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Sir Edmund Hillary


[My story on Sir Edmund that ran in the Post's Style section on June 27, 1992. See also this piece from NZ, via Arts & Letters Daily.]

The Man and His Mountain

By J.A.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong were on their way to the North Pole -- sounds like the set-up for a joke. But it happened six years ago, they were celebrity guests on some private polar expedition, and two famous explorers found themselves bunking down together in a hut above a frozen lake on an island in the Arctic Ocean. Two aging guys who long ago went somewhere far away and came back changed.

Sir Edmund says he grilled Armstrong about the trip to the moon. He asked: Why you? Why were you, of all the astronauts, selected to be the first? Armstrong said there was no particular reason. It could have been anyone in the astronaut corps. He said, "It was just luck."

Sir Edmund understood. He knows about luck. About how it could easily have been someone else whose name went into the history books. And he didn't have to ask Armstrong the more troubling question -- what thrills are left in life after you've walked on the moon? -- perhaps because Sir Edmund didn't need anyone to explain to him the aftermath of glory. At the age of 33, Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to set foot on the summit of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, nearly six miles above sea level.

Since then? One would be tempted to say things have really gone downhill, but that's not the case, as Hillary proved yesterday in a brief visit to Washington to speak to the National Press Club. Engaging, witty, righteous, he was anything but a man whose life ended 39 years ago.

He even told a funny joke on himself. He says that a year ago he came down with altitude sickness during a trek in the Himalayas. He was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Katmandu, Nepal. A few weeks later, recovering in New Zealand, he received a letter from a man in New York City. The correspondent said he had read in the papers about Sir Edmund's sickness.

"Well, I've got to tell you that was good news to me," he wrote. "I thought you were dead several years ago."

His listeners laughed heartily -- no doubt there was a sense of relief for those who felt guilty for thinking the same thing.

With a large head and bushy brows, he still looks strong, well-buttressed at 6 feet 2 inches. He is a writer, lecturer, roving environmentalist, and has not climbed seriously for five years. He talks often of his luck in scaling Everest, about the relatively good weather, even the perfect timing from a publicity standpoint -- the news of his success reached England the night before the coronation of Elizabeth II, a convergence of triumph for a fading empire. He does not claim to be the world's greatest climber of mountains, he was just the first on the highest.

That Sir Edmund is still alive is surprising not because he's so terribly old -- he's only 72 -- but because he belongs to a historical narrative that is essentially over. He's a figure in that great story of heroic adventure that includes the names of Marco Polo, Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Stanley and Livingston, Peary and Scott and Amundsen, Lindbergh -- all those manly men with knives in their teeth and icicles in their beards and whatnot. He belongs to a time when "because it is there" was a good enough reason to climb a mountain.

People are more sophisticated now. Such adventurism seems boyishly vulgar at best, environmentally unsound at worst. Man-against-nature has taken on a new meaning.

And to hear Sir Edmund tell it yesterday, even Mount Everest isn't the same.

"The vast number of expeditions to Mount Everest has resulted in making it the world's highest garbage dump," he said.

The great mountain, impossibly remote on the border of Nepal and Tibet, is littered with empty food canisters, oxygen bottles, torn tents, plastic food wrappings and human waste. Too many people, apparently, want to climb every mountain.

"Everest, unfortunately, is largely becoming a commercial, money-making opportunity," he said. "If you are reasonably fit and have $35,000, you can be conducted to the top of the world."

What used to be an adventure is now just a vacation. What used to be exploration is now a way for rich people to cop some thrills. This is true of every exotic place on the planet, from the African savanna to the jungles of the Amazon. No place on Earth is too remote, too harsh, too inhospitable to remain untouched by adventure tourism.

Everest alumnus Barry Bishop, who trekked with Sir Edmund in the early '60s and is now vice president for research and exploration at the National Geographic Society, was grumbling yesterday, "People with money can pay for an adventure. It's canned, it's planned. You buy yourself an adventure. That is a reflection of American society today, isn't it?"

One day in May of this year, 32 people stood on the summit of Mount Everest. Another 14 ascended the next. Sir Edmund describes the summit itself, that little patch of snow where all the ridge lines meet, as just a few paces wide, the size of a couple of desktops. "I would not have liked to have been jostling for position on the summit of Everest with 30 other people."

The ecological effects reach to lower altitudes. All those sahibs need firewood, and the forests have been devastated. Sir Edmund has worked on reforestation programs but the progress is slow, the trees grow at a glacial pace in that high altitude environment. The climber's great achievement in life may not have been scaling the world's highest peak but rather going back in a less glamorous fashion and working with the Sherpa people, building schools and hospitals.

A graduate of one of those schools, Mingma Norbu Sherpa, sat in the audience yesterday. He's now director of the World Wildlife Fund's Himalayas and South Asia Program. Norbu says that Sir Edmund is viewed as the guardian of the Sherpa people, second in affection only to the rimpoche, the head of the monastery. The Sherpas still do not understand the passion of Westerners for climbing these mountains.

"For the local people, it has been a crazy idea," Norbu said. "The sahibs come here, spend a lot of money risking their lives -- it's so wasteful, spending so much climbing this mountain. After 30 years, people still don't understand why. But it's a source of money, the Sherpa people are dependent upon it."

The population has grown rapidly. There is a shortage of arable land, so farmers build terraces higher up, on steeper slopes. The monsoons wash the topsoil away, and Sir Edmund says much of it is now in the Ganges River and the Indian Ocean, lost forever. He despairs that the government wants to build roads deep into the remote regions of the highlands.

"I personally am thankful that I won't be around to see the completion of the road to Mount Everest," he said.

He is the first to say that he was no environmentalist in the days of his climbing glory.

"I must admit, when we went to Everest in '53 we heaved our rubbish around with the best of them. That was nearly 40 years ago and in those days hardly anyone had even heard of conservation."

The old ways are gone. A few years ago, Sir Ed was sitting in his study in his home in New Zealand when the phone rang. He picked it up and heard, clearly, the voice of his son, Peter.

"Hello Dad," he said.

"Hello, Peter. Where are you?"

"I'm on top of Mount Everest."

The lad had taken the portable phone.


By Joel Achenbach  |  January 11, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
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Next: Letting the Voters Decide


Hi, Cassandra, Hi, Martooni. Hi, CP Your Haiku is eloquent.

Posted by: daiwanlan | January 11, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

First atop the boodle?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 11, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

first again????? I never knew that Sir Hillary was a beekeeper. Cool.

Posted by: jack | January 11, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 11, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I liked that article then, and I like it now.

There is another vague parallel between Sir Edmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong. Sir Edmund was horrified by the garbage being left on Mt Everest, while Armstrong is horrified at the garbage being left in space.

That seems to be the way of it. We come. We see. We litter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"...the world's highest garbage dump."

Da rules: 1)pack out what you pack in; and, 2)leave the site looking at least as good as you found it. I'm no outdoorsman, but at least I know that much.

Posted by: jack | January 11, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I can just see it now:

"Washington Post Reports Hillary Newcomer to Environmentalism"

But maybe I shouldn't be giving people ideas.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Women go to Everest, too, not just manly men!

From Whole Earth, Winter 2001:


It's 3 A.M. and you're awake for the third time having to pee. It's two degrees outside, with six inches of snow on your tent. What to do? Keep a Nalgene, wide-mouth water bottle in your tent. Women can buy anatomically fitted funnels to improve their aim. Everyone has a pee bottle & Don't go to Everest without one. At any outdoor supply store. 32 oz. HDPE wide-mouth loop-top bottle, $5.75.

Posted by: Loomis | January 11, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

$35,000? That's it? Wow, there are so many trivial things to do with $35K, and here's something amazing (truly, no sarcasm intended).


Posted by: dbG | January 11, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

6/10 on the quiz. I'm disappointed that the origin of the sports term nutmeg wasn't included.

Posted by: jack | January 11, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Personally, instead of picking up the McDonalds wrappers off of the mountain, I'd rather see a sustained organized effort to remove the dead bodies from Everest.

There are reportedly well over 100 there, and over 40 on the North face alone.

I realize that it's a huge effort to bring even one body down, but what does it say about us as human beings for adventurers and tourists scaling the peak to walk past those bodies on the way to the highest point in the world? [Yes, this from a guy who races cars, right?]

Note: I resisted using the word "corpiscle" during the construction of this comment.

Note II: If you have not read Krakauer's "Into Thin Air," I *highly* recommend it. And Hillary and Norgay didn't have the benefits that today's climbers have, but they did have strong wills and extraordinary luck.


Posted by: bc | January 11, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

At least trash in space will eventually burn up on re-entry. The junk, and bodies, on Everest will be there until the ice melts.

Of course, that could be sooner than we would like.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

10/13 on the movie quiz.

Posted by: jack | January 11, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

When I listened to "Into Thin Air" a few years ago, Everest expeditions were $65K. I bet they are pushing six figures now. That includes the six weeks of acclimation and practice runs but not the personal gear. And no money back if you don't hit the peak. There is a great Imax film from the same year as the Thin Air expedition.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

bc: Corpsicle reminds me of all of those sick Rodriguez cartoons that graced the pages of NatLamp so many years ago.

Posted by: jack | January 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. If it ain't one Hillary it's another Hillary. We're up to our keesters in Hillaries. Or is that Hillarys?This would be sad if it wasn't so Hillarious.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's a bargain Everest expedition: 9 weeks and $27,000. Excluding tips.

Maybe I can get a better deal through Travelocity, but I'm not sure a Nepal mountain climbing expedition is the best place to bargain hunt.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'd gladly have paid $35k to have been able to see THIS-

This is 8 minutes long. Watch it all if you haven't seen it before.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone here actually climbed a mountain? I mean a real mountain, you know, with snow and stuff?

Although I certainly haven't, I did once go up to a preliminary camp on Mt. Rainer. This is about the highest you can go without a guide or special training, but even it was spectacular. You get a sense of levitation, as if you are floating far above the world. I found it intoxicating. But perhaps that was just the thin air.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I'd post my movie score if it weren't so embarrassing. AND I didn't already forget what I scored. Stupid memory...

Lunch was good. Burger just as good (technically) as at K street (something about a two dollar happy hour that just seems to make it a lot better). Fries a little bit better than K street.

Posted by: omni | January 11, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The guys that did Jon Krakauer's trip charge $60k but they want extra for additional oxygen.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

[I just wanted to point out that I now have five computers in my cubicle.

'scuse my while I do my best maniacal mad scientist laugh.]

As you were.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

That $27,000 is only for the trip to the summit. Getting down is slightly more expensive.

Posted by: crc | January 11, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

RD, I've walked to the top of Mount Washington--and Mount Mansfield. I'm not a climber, does hiking count?

Many years ago, I hiked the Continental Divide Trail for a hundred miles or so. That was not exactly mountain climbing, but on that trail when you're coming to a pass, you are going _downhill_ so it's pretty mountain-intensive.

Also, the Sears tent I bought for $40 ten years ago for casual camping in California and Florida has a map of Mount Everest on the box and claims to have been approved by Sir Ed or something. So Ed and me, we're, like, soulmates, right?

Posted by: kbertocci | January 11, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I drove to the top of Pike Peak in a lousy rental car with spongy brakes and loose steering, does that count?
And I walked, snowshoed and skied in the snow a lot too.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

SCC PikeS Peak.
*Crawling back under a slimy rock*

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse


I've done 25 miles of the Appalachian Trail and still own one 30 degree sleeping back that my wife hasn't snuck to Goodwill. Let's plan a BEE (Boodle Everest Expedition). Maybe we can get McCormick and Schmick to sponsor us. We still have a month or two to make travel arrangements.

Now all I need is 70k and my boss to give me three months off.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Well played.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll pass on the BEE, yello, though I will be happy to provide support. I get lightheaded at 10,000 ft elevation.

Into Thin Air is a cool movie. What Sir Ed and Tenzing did is remarkable, given the equipment and knowledge at the time. The final frontiers and all that.

Posted by: Slyness | January 11, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

We saw the piece on Sir Edmund last night on BBC World News. Very interesting from the British perspective.

They also had a piece on the U.S. presidential race. One commentator wondered whether Giuliani and Thompson had entered the witness protection program. I thought that quite amusing coming from a Brit.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 11, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

yj, I'm laughing.

I'd love to go hiking in Tibet (even though it's probably hard to find a decent cheeseburger there) but have no interest whatsoever in climbing Mt. Everest. Please keep me on the email list for the photos, though.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Reading Hank Stuever's piece on the closing of the Dupont 5
I recalled that one of the best movie-going experiences I've ever had as an adult was at the Dupont 5. Being a huge Wallace and Gromit fan, in 2000 I was eagerly awaiting the release of Nick Park's first feature film, "Chicken Run." Through one of those "friend of a friend of a friend" connections that we all wish we had more of, I got free tickets to a pre-release screening at the Dupont 5. The whole crowd was buzzing with anticipation, all just as anxious as we were to see the flick. Then the theater went dark and the opening titles came up- no ads, no trailers, just the film we had come to see. The print appeared to be pristine, without scratch or blemish. The sound was perfect. The audience was silent and intent on hearing every line, no talking at all. Everybody loved the film, but we were almost afraid to laugh too much and miss something. If the seats weren't too comfy and the floors were a little sticky, no one noticed. We had come to be delighted, and we were.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

No, I never actually climbed a mountain. But when I was a reporter at the Allentown Morning Call (i.e., I was young and foolish) I went on a climbing trip in upper Bucks County, Pa., to learn how. There was a sheer face about 100 feet up in a park there, and a climbing club was giving lessons. So Your Intrepid Reporter went in order to write a story. There were maybe a dozen experienced club members and maybe a dozen of us students. They taught us about ropes and various and sundry climbing terms and gear--the first time I ever heard the word "carabiner" and the term "on belay."

We were all tied in to the rope system, and there were people on top, so if anything happened we couldn't actually fall. I was maybe the 7th or 8th person to go up. I got about 2/3 the way up, and was trying to traverse a gap, and got my foot wedged in a crack and got stuck and couldn't get out.

It was approximately about then that I decided to take up sailing.

I eventually got unwedged (possibly due to the tremdous power of sheer terror), and actually made it to the top on my own. And once everybody was on top, they taught us to rappel down. The very first thing one does is stand backward on the edge, and blindly step backward off the cliff. I found this part to be ... um... not my favorite thing. But I did it. And funny thing, about halfway down, maybe the fourth or fifth jump swing out, I got the hang of it and kinda liked it.

And when I got to the bottom I went home and wrote my story and swore I would never never never never never never never never do such a silly thing again.

So a couple months later, to do a story, I started taking glider pilot lessons. I had accumulated about 6 hours of flight time (maybe 20 flights; you gotta remember than the first dozen or so only last 3 or 4 minutes) when my instructor (flying his own one-person glider) clipped a powerline and undershot the field. They pulled him out with two broken legs, so he was lucky.

That's when I decided I liked sailing even better than before.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

An old friend of mine - an Iranian American - scaled Everest some years back.

Of course, he used some of the skills he learned as a teenager getting out of Iran through the mountains as the Shah fell and the Revolutionary Guard took power.

During his personal run-up to Everest, he scaled Mt. McKinley and Mont Blanc as well. He tells a rather harrowing story about being trapped on Mont Blanc while rescuing an inattentive climber (who was foolishly heading *up*) during a sudden snow squall.

A very very interesting guy.

