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Mercury News Reponds; Plus Campaign Trail Blather and Turkey Chili Thoughts

You recall my ramblings about the San Jose Mercury News the other day. I've just gotten some feedback from Chris O'Brien, a Mercury News staff writer:

'As a member of the Rethink committee, I can tell you we're actually looking at doing many of the things you mentioned:

'1. No one is talking about doing away with print. Rather, the question is how do we create a distinct new print paper that serves the needs of those core readers, even as they shrink in numbers.

'2. And we're engaging many of those folks in conversations. I'm running a listserv where about 60 folks have signed up and are regularly commenting on our Rethink progress. They are not Web 2.0 folks, but rather, readers who have written to us noting they have been subscribing for multiple decades.

'3. We're also planning a town hall meeting here at the Merc for other folks to come and talk with us.

'4. Choice. One of the things readers have told us they wanted was more choice in the print version of the paper. So we're trying to figure out how to offer a few different subscription plans to deliver different levels of the print edition. Still an early work in progress. But the airline analogy is a good one.

'5. Citizen journalism. Moving more folks online will allow us (we hope) to create jobs for community managers who will go out and find the folks who do the type of the things you suggest.
Please keep following our progress and weighing in... ' -- Chris O'Brien

[By the way, Jim Brady liked my idea of a Secret Blog. Who knows, maybe we could make it happen....J.A.]


[Cross-posted from The Trail]

I'm thrilled to have the honor of blogging on this Friday when everyone is shopping and no one is online, because having an audience -- having these irritating things called "readers" -- is inhibitory to those of us for whom the placing of letters and words in a certain order is not just a craft but an art. This is No Constraints Friday! Right out of the box let me suggest that, during the next GOP debate, Ron Paul should wear antennae on his head like Ray Walston in "My Favorite Martian."


Also, an apology is in order: Recently, pretending to be an astute observer, I said that Dennis Kucinich is the candidate most likely to be secretly a member of the X-Men. That is incorrect, and stupid. Clearly the member of the X-Men is his awesomely powerful wife, Elizabeth, who can turn invisible, rip you to shreds with knives that shoot from her fingertips, and control the weather. THAT is an astute observation.
Now let's review the big news of the week:

The Huckabee boomlet seemed to have become a full-fledged boom. Could he be the Jimmy Carter of 2008? You know: Obscure southern governor, evangelical, nice smile, kind of refreshing and likeable, emerging from the corn stubble of Iowa to take the nation by storm? Who knows. But in a year when there was never a whole lot of dynamism in the polls, when months and months of campaigning didn't seem to rearrange the order of things despite the most fervent wishes of the press corps, Huckabee has emerged.

That's what you want to do in a primary campaign if you're a political nobody: Emerge. And then pray you're not crushed like a bug by the Establishment.

The informal, strangely durable (and extra-Constitutional) primary process that gives Iowa and New Hampshire disproportionate power is set up precisely to make Huckabees plausible. If you started with, say, Florida, or California, only Romney and Giuliani, among the Republicans, would have a good shot at winning. For the Democrats it'd be Clinton and Obama. No one else would be able to afford the TV campaign. But the small states, in our prevailing theory, give the little guys a shot. Giuliani may test that presumption with his Feb. 5 strategy. And it could be that Huckabee is peaking too early. Spot the idle speculation! (Like that guy William Goldman said about Hollywood: No one knows anything.)

Then there's Romney. He's at the top of the poll in Iowa. He's leading in New Hampshire, too. But he's never gotten the breathless news coverage for "emerging" -- because from the get-go he had more money than anyone else. That's your basic affluence penalty.

Romney's other problem: the softness issue. The Post/ABC poll shows that, although he's leading in Iowa, much of his support is "soft," meaning that some of his supporters are apparently willing to change their minds as quickly as Romney switched his position on abortion.

No self-respecting presidential candidate wants "soft" anywhere near his name. That word can get stuck on you the way "lazy" sticks to Fred Thompson like the scent of a polecat.

John McCain, despite having only two or three actual supporters in Iowa, can presumably claim that there's nothing soft about his support. No sirree: His little band of followers will not flinch as he, in turn, follows bin Laden to the gates of Hell.

All of this is made more confusing by the fact that Iowa doesn't have a normal election, but rather has some kind of weird Norman Rockwell town-meeting popularity-contest thing in which there is great strategic advantage in being the second choice of lots of voters. (You understand this concept, right? Supporters of non-viable candidates have to find a new place to park themselves?) And this is where Hillary Clinton has a major problem: She's not the second choice of very many people. She's a binary choice: Yes or Never.

If you've read this far, please post good recipes for turkey chili. Thank you.


Sure enough, in the Trail comments we got some excellent turkey chili recipes. Frostbitten's suggestion of using cream of chicken soup as part of the base strikes me as inspired. My one constraint (because it's not REALLY no constraints Friday) is that I have to use whatever's in the house. And I'm not the cream-of-chicken-soup-buying type. That's just not the kind of man I am. I'm more like the cut-the-head-off-a-live-chicken type. Only after boiling and plucking do I do the creaming.

Hopefully I have some green chilis. I agree that white beans are best but I may have to make do with dried pinto beans that I normally use for the Achenbro beans -- which means many hours of soaking and pleading with the beans to get soft enough to use. This is turning into a nightmare. An argument can be made for sticking with a straight gumbo, since by definition that can include anything, including empty wine bottles.

Sparkmika's idea of putting the chili over yellow rice is interesting. I've long thought that my failure to use saffron more liberally is one of my central personality flaws. Also I need a good hat, but that's a different topic entirely.

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 23, 2007; 2:47 PM ET
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Next: Who's Rich? Who's Middle Class?


Me, first? Must be a glitch.

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 23, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Creaming a whole chicken, yeeew.

Mind you I had for the longest time an ad pinned on the wall of my cubicle for a glorified blender claiming to be able to puree the average lab rat in 5 seconds, so a chicken might well be creamed in 30 seconds or less...

Posted by: ShriekingDenizen | November 23, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Love the picture.

Posted by: dmd | November 23, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

JA-you may substitute a reduction of turkey broth and onions thickened with a flour and butter roux for the cream of chicken soup. Also, if using dried beans-one they are softened you can process some into a thick paste to thicken things up.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 23, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I was trying to stay on topic, and be first (see how that worked out) and forgot to say I have never seen "cream of chicken soup" and "inspired" in the same sentence before.

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

Please tell me you are going to pluck before you boil? Cause those feathers are going to cause you no end of problems.

They're probably chewy.

Posted by: dr | November 23, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

You know, something kbertocci and I mused about while we were together was how all you Canadians found your way to the Achenblog. Was it because you were reading the Washington Post online (and why was that?), or did you know Joel's writing from somewhere else, or what? Quite a few of us (like me) have ties to the DC area, and that's why I was reading the WaPo, and I knew Joel from his NPR commentaries and the Why Things Are column. kbertocci, on the other hand, was an Achenbach reader since his Tropic Magazine days. Just curious...rainforest, what about you - what drew you here?

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 23, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I can answer you, I found the Achenblog through a news alert in my email, once I read the article in reference I began reading various editorials and articles in the Post, somehow I found one of Joels posts and very much enjoyed it, then I read the comments and soon realized what a unique place Joel had created.

Posted by: dmd | November 23, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Way stranger than that. In 2000 we had just gotten our satellite dish. I'd never seen your political process up close and personal. And that election was fascinating. I came to Wapo, trying to find out what was going on after Nov 4. I first read Howie Kurtz and then cottoned onto Rough Draft somewhere along the line, and then, just when I was getting into a routine, Joel took a sabbatical (or was it just casual conversation with that guy who lives in his basement) I was devastated IIRC, but then I found Gene W, and his silly chats, and Sally Squires, and then finally Joel reappeared.

I always laugh when I go back to the About the Achenblog post. 'Entire geological epochs' makes me giggle. I keep asking myself if we are the cretaceous period?

Posted by: dr | November 23, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I had been reading the WAPO for a long time, but only for very focussed work-related research -- i.e. the WAPO first broke the news of iffy dealings in the award of offshore licenses in the Nigeria/Sao Tome JDZ. Then on one slowish day I found the chats (which I still think is a wonderful feature that all papers should copy) and the first one I clicked on Joel was enchantingly hosting, so of course I just had to come over to the blog to see what it was about. I think I lurked for a good 8 months before I ever posted a word, and in those 8 months I read everything of Joel's that I could find on-line. And, of course, developed a deep admiration for you old-timers.

Posted by: Yoki | November 23, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

My mommy said I'd like it here Mostly.

She was right. I have since gone on to read every one of Joels' books that I can get my hands on, as well as reading the rest of the Post.

Posted by: Kerric | November 23, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Cool new stuff out of the Royal Tyrell. I heard this on the news last night, but apparently it was published in the October edition of paleontologist's scientific journals.

We've a new dinosaur, and its really old.

Posted by: dr | November 23, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Arghghgh! I didn't say anything about Joel's books! I've read them, too.

