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Why Does This Bun Taste Like Cardboard?

I'm writing a story about China, contaminated imports, the mysteries of the grocery store, the incomprehensibility of modern life, the Cuisinarting of the planet, and the repercussions thereof.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Technology distances human beings from the biological, chemical, geological, atmospheric and dare I say molecular substrates of their existence.

But no one listens to me.

Food is the big issue of the future. Food and water. We put this stuff in our bodies and have no idea where it came from. Sometimes I'll be happily snacking on some Pringles and I'll suddenly think: "Something about this doesn't seem entirely natural."

Here's a fun story:

'...In the report aired Wednesday night, China Central Television showed a shirtless, shorts-clad bun maker in Beijing using cardboard picked up off the street to stuff his steamed buns.

'A hidden camera followed the man into a ramshackle building where steamers were filled with the fluffy white buns, called baozi, traditionally stuffed with minced pork.

'It showed how cardboard was first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda -- a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap -- then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning were stirred in as flavoring and the concoction was stuffed into the buns.

'"It fools the average person," says the bun maker, whose face was not shown. "I don't eat them myself."'


Food and Water Watch is a Nader-type group that's been in the news a lot lately. Here's their recent report, "Import Alert."

ChemNutra is an interesting outfit. They're very upset about being caught up in the pet food disaster. And they're not happy with Menu Foods, the company that sold the contaminated pet food.

You've surely read the stories (today in The NY Times, for example) about Zheng Xiaoyu, the head of China's food and drug agency. They sentenced him to death May 29 and executed him Tuesday. The Times has his confession:

"Thinking back on what has happened these year, I start to see the problems clearly. For example, why are the friends who gave me money all bosses of pharmaceutical companies? Obviously, because I was in charge of drug administration. Another example, I've known these old friends for a long time, why did they give me money only after 1998? Obviously, because the State Drug Administration was established in 1998 and then I was given bigger power. Although these friends gave me money partly because of our friendship, they actually were thinking about my power. I am confessing here that I loosened self-discipline, ignored the bottom line. It is bribery if a civil servant receives money from a business....

"The Party and people nurtured me, trusted me and assigned me to such an important position. I didn't live up to the Party's expectation. I loosened ideological reform, loosened self-discipline, harmed the Party and the people, committed crimes, for which I feel regretful. Now I have to treat the issue seriously, conduct a thorough self-examination, confess my mistakes, and treat the punishment and education as an act of saving my soul."

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 13, 2007; 12:56 PM ET
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Next: Made In China (Annotated)


I had to read this while eating lunch?

Posted by: bill everything | July 13, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Cardboard huh? And from the street too. I can never eat a bao again.

Posted by: Aloha | July 13, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how corrupt our politicians would be if we had the death penalty for corruption and taking bribes.

Posted by: Aloha | July 13, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmstuffed cardboard bunsmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: Homer Simpson | July 13, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, the question might be, "I wonder how many politicians we'd have left..."

Posted by: byoolin | July 13, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Another factor is how our culture teaches us to worship consumption/consumerism. So if something is cheaper, or larger at the same price, we can buy more more more of it, so it must be better. What else matters?

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 13, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The guy's doing everyone a favour saving people from all those extra carbs. He should market it as the Atkins plan without having to give up bread products.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 13, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Technology distances human beings from the biological, chemical, geological, atmospheric and dare I say molecular substrates of their existence."

But if it weren't for the technology of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, LSD, etc., etc., would we have to confront the biochemical substrate of our thoughts and emotions?

Posted by: Blake Stacey | July 13, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Along the line of SoC's comment, I once visited a university lab where they were experimenting with feed for sheep -- shredded newspaper mixed with concentrated food and supplements. The newspaper was to make the sheep feel full so they wouldn't eat too much.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 13, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it's all just vegetable fiber, isn't it? Picky, picky.

>Food is the big issue of the future. Food and water."The Party and people nurtured me, trusted me and assigned me to such an important position. I didn't live up to the Party's expectation. I loosened ideological reform, loosened self-discipline, harmed the Party and the people, committed crimes, for which I feel regretful. Now I have to treat the issue seriously, conduct a thorough self-examination, confess my mistakes, and treat the punishment and education as an act of saving my soul."<

Oh, if only I could hear Rove and Cheney utter these immortal words, right before they are allowed a last cigarette.

Pringles don't grow on a pringle tree? Jeez, now ya tell me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

SoC, surely cardboard is *all* carbs, no?

Posted by: byoolin | July 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Majort SCC, something got eaten. >Food is the big issue of the future. Food and water." This was supposed to be followed by: Got news for you, Joel: food and water were problems in the past, too. The only things that change are the details.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

SoC, surely cardboard is *all* carbs, no?

Posted by: byoolin | July 13, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I am actually impressed by Zheng's confession, despite the wide-eyed golly gee tone. I agree with Mudge; wouldn't it be lovely to hear Rove or Cheney admit to something? In fact, wouldn't it be splendid to have any member of this Administration in a policy or decisionmaking position take responsibility even for a failure of competence, much less a criminal or illegal act? Katrina, anyone?

I admit, I'm slightly less impressed with the ChemNutra letter. I'm not sure why; both were written under great pressure, after proof of wrongdoing was produced, to explain and potentially absolve the writer from serious consequences. It might be ChemNutra's corporate status, which at least implies that someone over there could have checked on the company's potential liability and looked at suppliers independently of MenuFoods actions. Although, of course, surely other officials and businesses in China knew Zheng was corrupt in a way that led to actual deaths of people.

You know, taking Joel's suggestion from the last Boodle, I bet we could write "Made in China: The Musical" right here on the Boodle. Lyrics, anyone?

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 13, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Google ads like pork:

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Check out our list of the Top 10 reasons not to eat pigs.

"Lose 20 lbs in 3 Weeks"
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Pork Chop Recipes
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Posted by: nellie | July 13, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This issue seems to be just another indication of the unfortunate wider-spread problems of fraudulent and questionable business practises in China.

If your dog doesn't eat the boazi, neither should you !

~ CopySix

Posted by: CopySix | July 13, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm writing as fast as I can, Ivansmom, gimme an hour or so...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

You mean to say that Zheng Xiaoyu never read Upton Sinclair's 1906 "Jungle" or Dr. Harvey W. Wiley's 1929 best-seller "The History of a Crime against the Food Law: The Amazing Story of the National Food and Drug Law Intended to Protect the Health of the People: Perverted to Protect Adulteration of Foods and Drugs." Where has this man been? China?

*l* I even amaze myself sometime at the contents of my own library.

Posted by: Loomis | July 13, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

As far as where food came from and what we're putting in our mouths, when you think about food webs, particularly the ground food webs, there's a lot of putrefecation of organic matter (flesh or plant), dung, bacteria and fungus involved.



Posted by: bc | July 13, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, try not to use anything from "The King and I" or "The Aristocats."

Gotta run, I'll check in later.


Posted by: bc | July 13, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the cardboard story says something about the relative cost of pork and labor in the US versus China. In the US, having someone scrounge the alley, then play with caustic soda would seem kind of expensive, more so than buying ready-made filling from a big restaurant-supply outfit.

Lunch was cherries, which are hard to fake.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 13, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Would now be the proper time to bring up the dastardly plot to add fluoride to ice cream? Children's ice cream?

This has been your obscure pop culture reference of the day.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 13, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I had an unnatural food encounter just this morning. Running a little late and needing to stop for gas, I decided to skip breakfast at home. I would pick something at the gas station - one of these Sheetz-like behemoths with 26 pumps, a small grocery store, café and mammography center plus a ferris wheel out back. The ferris wheel was broken, and the unemployed carnies were smoking Dorals near the gas pumps.
The basket of bananas that I'd been counting on was barren. So I said, "what the hell, I'll grab one of these pre-made bacon, egg and cheese bagels. Dee-lish!" I wish the bagel was made of cardboard, but this bread-maker went past the pulp and straight to the polymers. The cheese was made of the same substance as the bagel, but it was served at a different temperature and with different coloring.
I took two bites and rolled the rest up in the foil wrapper. I might have chipped a tooth. Coffee was the whole breakfast. My hands were shaking by lunchtime.

Posted by: hoosier | July 13, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Old business, the video is now available on the wandering elephants, how cute are they? It never fails to amaze me what odd Canadian stories tend to get picked up outside the country - no wonder there is a warped perspective of Canadians.

floride in ice cream - sounds like a good idea - cavity rates are soaring here since people began to drink more bottled water rather than the floridated tap water. Crest flavoured ice cream?

forgive me its Friday

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

A section of TV recorded the recycled plastic bottles are filled with tab water, sealed and sold as the name-brand "bottle water" in certain city in China. How convenient.

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 13, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Opening number (apologies to Mary Poppins)

Scene: dimly lit bunker. The Central Planning Committee. The meeting is chaired by the evil mastermind, Gen. Yao.

It came to me while cooking rice
I added salt and thought "that's nice"
There's the method to be done
You add the spice and snap!
The job is done

And ev'ry product that we make
will become that Yankee vampire's stake
A pinch! A dash! It's very clear to see that

A spoonful of carcinogens will drive the imperialists down
The imperialists down-wown
The imperialists down
Just a spoonful of carcinogens will drive the imperialists down
In a most deniable way

The Gweilos eyes are filled with greed
We'll provide them with their low cost needs
While we're gathering to strike the final blow
These corrupt reactionaries
Won't notice our apothecaries
Are adding surprises in all their consumer goods - for

A spoonful of carcinogens will drive the imperialists down
The imperialists down-wown
The imperialists down
Just a spoonful of carcinogens will drive the imperialists down
In a most deniable way

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 13, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me. Last night when I got home I stepped into my favorite Chinesee takeout (only fave because its right around the corner from apt.). I decided to order the Barb-B-Q ribs. It's not till I get home that I realize it's a lot heavier than I expected. Turns out it's served on a bed of white rice, which I don't eat cause I don't like white rice. Second discovery is that the ribs are like 50% fat. The meat itself was marbled with about 50% fat. To me this is inedible. I took a few bites of the leanest pieces of the meat I could find and licked all the Barb-B-Q sauce off. The Barb-B-Q sauce was delish though. Won't be ordering that again.

Posted by: omni | July 13, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, Cheney and Rove and Bush can skip over the confessions and go straight to the execution phase. After all, execution has been this bunch's weak point all along and it'd be nice to see them get it right for once.
And on a side note- what kind of a communist says he has a soul? Sounds like that boy's been partakin' of the opiate of the masses.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 13, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I was amazed by the cardboard/bun story this morning - but not surprised, sadly. There's also the issue of illegal wildlife trade for food - primates, elephants, cane rats and many other species are are killed for bushmeat and transported around the world. has more information on the conservation, human welfare and disease aspects of this.

I'm a first-time commenter - nice to be in the Boodle!

Posted by: natalie | July 13, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Boodle natalie.

Posted by: omni | July 13, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Son of Carl! It's a toe-tapper. Welcome to the Boodle, natalie.
I remember reading an article long ago that described how post-WWII European food makers sometimes added "supplements" to food. Examples: Marble dust added to flour to add bulk and density to bread. Or, beef blood added to wine to reduce sediment. It's an old story. Anyone feel like complaining about taxpayer dollars funding a Food and Drug Administration?

Posted by: CowTown | July 13, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Welcome natalie, and thanks SonofCarl for that fine opening salvo for "Made in China: The Musical".

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 13, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't they also, kill the "Rich Guys" who were giving out the bribes?

Posted by: bigjonmustafa | July 13, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh Joel,

Technology is our friend. It's the people who are the culprits. Duh!

Posted by: birdie | July 13, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Teenage dance number:

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.
I got grub in my tummy,
And it feels a bit like glue.
It's sort of a meat thing
a maybe-you-can-eat thing,
or maybe it'll swoosh right through.
Maybe it's kicking,
maybe it's burning,
maybe it's poison,
or maybe it's nothing at all...

Posted by: byoolin | July 13, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

First time I've had the guts to post here, but the story about the baozi contents being, ahem, "recycled" cardboard reminds me about other "recycling" practices in China. My cousin lived in China for 5 years or so and told us that when eating in the local restaurants it was common practice for the plates to be removed, rinsed at the tap and returned to the table for the next patron. No soap required! No caustic soda! He never mentioned the quality of the baozi buns.

Posted by: larissa | July 13, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

>*heaves big sigh of contentment*

Mudge, that new boat site sounds awesome. You're gettin' to me here: I saw a really nice 20 yr old Bayliner on the company bulletin board for a pretty good price.

I may buy it and just party at the dock this summer.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 13, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Blue Bell Creamery is selling mango ice cream.

This Texas outfit has made a go of selling its goods in Florida. It's mango season south of us. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is holding its annual Mango Days tomorrow and Sunday.

At home, my tiny Lancetilla mango tree is growing, but Mallika (a "condo mango" anyway) seems to be sulking. The avocados trees, planted at the same time, are growing almost frighteningly fast. Brogdon's about as tall as me, despite having some weights hanging from branches to get them to grow horizontally.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 13, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Error, if you go ahead with the purchase, get a marine survey first.

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey, kids, I've written a musical! Let's all go to the old barn and put on a show! Here it is!