On the other hand, I don't like heights and have to grit my teeth when hanging Holiday lights from the gutters of my house. Curiously, I like being in aircraft.

I suppose I prefer the certainty of knowing what would happen if I fell 16,000 ft. versus 16.


Posted by: bc | January 11, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

If you're ever on a catamaran that pitch-poles and throws you into the stay, aka "cheese slicer," you'll reconsider sailing, mon frere .

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Afraid of heights so that leaves me out on the mountain climbing. Strangely, I do enjoy rapelling so I have no trouble going over a cliff, it's just getting up there that troubles. I prefer rapelling out of helicopters where no climbing is involved. However, as Mr. F says about jumping out of airplanes, "Why would anyone pay to do that?" It's far better to be paid to do it.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 11, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I have done that, K-guy. And nearly been clobbered by a runaway boom. And had a small sailboat sink out from under me. And nearly drowned while being towed on one of those &^%$# tube things. And been caught on the Potomac River in a catboat in a 30-mph wind and had the sail jammed halfway up and halfway down, and drifting out of control onto the shore when I managed to scandalize the rig and get the anchor out, and fetched up about 10 feet from shore. And been at the helm of my parents' 38-foot houseboat going through Hellgate (on the East River in New York near the Queensboro Bridge) in a 6-knot rip when a cotter pin on the outdrive latch-down broke, the outdrive popped up, and we were just about to drift out of control onto the rip-rap when my father got a nail into the cotter-pin hole with about 2 seconds to spare. And nearly been run down in that same boat by a Navy destroyer on the Delaware River north of Wilmington. And spent six hours at the wheel bouncing down Chesapeake Bay in seas heavier than our cruiser ought to be out in.

I try not to do that kind of stuff any more.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, when le Monde covered that BBC World News Piece, they translated it as "Witless Protection Program."

For some reason, I don't think they like the GOP.


Posted by: bc | January 11, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I ever scaled was a fish.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 11, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Two words: "rotten" rock.

I guess Stone Mountain, Georgia, doesn't count, does it? My girlfriend and I climbed it once. On the way there we caught a ride from a guy who said he was Cherokee and although growing up right near there, had never climbed it. This for some reason reminds me of my neighbor's recent tale of her Navajo friend who claimed all the Indians considered the spot where four states meet in one spot, to be haunted or cursed or otherwise bad medicine.

In re. the todo about Joel's remark, I thought it plainly suggested that Mrs. Clinton's own staff might be the ones doing some of the steering, nudging, and general faux pas prevention duty, including, if necessary, the collar. Not to mention administering the benzedrine or melatonin as necessary. Which might pretty much be the picture for about any of the candidates. Which reminds me, does Romney drink coffee or not? Just askin'.

I think Mrs. Clinton would actually be most benefitted by putting Bill back in his cage for a few more years. Back! Back! Git in there! Good boy... (slam).

Posted by: Jumper | January 11, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I just read a couple days ago that Romney does not drink coffee, tea, or any sodas with caffeine.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Probably the most difficult thing to learn as a political spouse is to sit on a dais gazing in RCA-dog rapt attention at your SO as you listen to the stump speech that you've heard humpty-leven times already this week in the sure and certain knowledge that you'll be hearing it next week and the next week and the next week...

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I read "The Eiger Sanction." Does that count?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody (here) know whether the Mormon restriction on caffeine includes chocolate?

Posted by: kbertocci | January 11, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Chocolate? Well, that tears it! I'm just not becoming a Mormon, that's all there is to it. A man's gotta draw the line somewhere.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

First time doing any kind of mountain climbing: needed to be rescued. I hear there were dogs and choppers, never saw any though.

Second time: got shin splints so bad I couldn't carry my backpack. I however beat everybody sprinting back to the car after a rain flooded our tents. I was petrified of getting hypothermia even with mostly wearing hot, sweaty, damp wool if I slowed down for a second.

I'll stick to the Billy Goat Trail and day hiking. That's more my speed, no need to worry about spending the night on any mountains. Mount Everest won't be getting my business anytime soon.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 11, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

well, there's always carob

Posted by: omni | January 11, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I read "Into Thin Air" and it convinced me that anyone that voluntarily climbs that mountain, especially paying $65K for the privilege, is someone I truly have nothing in common with. Crossing cravasses on stepladders lashed together, fercryinoutload. My fear of heights barely can stand the tower at Kings Dominion.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 11, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

When I was in college I went rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park. It was supposed to be a "beginners" climb. Which, evidently, meant that if you fell you would only injure seldom-used internal organs. We had to climb an interior fissure called, appropriately, a "chimney." I came dangerously close to vomiting from fatigue. I yelled "hold," the command for the climbing group to wait, so frequently that my voice started to go out. Or perhaps that was just the exhaustion.

Oh, how the young ladies swooned that day.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, does this count, RD? (about 10 grafs into the thing...)

As a member of the Annapurna [Nepal, 1978]team working as a base camp manager, [Christy] Tews and her nine companions had many tense moments.

Sometimes low supplies, no kerosene, and a walkout by the Nepalese sherpas plagued the team, but these incidents were, in comparison, the least of the climbers' concerns. The ascent was accomplished in the worst avalanche season in memory and although no one was swept away in a wall of snow, an avalanche roared just short of Base Camp I where Tews was supervising. No one was hurt but the gigantic winds the rushing snow kicked up flattened tents and bowled over the film crew.

Although Tews never made it to the top of Annapurna I, her team's efforts contributed to the successful ascent of Irene Miller and Vera Komakova from Camp V at 24,000 feet to the 26,504 summit. They, part of the all-woman expedition, were the first Americans and first women to reach the peak's top.

It was the D'Artagnan attitude of "One for all and all for one" that contributed to the winning expedition. Tews, as base camp manager, was responsible for the movement of 13,000 pounds of support equipment up the mountainside.

by L.L., Tahoe Daily Tribune, Mon., April 5, 1981

Posted by: Loomis | January 11, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

SCC: April 13

Posted by: Loomis | January 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Mormon doctrine, but my observant Mormon friends who don't drink coffee, tea, or caffienated soft drinks do eat chocolate.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Sea level is my friend.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 11, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Spoken like a fellow seadog, Don.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I always thought a level sea made for boring sailing...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, my youthful bias is going to show here, but I don't think any bump on the planet that lacks permanent snow is a proper mountain. Mountains are big majestic things with glaciers.

As a kid, the following is what I could see from my back yard most summer days:

That, my friends, is a mountain.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ranier, RD? It's a beautiful mountain.
I won't argue with you about the definition of a mountain, but I've been awfully winded and tired walking in the Appalachians. I did the profile trail of Grandfather Mountain (6200 ft). Boy, it's chilly even in August at Mt. Mitchell (6780 ft).

Posted by: Slyness | January 11, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I have provided belay service to the Boy as he "rock-climbed" in the local grain silo converted to climbing use. Does that count?

Oklahoma has several mountain ranges of such ancient provenance that their altitude leaves Ivansdad giggling at the appellation "mountain". When we first visited the Rockies the Boy was very impressed. We're better off than Kansas, though; they only have the Flint Hills.

Mudge, how did scandalizing the rig on the catboat help your predicament? Was the boat shocked into calm sailing? Did you use your blue bottom?

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 11, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Mt. Rainier is 15,000 feet of active volcano. One day it will blow and my entire extended family will be knocking on my door for a place to stay. If I am lucky.

I guess I am a regional snob about mountains the way some folks are about winter weather. When I first moved to Northern Virginia I was shocked by how cold the winters are. A coworker from Chicago immediately chimed in, "You think that's cold? Why where I grew up..."

You can probably finish the rest.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I've driven across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Does that count?

Posted by: TBG | January 11, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Ranier is gorgeous. A few years back we stayed at the lodge in the park which is right at the snow line even in July. With a good pair of binoculars you could see the base camp they used for the Day 2 ascent. My wife just shook her head in amazement and declared them crazy. I tried to talk her into a hike around the mountain, but we didn't have the week to do that.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 11, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Best weather description I ever got was from a guy from Lethbridge, Alberta. I asked him what it was like in Lethbridge and he responded "Oh, 50-50." Eventually I figured out he meant a 50 mph wind and 50 degrees below zero.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

One of the cool things about Mt. Rainier is the "floating mountain" phenomenon. Here's a picture I found.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Great article, Joel. I had never seen it before - classic Achenbach.

Local reaction to Sir Ed's death:
What acclaimed Washington mountaineers are saying about the death of Sir Edmund Hillary (I love living where there are local mountaineers):

# Ed Viesturs, 48, of Bainbridge Island and North America's most accomplished alpine climber, has reached the summit of Mount Everest six times.

"When I was just starting climbing, I read everything I could about it. A lot of those early adventure stories focused on Hillary. We all read about him. You say Everest and Hillary comes to mind immediately. It's the same as when you talk about the moon and you think of Neil Armstrong."

# Jim Whittaker, 79, of Port Townsend was the first American to climb Everest, 10 years after Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top in 1953.

"I was in the Army when (Hillary) climbed it, and I was jealous as hell. He was a good guy and did a great thing, and later he did great things for the people of Nepal. I knew him quite well, and it's too bad. He was not at all affected by his notoriety."

# Eric Simonson, 52, of Ashford is part owner of International Mountain Guides. He has led Everest expeditions and has reached the peak once.

"I remember meeting (Hillary) in Pokhara, Nepal, in 1983. We were in a hotel bar and I kept looking over at this guy and I just knew it was him. I finally summoned up my courage and went over and asked to shake his hand. He was very gracious. He's always been a huge hero to me."

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, RD, and when we say "the mountain is out", it means it's a clear, sunny day (and is probably July or Aug).

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

OK, you say "Rain-yer" and I say "Ra-neer". Do we get to pick?

Posted by: ebtnut | January 11, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Someone wanted me to post Terminator-Hillary on my blog. I think your imaginations can do just as good a job... but it's there now anyway.

Thanks for the Romney caffeine info, Mudge. I once asked a Mormon friend if hot chocolate was forbidden and he looked at me like I was a fool and said "No!"

Posted by: Jumper | January 11, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

re: "floating mountain". sweet pic, RD. It's pretty fun to be climbing on a foggy day, total whitewash, can't see anything, and then getting above the cloud, and having a gorgeous view. or, when you start really early in the day, but by midmorning the morning fog clears and you get a shot of the valley. I haven't ever done Rainer, but it's on my list. I'm hoping to go out to the Rockies this summer, do a 14'er.
My qualification for defining "mountain" is less, "does it have snow in July," and more, "how much of an elevation gain are we talking". hence, there are plenty of legit mountains in the Adirondacks or Whites (NH), and these become even more legit when carrying a 65lb pack :).

Posted by: Tangent | January 11, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Got back to the quiz--got 11/13. Missed pizza and silent pics. Counting the minutes to 5:00. Need to make sure our reports are done before I leave, though. Had two late nights with work this week, so I'm ready for WEEKEND!!

Posted by: ebtnut | January 11, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine cocoa served on a mountaineering trek would be Haute Chocolate, no?

And let's not forget the expedition to the twin peaks of the Mt. Kilimanjaros...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

When we first moved out here (25 years ago), and I got over my shock of needing a heavy jacket when driving to Paradise on Mt Rainier in June, I thought I might be able to climb it someday. But I came to my senses. A colleague of mine climbed it with his son. They had to take a training course, learning to use ice axes, among other things. He said the guide was leaping up the trail like a goat, while my colleague (about 50 then) was not...When the day came for the climb, the "easy" trail they planned to use was not going to work, for some reason (mudslide, I think), so they had to go a different, presumably harder, way. He survived, but it pretty well convinced me there was no way I wanted to go through all that, or would ever be fit enough. And climbers die there (not to discourage you, Tangent, but be prepared! and careful!).

The book about Everest, Into Thin Air, is very good. Again, I don't know why people would put themselves through that, even the ones who practically get carried to the top. It ain't no cakewalk, that's for sure.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, I was going to say, the natives say Ray-NEER - but actually, the natives say Ta-HOME-ah. Heh heh.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where'd everybody go?!?

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking - I had almnost forgotten about the phrase "the mountain is out." What a lot of memories that brings back. I do so much miss the Pacific Northwest, dreary days, aggressive moss, scary-big slugs and all. Although, sadly, I understand that neither "Vitamin R" nor "Oly" are still produced. (Them were the local brews.)

ebtnut - Mt. Rainier is pronounced "Ray-Near" with equal emphasis. Just like the beer.

But to fool naive tourists locals have been known to call it "Rain-yay."

Next up: how to pronounce Puyallup, Wahkiakum county, and Chinook.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Glacier fields in Gl. Pk, nr. Yoki-land

Mineral King,High Sierra
Mt. Whitney, High So. Sierra

Stars press down so hard, dizzy w/ d/lite.

Posted by: cp | January 11, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Tahoma rules!

And I think you are right. There is slightly more emphasis on the second syllable or Rainier.

Man, I've been gone *way* too long!

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Rd! Banana slugs

Ferns, blkberries, temp rain forest in the Cascades; Howdy, rf, we have 1 too, but chillier.

Maybe Big Foot in it.

Posted by: cp | January 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

6/10 on the sports quiz and 12/13 on the movie quote quiz. I can live with that.

Here's a list from AOL of the 10 ugliest cars:

It includes the Datsun B210. I remember seeing one on a flatbed a few years ago with a license place designating it as an Antique. There is something seriously wrong with that.

The list also includes the Citroen 2CV and the marvelous line that driving it is "some of the most fun you will have at near-stationary speeds." I think bc might be able to address that point.

Posted by: pj | January 11, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Since it's Friday and quiet, here's one of my favorite commercials for a certain PNW beer - and it illustrates the Doppler effect:
Search on Rainier Beer commercial, and there are a slew of good ones. But not my all-time favorite, with local mountain climber Jim Whittaker (or Lou, I'm not sure - they're twins), saying he enjoys Rainier Beer in the HEEEEEEEM-a-lay-as.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

A very interesting study: remove the large herbivores, and the trees get sicker?

It all comes down to the ants. Apparently.

While this says the trees fail to take care of the ants, the Dung question seems unanswered to me.

Some people think that allergies (and autoimmune diseases) come from an bored immune system, much in the same fashion that not getting landscaped bores acacias into stopping their ant farming.

I think the answer is more complex, but it's something to think about. Profound, even, maybe. The biggest threats are rarely the ones you see right in front of you.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 11, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's rainier out now than it was this afternoon. That's what I know.

Posted by: TBG | January 11, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I personally prefer flat STILL surfaces. The ocean is nice but it moves. Put me on a floaty thing on an ocean, or bay (anything bigger than a small lake - really small) and I become capable of lauching projectiles.

Its a skill.

Posted by: dr | January 11, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I heard several interivews with people who worked with Hillary in the past. He preferred to be called Ed. He looked more like a Sir Edmund to me though.

Very nice story Joel.

Posted by: dr | January 11, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

There is a terminology issue (there always is). If you can get to the top of the mountain without having to rope together or use the technical gear, purists call it "scrambling", not climbing. So by that standard I have not climbed any mountains.

RD, wonderful photo of Mt. Ranier.

I know three people that have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (another hike/scramble, actually). While not considered extraordinarily difficult, the altitude is no joke; it's higher than anything in the Canadian Rockies or lower 48 states.