Posted by: Yoki | November 23, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Having discovered that red pepper sauce improves Alfredo sauce, it seems you could make a white turkey chili with cream, green peppers, sweet onion, and . . . what else?

On the other hand, the little taqueria and store around the corner has a really nice red mole paste, easily thinned with water to make turkey-smothering sauce. My experience with supermarket mole pastes (including this one) is that the sauce goes from runny to semisolid very easily, depending on heat, stirring, and the amount of water. I guess the trick is to provide enough water and to heat slowly.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 23, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel... get yourself a fedora. Then you can put a little "PRESS" badge in the band that wraps around it and people would think you're old school.

Or you could get a tall red gnome hat.

Posted by: martooni | November 23, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Recipe for turkey chili:
"Find your favorite chili recipe and use turkey" QED

Recipe for turkey tacos: "Just do it."

Joel referred to "print only" blogs (which by the way, Joel, are called "'zines,") but intimated the larger concept for news in general might be worth pursuing, and I find this revolutionary. "Not online."

Posted by: Jumper | November 23, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

A dinosaur at a buffalo jump (i.e., a pishkun). Neat. Maybe the Creation Museum will show early Americans making dinosaurs do the pishkun thing. Or Gary Larson could come out of retirement.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 23, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Slept thru a whole kit...wew

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 23, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I was a Times Select refugee. The sequence after that was to WaPo for news from the U.S. perspective, then I started reading the opinion columns, then I started occasionally reading Early Warning (of all blogs - where civil commentary goes to die), and then had my interest piqued by some of the Achenblog kits. Then I toe dipped in the comments and people actually responded! I have since read CBA and would like to track down The Grand Idea.

>his awesomely powerful wife, Elizabeth, who can turn invisible, rip you to shreds with knives that shoot from her fingertips

Maybe just in my imagination, but that's not Elizabeth Kucinich's superpower.

FYI, the "other" superhero with finger/knives is Wolverine, who is from Alberta. I will neither confirm nor deny I am Wolverine, so stop asking.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 23, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Wolverine is Canadian!?!

Am I the first here to point out that, technically, there is no such thing as turkey "chili"? There may be a thick stew-like concoction, with beans, onions, a white base, and green chiles (or red, I suppose), but that isn't chili. This is a minor detail, but important. I don't object if you call it chili, understand. You can call it what you want. You can even drink it with beer (I certainly would). It will probably be tasty. Just please don't fool yourself into thinking you are eating chili.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 23, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

That was... odd. Somehow all posts after 3:53 just dissapeared, and it took 5 refreshes to get them to reappear.

Posted by: Kerric | November 23, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

They just left.


(*of relief*)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 23, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking denizen, after that post I'm afraid to ask your capille recipe in case it helps "control the gypsy moth invasion."

And now Wilbrodog is pulling the lassie woof-woof act and trying to get me all excited because a dog is barking while it's outside to smell or whatever.

I better go and check it out anyway. He doesn't normally bark in the house. And when it turns out to be a case of dog socialization urges, he'll be in trouble.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, as usual, I was hungry for breakfast this morning, which astonishes me year after year. If I've already expounded on that, do forgive me for the redundancy.

I just had high-speed cable installed, taking out my DSL, which was indeed beyond its prime. On Monday, there's gonna be a call to the DSL people, telling them in no uncertain terms, that they don't get to charge me for getting out of my contract prematurely. So there. Ivansmom understands the undercurrents well.

Never even *thought* about going near the neighborhood mall today. Didn't even venture out (mainly since I had to wait for the cable guy to come).

Hope all my fellow boodlers enjoy the weekend. I sure intend to.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | November 23, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I need a drink. Which I'm going to have momentarily, actually.

And exactly what is it with this mad, mad chili fixation? If some of you people (No names, but his initials are JA) had some leftover Frosted Flakes one of you would try to make chili out of them, I swear. Everyone KNOWS the that the all-time indisputable best thing to do with leftover turkey is to make a steaming hot turkey sandwich, with white meat lovingly places between two slices of brand X white bread, the whole thing smothered with yummy turkey gravey. If there is a side of fries (also smothered in gravy) so much the better, although mashed and/or leftover stuffing also covered in gravy, and some cranberries, will also do very nicely.

Chili. Feh.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 23, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Turkey chili? Don't do it.

Make larb gai with turkey instead. (soak in lime juice with thai chili peppers, fish sauce, etc.)

Larb gai... after you taste it properly made, chili will forever be for sissies.

Soy sauce can be substituted for fish sauce, but it's not quite the same. Do NOT use anything like oyster sauce, etc. (way too sweet).

Now I'm going out to get some fresh mint if that's even possible in this backwoods.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Found one that specially uses turkey as an alternative fowl.

But I'm with mudge... leftover turkey sandwiches are not to be sneezed at at all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

SoC, I have a copy of the Grand Idea. I would be happy to loan it, if you can't find it elsewhere.

I'm still waiting to borrow Captured by Aliens from a certain gentelman who promised.

Posted by: dr | November 23, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

BTW, that Chris O'Brien from the SJMN "Rethink" committee sounds like a very nice, thoughful person. He/she is the first one I would line up against the wall, give him/her a blindfold and a last cigarette, and execute. I don't WANT a newspaper that has been assembled by the combined wisdom of focus groups (yuck), town hall meetings (whaddayou, crazy?) and chock full of "citizen journalism" (you cannot imagine the sneer with which I have typed that odious phrase). What I want is a newspaper put together by a crusty, 90-year-old editor from the 1940s, who knows what the hell he's (or she's) doing. You can create a wonderfully revealing graf of newspaper circulation declining along one axis, and all the new extra features and crapola along the other axis.

Wonderful new features that kill newspapers:

1) Opinions. Of any kind. Stick 'em.

2) On Being type columns.

3) "Faith" type columns and commentary.

4) Expanded "Health" coverage that tells you all the things you're doing wrong and how you're gonna die.

5) Celebrity news that isn't an actual obit. If they ain't dead, fugeddaboudum.

6) Sports stories where the reporter forgets to tell the score until the 12th paragraph. And any baseball story that uses "frame" instead of "inning."

7) Career advice.

8) Cooking advice.

9) Fasion advice.

10) Advice to the lovelorn.

11) Business stories (except in strictly business oriented newspapers).

12) Advice. Any advice at all. Doesn't matter. Just shut up. I got enough people telling what to do. Newspapers don't have to add to it. I don't wanna read about how miserable and screwed up *I* am; I wanna read about how miserable and screwed up the rest of the world is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 23, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Mostly. I came across the boodle when it was deep in a discussion of Mr. Stripey's dietary requirements and I thought, "These people really know their stuff."

Posted by: Boko999 | November 23, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... there are sports stories in our small local paper about games that don't even mention what sport they're talking about.

Posted by: TBG | November 23, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I like Health and Science news. In fact, I started reading Times of India because it has the best on-line health and science coverage I've ever seen in a newspaper.

Sorry, but the WaPo doesn't even have a fixed location to find science, health, or technological news... it keeps migrating all over the place. This annoys me considerably.

But note I said "news." I don't need feature articles on health that recycles the same wisdom again and again.

Otherwise... it's tough to disagree with you on those other points.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I'm just glad you came back after the Bactrian Camel Incident of 2006.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 23, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I am going to have to agree with you for once, although I differ in the details. I went out and bought "Pepperidge Farm Hearty White Bread" especially for the purpose, already had my Hellman's Real Mayonnaise, and the resulting turkey breast sandwiches were consumed for lunch and dinner today. I honestly like those turkey sandwiches about five times more than I like hot turkey with stuffing and gravy. And turkey "chili?" Nunh-uh. But to each his own, so long as nobody messes with *my* leftovers.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 23, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

For me, it's the mustard and lettuce and toasted bread that makes turkey sandwiches worth the eating. The moisture from the lettuce certainly helps the texture of dry breast meat considerably.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

My Black Friday shopping adventure: I went to and picked out books/movies/etc. for just about everybody on my shopping list. Getting the free shipping, everything looks good. Proceed to checkout. Please note: these items will not be delivered by December 25. Expected delivery date, January 8, 2008. Oops. I printed out my shopping cart, scooted over to Barnes & Noble and reordered everything. B&N says it will ship by November 28. We shall see. Now I remember that this happened last year too. Next year, somebody please remind me to do my Christmas shopping in early October! Thank you.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 23, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I know many boodlers have not set their identity cloaks for posting at The Trail so I'll repost and exchange re: leftover turkey.

yello wrote-I concur with rat-the. Making chili out of leftovers, particularly white meat is a criminal waste. As bad as making perfectly good moonshine out of corn and burning it in your car.

The only proper way to dispose of white meat is in samdwiches made with a hearty white bread (not your Wonder, the good stuff from the bakery section) with a cranberry spread.

And nice flat egg noodles are perfect for turkey soup with the dark meat.