Made in China: The Musical

Adapted from 简笔字 正體字 [literally, With Music, in the Great Motherland It Is Made"]

From an ancient Pon Toon Dynasty folk tale believed to have been written by Cur Moo Jhon, the famous 9th Century sage and prophet

Cast of Characters

Dik Chan Yi, a poor baker and apprentice bun-stuffer
Boo Hoo, daughter of Chay Nee
Ofa Sa Grub Ghee, stern and imperious Bakery Inspector for the Region
Van Toom, formerly wealthy owner of the baozi factory, whose face was horribly disfigured in a tragic muffin fire; he wears a mask and lives in the basement of the baozi factory
Ah Kin Pok, an ink-stained wretch
Flour Dumb Soong, concubine to General Yao
Pa Duk, a woodworker and government drone
General Yao, evil chairman of the Central Planning Committee
Planning Committee Staffers
Bah Lis Il Tung, a poor little rich girl
Ran Dee Ngu Minh, a nasal songwriter
Op Tung Zin Crair, a muckraker for the baozi factory, supplies cardboard to Dik Chan Yi
Shipoopi, president of the United States, enjoys having his buns stuffed

Overture: "Won't You Eat My Fluffy Baozi?"

Act I

"A Spoonful of Carcinogens".....................................Gen. Yao, Central Planning Committee
"Won't You Eat My Fluffy Baozi?"...........................Dik Chan Yi
"I'm Only a Bun-Stuffer's Daughter".........................Boo Hoo
"I Wonder Why Things Are".......................................Ah Kin Pok
"Clouds Are Hard".......................................................Pa Duk, Boo Hoo, Ah Kin Pok
"I Wonder What Chung King Is Doing Tonight?"......Ofa Sah Grub Ghee
"Feed Me, Seymour"...................................................Shipoopi, General Yao
"Won't You Eat My Fluffy Baozi?/"I'm Only a Bun-Stuffer's Daughter" (Reprise)
........................................................................Dik Chan Yi, Boo Hoo

Act II

"Okra Homa"..............................................................
"Curry With the Mange on Top".................................Van Toom
Yao Got Trouble Right Here in River City.................Yao, Planning Committee
"I Think I Lost My Panties (Please Don't Send Me to Jail"....Bah Lis Il Tung
"It's a Jungle Out There/It's What's For Dinner"........Ran Dee Ngu Minh, Op Tung Zin Crair
"What Kind of Fool Am I?".........................................Shipoopi
"I Feel Pretty"...............................................................Dik Chan Yi, Bah Lis Il Tung
Dance at the Gym (Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Grubs in My Tummy"
.....................................................................................Boo Hoo, Ah Kin Pok, Bah Lis Il Tung, Pa Duk,
.....................................................................................Four Dumb Soong


"Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Bribes"....Dik Chan Yi, Van Toom
"I Got the Horse Right Here"....................................Van Toom, Ah Kin Pok, Pa Duk
"Gonna Wash That Mein Right Out of My Hair".....Bah Lis Il Tung
"Cream the Impossible Cream"
"I Enjoy Being a Grill"...............................................Bah Lis Il Tung, Boo Hoo, Flour Dumb Soong
"People Will Say We're in Love"..............................Dik Chan Yi, Shipoopi
"Send in the Clowns".................................................Dik Chan Yi, Shipoopi,
..........................................................................Gen. Ya, Planning Committee
"Won't You Eat My Fluffy Baozi?" (Reprise)..........Cast

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Does it seem strange to anyone that a Communist Party official is talking about saving his soul?

Posted by: karmamutt | July 13, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

A 20-year-old Bayliner? Don't do it, EF. There's a reason they call them Bay Liners.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahahahahaha! Thank you, Curmudgeon, I needed a gaffah (gauffah?). Er, I needed a good laugh.

Posted by: CowTOwn | July 13, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you are way too witty! I'd pay money to see this show!

From the last boodle: Loomis, Butner is in Granville County, north of Raleigh, just off I-85. It's the location of a federal prison and psychiatric evaluation center.

Posted by: Slyness | July 13, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

SoC, byoolin, Curmudgeon, THANK YOU

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Cur Moo Jhon?

*a minute of little laughs of delight--not eating or drinking, computer screen spared*

Posted by: Loomis | July 13, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

It takes guts to post here? Gosh I've only got just the one gut, and it took me years to aquire that one. I don't think I've got enough time to create multiple guts and I don't know where I'd put another one even if I had it. Maybe here in the back... no, that space is full. Hmmmmm.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 13, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

that is hilarious

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 13, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse


But, I think you forgot the food chorus, Mudge.

"We're the contamination of products general
We're composition vegetable, animal, and mineral,
We grow on things of import, and we float down throats hysterical
From Tiananmen to what you chew, in order categorical;
We're very well polluted, too, with matter biochemical,
We're full of fertilizer, both the simple and nitrogenous,
Along with our toxins we're teeming with a lot o' germs,
With quite tasty crunch from our styrofoam fill generous,
By melanine we mislead our proteinaceous calculus;
We know the cost-cutting ways of crooks animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
We're the contamination of products general..."

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 13, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful, Wilbrod. You certainly know your "West Wing" episodes (OK, and G&S, and Pirates of Penzance). I'm thinking of putting it early in the second act, maybe right after Okra Homa! and sung by Yao (he being the general).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

We need look no further than Enzyte, to see the method of our doom and our destruction. This substance, which is apparently so useless that the commercials won't make ANY CLAIMS WHATEVER, seems to be everywhere, at least on TV. It could be chock full of HIDEOUS SLOW-ACTING POISON, and the TV people would gleefully sell airtime to the hucksters who push it. And there is the next generation product, too: "this will make a certain thing do a certain something." Buy it! I must have it! Now! I'm taking it now! Gaak! I'm dying! (It makes a certain thing (your body) do a certain something (die.)

Posted by: Jumper | July 13, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

And at the end, Dik Chan Yi shouts the final line, "Take it home, boys! We open at Leavenworth on Saturday night!"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Should have used "Flus" instead of "germs" to keep the rhyme, dang.

And "Melamine's good at rigging our proteinaceous calculus" might work better, too.

In any case, "From Tiananmen to what you chew" would be a great title for Joel's upcoming column ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 13, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

West Wing? Oh, "throats hysterical", and the fertilizer line. Got it. Not a fan, Mudge?

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 13, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

That song was used in a "West Wing" episode (#79, Bartlett's 2nd inaugural), Wilbrod. ( and "In the episode "Inauguration, Part I" of American drama The West Wing, a character's father is described as "the very model of a modern Major-General," (although this appears to be intended as unqualified praise, overlooking the negative connotations in Pirates regarding the Major-General's qualifications)."

And to prove how nerdy they were, Josh has to sing it, IIRC.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about you guys, but just the "shirtless, shorts-clad bun maker" grosses me out enough without the gutter-found cardboard.

Posted by: TBG | July 13, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Cream the Impossible Cream indeed!

That was even funnier (if possible) than the Wreck of the Edmond FitzGerald. And, Wilbrod, your Major General is amazing.

Posted by: maggieo'd | July 13, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

>Children's ice cream?

That's how your average Commie works RD.

Mudge and dmd, good advice from you both!

I think I'll stick to finding a place to have dinner by the water instead of trying to own a piece of it. After wisely passing up on the dune buggy and Harley I guess a boat temptation was inevitable. :-)

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 13, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and welcome to natalie and larissa!

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 13, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

A tour de force, Mudge, and thanks to Wilbrod, byoolin and SonofCarl for contributing songs. At this rate we'll be ready to tour the provinces by the end of summer.

Yes, welcome newcomers. It is always fun to see what topic (or non-topic) pushes a lurker just over that edge to "submit".

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 13, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh you Boodlers have missed your calling! You playwrights and composers should ditch the day jobs and go for the big bucks in entertainment. Lord knows we could use some real comedy on these days. Oh wait, we have that in Washington, DC, don't we?

Posted by: Aloha | July 13, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

martooni - hope you're okay. hope you'll reconsider the "wagon". it's worked for me - 44 years and counting...

Posted by: ot | July 13, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

This must be the most bizarre news story of the year. If you read to the end, you'll learn that the crystal wine glass wasn't even broken.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 13, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I've back-boodled and can't seem to find your song contribution.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 13, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I think there should be room for "I've got the horse right here, the name is Paul Revere" in it somewhere. Other verses about other dogs, cats, rabid raccoons and so forth.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 13, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

These revelations about the widespread corruption and bribery among widespread Chinese Government officials has upset me greatly. I mean, *I'm* a government official, and has anybody ever tried to bribe me? No. Not even once. And let's not even mention the shameful lack of any attempted entrapment and blackmail by seductive foreign women. I mean, what I do it important too you know.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 13, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they just figure it the twit can't type why waste any bribe money on him.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 13, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

You know, it really galls me that I come home on Friday, decide to surf Washington Post dot com and see Monday's Schedule front and center on the (now-hidden) Discussion section on the front page.

Monday? Isn't today Friday? It always seems like the discussion folks are just lazy and get everything ready for the next day (or next week). I'd like to be able to see what's already happened. Isn't that what news is all about?

I'm sure glad my Friday paper is still here and it hasn't turned into a What's Coming Up on Monday paper.

Posted by: TBG | July 13, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl, my contribution consists of suggesting the commission, exhorting others to effort and cheering their results. We also serve who only stand and admire. Y'all are clever.

RD Padouk, don't take umbrage. It is merely that your upright moral character has prevented you from recognizing the no doubt extremely subtle approaches from seductive foreign women. If you look around with a different attitude I'm sure you'll find compromising opportunities around every corner, or cubicle.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 13, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I say the reference to a soul in the confession was inserted by the Chinese government. This way they get a two-fer. Executing a corrupt official and proving they are relaxing their attitude toward religion by not suppressing the reference. If the reference wasn't planted, well then it's still a two-fer.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 13, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone has already pointed to this, but there's a great commentary by Robin Givhan about Lady Bird Johnson and her appreciation of common beauty and how it relates (or should relate) to the fashion industry...

Posted by: TBG | July 13, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Error, I would never discourage anyone from purchasing a boat, some of my happiest childhood memories were spent on one, but like a house it needs to be the right one for you, for what you want to use it for, and you need to know what you are buying - research! Marine surveys are useful for any used boat (like a house inspection). And well the boat industry provides lots of jobs :-).

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

While I am at it take a boat education course and particularly for smaller open boats wear a PFD, end of PSA.

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I read that article earlier today as well, bizarre indeed. Perhaps a little kindness can go a long way, either that or he just really appreciated the wine and cheese. If only other conflicts could be resolved so easily.

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

>Error, I would never discourage anyone from purchasing a boat,
>While I am at it take a boat education course

Yeah that's the problem - I don't even have time to apply for the license. I need to put in my passport application more than I need to learn maritime law. It's nothing I really need to take on at this point.

Let's put it this way - I just spent $1300 for a camera lens, it would be much cheaper to take pics down the shore and tip wildly instead. (Next week at Pt. Pleasant! YAY!)

But you know I'm a man - a nicely shaped hull always gets my attention.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 13, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Do you have events like this for Friday the 13th? A small town about an hour or and hour and a half from here gets large crowds of bikers/motorcycle enthusiasts every Friday the 13th. This year was an anniversary an they think around 100,000 to 150,000 came. I saw many heading that way yesterday and today. This is a little town on the lake, two main streets, I cannot imagine how crowed it must get.

Posted by: dmd | July 13, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Son of G has gotten me hooked on Wonkette (he sees some familiar names, *cough* yellojkt *cough*)...

This is good...

Posted by: TBG | July 13, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - I see. Clearly I radiate an aura of incorruptibility. Let's go with that.

EF - Just keep your mind off of the pontoons.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 13, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Indubitably, RD.

I have a brother like that. Even as a teenager, nobody would dare ask him to do anything immoral for fear of getting his 10-yard stare.

And the cement block factor must help as well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 13, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I have been dragging "S" to dancing lessons recently. Last night was our first lesson in swing dancing. The instructor (male) was showing us some steps and asked for volunteers (women) to do the steps with him. As he went around the room, he had one woman do some steps with him, then asked the woman next to her, who happened to be her partner. Sure enough, she couldn't do the womans' part, she'd been dancing the man's routine. It was handled very graciously by the instructor and we all laughed at the mistake he had made. No one ran screaming from the room, no one's relationship disintegrated on the dance floor. And it was especially fitting that this occured at a place called Pilgrim Hall.

Great musical Mudge, "Gonna Wash that Mein..." perfect. You are all so very talented, and quick.

I love Keith Olbermann. Tonight he mentioned the troubles at some airports this past week and discribed them as 'near hits.' I actually cheered when I heard that as I am sick to death of listening to newspeople maul the language night after night.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 13, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Sure glad yellojkt went to China already so he doesn't have to obsess about what's in the food...

kbertocci, I wouldn't have picked you for a tennis aficianado either! (I don't have any "real" friends who are into Grand Slam tennis.) How cool - we were watching Federer/Nadal together, but we didn't know it! I think we must have helped Roger get that win. And yes, Borg looked amazing.

kguy, Ivansmom, my movie fanatic friend let me borrow her copy of Bubba Ho-Tep. That is one strange flick.