On mountain climbing and Mt. Everest, here's the interesting story of an Everest climber that stopped his climb to rescue another climber left for dead by his own party:

Posted by: SonofCarl | January 11, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I am the reverse of RD's snobbery. The Appalachians, so I understand, were once a mighty mountain chain to dwarf the puny and pathetic Rockies. You want to find those mountains now, just look down. You're standing on it. The whole Eastern sea-board used to be Appalachians, before time ground them down into soil.

Johnny-come-lately strato-volcanoes? A flash in the pan. I have no time for such pusillanimous structures. If it doesn't last half a billion years or more, it's unworthy of my notice.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 11, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I shouldn't have said "pusillanimous." I'm sorry. I apologize. I should have said "ephemeral," or "mayfly-like."

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 11, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Back in my (much) younger years, I was a pretty decent downhill skier and tho many ski slopes are named "Mt. (fill in the blank)" most are just really, really big hills. Also, they don't require any of that actual climbing nonsense, so until they install a chair lift on Everest, Kilimanjaro or Ranier, count me out, I'll be fine living vicariously thru the magic of digital photography.

Posted by: TLF | January 11, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

What a nice article, Joel.

I read "Into Thin Air" I think in one sitting. Very good book. And very revealing into the type of personality(ies) which seem to be required for that kind of activity.

Ah, takes me back to my younger days, when my knees were whole (I thought) and didn't creak and crack, and I tromped around some of the Alps in Switzerland (not seriously, mind you) and walked and walked and hiked in their glory. Lost a lot of weight, too. Too bad I can't do all that walking now.

Hillary strikes me as a very nice guy to know. I'll bet his the honey from his hives were (wait for it) the "bees' knees".

Have a great weekend without a Redskins game, everyone (we won't talk about the Lions anymore).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 11, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

From purple mountain's majesty to amber waves of grain (or hay), here's a passionate defense of steak vs tofu.

Very emoo-tional read.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 11, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, yes, the Appalachians are an old mountain range. As is the misnamed New River which flows through Virginia and West Virginia and eventually ends up in the Ohio River. The New River is, in fact, quite old - one of the oldest rivers if I remember my college geology properly. We should, I think, have some sympathy for the new kids on the block like the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas and the Cascades. They are young and inexperienced and a bit immature. That's why the occasionally blow their tops. Eventually they'll settle down and become stately senior citizens like our very own Appies. And, yeah, a few hundred million years should do it.

Speaking of Sir Ed, the Himalayas (mountaitudinal young'uns if there ever were any) were formed by India ramming into Asia. Can you imagine the phone calls in relation to that? Rameesh calls home and says "Um, hi Mom. I, uh, had a little, um, incident driving the sub-continent. I seem to have had a little collision with, um, Asia." Or the cop writing up the accident report. "The extent of the damage indicates that defendant was traveling at two-and-a-half inches per year, well in excess of the posted limit of three-quarters of an inch per year." Or the insurance agent writing up the claim.

Posted by: pj | January 11, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I like that, steak vs tofu link, except I'm really not into steaks. I deeply and sincerely prefer hamburger. When we were kids, we never ever had steak. Steak had to come from young cattle, and you sold those. Pot roasts in abundance (long slow cooking time),hamburger, and stew in those days would be made from older animals.

It's sort of like when my mom was a girl, the really poor families had lard on their bread at lunch. They had to sell the cream for cash.

Posted by: dr | January 11, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

That IS a good measure of being cattle-rich and cash-poor, dr.

My mom pinched every penny she could, and bought sale meat to be sure we had good food that was cheap. Hamburger was also our standby beef source, but we did have steaks with bones and such once in a while (not expensive cuts).

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 11, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

evening, everybody!
11/13 on the movie quiz. Skipped the sports quiz -- who needs the humiliation? Been thinking about the plethora of pundits and prognosticators. IIRC in the dark ages of my youth when there was Huntley/Brinkley and Cronkite, there wasn't anywhere near as much "commentary" masquerading as news. Maybe it was because the news-hole was only a couple hours every evening. They could easily dig up enough *actual news* to fill the slot. Now with the 24/7 news-hole, its more of a corporate-sponsored filibuster. Just keep talkin' keep those eyeballs on the screen, and it doesn't matter what you say. While we would like to think its the newsmedia's job to inform, their real job is to sell ad minutes. Regular print media (not tabloids) usually do a much better job of distinguishing "op/ed" from "news." That said, I feel Joel's role in all this is to entertain me, which he does admirably. Of course, now that he's famouser, he better hope that Morton fellow who wrote the bio of Tom Cruise doesn't come after him.

Posted by: freakish outlier | January 11, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I scaled an halibut .i is black.

Posted by: ayn | January 11, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Tim wrote: "If it doesn't last half a billion years or more, it's unworthy of my notice."

Tim must be a devout fan of Twinkies.


As for the alleged debate between steak and tofu, said debate is beneath my contempt. Tofu. Please. *snorts contemptuously*

For those of you who are wondering exactly what Tournedos Rossini is, may I present:

2oz Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 slices of White Bread, crusts removed
4 tournedos of Beef Filet Mignon (tournedos)
Salt and Black Pepper
4 x 2oz slices of Raw Foie Gras
2 tbsp Port
1 tbsp Brandy
1 tbsp Madeira
2 fresh Black Truffles, thinly sliced
6 oz. Beef or Veal Stock

1. Preheat the oven to warm.
2. Cut the slices of bread into circles a little larger than the circumference of the beef tournedos then heat half the butter and a little of the oil in a frying pan, add the bread and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and place on a heatproof serving platter.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter and oil in another large frying pan. Season the beef with salt and pepper then add to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan with tongs, place each on top of the fried bread and place in the oven to keep warm.
4. Add the foie gras to the pan and sauté for 1 minute on each side, depending on the thickness. Remove from the pan with tongs, place once slice on each tournedos and return to the oven to keep warm.
5. Add the port, brandy and Madeira to the pan and bring to the boil, scraping up any bits in the bottom of the pan then boil until reduced by half.
6. Add the stock and sliced truffles, bring back to the boil and continue to boil rapidly for about 5 minutes to reduce.
To serve - pour the sauce over the top of the tournedos.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Re: mountaineering. I do not climb. I have belayed. Hubby has climbed rock and ice. We have a garage full of gear as well as numerous photos of fellow-climbers' bottoms as he followed them up. They *never* take pictures of the view from the top.

Posted by: freakish outlier | January 11, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

pj, LOL.

In 1995, Queen Elizabeth made Sir Ed a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of chivalry in the UK. Among the Knights Companion, he is the only non-Brit. Since membership is given solely at her discretion, this shows what the Queen thinks of his achievements.

Posted by: Slyness | January 11, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" for the last hour and ya know, I don't think it has lost anything.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, Freakish Outlier and ayn! Mudge, stop that. You're just teasing us. I recently finished cooking and consuming perfectly fine pork chops, and here you are with your tournedos of beef. I'm not even hungry and my mouth is watering.

ScienceTim, visit Oklahoma. We have several mountain ranges, including the Wichitas and the Ouachitas, which meet your criteria.

I'm off. I promised the Boy I'd sit in the same room with him, read my book, and occasionally glance up at the screen while he watches "Herbie: Fully Loaded". The things we do for our children. Enjoy your evening, all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 11, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's because it had never much of anything to start with, Mudge.

Yes, unkind. But that movie has made me really cranky after around 25 viewings, mostly against my will.

The pacing is anemic once you've seen it a couple of times, because it's suspense, and if you know, it kills the suspense, and there's no action to replace the suspense, so you're watching nothing but a thumb-twiddle of a scene.

For the same reason, I saw Jaws more than twice I'd be begging the shark to hurry up and eat everybody and put an end to such a misery of the movie. (And I do like Richard Dreyfuss).

Interestingly, the hand signals used at the end of CEotTK is supposed to be based on a music notation designed for deaf kids. I never have seen it used in real life.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 11, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing here, Wilbrod. Do you think maybe watching CEOTTK 25 times, many of them against your will, might have contributed slightly to your jaundiced view that it lacks suspense?

Yeah, it drags a bit. But it did that from Day One. But I haven't seen it in 10 or 15 years, so I'm enjoying it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

My wife and son and I have started watching "Heroes" on DVD. We have never seen it before. Given the writer's strike, it seemed a prudent investment.

So, I am to understand that saving the cheerleader implies saving the world.

SciTim - yes Rainier is a Johnny Come Lately on the scene. But I have a feeling it will make quite an impression before it is done.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 11, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I started watching Heroes somewhere in the middle, so I never quite got who everyone was, and what was going on - but somehow it was still enjoyable for me. I like the Japanese bits the most.

And I meant to mention earlier, I'm so glad that kguy likes Wallace and Gromit.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 11, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Rainier, but he sure had great taste in women. I mean, wow, have you ever seen Grace Kelley in "It Takes a Thief"? First he gets his own mini-country and right on the French Riviera, too, then he gets her. Some people have all the luck.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 11, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Been lurking for a few days, no time to log on and post, and so taking up a couple of stale boodle-topics or mini-topics. Anyway, cool dude Sir Edmund. I'd no idea he had done so much other stuff. The combination of humility and competitive drive worked for him. About sports analogies. The ones that drive me bananas are when a sports metaphor is used in a different sport--for example, a "home run" to mean a long forward pass in football. I despair of the human imagination when I hear stuff like that. Quite possibly, some have the same reaction to sports metaphors in general. I can see that. Consider once again the Ali-Foreman analogy. There is some superficial appropriateness here, because Foreman was younger and a big guy, and a lot of people thought he would just beat Ali up. And it was basically Ali's hard training and sound strategy that won the day. But when I write it down and look at it on the screen, the metaphor just seems sort of gross. Presidential candidates are supposed to be engaging in the clash of ideas and policies, not whupping on each other's craniums. Sorry about the rambling post. It's been a bad day and I needed to write about something external.

Posted by: Woofin | January 11, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to post after myself, and continue the random boodle-walking, but there are two Mt. Rainiers: the one that's pronounced as if it meant "more rainy" is a town along Route 1 in P.G. County, Md. The one that's pronounced Rain-EAR is the volcano in Washington state. And of course, the beer. Oh man, I better stop for a while.

Posted by: Woofin | January 11, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Woofin, good to hear from you. Don't worry, you're not boodlehogging till you've got five in a row.

Posted by: Slyness | January 11, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I lived in MD Mount RAYnear, circa 1992

Posted by: cp | January 11, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I can't wait for 10-15 years to pass before I see it again, Mudge.

Some books I like to re-read every year or so. Others need at least 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years to mature in between readings, depending on the annoyance factor.

I think the Scarlet Letter may be a 50-year deal. I frightened myself by indulging in an analytic discussion of the book a few days ago without having read it since high school.

And yes, CEotTK does hold up well with time.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 11, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I've only scrambled. I used to collect plants in the SNP for my thesis and never passed up a chance to take the trail to the top of Hawksbill Mt. from the parking area on the Skyline Drive. The view of the valley and Tanner's Ridge was worth it every time. I would do the same when I was near Old Rag.

Posted by: jack | January 11, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Not much of a moviegoer, but I've thought about how books hold up over time, or don't. For years, I loved Dorothy Sayers, did a lot of rereading, especially Nine Tailors, but also others. Then one year I was done with NT... just done with it. My interest in Christianity and theodicy (the major subject) hasn't diminished any. I think the book treats its themes very intelligently, weaving together social changes in Britain, the travails and losses of World War I, the uneven modernization of technology, consideration of the church as a social service agency, the church as supernatural sanctuary, etc., etc., lots of meaty stuff if you like that sort of subject matter. The detective, Lord Peter, is human and fallible, not a stick figure, or at least a rather supple stick figure. But now, I'm just done with the darn book. Not sick of it. Done, that's all. Done with mysteries in general, I think, pretty much sucked 'em dry. No time, I suppose. Not worth the trade-off. But also, I think, the fantasy element has grown irritating. There is always that, even in the most drearily realistic police procedural. The detective is Strong, he's gotta be or who'd read. He's a voyeur who is honest and doesn't take advantage. And I'm tired of leaning on this man, this woman, this Detective, this fantasy. I'm tired of the whole intricate set-up for the confrontation at the end. (Wow, it's my night to be verbose. Oh well, roll with it.)

Posted by: Woofin | January 11, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CP, Comanche Moon, in a six-part mini series starts this Sunday. Reviews suggest that it isn't as good as Lonesome Dove, but how could it be?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 11, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Woofim, I adored Dorothy Sayers when I was a very young adult, but I haven't reread her. You have persuaded me that I should.

Now, Good Night All.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 11, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I watched CE3K a couple of weeks ago with the kids. Thankfully, they enjoyed it, and my oldest recognized the significance of the Navy torpedo bombers at the beginning of the film [I was so proud]. A fine film IMO - not Spielberg's best (hey, it's no "1941," right?), but quite enjoyable.

And hey, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is on now. I detect a not-so-subtle theme here.

As far as pj's "Ugliest Cars" link... I've owned a couple of them (heck, I only sold my Rampage a couple of years ago), and wouldn't mind owning a couple more. A guy I know raced 2CVs in a spec series (all 2CVs) in Europe, he's got great stories about ferocious wheel-to-wheel battles in those little crates.


Posted by: bc | January 11, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, Lord Peter Wimsey can certainly grate on me after a while, as well. I've only read a couple Sayer books featuring him (Gaudy night) is one. Witty, but artifical.

For me, I re-read a book if it's better than most books you could pick up and it fits your mood for storytelling at that moment. Dorothy Sayers... doesn't capture my particular moods.

For me, most mysteries are not worth re-reading while you can still remember whodunit, unless the book has considerable meat on the side.

I've read about 80 Agatha Christie books, and I re-read them ONLY if I don't remember the plot from the title. Then I check the first chapter and THEN, I decide whether I want to read it or I remember it already.

Everybody goes through phases where they have had enough of a good thing.

Right now with TV blaring endless Law and Order, CSI, news, etc. the last book I want to pick up is a police procedural or any books focusing on the horrors of human nature.

Most often, the books I re-read endlessly are books that have humor or a certain poetry in them.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

SCC ad infinitum for my punctation errors today. I just can't seem to bung the commas and dots and dashes down on paper quite properly.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Yep, Woofin, sometimes you just have to let it all hang out. Interesting. I read several DS novels sooo many years ago. I think it might be interesting to take another look.

I'm like Wilbrod, I have a few books that I pick up and re-read every couple of years. Comfort books.

12/13 on the movie quiz! yea!

I hope Joel is getting some rest...I loved the NH kits, but he must be exhausted!

Good night all.

Posted by: Kim | January 12, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Might as well sign off with Klaattu's closing speech at the end of TDtESS:

"I am leaving soon and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly.

The Universe grows smaller every day -- and the threat of aggression by any group -- anywhere -- can no longer be tolerated.

There must be security for all -- or no one is secure... This does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly.

Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves -- and hired policemen to enforce them.

We of the other planets have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets --and for the complete elimination of aggression. A sort of United Nations on the Planetary level... The test of any such higher authority, of course, is the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots -- Their function is to patrol the planets -- in space ships like this one -- and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression we have given them absolute power over us.

At the first sign of violence they act automatically against the aggressor. And the penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk.

The result is that we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war -- free to pursue more profitable enterprises.

We do not pretend to have achieved perfection -- but we do have a system --
and it works.

I came here to give you the facts.

It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet -- but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder.

Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace. Or pursue your present course -- and face obliteration.