Frostbitten replied -yello, I must beg to differ.
Thanksgiving is the one time of year I buy a loaf of Wonderbread (or store brand equivalent). The ultimate turkey sandwich cold-two slices wonderbread, sliced white meat, and mayo with lettuce Hot-two slices of wonderbread, white and dark meat, drowned in gravy with an ice cream scoop of mashed potatoes on the side. Heaven!

Posted by: frostbitten | November 23, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I understand the thinking behind Mudge's list of things that shouldn't be in a newspaper. But I believe there is an important exception. If a person is a great writer I will read what he or she writes, regardless of topic. I read Robin Givhan frequently, not because I care about women's fashion (Heck, many of them could just walk around in their fripperies for all I care.) but because I like they way she puts together words. For me, good writing is always a draw.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 23, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

RD, was that comment an expression of disregard for fashion, or an invitation?

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 23, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Thrilling game between LSU and Arkansas going on, heading into the 3rd overtime period where teams if they score a TD have to go for the 2 point conversion. Nice touch by Arkansas having a VT logo on the back of their helmuts.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 23, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Thought I'd comment here as a member of the loyal opposition. . .all leftover turkey is good for is to make noodle soup (bones) and maybe reheat the meat once with gravy and stuffing for 1 meal, and that's it for me! However, the dogz seem to like it after that.

Cranberry sauce could become an everyday addiction, however.

Speaking of addictions, saw _Mr. Brooks_ and really liked it. I'd expected something scarier and expected to watch it with eyes half shut, but liked the noir quality so much that wasn't necessary.

Posted by: dbG | November 23, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RD Padouk | November 23, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

gwe-I just attempted to talk to Mr. F on the phone but could not tear him away from that game.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 23, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Mudge wouldn't say ax the good writers-- just reassign them to more substantive stories. Robin Givhan could still be a potent rewrite lady.

If anything, the fact that she's managed to sneak pultizer-winning subtle political commentary into her fashion pieces shows that she's ready for more.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Hogs win by 2 when LSU couldn't convert their 2 point try. Great game and......
If West Virginia wins their last 2 games they will play for the National Championship...but it has been a crazy year in college football.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 23, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

(Actually, I had long ago concluded that she was sentenced to the fashion beat due to some nasty office politics. She's good at it; that doesn't mean it's the only thing she wants to do for life.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I must say that I had long ago concluded that Robin Givhan was sentenced to the fashion beat due to some nasty office politics; sexism and racism still exists.

Or, maybe she's doing fashion because she has a problem doing impartial reporting, and they don't trust her in the "Opinions" column.

Here's a sample of her um... politically motivated writing.

Edwards as a golden retriever? Yeah, go run the country. Good boy! Fetch me my slippers before you go out, pal.

If that's... politically favorable commentary, Edwards probably doesn't need it. Please.

Boy, I think Wilbrodog would really like her.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 23, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

When I make chili, I usually use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as the main source of chili flavor (and smokiness). Add cumin and oregano and you can't miss. Any sort sort of meat or meats works fine, and with something bland like turkey I'd add sausage for more flavor -- longaniza adds a lot, but Italian or brats work fine, too; or some lamb shoulder. With chipotle and longaniza you don't even need hot chiles.

Re SJMN, I share Mudge's wish for a paper out of "The Front Page", but appreciate that SJMN is searching for something that might survive. There's a place for a few print or print-style papers that people pay a premium for like WSJ or NYT, but I don't know if that's feasible at the local level. People don't read much ink on paper any more. Alas. I went to college in Riverside, and the Press Enterprise was wonderful, but today's web front page doesn't seem to have any significant national or international news. Alas, again. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, though.

Posted by: LTL-CA | November 23, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Last post got eaten with a turkey leg I bet

Hogs win by 2 as LSU can't convert their 2 point try. Which means if WV wins their last 2 games they should play for the National Championship....but it has really been a crazy year in college football

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 23, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Back to newspapers. I usually follow the daily unveiling of events through electronic media. The short lag time inherent to such sources are still the best way to find out what is happening. That said, I would be very uncomfortable in a world in which the salient events of the day are not methodically recorded on some substance that can't be degaussed. So I still cherish those old-fashioned headlines.

But where the dead tree versions truly excel are in explaining the context and implications of current events. The "why" part of the news. These kinds of articles are best digested in a relaxed environment far away from glowing screens.

Further, as I stated earlier, I really like to leisurely peruse quality feature writing of all kinds. Good writing on fashion, movies, celebs, food, and, what the heck, even sports are all welcome. And I will continue to shell out money to have them delivered to my door.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 23, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't remind me SoC. That was scarey.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 23, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

WaPo has been my homepage ever since I first logged on the internet, so I was familiar with Rough Draft and Joel's work in the magazine. If memory serves, he also had something important to do with the afternoon updates to the webpage, before got around to continuous updating. Anybody else remember that?

Anyhoo, I stumbled on Achenblog the week of Hurricane Katrina and was hooked forever.

Posted by: Slyness | November 23, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

We are stuck in time again!

Posted by: nellie | November 24, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Nellie you fixed it!

Posted by: dmd | November 24, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh thank goodness. The Achenblog is back. Of course, all true boodlers are watching the Gator/Seminoles game.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 24, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

It lives?!

Posted by: frostbitten | November 24, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 24, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Ohmygosh, we're back! Thanks be!

Posted by: Slyness | November 24, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody! What did you do, on a day without the boodle?

Carolina just beat Duke in overtime, so things are kinda wild in my house.

Posted by: Slyness | November 24, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I am so proud! "Mending a broken boodle" is going right on my resume.

Posted by: nellie | November 24, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Make that résumé.

Posted by: nellie | November 24, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I love that after a full day of Boodlelessness so many of us are back so quickly.

Posted by: bia | November 24, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

But we're not overwhelming the boodle at a delicate point in its recovery, either.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 24, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi Bia,

Your name always makes me hum the Name Song:

Leah, Leah bo bia,
banana fata fo fia....

Posted by: College Parkian | November 24, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout them Gators.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 24, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hurrah! I always thought I could take or leave the Boodle, no big deal, but I sure have been antsy today.
No football here. Last night the Boy and I went downtown to the open-air ice rink, available yearly from Thanksgiving to New Year's. Then we wandered the downtown Bricktown area looking at city Christmas lights and the canal, watched snowtubing, and ate a lovely meal. Today we went back to the ice rink for more skating, and now he's sleeping over at a friend's.

Yes, I did ice skate -- it was way warmer skating than sitting and watching. I'm pleased to report that practice does make less imperfect. I began very tentatively indeed yesterday (almost a year since my last time on the ice) and progressed to almost confident. Today, I began there and got to the point where I could skate without looking desperately at the ice in front of me. Watching the other skaters and spectators was fun. Of course, the children, including the Boy, skated rings around us all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I hear gators taste like chicken.

Lest anyone get the wrong impression from my last post, please let me assure you that I was skating almost competently. Grace was not involved, unless it was the divine intervention which kept me from falling. Skill certainly had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I have gone ice skating only twice in my life. Once in 1982 and once in 2004. In between the ice got way harder.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 24, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I am almost envious. The last time I tried to ice skate, I fell about a dozen times and was sore for several days. I was young then, too. OTOH, I love to snow tube. I can handle going down a hill on my backside.

Posted by: Slyness | November 24, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The ice is indeed way harder than it used to be, or than the Boy thinks it is for that matter. However, I am more well padded than I was in my youth. While normally I deplore this, the secret to falling is to hit the soft spots rather than the bones, and this is, sadly, much easier than it used to be.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Harder ice, forsooth. The real problem is that those dang ice skates are now like 10 ton bricks... unlike when I was a kid.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 24, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Yay, the boodle's back! Thanks, nellie!

I ice skated as a kid, although I wasn't very good, and never took lessons or learned to do anything other than go straight ahead. When my son was about 9, I took him, and we had fun skating for a couple of years. I never learned how to stop, other than by grabbing hold of the railing. A friend of mine could skate backwards, and stop by turning her skates sideways. I was so impressed.

I was very productive during the boodle outage. I balanced the checkbook - almost did Christmas cards - and took a nap.

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 24, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I could only skate backwards by turning backwards suddenly when moving forward... never did get the hang how to do it for more than 18 inches at a time.

I CAN stop (mostly by turning), although last time I skated I tired so quickly (those 10 ton skates, I tell you) that I found myself relying on the rail excessively.

That reminds me, it should be outdoors skating rink time soon, right, Frostbitten?

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 24, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you're all back! I just sat down this minute after a hard day workin' on the vacation house, and was delighted to see we're up and running again.

