof and two oak trees growing out of the rain spout. I guess I need to stay on top of things a little more.

I am painting this weekend instead of heading to Cooperstown. I just wanted to say Congrats to Cal and I hope all the people from Bawmer have a safe journey up 81.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 27, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Gumby, I shall faint. (SUP = secret unreq. passion). My other SUP is for Neil Young, that guitar strumming prairie Canoucki.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I just read a little bit about the Orioles' celebration for Cal Ripken Jr.'s forthcoming induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. You know, for a guy whose fame is founded on his ability to play with consistent high quality in a silly game in which a guy hits a ball with a stick and other guys try to catch it, he sure is a class act.

Posted by: Tim | July 27, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm too smart for your own good apparently.
Bloodly He!!

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse


That Silk Road books sounds very similar to a book I was reading at BigBoxOfBooks while waiting for Harry Potter to go on sale. This book was called "China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power" by Rob Gifford. It was an NPR journalist from Britain that went from Shanghai to the far west border of China along a Route 66-like road.

It also had a lot of interesting side notes and digressions.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Sullivan's analysis and with polling in general is that the election is MORE THAN A YEAR AWAY! I'm not a wild fan of Sen. Clinton, but one thing you can be sure of- her negatives will not grow bigger. Everybody has made up their mind on HRC. Not so Obama and most of the rest. He may be in the 50's now, but when the word leaks out about (you name it, my guess would be shady contributers) six months before the election, he could drop like a stone. I think based on what little I've seen, that Richardson\Obama might be the best ticket for the Dems. Richardson has a Gore-like resume without the tons of Senate votes to explain that most of the others have, and Obama has charisma to burn but is vulnerable to the charge of inexperience. Thompson will be called a lazy dilettante for hopping in and out of politics and Guliani can't win unless he gets all his ex-wives to vote for him and maybe not even then. Too liberal! Too Nyew Yawk!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm the out of order Boodler seconding THS's recommendation on the China Road Book.

I'm also a Hungarian that scored 6/10 on the Python quiz. Back to Remedial Silly Walks for me.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mmm CP. We could make beautiful brick music together.
That's a nice brain you have there.

Posted by: Gumby999 | July 27, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hi All!

I'm a long-time lurker. For some strange reason, I just need to share my corn on the cob recipe.

Before wrapping them in foil to roast on the grill, I butter the ears and sprinkle them with a little, salt, pepper and cinnamon. The cinnamon really enhances the sweetness of the corn.

Bashfully returning to lurkdom now.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Posted by: Moose | July 27, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Shockingly, 7/7 on the math quiz. While calculators were allowed, I can't help but think that just would have screwed me up.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 27, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, I've had to take three of my dogs to the vet to be euthanized, and I think I know why it's so darn hard and doesn't get any easier. You plan it. You make a decision that today is the last day for your loving companion. They don't know, but you do, that you have decided when their time was going to end. Then you go to the office and you announce the purpose of your visit, carry him into the exam room and you hold your friend in your arms as he gets the injection, and feel the life ebb out of him. No matter how you rationalize this, it is tough stuff, and may bring on feelings of guilt and depression.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm a purist when it comes to corn preparation. Soak the ears in water, husk on, for about a half-hour. Put them on the grill, and cover the grill. Return a half-hour later. Remove corn from grill. Individual diners shuck corn when ready to eat. Experience pain as the steam escapes. Break off the stem. Experience pain from grasping hot corn and hot stem. Begin nibbling. Experience pleasure. No butter or seasoning required, although you are free to add it, if you are a Philistine. Okay, maybe some butter would be OK. Butter and salt are more acceptable if the corn is not so good.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | July 27, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, I've experienced something very similar to your friend.

We had to put down our cat the day after our son was stillborn.

Unfortunately, there's really nothing that will make it easier. Just to know someone is thinking of you is comforting, though.

Take care.

Posted by: Moose | July 27, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Moose - Thanks for that recipe! Since I have a serious love of cinnamon I am really intrigued.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Jeez Aloha | I feel like a twerp posting that silly stuff after your post. It sounds like you're taking the right tack with your friend. When I'm ill or depressed I tell everyone to leave me be. My friends ignore what I say (a fairly safe policy) and visit or call to my great relief. Except that time Bib brought the wife and kiddies to console me after the hemorrhoidectomy.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of freedom, THEY ARE LETTING ME GO FREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm gonna get sprung about 3 p.m., so they say (which means it'll be 6 p.m. and the height of rush hour). I've got the PICC line/hemobling in my arm and will take IV antibios at home and at work for the enxt two weeks or so, but otherwise I am just about as germ-free as humanly possible.

However, as a former (many decades ago) tennis player, I am highly umbraged to learn that I am a quiche-eating, chablis-swilling effete-type person, according to one J. Achen bach. Harrumph. When I was playing tennis in the 1960s quiche hadn't even been invented and I'd never heard of Chablis. As far as wine went, there was Tiger Rose, Silver Dollar, and Manischevitz Grape Concord. Plus the stuff some churches had. Then about 1968 the "in" wine of choice if you were taking a girl out to a fancy dinner was Mateus rose. So I'll tolerate none of this chablis crapola, thank you very much, my good man. Indeed.

*stomps off in a huff*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 27, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Tim -- such ex-rated stuff you write there. Sweet corn. rhubarb in the fridge. vine-plump tomatoes. raysmom's kick$$ raspberry pie....who needs Gumby-love when we have such sacraments of summer....

Hi Moose...cinnamon? Well, I never. Perhaps will try, but CulinaryHighPriestTim would have to give us all dispensations.

Gumby999 -- meet me in Playdough-land with the secret handshake; bring good things for supper.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm with CulinaryTim on the corn issue.

Here's a fish quiz:

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

You're right, k'guy. It's a long time until the election, and a lot of things that could affect the outcome could (and likely will) happen before then.

But it made me happy to see those numbers anyway.

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

RD -- do you have a standing dispensation for cinnamon in odd places? Does He-who-is-called-Tim know this?

Mudge! Take care of that Pick-Line, as it can feel like a pick-axe if you roll over on it.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I gave up on the math quiz myself.

Once I run out of appendages to count at 21, it's over for me.


Posted by: bc | July 27, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Ooh wait, you said fishing, oh well, 9 out of 11

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

CP (and RD) -- I'd never heard of cinnamon on corn before my MIL made it. It is a family tradition I have happily adopted.

Posted by: Moose | July 27, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess when they find Joel face down in a dark alley with a Jack Kramer signature model wooden racket stuck in his... ear, we'll know who to blame.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Moose, a brush of cinnamon?

Cinnamon is one of the secret inqredients in Cincy chili.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow--The Boodle is addictive after only a few key strokes. This could be dangerous.

Posted by: Moose | July 27, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'm taking Mudge stomping off in a huff as a *good* sign.

Irascibility is the sign he's healthy, like a wet nose on a dog.


Posted by: bc | July 27, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Moose--"worser" addictions surely. Welcome, and pardon me, if I picture you as companion to Rocky. And the doofy but lovable voice.

And, so sorry about your son. Know about that sort of parenthood. Cat, too, oh my goodness. Sad days for your family. That you could say it here suggests, perhaps, that those losses, forever unchanged, have settled into something familiar and bearable.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

He sounded healthy to me, bc! If he were still under the weather, I don't think he'd be taking such umbrage.

Nice and cool in the mountains. I just looked at the thermostat, and it reads 69. That would be F.

Heard from TBG via the backboodle, sounds like she and SonofG are having a great time.

Posted by: Slyness | July 27, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Ah, bc, you know me so well. *hoists cold wet nose into the air, sniffing for dog treats*

Just caught up with Joel's kit/Outlook piece on leftovers and the infamous "meat block." Another writer three years ago had some interesting things to say about leftovers, at

Gotta go pack up my stuff and get ready for the big breakout. Will be back on the Boodle in a couple of hours, most likely (though am planning on being visited by some grandkids, I hope; I'm going through severe grandkid withdrawal).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 27, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

A touch of cinnamon in pascetti sauce and chili is very nice.

Moose | While lurkers pump up the Bosse's hit count we need all the help we can get out here. Add more comments, take a quiz, pull your weight, man. (that's not Mooset, right?)

Yaa! Mudge can stomp.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see that the hospital stay hasn't diluted any of your perkiness.

It seems you were there to talk to your friend when they needed it. That's the best thing you can do.

I have never boiled corn for less than half an hour. I find it way too crunchy otherwise. That is just the old family recipe. But then my mother was from New England so her cooking style is suspect, taste-wise.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

CP - Thank you. We are rapidly approaching the sixth anniversary (birthday). Most days are good, but not all.

Not sure if my voice is lovable, but I'm definetely doofy. I'm more Rocky-sized, too.

Posted by: Moose | July 27, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, thanks be to Joel for coming to visit me in the hospital, and thanks to bc for various and sundry cheery phonecalls.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 27, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Boko - I'm a moosette. :o)

Posted by: Moose | July 27, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Moose. Good to see Cassandra today. Aloha, sounds like you are showing your aloha nui loa by being a faithful listening friend. Hope Mudge makes it out before rush hour.

I must go mow long, steamy, bug ridden grass or risk needing a machete to hack my way to the garage. From the look of things I'm going to have about 150 golf ball sized tomatoes all reaching the peak of ripeness at the same time, with no family around to help me eat them. As Frostniece#3 says "More for me!"

Posted by: frostbitten | July 27, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

And a fine speller too.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 27, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Yello, have you ever tried less than an hour. I don't think you need to go the full hour to get the desired softness.

Personally I like to steam them, I do like crisp corn on the cob. But if there's a cookout they get grilled for sure.

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

LiT, yer very logical, I'm not surprised in the least.

10/11 on the fish quiz... *spouting before returning to the depths*

Moose, welcome. Beware of velly velly short man in black topcoat and fedora accompanied by velly velly tall and thin woman with speech affect, BTW.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Did we already do this food myth quiz??

9/12, and I didn't remember any of the questions, so...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Hi Moose, welcome!

Cinnamon sounds intriguing.

For stove top corn, I do 7 minutes from dropping into boiling water, no salt until after served. Lately we have microwaved on a plate under wrap.

Welcome back Mudge. I drove a Huff for a while, but the mileage was very poor.

The first of the tomatoes are turning. Tang-y cherry tomatoes - mmm.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 27, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Moose, yes, it's much like your experience I'm afraid (and I'm so sorry for your loss). My friend lives in a big 5 bedroom house and once the dog is gone, it will be very empty. His words to me were, *I've lost my whole family*, and it's true. First his wife and now his dog. Sigh.

K-Guy, I think putting down a pet is a very difficult and painful thing to do that can make even the hardened feel guilty. Maybe that's why I never wanted a pet, couldn't deal with losing them.

Yello - I suppose you're right, listening and being available is about all I can do right now. Still, it just doesn't seem to be enough.

Thanks for the kind words Frosti, I appreciate them.

Sorry to be such a downer. Will boodle more positive things now. Hooray for Mudge and his being sprung from the hospital! Now all will be right in the world again.

Thanks everyone!

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse


The cooking corn web page reminds me of a college roommate that asked how to boil a hot dog. After we stopped laughing, he asked, "Seriously. Do you boil the water first and then put in the hot dog or put the hot dog in the water and then boil it?"

We don't cover the corn, so I have to spin it a few times to make sure the entire circumference gets cooked. That must be why it takes 20-30 minutes for me instead of ten for the website.

The reason the last batch cooked so long was that my wife was already boiling the corn when I got home and I went for a 40 minute bicycle ride before starting the rest of dinner. It was borderline overcooked, but not by much.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

9/11 on the fishes. 10/12 on the food myths, but I'm disputing the Twinkie question.

Spy Magazine years ago did all sorts of tests on Twinkies. They are nearly indestructible.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, did you see this one?

As an ex-journalist, I'm appalled at the New Republic's statement [in brackets]--

The New Republic's anonymous "Baghdad Diarist" identified himself yesterday as Scott Thomas Beauchamp, an Army private in Iraq, and disputed as "maddening" accusations that he had invented his accounts of cruelty by American soldiers. [[The magazine's editor, Franklin Foer, disclosed in an interview that Beauchamp is married to a New Republic staffer, and that is "part of the reason why we found him to be a credible writer."]]

"Oh, he couldn't possibly be falsifying anything, he's MARRIED to one of us..."


And it's rather telling, in my view, that he continues to provide ZERO supporting evidence for his allegations.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Back from a few days up northish, it has been a long time since I have ventured up where the Canadian/Precambrian Shield emerges from the earth to combine with the forests and lakes. I had forgotten the stunning beauty. Due to the reasons I was up there I got to enjoy from pre-sunrise to sunsets.

I have attempted to back boodle but am so tired that after a while I couldn't take it all in.

I believe in a good show of my Achen addition it was the first thing I went to when I got home (well it does beat doing dirty laundry).

Mudge so glad to hear you are doing better - I was very worried.

Loomis great news!

Martooni that number 7 looked great when I was scrolling through.

Off to prepare for the next trip - up to Boko/Shriek territory.

TBG glad you are having fun in LA.

Posted by: dmd | July 27, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

10/12 on the food quiz. I agree with Yello on the twinkie question. I may have to do a shelf life test myself...

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

>I may have to do a shelf life test myself...

Aloha, by all means do experiment but I believe Twinkies are designed to outlive the actual shelves they rest on.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 27, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, do you consume the cob also?

We do ours sealed in foil with a little water on the grill.
Mrs bh talks hers plain. Me with I Can't Believe It's with salt and pepper.

Posted by: bh | July 27, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Error, good one!

7/11 on the fish. Thought I knew more than I did. Can anyone say Humuhumunukunukuapua`a 5 times fast?

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Interesting live chat on Oscar, the death-predicting cat...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Sure-Humuhumunukunukuapua`a Humuhumunukunukuapua`a Humuhumunukunukuapua`a Humuhumunukunukuapua`a Humuhumunukunukuapua`a. See? That wasn't so hard, was it?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

It really depends on the definition of bad.

1) Stale
2) eat this and it will make you very sick and possibly kill you

If it's the first one the answer is false, if the second the answer is true. All the same I'm not conducting any experiments. Especially considering I don't even like twinkies.

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Okay K-guy, now do it with one hand tied behind your back!

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the right hand...heheh

Posted by: omni | July 27, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Humuhumunukunukuapua`aHumuhumunukunukuapua`aHumuhumunukunukuapua`aHumuhumunukunukuapua`aHumuhumunukunukuapua`a- look, all it took were two fingers, to hit Apple-V for "paste". Next challenge, please.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 27, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse


This blogging non-soldier is going to become a Kafka-esque litmus test on opinions over the war and our conduct therein. If he had evidence, it would be used in his eventual court-martial (and there is no way he is going to come out unscathed).

As the military, do you admit these things happened and throw the book at him for war crimes (if anything he claims is truly criminal) or do you go the character assassination route and destroy his life. Either way, there is going to be a lot of hypocritical teeth-gnashing.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Aaauurrgghhh I can't even say it once. Can't we do a test I can pass? Something easy, like what's my favoutite colour?

No. I said red.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I just want to clarify that the book I'm reading about the Silk Road begins in China, because that's where the author starts. But Thubron actually traces the route of the ancient Silk Road, in some part, because the route really no longer exists. He travels 7,000 miles in eight months, making his way by local bus, truck, car, donkey cart and camel.