That must have been a very good wine - amazing story.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 13, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

NPR did a story about Woody Guthrie today:

Bad Sneakers, I love Keith too but I don't get to watch as often as I'd like. I'll try to remember to tune in tonight.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 13, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news - Starbucks is closing the Forbidden City store:

Did yellojkt go there? Bet he has a picture, somewhere.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 13, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm proud to be a Virginian again...

Two GOP Senators Break With Bush
Warner, Lugar Propose Troop Redeployment

Posted by: TBG | July 13, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

TBG, careful there. Warner and Lugar leave plenty of outs for the administration from what I have read. They are pulling heavy duty to protect Rs in the Senate and Congress. I am glad to see Lugar trying to, at least, force a discussion about something other than "victory" but don't expect this to change anything in a real way.

Posted by: bill everything | July 13, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's something for Joel to bring up with The New Guy...

I wonder if any other Post columnists or bloggers or reporters have readers who are so "linky." Each boodle includes about five or so links to other WaPo articles. (I won't mention the links to the competition.)

Posted by: TBG | July 13, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I just spent the last hour entranced, nay, enthralled, by a discussion on Bill Moyers' Journal on PBS called "Tough Talk About Impeachment." Here's a link: . You guys all gotta catch this show on the next replay. One of the two guys Moyers talks to is Bruce Fein, a highly conservative Constitutional scholar and the guy who drafted the first impeachment count against Clinton. And what he says would make your hair stand on end, because he is SOOOOOOOOOOOO in favor of impeaching Bush and Darth Cheney it's breathtaking. The other guest, John Nichols of the Nation and author of "The Genius of Impeachment," is also 100% in favor of impeaching both of them. And he made a great point that stopped Moyers cold: Nichols said that impeachment doesn't cause a Constitutional crisis, it is the cure for one. And that's what we already have.

Just an amazing, amazing discussion.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I daresay we're linky because we all share that integrative thinking style! :-)

From the kit: //Technology distances human beings from the biological, chemical, geological, atmospheric and dare I say molecular substrates of their existence.//
Nope, I think we do that all by ourselves without technological intervention. Nobody hides their head in the sand better than we do. What technology does is distance me from sleep!

Welcome, natalie, larissa & ot. Granny, where are you?

Have to say the bao story has dimmed my joy is buying frozen bao and potstickers from the big international supermarket on Adams Avenue. . . is it worse than genetically engineered food? Um, can I get back to you on that?

Posted by: dbG | July 13, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Also, if anyone's in the market for a calm lab who exhibits moments of irrational exuberance and likes smooching girls:

Posted by: dbG | July 13, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, if you will search in Slate, Fein has a grudge against the current adminstration and has been talkin' smack about them for some time.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. Sadly, he is one of the few who is willing to be vocal against the abomination.

Posted by: bill everything | July 13, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I know, Bill. The Moyers link I posted lists references at the bottom, which includes the Slate articles (as well as the Gellman/Becker series on Cheney).

dbG, that lab who "exhibits moments of irrational exuberance and likes smooching girls" kinbda

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 13, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I always knew you had some Calvin & Hobbes in you, Mudge!

Posted by: dbG | July 13, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, your Playbill, btw, was a thing to behold. I am in awe.

Posted by: bill everything | July 13, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Food for thought: Shakespeare plays and the Boodlers who would be most apropos for those roles.

Posted by: bill everything | July 13, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

What I loved about the intruder story (thanks, Maggie!) was that the woman who offered the intruder the wine was nicknamed "Cha Cha", and this, from a cop, about the group hug:

'The hug, she said, was especially unusual. "They should have squeezed him and held onto him for us," she said.'


TBG, I feel your pain about the "tomorrow" aspect on the online WaPo. Often by the time I, on the west coast, get to look at "today's" paper, they've moved on to tomorrow already. Sheesh - it's only 3 hours! But they've hidden Howie's column, put up tomorrow's chats - very disconcerting.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 13, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the cop had forgotten about the gun in the waistband? Or is that standard cop thinking?

'The hug, she said, was especially unusual. "They should have squeezed him and held onto him for us," she said.'


Posted by: LTL-CA | July 13, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Or was the [wink] omitted?

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 13, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I know, I thought about that too - I'd be very glad to let the guy go on his way - I doubt that I would have hugged him!

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 13, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff from Mudge, Wilbrod, SonOfCarl, byoolin, and others.

I wrote a little bit about a recent operation regarding a Federal Agency and security of materials needed to construct a Naughty Bomb:


Posted by: bc | July 14, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

>a Naughty Bomb:

Inspired by the New York Blackout of '77?

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 14, 2007 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh dbG, I love labs and Mr Brooks sounds like such a great dog.

I have a little dog, and a cat, and I live on the wrong coast. And I think a lab is much too much dog for me anymore. But I do admire you for fostering these lovely animals. How does anyone give them up?

Posted by: nellie | July 14, 2007 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Bc, we all know you'd prefer a rock opera to Gilbert and Sully so, for you:

Son's runnin' 'way with vomiting notion
My belly's off doin' soft explosion
Bound for E.R. with diarhy- motions
Cart tarts are so cardboard, they're a hundred light years from food

Freezing crisp desserts turn to bark
Cellulose here in every part
Cart tarts are so cardboard, they're six hundred light years from food

Cart tarts are so cardboard, they're a thousand light years from food
Cart tarts are so cardboard, they're a thousand light years from food

Cellulose sand always was banned
Sell it mixed with rican in safe American dessert brands
Cart tarts are so cardboard, they're two thousand light years from food
Cart tarts are so cardboard, they're two thousand light years from food

(rolling stones: 2000 light years from home)

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 14, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, it's after 8 a.m. already. Well, somebody's gotta say it:


Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 14, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Jeez Mudge, you don't have to type so loudly. Now where's that darn coffee.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Wilbrod, that was cool, thanks.
I do like rock opera, but they're few and far between. The last really good one IMO was the Drive by Truckers' "Southern Rock Opera," though the new one by My Chemical Romance is growing on me.

Not to say I don't like Gilbert and Sully, I do indeed.

EF, the Naughty Bomb was not inspired by the NYC blackout of '77, though that *was* a good pull, sir.

Now, as if I hadn't done enough car work lately, I'm off to a friends' to do the brakes on all 4 corners of my daily driver, and then rewire the fuel pump on one of the race cars.

Then back here for some yard work, and to think about Chinese food. Maybe when we order from over there we need to say more than "No MSG, please."


Posted by: bc | July 14, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. I'm waiting for Mr. T to be ready to go to the farmers' market. There is this lady who milks goats and sells the most fabulous goat cheese; I have to visit every time we are in the mountains on Saturday.

It was so cool up here yesterday, that I had to put on long pants and a long sleeved shirt. Quite the change from the Piedmont!

That was a cool story about the aborted robbery. I hope I would be that quick-witted but I doubt it.

Just when we think we have everything we need, something turns up at the other place. Mr. T needs to replace a shingle on the storage shed which blew off in an April wind storm. So he buys a ladder (24 feet) and has the shingle but has forgotten the caulking gun. Oh well. I'm going home this evening and will bring my niece back for a couple of days tomorrow, so I'll bring it back.

I figure she and I both need a break, after the intense week we had. She especially, since she was my brother's caregiver and will miss him the most.

Posted by: Slyness | July 14, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Nellie, thanks! We actually have a bunch of rescuers here on the Boodle!

The 2nd night I had him, he pushed aside a picket in the fence and escaped. Nine blocks later, I thought . . . this is how he ended up at a high-kill shelter. They couldn't keep him in the yard.

Now, a week later, I sometimes wonder if they opened the door and invited him out--he's got a little of Mudge's bad-boy side too. :-) We're working on it. 99% of the time, he's a couch potato.

My own 2 labs were both on their 3rd home when they got to me. The first, yeah, I can understand why. The second, it had to be that the people were crazy.

Congratulations on your own 2. Even my labs have been getting smaller as new ones come in, so I understand perfectly.

On the kit, I suddenly remember a high-fiber bread that came out years ago, rumored to contain ground-up telephone poles. Anyone remember that? American company (although we all know how much they look out for us even when not required to)?

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

That would be Brooks, not Mudge, who's a couch potato 99% of the time.

Just reading about Mudge's fixit weekends makes me tired!

Posted by: dbG | July 14, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! Fair warning, I am offcially on vacation!

Virtual Bloody Mary's all around!

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 14, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

And for hors d'oeuvres?

Posted by: dbG | July 14, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Tish, you spoke French!

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 14, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow... what a morning..

Bloody Marys at Error's tiki bar while we sit and watch the groundhogs explode and listen to our talented boodleaires sing the music from Made in China: The Musical.

Can life get much better?

Posted by: TBG | July 14, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

How about we throw in a bushel of freshly steamed crabs?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 14, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

and rhubarb.

Morning all.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 14, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

TBG, regarding your 7:59 of last night...
Givhans is stretching so far with this fluff-and-puff piece that you linked to. Byy writing it, Givhans has (IMHO, once again) entered the realm of the absurd.

We were in one of the stores of our favorite used book store chain last night and on the top of a stack of books at the entrance was a book Lady Bird had co-written with another women about wildflowers. Thumbing through it was a feast for the eyes--the contents so removed from the plastic, highly consumptive, ever-changing, ridiculous world of fashion.

If you have any doubts about what I am trying to express in this post, come down to the sprawling Johnson Ranch on the Pedernales--you or Givhans (I shall be busy that day), walk around, take in the atmosphere and serenity, take the tour if you desire--you'll learn a great deal and see even more. I have seen Johnson's simple, unpretentious gravesite in a towering grove of trees; Lady Bird will be laid to rest next to him tomorrow. Get real with Texas from your East Coast vantage points.

And please don't pass along Givhans bunk as anything more than the trifling ramblings of the fashion-obsessed.

And how many war-dead and war-disfigured did it take before your beloved Senator Warner made a U-turn?

Posted by: Loomis | July 14, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Uncomfortably weird - weirdness - continues here. My new ally in the Trash Dumping wars, the lady who works next door, turned up missing around 5 last night. Her boss drove down looking for her last night. (he knows she loves my dog, who they allow in their office when my dog wanders.) I sure hope she's okay and turned up. I know nothing of her private life, whether she has a cellphone, where she lives or with whom. I sure couldn't provide any help for the business owner next door. Now it's the weekend, so I doubt any news until Mon.

Does carbonated V-8 juice sound good? I am wondering lately, if no one has ever had a fizzy bloody mary, how do we know it isn't great?

Posted by: Jumper | July 14, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Jumper-I'm thinking that fizzy bloody mary could be delightful.

Boodlers-Our community foundation's summer reading program for kids kicks off next Saturday. I have a small budget to order books post haste. The theme is "Get a Clue" so mysteries/detective stories that appeal to all levels are needed. Recommendations for everything from picture books to noir classics would be most appreciated.

Also needed-ideas for simple activities/read alouds. We have 5 Saturdays to do things that last 20-35 minutes. We will be making invisible ink one week. Links to kid appropriate online games with a mystery/code breaking theme would be most appreciated.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 14, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, Loomis, I think Givhans was saying in her article what you are - that Lady Bird had a sense of what is truly beautiful, beyond fancy frocks, and that she left a legacy of lasting beauty. I know you don't like Givhans, but I think you're allowing that to twist your interpretation of what she said.

And I rejoice with every Republican who sees the light about the war - the Democrats can't stop it by themselves. Mudge, I watched Bill Moyers and can only hope that impeachment (or the threat thereof) will get Bush to change his ways.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

TBG i would be delighted to take that trip with you, the serenity would be great, the company delightful and hailing from near Toronto I understand from the rest of this country I could always do with a good dose of reality :-).

Posted by: dmd | July 14, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, I heard a review recently of a book I remember from when I was a kid - Half Magic by Edward Eager.

And here's a list from the Seattle Library of mysteries for kids:

Of course, there are the Nancy Drew books. I read The Hardy Boys, but they seemed dated to me when I looked at them again when my son was at that age. I read Trixie Belden books too. Oh, and Freddy the Pig! I'm very nostalgic this morning. What about Harriet the Spy?

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: In re: your 7/13 @ 4:11 suggestion that we "all go to the old barn and put on" your musical, I foresee one minor problem, to wit, that most of us are not (I assume) of Chinese extraction.

This is a minor problem only in that if we all attempt to 'play Chinese' we run the risk of looking like Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast At Tiffany's".

"Miss Go-rightry! Miss Go-rightry!"

Posted by: byoolin | July 14, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Givhan article was very profound and important, and I am delighted TBG linked to it. By celebrating Lady Bird Johnson's appreciation for beauty, I feel Ms. Givhan was celebrating the importance of beauty in life. For I feel that one of the most fundamental characteristics of being human is the appreciation and enjoyment of that which is beautiful - be it in the natural world, through music, through art, or, most importantly, through simple human kindness.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

If there was ever an overfed long-haired leaping gnome in need of a Bloody Mary, that would be me.

I have the vodka and tobasco sauce, but no tomato juice. Wait a minute... I *do* have some canned tomato soup. (Desperate times, desperate measures)

And guess what? I have something to share that's almost related to the kit!