We will be waiting for your answer.
The decision rests with you."

So, Klaatu berada nikto, y'all.


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I think both your points are right on the money. There is indeed a difference between personally having got all you could out of something, and its "not holding up" in some bigger sense. And it's true, TV is on such a jag with crime and mayhem these days, you can OD just leaving the TV on for background noise.

Posted by: Woofin | January 12, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

It's always about Hillary, isn't it, Joel.

I am intrigued by the "but for Bill" tack now in fashion.

Who cares? It isn't like this is novel. Would Elizabeth Dole have been elected to the Senate in NC had her husband not been Senor ED?

I am still AB9/11 (anyone but Guiliani)

Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

May I say that it still looks strange to me to spell Hillary, the first name, with two l's. And with that, good night.

Posted by: Woofin | January 12, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

RD, beautiful pictures of Mt. Rainier. I love looking at snow-capped mountains. When I was working in Alhambra, CA, my office had the view of the snow-capped San Gabriel mountain. It was beautiful in the winter.

I've never climbed a mountain before, but I've tracked down to the Grand Canyon floor, does that count?

Of course, not! We are talking about going up, not down!

Well, it was a difficult track/hike/climb. I was only told that it would be just a little hike. Eight miles of nothing but "downhill" and then "uphill" again was not a little hike to me. After that I couldn't get into the car to go home. Then, when I reached home I couldn't get out of the car. When I finally got out of the car, it took me 15 mins to climb the 8 steps into the house. And then I couldn't walk for 5 days and in pain longer.

Posted by: rainforest | January 12, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh, my, rainforest, that was quite a hike! I worked with a man from Arizona who had hiked quite a bit in the Grand Canyon. He told stories about people who didn't understand what they were getting into, and having problems with the heat and dehydration - also, having to hike back uphill is no picnic.

The only time I came close to climbing a mountain was in Maine - Mt Katahdin, the end of the Appalachian Trail. I made it up to the last rocky stretch, and decided it wasn't worth it. I was in my 20s, as fit as I've ever been. I have a picture of me sitting on a big rock, captioned "pooped out on Katahdin". Then, coming down, I experienced vertigo - that was weird. And why I've never tried skiing. Between the chair lift and the vertical-ness, I can't handle it. What a wuss.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 12, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Bill everything, when a Young republican first mentioned Dole for president, I was intrigued because I thought he meant Elizabeth Dole, who I knew had done red cross work and had been Secretary of Labor and Transportation.

When he made it clear he meant Bob Dole, my interest level plummeted sharply. He had been running for president for over 12 years already!

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

So, may I say with due respect, comparing Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Dole is grossly incorrect.

Mrs. Dole was originally a Democrat and started working in the White House (not being married in) during the Lyndon Administration, stayed in through the Nixon administration, got appointed to the Federal Trade Commission before I was BORN.

Actually she did consider running for president in 2000 but her candidacy never got off the ground.

Many thought W. would pick Dole, but either W or Cheney had other ideas.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

CP, love your poems/haiku.

When I was in secondary school, one of my smart aleck classmates came up with 2 short sentences that was a direct translation from Malay and Chinese to English. It went :

Long time no see
I thought you mati

(follow by smile or laugh)

mati = died (in malay)

We use that to any ex-classmate we hadn't seen or spoke with for awhile (as in a few days). We all were thoroughly amused my those 2 lines and used it whenever we had the opportunity to. Now that we are not young anymore, we only use the 1st line when we do meet up. To use the 2nd line would be very bad PR.

Posted by: rainforest | January 12, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

SCC : BY those 2 lines ...

Posted by: rainforest | January 12, 2008 3:54 AM | Report abuse

I've done my share of scrambling, particularly on a stretch of the Appalachian Trail near the ME/NH border... Those notches lead to some GREAT scrambling, I tell ya!

Hope the weekend treats everyone well; I'll be embedded in front of the TV pretty much non-stop. *L*

*off-to-the-weekend-chores Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. RD, the pictures are so beautiful. I've never been near a mountain or even seen one, other than in pictures.

Good morning, daiwanlan. Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all, what's up? *waving*

I was really surprised that Kerry did not support John Edwards. I did not realize they disliked each other that much. Politics make strange bedfellows.

I know I'm not where I need to be in these political conversations, there's so much I don't know, yet I feel much of the time if we could be just a tad more honest in our assessments, we might be on to something. I looked at 20/20 last night, the last part, and the subject was happiness. What country is the happiest? And Denmark is considered the happiest country. And they pay the most taxes and have health care for everyone. The United States came in at 23rd.

The reporter wanted to know how this could be. A list of what makes Denmark so happy. A lack of consumerism. Yes, they pay the highest taxes in the world, but that's okay because those that benefit from those taxes look like the ones that are paying the taxes. A lot of exercise and social networking. Plus, making a good living at what you like doing. The garbage man is happy in Denmark because he can work five hours a day, and still coach sports, yet make a decent living. Is there diversity in Denmark? No Way.

Has anyone noticed that every sports figure that has gone to court in this country and given time is an African-American? Are we the only ones doing wrong? If one looks at the nightly news, that's the impression. I don't buy it.

The letters concerning race and its impact in this country are still going strong in our local paper. We're even getting responses from other states.

I have the feeling this is going to be one great(?)election for President. I think it will go down in the history books as earth shattering. I also believe that events surrounding this election could turn bad, very bad. And I don't want to get doomsday, but it has an errie feel already.

Anyone know how it's going with the President in the Middle East? Is he reaching his goal? Letterman did his ten list on that last night. Everything is a joke, isn't it?

The impression I was left with after watching 20/20 was that only certain people are happy, and I'm not one of them, and not anyone that looks like me.

Have a terrific weekend, folks. Try to give God some of your time, and enjoy the comfort of family and friends.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I so love the little faces and the action you put in your morning comment. And that wonderful personality of yours just shines through. Did I ever tell you this? Give my best to the wife, and family.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Danes: happy Scandinavians, bike-riders, nearly all.

Other Scandi peeps: its complicated.

Danes spirited out many Jews from Germany.

Pastry, yum; sausage, so-so; other stuff: blech.

Posted by: cp | January 12, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey Woofin, I have always loved Dorothy Sayers, but then I'm an Anglophile. I find that I binge on certain books and topics, then move on to something else. Several years ago, it was Jane Austen. Not only did I reread all the books, I got into biographies and the history of the era and could have passed a pretty stiff graduate exam on it. Then, onward to other things.

Harry Potter. I've read all the books, enjoyed them, forgotten the plots, and have no desire whatsoever to pick them up again. I guess that's because it's geared for younger readers.

Oh, and good morning, everybody!

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

JAusten fest:PPS, st. Sun., thru Marchish.
Thx. MoD, for McM. lead.

Posted by: cp | January 12, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I think the reason why most of the sports figures going to court are African American because most of the sports figures in America are African American.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 12, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

RD - That would mean that African-Americans are the majority, and is that true? You mean there is something that we hold the majority in other than bad stuff?

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

freakish outlier, THL person?
I'll take ans. off the air.

Posted by: cp | January 12, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - Clearly African Americans dominate professional sports. And I see no problem with this except, perhaps, that it might fool some young black kids into thinking that sports is one of the few areas in which they can succeed. And this would be tragic.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 12, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Nice appreciation of Sir Edmund Hillary:

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 12, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Harry Belafonte came to CPBoy's jz bd. rehearsal Nov. HB railed agst. uber sports focus in yg. bl. men; challenged band peeps to strive similarly in arts. Word.
HB is beaut/hdsome and look'g grt.

Posted by: cp | January 12, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - although I hope it is obvious, what I mean, clearly, is I want black children (indeed children of any race) to understand that *all* potential occupations are open to them. Not just the ones where most of the current participants look like them.

Divin' back into the coffee now.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 12, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Rd -- think Cass'dra is very with you on this. She tutors in math, etc. but also points them in the direction of wonder and worth.

whew. fingers beat on chicklit keys.

Posted by: cp | January 12, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Remember a few months ago when the Big Story was when Fred Thompson would declare? The great Reagan-esque (it's a word now!) hope of the GOP and all that? I've never seen his show, but it must have really great writers. He'd make a great zombie. But a traditional slow zombie; the height, the dead eyes...I Predict (for Entertainment Purposes Only) that Hickabee will win the GA (R) primary and Thompson will take second. On the (D) side, I'll go with Obama and Edwards.

Now I'll go make coffee...

Posted by: freakish outlier | January 12, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

And I suspect the operative word is "dominate", not majority. That would throw a completely different context on the question, right?

Many kids do see the area of sports as their only out. It is the quick fix to the problem. It offers the most money, and all without suffering the rigors of the classroom. Or the benefits that environment offers.

Slyness, how's it looking with the sheriff thing in your neck of the woods?

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Looks like February 2 is the day a decision will be made, Cassandra. I don't have any idea how it will turn out. It's in the hands of the county commissioners, I think.

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - you pose an interesting question with the position "that every sports figure that has gone to court in this country and given time is an African-American,"

I don't think it's completely true, but I haven't done any research or homework on the topic. I will say that plenty of folks in racing - a sport where money is even more important than most - have been sent to prison, but you'd have to go digging around to find any media coverage of it.

RD may have a point about idea that African-Americans may be victims of the football, basketball, and baseball's huge successes, and that the percentages - particularly in he cases of football and basketball - may not be favorable to African-Americans.

I suppose I could say that I've only noticed male sports figures being taken to court and sentenced to jail time, and ask rhetorically if there's some systematic sexism at work here...

Seems to me that the real answers are deeper than that and involve socio-economic backgrounds and preparedness for handling the changes in societal and personal expectations as one's media, wealth, and influential stars rise. [ooh, apologies for the construction of that last sentence, but I don't have time to rewrite] Folks don't realize immediately that with wealth and power come new responsibilities and a different set of rules. Things that might be unnoticeable or regarded as unimportant by "regular folks" are magnified greatly through the media lens of money and power. People are *watching* star athletes, and the athletes need to know this.

Here's something to consider when thinking about the the African-Amercian athlete/conviction question:

Think about the combined court and jail time for the Spears, Lohan and Hilton families. All of them white, all of them wealthy media stars who rose quickly (like athletes, I think, even though the Hiltons already had lots of money), and all of them woefully unprepared for handling the wealth, fame, and power thrust upon them at a young age. And they all couldn't handle it, and all of them ended up in multiple forms of trouble, including legal battles, medical problems, and even the aforementioned jail time.

Again, these people did not realize that with weath and power come responsibility, and that they couldn't *be* "regular" young people. They're under the media megabuck power microscope just like athletes, and even though they likely had the personal and familial resources for better preparation for handling these things than someone like Mike Vick, they *still* couldn't.

Personally, I think the problems are very similar, and may not necessarily limted to skin color or gender.

The problems are very real, and I feel sorry for all of them. They must feel so lost.


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

billeverything writes: It's always about Hillary, isn't it, Joel.

Well, billeverything, would you rather be talking about Victoria Clafin Woodhull?

And Wilbrod, if you point out that Elizabeth Dole was originally a Democrat, shouldn't you also mention that Hillary Clinton was first a Republican?

And to piggyback off Mudge's 1:15 from yesterday afternoon:

top of p. 28, from Carl Bernstein's recent biography about Hillary:

Dorothy wanted to name her daughter Hillary because to her it sounded exotic and unusual, and she liked the fact that "Hillary" sounded like a family name. That could be considered daring in 1947, especially in the Midwest. Hillary was born at Edgewater Hospital on Chicago's Noth Side. She weighed more than eight pounds. "Very mature upon birth," Dorothy liked to say. Hillary, meanwhile, insisted illogically into the White House years that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mt. Everest. (Sir Edmund did not make his ascent until 1953, and until then he was hardly known beyond his native New Zealand, where he lived in relative obscurity as a beekeeper in Auckland.)

Posted by: Loomis | January 12, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

bc, you make some interesting points. So many people go off the rails when they're suddenly Rich and Famous. I wonder what Beyonce's got that they don't. Well, besides beauty and talent. She seems way too busy to get into trouble.

Cassandra, our family doctor is a middle-aged black lady. She's a great doctor and we're lucky to have found her. Ninety percent of the staff at the medical center where she works are either black, Indian or Hispanic, and female. There are also a few Indian doctors and a couple of Russian techs. Every person who walks in there, as well as the friends and relations of these people, can see the benefits of education regardless of race and background.

Posted by: freakish outlier | January 12, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Thanks, RD bc & Cassandra for the ruminations on athletes, African Americans, money & trouble. Up to a point, I think money is a protection. However, when it isn't, I bet it can be a real shock to the suddenly unprotected. [I'm obviously speculating here, having no personal experience with either Real Money or Real Crime.]

college parkian/cp, I hope you get your DSL but am also really enjoying the pithiness of your posts, which nevertheless encapsulate your style well.

Loomis, adding to your H Clinton/L Dole comparison, H Clinton also went to work after law school for the gummint, on the Watergate hearings, and continued to practice law and gain experience thereafter.

Boy & I are headed to Dallas for a regional fencing tournament today; he's up tomorrow. I'll let you know how he did tomorrow night.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 12, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

RD - I get your point, and I concede your point. Young people of my race do believe that sports is the way to go because of the money and the life that is full of glamour and glitter. My whole work in that regard is that education is just as good or better. Everyone can't play ball or be a fantastic sports figure, but we all have God given talents and we are called to use them.

I think part of the problem is that the sports thing looks easy. The classroom in comparison looks hard. If there isn't success in the classroom, then it's just not going to get the attention of the young person. It wil be something they want to get away from, not run to. And part of that problem lies within our community, but there is also blame that goes around. The hardest job I've ever done in my life was go to school. When the guy talked about "institutional racsim", he knew what he was talking about. I've had teachers that tried to take away my credits or said I did not do things. I've had teachers that would not do further explainations of subjects because of that built in prejudice that told them I wasn't going to get anyway.

About time for me to graduate from our community college here, my advisor told me I did not have enough math credits to graduate. He and I went to the administrative official to find out what the problem was. She also told me I could not graduate. We went back to the advisor's office, and he tells me I will have to forgo graduation and take another math course. I told him when donkey's fly. I was going to graduate, and he and the President wasn't going to stop me. And all this at the top of my voice, and every one in the building heard me. There was a line outside his office when I left. And they all looked at me like I had lost my mind. I had lost my mind. For a split second there, I was totally out of it.

What happened? After much searching, my math credit had been completely overlooked. And because I pushed forward, the administrative official at graduation told me I would have to pick up my degree after graduation. During the graduation ceremony I was handed a high school diploma so people would think I was just finishing high school, but with honors.

It's a mean world out there. I knew she was lying, but she needed to save face at my expense. You see her face was white, and mine was, and still is, very much black.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

This almost seems like an Onion article. The White House is predicting that Bush will leave office with a 45% approval rating. That's setting your sights a little low, isn't it?

Some great comments here...

Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I'm so sorry. That was such a spiteful act on the school administrator's part. How pitiful a person she must be.

I suppose that's why people like Beyonce and Sir Ed stick out so much. Having the moral spine to do the right thing even when nobody's looking, but especially when everybody's looking, is a great asset. Wish I had it.

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

This cracked me up, TBG:

George will leave with a 75% approval rating. Yes, 75% of the American public will approve of his leaving the White House.