Watchin' "White Christmas" instead of college football. Probably just some boring Florida/Florida State game on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 24, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Here I was all set to spend a lot of time here this weekend and instead, I actually got most of the Christmas shopping done, saw friends for lunch and had a nap. Ice skating, used to do a lot of it as a teenager. We had a pond near the City Hall that was divided between hockey and recreational skating. There was even a little house with a wood stove that we used when it got too cold. I never took lessons but could skate backwards and do a 'hockey' stop. I'd be deathly afraid to try skating now. Although about ten years ago I tried roller blading for a while and decided that ice skating was safer. The ice may be hard but you're wearing more clothes and a fall isn't likely to leave you bloodied or broken.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 24, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

They've had an outdoor skating rink here for the last few years, even when the temperature stays in the 60s and 70s (not this week, I hasten to add). The top ice gets a little mushy but they just turn up the cold -- it must cost a fortune. This is a corporate venture (shout-out to Braum's dairies) in cooperation with the city.

I suppose I might skate backward very briefly sometime by mistake. I can stop by skating very slowly into the side of the rink. The Boy has patiently showed me how to skate backward, and how to stop by manipulating my skates. He's so cute.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

mostly: //I was very productive during the boodle outage. I balanced the checkbook - almost did Christmas cards - and took a nap.//

I love, love the description of almost doing something as being productive! This is the story of my life! :-)

Maybe it wasn't a boodle outage. Maybe it was a test of the secret (or double-secret) boodle.

Posted by: dbG | November 24, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Just checked the living room because I heard some strange noises. Found the black lab who loves squeaky toys has discovered bubble wrap.

Posted by: dbG | November 24, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, the idea that you must wear skimpy Spandex while rollerblading is a vicious rumor. Really.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, rental ice skates are evil. I wore them occasionally when my children were little. Here in Maryland, buying skates is somewhat silly and etc. However, in Montana, we all went out at recess to skate on the pond near our school. 8th graders would start a fire in the steel drum so we could warm ourselves. Of course, we had ONE HOUR RECESS EACH DAY near noon. I sometimes had used white kidskin skates -- very pretty, when polished. Other year -- depending on the recycling rotation among sibs and neighbors -- hockey skates. Once you got the hockey skate edge figured out, well, zippy on the curves. Those were the days.

Boodle-withdrawal: I graded papers w/o boodle relief....very hard to pace myself and cleanse my palate from poor writing.

Chili note: I am with the other westerner-purists. CHILI IS BEEF. And ground beef is a poor imitation of the real deal. However, I love to make a Blanco chili-escue stew with

*Cannelloni beans NOT NAVY beans
*diced green chilies
*turkey or chicken meat (shredded or cooked till it falls from the bone; post TG-day carcass can work but you must fish out the tiny, tiny, irritating bones)
*sour cream (non-fat works fine)

Lovely stuff, but not chili.

Happy TG and safe travel to all.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 24, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

In that case, dbG, I think it was a failure. Although, come to think about it, we did communicate some...not nearly as much as usual.

We did a little shopping (sooo crowded), took in the village Christmas parade (they needed a marshal to keep it going, too many long gaps), and enjoyed Carolina beating Duke in overtime.

Posted by: Slyness | November 24, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

We're back, friends. I could not believe this morning when I tried to submit, and it didn't work. I thought, oh you wrote something that did not pass the comment filter, but then I kept trying all day and nothing worked.

Believe me, it has not been an easy day. I didn't realize how hooked I am to the Achenblog. Not good, not good. And I was ill, you just would not believe.

Ivansmom, I think it is wonderful you put on skates and did the do. I take my grandchildren sometimes to the skating rink and just sit there and watch. I dare not try, and break a bone. Laid up for weeks, no thank you.

I wrote a huge comment this morning, can't remember two words of it now. Oh well, probably won't meant for public viewing.

I'm still in pajamas and housecoat, been that way all day. Did not go out.

Slyness, it is cold here, but I love it. I saw on television the celebration of the rail way in Charlotte. There were so many people. I kept thinking if I drive to Charlotte, one of those trains will probably run over me. Are the tracks integrated with the street or is it a set aside? If we could just get that system to go from city to city, and make a couple of stops in between. I know we have Amtrak, but gee, who wants to get up at two o'clock in the morning to catch a train that usually late anyway?

I wonder what happened here this morning. I kept getting something referring to "moveable type", an error.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 24, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, Tennessee beats Kentucky 52-50 in quadruple overtime, and Arkansas upsets top-ranked LSU 50-48 in triple overtime. Don't they teach defense in college? Or do they only use it during OT periods?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 24, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Did you know that they have large buildings where you can sit in rows in a dark room and watch a story on a big screen? And people go to these "movie theatres" instead of boodling?

Spent the afternoon in such a room watching Enchanted, which was delightful.

And now we just watched Stranger Than Fiction, which we Tivo'ed sometime this week. Also a nice movie.

Posted by: TBG | November 24, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Cassandra! I felt the same way all day. Good for you, staying in your gowntails. I would have been tempted to do the same but I knew the Boy would get me out.

I feel obligated to at least try to skate. It's the same reason I learned to rollerblade, rode a horse, went to the monster truck and daredevil motorcycle shows, tried to skateboard (too old to learn!!!) and jammed my finger on the football. The Boy either keeps me young or keeps me in constant fear of my health ahd whole limbs, I'm not sure which.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find themselves doing a little personal shopping while buying gifts? I don't go to the mall very often at other times of the year so find myself feeling like an alien when I wander through stores I wouldn't usually visit. I was surprised the stores weren't more crowded today. I guess all the early shoppers yesterday were either finished or sleeping. Two more gift cards to buy and I will be done. Then I can concentrate on baking and decorating. I don't even have a wreath yet.

Are there more college football games than there used to be, or is "S" just watching more of them? Or maybe it's just one or two in perpetual overtime.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 24, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Portland, Oregon has streetcars and a bit of the Max light rail line running on lanes that also have traffic. Problems seem to be rare, but I suspect they might increase if a scheme to create a streetcar loop circling the center of town materializes.

Houston, on the other hand, set up a light rail system downtown and immediately cars started running into the trains. I don't know how pedestrians fared.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 24, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Skateboards! They look so fun! I want a skateboard the right size for me, so I can figure out how the heck it moves.

(Wilbrod here: this is no joke, he's extremely fascinated by skateboarding and if I let him, he'd push a skateboarder off and try and do it himself. Which is why big dogs just can't do whatever they like. Tough luck.)

Posted by: Wilbrodog | November 24, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I got very close to doing the Christmas cards, which is why I figured it should count. I'll probably get them done Sunday, which is way earlier than I have been doing them the last few years.

Bad Sneakers, I ordered some things from Amazon today. Everything except two books was for me. And then I went back and ordered more stuff - for me. I'm not sure what's gotten into me. Pent up demand, I suppose. In my defense, I got several of Joel's books, where the S&H cost more than the book.

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 24, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I finished Captured By Aliens. Excellent. I compulsively read aloud whole sections to my family, for the writing alone. I have a few thoughts connected with the topic, which I'm trying to save for a more appropriate Kit. Thank you, Joel, for a fine and thought-provoking book.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

That makes me feel better Mostly. I just bought socks, a sweater and shoes. Of course I did do an Amazon order a few days ago, but only one of the books was for me. Although one of the books I bought today for "S" I will end up reading too. This seems to be the year that most of the adults I buy for want gift cards. It's easy but won't be much fun to watch them open the gift.

I think my Christmas spirit is starting to kick in. I spoke to my friend today, the one with ovarian cancer, she will be having her last treatment this week and is looking forward to the future. This is a good sign and makes me happy and hopeful.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 24, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, I came to WaPo by way of a m'sian website. I was lured into Achenblog by a catchy caption when Joel was on front page. After that I checked in regularly. Prior to that I have be reading Joel's articles in the National Geographic but I didn't look at the byline so didn't know he was also a WaPo writer. In one of the NG subscriptions, Joel wrote an article and I happened to look at the byline. It was like, hey, that's the WaPo guy with a blog. I lurked in Achenblog for many months before I started posting. At first I didn't think I could post cause of the time difference. Later, I realized I could, so the rest is history.

Posted by: rainforest | November 24, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, "S" just recognized George Chakiris (West Side Story) as one of the dancers in a Rosemary Clooney number in "White Christmas." I had a terrible crush on him way back when. He never did much after WSS, too bad.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 24, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

And we are glad you decided to post, Rainforest. I very much enjoy haring the perspectives of someone on a different continent.

Ivansmom - you mean the tight Spandex isn't mandatory when ice skating? Now you tell me. Well, that certainly explains all the shrieks of horror as I entered the rink.

Time for bed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 24, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I spent the nonboodle afternoon sitting around with two surfboard shapers. Some wonderful craftsmanship. It's amazing how custom surfboards, hand-made pottery, and hand-made prints are perhaps the best affordable custom craft products available to ordinary folks.

Regrettably, I'm lame and fat enough that I'm probably no longer good for much other than paddling around. Which is at least better than doing nothing.

Then there was the matter of buying an $80 cable for a new $50 DVD player that actually does produce better images than the DVD drive on the computer. Which matters because the computer's monitor is currently better than the living room TV.