There are several detailed maps in the book. Leaving Xian, he travels south of the Gobi Desert, along the southern shores of Lake Taklamakan, and south of some Stans--Kazakh, Turkmeni, and Uzbeki--and does pass through several other Stans--Paki and Afghani, crosses northern Iran into southern Turkey, ending at Antioch.

In his Author's Note at the front of the book, he acknowledges that his journey was broken by fighting in northern Afghanistan. He made it up traveling that section the following year during the same season (he would have traveled had he not been interrupted).

The tease that drew me into the book is that along the way he meets modern-day camel traders. I think back to Jim Hale--of the recent camel breakfast--and his trip earlier this year to Dubai where he stayed for several months to learn the art of artificially inseminating camels.

Mudge, all I can say is take care of yourself. Lucky for you, it was some measly weasly little bacteria. Earlier this summer, a diabetic, with a teensy opening or sore on his leg went swimming near Houston and picked up flesh-eating bacteria. This flesh-eating bacteria is a subset of the bacteria that I believe infected you, Mudge--streptococcus bacteria. I think that the man who swam at Crystal Beach near Galveston survived but the situation was terribly serious for a time. (Same story several years ago with a guy from San Antone. Not diabetic, but lost his leg, then later his life.)

Posted by: Loomis | July 27, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Mudge so perky again.

I'm really starting to like this guy he's been linking too. He's almost as perky as Mudge. Almost.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt --

It's not too much to ask that the person either substantiate the events he's alleged took place or admit he's been doing some, shall we say, "historical fiction."

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks S'Nuke I hadn't seen the Post story on Beauchamp.

Credible or not, the New Republic fell into the PFC at the gate syndrome that so often befalls TV news. We need an "expert" opinion so let's grab someone who knows more than we do. The problem is the person in uniform knows little more than the reporter, sometimes less. Whether what Beauchamp claims to have seen is true or not, it is such a small sliver of what is going on it means diddly. I think if true it is not an indictment of the whole force, if false, it doesn't mean there aren't reprehensible things going on.

To both the left and right I say "the fog of war" doesn't just refer to the smoke and chaos of the battlefield. It is a metaphor for just how difficult it is to know what is really going on in a big operation, which this war is, even if you are right there to see it. For all the famed autonomy and responsibility of the American soldier vis-a-vis his counterparts in other armies, a Private sees very little of the big picture.

As for running over dogs on purpose with their Bradleys, I don't doubt it has happened a time or two. The difference between a lot of people-soldiers or not-and Michael Vick is a good arm.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 27, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

On-Topic comment: Andrej reminds us of the bounty here, and the low cost of our food. Andrej, join us here on the boodle or commenting portion of the blog. We can stay in touch when you return to Europe. You were born just before I graduated from college; I admire your understanding and expression. JA teases us with the closing line "more to come" and I look forward to this.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm so glad you're out, and on the way home. Take care.

frostbitten, it is good to be back. Tough day again, but just one more week. And thanks.

I've never heard of boiling corn for an hour. Corn doesn't require that much cooking time, does it?

It is so dry here, every day the rain passes us by. The flowers and gardens look like something from the Sahara. When referring to "dog days", those of us in the South think rain and thunder boomers, and lots, lots, of humidity. I don't care for summer weather, I like fall and winter. In winter one can put on lots of clothes, and when asked if there has been weight gain, one can always say, oh it's the clothes, they make me look, poofy. As in Ice Age. I can tell I'm reverting back to my childhood, I love those movies they make for the kids. Ice Age, Shrek, Happy Feet, and the list is endless.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 27, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten says it much more eloquently than I can. After Abu Ghraib I don't think you can categorically dismiss anything as beyond the pale as many of Beauchamp's attackers are doing. I find his anecdotes very plausible, but then again, I've wasn't there.

I truly believe most of our forces are professional and responsible. However, I grew up in a military environment and the spinning of tales is a time honored rite. Most war stories have both some patina of embellishment and a kernel of truth. How much is pearl and how much sand is hard to tell.

Bloggers are not journalists and the same burden of proof does not apply. I have no evidence I saw Foghat in 1979 and a pretty poor recollection of the event. I can still blog about what I saw without people accusing me of wholesale fabrication.

I find fascinating the bloviating of people with even less connection to the actual events about what could or couldn't have happened based on their perceptions of what they want to believe.

What is the burden of proof? He said he saw what he saw. Does he have to record every anecdote on videotape? That is exactly why the military started cracking down on personal photography post-Abu Ghraib, to prevent more embarrassing revelations like this. Media control over there is getting positively [pick your adjective: Orwellian, Kafaka-esque, Catch-22ish].

Can his detractors prove these types of incidents never happen? I think the real fear of his critics is the "truthiness" of his allegations whether they happened or not. They live in mortal fear of a My Lai level moral breaker coming to light and hence proactively squelch any hint of scandal.

Do we even know the truth yet about Pat Tillman or Jessica Lynch?

Truth is the first casualty of war and I think Beauchamp is about to get fragged for the type of tale spinning that is endemic to the service.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, so glad you are making it out alive! Take care. BTW, I know vancomycin is a very strong drug. Glad it was available for you.

On another note there is nothing better than boiled then buttered and salted corn on the cob in the summer, along with a deep red sliced tomato. My staple in the summer.

Posted by: birdie | July 27, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "My Lai level morale breaker" as if Abu Ghraib shouldn't have done the job.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 27, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

YJ writes about a "moral breaker" or morale breaker -- YJ, both are true. When typos are not wrong: 1000 points and 100 books of S&H green stamps.

Birdie -- I report that the aging sunflowers are hosting many Mr. and Mrs. GoldFinchies....and I am happy to not charge rent. Perhaps, rain will water all the thirsty plants today. I am hoping.

Off to the ministrations of evensong, etc. Tis, Friday, we can rejoice!

Posted by: College Parkian | July 27, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Yum, birdie, those are certainly harbingers of high summer. Now if I just dared to make homemade mayo like my mother for the tomatoes - I know how, just don't want to risk the uncooked egg.

Posted by: Slyness | July 27, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again to Moose for a flavor combo new to me. I will try it. Reminded me of the other day on another blog, the author described slowly melting anchovies in olive oil as the base for a seafood pasta sauce. I never knew!

In the South, I think we need "cold tubs." In my younger days I would refuse to buy an air conditioner and just live with fans and open windows. Lots of fans. But temperatures would go over 95 sometimes and I would come home, fill the kiddie pool with well water which is 59º F. here in Carolina. In I would plunge. Every single time I would scream like a shark victim. But it was such sweet relief.

My landlord at the time owned an ice company. He would tell about people at various apartment swimming pools who would buy one or two hundred dollars worth of ice from him and put it in the pool for various parties or promotional stunts. He said it was never enough to make any difference at all. I did a rough calculation and figured it would take about $3000 of ice to chill a medium-sized apartment pool in the summer here.

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

Oh thank you College Parkian for the report. Sunflowers are so, well, sunny...and happy flowers and great for birds and pictures with children. I often get a few small sunflowers growing under the birdfeeder. The birds love to land on the stems and go to work on the very fresh seeds as they sway in the breeze. Yummy for them I guess. But give me sweet corn.

Slyness, homemade mayo--never tried it. I am sold on what used to be called Hellman's...the best!

Posted by: birdie | July 27, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of dogs, do you doggie-type people have any opinion on Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy surgery? On a three-year old Cairn Terrier? Are there reasonable alternatives. Like doggie crutches or something?

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Also, there is an alternative surgical procedure called extra-capsular repair. Is it any good?

I'm not sure I trust my vet.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Home at last!!!! Ah, home, sweet home. My own computer, my own TV clicker, my own warm bed, my own....OK, enough. I'm home.

Loomis, you mentioned that travel fella passed through a lot of Stans--I'm wondering if he made it through Stan Laurel, Stan(ley) Kowalski, Stan Musial or Stan Lopata?

The bug this time was coag. neg. staphylococcus. The first time I had this thing three years ago, it was as you described, a bug from swimming in the Severn River near Annapolis--that one was called vibrio vulnificans, a common bug found in rivers, lakes, and oceans the world over. (The vibrio is a family of nasty buggies; one of them is an infection people get when they are bitten by sharks, because that particular strain of vibrio lives in sharks' mouths.) And yup, got both of 'em from a small crack or cut in the skin on my leg. That flesh-eating one is one scary critter.

Got 12/12 on the food myths quiz. First one I've aced, I think.

We only boil corn on the cob for about 10 minutes. When I do it on the grill, I use a tip I learned from one of my grilling books. I shuck back the husk all except the very last layer, which I leave in place. The husk that I've pulled back is gathered and tied with a piece of string; it makes a handy "handle" for the ears, and when I grill the ears they hang over the edge of the grill, out of the way of the eat. Makes them easy to turn, and you can see through that one last layer of husk to see if the corn is burnt or not, and when to rotate, etc. Plan B is to shuck them all the way, baste them with butter and some chopped parsley, basil or cilantro, and wrap them in aluminum foil.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 27, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse


Your comment about corn and tomatoes reminded of a particular meal from, oh, too many years ago. I was 18 and had just returned from a summer in Europe, the first really big thing I had done on my own.

It was the end of the summer--harvest season--and my father, who was a farmer, always ate dinner late when he came in from the field.

One evening just after I returned, the friend who had been to Europe w/ me and I had dinner w/ Dad. The dinner was steak, home-made French Fries, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, and beer.

Pretty simple, but everything was very good --we had wonderful tomatoes back then--and I remember it to this day as a great meal. Maybe it was the combination of the good food, eating w/ my dad as a grown-up, and the new sense of myself that I had as a recently returned world traveler.

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mudge. And your own pillow too.

Ah the comforts of home.

Posted by: dr | July 27, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

So glad you're home Mudge, although your posts from the hospital were very funny. Of course that's not a good enough reason to stay there.

Years ago a friend told me to microwave corn, I've done it that way ever since. Takes about 1 1/2 minutes per ear (4 ears = 6 min.). No waiting for water to boil, no big pan to wash. I cover the corn with either plastic wrap or a casserole cover to keep the moisture in and do not add water. I am talking about native corn from the local farm stand. I never buy corn on the cob from the supermarket or out of season. To me it's like tomatoes, if it isn't native, why bother. Oh, and real butter and real salt. Again, it's a limited season, I want to enjoy it with all the fixings. I have been meaning to try grilling it, maybe this weekend. My own garden corn is showing some ears. This is very exciting and I hope no critters get to them before they are ready to eat. Speaking of the garden, I wish I could fax you all some green beans, they are growing like weeds.

Aloha, so sorry about your friend. May daughter put her dog down two weeks ago, she's still mourning but is also investigating adopting a new one from a Great Dane rescue. I think just talking about a new one has helped her a bit with the grief. She spent almost 24/7 with her dog the week leading up to the death. I think it helped her say goodbye, but nothing really eases the pain except time. As others have said, just letting your friend know that you are just a phone call away and that you are thinking of him can be a comfort.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 27, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Corn that is less that 24 hours old is ready to eat after being boiled for 10 minutes.

Corn that is more than 24 hours old should be used to feed the cattle.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Very glad you're home, 'Mudge. :-)

Everyone, I have a beef with TNR trying to have it both ways with Beauchamp. Either he's "just" a blogger who isn't bound by jouranlistic rules, or he's a contributor subject to fact-checking (as has been suggested by TNR). The incidents he referenced are so beyond the pale of even a battlefield that it's reasonable to think people would have reported them in a verifiable way. And they very neatly fall into the "too good to be true" category that should ALWAYS be confirmed, in my opinion.

*stepping off soapbox to go fax 'Mudge another IV-based ciprihana*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Home grown corn, like peas, tomatoes and asparagus, rarely make it out of the garden alive - are consumed on the spot and are more delicious than the cooked variety. When cooked, corn on the cob is a matter of taste, like eggs, and the 3 minute variety was our household standard, but then only when freshly picked from the garden and raced to a pot of boiling water for instant immersion. Only old corn needs long boiling.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 27, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

SCC -Grrr - that would be 'my daughter'

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 27, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

SCC: journalistic rules, of course.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 27, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

> rarely make it out of the garden alive

Beware The Forage Master little ears!

Oh the vegemanity....

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 27, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers - I agree that microwave corn is almost as good as boiled. I used to grow corn in my back yard. My favorite was this variety called "Kandy Corn" with distinctive purple tassles. To get maximum benefit you had to start the water boiling first, and then run quickly from the field husking as you went.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh - ha! I see we think alike.

I would be scared if I were you.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh goodness! Boiled corn, please, no don't.

Bring half of a large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Pour off water. Let stand about five minutes. Steamed corn. It should bring tears to your eyes, it is so good.

Posted by: nellie | July 27, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bad Sneakers. I know, it's a huge loss to lose a pet and to deal with having to put them down is tough as it is. Doing it after the death of a human family member is even more devastating.

My friend has decided to try a round of chemo which may or may not help. I told him that if the vet thought it would be worth a try (which he did, 90% chance it would buy the dog another year without much suffering), I thought it would be a good idea. I just don't want my friend to be alone right now. He's in so much emotional pain and losing both his family members in such a short period of time would just destroy him.

Oh sorry, I promised more upbeat posts, didn't I.

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

nellie- I'm intrigued by your steamed corn technique. Next time we get some decent corn I will suggest we try it.

Not saying we will, since my suggestions are not universally followed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Aloha - Hey, I don't think any any of us mind "downer posts" so long as we feel it helps the person posting. At least I don't.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

We, too, have occasionally microwaved corn, but only when we freeze some for the winter, and then get it out in, say February. If it isn't freezer-burned, that is. Of course, it's never as good as fresh-picked, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do in February.

I'm still playing a lot of Boodle catch-up, but I assume you've all read that excdellent Eugene Robinson column on Torqueberto this morning.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 27, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I liked the Arlen Specter quote. "I do not find your testimony credible, candidly."

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RD, I appreciate the sentiment and, yes, it's helps me a lot to hear what you all have to say.

Question on Torqueberto - is he that slippery that no one can nail him on anything? Seems he's dirtier than a hog in a mud puddle. Why can't we just find a way to throw him in jail or, at the very least, sack him!

Posted by: Aloha | July 27, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

RDP, man, I hate it when that happens! I had a large Golden who tore his ACL at age 12.5, and my current Berner/collie mix just tore his about 2 months ago (but he's only about 75#). Happens to all the great athletes.

Both responded well to medication (either shots or pills), rest and a wait-and-see of a month. The Golden never limped after that time and fully used the leg. Cutter isn't doing quite that well, but it doesn't appear to be bothering him. He's on Rimadyl, cosequin and hyaluronic acid.

For a 3 yo Cairn, I'd go see a specialist if I didn't trust my vet. In any case, you'd want someone who does lots of these if you go for a surgical option. University Vet school nearby?

I did read the TPLO is relatively new, so they may not know what will happen 10 years down the road to the patient (although initial results are great). EC-R can cause osteoarthritis in a few years, but again, my experience with older dogs is that's been fairly easy (if expensive) to manage. When you're deciding, ask about and factor in those prescription costs. Again, my guys are/were old, so decreased lifespan from the arthritis drugs doesn't factor into my decision as long as it makes them comfortable while they are around. . .

Not what you wanted to hear, I'm sorry. I would talk to that specialist to get all the options. There are things regular vets don't always do well.

Posted by: dbG | July 27, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Braces are also available:

Just see a vet you trust. :-)

Posted by: dbG | July 27, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you've had very different results than I have. Are you around?