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, hope your city works it out. I haven't understood what happened, and why things went down the way they did. Still don't. Perhaps we will get some clarity on the whole issue pretty soon. It almost seems if no one really wants to tackle the issue. It seems people think it will go away of itself. I can understand not wanting to tackle it. It might not be pretty in the end game. You think? There I go using a sport's theme to describe something. My bad.

Ivansmom, tell the boy good thoughts and lots of cheers for his game or is it tournament? Does one cheer? Or clap? What?

I laughed at your comment, Slyness, about the administration and their 75% approval record.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I read those comments with tears running down my face from laughing. My daugher said what are you reading. These folks aren't pulling any punches. Boy, are they pissed.

I,too, wonder who will write the story of this Presidency and all those hidden things we know nothing about. One guy commented that this history should keep Barnes and Noble in business for years.

You have to read those comments. These folks don't spare anything.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Cassandra. A fencing tournament is not quite as polite as golf but more subdued than soccer. Football, forget about it. You clap (and cheer, as appropriate) at the end of each bout (match between two fencers) and can cheer softly, but anything resembling coaching will result in penalties. Partly, a fencing tournament is noisy. Not only is there the clash and clang of metal blades, but the points are electronically scored and there is a lot of high-pitched beeping. When he started it would give me a headache. Now I usually don't even notice it.

Headin' out soon. Y'all have a good weekend.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 12, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Have fun, Ivansmom... tell The Boy he's got the Boodle behind him (yikes?).

Cassandra... I sat here and read many of those comments to Mr G and we both laughed hard over them.

Slyness... are you watching the UNC/State game? Wow.

Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

That omsbudsman - er, woman - mentioned Joel's Trail blog as one of the things the Post is doing right, as far as campaign coverage:

"Style adds humanity, and Dana Milbank's pieces have been terrific, putting a reader right in the action, as has Joel Achenbach's blog on The Trail." (She didn't mention the Boodle's ruminations - harumph!)

And she's got a column on the Parade/Bhutto cover story controversy (link in her column today):
"The Post did not adequately explain why Parade published the interview and The Post distributed it."

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 12, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

TBG, that link is great.

I haven't been able to watch that basketball game, but I'm going to try to catch a couple of minutes.

It *is* the first day of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, I'm girding my loins and everything else for that, don't 'cha know.



Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

SCC: the double "bc" signature.

I'm sorry to see that Marion Jones is going to jail for six months for lying to investigators:

I also noted that in the upcoming Congressional hearings regarding baseball, steroids and the Michell Report, those subpoenaed to testify (Clemens, etc.) are not being granted immunity. Someone may go to jail over that yet, even though Mitchell recommeded that no one in the report be charged or targed for prosecution (a little disingenuously, I thought) for the drug charges.

He can't do anything about perjury, though.


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse


I'm very glad my small silly gestures are doing their job. And of course I'll pass your kind wishes along.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, TBG, what gave State the idea they could be competitive in a game with Carolina? God bless them for trying, though.

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I guess playing Little Sisters of the Poor College didn't help them prepare for playing against the #1 team. But 13 points at halftime? That's just crazy.

I'd like to see Sidney Lowe do well. (Just not well enough to beat the Heels.)

Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Whew - busy morning for the boodle! I checked in at 0515 while I was waiting for my son to come downstairs. It's his 17th birthday today and I'd like to know how the heck that happened! Poor kid had to get up at 0500 because he had to go to a retreat today in preparation for his confirmation! Sooo, I felt that the least I could do was get up and fix him a nice breakfast because he won't be back until 2200 or so. A few months ago when I pointed out that the retreat was on his birthday, I had to laugh at the look of horror on his face!

Good luck to the Boy in his fencing tournament.

I feel badly for Marion Jones as well. She's so obviously shattered by these events. It never fails to amaze me, though, when people lie to the authorities. It's probably not going to turn out well and will be much worse in the end. Sigh.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and all the football they could possibly want.

Posted by: Kim | January 12, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Good AP article on Hillary (Ed, not Clinton) in my local paper:

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 12, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to Kim's Son!

Posted by: TBG | January 12, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

What TBG said!

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 12, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

One of the things I always appreciated about Hillary is that he almost invariably referred to "we" or "us" or "Tenzing and I" when I heard him speaking of the ascent.

I miss my semi-serious climbing days, but don't expect to reclaim them. Age & beer have taken away some of the tools I needed.

[Semi-public answer to a private inquiry: Allergy to chaff - Lots of straw men have been brutally beaten lately! I felt no desire to continue participating in the slaughter.]

Posted by: Bob S. | January 12, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Kim's son.

I know none of us should lie. It's wrong for any to lie. Yet it makes everything look so petty when those with the highest offices lie, then the people want to hang others that do the same. And I'm not trying to justify Marion Jones, or any other sports figures or celebrity, well-known individual or any of that, it's just where do you draw line? I'm not a lawyer and know nothing of that world, but isn't it called justice? The Bible asks the question, how can I talk about the mote in my brother's eye, and not discuss the one in my eye? Something along that line, not quite word for word, but you get my point.

All of a sudden the nation is really concerned with truth and honesty in the sports world, but feel nothing for that truth and honesty in government. It just does not work that way, people. We will see it again, and we will go, the horror, the horror.

Here we are on the eve of a most important election. And the people want something different, they want change. What has inspired or called for this change? What has gnawed on the gut to seek this change? Why aren't we satisfied with things as they are? Why, pray tell, are we clamouring for change? Will sending a couple of liars to jail in the sports world ease the call for change? Will we feel justice has been done by sending these sports figures to jail. Will it send a message to all liars? Are we working our way from the bottom to the top?

I would really like to know because sometimes I feel like I'm outside of the thinking that says something isn't right here. And maybe my thinking cells are gone, and I just don't have the capacity to wrap my mind around it. Perhaps it is too high for me.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I hope it's not heresy to state this, but maybe some folks have decided not to accept the current state of things as the inevitable will of Allah!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 12, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - Naah, forget it. That would imply that large numbers of folks have decide to accept empirical evidence of lack of progress as evidence that their internal mindsets might be faulty. No chance!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 12, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

(... have decided ...)

Posted by: Bob S. | January 12, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I know most of you can see I've been here the bigger part of the day.

I'm so stressed I could probably start screaming or something. I'd hate to see what my blood pressure numbers look like!

I'm going to try and read a little bit, maybe that will help.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

deep breaths, Cass'dra;
book sounds good
take care
my prayers to you

Posted by: cp | January 12, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Snowing in Green Bay, but Seahawks up 14-7.Looks like a shootout in the snow!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 12, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, cp. Read my Sunday school lesson for tomorrow. You'll never guess what the lesson was about? LOVE.

God is good. I so needed those words. We all do.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 12, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse
The latest round of banished words is up. Some are funny, others implicate.

Posted by: Jumper | January 12, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I love playoff games in the snow.

Brett's having a whale of a game, but the Seahawks aren't done yet.

Great stuff.


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

bc, there's a lot of slipping and sliding. I'd say the snow has favored Green Bay.

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Two great stories from today's NYT.

The first about a New Mexican Indian tribe who loves the Cowboys, and the second about the Sherpa community in NYC who loves Sir Edmund Hilary.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 12, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Just an incredible performance from Green Bay, simply overwhelming, especially given they spotted Seattle 14 points.

Now for the main event...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

And happy birthday to Kim's son!!

Cassandra, for what it's worth, I am ALWAYS focused on telling the truth. Of course, some who take an opposing view don't share my focus. Such is life.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 12, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Got to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 1981, climbing with the bro who was living in Kenya at the time. Very hard three days up, two down.

As the bro so succinctly put it to friends, describing the last night on the mountain, "We climbed, and then we rested. And then we p*ked, and then we climbed again.

It was magnificent. And something I'm glad I did before I die.

We regularly walk up the mountains that are walkable in Banff -- Tunnel, Sulpher Mountain, Stoney Squaw, Rundle, Castle, and Mount Louis.

Posted by: Yoki | January 12, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Bill Everything, that's true.

However Elizabeth Dole had an independent political career, although mostly unelected before she became an U.S. Senator. In fact, the Sens. Doles only married in 1975 after she had already worked in the White House under two presidents.

So your comparsion to Hillary was actually nonsensical.

Hillary was mostly been working in private practice (and making more than her husband most years) prior to the White House years.

Both women have a J.D. and both are relatively new senators, and both have political husbands, and both have ran for the presidency, but there the similarity in their careers ends.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I wasn't comparing Elizabeth Dole/Hillary. I would be the first to admit I know nothing about E. Dole's background.

I was simply trying to say that I think that candidates should be based on merit. While their background is important I guess I don't understand why the historical fact of her marriage to Bill disqualifies her for the presidency.

No more no less.

Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

And this; Elizabeth Dole may be the greatest thing since bread came sliced but, except for her marriage union with Bob Dole, I am sorry but there is no way she would have been able to ascend through the North Carolina republican party to run for senator.

Does it matter? No. Does it diminish her? No. Very few people in politics rise to the level she has without standing on tall shoulders. Those shoulders come in different forms, e.g., family, mentors, etc. That's just the way things normally work. I don't see why marriage is a disqualification. I meant no disrespect.

Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, I certainly agree with your main point, bill everything. It's all about relationships, but then, what isn't?

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I picked a bad example. I could care less about Ms. Dole. I assume she is better than Jesse Helms. SCC

Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Bill, I will not have to atone for the sin of voting for Jesse Helms, because I never did.

Haven't voted for Elizabeth Dole, either, and won't.

Posted by: Slyness | January 12, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Without knowing anything about Elizabeth Dole, you say that she wouldn't have been able to run for Senator in NC. Just because you know.

Are you familiar with the records of most female senators in Congress and how they came to be there? Do you really think they all married their way into Congress?

One female senator from Maryland ran on 30+ years of social work experience and she won and has been there ever since, as she serves as a good voice for her constitutents.

I don't think Hillary's marriage disqualifies her at all.

I do question whether any woman, in this day and age, should have to run for president with a marriage being the bulk of her qualifications.

I mean, 2 terms in the Senate is a decent elected record, but Senators have relatively low odds of winning presidencies based on their Senate experience. Bob Dole certainly tried. So did Al Gore.

But there could be a good possibility that Hillary, if she wins the nomination, could be facing a XXX and Dole ticket if the Republican party really thinks the female vote would let her win.

If that should happen, what I comment on today is only a small part of what the Republicans could engender in critique of Hillary's claims of "expertise".

I personally think it's unlikely such a match-up will occur.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

And no, I wouldn't vote for Elizabeth Dole either, she's been voting mostly the Republican party line in Congress and I am not interested in THAT.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

bill everything, I don't think Hillary's being married to Bill Clinton disqualifies her at all. And I'm sure the experience of being First Lady prepares her for the reality of being president, in ways that none of the other present candidates have experienced. But I'm not sure it's all that much more valuable, in the long run, than Obama's pre-Senatorial life experiences, or Edwards's('s's'). To me, it's temperament, character, intellectual curiosity and depth, judgment - I'd rank the 3 of them very close. But Hillary C has a lot of baggage, not to mention her husband himself (apologies to Yoki's Himself). Not her fault, exactly, but the rabid right wingers are no doubt salivating at a second chance to take her and Bill down. I don't want to watch again.

I'm not crazy about dynasties - not the Kennedys, not the Bushes, not the Clintons. But that's just me. If she's the Dem candidate, I'll vote for her, no doubt.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 12, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Washington state has 2 women Senators at the moment, and a woman governor (who won a very close race by about 137 votes statewide). Patty Murray was a state legislator before going to DC. She won her state seat after her opponent sneered at her for being "just a mom in tennis shoes". She's about 5 foot nothing, but she's in her second Senate term and rising through the senatorial ranks.

My point is that I don't think you need to have been in elective office for years to be qualified to run for president. At this point, maybe the less experience the better. Not that the current WH resident proves that point. I still don't understand how he got elected - oh wait, he didn't in 2000...

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 12, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Boodle. Man, am I beat. We worked hard today, putting up beadboard and installing tile in area that will be behind the stove. (All this in our vacation house.) Got home in time to catch the last quarter of the GB game--that looked like fun. When we left the vac house to drive home I heard a news report the Seahawks were ahead 14 nothing. When I got home they were behind, 35-17. They'd only scored 3 more points -- and Favre and the Cheesies had scored five touchdowns. Wow.

Now looks like it's gonna be 14-14 at the half in the Pats game. It's been a good first half -- but I've been struggling to stay awake. Scotty, fax me some hot coffee, huh?

The Fact Checker column has a good piece exposing Huckabee's 9-9point immigration plan as being copied (partially with some credit) from a think tank article from 3 years ago. Nothing like campaigning on fresh ideas and integrity...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 12, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Mostly, what is this "baggage" that you speak of? That she off'ed Vince Foster? That her husband likes the ladies?

She is a Senator of the State of New York for good grief. If she lacks the goods for public service, how did this happen?

This is starting to be fun. Did I make any recommendation on who to vote for? Just think we need to put the silliness back where it belongs.

FYI fun scandalous web page on Liddy Dole:

I disavow any inaccuracies contained therein.

Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Me: So why are you rooting against the Patriots?

Her: Spite.

Me: Well, so long as there's a reason.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 12, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The following link is toxic.
I'm not kidding, it's awful.
If no else thinks it's funny I promise to talk to someone. You know, a professional.

"Now Daddy is with Joe McCarthy and Ronald Reagan. I hope they stop laughing about the Reds long enough to talk to God about smiting some liberals for me."

Posted by: Boko999 | January 12, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, that Seattle/GB game was a pleasure to watch, and the New England offense is as well. Jax is putting up a pretty good fight, but Brady's darn near unnatural tonight.

Good piece in tomorrow's Outlook on the Great extinctions of species on Earth, and how we may be right in the middle of the sixth Great extinction. The jury appears to be out regarding whether homo sapiens will be part of said extinction:


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Boko, "thanks" for bringing that oil spill over here. What an act.

Posted by: bill everything | January 12, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Well I feel sorry for Ann Coulter's twisted theology. And yes, it's awful to put in that cheap shot at the end.

But it's just as well, if not for that, we might believe Ann was actually feeling grief.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Re. the Sixth extinction piece - I'm trying to figure out if I like this line or not: "We may not be able to determine the cause of past extinction events, but this time we have, indisputably: We are our own asteroids."

Obviously a reference to the KT event, but not all extinctions were caused by asteroids, were they?

I'd have phrased it: We *are* a global catastrophe.

But that's just me.


Posted by: Anonymous | January 12, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Or: We have met the sixth global catastrophe, and it's us.

Or something like that.


Posted by: bc | January 12, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Bc, at least it wasn't "We are our own hemarrhoids."

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 12, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Spent the day scraping and painting one of the many 6 panel doors in the house as part of an ongoing project in our middle girl's room. The cabinets are assembled and ready for paint, then the task of hanging them. They weigh a ton, as I couldn't get any decent shelving material to construct them with and used stair tread instead. The lumber is clear and the cabinets look good, but will need an equally massive cleat to fasten them to the wall. I brought the hinges back to their original state, albeit somewhat weathered, by boiling them in water and removing whatever paint had accumulated on them for the past century. Likewise for some doorknobs with this real cool stamping on them that I salvaged from a project across the street. The doorknobs and a salvaged mortise lock completed the door and gave our daughter the only latching door upstairs. I have filled parts of the crawl under the house with windows, doors, porch rails, balusters, and columns salvaged from around town. I'm a hopeless packrat.