On the book front, it looks like I'll have to buy the book on plants of the Bible and Koran (Timber Press) by a long-ago fellow grad student. Oddly, I heard of it in Miami.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 24, 2007 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and "Captured by Aliens" is my favorite Achenbach book. (Check out the Amazon reader reviews some day) For a relatively short book it contains an impressive amount of great info. I like to read a verse out loud on special occasions, myself.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 24, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, the new light rail line is in a railroad right-of-way, but it crosses a number of streets in its trip from the south side to uptown. There are gates that close when the train crosses a street. A couple of weeks ago, a train hit and killed a man who was sitting on the tracks and failed to move when warned.

Boston has a new line that runs to the airport. It depends on overhead electricity like other systems but has tires instead of rails so it can run on the roads when it has to. That strikes me as a flexible system.

Posted by: Slyness | November 24, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I just tried to enter my name and it went to large vertical lines. I hope you can read this (gee, it is like a spy novel with secret codes).

After all that, I only wanted to wish the Boodle a good evening and fervently hope it will still be here when I wake up (unlike this morning, WaPo). As always, y'all, vaya con queso and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 24, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the Boodle is back.
Had a couple of comments that I tried to post last night, can't remember what they were anymore...

Mudge, you *do* know that college football OTs are played as shootouts - not sudden death OT (in 15 minute quarters, should neither team score) as the pros do - don't you?

Each team takes the ball at the opponent's 25 yard line, and they have normal downs to try to score. Because 25 yards is short enough for quarterbacks to be able to throw into the endzone, defenses have to play soft and typically the offenses can score. They take turns until one team stops the other on downs or prevents a PAT. Shoud each team score 2 TDs in the shootout format, the teams are forced by rule to attempt two-point conversions rather than kick the PATs.

It's like OT shootouts in hockey or soccer, FWIW. Personally I prefer the sudden death OT, but that's just me.


Posted by: bc | November 24, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, love White Christmas. Remember watching it with "the one" when I was nineteen. Well, she later didn't turn out to be "the one." Now that time has passed, however, I remember what it was like the first time I thought I was with "the one."

Peace out.

Posted by: bill evrything | November 24, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I will note (including the fact that I spelled my handle correctly this time) that I am really bummed that KU is losing.

Number 2 in the country and in preseason they did not even get one vote to be in the top twenty.

It is a merciless god that dashes the hopes of the most abject underdogs.

It's an Old Testament night in football land.

Posted by: bill everything | November 24, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

bc, word on sudden death.

Posted by: bill everything | November 24, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

bill e, naturally it's been an Old Testament weekend in football.

Didn't someone make a case for Football as Religion some time back...?

Keep praying and don't give up on the Jayhawks just yet, they're not out of it, IMO.


Posted by: bc | November 24, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I used my non-boodle day to mop the floor, change the guinea pig cage a day early, and go to work early and stay late. Not that "work" was all that taxing. It was just my turn to open the school gym so toddlers and their parents can come play inside, part of our community effort to keep people active in the winter.

Wilbrod-we are hoping for a windless night or two to freeze the lake nice and smooth before we have a big snow fall. My nearest neighbors, through the woods, always keep a good sized area shoveled.

I grew up roller skating but learned to ice skate the year Frostson did. He had just learned to walk, was still in diapers, and absolutely fearless. Like all ND raised kids he lived on the ice growing up and still plays on a team most winters. Nothing makes me feel older than to hear him say "I'm too old to play in a league that allows checking."

Mr. F bought me some beautiful ice skates when we lived in NoVA and Frostniece #2 was taking lessons at the rink in PWC. I usually scoff at people buying expensive equipment for a sport they pursue only casually, but I swear these skates make me want to jump into a red spandex outfit and skate to music from Carmen. One thing on my "things to do before I die" list is to skate at Rockefeller Center, in my own skates not those horrid rentals.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 24, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

SCC I suppose I shouldn't have assumed that everyone would immediately assume I meant hockey when I said Frostson "still plays on a team."

Posted by: frostbitten | November 24, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

What, Frostson doesn't do curling? Have you disowned him yet?
(I assumed you meant hockey, never fear.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 24, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

BC, thanks for the 10thC link and thanks for Error Flynn. He was special. One question which I've been meaning to ask? HOW DO YOU PEOPLE FIND THE TIME TO DO THIS? I AM SO JEALOUS.

I was using the often expressed idea that Americans' political perspectives, instead of the usual red and blue, can also be divided whether they are 10 Commandments (old) vs. Sermon on the Mount (new) people. Conservatives trend to the former, progressive wonderful people (tarred as liberals in the conservative world) to the latter.

In the world of sports, I tend to put teams in similar camps. The '70's Cowboys under Tom Landry: extremely Old Testament. '80's 49er's are "obviously" new testament.

This is an inexact science to be sure but, in my view, historical football underdogs (e.g., KU), like the tax collectors and prostitutes that Jesus sits down to dinner with, in heaven, will be ranked number 1.

Posted by: bill everything | November 24, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I was disturbed by all the crazy people in "Captured by Aliens." Especially when the nutjob is lightyears smarter than I am. I learned a lot about the people Joel encountered and about my reaction to them.
I loved the suspense of wondering if Carl Sagan would go over the edge.

I've had to deal with someone I loved believeing they were being pursured by demons so I have little tolerance for nonsense. Thank goodness we had someone as empathic as the Boss to go into the belly to the beast and discover ,not monsters, just some more folk trying to figure out where the he!! they are. Great reportage.
Now, I loved "The Grand Idea." It's got everything. Land speculation, country fathering, lawsuits, and a canal. There was an nice expositon of the way competeing interests shape cities and the landscape.
(And a railroad, for those of you who are easily amused)

Posted by: Boko999 | November 24, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Pierre Berton kept Sir John A. under his stairs.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh my!

Posted by: Yoki | November 25, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, just got your lovely note. Thank you!

Posted by: dbG | November 25, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

And thank you, dbG. I miss you.

Posted by: Yoki | November 25, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse


About ready to head to collapse, but will catch you tomorrow?

Posted by: dbG | November 25, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes, of course.

Posted by: Yoki | November 25, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse


Stumbling upstairs.

Posted by: dbG | November 25, 2007 12:44 AM | Report abuse

The damn coyotes are in the yard and all I'm allowed to do is bark at them.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh dear. That seemed too petulant. It's only impermissable to shoot coyotes at night. I'm not a farmer protecting livestock so if I shot a coyote I'd be hunting and it's way too late for that sort of gag.
The coyotes are driving out the wolves which is one of the reasons we're experiencing an explosion in the deer population.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 1:33 AM | Report abuse

We used to have foxes. I like foxes and wolves and martins and otters and wolverines. I don't like coyotes.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh, no. I think it is permissible to think about shooting the horrible demon 'yotes.

They do that horrid demon-laughter, and try to make one think they are foxes, but... they aren't.

Posted by: Yoki | November 25, 2007 1:41 AM | Report abuse

SCC ..... I like foxes, wolves, and martins, otters, wolverines.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Coyotes have puppies!!!
I love puppies!!!
You can see why the world is way too complicated for me.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh my!

So, how do you pronounce the name of that canid? Ky-ot-y? Or cyote? I say cyote.

Posted by: Yoki | November 25, 2007 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Is that a hard C or a K.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Khaki, kind, keeberbollyoxford

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 2:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm having a great time reading Micheal Palin's diarys. Terminally charming.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Oooooo, the Boodle ain't broke no more.
boko, the darn coyotes are everywhere. I saw a big one following the garbage truck a month ago. I believe they come in the burbs for the local lagomorphs, cats and small dogs. This one of the reasons the uppy, at 7 months old, weigh 70lbs...
The eastern coyote is not a pure coyote anymore, they have had a significant input of eastern wolf. Some dog DNA has been spotted too. They are much bigger than the original western coyote.
Turkey sandwich is the breakfast of champions.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 25, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

SCC is and uppy, puppy, what's the difference.

OK, time for more coffee, then walk the uppy.
go RR go!

Posted by: shieking denizen | November 25, 2007 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

You're welcome, bill e, and lord knows, I don't find time to do everything I'd like to.

As far as finding time, well, once you cut sleep out of your life, there's time for more than you think in a given day.

Of course, there might be fewer days when you burn the candle at both ends, but you never know when your number's up, do ya?


Posted by: bc | November 25, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Good Mornin All
It was a beautiful sunrise/moon set this morning. I tried taking some pictures of the fat moon setting, but I was going 75 mph and looking through my windshield.

My mountain view is about 75% back at my house. I guess when I sell my home I should do it between November and April and claim I have a mountain view.

Wildlife report: I saw 2 beavers the other day by the river and there is a S-load of deer everywhere. Thankfully I haven't come up close and personal with any the last 3 days....knock on wood.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 25, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Toiugh day yesterday on my legs, but thanks to three heavy-duty acetominophen and a full nights sleep I think I can walk today. At least as far as "my chair."

No, bc, I actually didn't know about college shootouts (I don't watch a lot of college football). When did they start that nonsense? Just one more reason not to watch such silliness.