Aloha, a year would a blessing. Don't worry about bringing us down.

Given the great gardeners here, I've been inspired to start preparing a number of raised beds this fall, for next Spring. I can never get everything done at once, so if they're ready, they will get planted when it's time. If I have to get them ready then too, not so much. I plan to return to my Ohio days of grazing for dinner, fresh blackberries, tomatoes and maybe some corn. Mmmmm.

Posted by: dbG | July 27, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks dbG! We have her on Rimadyl now and it certainly seems to help. We are, indeed, going to talk to a specialist. I am hopeful that the damage won't require surgery, but if it does, it does. But I certainly want to tap into the collective wisdom of the boodle before I write out that $3000 check.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Movie trailer link for the upcoming film "In the Valley of Elah" (the site name from the Bible, the location where David and Goliath fought). Last night on the web via my ISP, I caught the story of the movie along with the trailer, the film tentatively slated for release on Sept. 14.

I see now that my ISP simply repackaged the NYT feature story, link below, about the spate of Iraq war movies coming out (before the war is actually over, unlike WWII movies and movies about Nam), including one from the Weinsteins.

"Elah" is written by Paul Haggis, who also penned the scripts for "Crash," "Million Dollar Baby," and "Letters from Iwo Jima" A haggard-looking Tommy Lee Jones of San Antonio stars as the father, Susan Saradon the mother, and a very brunette Charlize Theron as an investigator.

This film catches my attention unlike the Simpson movie and "No Reservations" opening this weekend, as well as the other summer fare offered up.

The article also mentions that British director Paul Greengrass will adapt for film Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book about life in the Green Zone.

Posted by: Loomis | July 27, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know quite how to express this, RD, I am conflicted. A friend had her Golden Retriever put down last week. He was as much a friend as she is and the pain of his loss weighs heavy on me. The end has been coming for several years and she had spent close to $10k in cost to keep the boy alive and pain free. When NMTBD (Nothing more to be done) happens, it becomes a test of what is right for you and what is right for the dog. She did the right thing for him, I think, but there is no anodyne for the pain of a lost loved one. The only solace is that the dog is free of pain. Remembering helps.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 27, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh - fortunately this isn't a case where the life of the dog is in danger. And putting a 3 year old Cairn Terrier down when we have the resources to deal with it simply isn't going to happen. This dog is my daughters best (dare I say only) friend. Yet an informed consumer is the best consumer. Before I subject this little dog to surgery, I want to make sure it is the smartest thing to do.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

You'll have to excuse me for the next 2 1/2 hours while I swoon: "Shakespeare in Love" is coming on one of the Indie channels.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 27, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

RD - given the age of the dog, your resources, and the importance to your daughter it makes sense to use the best practices of vet medicine to achieve a salubrious outcome. Do it.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 27, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse


Which channel?

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Never mind. I looked this up and found that I don't get this channel. Of course, there's always Netflix.

Posted by: THS | July 27, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I never realized you were such a fan of Joseph Fiennes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Favorite Shakespeare in Love Quote:

Philip Henslowe: The show must... you know...
William Shakespeare: [prompting him] Go on!

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Boodle dipping whilst I can during the oncall week from h e l l.

I go with the 10 minute (or less) corn rule. I was at a get-together where I was helping a bit with the meal (mainly carrying food to the table), and I kept asking about the corn - they must have boiled it for half an hour. I thought it might be a Southern thing - the person in charge was from Florida. The corn was way overdone.

Last night I was at the Mariners game, for Stitch and Pitch. Lots of people knitting and crocheting. Fun but weird! (And I got 2 calls from work while I was there.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 27, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"The play's the thing."

Posted by: Shiloh | July 27, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking - My sister-in-law was at that stitch and pitch game!

'tis a small world indeed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 27, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I got 11 of 12 on the food quiz, so you can all go back and read my recipe for corn.

I remember the first time corn cooked as I described was served at my grandmother's. Grandma came from Nebraska, where you boiled all vegetables until all that remained was the color.

"Green. Must be beans."

One of the aunts cooked corn this quick way and everyone was amazed. And happy.

Posted by: nellie | July 27, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

RD, we could have worn Theron bows! Next year, let me know if she's going (I'll promise not to say "boodle" or divulge bunny reading room secrets). That's wild. Is she going to see the Yarn Harlot when she's in town in September?

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 27, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Whew, just finished making lemon squares to bring to my cousins' annual family cookout tomorrow. Turning the oven on when it's already 80 degrees in the kitchen is not recommended. Did some cleaning and laundry so I can spend tomorrow having fun without thinking about chores waiting for me on Sunday. We're bringing the granddaughters with us as my daughter has to work. I forgot to mention that two days after my other daughter put down her Great Dane, one of daughter #1's cats disappeared. We assume a coyote got it. She tries to make sure the cats are inside at night but they are always trying to go out. It's a shame, he was a nice cat, she got him before the girls were born. They were upset but at least still have the other cat, who is more child-friendly. My daughter didn't mention the coyote theory to the girls, just said that the cat was probably sick and went off to be alone. This was not a good month for the Sneaker family animals.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 27, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

THS, what a nice memory. You emerging, spending quality time with your dad and a scrumptious meal complete with a good friend. Mouth is watering!

Posted by: birdie | July 27, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, Lemon bars...yummy. Sorry about your family animals. Cats don't always get their nine lives. But they try that's for sure.

Posted by: birdie | July 27, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Aloha..Given the scenario, I think you run into the same problem taking AG down that you run into with taking Dub/Cheney/Rove/et al. down...the case has got to be so air-tight and so all-encompassing that you take the whole lot of them down all at once, otherwise you'll (more than likely) end up with someone worse, at least for a while (and goodness knows what they can do in no time flat). Sometimes, the smart move is not to move, just keep your eye on the the light at the end of the tunnel, and hope Congress keeps a foot held strategically over the brake pedal.

(Considering the scenario, it's the Congressional oversight part of the equation that needs work. Yes, they're making moves in that direction, but this isn't exactly familiar territory for most of them, and there are bound to be mis-steps. They walk before they run. Toss in the over-hyped over-extended over-financed over-crowded presidential campaign, and it's just a big ole twisted mess.)

Posted by: LostInThought | July 27, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I was out of the loop just as I had something to say to RD and my dear dbG.

Yeoman tore his ACL when he was 3; we did the TPLO for him. It was expensive, and the recovery was hell. Nonetheless, because he was relatively young and *so far as we know* TPLO does not cause osteoarthritis later, we opted for that. But note, because he was born displastic in both hips and elbows, and arthritic in those self-same joints by the age of 1 year, his knees were pretty much the only joint holding him up. Preserving them was of paramount concern.

Ms. Libby tore her right ACL just two weeks ago. She is now 5 years old (average lifespan for BMDs is 7.5) and has no other joint disease. We did the 'old' surgery for her. Much less expensive, and her recovery has been remarkable (once we got her off the junk). She is doing just fine. She won't be able to go for a walk for at least eight weeks, but she submits to the physio very willingly, and is putting a wee bit of weight on that foot (more every day) as she should.

This is not a euthanizable injury. It is very very common in dogs both big and small (terriers and CKCS are the small breeds in which it most commonly occurs, and all big dogs are susceptible). It can be treated very effectively. If surgery is for some reason not an option, pain control and rest can have remarkable outcomes. I say, RD (sorry if I sound judgmental, I don't feel that), that there is absolutely no reason not to try every treatment, from least to most invasive, to find out what works. Especially for a young dog (-5 years) there is a good chance of a good quality of life with whatever regime ultimately works for them, which is what we promise them when we bring them into our families.

Here the explication ends.

Posted by: Yoki | July 27, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Just to finish the Shakespeare in Love thread:

It's a mystery!

Posted by: Yoki | July 27, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Should have said, RD, that the TPLO for Yeoman was about $3000, and the EC-R for Libby about 1800. I would imagine the Rimadyl/rest regime would run about $60 a month.

I will add this, though it is not an option that I have considered seriously for any of my dogs; amputation above the knee is preferable to euthanization, as a last resort, and most small dogs do very well on three legs. The bigs, not so much.

Posted by: Yoki | July 27, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Watched the first half of one of my favorite films with the kids tonight: Where Eagles Dare. Odd but successful combination of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. Getting late and decided to save the massacre of many Nazis for tomorrow. Spoiler: Burton and Eastwood have gotten into the castle and are about to inflict much carnage on them darn Nazis.

Kids go to bed and I am flipping channels and found myself stuck on The Dirty Dozen. Geez, how long before I'm one of those old guys shushing my wife because there's a great Military Channel program on?

Posted by: bill everything | July 27, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

If you need a second opinion, get it from another vet. Dogs most commonly hurt their knees when doing stairs. It is a decidedly common injury for dogs.

Because Wilbrodog has rather straight knees, I investigated how to minimize injury issues, such as slowing him down when going down stairs and never running him on hard surfaces if I can avoid it. (I trot him on my bike-- that also gives me opportunity to slow down for traffic.).

Weight control is extremely crucial for good joints-- and there I feel bad; I've allowed him to gain some weight and he is hovering on borderline chubby now (you can see where his ribs end, but they're harder to feel and the bumps of the last 2 ribs are no longer visible).

Since cairn terriers are less than 20 lbs, your dog MIGHT not need surgery; however given that your dog could live 10 years or more, I say shop around for a few opinions on stablizing the knee before proceeding with surgery.

And, think if you want to restrict your dog from stairs, jumping on beds, etc.-- anything that could wreck the knee further. If your dog has a lot of energy and is active, simple rest may not work and would impair his quality of life as your girl's best pet.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

My Ace high flush got beat by a 2s and 3s full house. Who goes all in with 2, 3? Madness.
Then a guy caught a straight on the river to beat my Aces. I changed strategy by going to another website and getting trounced by a 15 yo boy in Ireland playing "Empire Earth." He sacrificed a large force of cavalry attacking my home island, wiping out my labour force. I resigned and I remembered a Gahan Wilson cartoon depicting two sweet kids playing a board game while explaining to a comically horrified adult, "... then you round up the villagers and send in the interrogation teams."
I haven't been able to find a copy of the cartoon on the internets. Funny really, I found "One small step for a Gnargh, a giant leap for Gnarghkind."

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 2:48 AM | Report abuse

My parent's Cairn, Geordie, livied 17 years. He would have made short work of Error's ground hogs. The same for their dachsy, Tammy. We had only had him a few weeks when he went after a rabid fox that drifted through our croquet game. We couldn't tell if he made contact with the fox so he had to quarinteened for 90 days. The vet only charged a dollar a day, which makes me feel very old.
When Tammy was brought out after his incarceration he took an overlong look at the family then scampered around, yelping.
I think I mentioned the cairn.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 3:11 AM | Report abuse

SCC We had only had.... Trying to have it both ways again.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 3:23 AM | Report abuse

>two sweet kids playing a board game

"Sign ze papers old man..."

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 28, 2007 4:30 AM | Report abuse

*weekend Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 28, 2007 5:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

When I was growing up, we planted cash crops when re-planted our rubber trees. Rubber trees take 5-6 years to mature so for about 3 years we would plant tomatoes, chillies, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, papayas, pumpkins and maize (you call them corn). I don't know what variety of maize we planted but they were hard as rock. They were orange in colour. We boiled them with salt - 1 hr! We treated groundnuts the same way.

Posted by: rain forest | July 28, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, vacation officially starts today, next two days are busy with a family wedding, my kids are in the Bridal party so it will be hectic but wonderful.

Looks like we should have great weather, hot and humid for the week.

RD hope all goes well, I can understand how important a dogs life is to a young girl.

Hopefully I will be able to borrow the oldest laptop occasionally to keep caught up, but if not have a great week everyone.

Posted by: dmd | July 28, 2007 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't quite know what to make of this story, but its in the New England Journal of Medicine so I guess it's not an urban legend... (The Miami Herald printed it this morning)

A hospice cat with ESP?

Posted by: kbertocci | July 28, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Yoki, dbG, and Wilbrod for all the great info! I do hope it goes without saying that euthanization was never an option! But now I feel a bit better prepared to discuss the options with the specialist this week.

Wilbrod - our dog is small and lean, but very high energy. Thanks for the insight on stairs.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki! I knew you knew the other side.

When I took Cutter in, his vet looked at me and said, "In school, we used to joke that every dog/cat had 3 legs and a spare. It's amazing how well they can get along on 3. But we're not there yet with him!"

You're welcome, RD. Best wishes, and ask about Hyaluronic acid too. It's amazing stuff. I take it for arthritis in my hands too, but was truly sold when I saw Lucie running up and down the stairs again after she'd taken it for 3 days.

Posted by: dbG | July 28, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Good doggie info. Filing for future reference. Oh, the boodle-wisdom.

Off to farmer's market where I hope to find sour cherries. Am listening to a discount compilation of Dave Brubeck. CeePeeBoy has discovered jazz. May be hot outside, but 'tis cool in the house with Dave in the background. Am thinking about wiping the mildow off a very old album: Chase the Clouds Away by Chuck "Magic"gione. First LP I ever purchased; had three forty-fives before that, including Angie by the Rolling Stones, and two John Denver spin-ables. I cannot tell you which ones. Suddenly, the age of casette and, briefly, 8-track tapes...and mix tapes for traveling and as audible love letters.

I am old. I am old. I shall wear my petal pushers rolled.....yet,I do dare to eat peaches!

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

CP - You ain't old. Cause if you are, so am I. And I am but a boy, still flush with the newness of youth.

Yeah, let's go with that.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

On 3-legged pets... I had a friend in high school who had a 3-legged dog *and* a 3-legged cat. The dog lost a leg after being hit by a car. The cat lost a leg after climbing up into a car's warm engine compartment on a cold winter day (and didn't get out quick enough when they started the engine). Anyway, the dog was rechristened "Yardstick" and the cat "Tripod".

I'm off to an early meeting.

Peace out...


Posted by: martooni | July 28, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. CeeP, you're only as old as you feel...which in my case is about 930 years, give or take a century.

On the other hand, ain't new-fangled technology wunnerful? As we speak (well, type), I am giving myself an IV dose of voncomycin. Normally you get an IV by hanging a plastic bag of juice above your head, and letting it drip into your system via IV needle or PICC line. But now they've got this new, really cool gizmo. The vancomycin comes in a plastic bag the size and hardness of a baseball; it is pressurized, and slow-releases the juice over 90 minutes, as the ball slowly deflates down to about a 1-inch core spindle. MNeanwhile, I'm completely mobile; I can walk around, go to the store, whatever. They even give you a fanny pack to put the ball in if you want.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I kilt it, din I? No IV will save it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Gmorning Mudge,nice to have you back.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 28, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Hah, I know from amputation. My childhood dog, Jeff the Mutt, in his middle age developed a disgusting tumor on his beautiful feathery tail, and vet said it was malignant and of a type for which no good treatment existed. Suggested we let him live as long as he was comfortable and then euthanize. My Dad asked, why not just amputate the tail? Which is what happened. Ever after, we called him Stumpy. It took him a while to regain full balance, he walked funny for a couple of weeks, but he lived for 7 more years into a senile old age. Good all around.

Off to dreaded IKEA for some furniture for #1. If I'm not back in 3 hours, please send the posse in.

Posted by: Yoki | July 28, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Boodles not dead, I'm just waiting for a topic change.