Posted by: jack | January 12, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

that ann coulter, what a sweet and sensitive gal.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | January 13, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Morning,friends. Was that a memorial to her father? Ann Coulter, I mean. It sounded more like the same old tripe she writes everyday. It was creepy.

I've been to sleep, and now I'm up. Woe is me. Too early to be up.

Morning, Scotty, and all.*waving*

I did not look at the football game, but saw some of it in chanel surfing, and boy, was that a lot of snow. It didn't look like football,but more like ice skating.

Mudge, I wondered where you were today. You've been busy, busy. Hope you get some rest for the last part of your weekend.

Elizabeth Dole is a senator from North Carolina, right? I had totally forgotten about her. And the other one, too. What's his name, Slyness? I did not vote for these folks. Just don't see them representing me or my people's interest. They want to be like Ronald Reagan. All Republicans want to be like Ronald Reagan, right?

My dad says every job Elizabeth Dole has had in the government she left in worse shape than when she arrived there. I suspect she does have that networking down to a fine art.

Going back to bed....maybe sleep will be my friend.
God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 13, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Rats. I fell asleep, as I feared. Scotty, if you faxed me that coffee it got here too late. I don't think I saw as much as one second of the second half. Woke to see Jane Seymour doing some infomercial for face cream and thought, "My god, Tony Siragusa's lost a lot of weight!" Then things gradually became clearer.

Boko, don't worry, you don't need therapy...but someone does. That Coulter piece was indeed a laff riot. And it's clear that dementia runs in her family. And bill's right: that column is an oil spill.

Let's see what's on the WaPo home page...hmmph. Not much. An Outlook article (featuring the smiling face of another dementia-riddled jerk, Ronald Reagan) has the following teaser: "The future is murky for a demoralized conservative base." Well, finally there's good news. They deserve all the murk we can shovel their way.

Hmmm. Let's ses what's on TV. A tour of wine country vineyards on NBC. The second half of Bill Maher is on HBO. Also the last 45 minutes of "The Longest Day." Bill Maher wins.

Cassandra, it looks like it's just you and me. Maybe Rainforest will be along in a moment. Got a deck oif cards? We could play pinochle.

*wanders off to ransack the refrigerator, take evening medications, try to locate the TV remote, etc. Might try to reheat that faxed coffee, but that usually doesn't work too well.*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

I probably don't have much to offer, but I'm here if anyone needs me.

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

I think that I'll take a little nap now, but I'll leave this (restatement of my earlier remark) for Cassandra, as a tiny, partial, no-doubt-not-very-useful bit of an answer to her earlier question:
Spake Cassandra - "Here we are on the eve of a most important election. And the people want something different, they want change. What has inspired or called for this change? What has gnawed on the gut to seek this change? Why aren't we satisfied with things as they are? Why, pray tell, are we clamouring for change? Will sending a couple of liars to jail in the sports world ease the call for change? Will we feel justice has been done by sending these sports figures to jail. Will it send a message to all liars? Are we working our way from the bottom to the top?"

Cassandra, lots of folks are happy to tell us that all attempts at change are just a bunch of crap, and every movement to try to clean ANYTHING is just a momentary knee-jerk, soon to revert back to the status quo. It often seems to me that there is a depressingly widespread attitude that God has set the game up this way, and it must be accepted as inevitable.

Maybe so. Maybe not. Sometimes things actually change a little (or sometimes a lot), you know? As far as I can tell, God's OK with a little change every now and then.

Keep the faith!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Bob S., every time I see one of your comments I think I should say this but I don't think I have yet:

Thank you for the recommendation for the book _Le Ton beau de Marot_. When I started it I thought it was horrible--the author spends so much time aggrandizing himself for things like his involvement with the book design (which I think is awful) and the fact that he spent a week on each sentence, or something. The wordplay is so dense and overwrought that it is distracting and irritating. HOWEVER, I kept going and once I got acclimated to his style and once he started trotting out some actual ideas, I was hooked. I guess I will concede to his opinion that he is a genius, and I am glad he took the time to share that genius with us. The book is a treasure. I haven't completely finished reading it, but it has been really fun and mentally stimulating. Thanks again.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 13, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

kbert - Thanks for the feedback. You obviously understand why it's not a book that I recommend to very many people. What he's doing, he does pretty well, I think, but definitely not everybody's cup o' tea!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Marilyn vos Savant's brain locked up for one brief moment. I had to email her.

"Dear Marilyn,
I was upset that you mentioned dogs in your erroneous explanation of wind
chill. I'm sure you recall Mitt Romney's tale of transporting a family dog
by car. In that case the dog survived. Not only that, many laymen simply
don't understand the simple needs of animals at all. I have heard people say
that it is okay to keep pets outside on subzero days because they "can
survive in the wild," without realizing a wild animal has all autumn to
prepare its wintering nest, be it a hole, cave, etc. Pets rely on humans.

I believe it is "heat index" that is arbitrary and applies to skin, and
involves perspiration cooling, and humidity. However, wind chill applies to
any object with an internal heat source, and includes any warm-blooded
animal, engines, electric motors and transformers, outdoor meat smokers and
barbecue pits, jet engines, etc. Many of these are built to withstand the
cooler operating temperatures induced by wind chill, but they are not
magically immune from it. Wind chill is not arbitrary. It increases the
speed of driving objects towards ambient temperatures. A warm object in a
fur coat in cooler ambient air will still cool faster in wind than without

I simply KNOW you understand this, and a mental glitch occurred when you
wrote what you did. I hope you print an explanation, and I hope your column
does not lead somehow to more unintentional cruelty to animals."

Sir Edmund understood wind chill.

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Jumper - Whew! I didn't have my dead-tree handy, so it took me a while to find the "Ask Marilyn" to which you've referred.

(It's here, for those who're likewise missing it. The item in question is the last one: )

Good work with your message to her! Wind chill is definitely a tad more concrete than she was implying.

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that one of our more northern boodlers could do a little empirical testing in order to create a datum or two to send to Marilyn, should a sub-freezing, windy day or night come their way.

Two paper or plastic cups full of water and an empty bucket ought to be sufficient equipment. Place both cups of water on a surface exposed to the same amount of wind, and cover one of them with the upturned bucket. If memory serves correctly, the additional heat created by the friction of the wind on the exposed cup will be insufficient to overcome the increased efficiency of the thermal transfer from water to moving air, and the exposed cup should freeze first. If this happens twice consecutively, I'm willing to call it a statistically significant result.

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, everyone. Was busy yesterday and just now read yesterday's boodle.

Cassandra, wish I'd been here to jump in because I had a small set-to with SO's sister regarding Obama and I could have used some soothing words of wisdom. It started when she told us that she had said to her daughter that if Obama was elected, she (daughter) might as well come over and pick out the things she wanted because she (mother) would be leaving the country. Her granddaugher, bless her heart, said "Why? Just because he's black?" and she responed "partly, but mostly because he's a Muslim" ...and we were off! The thing is, I try not to be drawn into this cr*p because I learned long ago it's nigh impossible to change a racist but what killed me was she was so pleased with herself that she thought she had come up with a legitimate reason to oppose him - apparently being against a Muslim is acceptable to all and sundry while being a racist is not (depending, of course, in whose company you are keeping). Anyway, the upshot is, even tho I shot holes all thru that theory, she will continue to stubbornly believe it contrary to any evidence that is presented otherwise. *Sigh*. It's gonna be a long one, especially if Obama gets the nomination.

And what's really horrifying to contemplate is that it's not just her - most of the members of my immediate family are not only racist but Republican to boot! So I'm not only going to have the whole republican/democrat brouha, I'll be pounding my head against the racism wall as well. My older brother, who is the worst of them, has a mixed-race granddaughter whom he absolutely dotes on and has never explained to my satisfaction how he reconciles his love for her with his otherwise blatant bigotry.

Pretty much the same thing will happen if Hillary gets the nomination. One of SO's friends called her the "C" word - to his credit, he apologized profusely after I went ballistic but it was only because of the disrespect to me personally and not woman-kind as a whole.

Thanks for letting me rant. I'm so glad I joined the boodle where I can go for warmth and wisdom in these verrrrry trying times ahead! Sure you want me to stay? *shamelessly fishing for some strokin'*

Posted by: TLF | January 13, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

TLF - Yikes! No fun. Change really CAN happen, I think, but sometimes it sure do come slow.

On a lighter note, I'm witnessing an arboreal circus in my back yard. A neighborhood cat is stalking three squirrels, which have gone up into the trees, are now frolicking to-and-fro amongst the upper branches of the nearest vantage points, and are chattering madly in the cat's general direction. Anyone who claims that these critters don't intentionally play juvenile games is gonna have a hard sell to me!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Two very provocative articles in the WaPo this morning about Obama. Both highlight the complicate response the nation is having to his racial identity.

This one argues that Obama is not being embraced by the traditional black power structure because of his refusal to play by their rules:

This one argues that Obama's candidacy is getting support from white people who hope his election will alleviate their White Guilt:

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I REALLY wish Senator Clinton was more strongly against growing monopolies, including media monopolies, corporate hegemony, government spying and electronic spying and data mining on citizens, the suspension of habeus corpus, torture, etc.

For any experiments about wind chill, I would suggest evaporation not be used to complicate the data. Thanks for the link to Parade, Bob.

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

TLF - I really do hope you stick around. You add a unique and interesting voice to the boodle.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I've decided that in all good conscience, I can't support Obama because I'm afraid that it will alleviate my white guilt! And then where would I be?

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Jumper - A couple of squares of Glad Wrap oughta take care of that issue, right?

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

SCC: complicated - d d d d d d d d d

Typos are like seeing spinach in your teeth after a date.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

My personal rule of thumb is that a governor in a state that has a strong governor consitution - such as Florida, and unlike Texas or North Carolina where governors' powers are less - gains "experience" in executive matters far faster than a senator. I look at the way a senator has conducted his or her office, although it's a much smaller data set. For example John Kerry was notorious, supposedly, in the length of time it took him to get his office up and running the way it should be. But he did learn, and by the time of the last election I was okay with his cred. While not yet committed, I was disappointed that Richardson dropped out. Romney was a governor, but that dog on the car roof thing...

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

TLF-You've struck on what I believe is the biggest driver of change on the racial front in our country-children. The Frostnieces are a variety of colors and ethnicity but our little latina with the obvious hispanic surname drives us all to be more skeptical of "real ID" and other, mostly republican, proposals to sort the undocumented from the citizens.

Morning boodle! I am dead tired from a long day at the concession stand for the sled dog race yesterday. Our fair city was the finish point for two classes but many of the mushers pressed on for another 101 miles and as of this writing just three teams have completed the full 138 miles. It will be noon today before they are all in. Interesting group these mushers and their teams. I can assure you they would agree with Jumper about the effects of wind chill on animals. My own experience tells me that unprotected skin freezes faster with wind than without. That isn't just feeling colder, that's losing bits of your extremities to frostbite.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Hmm... I can't support Sen. Clinton, because it might alleviate my male-chauvinist guilt, and I certainly can't support any of the white guys, because that would dramatically exacerbate most of my guilts.

It's getting complicated here. All things considered (tm), I kinda wish I was the cat, stalking the pesky squirrels.

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Bob S. as I recall, you were in the USAF, were you not?

You've probably seen more than most regarding the effects of moving air over objects and thermal transfer.

I've had to deal with a lot of that with race car construction and engineering, and found that I can use far smaller radiators and coolers in unobstructed airstreams than those with no airflow. The coolers placed in areas of high airflow are far more efficient than those in static air.

If you look at the top-end high-speed race cars, they have *tiny* air inlets and outlets (it's important to give that air someplace to go) for the radiators and coolers given the amount of BTUs they have to throw off to keep high-horsepower engines at operating temperatures.

On a related note, here's an ode to the destructive power of Tatas, Tatas in the wrong hands, you might say:

I found the article to be somewhat Americentric.

I made some comments there, I wonder how they will be received, given the others that are already piling up.

Here's one I plopped in there:

"One other quick comment: the US has been fighting against nuclear proliferation for years, yet India has had them for decades.

I hardly think it is in America's interests to initiate a policy to fight India or any other country regarding Automotive Proliferation."



Posted by: bc | January 13, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Throw the guilt out the window, it does no good. I have found respect coupled with understanding brings positive change.

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse
Made in the U.S.A. You, however, are not supposed to have one, it seems. Or at least, I have never once seen one in private use in the States.

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Late start this morning. I was up early, early but made the mistake of climbing back into bed. *yaaaaawn*

TLF, I'm glad you've joined us here. I also love hearing about successful relationships between folks of opposing political views.

And I believe that racism will finally be totally eliminated in America when the entire country is a nice shade of brown. It'll take generations, but that should do the trick, shouldn't it? I hope so.

Posted by: TBG | January 13, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Frosty, you worked in the concession stand for a dogsled race? That's neat--I never realized you were an Iditaroadie.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

TBG, TBG, oh my funny, optimistic TBG!!

That's why I'll always love you!

(Ask the Apaches how well they got along with the Utes & Comanches.)

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge - You just will not believe the potential mark-up on a half can of warm Alpo if you can put your stand in the right place!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Frosti - conc'sion st. fare?

TBG -- That is Rich. Rodriguez's Theory of Browness...Amen.

M'ing. 4-c.of-Joe-day. Jane Aus. or Larry McMurtry fest this eve. Trying to get neigh. to tape 1; me.'t-other.

Who is Freakish Outlier? Old boodle-han.?

Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

*chortling at Bob S.'s "if a sub-zero, windy..." (if!)*

That pretty much describes every day in Calgary from early November to late May, except for Chinook days. We are famous for our wind, and next week the annual cold spell is due to hit; daytime highs of -27 C with wind chill of -45 (-49 F). Shall I do the 'speriment?

Posted by: Yoki | January 13, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Yoki - I'd be doing it already, rather than farming it out, but alas, conditions are too balmy here near WashPost HQ!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

R.R. essay on a browning US

Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Mudge-I just aspire to be an Iditaroadie, I'm at the Iditaidiot stage now where I have to have everything explained to me in plain English.

After our recent sports metaphor and gender discussions it was interesting to see the musher world up close. There are no gender divisions in the races, and as far as I could see none in the crowd either. I can't remember the last time I observed a social situation where women and men didn't divide up into any observable gender specific conversations.

%$&*@@it Kuching just sent a crock pot crashing, breaking the removeable crock. This is her first catastrophe that caused lasting damage but I'll be glad when she's done with the feline version of the "terrible twos." Now to figure out how she got on the top shelf of the closet in the first place.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday, all!

Methinks Freakish Outlier is lilith in ga, but I could be wrong, as is often the case.

Sorry about the delayed coffee, 'Mudge. I gotta remember to position the PC closer to the TV so I can multitask better.

TLF, you just have to remember facts are optional for some folks.

*celebrating-the-Pats-but-still-subdued-so-as-to-not-exacerbate-my-leftover-tension-from-last-night-headache Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 13, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Scotty - My Boston buddy (here in NoVa, not up in Mass.) had to be at work at 4:00 A.M. today (WTF!?!?!), so he's also happy but moving slow.

Posted by: Bob S. | January 13, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm doing my part, TBG. My son is a nice shade of brown that I could never hope for. I had a crypto-racist boss that would go on anti-Kwanzaa rants. I'd warn him that he may someday be celebrating it with his grandkids.