A few years ago I was really into fishing and used to walk to my favorite fishing hole (didn't have a driver's license then, but did have a fishing license).

Anyway, my walking route took me past the neighborhood Chinese take-out joint. So one day I'm walking home with a stringer of yellow perch (and no, I wasn't whistling the tune from "Andy Griffith") and happened by the Chinese place. Next thing I know, there's a Chinese cook coming at me from the back door with a wooden spoon and yelling "Sir... you selfish!? you selfish!?" It took me a second or three to figure out that he wasn't angry at me or trying to knock my character, but wanted to know if I would "sell" the "fish".

I didn't sell them that day, but a week later I did trade my catch for a double order of General Tso's chicken (extra spicy).

That transaction was a story in itself -- I'm standing at the counter with a stringer of twitching small-mouth bass, surrounded by everyone who worked there (and all their friends and relations), as they poked at the fish and spoke Chinese a mile-a-minute. The only one who spoke English was the girl that ran the register. She said they were so excited about the fish because in China, freshwater fish are a delicacy and very rare -- apparently they overfished/polluted the rivers to the point where the rivers are basically dead zones.

Posted by: martooni | July 14, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hello, friends.

I tried one of experiments from the Internet to talk about global warming. It was one that did the "greenhouse effect with a jar". The kids love taking the tempertures, but I don't know if the talk went over so well.

I also did the critical thinking list along with this talk. One kid asked why are we doing school stuff for summer. I said we think all time, not just during the school year. In fact I told him thinking was required in order for him to walk out the door, not into the door. He loved that.

Fridays are "fear factor" days, and the director does something fun and something the kids like. We didn't do that yesterday, mostly played outside. Kickball yesterday, but I did not participate.

I read the story, or at least some of it, about China executing the official. I thought he got cheated if he only got eight hundred thousand dollars, and especially if drug companies were bribing him. He got cheated and hung.

Thanks for the links about global warming, and thanks for the critical thinking rules, JA, and everybody.

I don't want to take their fun away and make the summer really awful by talking about lessons, so I will go easy on that. We also talked about what every one wanted to be when they grow up, what kind of job they wanted to have, and about going to college. I just wish they could get outside more, but sometimes it is just too hot. And this year we will not have a trip anywhere because of high gas prices. I am very disappointed in that because I love for the kids to see other places, and new things. It is very much a part of learning.

k-guy, "opiate for the masses" because he said the word "soul"? Just wondering out loud.

I hope every one is having a great weekend. And Slyness your place sounds so cool. Mudge, you are one talented guy. Getting sleepy, have a great day my friends.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 14, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I truly believe that pacifism would solve many (if not all) of the world's problems, but I just want to throttle this arsehole and beat him over the head with his own leg:

I don't find his ideas offensive. I find *him* offensive with his patronizing "I'm-just-so-smarter-than-you" attitude.

I don't belong to any particular church and my internal jury is still "out" regarding almost everything "religious", but I still have hope that there is some higher purpose of existing than simply existing.

Posted by: martooni | July 14, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse


I've been lurking for a while, keeping my mind busy with my new job, still. I didn't realize it would be so hard to have a new job that won't start until school's open again. I have all these weeks to wonder about what I'll do and how.

I was following some of the many links in the Boodle, and linking off that, I came across this. It is funny in a sad way. Read the down to the comments at the bottom of the page.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The universe just punched me in the inner eye and said I should pass this along:

"Never hand a drunken man a pistol or a keyboard"

Dang universe.

I, for one, didn't vote for it.

Posted by: martooni | July 14, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, Martooni, I certainly hope there is a higher purpose. But what he writes certainly makes me think about what I say to my kids often. When they do something I find wrong, like taking toys away from each other, I don't say, "don't do it because God won't like it." I say, "don't do it because you wouldn't want the same to be done to you." I believe in the Golden Rule more than I believe in anything else. Really. Why should I not steal? Because I don't want anything stolen. Why should I not lie? Because I don't want to be lied to. If I bring any religion into it, I feel I'm implying that it is OK to do it to those who believe differently from Jews.

Which, BTW, loops back to the link in my 1:47.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Very funny musical ideas from everyone. I've LOL a lot while catching up today.

And, RD, a bit late, but I have to thank you for the link to the space photography article. I loved it, and have read further about it. I have sent that link and a couple others to someone who may be able to help with the funding.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The nutty Givhans:
Lady Bird Johnson was not a favorite within the fashion industry, but she should have been. Not because of her style (or lack thereof, according to Givhans,) but for her philosophy.

Why aren't the following not a favorite of the fashion industry, not hailed for their philosophy(ies)?: Bill McKibben instead of Jessica McClintock, Jane Goodall instead of Givenchy, John Muir and his Yosemite instead of Yves St. Laurent?

Plenty of examples abound:
Rachel Carson?
Wangari Maathai?
Marjorie Stoneman Douglas?
Rosalie Edge?
Julia "Butterfly" Hill?

I wonder if many Americans who cannpt resist the temptaion to stuff their bulging closets with whatever the current clothing trend is ever take a moment to ponder what sweatshops their clothes--designer or not--are sewn in? What countries do they come from? What are the wages of the workers? Working conditions? How many restroom breaks are given? What are the living conditions of the families who have a relative in one of these needle trades? I'd really love for Givhans to report on these all my questions and any other observations she herself may have in locations like Macau, Jordan, China, Guatemala, Indonesia? I'd read that reporting by her in a heartbeat.

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

Loomis, does wearing tee shirts purchased at WalMart, as far from couture as you can get, guarantee that you are sticking it to the sweat shop runners? I suggest you do some research on that.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

and not writing about couture doesn't make it go away, either. I'm sure if Ms. Goodall had passed away, someone would have written about her, too.

And, of course, someone would complain that the article should have been all about the gorillas and left the human oppressors out of it.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

BTW, her name is Robin Givhan. I got it wrong earlier too.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I had a long message to you about kids' mysteries, but my computer ate it. Here is a precis.

Phillip Pullman's Sally Lockhart quartet. Titles are Ruby in the Smoke, The Tiger in the Well, The Tin Princess, and The Shadow in the North. See Amazon's reviews. Suggested for 12 and up, but I think it should be 10.

For read-alouds, for 10 and up, Edgar Allen Poe's short stories. They are wonderful, and kids love them.

Lots of activities for mystery books can be found on the web.

And, I'd let the kids play Clue.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 14, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, good mystery game for your program. The free trial version should see you through.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks mostly and Maggie, and keep the suggestions coming folks. I'm really interested in books you and your children, or young acquaintances, have loved. _Harriet the Spy_ and _From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler_ are two of my personal favorites but I read Files with better than half the kids in town last year-before I knew this year's theme.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 14, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of books, I saw a bumper sticker yesterday

Republicans for Voldemort

Goes well with "Somewhere in TX there's a village looking for its idiot."

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 14, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Joseph Bruchac writes American Indian stories. His Whisper in the Dark and The Skeleton Man can be thought mysteries. (Middle school)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 14, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

frosti if you have children in the grades 7-9 range I would recommend the Mysterious Incident of the Dog at Midnight, not your typical mystery. It is taught here Grade 7/8.

Her is a review so you can decide if it is appropriate.

Posted by: dmd | July 14, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse


With some washable paint you could do everyone's fingerprints on stiff paper, and then have selected kids leave their fingerprints on glass or somewhere else where a nice print would be made, and then let the kids figure out whose prints they are.

Posted by: SonofCarl | July 14, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Great tune on the satellite "Green Grass and High Tides" I have heard it twice in less then 12 hours.

Been doing wood all day, it is hard to think about heating your home in the summer,but when wood becomes availible I usually scramble for it.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 14, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I wrote:
I wonder if many Americans who cannpt resist the temptaion to stuff their bulging closets with whatever the current clothing trend is ever take a moment to ponder what sweatshops their clothes--designer OR NOT (caps added for emphasis)...

a bea c wrote:
Loomis, does wearing tee shirts purchased at WalMart, as far from couture as you can get, guarantee that you are sticking it to the sweat shop runners? I suggest you do some research on that.

Lest we forget, Kathie Lee Gifford married one of our high's school's most well-known graduates. I'm far too familiar--research unnecessary...this site has a link to the latest articles on sweatshops, Sweatshop Index.

Talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford held a weepy press conference after it was revealed that her Kathie Lee clothing line, sold by Wal-Mart, was made by sweatshop workers in Honduras. That was just the beginning; soon it was revealed that some of the clothes were also made in a New York City sweatshop, just blocks from the studio where she appears daily. And although the workers there were earning less than minimum wage, they hadn't been paid in weeks.

Husband Frank Gifford appeared at the sweatshop with $9,000 in cash for the unpaid workers. With cameras rolling, he said his wife was too "wiped out and devastated" to appear at the shop herself, and apologized for the both of them. Wal-Mart also issued a press release stating that it deplored sweatshops -- and would compensate the Giffords for any expense.

With the help of a top-notch PR firm, Kathie Lee began repairing her tarnished image, transforming Gifford into a labor activist, sworn to fight sweatshops everywhere. The campaign was launched with help from an extremely sympathetic report presented by ABC's "PrimeTime Live."

Why did the network rush to save Gifford's image? Norman Solomon pointed out in his Media Beat column that both ABC and her talk show are owned by the Walt Disney Company -- a corporation with much to lose should the public become too upset about sweatshops.

As the Monitor reported in January, Disney and other corporations have depended upon sweatshops in Haiti to sew Pocahontas pajamas and other Disney theme clothing, where workers are paid just 12 cents an hour.

But if there were any doubts about the working conditions in the sweatshop that made Gifford's clothing, reporters had the opportunity to hear a first-hand report from Wendy Diaz, a worker from the factory in Honduras.

Although only 15 year-old, Diaz said she had worked at the factory since she was 13. Managers often grabbed women and girls, she said, and she was only allowed to go to the bathroom twice in her 11-hour shift. She made $3.74 for her long day's work.

Posted by: Loomis | July 14, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

But you've just made a bea c's point Linda.

Unless you are claiming that the Kathy Lee Gifford line represents high fashion, you have just totally and completely contradicted yourself.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of food, (we were weren't we?) I am pleased to announce that even the incompetent get lucky sometimes. I am harvesting a bumper crop of 'maters. (Does anybody recall where the term "bumper crop" came from? I mean, unless one is harvesting bumpers.)

Anyway, I just pulled enough plum and beefsteak tomatoes out of the garden to keep the family in lycopene for weeks.

Sadly, the two Son-of-Stripeys aren't contributing anything. For whatever reason these two lanky vines have refused to set any fruit. And I was so hoping to see grandchildren.

So that's one solution to the problem of tainted foodstuffs. Grow your own.

(Just leave out the tainted part.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I went back to the Kit and was reminded of The Restaurant At the End of the Universe.

The cow ambles over to the table and presents itself as the meal, proceeding to ask each guest which part of its body they will have. I found this so funny, and Arthur's reaction so true. I wouldn't want to be the cause of the cow's death, so I don't think of steak as a cow. This distancing ourselves from the sources of our food are sometimes necessary. I couldn't eat if I knew, or knowing, if I thought about it too much.

Posted by: a bea c | July 14, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk, I envy you. I have very healthy tomato plants which seem completely uninterested in producing tomatoes. While this does keep down the critter population, which would otherwise come to eat the tomatoes, that is small comfort.

Fortunately we have an excellent weekly farmer's market within fifteen miles where I go and get far too many tomatoes. I'm on pretty much an all-lycopene diet.

Yesterday I felt like Queen of the Rabbits. As I drove up our driveway in the morning, lagomorphs scurried hither and yon, as if at my command.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 14, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

RD, you reminded me to check my tomato plants. I have one Mr. Stripey which has some green fruit and looks pretty healthy. As opposed to last year when through too much rain and a complete lack of attention we got a few tomatoes and nothing else, this year's garden is looking very very good. Lettuce from the garden is great, but I do have to examine each leaf as I wash it, having found a few icky looking bugs lurking on them. But at least they're native bugs, not scary Chinese ones. Being at least a few weeks behind most of you, we won't have tomatoes until August but the cukes and beans look to be about a week away.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 14, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers - the mention of "Scary Chinese Bugs" made me laugh out loud.

Ivansmom - a good farmer's markets can break the heart of a home gardener.

Well folks, I am heading off to an undisclosed location tomorrow morning for two days of meetings.

(If anyone wants any fresh See's candy, just let me know.)

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

>While this does keep down the critter population

Speaking of critters, no groundhogs have been seen at Chez Error in days. This is a beautiful thing.

If there are any left they've gone deep undercover, no doubt attempting to contact their "control" in Moscow or Pakistan or somewhere.

Although there was a comandante hat and Cohiba butt in evidence, so...

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 14, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

So, Padouk, are you going to write your book now that some of the family jewels have been brought to light?

Posted by: Loomis | July 14, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Loomis - the only family jewels I know anything about are the ones that spawned my children.

But thank you for responding as I expected.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

GD Padouk,
My point is I'm not holding my breath waiting for the Wangari Maathai fashions, accessories, bed and bath sheets, baubles, signature perfumes or cosmetic line to arrive in stores--whatever store--from Wah-Mart to Needless Markup.