As the owner of a twelve-year-old dog that still climbs stairs and jumps on beds, I find all the talk about amputation and multi-thousand dollar rehabilitative surgeries very unsettling.

I'm also pretty squeamish when in comes to procedures involving veins. While I am proud of mudge for being able to self-medicate, I am putting my hands over my ears and singing LALALALA until we get back to gardening and Monty Python sketches.

Saw the very chick-flickie "No Reservations" last night. Lots of scenes set in a high end restaurant kitchen. Lots of food pr0n. Very little of the other kind. PG-13 and all. Catherine Zeta-Jones still has one of the nicest rumps in movies.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Only a moment to drop in and say hi, but I'm feelin' pretty good after a nice breakfast out and some relaxed grocery shopping.

I noted Scotty's umbrage last night, and think he's got a good point with regards to the the New Republic. They need to hold this writer to either the lower blogger standard, or the the fact-checking regular writer standard, but they can't have it both ways no matter who this person is married to.

Hmmm. Would simply being married to the President of the USA make one qualified to be the President of the USA?


Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Math 7/7
Fish 9/11
Food 10/12

It's a rare food that is better when microwaved but I say sweet potatoes qualify.

Rainforest's rock-hard corn reminds me of when I made my own masa from scratch. With my lady friend, visiting her ill mother on the family farm, I wandered outside for a stroll in the just-harvested autumn cornfield and gathered about 8 ears of hard sundried yellow corn the harvester missed. Later at home, I twisted the kernals off the ears and began to boil them. I added about a half-cup of horticultural lime (CaO, calcium oxide, not the CaCO3, calcium carbonate, otherwise known as limestone. What I used was left over from making homemade gesso for prepping my paintings' surfaces. Later I found out there is a "food grade" hydrated lime for pickling, etc.)

I simmered the kernals in the limewater for an hour, turned off the stove, and next morning brought it to a boil again, and let it cool. I wasn't sure what I was doing! After I was sure the corn had at least mostly been transformed to hominy (the kernals plumped up and tender) I rinsed the whole business copiously in a colander. Then, lacking a food mill, I laboriously and in small batches ground it into paste in my food processor. Success. A perfect tortilla dough had resulted. Next I made about 7 tortillas and fried them. It became very obvious I had zero tortilla-making skills. Misshapen and partly burned. But what to do with the absolutely delicious smelling masa? I refrigerated it all, and next day began making a big mess of hot tamales. Bingo! Delicious they were.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Mmmmm. Ms Zeta Jones in BBC's "The Darling Buds of May." I'll say.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Qualifications required to be President:
35 years old
native born US citizen
lived in US the previous 14 years
can't have already served two terms

Many people expect political experience as a requirement for higher office such as having been governor of a major state like Texas, Georgia, or Arkansas or senator from someplace like New York or California.

The last president without previous elected office experience was Eisenhower. But he won a war, so that counts for something.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

kbert, the Post had a live chat with Dr. Dosa yesterday... *pointing back about a hunnert or so Boodlings*


'Mudge, next thing you know they'll have nanobots wandering through, zapping individual streptococci with little backpacks of vayocondioscin... Or something...

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

For the record I think that Laura Bush would make a wonderful President. I'm not so sure about her mother-in-law. I hear she is a real rhymes-with-witch.

Rossalynn Carter at 80 and Nancy Reagan at 86 are probably too old.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Here's the link to the nursing home cat chat:
Really interesting. I think I heard this mentioned on 60 minutes a while back - not sure if it was the same cat (not sure how many there are!).

I'm doing the same as yellojkt on the IV's and dog surgery options. Don't mind me.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 28, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, thanks for the tip--I went back and read that chat. I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm not really a WaPo reader; sometimes I wonder if I should be embarrassed about it.

Regarding political wives--I remember my introduction to the concept when George Wallace's wife ran for office, back before anybody would take a woman seriously as a candidate for governor in her own right. Somehow the voters went for it, but I always thought it was weird.

Once in Key West my husband was appointed to a citizen's advisory panel dealing with a controversial subject. At the first meeting there was a big argument and three of the committee members left in a huff. My husband was the third, but before he left he leaned in to the microphone and said, "I reserve this seat for my wife!" It was accepted with no objections, I served on the panel and we worked out the controversy. I still thought it was weird, though.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 28, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

On my way back from the gym I saw several pickup trucks selling Jersey tomatoes and corn by the side of the road. I believe I'll have to mosey back that way very soon! Haven't tried the cinnamon, but like someone with a hammer who sees every problem as a nail, I have a nutmeg grinder and nutmeg goes in *everything.*

Foster Lab has moved on to his new home, should be arriving right about now. His new family picked him up; they couldn't stop petting and kissing him and he reveled in it. The look on his face was akin to "Where have you been all my life?"

He jumped into their SUV when I asked him to and I thought, "Vaya con queso, Desperado-no-more. Now go home." Tears in my eyes, I walked back into the house where we all celebrated being alone again.

Posted by: dbG | July 28, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Astonishing juxtaposition that the Boodle may appreciate. For a number of reasons, I had to check the Wikipedia entry for a literary scholar and curmudgeon (note the small 'c'); I found that Harold Bloom of Yale lists these art pieces as among the most important in the 20th Century. DUCK SOUP, is part of this. Wow!

* Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
* William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
* The end of the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup
* "Nearly all" of Hart Crane
* Wallace Stevens's Auroras of Autumn
* Bud Powell's performance of "Un Poco Loco"
*"I Remember You" and "Parker's Mood" as performed by Charlie Parker
*"Byron the Light Bulb" from Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow

Two jazz musicians and a character from the impenetrable and oblique and bizarre TP's Gravity's Rainbow. I am surprised and thought I would share.

PS: do not understand Pynchon nor Iris Murdoch, 'tall. Can wander through Joyce and keep my sea legs but cannot speak anything coherent or understandable about that work either.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

DBG -- good for you to love so thoroughly and practically, for this lucky dog and his new family: in a word, not-selfish! Go get those 'maters. I am commencing gazpacho this moment with produce from MD sandy, Eastern shore.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup for the rest of your life."
-G Marx

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. I couldn't resist

"Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It,"
These are the laws of my administration
No one's allowed to smoke
Or tell a dirty joke
And whistling is forbidden...
If chewing gum is chewed
The chewer is pursued.
And in the hoosegow hidden...
If any form of pleasure is exhibited
Report to me and it will be prohibited.
I'll put my foot down, so shall it be.
This is the land of the free.
The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it
If you think this country's bad off now
Just wait 'til I get through with it
The country's taxes must be fixed
And I know what to do with it
If you think you're paying too much now
Just wait 'til I get through with it...

I will not stand for anything that's crooked or unfair
I'm strictly on the up and up
So everyone beware
If anyone's caught taking graft
And I don't get my share
We stand 'em up against the wall
And pop goes the weasel.

If any man should come between her husband and his bride
We find out which one she prefers
By letting her decide
If she prefers the other man
The husband steps outside
We stand 'em up against the wall
And pop goes the weasel.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC I should have included:

In the song and dance number, "Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It," Firefly specifies the rules and program planned for his preposterous administration. He threatens, as a repressive, dictatorial ruler, to abuse his power, to be rude, obnoxious, irresponsible, insulting, cynical, and power-mad, ruining the country. Between verses, he plays a "Yankee Doodle" fife and dances around among the guests:
In the song and dance number, "Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It," Firefly specifies the rules and program planned for his preposterous administration. He threatens, as a repressive, dictatorial ruler, to abuse his power, to be rude, obnoxious, irresponsible, insulting, cynical, and power-mad, ruining the country. Between verses, he plays a "Yankee Doodle" fife and dances around among the guests:
In the song and dance number, "Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It," Firefly specifies the rules and program planned for his preposterous administration. He threatens, as a repressive, dictatorial ruler, to abuse his power, to be rude, obnoxious, irresponsible, insulting, cynical, and power-mad, ruining the country. Between verses, he plays a "Yankee Doodle" fife and dances around among the guests:
In the song and dance number, "Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It," Firefly specifies the rules and program planned for his preposterous administration. He threatens, as a repressive, dictatorial ruler, to abuse his power, to be rude, obnoxious, irresponsible, insulting, cynical, and power-mad, ruining the country. Between verses, he plays a "Yankee Doodle" fife and dances around among the guests:

In the song and dance number, "Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It," Firefly specifies the rules and program planned for his preposterous administration. He threatens, as a repressive, dictatorial ruler, to abuse his power, to be rude, obnoxious, irresponsible, insulting, cynical, and power-mad, ruining the country. Between verses, he plays a "Yankee Doodle" fife and dances around among the guests:

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Multiple posts in just one entry.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 28, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Stop posting-"Go get Sweaty"!

Posted by: ghostcommander | July 28, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Boko - hope you're ok! Gesundheit! (Just requested Duck Soup from the library.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 28, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

boko, that post was quite a feat.

mudge, the hemobling sounds like it might scare small children.

had a nice dinner with tbg and son of g last night. they seem to be having a good time in sunny california and are now headed east on their road trip. i'll let them give details.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 28, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

>DBG -- good for you to love so thoroughly and practically, for this lucky dog and his new family

Seconded and more!

You guys are gonna break me down yet on the pooch biz.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 28, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, guys! That feels good.

I'd say that's me, love 'em and send 'em out the door with relief before it gets serious, but it's occurred to me too often in the past few weeks that my own desperado traits aren't helping me anymore either.

Was it CP who told Martooni we all have something? It's true. /wry smile/

And now, off to cut the heads off some roses. :-)

Posted by: dbG | July 28, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

A faux pas I committed Friday. Two compatriots were relishing the weekend to finish the Harry Potter book. I, who have not read any of them, devised a "spoiler" I made up out of whole cloth, and delivered in a sarcastic manner. I am a good actor, and at least half-believing that I actually knew what I was talking about, and half-believing me to have malign intent, they grumbled in a surly manner as I left the workplace. Today I spoke with my sister, who, along with her daughter, has been a true fan and who finished the book several days ago. She informed me the story I had made up was in fact the true ending.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I hereby dub thee Faux Rowling.


Sneaks, if yer out there -- What's the name of the ticket reseller that advertises on NESN's Red Sox broadcasts? Thanks.

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 28, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Er, I threw together a quick blog item re. the Vice President's Heart Upgrade today.

Hopefully, he'll do something about those shoes being too tight, too.


Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

That's in my mind.

That's the profile
of a beautiful meadow,
and that's in my
mind like a delicate
leaf in the cold
of the darkness; I
see pleasant and
tender ideas where
the sound of the
care arrives near a
blackbird, thinking
alone, like the
sun in the water.

Posted by: Francesco Sinibaldi | July 28, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

bc, I liked the Cheney upgrade, especially the heart being two sizes too small.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge.

I actually chortled when I wrote that.


Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

CP, never touched Pynchon as of yet, but one thing you can say, he does great book titles.

"Gravity's Rainbow" practically begs pointy-sciency types and poets alike to read it.

Unfortunately from what I can see, it's actually a sort of "the Hunt for Red October" (also a good title, come to think of it) with a liberal sprinkling of Heinlein at his worst, and further brewed with byzantine plotting and numerology that makes the Da Vinci code look amateurish.

It is, I think, a book that sorely needed a great editor, perhaps.

I never finished a Joyce novel other than "the Artist as a Young Man", which is excellent in its way, although far from my favorite book.

The stylistic devices are very interesting. You can see a kind of Berlitz-type immersion in language learning, and you do see a psychic portait of the shallowness of his teen years, on to maturity.

However, like, who wants to hear all that from some teenager, who hasn't, you know, really LIVED? Bonehead.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Lovely poem, Francesco. That reminds me somewhat of a navajo poem (in translation) that starts "I'm thinking of..."

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

bc - very funny bit about Cheney. I question, though, the notion of changing the blood. That assumes he has some.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Good call, RD. What would be a better term?
Ichor? Machine oil? Embalming fluid?

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - I would never be so impolite as to imply that, say, Cheney is actually fly-by-wire. Rather I merely and innocently point out that any statement regarding blood is based on an underlying assumption.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking - I will ask mys sister-in-law about the "Yarn Harlot." If she is going I am sure she would be delighted to meet you and share many fascinating stories about me.

Unless I pay her off first.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Bc,I Liked your piece on Cheney, kinda reminded me of the Borg.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 28, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

S'nuke, sorry for the late response, been out all day. The ticket reseller, according to "S" who knows all things Red Sox, is StubHub. Not sure if that's one word or two.

Spent the day at my cousin's cookout, catching up with relatives and eating. Oh boy did we feast. Clam chowder, stuffed quahogs, raw cherrystones, steamers, and mussels (the last two even my granddaughters ate). I never touched the burgers, was having too much fun with the shellfish.

Stopped by daughter #2's house afterwards, she was too miserable this morning to go to the cookout. It was her first day without work or something else to keep her busy and the grief over her dog just took her over. But she called a while ago to say that she and her fiance were accepted to adopt a Great Dane puppy from a rescue group, so in a week or two, we'll have a new addition to the family. It's a bit soon, she thinks, but the opportunity was there, and I think she's doing the right thing. Her house is too quiet and empty without her dog.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 28, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

>I question, though, the notion of changing the blood. That assumes he has some.

I think the real question is the disposal protocol. The real reason behind Yucca Mountain?

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 28, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

RD & Wilbrod -
At the risk of explaining a bit of humor, I was thinking about "blood" in the sense of oil and money, given GW Bush's and Cheney's support from and history with the oil and energy sectors.

In a more literal sense, I was also thinking about engine oil and hydraulic fluids (which need to be changed periodically in any machine) as well as the old jokes about Keith Richards getting blood transfusions in order to remain alive/undead.

A lot of explanation for a short sentence (which I did go back and modify slightly), but I honestly think like this when I write. Sometimes I'm better at conveying all of this info than others, but on the other hand, you do *not* want to be in my head while all of this stuff is going on...


Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

bc, there was one thing about your Cheney piece I was unclear on. Was there anything in your discourse about Cheney's composition and physiology that would contradict the notion that Cheney is a big doo-doo head?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I made the Keith Richards comment on your blog before I read your 10:20 boodle. I scare myself sometimes.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

CP, you may have heard this or know of his writing in this regard, but I heard this great Harold Bloom discussion about his different views of Yahweh and Jesus (or old v. new testament).

Posted by: bill everything | July 28, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

bc... I'm surprised Cheney didn't opt for SCO Unixware, especially when you consider the similarities in the way they both do business.

bad sneakers... is daughter #2 a masochist? Great Danes aren't exactly known for long life. My experience with them is that they're big, dumb and a little too lovable for their size, with a bark exponentially larger than their bite. My ex had one -- great dog, but what a wuss. It used to bark like crazy when the Canadian geese would congregate in our back yard. I let it out one day thinking it would chase the geese away, but no such luck... one honk from an angry goose and that dog was back in the house so fast you'd have thought it's stubby little tail was on fire.

Posted by: martooni | July 28, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, I didn't call Cheney's support team a Collective for nothing...

And Mudge, there's nothing in there that precludes the idea of Cheney being behind the Doo-dooist movement.


PS Don't even ask what I was thinking when I wrote that last sentence.

Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Ha, yellojkt, I didn't see your comment before I posted that 10:20.

Not only do you scare yourself, I count myself as one of many people you scare as well.


Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel's Outlook piece is up, titled "The Aliens Among Us (Maybe) at

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes Martooni, the definition of masochist is Great Dane owner. She knows it but loves the breed. I never noticed her dog being 'wussy,' if anything she was a bit too aggressive when it came to other dogs. But she was a lovable oversized lap dog.