Ann Coulter's "eulogy" reveals WAY more than I think she intends for it to. And I don't find it hilarious. I find it absolutely terrifying.

Heat transfer consists of convective, conductive, and radiative components. Conduction is proportional to the temperature difference. Convection is proportional to temperature diffenence and highly influenced by fluid velocity. Any increase in air or water velocity substantially increases heat transfer. That's why blast freezers and convection ovens have fans in them.

Radiative heat transfer is proportional to the difference between the fourth power of the absolute temperatures. That is why sitting in front of a window is much more uncomfortable in the winter than an interior room at the same temperature.

Marylin is confusing wind chill with heat index which factors in humidity which adversely affects the human body's ability to cool from the evaporative effect of perspiration (which increases the conductive effect of cooling, rather than the convective). Since dogs and spaceships don't sweat, heat index is much less meaningful to them.

My parents paid a lot of good money for me to learn these things, so it's good that their beneficence is contributing to the Boodle.

All that said, I think there is an element of weather man hysteria in always trumpeting wind chill numbers just because they do like to make things sound worse than they are.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 13, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

CP-alas, nothing special. Pizza, pop, coffee, hot chocolate, those $1 fundraising candy bars so many swimming and band/chorus/theater parents know, and plenty of free warm water for dogs. Interestingly, root beer was the favored cold beverage. Sold almost no diet cola.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Frosty, just out of general curiosity, I take that "pop" is the term in your neck of the woods for sodas, colas, etc.?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Mornin Boodle
I was going through my writings,looking for something inspirational to put on my frig and I came across this,not written by me of course,but very good for the soul. I thought I would share it with all my imaginary friends.....enjoy!

"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."
Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 13, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"A woman's place is on top."

Any of you who know mountaineering lore and its history will know about this. Had to say it before the Kit changes.

Saw Tim Russert interview Hillary Clinton on "Meet the Press" the this morning. I'm left with more questions than answers.

Early in the show, Russert showed a clip of Bill Clinton's speech in New Hamshire. Yet the sound bite was so short that the point Bill Clinton was trying to make was taken entirely out of context.

Here's what Bill Clinton said at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, while on the stump for Hillary:

"Second, it is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well, how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break.

"This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen...So you can talk about Mark Penn all you want. What did you think about the Obama thing calling Hillary the Senator from Punjab? Did you like that?"

Yet, Russert used only the following sentences trying to infer that Bill was talking about Obama's *candidacy.*: "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."

Why would Russert do such a thing? Russert, like some other commentators, seems to be playing the race card. Tim Russert is a seasoned and experienced journalist. What's going on at NBC, whose parent is General Electric? I'd like answers. Now I could project--and project unrealistically: Perhaps there is some advantage in General Electric, also a defense contractor, having some interest in having U.S. troops in Iraq for the next five generations, as MCain has suggested? Tim, aswers please--I'd like the truth and am averse to offering a false hypothesis.

I also could not believe how Russert ended his news hours, by asking Clinton, in the closing moments of the show, about her biggest public humiliation, using a quotation by female historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, presumably based on Goodwin's work on LBJ, and more recently, Lincoln.

Of course, Hillary had to acknowledge (and she didn't flinch) her biggest public humiliation, a humiliation caused not by her own actions, but by the actions of her husband. What was the point, Tim? And Tim, I certainly hope you ask all the other presidential hopefuls you'll be interviewing on your show in the upcoming weeks, in the last moments of your show, what their biggest public humiliations were? Of course, if they've prepped for it, the answers will be rehearsed. Perhaps you'll make sure to specify whether the humiliation was caused by their own actions, or the actions of others. I mean, after all, Tim, fair is fair, isn't it?

Going out to work in the yard, *with clenched teeth.*

Posted by: Loomis | January 13, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Frosty, I've sold more of those fundraising choclate bars than I care to remember, back in the day when our house was overrun with schoolage kids. Nowadays, the thought of one of those bars makes me cringe.

Loomis, I didn't see Meet the Press, but your description is pretty convincing that Russert was way out of line and over the top. Humiliation indeed.

I'm off to begin making one of my infamous potys of vegetable soup with ground turkey and turkey stock, starting in five, four, three, two, one...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Loomis -- glad I missed the program. I hardly ever watch it anyway.

Welcome TLF (have to concentrate and not call you TBG (not that there's anything wrong with that). The more, the merrier.

Just got off the phone with a Swedish friend in Stockholm (I call occasionally to practice -- my active vocabulary is flaking off), who asked about the election. She asked why more than one person can't be nominated -- well, that's pretty much the European model, and that ain't ever gonna happen here. I'm conflicted as to whether it could or should.

The laundry's done, the plants have to be watered, the nice midday meal has to be prepared (and eaten) and the work beckons. I've got a lot on my plate, but somehow, today just calls out for some relaxation. We'll see who wins.

I certainly hope that some day racism won't exist, but I doubt seriously that it'll happen in my lifetime. And more's the pity, alas.

Have a good rest of the weekend, fellow boodlers.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 13, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Mudge-you are correct in your 11:20, pop is "soda." The households Frostbitten are bilingual so you would be understood if you wanted a coke, then specified a flavor besides cola.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Is that difference between the fourth power of the absolute temperatures, or the fourth power of the ratio of the absolute temperatures?

TGB, you got me thinkin, this is pretty loose, you don't have to be drinkin' to tell the truth!

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The internet is such an amusing place:

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Oops TBG, I always get it wrong. Sorry!

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

gwe quotes:
"...Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place..."
West.peeps driving long stretches do this: lifting finger off wheel/wave/nod. W.Canoocks too, like Yoki/DR/p'haps SofC, too.

Back East, CPkids cringe. "Do you know them?" Still, after yrs!


Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

RD-the pop/soda/coke map explains why Rudy thinks he can win in Florida.

Watching the local PBS station's rerun of Billy Moyers' Journal episode on how the pundits got NH so wrong. Great montage of people saying lots of things that later turned out to be sooooo wrong re: Clinton and McCain. Analysis of the "death metaphors" used by pundits seems to indicate the sports metaphors are being pushed out.

CP-the friendly wave is the norm here as well. People have become accustomed to seeing Mr. F and I running out and about and no longer stop to offer rides to our destination if we are obviously dressed for exercise.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

CP reminds me that when we were living in our little town in the mountains, and I visited my mother in Kingston and was driving her car, she laughed at me because I stopped for all the pedestrians in the middle of the block, and waved and smiled at them while they were crossing. Just not done in the East, I guess.

Certainly while driving long distances through the mountains or over the bald prairie it is customary to salute every person one passes or sees.

Posted by: Yoki | January 13, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The search has begun for a replacement crock for my "slow cooker." According to one company's web site they no longer sell them because of "consistent breakage in shipping." Is that some kind of joke?!

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I just popped back over to the Post Mortem link I posted the other day (about Dan Fogelberg's obituary) and notice that there was a little bit of cross-boodling. Nice.

Posted by: TBG | January 13, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

To me a trip to the Post Office defines the difference between east and frozen north, or urban vs. rural. In NoVA or Florida, allow 30 minutes or more to stand in line before the transaction. In our fair city allow 30 minutes to chat with the postmaster or another patron after the transaction.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Tim Russert also made an interesting two word omission when he quoted Maureen Dowd about Hillary being a victim.

Because Monica had nothing to do with Hillary's political career, perhaps?

Posted by: Mo MoDo | January 13, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't think encouraging jaywalking is very responsible.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 13, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW, MO, I like "schadenfreudistic" quite a lot.

Posted by: Jumper | January 13, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... you remind me of how nice it is now that we're two generations into full-fledged development here in my little corner of Burke/Fairfax. I live about a mile from where I gew up. I have a sister who lives four houses down the street from me.

We've had the same mailman for about 15 years; he wasn't surprised when I moved from a townhouse around the corner to this house 12 years ago--and not surprised when my sister did the same thing a couple of years ago.

My nephew has the same 4th-grade teachers this year in the same school that my kids had and my oldest sister's kids had, including my 28-year-old niece.

The pharmacy tech at Target greets me by name and has my meds ready for me as I approach the counter.

Many of the same people have been working at the Safeway I live close to that worked there when I first moved to this neighborhood when I was pregnant with my 19 year old son. We've shared stories about all of our lives and our kids throughout the years.

When the owner of our local Greek diner died unexpectedly this fall, more than 1,000 people were at the funeral home to pay their respects. His is a restaurant where you cannot help but run into friends from school, work, soccer, neighborhood, etc.

It's even evident here in the boodle... Raysmom and I go to the same hairdresser!

So when I go to the bank, cleaners, post office, library, etc, I have to budget 30 minutes as well: 15 minutes for waiting in line AND 15 minutes for the chat.

And when folks talk about what a large, transient, unfriendly area this is, I have to remind them it's homey if you want to find it that way. In fact, the large, diverse population is much of what makes this such a great place to live.

Posted by: TBG | January 13, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Schadenfreudastic, Baby

Posted by: Anonymous | January 13, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG-thanks for the reminder that not all of NoVA, even before the housing downturn, was sprouting houses faster than dandelions. I think I'll miss it always.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 13, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, MoreMoDo, for pointing out the omission that Russert made in quoting Maureen Dowd's Nov. 2007 column on-air this morning.

Russert also mentioned this Washington Post column on B07 in today's paper by Marjorie Valbrun in his commentary this morning. Only mentioned it was written by a woman. I left a comment after the article suggesting that Valbrun read Bernstein's recent biography about Clinton (some reviewers call Bernstein quite even-handed) so that she, Valbrun, might be better informed.

I want to talk about that surprise that I found in Chapter 3 of Bernstein's work, about Bill's and Hillary's Yale years, but will wait until tomorrow. Bathed the dog and the sunshine beckons. Football widowhood is just starting for the day, so think I'll mosey to a big-box book retailer and peruse and probably buy "Audacity of Hope."

Posted by: Loomis | January 13, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the housing downturn. Mr. F and I were elated to learn that our builder in FL finally sold a house with our floor plan, on a different block in our neighborhood, for what we paid back in '05. Since Tampa prices in general have declined 7-15% since we bought, this is wonderful news. National pundits predicting the Florida primary results need to be aware of who is going to be drawn to the property tax question also on the ballot. I wonder if Mr. F will vote self interest as an impending seller (a yes) and disregard what he sees as the inevitable mess it will leave for future Florida generations. Thoughts DotC and Kb?

Posted by: frostibtten | January 13, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Crkpot liner since 1982;
pot'rey inserts, two, from thrift st.

Blk bean soup perc'ing now.

feel yr pain, fb; winter c/o crk pot!

Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Funny, for the past few days I've been thinking of a friend who had his jaw wired shut.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Black bean soup brings me close to ultimate joy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

fx'ing RD boodiful soup;
lime is secret to BBS

Day 2 yields slurry for blending to BBDip.

Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I grew up calling soda 'tonic' - it's a regional thing here around Boston. I don't really know what I call it now, maybe 'soft drink' or 'coke' but maybe that's because I drink mostly diet coke.

I can sympathize with S'nuke, I was a basket case during last night's game. I had had a bad feeling all week about the Pat's chances and was sure they were going to lose.

The whole group is coming this afternoon for homemade pizza. We have a couple of birthdays to celebrate and a couple of belated Xmas presents to hand out. ("S" had ordered two sweatshirts for my daughters that say "Mom likes me best" and they didn't arrive until the day after Xmas. Have to have them open them at the same time.) When I was getting ready last night I realized I couldn't find the table cloth I was going to use. And I also discovered that I no longer have eight placemats that match. When I told my daughter I was running out this morning to buy placemats, she made fun of me and said that I didn't need to be fussy for family. But I remember that my mom always said, 'who's better than we are?'

Dough is rising, table is set. Looking forward to everyone arriving.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 13, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Sounds gooood, cp.

I made Mudge's vegetable soup the other night. We had some for lunch today, and I will feast on it all week.

Ann Coulter had a father? Who knew? I rather thought she was Jove's headache.

Posted by: Slyness | January 13, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the lime. But what is this "day two" of which you speak?

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I can make myself ill on black bean soup. I'm kinda stupid that way. Among many others.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi Sneaks!... two things in your post put an especially huge smile on my face...

1) That "S" bought those funny sweatshirts for your daughters. Somehow that just illustrates what a nice family you have--and how well he fits in with you all.


2) "But I remember that my mom always said, 'who's better than we are?'" Amen to that. My mom expressed the same sentiment and look what great kids and grandkids she raised! Same with yours.

Posted by: TBG | January 13, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, that's a good line from your mom. Although I wouldn't worry about place mats, much less whether they match. We have no dining room, and the kitchen table/area is tiny, so no formalities when dining at my house. Which is actually my main regret about this house. What I'd love is a sunroom/dining room combo - we have that in the summer when we can eat on the covered deck, but it still only accommodates 2 people.

TBG, nice to know DC still has areas like yours. When I was in college there, my best friend was a local from Silver Spring, and her neighborhood (Four Corners) was like that.

Beautiful, sunny, dry day here. I went for a long walk (for me), looked at the lake and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Lots of snow this year. And I saw the downtown Seattle buildings too - forgot I could see them from there. Lots of plants budding up already - should get my camera out. I'm going to take some comp time this week and it's supposed to be nice weather, so maybe I can do that.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 13, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Although I'm not the gardener CP or Frosti or others are, my goal is to have something blooming all the time. The Christmas cactus is done (gotta sweep up the spent blooms); the amaryllis has been gorgeous, two yard-high stalks with huge pink blooms, but only the last flower is left. The new sasanquas still have a couple of blooms, and I picked two camellia buds just opening this afternoon. No daffodil foliage yet; in the meantime, there is lots of chickweed for me to pluck. Spring will come.

Posted by: Slyness | January 13, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Gonna go make breakfast for supper. Hopefully the smell will wake up my son.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 13, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I have decided that for me to fully enjoy a football game it helps if I don't care who wins. That Colts/Charger game was a blast. And HiDef just made it even more salient of an experience. Or, as my wife put it, you could really see the tattoos.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who are not worn out by all the sports this weekend , Mavericks Surf contest was held yesterday.

Video can be seen at
- click on the KPIX video link

Or different video at

Totally different from Frostbitten's day with the mushers.

Posted by: Pacifica | January 13, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh Shoot, Frostbitten, I was going to ask you to repost that sleddog race website. Could you still do it anyway? I'd like to look up the other race coming up in February.

On the bright side, Wilbrodog had plenty of doggy time, two intact black lab pups (around 6 months old, I think) showed up wanting to play with him, and he had a picnic. I brought him in when he was starting to look tired, although it was not entirely his choice, and the dogs quickly headed over a snowbank from whence they had come, I suppose. One pup had no collar, the other had a collar but no tags. They both looked in very good shape, one pup with very sound conformation from his motion, the other maybe not quite so sound.

Only in a small town, I suppose.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Intact, as in rootin tootin bullets,
not blanks?

Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-Here's the White Oak Classic site,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

and here's the John Bear Grease sled dog marathon scheduled for Jan. 27 this year

Posted by: Anonymous | January 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

That book sounds interesting, Loomis.

Majorie Valburn was discussing the race card specifically. Note another article discussing Obama's "blackness".

She is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

She reads the recent innuendo as covertly racist. If the Clinton campaign did not intend to stir up the racial divide while delicately questioning Obama's ability to withstand mudslinging and get elected, they need to change tacks.