Posted by: Loomis | July 14, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Even though the Post says the Potomac is loaded with nasty stuff, my trip to the swimming hole today proved sublime as always and I found nothing offensive about the water except the occasional mysterious suds.

fyi, tomorrow Outlook has a contrarian piece on Harry Potter (which I think makes some interesting observations about the activity of reading); and a sure-to-enrage piece by Bill Kristol on why Bush will be considered a successful president. Also a piece on political adultery and why we don't care anymore if a politician has strayed -- very interesting, worth chewing over on Monday (because Sunday is a day of rest) in the boodle.

My story runs in Style tomorrow -- China imports, end of the world, fear stalks the Safeway.

But we should have just printed Mudge's musical.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 14, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, here you go:

Harry Potter: Bore.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 14, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol on Bush:

[I wonder if ANY of the commenters on the story online will agree with him...I'm guessing not.]

Posted by: Achenbach | July 14, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse



Psychologists had once assumed that only one fragile psyche could be dealt with at a time, but in the 1970s, they decided that "the relationship" was itself an entity that could be studied and prodded. The ranks of couples therapists quickly multiplied, creating an army of people preaching that an affair isn't just about sex; it's a symptom of other problems.


In a 1994 survey of 24 countries, we disapproved of adultery more than people anywhere but Ireland and the Philippines (our former Cold War foe Russia was the most permissive). And more than 25,000 marriage and family therapists -- up from 3,000 in 1970 -- were teaching us that recovering from infidelity was an all-consuming process that could take years. Many believed that healthy couples didn't keep secrets, so the "offending spouse" should tell the "betrayed spouse" every detail. America's new mantra on affairs became: "It's not the sex, it's the lying."

By the late 1990s, Americans increasingly viewed infidelity not just as a relationship problem but as evidence of a physical disorder or a larger societal problem. Support groups for "betrayed spouses" and straying "sexual addicts" began appearing nationwide and on the Internet. As the topic came out of the closet, infidelity experts arose; the chief qualification some of them offered was having cheated or been cheated on.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 14, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

All I will say about Kristol is that he's entitled to an opinion, even a rosy head-in-the-sand one.

Posted by: Slyness | July 14, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

gee, that achenbach fella sure is boodle-hogging.

rd, your see's candy reference makes me think you're headed in my general direction. not that you could confirm that. careful with the transport of chocolate in the summer though.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 14, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I thought maybe RD was headed my way, but I suppose he's going quite a bit south. Mmmm, See's Candies...

I meant to mention that on Lisa de Moraes' TV blog the other day, she mentioned lots of upcoming activity on the Jane Austen front:
It's a bit snarky, but has a lot of good info.

(Sorry, Mudge, I think you eschew "upcoming" but I couldn't help myself.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

'Evenin', Boodle. Just got back from working on the boat, which is scheduled (so they say) for launch on Monday. Signed a contract with the new marina for that slip, and had an interesting conversation with the office manager lady there, who (age 45) had a heart attack last November and had a triple bypass (I had the four-banger). So we compared scars where the surgeons butterflied us (I have more staples than she does; she had more drain holes than I did), scars on our legs where they removed the greater saphenous vein to use for spare parts, etc. Good times, good times.

byoolin, as someone who actually DOES look like Mickey Rooney, I am perplexed by your 12:30 post. I must say, though, that I've always wanted to perform in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and I think I'd make a really interesting Holly Golightly. In any event, I think it would be an excellent opportunity to strecth my craft and exercise my acting chops. Think I'd get to keep the dress?

I don't have to read that glassbowl Kristol's article to be outraged. I'm outraged just thinking about it. In fact, I'm in high dudgeon just because Outlook is even bothering to print that lunatic's opinions. (Even though I understand why they're doing it, marketplace of ideas, all viewpoints, yadda yadda.) I haven't read the link to it that Joel just posted; I need about an hour to get myself mentally prepared and in the right frame of mind (i.e., drunk).

When we got home a little while ago, I discovered that my 21-year-old son had gone to work (he's the #2 chef at a local pub) but had left his MySpace page up on the computer. So sure, I read his profile and all the various comments from his dumb@ss friends (one or two of which appear to be, well...babes). And then, uh, I post a comment myself. I'm sure all his friends will be delighted to read a MySpace post from his own father.

Oh yes. I did.

Heh heh heh. That'll teach him.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 14, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I like Billy Crystal better.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This is great, from the end of Kristol's column:
"What it comes down to is this: If Petraeus succeeds in Iraq, and a Republican wins in 2008, Bush will be viewed as a successful president."

Those are a couple of mighty big "ifs". I would add "if wishes were horses then beggars would ride".

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm heading to Sunnyvale to make sure that some clever folks out there are doing nothing but good things with taxpayer money.

I have no idea why some married people cheat. Heck, given how closely my wife inspects our credit card bill, I have no idea *how* some married people cheat.

Regarding Harry Potter. My son grew up with Harry, and is eagerly looking forward to getting the last book in the series. And I must admit I enjoy the books too. They are richly plotted and a lot of fun.

And I although I understand Ron Charles's frustration that so much excellent fiction remains unread, I am not convinced that Harry and Company can be held responsible.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

>>make sure that some clever folks out there are doing nothing but good things with taxpayer money

Oh man, I gots to get me some of that govt. VC money.

I like Harry Potter. There is always a ton of great art, literary and musical and every other way that doesn't get much air, but that's just how it goes. J.K Rowling had no more guarantee of even publshing the first book than anyone else, and she deserves everything she got out of it.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 14, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Today my daughter had her Great Dane, Rexxy put down. The poor girl was limping severely and the affected leg was swollen and hot to the touch. My daughter agonized over the last few days about when to do it. It was originally scheduled for yesterday but the vet couldn't come to the house and by last night my daughter was a mess. She was vacillating between wanting to end the suffering and feeling that Rexxy wasn't 'that' bad yet. I wasn't sure that she would go through with it today, and frankly, I don't know what decision I would have made in her place. When I spoke with her this afternoon, she said she was numb. The grave had been dug, the dog buried with all her toys, her coat and her blanket. The woman across the street had given my daughter a nice bunch of wildflowers to put on the grave. My daughter commented on how quiet the house was and that the gate to the yard was open, which it never is. My daughter had been in contact with a woman in Maine who runs a Great Dane rescue and the woman had remarked that Great Dane owners are masochists because they know the limited life-span for the dogs and keep owning them anyway, Rexxy was a month shy of 7 years old. I've been dreaming about her for the last two nights. Rexxy was a very good, very funny, lovable dog. I will miss her.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 14, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

That's very sad Bad Sneakers. We lost the first dog we ever had as a married couple a few years ago. It's not fun.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, my thoughts will be with your daughter. I cried when we had to put our Australian Shepherd to sleep. A sad time.

Posted by: Slyness | July 14, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

LOL at Martooni's 1:44. To be fair, the author is a pretty easy target.

I'd take celestial dictatorship over hormonal dictatorship anytime.

And there's also the dictatorship of booze...

You're not the only one who found 90 days of sobriety to be unbearable. Matt Talbot was an alcoholic from age 12 to age 28. He finally decided to take the pledge to quit drink-- for life. The priest told him to try 3 months first. Well, the first 3 months were so bad he swore he'd start drinking again when his pledge was up. He didn't. He took another pledge and another... and apparently couldn't stop. He never drank again thanks to the mercy of god, he said. Of course he went a bit overboard with the ascetic practices. More importantly, he paid off his debts. He never did find that old guy that he stole a violin from for drink money, though.

You'd like what he said about alcoholism.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 14, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about your daughter's dog Sneaks.

Re: Cheating. As Ma Frostbitten says "I have enough trouble knowing what's going on in my own marriage without trying to figure out anyone elses." She also says about herself and Frostdaddy, "What do we know about marriage? We've only done it once."

So what is Mr. Smartypants Critic's problem. That too many people are reading Harry, or that not enough adults are reading fiction. Feh, for lack of clarity that piece would not have made it into our community library newsletter, if we could recruit an editor and have a newsletter that is. As for more adults than children reading number 7, I don't doubt it. Kids who got hooked on #1 and could read it independently when it came out are all adults now, duh.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 14, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Who weeps for the book critic? That Harry Potter article gave me a chuckle at this point:

...."Then they turn to each other and shake their heads, amazed that anything so effete should pass for a profession. (I can see it in their eyes: the little tufted pillow, the box of bonbons nearby.)"

I want that job, if he's having such self-esteem struggles over it.

It could be worse. My mathematican relative says when he is at parties and he announces he does math, the conversation stops dead as though he had just confessed to worshipping the devil through human sacrifice. And of course he gets the subsequent litany of math phobias ;).

If Mr. bon-bon eater would get off his tufted pillow and type in an url, he could go to and other sites where he'd see people voluntarily analyzing the Potter books for symbolism and discussing the character arcs to a surprisingly high level. I'm fairly certain not all of them are even English majors let alone literature professors.

For one thing, there's not much pretentious language going on. And a disturbing level of slash, but that's how things are.

Jasper ffordes' Thursday Next books appeal to me because they truly evoke the realities of book fandom.

But it's OK to not be crazy about Harry Potter. The books are written for a specific audience. It's the allusions that really capture interest-- from alchemical symbolism, to historical allusions to Muggletonians, and to even drawing character traits and story arcs from the Lives of the Saints.

(Dumbledore? St. Ambrose, patron saint of beekeepers and a very scholarly teacher).

So instead of whining about Harry Potter, he should be using it as an example of teaching through literature.

But then, I'm the kind of person who reads fairy tales for the motifs, not motives.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 14, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - Having been married to a mathematician for nearly 19 years I can confirm that devil worship through human sacrifice is not involved.

At least I'm pretty sure it's not.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I grew up with a future one.

There's definitely no reason to fear a sudden sacrifice in the name of Pythagoreas, although you could well expect regular subtraction of food from your fridge at regular intervals.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 14, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Read the links Joel put up to get my mind on something else. Sure did succeed. Kristol's piece is full of "probably, seem, depend on your point of view, might well have, think we can, if and (another) probably." Oh, and the Afgan war is going reasonably well - what is this man drinking? Not one fact or figure to back up any of his claims. I'd like to kick him in the shins. Mudge is right, he's a glassbowl.

Never read Harry Potter, granddaughters weren't old enough and I have no interest in wizardry. Would like to see adults read more literature as opposed to just fluffy fiction but I'm not holding my breath.

Don't get me started on the subject of cheating, I have strong views (I'm against it).

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 14, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

While others sneer at the failings of Wikis, I keep a close eye on their evolution. I got a huge kick out of this and split my sides laughing a few times.
I found serious proposals for new words here, such as

a.. sphone: noun [Garrett Jones] - A shape formed by spinning a cone into
tetraspace, around its symmetry axis. Can also be formed by connected all
the points on the surface of a sphere to a point some distance away from the
sphere in tetraspace, with the point being upsilon or delta from the center
of the sphere. It is the analog of the cone in realmspace. (sphone = sphere
+ cone).
a.. And some very good ones:
a.. thanatolotry: Worship of death, a trait attributable to suicide bombers
and devil worshippers.

One can sort it all out by topic, too. In searching by topic, I found all
sorts of true gems:
a.. faux-mo: When a generation lacking any clear, unique identity attempts
(in inconsistant, questionably sincere and argueably futile ways) to label
and define itself and/or it's cultural elements. This is generally
characterized by a sort of quiet desperation, thinly veiled hostility and
b.. Thursdaily: Every Thursday
a.. lockblocker: A person who prevents the unlocking of a his or her car
door by pulling the door handle at the same time the driver presses the
unlock button
a.. lesbosexual: n. [Note: Coined by Mark Simpson in Sex Terror: Erotic
Misadventures in Pop Culture (Harrington Park Press, 2002).] A non-stylish
gay man.

I coined the next one long ago. Now it has a home.
masochismo: n. [Masochism + Machismo] The idea that ones masculinity is tied
to the capacity to endure self-inflicted pain.

Posted by: Jumper | July 14, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

faux-mo? I much prefer the real one.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 14, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about your daughter's dog, Bad Sneakers. Which reminds of Jack, who has Great Danes, I think - he must be really busy. Our last cat had a hyperthyroid condition for his last years. He slowly deteriorated, but toward the end I took him to the vet to see if he should be put to sleep. He seemed to think the cat wasn't suffering (he was so skinny, though), and as he said, the cat would let me know when it was time. Th kitty passed away a few weeks after that, at home, when we were all away. We haven't gotten another cat, because it was so hard losing him (he was about 17).

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 14, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read the Kristol piece. Do I need to? Sounds like the Post is letting him hang himself. All the better.

Posted by: bill everything | July 14, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, I read it. Dr. Pangloss seems to think things are heading in a positive direction. I will sleep well tonight.

I do wonder about his statement that so long as a Republican is elected President, Bush will be a success. What if Cheney were to throw his hat in the ring. (Cue Jaws music)

Posted by: bill everything | July 14, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure "hat" is the right metaphor for what Cheney would throw.