How's it going? Keep up those meetings and don't overthink things! (I keep stressing that because part of what led to my two slips was thinking too much.)

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 28, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks... I'm acutely aware of the dangers of thinking. You've probably heard "Drink=Trouble"? For me, it's "Think=Trouble".

Posted by: martooni | July 28, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I had to do some yard work, this and that, and missed two whole Boodle days. It's a good thing I'd been to the farmer's market before reading the corn and tomato discussion. In addition to microwaving or boiling (very little time), you can also cut off kernels and saute in butter.

Saw The Simpsons movie. Ex-cellent. "I'm one of those rich guys who wants to give something back. Not the money, but something." And there's plenty more where that came from.

I attended a ceremony here this morning celebrating the opening of the Vietnamese Freedom Boat exhibit. This is a traveling exhibit of one of the boats which made it from Vietnam to the Philippines after the fall of Saigon. It has traveled now to 48 states and they're trying to get it to Alaska and Hawaii. We have a pretty big Vietnamese community here and the ceremony was very good. The boat itself is amazing -- a small open wooden artifact; you can't believe 30 people survived in it for any length of time. I'm very fond of my country, but sometimes I take it for granted (if nothing else, Arbusto and gang may be reminding us how precious our freedoms are). When I think of the pain and hardships my Vietnamese friends went through just to get here, and then the struggles they had building an entire new life, I am humbled. As RD Padouk said in another context, we really do live like kings.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 28, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

My wife is Vietnamese and made it over long before the boat people. She has a cousin that was a boat person and came in under a false identity.

My wife has two older sisters. One is still in Vietnam. The other came over in the 80s after a lot of paperwork and probably some bribes. She married a Cuban Marielito she met in English class. Their daughter just graduated high school. Love is grand.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I loved the Kit, by the way, and am very impressed at Joel's ability even in imagination to expand the size and scope of his garden. I suspect he's really dreaming up an empire. All that work, of course, is much too much for the dog days of summer, when all you should do is dream.

That first section describes our office exactly. Even the people who are there aren't there.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 28, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, I half remembered that. I got involved with the Vietnamese Community here through the League of Women Voters. We did a handbook on the basics of citizenship and had it reliably translated into Vietnamese, then presented copies to the Community. It describes voting, the concept of political parties, and government structure, including things like the school board. The Vietnamese here have become an economic force; ideally they'll become comfortable enough with the political process to get on the city council, etc. I have tried to keep up the ties I formed doing that project and stay involved with the Community.

Vaya con queso for now, all, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 28, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that's true, RD and Ivansmom. One of my friends from Vietnam lived in a refugee camp for awhile. He said all he wanted then was a mosquito net. I just got done reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, about 2 women in Afghanistan - oh my, I'm glad I was born here.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 28, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Even before reading Joel's Outlook article, when I read this in the local paper, I thought of the Boodle:
"All variety of baby organisms thrive among the reef of yellow and orange sponges, which look something like hollowed-out, supersized Cheetos."

Did Dooley ever get back from Peru?

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 28, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I once had a friend who was indeed a "boat person" from Vietnam. She said when an American ship came by, they thought they'd die but they were rescued instead. Not everybody recovers from trauma of such difficult childhoods that easily.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers --
A neighbor just lost a dog of many years. And they went out, almost immediately, to get another. Said they had watched two other neighbors lose dogs recently, and mourn for several months, and be really, really blue --- and be so much more alive when they finally got a new dog, that they decided they would not wait. Good for them, good for the new dog.

Posted by: nellie | July 28, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I left JA a comment on the Outlook piece (which, no doubt, will end up as a Kit tomorrow or Monday), hopefully someone will recognize it as unplanned humor.

Or some serious commenter will just tell me I'm an idiot, which is OK too.

Good night, Boodle.


Posted by: bc | July 28, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Here's a provocative letter about the whole issue of marriage from a priest...

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I hope Kerric's grandchildren enjoy the "Exodus From the Green Zone" exhibit over at Ahmed Chalabi High School.
I enjoyed bc's latest update on Vice President Cheney's upgrades. How does he he do it year after year?

Oh oh. Better go rinse.

Posted by: Boko999| July 29, 2047 1:21 PM | July 29, 2007 1:22 AM | Report abuse

*rather damp Grover waves*

Heckuva lightning display last night... And the power's still on! *crossing fingers*


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Up and moving about. I want to go to church this morning, if the g-girl and I can get the clothes on in time.

Kbert, read the story about the cat, Oscar, that can predict the death of patients in a nursing home. His predictions are so certain that the staff call the relatives when he curls up on the patient's bed. Scary story.

Hope your weekend has been grand. The g-girl and I got out for awhile yesterday. We were trying to find her someone to play with. We ended up at a cousin's house, and there were some kids there, then she didn't want to leave.

Ivansmom, Slyness, and Kbert, I've sent you something in the mail Friday. You should get it sometimes this week. Don't be afraid when you look at it. Just wanted to share.

A friend of mine lurks here sometimes, and she said to me, I don't need to go to a place to feel small, I get enough of that in the real world. I believe she was making the comment in regard to the group here, and because many of you are so well versed in so many things, perhaps sometimes that ability may be seen as flaunting and big-headness(not sure that is a word). And in displaying this uniqueness perhaps, unintentionally, some of us may feel a bit out of place. I've always felt a bit out of place here, but that has never stopped me before. My belief system puts me in that place all the time, and not just here. My financial situation keeps me in a different place most of the time. Yet I move on, and as the the noted writer, Maya Angleo says, still I rise.

Yet I don't want to make people's lives difficult, and I don't want to out stay my welcome. Mr. Achenbach, if my presence on your blog is disruptive and not helpful or does not add anything to it, please speak, and I will leave. And guess what, I will not be angry or upset. You have my email address, don't hesistate to use it. If the comfort level would be better without cassandra s, that is fine. No problem.

Now I really have to start the dressing process, we want to make Sunday school. Have a good day, folks. Perhaps in your doings today you might give God some of your time.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 29, 2007 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, the issue is never you, please understand that. It hurts whenever you get that impression. *HUGS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 6:40 AM | Report abuse

I say the opposite of the priest. Get the government out of the marriage business. I'm not sure why you get a tax break because you have entered a pact with another person that involves exclusive rights to sexual intercourse. Get the gummint out of the bedroom.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse


And the beat goes on...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, your friend has it all wrong.

You should be asking to draw a salary.

Alright, now there's a HUGE talking groundhog on TV, who approved THAT? Bloody roundhogs have an AGENT now? *sigh*

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 29, 2007 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Scotty and Error, thanks for the hugs, and the good thoughts always.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 29, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

NYTimes calling for special prosecutor or impeachment on Gonzales...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, if you don't want to post here because you feel different, that is your choice. But I think that would be foolish and a loss for us all. I suspect everyone here feels different. Let's face it, we are a motley lot.

Personally, your presence in this blog reminds me that the world doesn't begin and end in the affluent suburbs. You help me realize that the color-blind world in which I live is not the only world that exists.

And, I can say without fear of contradiction, that the day Joel Achenbach asks you to stop posting is the day that space aliens have taken over his brain.

So take a deep breath and relax. You're among friends.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I agreed with Scotty and Error Flynn.

Error Flynn, you should train your groundhogs to do tricks so you could get on a talk show like, Jay Leno or something. Who knows, you might get noticed and land yourself a part in a movie! Just don't forget us if you get famous.

Posted by: rain forest | July 29, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

And for all you locals who get the WaPo magazine, I am proud to say that I eventually found all twelve differences on page 6. But now my eyes hurt.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

SCC : It should be "I agree", I think.

Posted by: rain forest | July 29, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Cassandra, what Padouk said. You're as much a part of this community as anyone else, and there's no way Joel (of all people) would ever want to run you off. Ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I wish there was a giant talking groundhog on my TV.
All we get up here in Canada are beavers. We see talking beavers, dancing beavers, singing beavers and some who are triple threats. There are fewer dancing beavers since the Hotplate Scandal of '67 but my point is that there are too many beavers.
We have beavers on flags, beavers on stamps and beavers on the money. There are whole prison camps in China stuffing toy beavers so Canadians can sell them to tourists who will never see a real damn beaver.
I've never heard of anyone saying, "Great!" when informed beavers have moved into the creek by his home. Forget approvals and environmental studies when a beaver decides an area needs a dam and a huge honking lake. Expect flooded basements, crops and forests. There were be water were the beaver wants it and where you don't.
Do you know what beavers do in the water?
A lot. Most it you don't want to know about.

Talking chipmunks would be nice. Maybe a moose and squirrel.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 29, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Offical Government spokesbeavers, Safety beavers, shifty used car salesbeavers.

It's hideous.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 29, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Boko... you don't know how sorely tempted I am to exploit the double entendre potential of "beaver".

Cassandra... last I heard, a PhD is not a requirement to participate here or to have your opinions considered and valued. If the Boodle will put up with a college drop-out drunk from Ohio, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Beautiful day here, btw, and a very full plate. Two lawns to mow, a houseful of trim to paint, meetings, fairy doors to finish...

I'm gonna be busy as a beaver.



Posted by: martooni | July 29, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse


You are one of the great flavors in the stew that is the Boodle. We are more than a sum of our ingredients. I strongly doubt that big-headness is rampant here. Unbridled silliness is much more common.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, RD's right. We're a motley lot. I'm sorry your friend feels *less.* I'd like to think that we'd welcome her if she boodled.

I suspect here just about all of us feel less sometimes (not to minimize her feelings, truly). I think it's part of the human condition. My work tea mug (bought in Toronto), quotes E. Roosevelt--"Do at least 1 thing every day that scares you." Some days, that's just getting up and going into work.

I always enjoy reading what you have to say. It's fresh, interesting and kind. Please don't stop.

Posted by: dbG (Item -32767 in the motley lot) | July 29, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

G'morning Boodle. Keep a good thought for Mr. F and Frostdottir who are trying to fly on Northwest this morning. Pilots are having some sort of end-of-month scheduling flu and their chances of leaving Minneapolis on schedule, after leaving Chez Frostbitten at 2:00AM, are shaky.

Cassandra-I wouldn't presume to know why your friend has such concerns about the boodle, or the head size of boodlers. But, I imagine all of us have times when we can only get our big heads through the door with the aid of a shoe horn or some WD-40. I would venture to guess that at least some of those swollen head moments come when we note that the gracious, kind, and wise Cassandra can be counted among our imaginary friends.

Martooni-9, great number!

Time to make a pot of coffee.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 29, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Cassandra, first of all, I value you and your presence here, and I know Joel and others feel the same way.

Secondly, your sense of timing is impeccable, coming on the heels of Joel's Outlook piece on alien life.

I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of government-assisited housing, and my own family went on and off of Welfare as my mom struggled to stay employed and run a single parent household. From time to time mom couldn't make ends meet, and we'd do without utilities for a while. Had a garden in the back yard, and whatever was closest to ripe that day was what was for dinner.

Anyway, I was a reasonably smart kid who read the newspaper every day (that was one thing mom didn't let drop - we may not have had electricity to watch TV, but we darn sure had a Washington Post on the doorstep every morning), and had his nose buried in library books of all kinds; history, science, classic literature, engineering, politics, science fiction, biographies, anything that looked interesting to me.

As you can imagine, I was pretty different from the kids in my neighborhood. Kids who were more interested in sports and, er, other pursuits that may be somewhat outside the law (Not that I didn't love sports; I did and still do. I just realized that my future didn't go in that direction. And as far as the other stuff goes... no comment.)

I wasn't afraid of talking about what I'd learned, but the kids in the neighborhood and in school ostracized me for being "too smart." Even my brothers became caught up in it as they tried to fit into social circles. As you can imagine, I had a pretty lonely existence for a long time. I felt alienated (Huh. I'm writing the screenplay for "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" here, aren't I?), being more intellectually curious and active than people in my neighborhood felt comfortable with.

Eventually, as I began moving about in the world, I began meeting people who accepted me for what I am. Some were like me, others not, but thought I was OK anyway.

Which brings us back around to the Achenblog. After spending a lot of formative years more or less alone in my head (and to some degree, I am still learning to be really open with others), it's been wonderful to find a place where I can be myself, and be right or wrong, or silly or serious, to have reasonable discussions with people who have different points of view and opinions from mine and to talk about similar interests or ideas, to learn about things I know nothing about, and do all of it with folks I regard as friends.

I suspect that all of us in here feel like aliens in one way or another (which may be one reason we're drawn together), but we're all human aliens who've found a degree of acceptance of each other, and some genuine affection amidst the typically intellectual and occasionally silly and flighty intercourse.

You belong here as much as anyone, Cassandra.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Cassandra, I second what everyone else said. That's the advantage of getting here late -- everyone else always expresses things so well for me. Some people compare themselves with others and see differences, while others feel inadequacies. There's usually no reason for it. Perhaps your friend is like that. In any case, you are an important part of this community of irregulars.

I particularly liked the way you put it, Martooni. And hey, congratulations! Keep those numbers rolling. It is nice to have a positive countdown, to compare to the HUGE numbers still on the Bush administration clock.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 29, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Meant to add earlier; go get 'em martooni!


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

My goodness -- Cassandra, I second, third, fourth, etc. what everyone else has said. I always look forward to your postings, even if I don't always disagree (which is not at all very often at all). You bring a presence to this eclectic mix of people that makes it all the more invigorating. Stick around, and don't take "no" for an answer -- by anyone who dares to utter it in your presence (physical or electronic).

I find it remarkable that anyone with a straight face can talk about Cheney's heart condition with the clear understanding that he, of *all* people doesn't have one. (rant, rant, rant)

Martooni, busting my buttons (if I were wearing anything with buttons) over you. One day at a time, sweetie.

That's it, folks. My two loads of laundry are done -- fluffed, folded and put away. Gotta water the plants (maybe after lunch). Gonna do a little work and then off to a late afternoon bridge game. I haven't played bridge in so long, all I can remember is that it's a game played with cards. Yeah, that's all I need.


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

SCC -- "disagree" should be "agree" -- but you know what I mean (I hope).

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

bc, love 'ya man!

Posted by: mutley crew | July 29, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

morning all.

cassandra, you're one of my favorite boodlers. if it make you feel any better, after several degrees from prestigious institutions of higher learning, i can't keep up with lots of conversations here.

martooni, keep at it. glad there's lots of work.

bc, your cheney piece cracked me up.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Nellie, thanks for the information about getting another dog quickly. After I posted last night I got an email from daughter #2 with a photo of the new puppy. He's very cute (what puppy isn't?) but totally different coloring from the deceased dog. Being a fixed male I think is good too, probably less aggressive towards other dogs (but then I know nothing about this subject).

Cassandra, what everyone else said. Depending on what tangent the Boodle is off on at the moment, it can seem like most here are way smarter than average. I just admire the brainpower and stay quiet until someone says something I can understand.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 29, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I must share my joy. After weeks of rain and drying out, it is finally dry and the guys taking out our dead trees are beginning to finish the job today. They have a log ripper (or some similarly cool machinery) out there for the roots now. Soon the large rounds of log in the yard, currently harboring weeds, will disappear. I say "beginning to finish" because they didn't start until almost 10:00 a.m. It is already hot and very humid (I got two sunburns this weekend) and if I were them I would quit in the afternoon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 29, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Hey, who the heck let that college dropout drunk hippie from Ohio in here? There goes the neighborhood!