I can't decide which Outlook piece is stupider, the one about forged wines, or the one about Obama and Romney not doing well because they're both boomers. Jeez. Well, I guess Outlook has some bad weeks.

You guys might make fun of my blue bottom, but I'll tell you one good thing about boating: no spandex. So count your blessings.

Yes, Sneaks, I noticed Goerge Chakiris, too, for a split second there. He started out left front, and I said..."Hey..." and he was gone. He was a great Shark, though, wasn't he? What I want to know about "White Christmas" is, who the he11 is Vera Allen and where did she get that 14-inch waist?

Looking forward to football today: the Redskins might actually have a chance of beating Tampa Bay. Not a great chance...but a chance. Maybe. I hope. (Rubbing my lucky lagomorph leg.) Can't think of a more pointless use of a perfectly good Monday night than the Steelers-Dolphins game, unless it would be a Patriots-Dolphins game. Jeez. (Hey, maybe they'll upset the Steelers....Bwahahahahahahahaha. Sometimes I just crack myself up.)

Today isn't much better: I don't think there's a single interesting matchup. I guess the Ravens-Chargers game might get close. (Here's an interesting factoid: our division, NFC East, and AFC South (Colts, Titans, Jags, Texans) are the only two divisions with *every* team at .500 or above. (Although that'll change today with Philly definitely loosing and Houston almost certainly.)

Shriek, happiness is a warm uppy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

During The Boodle outage, I engaged in an activity I hadn't done since my teenage years. Pumpkin smashing! I was assisted by my 5 year old, who hopped around in circles and squealed with delight in anticipation of the event. We went out to the driveway and layed a few sheets of newspaper on the cement for the target. I let the boy slam the pumpkin on the cement first, but he only succeeded in putting a small crack around the stem. Then it was my turn! I held the squash over my head with both hands and smashed it on the driveway as hard as I could. Slam dunk!

The impact made a sickening, squishy/hollow thud as the pumpkin literally exploded. The boy laugh hysterically, "Daddy, seeds went everywhere!" Yeah, one popped up and stuck to my cheek. The boy finished up pulverizing the pieces with a hammer.

What a mess. The wife was not impressed, but I hadn't had that kind of fun in a long, long time.

Posted by: Pat | November 25, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

That sounds great, Pat. We could not smash pumpkins this year because they went liquid inside very very quickly -- one even before it was carved. The jackolantern skeletons have been shrinking gruesomely in the back yard.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 25, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

good morning boodle and thanks for the excuse to post this link re: pumpkins

On the way to that I found this video. I wish I'd had this when I was the "math chair" at an alternative middle school.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 25, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... that Moebius video was way cool. Thanks.

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey, frosti... thought of you just now when this arrived in my inbox...

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm with ya re. the college shootouts.

And I prefer the pro game as well, simply because of the high level of play (no, that was not a Ricky Williams/Travis Henry joke).

Yeah, not the best Sunday on the NFL schedule, but it's better than nothing. Washington *does* have a shot against Tampa, but they seem to be the Tin Men of the NFL, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Now I'm off to the store to pick up a few things for the hellidays...


Posted by: bc | November 25, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

TBG-markdownmom knows her wild rice, and as well she should. Her grandfather probably harvested on our lake. The dark stuff you buy in "wild rice pilaf" mixes, and get in most restaurants, is paddy grown and an abomination-both as agriculture policy, and culinary ingredient. Our local recipe for paddy grown rice:

2 cups "wild" rice
1 stone
6 cups water
salt to taste

Put rice, stone, water, and salt in pot. Boil for 2 hours. Toss to reveal stone. Throw rice away and eat stone.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 25, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... Ha!

MDM suggests this site for purchasing the good wild rice. What do you think? Or do you have other sources?

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Former vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke has written a great deal about the wild rice conundrum. Here is just one of her efforts:

In 1968, with the help of the University of Minnesota, aggressive production of paddy wild rice production began. That year it represented some 20 percent of the state's harvest. By 1973, paddy rice production had increased the state's yield from less than a million pounds to some 4 million pounds. The increase in production and subsequent interest by the larger corporations such as Uncle Ben's, Green Giant, and General Foods, skewed consumers' perceptions and altered the market for traditional wild rice.

In 1977, the state legislature designated wild rice as Minnesota's official state grain - a move that may well have been the kiss of death for the lake wild rice crop. Financed by an outpouring from the state coffers, the University of Minnesota began aggressively to develop a domesticated version of wild rice, and by the early 1980s, production of cultivated wild rice had outstripped that of the indigenous varieties. Then the industry moved to California. By 1983, California's crop, at 8.3 million pounds, easily surpassed Minnesota's, at 5 million pounds. By 1986, more than 95 percent of the "wild" rice harvested was paddy grown, the vast majority produced in northern California. When the glut of paddy-grown wild rice hit the market in 1986, the price plummeted, dampening the emerging domestic market and devastating the Native wild rice economy. Lakeside prices crashed.

Posted by: Loomis | November 25, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I think I noticed that Wild Oats was selling only lake wild rice. The species has a broad distribution--it decorates spring runs in northern Florida.

Coyote genetics seems to be a difficult topic. Probably easier now that DNA can be examined, but in the past, distinguishing the now nearly-extinct eastern red wolf from coyotes and grey wolves (not to mention Native American domestic dogs) was quite a mess. Domestic dogs are grey wolves, with a few minor-but-crucial behavior modifications that adapt them to living off of people. "Social parasites" is the term one author uses.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 25, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Ouch, that video led me to the Riemann sphere page on Wikipedia. I couldn't tell from the video if that sphere was mapping to infinity or just some large arbitrary (?) limit on the plane. And I just came for a conciliatory chili comment, which was that the chili proposers had, after all, envisioned up to 3 days of turkey sandwiches PRIOR to facing the further leftoevers that might remain. (That was a typo but I'm sticking with it: a serendipitous protologism.) In any case, I surrender my chili creds to no one, but will merely point out that its full name is "chili con carne" implying that carne may not be the only type of chili.

Posted by: Jumper | November 25, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Rice. *sigh* I have a long, long list of things to worry about before I get to the plight of the wild rice.

Today has become the dreaded "Honey, would put up the Christmas decorations" day. Like I didn't have important football games to watch, or anything. OK, it's noon and so far I have put away the picnic table awning, put the wreaths in all the windows, used the giant stepladder to put the giant wreath over the front door, put the swag over the bay window, and will soon begin working on the outside lights (oh, plus cooked breakfast for my wife: sausage links and eggs over easy). We've also laid out the snowmen on the buffet, put up the tree, distributed various deorations inside the house, etc. Now, if I can only get my son out of bed to finish the leavfes. My chances: 90-10 against.

The thing is, I love the way the house looks when my wife (the Martha Stewart of SOuthern Maryland) has it all decorated. Me, I'm just the day labor.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I don't mind putting up the decorations... it's the taking down and putting away that I hate.

I'm waiting for December to put up my wreath. Then I'll move slowly from there to put up the rest.

I do have a retro silver tree to put up in my new living room this year. But the kids are insisting that the same old green tree be up in the family room (literally the same tree year after year).

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I too went to "Enchanted" this weekend. That Amy Adams is a looker that feeds into my princess fantasy, which is very different from the variety that six-year-olds indulge in. I'm not sure how the movie is being marketed, but my wife and I were easily in the oldest decile demographically at the theater we saw it in. Made it real easy to see the screen over all those short little heads.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 25, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yello... Amy Adams is a looker, but she maintained the innocent cartoon character she was playing.

She did make me think that RD should see the movie, though.

We were not the only adult/teenager combination in the theatre; in fact my daughter saw some of her classmates there on their own. It's most definitely a movie for the entire family... not just the younger half.

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I should know better than to watch the Washington Football Franchise...

Tampa's hot QB goes out after 3 plays, and Moss fumbles a reception away that the Bucs turn into at TD.

And Portis just fumbled...

*RME* *L*

yello, TBG, I already tried to warn RDP away from that movie. No good can come of this.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 25, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, since you are done, swing wide on your way home next weekend and help me with my decorations. Advent is next week and that is my official decoration commencement. TBG -- we burst forth at these times, decoration-wise:

December 6 -- St. Nicholas: stockings and Santa-ish stuff;
December 13 -- St. Lucy: all the lights not yet up;
December 18 -- Tree, etc.

We keep up the stuff until January 6.

I would love a silver, gilt-fifties year, with turquoise and pink and medium-hot green as accents but I fear that no one in my family will allow that. The year twins were born in my original family -- 1967 -- my dad bought a tree, flocked it light blue, and adorned the sticky-boughs with turquoise glass balls. My mom was simultaneously stunned and amazed.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 25, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I'm watching the Washington NFL franchise through my fingers after that last fumble.

This could get ugly.
Uglier, I mean.

Mudge, I'm putting up a few decorations here and there, not hurrying at this point.

Well, now we're down 10-0.
It could be worse. In fact, it just might be.