Posted by: Jumper | July 14, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Also sorry to hear of Bad Sneaker's daughter's Great Dane. They can be great dogs. Sometime in the past, if I was working Saturday, my colleague in the next office might bring in Cody, the Dane. Once in a while, a border collie would come, too. Made work much more entertaining.

I'm expecting China to ban American hot dogs as unsanitary. But probably not Boeings.

Over at the Telegraph (London), Niall Ferguson has an understated but outraged column on the subprime mortgage scandal. He's figured out that the mortgages were pretty much scams to trap the uneducated.

It's not too late for Congress to modify the draconian new bankruptcy law. This session.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 14, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, how about a heave of brimstone followed by a burning trail of cloven hooves?

Posted by: bill everything | July 14, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

A great dane died? And I didn't even get to sniff her butt?

*Slumping on the ground in despondency.*

My day is all ruined now. We don't deserve this kind of pain in life. Great Danes should learn to live longer.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 14, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I found the protologism list to possibly be the insomnia remedy I've been looking for. Sorry, but a lot of those entries are really repetitive. If I were to make up words, I'd find better reasons than "adding punnish meaning with cutesy spellings", and making up words for words that in fact do exist.

Yelloworse? Just say "less yellowish". How's a Cockney going to differentiate between the yellow horse and the horse that's yelloworse?

Thanks for sharing some of the highlights. A spone is interesting, although only mathematicans can rule on that particular jargon term.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 14, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Only time for a fly-by boodling before I'm off to bed.

G'night everybody.


Posted by: bc | July 14, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd writing about Zheng Xiaoyu and offering to ghost write "How I Look on My Mistakes," by George W. Bush for tomorrow's NYT.

Posted by: Loomis | July 14, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

EF: //Tish, you spoke French!//

Always happens when I drink Bloody Mary's!

Posted by: Tish | July 14, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, sorry to hear about Rexxy.

Posted by: dbG | July 14, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's MoDo. It's pretty good.

There's not much lately that we'd like to import from China.

Certainly not the yummy steamed buns stuffed with shredded cardboard soaked in a caustic agent used to make soap. Or the tasty toothpaste laced with an antifreeze ingredient. Or the scrumptious seafood with a chemical kick. Or those pet foods with kibbles and bits of poison.

But there is one thing made in China we could use: mea culpas of high officials.

Zheng Xiaoyu, a top regulator who helped create China's Food and Drug Administration, accepted $850,000 in bribes from drug companies and became enmeshed in the mistakes that flooded the market with dangerous drugs. Before he was executed Tuesday, he wrote a short confession titled "How I Look on My Mistakes."

"Thinking back on what has happened these years, I start to see the problems clearly," he wrote in prison. "Why are the friends who gave me money all the bosses of pharmaceutical companies? Obviously because I was in charge of drug administration.

"I am confessing here that I loosened self-discipline, ignored the bottom line," he said, adding that he had to confess his mistakes "as an act of saving my soul."

We would skip the execution -- although perhaps there should be ranch arrest for W., and Cheney could do community service passing out condoms at Gay Pride festivals.

But it is time for the lethally inept duo running the country to do some painstaking self-examination and confession. Just as the Communist Party helped the late Mr. Zheng compose his thoughts, I volunteer to ghost-write our leaders' self-scrutiny:

"How I Look on My Mistakes," by George W. Bush

The people trusted me with an important position. I didn't live up to expectations. I let Dick supersize the executive branch and cast Democrats as whiners and traitors. Why did I not suspect that Dick might be power-hungry when he appointed himself vice president? Why did I let him take over my presidency and fill it up with warmongers? I was so afraid to be called a wimp, as my father once was, I allowed Dick and Rummy to turn me into a wimp. I should never have allowed Dick to conspire with energy lobbyists and steer contracts to Halliburton. A tip-off should have been when Dick kept giving himself all the same powers that I had. Or when he outed that pretty lady spy.

If only I had kept my promise to go after the thugs who attacked us on 9/11, because now I've made Osama and Al Qaeda stronger. I know my false claim about Al Qaeda's ties with Iraq led to Iraq's being tied down by Al Qaeda. I see now that my bungled war on terror has created more terror, empowered Iran and made America less secure. Oh, yeah, and I'm sorry I broke the military.

I stained the family honor when I ignored the elders of the Iraq Study Group. I should not have worried that I would be seen as kowtowing to my dad's friends. The Oval Office is not the right place for a teenage rebellion.

I should not have picked that dimwit Brownie, and I should have trusted the gut of anyone besides that goof-off Chertoff to keep the nation safe. And what was I thinking when I said Harriet Miers should be a Supreme Court justice? That was loony. I'm sorry I made the surgeon general mention my name three times on every page of his speeches. That was childish.

How could I have let Dick bring in his best friend, Rummy, my dad's old nemesis? Dummy Rummy let Osama escape at Tora Bora, messed up the Iraq occupation and aborted a mission to wipe out top Al Qaeda leaders because he was protecting Musharraf, who was protecting Al Qaeda in the tribal areas. Even though I promised to get rid of dictators who helped terrorists, I ended up embracing a Pakistani dictator who helps terrorists.

I'm embarrassed that the Iraqi Parliament is taking a monthlong vacation in the middle of my surge. Could I have set a bad example when I rode my bike in Crawford while New Orleans drowned?

I'm sorry I keep pretending Iraq will get better if we stay longer. It wasn't very nice of me to push the surge when I knew it couldn't work. I just wanted to dump the defeat on my successor. I wish Hillary the best of luck.

If I had left the gym long enough to read about Algeria or even one of T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, then I might have not gotten bogged down in Iraq and let North Korea, China and Russia slide.

Being the Decider is so confusing. I regret stealing the presidency and wish I could give it back.

"How I Look on My Mistakes," by Dick Cheney

Buzz off.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 14, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

My favorite google ad ever!!

Lose 15 lbs in 3 Minutes
The Fastest Way to Lose Weight. Shocking Chinese Diet Secret!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 14, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course you noticed that it's a shocking Chinese diet secret.

That should make Newman happy!

Good night all.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 15, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

maggie, this only proves that the google ad software is searching text effectively.

which reminds me

dick cheney is a big doo-doo head.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 15, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Back home in Florida--that seemed like a very quick week. Two travel notes: In the airport I saw this story on CNN. I recognize the complexity of the situation, but I think this needed to be said:

"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave 'any time they want.'"

Here's the NYTimes link:

And from the Post:

The movie on the this evening's flight was Wild Hogs. I didn't watch it, but I can report that some of the guys on the plane thought it was hilarious. ...For what that's worth.

It's Sunday already--day of rest? Well, okay. I'll save my marital infidelity words of wisdom for another time.

Good night, everybody...

Posted by: kbertocci | July 15, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

>Always happens when I drink Bloody Mary's!

Cool. :-)

I was actually too busy to get one this morning, but it's a better Sunday thing anyway. Take two, they're not small. Still thinking about the hors d'oeuvres though. Hey, that's French...

Shoot. I'm having trouble kissing my own arm.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 15, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's another scary story about food from China and Asia from Sunday's NYT.

Catfish With a Side of Scrombroid

Jonny Hannah

WHEN it comes to seafood safety in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is the thin red line between the public and the fish farmers of the world. While the United States Department of Agriculture has the mandate for certifying meat, the F.D.A. is responsible for inspecting imported seafood. And although it oversees the safety of 80 percent of all food products, the F.D.A. gets only about 35 percent of the overall food safety budget.

That is not only a shame, it may also be a real danger for anybody who has a weakness for barbecued shrimp, blackened catfish or sautéed scallops.

Every year about 6.6 million tons of seafood are imported into the United States from 160 different countries. That's a lot of fish: the frozen shrimp alone would make a shrimp cocktail the size of the Sears Tower. Yet the Food and Drug Administration has only 85 inspectors working primarily with seafood.

If you want to spend a sobering half hour, go to the import alerts section of the administration's Web site. There you will find claw crab meat from Indonesia rejected because of filth (meaning it may have carried rodent hairs or parts of disease-carrying insects), shrimp from Thailand rejected because of salmonella (in fact, 40 percent of rejections for salmonella were for shrimp) and tuna from Vietnam turned back for histamines (responsible for scombroid poisoning). Most troubling is the number of rejections because of banned veterinary drugs and antibiotics like chloramphenicol, a cause of aplastic anemia, and nitrofurans, which are suspected carcinogens.

In May, 48 seafood shipments from China were rejected. According to the nonprofit group Food and Water Watch, of the 860,000 separate seafood shipments imported into the United States, a mere 1.34 percent were physically inspected and only 0.59 percent ever made it into a lab for more rigorous testing. To put this in perspective: if the F.D.A. were responsible for inspecting that 108-story tower of shrimp, they would barely make it past the second floor before calling it quits.

The European Union has a fully functioning food safety system, but looking at its food alerts Web site is sobering for another reason: it gives you an idea of how much unsafe seafood the F.D.A. isn't catching. The European Union physically inspects at least 20 percent of all imported seafood, and when a product is proving problematic -- when they're finding too much salmonella in Vietnamese shrimp, for example -- inspection increases to 100 percent, until the problem is resolved. Sometimes the situation gets so bad that seafood has to be embargoed until the exporting country brings its standards up to snuff. When seafood from Pakistan was proving particularly unsafe, the union banned Pakistani seafood for several months.

But banning certain imports doesn't always do the job. Port shopping, a practice in which frozen seafood rejected in one port is simply shipped to jurisdictions with less rigorous standards of inspection, is not uncommon. Indeed, if you're a shady seafood dealer trying to unload a container of dodgy shrimp or tilapia, chances are 98 in 100 it will make it into the United States.

The F.D.A. just doesn't have enough money to do its job properly. In a 2002 audit, the Government Accountability Office found that the F.D.A. was able to inspect about 100 foreign seafood companies in 10 countries a year to ensure their processing plants were up to standard. (In any given year, more than 13,000 firms export seafood to the United States.) In 2003, they received $211,000 to do these inspections, and yet this year, Congress has cut that budget to zero. Though there are inspectors at the state level, only Southern states like Alabama and Louisiana, which have domestic catfish and shrimp industries to protect, regularly screen foreign imports.

Part of the problem is keeping up with the tremendous growth in seafood imports. The spread of the so-called blue revolution, as fish farming is known, has been explosive in Asia, particularly in China. Last year, China supplied America with 75,000 tons of farmed shrimp -- beating out Thailand as the world's leading shrimp exporter -- and now supplies 22 percent of the nation's seafood.

For many people, this year's melamine scandal, in which as many as 39,000 dogs and cats were killed or sickened after consuming pet food bulked up with a toxic plasticizer, ultimately traced to wheat gluten imported from China, was a wake-up call about the country's involvement in the global food supply. But China's stunning embrace of the blue revolution has clearly come at a cost. Water shortages and pollution are endemic in China -- only 45 percent of the population has access to sewage-treatment facilities -- so to raise millions of pounds of disease-prone fish to harvest size, China has had to lay on the chemicals.

In 2006, 60 percent of the seafood that was refused entry into the United States because of veterinary drug residues, including antibiotics like chloramphenicol and nitrofurans, came from China -- a country where nine separate ministries inspect food, but there is no overall food safety law. China is aware of the problem: last week, its former food and drug regulator was executed for taking bribes from eight companies and approving fake drugs. And Chinese health officials now blame pollution and pesticides for cancer, which has become a leading cause of death in the country.

The Food and Drug Administration is catching on to the problem that China presents. Late last month, the administration announced it was banning five kinds of seafood imported from China: shrimp, catfish, eel, basa (a kind of catfish) and dace (a carp).

But focusing on certain foods from China is nothing more than a stop-gap: the United States imports millions of pounds of seafood from India, Indonesia, Thailand and other Asian countries, which all have their own problems with banned drugs and water quality. In fact, an F.D.A. study analyzing samples from fish farms found that the salmonella frequently detected in Asia-farmed fish came from fecal bacteria in the grow-out ponds. The fish, in other words, were bathing in human and animal feces.

Banning all fish from Asia is clearly not a solution. But American consumers need to insist on high standards from not only their fish suppliers, but also from the officials responsible for inspecting the seafood they eat. And as the thin red line between the public and the world's fish farmers, the F.D.A. simply needs more money to do its job -- money it hasn't been getting from Congress.

In the meantime, rather than swearing off fish altogether, remember that excellent seafood is being produced domestically, often in ecologically sound ways, often at only a slight premium over imported prices. American aquaculturists are farming organic shrimp in the desert, growing tilapia in indoor tanks and reseeding the Chesapeake Bay with oysters. Now is the perfect time to splurge on quality.

Taras Grescoe is the author of the forthcoming "Bottomfeeder: A Seafood Lover's Journey to the End of the Food Chain."

My goodness! Look at the time!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 15, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Scomboid, not scromboid.

Nuff said. My eyes are obviously crossing.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 15, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

A Chinese counter-attack (from BBC):

"China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said salmonella had been found in products from the largest US meat processor, Tyson Foods. ....

"Chicken feet supplied by Sanderson Farms had growth enhancers and anti-parasite drugs, it said."