(Just kiddin', tha's all.)

Mutley crew at 10:37 sure picked a good handle--after all the dog talk and all the dog lovers here, that's sure what we are--a mutt-ley crew.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

'maters. We got your 'maters here. I just picked a half-dozen softball sized beefsteaks along with an equivalent volume of plum tomatoes. Which leads to the logical question.

What the heck are we gonna do with them all?

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse


Woof, I say.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

When life hands you tomatoes...

Make Bloody Marys???


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning all

We had a three hour nasty thunderstorm with large hail, vivid lightning and some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard last night.Over 3 inches of rain to boot.We were in desperate need of rain and i am sure it helped.But the problem was I started painting my house yesterday. Luckily for me is I painted the east side on my house and after viewing it today,I only have to go over a few spots.

Congrats to
Calvin Edwin Ripken, Jr or Just "RIP". I will put down my paint brush today to catch his induction speech.

I got to check on a few homes this morning, good day to all.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 29, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

what?! an italian american is asking what to do with tomatoes?!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey, green, fax me a couple inches of that rain, will ya? All of Southern Merlin is in severe drought conditions, and out gubernator just asked for us to be declared a fed disaster area (jeez, I hope to he11 that doesn't mean we'll all have to move into FEMA trailers).

I'm currently on hold waiting for my friendly Comcast service person to come on the line and tell me why our cable TV is out (however, my high-speed Internet is obviously working). Whenever that's done, I'm gonna go harvest our 'maters. The Big Boy has about 7 or 8 on it, but they aren't nearly as big as Padouk's.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I know, LA Lurker. Pretty sad, isn't it? I can only think Padouk is still half asleep and hasn't had his morning coffee yet.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Well, the theory I was relating to my neighbors, the business next door, came true. I told them if they allow that other idiot to dump trash there, every fool he knows, and every fool who knows THEM, will circulate the word that THEY should dump more trash on top of it. Which is what happened. Got on the internets and got a huge jpg of a "No Dumping!" sign, and printed it out. Must decoupage it onto a board and mount it conspicuously over there. And do some tree trimming.

As a test, I tried emailing my brother a 12+ MB MP3 of a piano song by Denny Daniels, a wonderful pianist who passed away recently.
Denny Daniels (Dennis Daniels)worked with Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beach Boys, Bo Diddley, Buddy Rich, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Muddy Waters.

My server disallowed such a big file, so I learned how to break the file into pieces (tools -accounts - mail -properties- advanced).

Now I will mourn Denny, whose passing I learned of midway through writing this post. And listen once more to "A Song for Bill" and "Tornadoes and Dreams."

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Greetings to all from the California desert. We are at the Harmony Motel in Twentynine Palms. It looks like any dive roadside motel from the road, but it is very nice and the setting is just divine. Apparently U2 stayed here while working on the Joshua Tree album.

Son of G and I are having a great time. I suggest anyone who can should take a trip one-on-one with their kid. Just priceless, especially considering he's leaving for college in just about three weeks.

Dinner with L.A. Lurker was lots of fun. Also heard from ac in sj and LTL-CA, who couldn't make it but got in touch nonetheless. We got some great travel advice from both, especially the "urban archaeology" hints from LTL-CA for my son. A big hit.

We're off to Vegas today. We visited another very cool (actually, quite hot) spot yesterday: Pioneertown. It was originally built back in the '30s to film cowboy movies. There's a motel (where they used to house the stars) and a great roadhouse now with incredibly delicious meat cooked outside on a big BBQ grill.

Pioneertown is not a hugely popular California attraction. The woman at the Calif Visitors Center in San Bernardino (about 75 miles away) had never heard of it.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, what was I thinking. It isn't rocket science to freeze plum tomatoes for midwinter pasta sauce. But what about the beefsteaks? There are just so many BLT sandwiches one can consume (Or *are* there?)

Maybe I will go share the wealth with my neighbors. The seem lycopene deprived.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

TBG in Vegas.

Trouble brewing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Gazpacho will use up a whole lot of tomatoes. I use the basic Joy of Cooking recipe, modified.
4 or so lbs of field ripened tomatoes (I peel by the fat-immersion in boiling water, then ice bath, to loosen the skins)then coarsely chopped.
2 cups of beef bouillon
3 firm, fresh de-seeded cucumbers GRATED and keep the juice and use it
1 firm, fresh green bell pepper (you could use red or yellow) chopped fine
2 fresh red onions chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley, a little basil, pinch of oregano)chopped.
1/2 cup of quality red wine vinegar (NOT balsamic!)[OR 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice]
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste)
3 cloves of minced garlic (or more, but be careful)
3 teaspoons of salt (or more to taste)
fresh ground black pepper
cayenne pepper sauce (optional)

It will do no good for the historical purists to chime in here. Historically, gazpacho is bread and oil and V8 mashed through a strainer or something. Feh! My recipe is far better than history.

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I'll have you know that this middle-aged recovering-drunk hippie not only dropped out of college, but did it on *four* separate occasions. :-)

Actually, I wouldn't mind going back again. Maybe me and Bean can sign up for the same school 12 years from now. Imagine Rodney Dangerfield's "Back to School", but with a sober (and much shorter) version of Tommy Chong in the lead role.

btw... not to brag or nuttin', but I'm currently enjoying a hot Italian sausage sandwich smothered in sauce and peppers and onions.

Posted by: martooni | July 29, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - Thanks for that great Gazpacho recipe! I have never tried to make it, but it might be just the ticket.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

RD P--Do ya think, as a public service, we should alert the authorities in Sin City?

TBG, as we say in the hospitality industry, it's all about making memories! I know you'll always treasure the memory of this trip. My daughter and I did a California trip when she was about 14; it was great and I agree with you that nothing takes the place of that one-on-one time.

**Cassandra, thanks for sticking around!**

Posted by: kbertocci | July 29, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I am blessed by your friendship, even though we have never (yet) met face-to-face. Thank you for your presence here.

Am sitting down after taking a five-mile walk on a mountain trail. Good walking, good exercise. This particular trail qualifies as easy, so we don't get points for difficulty. But it felt good to walk and feels really, really good to be sitting down. We'll ride down the mountain and into the heat and humidity later this afternoon.

Posted by: Slyness | July 29, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

RD, buddy, if you need someone to take some of those tomatoes off of your hands, I can help you out with that.

And thanks for the kind words, folks.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, If you want rain, paint your house. It sure did the trick here. No damage to anyone's houses, although from the looks of my driveway, I could of paddled my kayak down it.

TBG and son of G,could you drop 2 bits on the #8 on the roulette wheel for me and remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, that is unless I win.

More on Cal,_Jr.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 29, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And greenwithenvy, that *was* a heck of a lightning storm last night.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I tried to make an anagram of Cassandra the other day, but they were all too naughty. Sorry, C. Some people just anagram naughty. (I used anagram as a verb!)

Recipe above should say "fast immersion" not "fat." And note the gazpacho should chill in fridge for hours. It's very, very good if chilled overnight. But frankly it's very, very good if it's chilled, period.

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

RD... the G family would be more than happy to take some of those 'maters off your hands.

Consider it a public service or something.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

RD, trade you some Jersey peaches. But you hafta be quick--they're declinging (hah!) by the hour.

Posted by: dbG | July 29, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

bc - That could be arranged.

TBG - Let me know when you get back, and perhaps the magical 'mater fairy could drop some off or sumthin'

dbG - Sounds like a good trade to me!

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, your Gazpacho recipe is so much like mine I am not compelled to type "Try mine! Try mine!" (I would suggest some really good croutons tossed on each serving, however.)

Cassandra, I look for your posting every day. And one of your sky descriptions was so nice I copied it to my "Best of the Boodle" file.

Posted by: nellie | July 29, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

So now the house is filled with the smell of simmering plum tomatoes. Nice.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you better not leave me here alone with these other folks...I can't imagine the boodle without you. Everyone has different things to contribute here ... I do science and self-indulgence, just to take one example off the top of my head ... more and more I feel like the future not only of this blog but of the whole WaPo is building communities online in which people feel invested and want to come back again and again. I hope you don't ever have any more doubts about your importance here. We'd love to hear from your friend, too. Not everyone, of course, wants to send words off into the online universe. Some people may think that going through life without ever posting online is normal. My Mom, for example, continues to treat computers as though they will explode if she touches them.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 29, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Some people may think that going through life without ever posting online is normal. "

Now, see, that's just plain silly, Joel.

RD... my mom used to wash the plum tomatoes, stick them in Ziploc bags and put 'em right in the freezer. When you take them out in the winter to use them for cooking, run them under some cold water for a few seconds and the peels just slide right off.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Did I mention the only down side to traveling with your teenager is getting him up in the morning?

[drinking second cup of coffee; room all packed up and ready to go; kid finally in shower]

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

LOL, TBG! They do need their beauty rest, yanno. I can tell you it does get better, about the time they graduate from college and figure out they have to go to work at a predetermined hour.

Posted by: Slyness | July 29, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

RD, you can fax me a couple of those beefsteaks. We have lots of tomatoes on the way, but it will probably be September till they get red. (It's 66 degrees and misting here.) Try a cream cheese and tomato sammich - that was the subject of my very first Boodle comment, which shows what a big-headed intellectual I am! Let's see, I've dropped out of college about 4 times too, including an online university (oh, the shame). Martooni, keep up the good work.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Green, there's thunder rumbling in the distance and the sky is pretty gray--I think somethin's gonna happen up yonder in a little while--in fact, you can bet your last dollar on it, cuz I am cooking on the grill tonite!!! And it always rains when I'm channeling Bobbie Flay.

Our best friends are coming over for dinner. We learned two weeks ago that Sharon has a lump, which was diagnosed as early stage breast cancer, and she's having a lumpectomy on Tuesday, so we're all pretty concerned and upset, but pulling for her. My wife (they've been best friends for 38 years, so you can imagine) is going up to their house and will be haunting them this week. About six weeks after the surgery, Sharon will be starting radiation, too, so my wife and I are gonna start cooking up and freezing some meals for them when they need it.

Meanwhile, the menu tonight at Chez Mudge is as follows:

Salad featuring home-grown tomatoes, home-grown cucumbers, fresh rasperries, crabmeat, corn (cut from corn on the cob done on the grill) and one giant (6-8 count) shrimp/prawn that looks like a baby lobster tail, in raspberry-walnut vinaigrette;

Surf and Turf: in this case, slow-poached beef tenderloins finished on the grill, plus blackened Black Tip Shark steaks, plus a Mudge variation on McCallister Potatoes.

For dessert choice of lemon crunch sorbet or key lime sorbet.

And there may be a bottle or two of wine consumed; I'm thinking my beloved Bacon Hallow Revenuers Select, which I bought at the Montpelier wine festival Scotty, April, Mo and Mo's Mom also came to.

Yeah, yeah, don't worry; I'll fax all you guys the leftovers.

Man, that thunder is growing and growling. Later, dudes: I gotta go make culinary magic.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra -- For all sorts of reasons mentioned above and the ones to come, but also that civil and pleasant conversation between adults who share a range of opinions and value systems will renew the true meaning of living in the U.S.

And I like you, besides.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

TBG, glad you're having a good time on the trip. I wish I had done something like that with my kid. One of these days...The Hoover Dam is pretty impressive - worth going to see. I've been to Las Vegas a couple of times for conferences. Usually I stay within the cool confines of the hotel, but a friend insisted we go to the Hoover Dam (take water - I was instantly parched, and that was in the spring - the parking garage is some sort of native stone - neat). And there's the Star Trek ride at the Hilton - a colleague dragged several of us there once. I was relieved I did not actually throw up on her.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, best wishes to your friend.

Your menu sounds fantastic, but what are McCallister potatoes?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 29, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- what a good idea about the plum tomatoes. I've just about packed up my freezer with cuts of wild salmon which have been on sale over the past few weeks, but I just might have a couple of inches left over to put in some plum tomatoes.

McCallister potatoes sound good, but I haven't the faintest about what they are. I'm such a foodie, I know I'll like them.

If I'm not being entirely too forward (yeah, well), perhaps the Mudge might wish to host a BPH at his house -- around the grill.

The sky has darkened significantly, just when I'm about to go out to my bridge game.

Toodles, boodles.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 29, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Good article on local food in Loudon County:

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Cool, RD.

I'll stand by for some of those 'maters.

Mudge, that dinner sounds great. I'm glad you and Mrs. M are doing those things for Sharon; she's really going to appreciate it.

Joel, yes, we are building an online community here, and that's why I invented the Worlds of Newscraft online game.

But the interesting thing to me is how far this community extends; it's pretty special in my experience.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Thunder bumpers all day here, dark sky to boot but NO rain.

I predict my first moonflower of the season tonight, unless it is raining. Worth a web cam, really, for this. The unfurling of the whorled bloom takes about seven minutes.

Party in College Park. Bring your videocamera.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

SCC - Loudoun

CP, how exciting! I'm hoping for a moonflower - there are some large buds on what may be a moonflower plant, but could be a morning glory. I'll be happy with either.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Jumper's recipe, except for the beef boubillion is virtually the same as what I would make for gazpacho. (um, maybe it was beefsteak tomatoes in the recipe?)

BTW, when it comes to gazpacho, I've tried lemon juice and vinegar, and vinegar is better. Definitely red wine vingear.

Our garden is yielding enough spinach to make popeye weep, and the lettuce are looking perky as well. So we've had lots of salads with homemade vinegar and oil dressing.

Life is good with a garden of fresh leafy greens.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, your friend is treating this blog too much like real life ;). Shyness unfortunately carries over into so much of life.

I know of shy people who only bloom online because they're not being judged on how they look, how they sound, etc.

Everybody feels small sometimes. Some, like me, feel small ALL the time (except when I look at my scale, and then it's "dang, who dumped a slab of beef on my scale?")

The key is to not fear it so much that you can't enjoy life.

One of my favorite books for shy people is "the Te of Piglet". It's about taoism and Winnie-the-Pooh books.

Yet, much of the book also applies a lot to Christ's teachings about the mustard seed that became a huge tree on whose perches birds would rest.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm wishing I had a garden, for all the tomatoe talk.

Someone mentioned and excess of zucchini the other day? A friend told me of a recipe where you coarsely grate zucchini, mix it in a casserole with chopped tomatoes, and bake it covered with cheese for about half an hour. It always sounded interesting, but no one here is big into tomateos, or zucchini.

Posted by: dr | July 29, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, Jumper's recipe with beef broth is similar to one I use for Gazpacho. It is a "legitimate" ingredient.

Well, at least for me. And Jumper.

Posted by: nellie | July 29, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I have done the but with freezing tomatoes whole, and it works great. Since these tomatoes are destined for either pasta sauce or chili, we scald, chop, and simmer them before freezing to make it easier on ourselves later on. Besides, this greatly reduces the volume. Indeed, it is a bit depressing to see that what I had considered a bountiful harvest can be reduced to a couple of quart containers.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

SCC: done the "bit" with freezing tomatoes.

Horrible what difference a verb makes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I was over at the virtual version of the Sunday magazine, and I noticed a glaring grammatical/typographical error in Tom Shroder's Editorial Note, of ALL places. So I left a comment about it. Luckily for me the comments allow apostrophes now--otherwise my comment wouldn't have been very illustrative.