Posted by: bc | November 25, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The commentators and producers for this Washington/Tampa game are asleep at the switch.

Washington QB Campbell pulls away from center at the line of scrimmage, and goes into motion to a wide receiver slot, and the snap from center goes right to RB Portis, a very unusual formation.

Nobody said a word about it.



Posted by: bc | November 25, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

TBG that is a good source, though "a little spendy" as we say up here. I also have a little problem with the "native harvested" marketing vs. "hand harvested." On our local res you must reside within the boundaries to get a license to harvest, but do not have to be a tribal member. To truly sell only native harvested rice cuts out a lot of pickers who really need the money. I do have a source if you want to contact me back channel.

Loomis gives some good background to the demise of wild rice harvesting as a viable income source. I could pay for an entire semester of college + books with a season's harvest (split with a partner) in '77 and '78. This year we had a super harvest and people were delighted to get the same price in '07 that we had in '77. Had Frostdottir picked this year she would not have been able to pay for her books.

Just a note about our main post-ricing season subsistence activity. Should you buy a hand made real wreath from a catalogue this season. The person who picked the boughs took in 20 cents a pound, the wreath maker $2.50 a wreath (but had to pay for the boughs if he/she didn't pick). YMMV in Maine and other places but just a few big distributors drive the market. Buy direct if you can!

Posted by: frostbitten | November 25, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

We bought a wreath and just put it on the front door. I won't go any further with decorations until next week. I just have to remember where I place them all in this house. The only thing that's the same is the mantel with the Nutcrackers and snow globes and decorative greenery and white lights. I agree TBG, putting the decorations away is very sad. I'm having trouble today thinking about going back to work after four days off. I'd like another four please. Going to need a nap in order to stay up for the Pats game tonight. I would prefer a one o'clock day game but this is the price we pay for having a good team.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 25, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The LED Christmas lights I just bought rock the house. Yeah!

Posted by: Jumper | November 25, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The really important football is being played North of the border today.

And this is sort of how the day went 28 years ago. A Grey Cup for the ages.

You will note in the comments that only my sister, GD has said anything. That is because she was the blameless and very very pregnant. (FYI, Her house was filled with newspaper and pizza boxes at her wedding. Great pizza IIRC)

I have chili to make, venison chili, WITH beans. All this chili talk is making me hungry.

Posted by: dr | November 25, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

We had the coyotes come by here last night, well about 2:00 AM. They don't yap here just squeal like their tail is caught in a wringer. There is not much for them to eat around here so they move fast along the highway where the houses are located. They used to come by about every three days but now we hear them only about once a month. When we first moved here six years ago our two airedales were quite interested and went out to take them on. About fifteen minutes later they came back quite subdued. Which is surprising as the airedales are 90 pounds each and the coyotes don't weight 25 pounds soaking wet. One was hit by a car a couple years ago and I couldn't believe how little it weighed. Now our dogs don't even lift an ear when the coyotes come by.

Posted by: bh | November 25, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

And airedales are known to attack bears . . .

Those coyotes are behaving a bit like the possible ancestors of dogs, which would have been wolves that got in the habit of hanging around human settlements to take advantage of human-related food (leftovers, not neolithic Little Red Riding Hoods). The book to see is "Dogs: a new understanding of canine origin, behavior, and evolution" by Coppinger and Coppinger (Univ of Chicago Press).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 25, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Long ago and far away, BH, in Montana, we were taught to size animals this way:

spaniel = coyote
shepherd or retriever = wolf
bigger than than = cougar

We were not at all afraid of coyote or wolves, but quite afraid of cougar. But, perhaps most of all, afraid of rattlesnakes in the gravel channels near the creeks and river bottom...especially in August.

I am hoping to see a coyote in the MD suburbs some day. Just because nature is nature, never-the-mind, us.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 25, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I put the wreath up at the mountain cottage, for the first time. It looks very good. It's artificial, though. I also put out the eight-inch tree that I used to keep on my desk at work, so the cottage is now decorated. :-)

The house is a different matter. Mr. T is really into Christmas decoration so it's a marathon. He's planning to take next Friday off and we'll do the honors, which include:

Lighted wreaths on all of the front windows.
Moravian Star over the front door, which has its own wreath.
Lighted Christmas trees (24 inches) down both sides of the sidewalk to the street.
Fraser fir decorated in the living room and visible from the street.

I also decorate the mantel in the den, which is where we hang the stockings.

What kills me is the Snow Village. We got a couple of pieces for wedding gifts and now have enough for the Western Hemisphere. The village goes on a four by eight piece of plywood in the sunroom. Setting it up takes the better part of a day and taking it down is a royal pain in the a$$. It's truly neat but has always been overkill as far as I'm concerned. Don't tell him I said so.

Posted by: Slyness | November 25, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Slyness-I can feel your pain. We divested ourselves of Christmas village decor a few years ago. The cool factor was finally outweighed by the limitations of space and time. However, the nutcracker and snowglobe collections expand and expand. The snowglobes belong to Frostdottir. If she balks at taking them when she moves into her first place I will ask if she'd rather take the cat and two guinea pigs she only sees a couple times a year.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 25, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

What's upppppppppppppppp, friends. It is so cold here, and looking really cloudy and bad weather. It looks like rain, but it's so cold it could be something else. I hope not.

We've been to church this morning, and back. It is quite lonesome for me and the g-girl. She went outside and ran around the courtyard twice. She likes to get her exercise that way. My exercise is to watch. Hard job.

There are plenty of foxes around here. And they're not afraid to show themselves. In fact, not too far from here, people used to fox hunt. My mother had a friend that kept the dogs, as tending to them during the hunt. I don't know if they still do that or not. I thought it was creepy at the time, but I'm sure the participants probably thought it elevated them in society, you know as in old world?

The movie, the Princess Bride is on this month, and I look at it every time it comes on. I think it is funny and serious. And the g-girl can look too. It's so hard to find something we can both look at other than cartoons. When a movie is on that shows any intimacy, the g-girl says I not suppose to look at that, grandma.

Time for a nap. So sleepy. Hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I know you're just bursting at the seams to get back to those jobs.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 25, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Just spent some time with my brother putting lights up on the front of the house: wrapping the posts on the front porch, trimming the windows, running strands along the gutters and rooflines, and making all the electrical connections.

So far, so good.

On a side note, I can't believe Gibbs went for it on fourth and one at the Tampa four yard line while it's still in the third quarter after a 66 yard, 13 play drive. Naturally, they didn't make it.

After all those first half turnovers, the fact that Washington is only down 19-10 is daggone lucky.

dr, how's everything going with the Grey Cup up there in the Great Whie North?


Posted by: bc | November 25, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

We have a cougar problem here in Southern Oregon. Several years ago the voters disallowed hunting cougars with hounds. The population has exploded and now the state has to hire professional hunters/trapper to get rid of those that prey on the livestock. A neighbor down the road a half mile lost five goats. I have only seen one in the wild. About fifteen years ago we were driving at night to go fishing around the back side of Shasta Lake in Northern Califorina and one came down off the bank above the road and just saundered along ahead of the truck in the headlights until it came to the next switch back. Later that night we could hear it screaming above the campground. The next day I was working my way along the creek fishing when I came upon a weep of a salt spring and the rocks there were littered with deer hair and blood marks.

Posted by: bh | November 25, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's worse than that, bc. Gibbs calls a plunge up the middle and we get stuffed. And now we just tried it again and this time Portis went around the left end and got it. But yeah, that lack of a touchdown was all on Gibbs.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

dr, you need to get your brethren to begin chanting - Open the Roof, it has been a lovely autumn day here, clear, cold and crisp it just doesn't seem right to have Sask and Winnipeg playing with the roof closed.

I have heard rumours of large groups of people dressed in Green roaming the streets of Toronto and of course there was the traditional ride through a hotel lobby on horseback - just with a list twist this time.

Posted by: dmd | November 25, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

In Florida, nearly all panther sightings are of bobcats. Panthers are very, very good at being nearly invisible to us humans. Of course that isn't much use against dog noses, and running up a tree to escape the dogs makes a panther a relatively easy target. Another case of human + dog doing things neither could alone.

I don't recall voting on a hound-hunting initiative when I lived in Portland, so I count myself innocent. I woulda voted against it. I assume those prolific panthers are eating lots and lots of deer.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 25, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, now that the Redskins have been eviscerated (*sigh*), I thought you all would like something to laugh about. A colleague of mine sent this along and I laughed so much I almost fell off my chair. Warning -- don't drink anything while you're watching it:

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | November 25, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... I haven't clicked on your link yet, but is it as funny as this?

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Master of the Hounds is a very prestigious position in a fox hunt club, Cassandra. You gotta be good with the dogs for that. Hard work, though.

Yes, that would seem rather odd to you. The DC sprawl has begun to take over what was fox-hunting country just 10 years ago.

Bh, that is interesting. Coyotes, even if they don't pack together, often work in mated pairs to hunt, and they use their speed to their advantage. If coyotes had a den with pups nearby, they'd put up an even more aggressive stance.