I wouldn't be surprised if were proved that US food "manufacturers" also create meat that is more an "industrial" than "agricultural" product.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 15, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Just in case you didn't see it yet, here's Joel's article in today's Style Section:

No MSG for me, please.


Posted by: bc | July 15, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

A belated good morning, all.

Bad Sneaks, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's dog.

martooni, wouldn't today would be a great day to stay away from the bottle? Get a few things done, take Little Bean for a drive in Stella; maybe a trip to a park and out for ice cream later?

Seems to me that it's a nice day to get outside and be a little productive, and enjoy life. Far better than spending a day on the couch drinking and pondering all that's not right with the world and ourselves.

Mudge, I'm glad to hear that the Blue Bottomed beauty's ready to get back in the water. Now, what can we do about your old MG? Hmmmm.


Posted by: bc | July 15, 2007 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I hope to be able to use the word "complexifying" in a meeting at work this week to see if anyone calls me on it.

I call the game Office Balderdash.

And if I win, I'm going to insist on being taken out to lunch. And we'll probably go Indian. That way I'll have a higher confidence factor as to where the food production's been outsourced to.


Posted by: bc | July 15, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

Sneaks, I cried when I read your post. Hope your daughter has lots of pictures and good memories.

My sister just told me her cat is taking beta blockers for a heart condition. I dread the day my cats reach that point. Then again, one of them spent six weeks trapped in the attic of our old house, from June 8 to July 26, and survived with no visible effects. Maybe she'll live forever.

Posted by: a bea c | July 15, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I liked this one from the list of protologisms

coulterism -n- data that has been deliberately misrepresented or completely fabricated in order to support an otherwise unsupportable partisan position

Posted by: a bea c | July 15, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry to hear about Rexxy's death, Sneaks.

I relate to the masochist statement, I think Berner owners are much that way. The breed's average lifespan is 7.4 years, and we know that going in. Of the two of mine who have died, neither of them made it to their 7th birthday. Yeoman, though, turned 7 in April and while he is stiff in the joints, he is perfectly well otherwise. It is a pleasure to see him out on his walks, engaging with the world.

Posted by: Yoki | July 15, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, when Rexxy was younger and less territorial, her two best friends were a neighbor's Berners. One day I was dogsitting and got wedged between a leaning Dane and a leaning Berner. I felt like the filling in a squeezed sandwich. It was fun.

Thanks to all for the kind thoughts.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 15, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Did Pomfret have a hand in this Style article, or was the execution of the head of China's FDA just part of the aligning of elements, including timing?

Posted by: Loomis | July 15, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Back to the (landbound) boat today for some powerwashing and bimini top erection and repair.

I noticed the WaPo home page has a link to Joel's chat on desegregating Florida--nothing like being timely. That chat was, like, soooooooooooooo last week, man.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 15, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The death penalty , then execution. Man, that's swift justice. At least the Chinese body that put him to death didn't have to listen to his bad childhood, psychiatric instability, or how Mommy didn't love him enough.

Posted by: L L L | July 15, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

EF: //Shoot. I'm having trouble kissing my own arm.//

Yeah, that always happens when I drink Bloody Mary's too!

Posted by: dbG | July 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The horse brought us the common cold???

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 15, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"In the week that China executed the man once responsible for ensuring the safety of China's food and drugs, Fuchsia Dunlop, an expert on Chinese cuisine, finds tainted food has blunted her appetite...."

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 15, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Creative weekend. New art and 3 posts, one about protologisms. My oatmeal is probably stone cold.

Posted by: Jumper | July 15, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all!!! *somewhat-substandard-due-to-13-hours-of-driving Grover waves*

And another vacation with NukeSpawn is in the books... *SIGHHHH*

Sneaks, I'm very sorry to hear about Rexxy's passing. *HUGS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 15, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Back to the (landbound) boat today for some powerwashing and bimini top erection and repair."

Sounds like plenty 'o fun on your wood deck there, matey. Sorry to hear you need some repairs once you've gotten that thing up, but at least you can still can at the ripe old age of 900 or so. Glad to see a nicely deployed bimini top can still get your attention, y' old pirate.


Posted by: bc | July 15, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Finally had a chance to watch the Bill Moyer's Journal repeat on my local PBS station. Mudge already alerted us to the line "Impeachment isn't a constintutional crisis, it's the solution to a constitutional crisis." Or thereabouts. I wish I'd taken notes. Here's a link to video and transcripts:;speed=480;mediatype=video;;helptemplate=%2Fmoyers%2Fjournal%2Fwatch%2Fhelp_template.html;playertemplate=%2Fmoyers%2Fjournal%2Fwatch%2Fvideo_template.html;basepath=%2Fmoyers%2Fjournal%2F07132007%2Fwatch.html;prefchange=1

Posted by: frostbitten | July 15, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, it's good to know ahead of time that if I ever get to San Antonio, I won't need to call. Too bad you'll be busy that day as it would nice to meet you, but at least I know not to try to make plans.

Been out of town for a couple of days, but still able to Boodle a bit via Son of G's iPhone. Very cool gadget.

Sneaks... so sorry about Rexxy. I hope you're telling your daughter the boodle's thinking about her.

We stayed last night with my niece and her husband and their new dog, Zellie, a 9-month-old rescued stray that seems to have a Berner face. No black on her at all; she's mostly brown, but the same Berner eyes and white "mask" on her face.

She's an absolutely lovely dog and is already very happy in her new home even after only a few days. Niece and husband are doing a very good job with her and she is responding beautifully. She was brought in to the shelter as a stray but seems to have been raised in a nice family home.

[I'm also happy because this is the first step in my niece's plan towards having a family. Nothing would make me happier than to see the next generation on its way.]

Posted by: TBG | July 15, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

>Yeah, that always happens when I drink Bloody Mary's too!

dbG, I regret to say mine was a little off this morning, don't know what went wrong. Finished about half of it. I settled for a couple of watermelon margariitas at lunch. Not bad at all.

I usually hate to spend a nice afternoon inside watching NASCAR but it's bruuutally hot out there today and the new air conditioners are kicking, so I'm taking the easy way out.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 15, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We went out this morning to do errands and go hit golfballs as we'd like to start playing again but need to practice enough to avoid ridicule. On the side of the road is a sign which says "Horse Xing" - only the R and E were missing. "S" almost drove off the road.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 15, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Who among us, today, can name China's president, or prime minister, or Supreme Leader, or whatever he's called?"

I don't know whether to be proud of Joel or disappointed that he avoided phrasing the question, "Hu's the president of China?"

Posted by: TBG | July 15, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't know. Who?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TBG | July 15, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I had friends over last night and we got a bushel of crabs(not imported from China). I found a great crab connection out here in west by god. I was able to get a bushel of LA males for 65 bucks. When I went to Hagerstown to pick up seasoning, males were selling for $179. I just cut up the last 2 dozen for soup. But will wait for a cooler day to make it.

I would be interested in knowing anyone recipe for crab soup, I usually just use whatever is in the frig.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 15, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

There's a great animation out there somewhere, TBG, of a comedy routine called "Hu's on First," involving a certain president, a certain Secretary of State, and a former U.N. Secretary-General whose name reminds one of a caffeinated morning beverage.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 15, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Bush: We're having Rice for Breakfast?

Rove: Yes, and also Kofi!

Bush: Well, of course... but Rice for breakfast?

Rove: Yes... And Hu's coming.

Bush: Who?

Rove: Yes!

Posted by: TBG | July 15, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Not quite, TBG... Rice is trying to explain the day's schedule. *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 15, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. After much packing and a last-minute sock run, the Boy is off to camp. A whole week away from parents - also, television, phones and the Internet. He's been looking forward to it for weeks. Now, we also are away from television, the Internet, and some phone reception during our annual family trek to Colorado (coming soon to a vacation near you). Oddly enough, he doesn't express the same joy. Maybe it has to do with the "away from parents" aspect. He admitted this year that the first time he attended, two years ago, he missed us. Who knew? He confidently assured me he won't miss us this time, except maybe tonight. We'll miss him, too, but not enough to have him stay home.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 15, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you are well on the way to completing the task of being a parent - to make yourself unnecessary. Excellent work!

Jeez, what a week. A good friend's husband died Saturday morning and another friend's father passed away after a long illness. Two memorial services tomorrow. That's three in a week. I hope there will be no more for a looong time.

Posted by: Slyness | July 15, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, my condolences to your friend.

I hope there are fewer memorial services in your and everyone's future. Been too much of that in the Boodle lately.


Posted by: bc | July 15, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I have some good doggie news. A friend just got a new helper dog. She uses a wheelchair most of the time and needs some assistance. Her dog, very appropriately, is named L'Chaim. I get to meet him this week, I hope.

Posted by: a bea c | July 15, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear about your friends' losses, Slyness. And bc is right, too much sorrow here of late.

It is very hot and humid here today but there is a very gusty wind blowing which has helped some but has also knocked over the umbrella on the deck twice. We finally got smart and brought it into the porch.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 15, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Just checking in to announce that I've put in close to 7 hours today writing a brief in opposition to a motion for injunctive relief (yep, you're all nodding your heads), and my brain has officially fallen off in chunks.

So, here I am in the boodlehood, before I inch my way to the kitchen to bury my face in some leftover Chinese food (um, ingredients harvested and cooked around the corner (I think)).

Sneaks and daughter of Sneaks -- I'm so sorry about your Great Dane. My massage therapist and her husband have had them for more than 20 years. It's really such a shame that large dogs don't live as long. They have a lovely 3-year old harlequin girl right now, who resembles a Shetland Pony in size. She's a leaner, all right. That's fine before a massage, but after? I'm a goner, that's fer sure.

I also watched the Bill Moyers show the other night on impeachment. I've never been a fan of Bruce Fein, but I figured that if *he* were in favor of impeaching both Bush and Cheney, we may be on to something.

That's it, folks. I'm completely without brain cells.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 15, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

What's up, friends?

I've been to Sunday school and service this morning. I've visited a sick friend, and had prayer with her. I went to see my father, and we talked a good while. I've also been to Wal-Mart, but did not stay long. And now I get to talk to my cyber friends.

Sneaks, sorry about your daughter's dog. I cried when I had to leave my cats at the shelter. Big tears.

Slyness, the mayor of your fair city has put his foot in his mouth, and calls it truth. I've never understood why some folks think African-Americans don't recognize racism when it shows its ugly head. We've had all of our lives to live it, and know it. If the mayor believes what he said, that is his right, but his office calls for something else, an apology. He is a public official, and he is suppose to serve all the people, not just the ones he likes.

Maggie O, I like your comment on the Bush administration. Your 11:56.

Just wanted to check in, and add my two-cent worth. I am not bothering to read Kristal's take on the Bush Presidency. That would call for me taking a drink, and I am not doing that.

Martooni, perhaps you need to drink more. And I am not trying to be funny here or hurtful, but my experience, (and yours could be totally different), was that I drank enough to float this small town I live in, and only then did I quit. In other words I drank so much of the stuff that I literally hated it, plus the fact that the kidneys and blood pressure almost killed me. I woke up one morning feeling fine, but around ten o'clock, I could actually see myself swelling up. And I mean everything. For some of us, we have to be convinced the hard way. Perhaps you belong to that club. I did.

Ivansmom, it sounds like you are getting ready to enjoy yourself.

I shall turn in early, have to face the music tomorrow. Plus, I will be sitting with a sick friend when I finish at the Center. Have good evening every one.

And I leave you as always, God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 15, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Boodle. Just got home all hot and sweaty and tuckered. The bimini's up, boat is washed outside and vacuumed inside, installed a new compass (old one leaked out all it fluid), fixed a piece of trim on cabin side, etc. We're ready to launch.

When we got home my wife gave me my biweekly or triweekly haircut, so I'm shorn and ready to jump in the shower.

GWE, hope I'm not too you still want that crab soup recipe? And which kind do you want to make, the white cream of crab variant or the red Maryland style, with all those veggies and spicey to boot? My cream of crab has been rated world class. But I don't want to talk you oput of Maryland style either if that's yer druthers.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 15, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, all I will say about our mayor is that I've never voted for him, and never will. A$$hat, that's what he is.

Posted by: Slyness | July 15, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... Having met you, and knowing what a sweet lady you really are, seeing the word 'A$$hat' come out of your "mouth" just cracks me up.

I'm also so sorry about your recent losses. I guess that relaxing week at the cabin just wasn't meant to be. [I went through a stretch of funerals like that back in the early spring. I kept telling everyone to stay away from me if they wanted to be around for a while.]

Posted by: TBG | July 15, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

What a way to end my weekend! The kids heard me humming the Major General's song yesterday, and have picked Pirates as their movie for the traditional Sunday dinner and a movie combo.

I LOVE Kevin Kline. The rest of the cast is pretty cool: Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith.

And my kids have picked up some lovely vocabulary from this video: Scuttling, indentures, the cankering tooth of mystery, the family escutcheon, vile profession. The day my daughter asked me if she was a blushing bud of ever-blooming beauty, I laughed for hours. Not what normally comes out of a six year old little mouth, or anyone else's, for that matter.

They are probably the only kids for hundreds of miles around who have seen this a gazillion times, but have not seen the Jack Sparrow movies.