Anyway, I just took a look at the profile information I am now invited to submit and it kind of unnerved me. I'm not guarding my privacy zealously; I post here with my real name and share information that is similar to the WaPo profile. But I don't feel inclined to submit my photo and my birthday, my "day job," the Person I'd Most Like to Meet and so on. That seems pretty highly invasive. Has anybody here submitted profile information to (Just because I don't want to give mine, that doesn't mean I'm not eager to read yours!)

Posted by: kbertocci | July 29, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"The flowers [of the moonflower] are strongly scented, a trifle sickly in character. They are like thin strong silk, so white they appear to be illuminated, even on a fairly dark night." Henry Mitchel, from _The Essential Earthman_.

ML -- this is early for a moonflower in DC. I expect them the third week of August. They need hot nights and scads of water in our heat.

I took a picture of the two buds a few minutes ago. Since it is overcast, perhaps the unfurling will be early.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

TBG, sounds like a really great trip. 3 weeks? So soon. what happened to the month of July?

Except I know what happened to much of my July.

Cassandra, even when I feel like a wallflower and as different as could be, the boodle reminds me how much we all have in common. In my opinion, the boodle is fast becoming the finest porch of higher learning on the continent, nay the world. The boodle has led me to look at the world with such different eyes.

Posted by: dr | July 29, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm baaaack...and I've missed you guys. In the interim, I've turned 50 , been to the beach twice, finished the chocolate room, and switched from our formerly cursed computer to an iMac. Yaaaah Sheena!!!

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm baaaack...and I've missed you guys. In the interim, I've turned 50 , been to the beach twice, finished the chocolate room, and switched from our formerly cursed computer to an iMac. Yaaaah Sheena!!!

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

...and committed the multiple post error...geek

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

War in Waziristan just start?

Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Ai chihuahua, we've got a kook on our hands... *SIGHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra's friend lurked here. I am not sure how she felt about the openness of the community or the topics. But, I do think that any newbie or occasional lurker might read us as clannish or clique-ey. I see a group of graduate students at a local watering hole often, and they look fun and funny and happy. But, I don't feel quite like pulling up a stool next to them (I eavesdrop, instead.) I am older than them; they are clearly friends, and besides, sometimes what they talk about makes little or no sense to me. AND, they sprinkle the conversation with light %$#@$%$$, which forever will sound course to me.

So, Cassandra, please greet your friend for me. I understand that we look close and perhaps hard to break into. And, we are very weird and often times, TYPE ALL AT ONCE, so the cacophany and chaos might be off-putting too.
Welcome, lurkers and eavesdroppers. Come on in the water is fine. Or enjoy your perch on the edge of the pool.

The moonflower bud seems to have stopped unfurling in the cool, moist evening. Will check later.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Jack -- Happy B-day. Many happy returns of the day. I will think of you this seek when I read the Style section greetings. Here is yours:

Nifty Nifty
Look who's Fifty
Jack B. Boodle

We love ya, J.B.B., from Miffy, Joey, Spike, Jenny, Moms, Pops, Freddie and the gang.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I saw that, Scotty.

What possesses people to do such things? [Of course, we could say that about a lot of things, couldn't we?]

Hi, jack. Welcome back.

I'm interested in hearing the Moonflower report tonight.


Posted by: bc | July 29, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yikes. About two minutes after my last post the sky opened up here and we had monsoon, plus wicked thunder and lightning. And then about 5 minutes later, lightning knocked out all the power in the neighborhood for 75 minutes, so I was cooking and prepping by flashlight. Fortunately we have a gas range, so I could cook inside (couldn't use the grill, though I'm about to any minute).

McAllister Potatoes (recipe from Guy Fieri on Food Network):

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup peppadew peppers, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
3 pounds baby Yukon potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 pound bacon, diced
2 yellow onions, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Parmesan

In small mixing bowl combine sour cream, peppadew peppers, and white wine. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In large stock pot add potatoes, cover with water and add salt. Set heat on high and boil until fork tender.

In a large saute pan over medium heat cook bacon and saute onions until caramelized. Remove bacon and onions from pan on to a paper towel to absorb grease, keep warm on platter, and leave remaining fat in pan.

When potatoes are fork tender, drain, and with a clean kitchen towel, palm smash the hot potatoes to approximately 1/3-inch thick.

Reheat fat in saute pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat to oil medium heat and place potatoes in oil. Season with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, then transfer to onion and bacon platter. Repeat until all potatoes are cooked crispy.

Top potatoes with Parmesan and then with sour cream mixture.

I'm gonna mess with this recipe above a bit, as is my custom.

OK, time to go back to work: dinner in 90 minutes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I am so envious about the Great Tomato Oversupply I can hardly stand it. So far this year I've had one garden tomato that was only golf-ball-sized. But more are coming, and they're going to be bigger.

When the bountiful harvest hits (around Labor Day), I'm having tomato salad, the perfect summer food. Slice tomatoes, add salt, pepper, chopped raw onion and/or bell pepper if desired, oil and vinegar. I like it with balsamic vinegar, but rice wine vinegar or plain old regular vinegar is fine too. Mmmm.

Posted by: Boodleaire | July 29, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CP and bc. I feel like...singing!

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

what does this mean:
>palm smash the hot potatoes to approximately 1/3-inch thick
just curious. sounds slightly dangerous.

in nj, we also used to get those softball-sized tomatoes (to go with the baseball bat zucchinis). loved it when one slice could cover the whole piece of toast for a blt. mmmmmmmm. we ate lots of blts when the tomatoes were coming in rapidly. you can't eat too many blts, imo.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why the tomato plants have done so well this year, although I think we can safely eliminate horticultural know-how on my part. I assume that it's because of the weather. Also, I fertilized much more aggressively with rabbit droppings than in years past, so maybe that helped.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

*No Singing!*

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's friend. I hope everything goes well. You seem to be at the age when medical procedures top the weather as a general discussion topic.

Your updates from your CA trip remind me what a blast I had last year on my cross-country trip. From the archives, my audiovisual tribute to to Vegas:

And make sure not to miss the Fremont Street Experience:

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The fountains at the Bellagio are pretty spectacular as well:

(Boodle hogging to get around that pesky two link limit.)

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

jack, good to see you! Mmmm, chocolate...

And Boodleaire, nice to see you too. That name always makes me smile.

For all the shy lurkers - as you can tell by my boodle name, I lurked a long time before I was brave enough to post. But that has all changed now, and as sparks would say, my handle has become an irony...Hey, remember the scintillating discussion we had about ironing?

kb, there are apostrophes in the regular comments now? Kewl...I hardly ever read, much less post a comment there. Too much vitriol.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

First of all, I had to search for Shroder to find his note. Then I had to read it twice to find the "oops" (before looking at kb's comment) - it's still there. I hate the way they've redone the Columns and Blogs page - how am I supposed to find Weingarten?

So, my next question is, what are peppadew peppers? The potatoes sound good, kind of like what we had at the Irish place for the Falls Church BPH - but they had really tangy blue cheese, too. Mmmmm....Oh, and no bacon or onions or peppers - probably not the same at all!

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

We have a moonflower blossom at 6:17! The rain means that the flower is limp, rather like a spent tissue. But, a flower it is.

I don't know if moths fly in the rain, but I will keep looking. I saw a green luna moth at a moonflower: just like a National Geographic scene.

(I have been running out in a big sun hat, to cover the camera, as it is finally raining.)

Another bloom may open this evening or is shy, prefering the 'morrow.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

TBG..Enjoy Vegas. Every time I've been there, the same thought crossed my mind...chiropractors in that town must make a mint.

Mudge, those potatoes sound like they beat even the best mashed potatoes. With a stick. might have felt like an alien in your childhood, but here on the Island of Misfit Toys, you're the squirt gun that shoots grape jelly.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 29, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

My medal for the senior soccer tournament tells me I haven't been there for 10 years, but Vegas has always reminded me of the island that Stromboli took Pinocchio to, where the boys all turned into donkeys.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 29, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Jumper | July 29, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

LiT, that is one heck of a metaphor!

Just went through the recycling bin to pull out this recipe, from the current issue of Mountain Times. I haven't tried it (obviously) but it sounds interesting and is something to try when zucchini is overabundant:

Zucchini Cobbler
(Tastes like apple pie)

8 cups zucchini
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs flour
1 dash salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 10-oz can crushed pineapple
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped nuts

Peel and cut zucchini, strip out seeds. Cook in boiling water until tender. Drain, place in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain, add sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, cream of tartar and lemon juice. Sir well. Add pineapple [with?] juice. Mix well. Do not beat. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Spread dry cake mix over top. Drizzle butter over cake mix. Sprinkle nuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Posted by: Slyness | July 29, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I've had lots of family here so haven't had a chance to boodle. I tried to backboodle, I know I'm missing a lot, but here's what I've got...

kbertocci - your 3:40 made me laugh! My husband is a prosecutor and he is a broken record about the dangers of identifying yourself on the internet! But! I always like to read all the snippets of info I can about everyone...whaddayagonna do?

jack - I was just wondering about you the other day. Nice to hear from you.

Cassandra - you are the boodle's chaplain (ok, I think I stole that from Mudge) and I know all boodlers hold you in great esteem. Please don't leave us.

Mudge - good to hear you're doing well and benefiting (sp?) from the amazing leaps and bounds of medical technology these days. I am in AWE of your potato recipe. I have written it down and plan to make it next weekend when I have more family coming to enjoy the Tidewater area. One of my ironclad beliefs is that...if a dish is's BETTER with bacon. BTW - what is a peepadew pepper, so I can be faithful to the recipe.

RD - quit bragging about your maters. Some of us have a couple of spindly plants and we don't know where we went wrong. Oh all right...go ahead and brag. I would.

My 20 year high school reunion was held in Vegas, even though I graduated from a high school in California. I thought it was a stupid idea until I was there. What a great time we had....I think every hotel there knows how to put on a great party...maybe your class should think about it, yellojkt!

Posted by: Kim | July 29, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Kim - I don't think of it as bragging as much as celebrating the freakish experience of actually having my garden do well.

It may never happen again.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh and...

Slyness, what a great recipe. Another ingredient that is sure to improve is crushed pineapple.

RD - I think I mentioned before that our faithful beagle Rusty underwent TLPO surgery (do I have that right?). Grueling for him and for us, but he seems to be doing well now. The hubby did an amazing amount of research (his facility for research is one of the reasons I married him) as I'm sure you are doing and he came out in favor of this surgery. Of course, it seriously cut into our 20th anniversary trip plans, but you'll have this....

Wilbrod - I hope you were just are so interesting. I hope you know that.

Last but not do the Jane Austen fans among us feel about this upcoming movie? I love all of her books, I have almost all of the film adaptations and I would be very interested in what Yoki and everyone thinks about this... if they could get to the bottom of my boodlehogging post.

Posted by: Kim | July 29, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

i've only seen a couple, but luna moths are very cool as insects go.

and i'm all for zucchini bread, but not so sure about the pie idea.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Kim - Thanks for that insight about the surgery. The uncertainty isn't if it is worth it to us to give our beloved pet a good life - that is a no brainer. Rather, we are still unsure what's the best thing to do. Our dog appears to have just a mild injury. It only manifests itself when she runs like a maniac. Unfortunately our regular vet has a history of always recommending the most extreme treatment first. Since the surgery will be so hard for such a hyper little dog, we are hopeful that it can be avoided. Anyway, we will be talking with a specialist in a few days. Having more than my fair share of experience dealing with people doctors, I know that it is best to go into any medical conversation well prepared.

And regarding the tomatoes. Given my history of poor gardening, my response at looking at the vines was like the character in 2001 when looking into the monolith. Amazement and awe.

"My God. It's filled with 'maters"

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

RD - ok, made me laugh...I won't call it bragging anymore!

As far as the recuperation...I think you're right to be worried about the personality of your dog and what's right for them. We had a few very difficult days with Rusty when he was feeling better and he couldn't fathom why he couldn't get out of the crate. There were several anguished discussions about whether just letting him out would have been better for him as he tried to get out of the crate...and I very clearly remember the vet saying to us that if we couldn't commit to the requirements of the recuperation that we just shouldn't do it. So, it's not something that's just a breeze to get through...
Our vet LOVES us as we rescued Rusty from a terrible situation and went through lots of training and difficult times to get him to where he is now... so he's always been very supportive of our decisions (he didn't drum us out of his practice, for instance, when my husband said there was no power on earth that was going to get him to brush Rusty's teeth) and he was very frank in his description of the at least we were prepared. My brother has a German Shepherd who had the same surgery and had a very different recovery, so the personality of the dog is definitely a factor.

Posted by: Kim | July 29, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

>So, my next question is, what are peppadew peppers?

From lurking at least one year - I already looked this up ...

I will check out my market tomorrow on my way home from work, if not there is always ordering on-line.

Posted by: Pacifica | July 29, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Dunno about Becoming Jane, Kim. I'll have to think about whether or not to go to see it. My daughters took me to see the Keira Knightly P&P; I didn't care for the liberties taken with the plot. For heavens sake, how can anyone improve on an Austen plot? The book I really want to read but haven't gotten around to ordering is Deirdre LeFaye's bilography of Eliza Austen, Jane's cousin and the wife of her brother Henry.

Posted by: Slyness | July 29, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

When our dog runs I seriously suspect her feet do not actually touch the ground. She operates on canine levitation. Just a brownish blur flashing through the yard. And high strung? Not even the vets can cut her nails without seven assistants and a stiff drink.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 29, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, Pacifica...thanks! Clearly, you need to stop lurking!

Posted by: Kim | July 29, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Kim-- I meant physically small. There's no height requirement for the Boodle ride or I wouldn't be here.

I could easily join the Little People of America if I had a mind to. Yet, most people assume I'm not "that small" unless they directly stand next to me.

Using me as a yardstick:

Wilbrodog is now Great Dane in height. Now, he's pretty textbook for a male lab in height, but I constantly get "oh my god, he's HUGE."

Mudge looks way taller than Robert Redford could ever hope to be.

S'nuke looks like a basketball player playing for the wolverines.

Everybody else grows a few inches.

Step up and be measured, folks, chances you aren't as small as all that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Kim-- I meant physically small. There's no height requirement for the Boodle ride or I wouldn't be here.

I could easily join the Little People of America if I had a mind to. Yet, most people assume I'm not "that small" unless they directly stand next to me.

Using me as a yardstick:

Wilbrodog is now Great Dane in height. Now, he's pretty textbook for a male lab in height, but I constantly get "oh my god, he's HUGE."

Mudge looks way taller than Robert Redford could ever hope to be.

S'nuke looks like a basketball player playing for the wolverines.

Everybody else grows a few inches.

Step up and be measured, folks, chances you aren't as small as all that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Kim-- I meant physically small. There's no height requirement for the Boodle ride or I wouldn't be here.

I could easily join the Little People of America if I had a mind to. Yet, most people assume I'm not "that small" unless they directly stand next to me.

Using me as a yardstick:

Wilbrodog is now Great Dane in height. Now, he's pretty textbook for a male lab in height, but I constantly get "oh my god, he's HUGE."

Mudge looks way taller than Robert Redford could ever hope to be.

S'nuke looks like a basketball player playing for the wolverines.

Everybody else grows a few inches.

Step up and be measured, folks, chances you aren't as small as all that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, triple post. Can that be fixed? I didn't mean for that post to grow...

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Gesundheit, Wilbrod! Or should I say, triple post, way to go!

Welcome, Pacifica, and thanks.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

>Welcome, Pacifica, and thanks.