Visualize two 200 lb Joe bubbas taking on two featherweight boxing champions-- the Joe Bubbas will quickly back down and go back to more fun stuff.

Or mockingbirds taking on crows.

Dogs will back off from angry cats, I'm not surprised they'd give angry coyotes a wide berth.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 25, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that was so funny.

And Wilbrod, I don't think my mother's friend was the master, he was helping someone else.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 25, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

TBG that was great - I should do it for myself it would be the only time I ever had any sort of rhythm.

Posted by: dmd | November 25, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

A whipper-in is responsible for keeping the foxhounds from leaving the pack during the hunt. Again, a pretty important job.

Our terms for leaders in Congress-- whips-- derive from that term, not so strange when you think that George Washington founded the American foxhound breed in america-- he bred them from English foxhounds and other hounds to get a more robust, faster foxhound for the open rough country of Virginia.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 25, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

TBG I can't seem to access the video... I have problems with Google videos, and a few other video types, so maybe that's it. What format is it?

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 25, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

That was firstimeblogger with the funny link. But, this is my favorite sock puppet video

I might have to try that dance video.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 25, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-I couldn't watch the video until I switched to firefox. Don't know how my settings are different in explorer but that seems to happen a lot with video.

Posted by: frostbitten | November 25, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Woo hoo! Roughriders by three at the half!

For those with DirecTV, it's on channel 623 (NESN).

Halftime entertainment: Lenny Kravitz is singing American Woman. Go figure. ("Get away from me...")

dr... I enjoyed your wedding story. With friends like that.... well you know the rest of that saying.

My husband I got took my parents out to dinner to tell them we were engaged the night before the Redskins played Dallas in the Championship in January 1983. I don't know which event I was more nervous about.

We took Mom and Dad to their favorite restaurant and I have always told people I was sold for a Chinese dinner. There was much happiness and toasting for both Mr. G and I and for the Redskins. The Redskins won the next day and went on to win their first Super Bowl.

Wilbrod... not sure what kind of video it is. It works on my MacBook, that's all I know. The original site is You might try their Help section for ideas.

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Hi Blog. The 49ers win in overtime. All DEFENCE!!
I think the coyotes win by slash and nip.
I watched them during deer hunting charge, nip and dodge at a doe protecting her fawan. They probably would have got the fawn if I hadn't fired a shot their way.

Posted by: bh | November 25, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I've several foxes in my neighborhood. Some are pretty mangy looking. Once on a country road on our way to Falling Water I saw what looked like an entire wolf pack cross the road right in front of our car, but I'm open to other interpretations.

We got our outdoor lights up just in time to avoid withering glances from our neighbors. My next door neighbor had his entire lawn covered with lights by 10 am Friday morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 25, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

And the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet cover of Bohemian Rhapsody is the greatest version of all time, even if they don't get all the lyrics right.

And did you see the nice right up on libertarianism in Outlook today?

Paulheads finally getting some MSM respect.

Posted by: Pop Socket | November 25, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

This Patriots-Eagles game is weird. Who'd a thunk?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Talking to myself again.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm having fun with the Grey Cup here... a nail biter. Go Riders!

(The three-down limit makes for a very different game.)

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I swear I'm not drunk, or doing drugs. But with 3 minutes left in the half, the Eagles are leading, 21-17.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

There are just minutes left, and I can't watch it anymore. Its just too much. I CAN"T TAKE THE PRESSURE.

dmd, I heard tell of parades of rider fans through the streets, and all sorts of derring do. What can I say, its Saskatchewan people. It gets cold there in the winter, and they have plenty of time to think stuff up.

They are going to have to punt now... Mr dr just said the ominous words, we could still screw it up...Oh kinky there's a streaker now... Ok, back to play now, We intercepted. There is a lot of cheering here. Just 53 seconds left. We still could screw it up.

Posted by: dr | November 25, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

There are still 25 seconds, but there are celebratory sounds coming from the field. We could still screw this up yanno, boys.

Oh dear heavens, its done.
We finally won. Green is good.

Posted by: dr | November 25, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

dr! YAY! The Roughriders win the Cup!

Now... what's that about the Iggles and the Patriots?

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Heartiest congrats, dr. Tell me, who was the winning pitcher? And how many striekouts did he have?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to watch the Patriots game. They are now toying with the entire nation.

Posted by: bill everything | November 25, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the field is different too. We are wider and shorter? I think that is what it is.

The difference makes a running game a far more important part of any teams game. We get some seriously good players up here. Joe Theisman, once QB for some DC team, IIRC, plyed with the Argonauts. Warren Moon played here in Edmonton for years. A lot of guys come out of stateside colleges, and end up staying for a good long while. We like that.

I must go drink some cheery green beverage now. And then I have to do the dishes.

Posted by: dr | November 25, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Congrats dr!

Posted by: dmd | November 25, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Wider and shorter. Story of my life. Harrummph.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

OK, 24-21 at the half. But that's still miraculous.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 25, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Ah... but the field is wider AND longer. And the end zone looks like it just goes on forever.

I'm really excited for you, dr. I know how it feels to have your team win the Big One. Mighty nice.

Posted by: TBG | November 25, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

One strike out, by Winnipeg.

Not that I'm gloating or anything.

Really though, the young QB for Winnipeg just played the game of his life. The regular QB broke his arm in the Eastern final. This was the first CFL start for Ryan Dinwiddie, out of Boise State and he can hold his head high. Heck of a job.

Posted by: dr | November 25, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Toles was outstanding today:

Posted by: bill everything | November 25, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge I forgot you are a Philly guy. I admire their effort tonight even if it comes up short.

Posted by: bill everything | November 25, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, I turned it on. Iggles up 28-24.

Posted by: bill everything | November 25, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Saskatchebushers

Posted by: Boko999 | November 25, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on the Cup, dr.

And Mudge, a valiant effort by the Eagles to take the game to the Pats, even though they didn't win.

Showed far more fortitude than the Burgundy and Gold team that plays locally...

Er, didn't Doug Flutie play in the CFL for awhile, win some Grey Cups? I seem to remember Ricky Williams went up there for a year or two as well...

Seems to me that the Great White North has been a haven for more than one kind of draft dodger...


Posted by: bc | November 25, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I am fed up with football.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 26, 2007 4:28 AM | Report abuse

That is until next week though.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 26, 2007 4:29 AM | Report abuse

*looooooooooong exhale*

Now THAT was a football game! Interesting game plans on both sides, and the funny thing is the Pats won the division before they even took the field! *L*

*back-to-a-semi-normal-workweek Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 26, 2007 5:09 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Do I detect a note of frustration with green? Perhaps his Ravens had something to do with it? I don't blame him a bit.

This appears to be a Monday. And the start of a (shudder) 5-day work week. Coming off a four-day weekend, I appear to be somewhat lacking in motivation. Scotty, can you fax me a pound of will-to-edit? I seem to have lost or misplaced mine somewhere. (Maybe one of the kids ate it; they've eaten everything else in the house.) Thanks.

On to my day. Ugh.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | November 26, 2007 5:49 AM | Report abuse

I bet DC residents love it when the New York Times writes about them:

But I wonder if there's a little condescension in the tone of that article? They are subtle, those New Yorkers.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 26, 2007 6:14 AM | Report abuse

I can't go to Costco because everytime we go in for a ten dollar mega-size food item, my wife also picks up sixty dollars worth of clothing.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 26, 2007 6:52 AM | Report abuse

*faxing 'Mudge some wilted its*



Posted by: Scottynuke | November 26, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

We have rung the changes among discount houses - first Sam's Club, then BJ's, now Costco. I think I like Costco the best; they have a wonderful food department as well as cheap gas.

Oh! Hey everybody, and happy Monday to all.

Posted by: Slyness | November 26, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I come to you this morning with a correction. I was vociferously corrected last evening on my statement that the field size in Canadian football creates a bigger running game. It does not. It means a bigger passing game, more long bombs.

To my defence, my formative years were spent watching this man play.
I base all my perceptions of football on his work. Besides all this, he is a very very nice man. I met him once years ago, just shortly after his retirment.

Doug Flutie did indeed win some cups, and played here with Calgary and with Toronto. Ricky Willimas too. Players come for a lot of reasons. Money is not one of them, but waiting for better money south of the border seems to be one. We get some really great quarter backs, those deemed fine players but too short for the US game. We actually get a lot of players because of that.

Posted by: dr | November 26, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Bummer about those iggles. Can't comment on the Redskins as I am boycotting them for philosophical reasons.

You know, you can get a lot of leaves raked up on a Sunday afternoon.

I, too, am experiencing work shock after five days off. Especially when I see my employer wants to extend a manageable two day trip into a full week.

Ain't Gonna Happen.

Also I am pleased to see a very provocative article by Joel this morning. I am sure we will see it here later, (perhaps with annotations?) but here is a sneak peek:

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 26, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | November 26, 2007 8:08 AM | Report abuse

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