Posted by: a bea c | July 15, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TBG. I think what this week has reinforced for me is the importance - vital importance - of family relationships. I'm so grateful for what I have.

You will enjoy this anecdote: The mayor is a part-time position here. A good friend is in HR for the mayor's full-time employer and was in fact the person who hired him. My friend says he was the worst hire he ever made. I believe him, too!

Posted by: Slyness | July 15, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

What does L'Chaim smell like, a bea c? Can you get him to boodle, too?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 15, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

dmd, you'd be proud. I spent 2 hours today putting together a (made in China) red garden wagon, and have started hauling plants around already. The wagon seems fine (1 small tear in a welded grid) but the directions were the worst!

Perhaps we should schedule a San Antonio BPH. Not only would we be dangerous together, I understand there's a coaster park nearby.

firsttb, sounds bad! Who knew being an adult was nothing but *work!* :-)

Slyness, Martooni, my good thoughts on getting through the week.

My good friend's daughter is back in the hospital, now just 9 days from her due date. A blood clot took her there for several weeks, they let her out for a few days, and they've now judged it to be too dangerous to allow her to roam free. At least she's close to delivering! She called me to thank me for sending cookies during her last hospital stay, although she didn't get any of them or any from her baby shower either. I can take a hint, so I'm baking tonight.

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening, watermelon drinks and all!

Posted by: dbG | July 15, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a whiff of L'Chaim when I visit this week, Wilbrodog. I'll post a picture somewhere, too.

Hey, a San Antonio BPH would be neat. I won't be there till next June for NECC. I can't wait to show my coworkers the awful places I went to as a student: Fatso's and TC almost every day. And, of course, Jim's.

Posted by: a bea c | July 15, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'll take the red style recipe if you have a good one, but I may be interested in the cream of crab too. I figure you can never have enough recipes.

I am out the door though, my friends have been picking raspberries for the past 2 days and invited me over to try their raspberry pie and other treats.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 15, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

*tail and body wriggling*

Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 15, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I survived cutting the grass and whacking the most out-of-control bits of the yard. The balky little Mallika mango, sitting there for months, shows signs of putting out a flush of leaves. Meanwhile, the growthy Brogdon avocado got its leaders cut and a couple of growing branches wired and weighted so they'll grow more sideways than up.

Dozens of little basil seedlings are popping up around the parent. I will treat them nicely on grounds that basil isn't (yet) a non-native pest plant.

I missed the water lily festival at the McKee Garden. Seems the plants are doing nicely, including the monster Victoria lilies that have become sort of a must-have for those with the pond space.

Best wishes to L'Chaim the guide dog. People with guide dogs wonder how the dogless manage.

dbG, good luck with the wagon. Having one merely releases a prudent restraint on moving too much stuff around the yard.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 15, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

hu's on first (for reference)

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 15, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Slyness | July 15, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of Chinese food, the Useless Tree blog wonders about the Confucian notion that you can't govern by killing.

The blog links to photos of public executions that are, to me at least, disturbing.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 15, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

dgG I am busting with pride!

Gardens and a coaster park in San Antonio - I'm in.

DoTC spent the day at my parents beging to clear out the house, the water lillies on his pond have gone nuts this year - very large and there were some lovely blossoms, not bad since no one has tended the pond since last fall.

Posted by: dmd | July 15, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, a popular local website and forum has posted this plaintive note:

Where are we?
After a week in Wyoming I got home today to find gone. I can log on the server, but every file is gone. So...

This is a first. Usually the server is hung, and after a reboot things are cool.

After a talk with tech support it sounds like our hosting company . . . a top 10 hosting company . . . killed the hard drive (every thing gone).

I have most of the files in backups, but still have to re-load all of the software.

I'm going to try and make a few upgrades as we go. It will probably take a few days to get things back up and running. . . .


- - - - -

Yikes! A grand example of what guys fear will happen while they're vacationing!

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 15, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Just going through a box we brought home from my parents, at one point my husband asked if I wanted some seed packets, I didn't look at them just said sure.

Well I just looked and one of them is a Texas Wildflower mix, and there is a catalogue from a wildflower seed company in Fredricksburg, TX.

Not sure why dad had them, but I do have Texas relatives so maybe he received them on one of his trips there.

Posted by: dmd | July 15, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

GWE, give this one a try:

Curmudgeon's Maryland Crab Soup

2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed or peeled tommatoes (if peeled, break them up a bit)
4 cups water
1 cup lima beans (fresh are better than frozen)
1 cup corn (canned or frozen OK; for variety, try white corn instead of yellow)
1 cup sliced carrots (frozen carrot medallions OK, just thaw them)
2 medium potatoes, diced into ¼-inch to ½-inch cubes and boiled for 10 minutes
1/2 chopped sweet onion (Maya or Oso type and size; Vidalia is OK)
i/4 green pepper, diced small
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning. Without Old Bay, forget it.
1 tablespoon A-1 steak sauce
2 Knorr's fish buillion cubes
Salt, pepper to taste (at least ½ teaspoon each)
1 spritz green Tabasco sauce (1/4 teaspoon, max)
2 cups beef broth (prefer low-sodium if you can find it)
I teaspoon beef base
1 to 2 pounds crabmeat (1 will be "adequate," but I like a lot of crabmeat. I'd say at least one can be the inexpensive crab claw meat, rather than the expensive lump)
2 pats butter

In a large (4 qt. minimum) stock pot or soup pot, melt 2 pats butter, put in green pepper and chopped onion, sweat until onion is transparent, about 8 minutes. At about same time, put diced potatoes in pot of boiling salted water and cook about 10 minutes. When done drain thoroughly and add to stock pot. In pot put whole tomatoes, 3 cups water, lima beans, corn, carrots, Old Bay seasoning, beef broth, beef stock, fish buillion cubes. Bring to boil, immediately reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in crabmeat, cover and simmer 10 minutes more.

Note for added pizzazz, there are two options:

Option 1: Buy 6 or 8 blue crab claws (preferably already steamed/cooked) and add to pot about 5 minutes before serving. If claws are not already steamed, boil separately for about 10 minutes before adding to soup pot.

Option 2: Buy four Alaskan King Crab claws, already steamed. Add to pot about 6 minutes before serving. Make sure one lies on the top of each bowl of soup. Guest don't necessarily have to eat them, though of course they can. They are mainly there for gasp effect.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 15, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Down the street from our hotel in Beijing, next to the McDonalds, was a storefront shop that sold meat on a stick. For 3RMB ($0.40) you got a skewer of something resembling pork that was very tasty. For 1RMB, they had a wide assortment of Other Things on skewers that weren't quited so tasty. I doubt any of them were cardboard, they just tasted like it.

I would wander the hutongs at breakfast time as see all the little dumpling vendors opening up. I got hungry and bought a fried dough thing resembling a funnel cake with no powdered sugar for half a yuan ($0.06) and it was tasty. Further on there was another vendor with three crates of brown eggs for his food. The crates were sitting in the alley unrefrigerated next to a dog water dish. Draw your own conclusions about food safety in Beijing.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 15, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

>and have picked Pirates as their movie for the traditional Sunday dinner and a movie combo.

Speaking of which, "Treasure Island" is on TCM. Just a half hour left, but THAT's a cool pirate movie.

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 15, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I'm so sorry about your friends. What a week.

firsttimeblogger, you have my deepest sympathies. I hope you don't have to keep working on that brief tonight, after your Chinese food break. Just remember, it is eventually possible to practice law and NOT have to spend half of Sunday working.

Unless, of course, you want to make a lot of money.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 15, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Dave, basil is a pesto plant. But you knew that.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 15, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

My professional opinion:

SELECT Premonition_of_Disaster
FROM Doh!_Phrases
WHERE EXISTS ('I'm going to try and make a few upgrades as we go')

Posted by: dbG | July 15, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"The question of Hu", somewhere in my library, recounts the story of a Chinese assistant to Jesuits who was brought from China to pre-revolutionary France, and had a difficult time adapting.

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 15, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

When I first went to China (Suzhou) ten years ago I was tought the first lesson of restruant picking was note the number of bicycles parked out front. These usually had great aquariums with crystal clear water and lots of varities of fish. We picked our fish and it was dip netted our and presented flipping on a plate where you coulp poke in the eye and flesh to see it was fresh. Other restruants that had aquariums and few bicycles were to be avoided. Now it's all motor scotters.

Posted by: bh | July 15, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Now you see it, now you don't, and I know what you're looking at...

This might go to RD's puzzlement at why people fail to think about other people's POVs.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 16, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Another Sciencedaily trawl:

Berners are extra-prone to Lyme disease (poor pups!). Hope they do further studies on this-- maybe it'll teach us more about this microbial stalker of the woods.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 16, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Time to go out the door, but it might be best to put on some clothes before I do that. The "old bod" just isn't what it used to be.


I read some of the WashPost article concerning the man they're getting ready to execute in Georgia. Any chance his life might be saved? It seems that some of the witnesses lied, and things are looking a little fuzzy in that case.

Slyness, I didn't see the post about your friend. I am sorry. You've had a tough couple of weeks. I am praying. That word was funny, coming from you.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness,Scotty, and all.*waving*

We're taking the kids to a Chinese restuarant this week. That should be loads of fun. We did it last year, and they had a ball. I would like to get our local newspaper to supply us with their paper so the kids can read the news in the morning. I believe this would help the reading so much, even if they only read the comics.

Well, time to go. If I don't get back in, don't worry. I probably have my hands full. Have a good week, my friends. I will try to check in. If I don't, I will miss all of you terribly.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | July 16, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning.

Great article about POV. Thanks Wilbrod!

Cassandra, I often joke that there is nothing as American as Chinese food. Well, that is the case only if you can afford to eat out. Good for you, giving the kids some cultural variety. I hope they enjoy it. Have lots of fun.

I was chatting with a friend from Liverpool on Skype a few minutes ago, and we realized he was my intern TEN YEARS AGO!!! I'm off to pass the day in a daze as life speeds by. Wow!

Posted by: a bea c | July 16, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

>Time to go out the door, but it might be best to put on some clothes before I do that.

Aw go on and surprise the neighbors!

Posted by: Error Flynn | July 16, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

And, happy Bastille Day, a couple of days late...

Oh, never mind. We don't celebrate holidays from the unmentionable country, do we?

Posted by: a bea c | July 16, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse

*somewhat helpless Grover waves as I sink into a sea of paperwork*

I'll surface when I can, have a great week everyone!


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 16, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, Do NOT read the Harry Potter link. It contains a shameless use of the word "data" as a plural. How can this happen?

Posted by: grammar checker | July 16, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

How can it happen?
Because "data" IS plural!

D'oh! You made me say "Data is"!

Posted by: Tom fan | July 16, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

You might want to read the last post in Rosiemeow's thread here:

Posted by: Saint Anthonys Fire | July 16, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

On Kit comment:
Ja writes:
"Technology distances human beings from the biological, chemical, geological, atmospheric and dare I say molecular substrates of their existence."

Me, here: But in boodle-land, technology supports a friendly community of peeps who met (meet) online. We behave like all friends: sharing recipes, ask applying-to-college advice, offer gripe zone support, send condolences for funerals, hit high-fives on the good stuff, bless each other with prayers or good thoughts, send "wish you were here postcards," argue about the meaning of the infield fly rule and what offsides is (are?), correct grammar, write musical-parodies, post rock anthem lyrics, consider life w/wo boats, occasionally soft-sock puppet each other, point at the sobriety wagon, develop plans for mythical-blue gardening, and basically answer the age-old question:

what's all about, Alphie? (Alphy?)

To date, I don't think we have shared advice about bad hair days or managing corns on the feet....but hey, the day is young.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 16, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Just saw this headline, "The true North, stoned and free", about Canadians pot use.

The reason given (we work to hard :-)),
"Some pot smokers, however, say Canada's high rate of recreational use is not because we're a nation of slackers, but merely a side effect of the country's go-getter work ethic. Canadians work hard and, unlike Europeans, don't get 10 weeks of vacation or two-hour lunches - so we find other ways to unwind."

Posted by: dmd | July 16, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Morning! New Kit!

Posted by: Raysmom | July 16, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

It's an incredible idea. But it turns out just a fabricated news by the reporter.
See Chinadaily (7/19/2007) "...had found an employee surnamed Zi with Beijing Television fabricated and directed the sensational program for higher audience ratings. Zi is being held under criminal custody."

Posted by: glad | July 18, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Someone should take a look at what we feed our food animals some time. While we're bashing on the Chinese, we should consider getting our own house in order.

Posted by: deepali | July 19, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

TV report on cardboard buns 'fabricated'
A TV report earlier this month that purportedly showed a Beijing seller using softened chopped cardboard as the main ingredient in steamed buns has been dismissed as false news

Posted by: BURT | July 20, 2007 4:28 AM | Report abuse

Another bad story about China is what there doing to animals
Dogs are being skinned alive for there fur
and so are cats but what I have seen their killing these cats first.
Thing of it is that all that fur ends up in the United States in your major shopping stores...
Fur coats,
Fur trim around coats, boots, gloves, hats,
Peaple should beware if the label comes from China-dont buy it.

Posted by: Rhonda | July 23, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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