Thanks for the welcome.

Let me introduce myself a bit.
The American Taxpayer, like many of you, is my ultimate employer. I am on the left coast. I come complete with Hubby and Adult child with freshly conferred BS.
I have two cats that live inside and at usually two, and somedays five cats that come to the back deck to feed. Unfortunately Heckle and Jeckle (nasty birds - species unknown) will feed between cat visitations.

I visit here mostly for the civil exchange of opinion and information, whimsy and silliness are bonuses.

Posted by: Pacifica | July 29, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Peppadew is a very silly word. Redolent of that love-mad skunk Pepe Le Pew, peppadew could figure into a limerick or two.

Wilbrod, your Little People of American quip makes me think of Up Up with People performances. Now that is a a tune cootie much to energetic for a Sunday wind down.

Kim -- am wincing at the faux Jane-is-in-Love docudrama thing. But, as a former theater costumer, I may have to go for a fabric frenzy: dimity, cotton lawn
pelisse. shot taffeta, empire (pronouced like the Napoleon era that fashion is named for! -- no 'um-peer' silliness!), reticule,
plus-in-four, breeches, waistcoat (pronounced 'wes kit')

PBS Mystery soon.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Pacifica! There is some silliness for you. Enjoy. Congrats on the child-degree stage. Off to doggie in the drizzle.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 29, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, Pacifica, you've got us nailed! Glad you're along for the ride. Employed by the American people, you say? There are several of us. I must admit that, after a career in public service, I am happily retired.

Posted by: Slyness | July 29, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I promised you a picture of me eating corn on the cob in China. Not there was great demand for such a picture, but it does exist.

And lots of pictures from a rainy day at the Summer Palace in Beijing. I don't know how it compares in size with Versailles, but it comes close in granduer.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Never heard of Up Up with People. Let me know the particular tune cooties later.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

New faces are alway welcome. It seems you just missed the West Coast mini-BPH.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

hey pacifica, in what part of the left coast are you, if i may ask?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I just glanced at a few pictures...great photos. Why are the statues of animals shrouded in chicken wire?

Posted by: Slyness | July 29, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - ok...I guess that's what happens when you backboodle too quickly!

Up Up with People....weren't they part of the Coke commercial all those years ago..."I'd like to teach the world to sing..." and so on? Or am I mixing up my '70's?

As far as the Jane Austen movie is concerned...I'm skeptical, but I'm keeping an open mind until I hear a review or two...

Posted by: Kim | July 29, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

>hey pacifica, in what part of the left coast are you, if i may ask?

I am north of San Jose and south of San Francisco, along the most lovely coastside, which this time of year is mostly foggy.

This morning a sky report would have included the fact that the hills were hidden from view by the fog. Mid-afternoon the hills returned to view.

The California BHP was very southern from here. In Southern California there is sunshine. In my neck of the woods - the major item of commerce is a hooded sweatshirt in the summertime - now come late fall there is sunshine.

Posted by: Pacifica | July 29, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I think those statues were enclosed to prevent people from touching them. Some of the metal work on them is pretty ornate and might be fragile. All over China there were bilingual signs urging people to protect the "cultural artifacts".

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Folks, I have no freaking idea what a peppadew pepper is. Guy Fieri had a small bottle of them, said you buy them at the store, like they were common; I couldn't tell ya one way or the other. I got a hunch, though, that any kind of bottled pepper might do. The peppadews he had on the show were red and looked like dried tomatoes in oil or maybe pimentos. Apparently they are a little hot, but not really that strong. (I omitted them from my recipe entirely, which I would regard as not entirely successful. You let the piotatoes cool before you smush them--gently--flat, or flattish. They tend to crumble during the next cooking phase, though. In general I'd say they are a lot of work, for not all that much return on effort.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

\\The key is to not fear it so much that you can't enjoy life.\\

That's really good advice, Wilbrod. I always feel that shy people miss out a lot. I am a shy person. I blushed when I talked to people. And I was 30 years old then! That's how bad it was. I'm not so bad now but still leaning towards being shy. I have to consciously force myself to be bold in a lot of situations but sometimes it gets tiring so I just go back to being shy.

Mostly, I was like you. I lurked for a long time before I posted anything. When the computer ate my first post, I was relieved. I tried. It didn't work. But it's addictive. So I'm here quite a bit even with the time difference and wrote on things that everyone has finished discussing.

Welcome Pacifica.

Posted by: rain forest | July 29, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I would greatly miss anything Cassandra has to say.

Posted by: bill everything | July 29, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Up with People brings back some memories. (Some of them might even be accurate.) The group was one of many groups formed in the mid '60s to encourage social activity and involvement in the local community. They traveled the country to spread their message of involvement and gave a concert with inspirational songs to encourage participation. They weren't explicitly religious or political. They also had a minimal budget so they relied on local organizations to provide housing for the participants during a visit. That's how our family got involved. Through our church we housed a few participants during their visits to the DC area. They were enjoyable people. Very busy and stressed but enjoyable. (One of my favorite memories was of a guy who wanted to smoke and put the wrong end of his cigarette in his mouth and tried to light the filter.)

To give an indication of the groups popularity, their concerts here were held in Constitution Hall which was the largest place to have a concert in DC at the time.

About 25 years later I found out that a friend from my church at the time was in the group in the late '60s or early 70s. One of her fellow participants was the actress Glenn Close. She said "Glennie" was a very active participant. That's pretty nice company to hang out with.

Posted by: pj | July 29, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Up, up with people
You meet them wherever you go
Up, up with people
They're the best kind of folks we know
If more people were for people
All people everywhere
There'd be a lot less people
To worry about
And a lot more people who care

I may have gotten some of the words wrong but this is what stuck in my head for over 30 years!

Posted by: Aloha | July 29, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

The Springbok bar & grill in my neighborhood (South African, if you don't know the connection to springbok) doesn't use Pappadew peppers in anything on the menu, which tells me they aren't part of the national cuisine. They have monkey gland sauce -- a nice pub/restaurant, actually.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 29, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Pacifica. This place is so addictive it's scary. Wow Rainforest, your description of shyness could have been about me. I especially relate to the part about how tiring it is to push against the shyness. Lots of times I just act "as if" I am not someone who would prefer to go sit in a corner and read instead of trying to make small talk with people in order to get to know them. Not that I'm not interested in them, but that type of conversation just doesn't come easily to me. Even posting here is difficult for me sometimes.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 29, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

pacifica, i have friends and family in the bay area and spent 4 years there myself. and yeah, 350+ miles is a bit of a commute for a bph.

we have another boodler up there, ac in sj, who occasionally pops in.
ac, are you out there?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I took my dad to an Up With People concert at the college in my hometown in 1974. They were squeaky clean and clean cut, but very good musically, and we both enjoyed it. My mom had passed away shortly before this, so it was a nice way for us to spend some time together.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 29, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I haven't thought of Up With People for years, probably about the time I saw the Fifth Dimension. We twisted the lyrics, though...

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, mostly! I recently recieved a copy of a Dead show recorded at the Boston Music Hall in '72. The quality leaves a bit to be desired, but it has a great rendition of The Race is On. Nothing like a George Jones cover to brighten your day.

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer to do sit in a corner and read most days, Bad Sneakers. I don't like small talk much... it's not something I'm well practiced at.

I often wind up interviewing people's life stories instead or getting into deep talk almost from the get-go. Great stuff when I do.

I've spent entire parties speaking to 2 people and never complained.

I believe small talk is based on "safe topics" that can't provoke a lot of anger-- but then they don't provoke much interest, either.

So when I run parties I try and mix people up and introduce people, and tell people a little, and if possible have games ready to help people feel like they have something to do, not just try and think up small talk.

But yeah, you have to give people a little to work with. I think my toughest conversation was with my shy, taciturn coworker. She was brilliant, but she was a absolute killer to converse with, because she barely said anything that wasn't factual.

After running through a few attempts at topics, I finally mentioned my parents would like to go to Europe but my mom couldn't walk much. And she started telling me about her trips to Europe and something called senior hostels that provided very accessible trips for senior citizens with wheelchairs, peg legs, the lot.

That was the most I ever saw her talk, before or since at work, until she died. I remember how much was spoken at her funeral that we never knew of her in real life, including her work tutoring children to read.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 29, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Thats an awful tune cootie to lay out there on a Sunday evening. I can still see them performing probably on Ed Sullivan, but I still see some of the choreography in my head.

Pacifica, welcome.

Posted by: dr | July 29, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

interesting article about gender differences:

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 29, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

> "They have monkey gland sauce"

LTL... Call me crazy, but I try to avoid allowing monkey glands anywhere near me, let alone in my food.

Posted by: martooni | July 29, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful full moon out tonight. I went to my favorite overlook and watched it rise with a bottle of wine. It sure is a pleasant summer night here.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 30, 2007 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Unknown and unseen, I trudge home across coastal central California, my tears watering the arid landscape ---

Not only do I live in California, I am a native. 4th generation.

Posted by: nellie | July 30, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Cool, nellie. I can only claim to be a yankee, a dam* yankee at that. I was born in Chicago and moved east via Ohio and New York state, acqiring a mish mash of accents along the way. Imagine my surprise at being made fun of on account of my southern accent, carefully gleaned over the past twenty three years, when my sister heard me exclaim thet "I can't see" on the occaision of not having my specs handy.

Posted by: jack | July 30, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

That article is the 28-carat truth.

Try being a disabled woman asking to be paid equal to other employees who do less work than you and have less responsiblities.

No, you're made to feel like you're not "nice" to ask for equal pay for equal or better work. I took some advice from female friends which was that I had to bring solid proof and back up my facts even more than a male employee would, just to get an deserved pay raise.

Mind you, different workplaces vary-- some actually have solid measures of merit and room to give solid raises in order to keep the good workers without a lot of oversight. I'd like to work at such a place next time.

Yet, memories like that make me want to be my own boss.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

scc: occasion

Posted by: jack | July 30, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

scc: 3rd generation. Can't count. (My grandfather settled in south LA to farm after the civil war.)

And jack, we moved around with the military for 20+ years and my accent changed with each new place!

Posted by: nellie | July 30, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah. It's a real aural treat to hear a properly raised southern woman exclaim that "It was so hot today, I thought I was going to die!" Not to mention: ahl ( the engine lubricant); pin (referring to an pen, specifically an ink pen, different from a hat pin); wreck (as in: I was in a wreck, or , I wrecked my car...different from a train wreck, which I mistakenly thought the speaker was referring to); and the insult s**ta**, accurately describing a neer-do-well.

Posted by: jack | July 30, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

nellie, i knew that at one point (did you talked about frost killing plants earlier in the year?) but somehow forgot, attention-span challenged as i am. i boodle skim a whole lot. are you more north or south?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 30, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area (work in SF, live in the East Bay). Pacifica is smack in the middle of the fog belt. Brr!

Posted by: Boodleaire | July 30, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

wow, all these californian boodlers.
you should have a bay area bph!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 30, 2007 2:15 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. I'm going back to work this morning after spending last week in the hospital. I hate to think how many e-mails have piled up. But it'll be good to be back; I hated that enforced idleness.

Here's a site that explains peppadews: . Apparently they are a "new" kind of "fruit" from South Africa. And the Wikipedia site at is brief but interesting. So we all learn something new here on the Boodle.

On the McLaughlin Group shoutfest yesterday, somebody (Tony Blankley?) thought that Torqueberto's days were finally numbered and he'd go this week. McLaughlin asked Blankley is this latest round of chazzerai over the Comey/Ashcroft thing was the smoking gun that would finally do Torqueberto in. Blankley, in his usually weaselly way, replied, "Well, it's a gun, and there does appear to be smoke coming out of it..."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2007 5:52 AM | Report abuse

>whimsy and silliness are bonuses.

Indeed they are Pacifica! Welcome.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 30, 2007 6:09 AM | Report abuse

If you ask me, there's been much too much whimsy and not enough silliness around here.

Posted by: Arightthinkingperson999 | July 30, 2007 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Just have time to holler, if you will, got to get dressed and we are running so late. Thanks a bunch for the good thoughts and esteem boosters. I think all of you are a great bunch of people, and I am so glad I met you. And thank you, Mr. Achenbach.

Welcome, Pacifica.

This is the last week at the Center. It has been fun, and everything else. I think the kids enjoyed it. I know I did. And so did the g-girl.

I don't think we're going to get a field trip in this year. So far no one has said anything. I know the kids will miss that. The Exec has been on vacation, and because of the fighting she may not want to do the field trip. I don't know why the fighting this year, we didn't have it last year. Maybe it is the heat.

Have a good day, friends. We're going to have heat, and more heat this week. And we're suffering from severe drought too. There goes the gardens. I want to try to find some corn somewhere. With the lack of rain, I suspect the crop won't be good. All that talk about corn has made me want it in the worse way. It is all your fault Mudge, talking about cooking corn on the grill. Reading this blog could make one fatter or definitely take on weight.

Mudge, hope you doing what the doctor says, and taking good care of yourself.

Martooni, hang in there.

Slyness, Kbert, and Ivansmom, when you get the mail, the illusion will be over. Hope that won't be a bad thing, although the picture isn't that great.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 30, 2007 6:48 AM | Report abuse

*somewhat soaked Grover waves*

Goodgollygoshwhillikers, that was one slow-moving downpour last night! :-O I don't think our 'maters will need water for a year or so. Luckily, I'd planned ahead and we were well-stocked with pizza and buffalo wings before the sky opened.

Good to see you, Cassandra! *HUGS*

Thumbs up, martooni, thumbs up. :-)

*faxin' 'Mudge an extra "delete" button to help clear the underbrush from the inbox*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

And at least we're only dealing with normal incompetence here...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Pardon the BoodleHogging, but today is a sad, sad day in the annals of journalism...



Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2007 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, we mourn the loss of "The finest investigative journalism on the planet."

Or so I've heard.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I see Bergman finally got a visit from "one of the little men from the village."

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Do you know Weingarten's great Weekly World News story? Maybe he already wrote this up. About Elvis? I'll post it later. I've just put up the Outlook story as a new kit and will added extensive annotations later this morning. You can repost those links...Thanks.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 30, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

A spy one huge "Heavenly Blue" morning glory bloom facing upward to catch solar kisses through the overcast sky. True blue, 'tis, without a smidge of purple. Sigh. The sister moonflower bloom now looks like a spent tissue and will fall by mid-day. The flowers elsewhere, grateful for the slow soak yesterday, are whispering about petal adjustments and skirt flounces. The petunias are bedraggled but I hear that seamstresses arrive by noon to fix the fripperies and petticoats.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

This'll teach those pesky pigeons to mess around...

Posted by: jack | July 30, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Wow, sad news about Bergman (though I liked your line, RD), may have to watch "The Seventh Seal" and/or "Fanny and Alexander" soon.

I'll miss the Weekly World News when I'm standing in the supermarket checkout line.

LiT, you're a funny lady. Being the squirt gun that shoots grape jelly is pretty good, though I'm a little envious of Charlie in the Box.

Slyness, I think that the expression "you can't beat that with a stick" is a Maryland/mid-Atlantic or even Southern thing, sort of the way "wicked" or "wicked bad" is commonly used in New England.

Rightly or wrongly, local histories infuse regional language use...


Posted by: bc | July 30, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Who's feeding Novak now?
I wonder where he sleeps during the day.
Bush's Turkish Gamble

Posted by: Boko999 | July 30, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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