Valburn's not the only one commenting on it. I saw quite a bit of buzz on CNN over the Clinton remarks this morning before I switched to watching Madeline Albright take questions on foreign policy on CSPAN-2.

Mind you, this is going to be an interesting campaign indeed.

By the way, Cassandra, your dad is probably dead-on about Liddy Dole. The Republicans never had very high standards of performance for their political appointees. Why does it seem to be the same 25 people always getting the big positions in the GOP since the Nixon Administration?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

CP-- yes, all loaded for heat season.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

RP, I like black beans very well too and came up with my own black bean recipe (also taco-worthy if made a touch less watery), vegan-worthy as well.

Now if I can just remember how it goes... sauted onions, red/green peppers, cumin, black pepper, lime juice, chili pepper, tomatoes, black beans. Hmm, anything else?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course-- oil, preferably olive. And sour cream for the top if eater is not interested in vegan-only soup.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Hello, everyone.

TFL, welcome, and I enjoy your comments. Stick around, you feel like home folk anyway.

I haven't really got the understanding about the Clinton remark concerning Obama. It seems they've put their foot in their mouth, but I don't know the details.

Bob S, I'm not against change to some extent, it's just that so much of the time change is really the same old dish, just dressed up to look different.

Really sleepy and tired. The day has been long and busy. I was up so early this morning. I think I will turn in early.

Sweet dreams, boodle.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 13, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I had a toothache all morning that kept getting worse, and by the time I finished making my vegetable soup it was a howler (of course, like a typical male idiot, I kept putting off doing anything about it). About quarter after 2, I took an oxycotin pill and some antibiotics and laid down to watch the San Diego game. You can guess the rest.

Now I understand the Cowgirls/Giants game is tied up 14-14 at the half. I'm gonna go have some soup and also I intend to apply a gin-and-tonic topically to the affected area to see if it has an analgesic affect, or simply just improves morale. Back in a bit.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

RD, loved your wife's comment about how well she can see the tattoos. Family has eaten, watched football and gone home. Yes, "S" fits in very well, he gets along better with my daughters than their father does. But then, he's an easy going guy who doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. We are preparing for the nor'eastern that will hit tomorrow morning. Sounds like we won't get much along the coast but further north and west it will be heavy.

Mostly, I have a dining/kitchen area. The table should only seat six but with the two granddaughters, we can squeeze eight. Growing up we always had dinner in the dining room with lit candles (except in summer-too hot). I think it's a British thing and it is more festive.

Can't believe the Colts lost! Some very exciting football games this weekend. Mudge, hope you get to a dentist first thing tomorrow. Toothaches are the worst!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 13, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone- worked all day :( but what are you gonna do?

Can't wait to start the Jane Austen Sunday night fest for the next several weeks!

Slyness - my daffodils have already broken ground. I couldn't believe it. I planted something like 75 or 80 last fall so I'm really looking forward to their blooms. Having been raised in the SoCal desert, daffodils in February make me so happy.

Mudge - I hope your toothache gets better. Were the antibiotics prescribed for the toothache? Or something you had around?

Posted by: Kim | January 13, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to ward off scurvy, Mudge with some vitamin C until the dentist sees ya.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Now I wonder if this can open the way to less transplant rejections?;_ylt=Agt.2GEDWYzwJY7PdDKBKp.9j7AB

The feasbility of this for transplants remains to be seen, but this is an important step forward in transplant research.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Rdtrip/March to Kim's for daffy riot, meet Slyness and Cass'dra, pinch son of TBG's cheeks, etc.;
Mudge, ouchies; angel kissies via fax to top of G&T, may requ.dose DrJameson's, BUSHMILLS frowned upon;
Comanche Moon and JA's Persuasion commencing 9PM, shall tape JA, watch CM, then watch JA after CM ends. Hearty-heaps o TV pleasure;

All day: Editing docs on Bali-meet'gs re a post-Kyoto world; feel'g very down 'bout it. Pity our grchildren, all 10-12 bill o' them

Moved: modify boodlecode to
"May as well be kind AND save some BTUs"

(Need YJ's second, as he is boodle-dude on this proviso of b-code)

Digits drooping; Vaya....

Posted by: cp | January 13, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I feel for ya, buddy. Have had a lot of problems with the old teeth over the years and one great remedy for tooth pain is oil of clove (available at the drugstore). Works for me, anyway. I guess it probably depends on what's causing the pain.

Go, Cowgirls! Ha - just like to rile the Giants fans since they are prevalent and very vocal in this area. I'm also a Red Sox fan in Yankee country, I guess it's just fun to be contrary since I really don't care one way or another when it comes to football or baseball.

Posted by: TLF | January 13, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

YOWZAH!!!! Upset Sunday in the NFL! Cowboys go down the tubes (briefest of consoling pats to Ivansdad). Only gonna be one Manning in the playoffs next week--and it ain't Peyton. How ironic is that? And even better, instead of the Packers having to play Dallas in Dallas, where they are 0-9 and have never won, instead the Cheeseheads get to stay home and play the Giants. Meanwhile, instead of facing the Colts, Brady and Associates get to play San Diego.

The best thing about it, I think, is that Brett Favre, who's always been a classy guy, gets to play the final game of his career (most likely) the Super Bowl. How great is that?

bc, hope you didn't lose any money today.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

For those with vegetarian savvy, any tips on a good vegetarian food, soup type recipes and such for a toddler who's been throwing up and may be queasy?

The mother can only keep nursing so long whenever the toddler's ill (weaning is definitely the goal right now.). The toddler will be raised lacto-ovo-vegetarian. The mother is not 100% vegetarian and feels a little scared about what to feed him when he's sick.

All I could think of was ginger ale and whatever he feels like eating and keeping down.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Ivansdad says the briefest of consoling pats is not good enough.

Yep, we're back. The Boy did not fence as well as last time out and was eliminated early. I told him there are just days like that. The important thing is that he went, he fenced, he had goals, and he'll work towards meeting them in the next event. You feel bad, you learn from it, you move on, you play some Wii.

I am sometimes amazed at how much strength it takes to sympathetically talk the Boy through a disappointment and encourage some resolution or future effort, rather than breaking down with him and wallowing in the feeling. While that might be emotionally satisfying for me in the short term, I can't get over the idea that it isn't very helpful to him, and part of the point of parenting seems to me to help him learn to deal with all sorts of situations so he can do it on his own. Now, of course, he's come to terms with the day and I'm really tired.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that does sound like a hard job, Ivansmom. A little of both is OK.

Sometimes the emotion is from the effort and being keyed up so much to win, as much as the disappointment, and that needs to be released a bit.

Catharasis, as the Greeks said, is good for the soul, just as long as you don't forget good sportsmanship and being graceful in loss even when you don't feel graceful at all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 13, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I´ve been in the real Panama City the past couple of days, right near the monster Wyndham and El Panama casinos, at the international cycad conference. The Cycad Society´s new newsletter even has a piece on coonties. Subjects today ranged from landscaping to neurology (the celebrated Guam dementia).

Anyway, the real estate boom here looks most impressive, not to mention the hundreds of ships waiting their turn through the Canal.

I don´t have any feel for the property tax referendum, but my hunch is that everyone´s pretty cynical about it. I suppose it`ll pass, then there`ll be any number of new fees.

And by the way, it´s Verano here, meaning the dry season. Like Miami in winter, but warmer.

Good to see Pacifica gave the heads-up on the Maverick`s surfing contest. Amazing event, especially considering that a physician in his fifties competed once.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 13, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to keep an eye out for the frogs.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow... check out the dates of these upcoming online chats (the date in parentheses after the description)...

Posted by: TBG | January 13, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, I had a whole long comment written earlier in response to your query, but the family intervened and dinner and a movie and, now that I'm back, I see what Dave wrote and it seems like he covered it just as well with fewer words.

I was strongly opposed to trading property tax for sales tax, because I think property owners should pay more taxes than non-property owners. Seems obvious to me. When they dropped the sales tax part of the proposal, I just got, as Dave says, more cynical about it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, so if property taxes decrease, the money has to come from somewhere else. I'll vote no on the referendum, but I imagine it will pass anyway.

Yellojkt, I was laughing at your "breakfast for dinner to wake up the kid" plan. My daughter didn't get up until after my afternoon nap today. She has company for the week--an internet friend (if you can imagine it) from Idaho(!). They were out on the town last night. I always heard about people's kids who were home from college on break but the parents never saw them. This is the first vacation where I'm experiencing it.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 13, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

As we enter Girl Scout Cookie season, let me remind you all that they aren't made of real girl scouts.

No, no. I meant to remind you that frozen Thin Mints have apparently escaped the bonds of Time, as they provide a refreshing taste sensation as long as two or three years after purchase.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 13, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

That is, Ivansmom, if you were lucky enough to find Thin Mints to freeze. Last year I got none. Trefoils freeze well also, I'm glad to report.

Posted by: Slyness | January 13, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, TBG, nobody can accuse them of not planning ahead.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 13, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Hi ppl of the weird blog thing. I am wishing u all a happy New Year! ONLY 1 MORE YEAR WITH BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! woot! Im a happy boy... THE boy. =D nite ppl of the bloggin fogger.

And a good night to you all. Vaya con queso. Fondue.

Posted by: The Boy | January 13, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, the chances of a box of Girl Scout thin mints lasting more than 24 hours in my house are approximately zero. Two or three years is a joke.

OK, is it just me, or does "Comanche Moon" have a lousy script (even if Larry and Linda wrote it). It's winer in northwestern Texas (because Adam Beach is running around without a cape getting snowed upon, but in Austin it is warm enough for Rachel Griffiths to lounge about outside on her balcony topless. Un-huh. (Redhead alert for Padouk, BTW.) Steve Zahn is doing a fair job of imitating Robert Duvall's hand gestures, but otherwise I'm not impressed. And somebody's gotta take that crop out of Rachel's hand pretty quick.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if I would have bet this weekend, I probably would have lost money on the Bolts over the Colts. Didn't see *that* one coming.

Giants over the 'boys, that one was far less of a surprise.

Still, there's a lesson here, NFL fans: teams that soft-pedal their way into the playoffs and tank a few games because they've already secured a home-field game in the divisional round seem to come into the playoffs rusty and a little unmotivated. Teams who had to fight their way in, and get through the Wild Card weekend come in battle-tested and sharp.

Note that last season, two home teams with first round byes lost in the divisional round as well...


Posted by: bc | January 13, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

DotC, I think I saw a small cycad in someone's garden today - still green. I have some orchids in the house now - a colleague had them at work and was giving them away. I'll try not to kill them.

kb, I've definitely had that experience. My kid has gotten better over time - he tries to spend at least one evening with the 'rents when he visits.

Hi, Ivansmom's Boy! Thanks for the reminder of the happy day ahead.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 13, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I must say that I'm less than enchanted with Comanche Moon. The dialog is leaden, the acting just north of awful, and the weather confusing. The book is sooooo much better.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 13, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Lonesome Dove it isn't. I was looking forward to it but so far, not impressed. Didn't read the book, was the Rachel Griffith character as strange and phony in print?

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 13, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

And was so severe nymphomania just accepted in Austin in the period depicted????

And prostitution?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 13, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but MPT has some new writer called Jane Houston or Austin or something. They wear a lot of funny hats too.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 13, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I had no idear the old west was so naughty.
However, no Commanche would expose himself against a ridgeline like that.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 13, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

To the hilarious boodlers a fond farewell.

To the humorless: TTHHPPTH!!!

Posted by: bill everything | January 13, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Glad you concur, Maggie. For a few minutes there I thought maybe it was me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 13, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Looks like there was a writer's strike back in the 1860's, Mudge.

I think we are past the Western series on TV anyway. Of course, I'm not a western fan. I'd rather read about sailors than gunslingers anyday.

I will say that Star Trek's "The Spectre of the Gun" remains a rather excellent western episode.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 14, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Okay, Scotty, where's the coffee? Is it too early?

Mudge, I hope you get to a dentist, quick. Not crazy about self-medicating, only the occassional pain pill.

Anyone see Glen Beck's hospital experience on the internet? There's a piece in the Post this morning about it. I believe it was a nightmare for him. He's quick to point out that some of his opposition wanted him to die. Beck hasn't changed his mind about universal health care, but he noted our health care system needs some serious changes. I wonder if he now understands what might happen if one went to the hospital without money or health insurance. I'll bet that did not cross his little mind. He went in through the emergency room for painful hemorrhoids, and now claims he's the butt of all jokes. Hard to believe isn't it?

This is the week for the torture test. It's got to be done, no getting around that fact.

It is slightly chilly here. Hope the weather is good where you are.

Getting ready to do a radio ministry. You guys will be able to access it from the Internet. You may never see the face, but might hear the voice. We want to focus on getting the children in Sunday school and address the killing of so many of our young people.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, and all, a good morning and good day to you. *waving*

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 14, 2008 3:43 AM | Report abuse

cp, thanks for the words of comfort and encouragement. And the prose is to die for. You are too kind. You too, Scotty.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 14, 2008 3:48 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Gotta hustle this morning: got a follow-up appointment up at Shady Grove for my leg, then gotta try to get my tooth pulled, all this before getting to work.

Can somebody provide a translation of bill everything's TTHHPPTH? Bill, you there?

OK, the marathon

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 14, 2008 4:50 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' 'Mudge & Cassandra some coffee*

VERY interesting football weekend indeed! All four games were very entertaining, although the Giants-Cowboys took a long time to really get cookin'... Perhaps their crockpot was cracked. :-)

*gettin'-more-than-a-little-jealous-of-New England's-current-Nor'easter Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 14, 2008 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I assumed that TTHHPPTH was just an alternate spelling for "razzberry" . . . I hope I'm not hopelessly 20th century and it's not instead some fancy internet acronym.

Hey, South Florida is thinking outside the box on the issue of traffic congestion:

"The idea is straight out of supply-and-demand Economics 101: toll rates will rise as the lanes are more crowded and fall when they are empty. The state Department of Transportation is guaranteeing a 50-mph trip in a 21-mile corridor for those who want to buy their way out of congestion."
"Plastic candlestick lane barriers, electronic SunPass sensors and dynamic message signs that will post the changing toll prices and estimated travel times should be visible by late spring or early summer."

Boodle survey: Is there another city anywhere that is already doing this?

Posted by: kbertocci | January 14, 2008 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Three straight days of class. Enduring the lectures I can handle. Resisting the donuts will be more of a trick.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 14, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

kbert, they're trying that here in DC too, with a plan to install HOT lanes on the VA side of the Beltway.

*faxin' RDP a few carrot sticks to replace the donuts*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 14, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

People, I went out to the bus stop this morning, and it is so cold everything is froze. I went out without a hat, had to come back in for the hat. My head, and it's nearly bald, was freezing. The g-girl was her usual perky self, although I fail to understand how.

Slyness, is it snowing in your town? Where's this draft coming from?

Mudge, hope you get the tooth fixed, and everything works out for the leg. I don't even like to say the word "leg", for fear mine might start to hurt again.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 14, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning everyone.

I believe "TTHHPPTH" is used frequently in the comic strip starring Opus and Bill the Cat and is indeed a razzberry of the stick-out-your-tongue variety.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: TLF | January 14, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

New Kit

Have to run out the door before I can read the new kit but hoping I will have some time tonight.

Still smoke free, everyones encouragement helped with a difficult spell and I have now been completely nicotine free (well new sources at least) for four days - feeling good thanks all.

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