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Who'll Win Iowa and NH?

[Also posting this to the Trail momentarily...]

You've probably seen that New Yorker cartoon of a dog telling another dog that he used to blog, but has given it up and returned to pointless, incessant barking. Today I'm going to make a prediction about who will win Iowa and New Hampshire, but please understand that I am not exactly Nostradamus (much less Chris Cillizza ) when it comes to political prognostication. I'm always wrong. This is just barking.

I've thought for a year that Clinton has been running a solid campaign and has hit her marks. But Clinton may have a little bit of what might be called the Chris Dodd Problem: A campaign without a grand theme at the core that goes beyond personal biography and experience. She's got tons of policy ideas, but they take a while to detail. She'd be the first woman president, but that's been a secondary element of her message. She's running on battle-hardened competence. But if voters want a candidate who embodies a big idea -- for example, "change" -- they're more likely to turn to Obama or Edwards, both of whom seem to be peaking at the right moment.

I saw Edwards three times recently in New Hampshire and Iowa (see my Outlook piece that ran the other day), and he's definitely on his game as he tries to tap into voter outrage on the Left (see Gene Robinson's excellent column). Edwards is a formidable campaigner with great energy and stamina. He may come off as a little slick to some observers - too much of a trial lawyer.

The Democratic race will almost surely boil down to Hillary vs. Somebody. These races always become two-person contests fairly quickly. That means Obama has to beat Edwards in Iowa and vice versa. Whatever happens Thursday, that's the key thing to watch: Obama vs. Edwards.

The Republican race remains incomprehensible. Mitt Romney may yet win the Phil Gramm Most Expensive Delegate Award, given in honor of the well-funding Republican who, as I dimly recall, spent millions for a single delegate to the 1996 Republican convention (I could check but surely someone in the Comments section can set me right).

Because Giuliani and McCain are practically skipping Iowa, the results won't be very clarifying. It's highly likely that, after Iowans vote, 5 mainstream Republicans will still be campaigning full bore. Plus you have Ron Paul, the wild card, who will likely be running for something until at least November. For the Republicans, people may be going to an awful lot of trouble in Iowa just to get Duncan Hunter to go home.

Had the election in Iowa been held two weeks ago, Huckabee probably would have won easily, but his campaign has gone off the rails. There's a difference between "unconventional" and "daffy." He may have made a fatal error in hiring Ed Rollins, not just because Rollins is a pugilist, but because Rollins has an uncontrollable compulsion to tell reporters how the sausage is made. He did it yet again after the pulled-attack-ad caper, telling The Post's Sridhar Pappu precisely how the fiasco came about ("What I have to do is make sure that my anger with a guy like Romney, whose teeth I want to knock out, doesn't get in the way of my thought process").

Go back to 1993 and hear Rollins explain how he funneled thousands of dollars to depress the black vote in the New Jersey gubernatorial race. From the New York Times, Nov. 10, 1993:

"We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, 'Do you have a special project?' And they said, "We've already endorsed Florio," Mr. Rollins said. "We said, 'That's fine. Don't get up on the pulpit Sunday and say it's your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.' "
Mr. Rollins said the campaign used a more direct approach to persuade some Democratic political workers to stay home on Election Day. "We said to some of their key workers, 'How much have they paid you to do your normal duty?' " he said. "Well, we'll match it. Go home, sit and watch television."

I'm guessing that Huckabee will still win in Iowa but will tank in New Hampshire.

McCain has surged in New Hampshire and has to win. The problem is that Romney governed the neighboring state. The most populous part of New Hampshire, as I noted in my story yesterday, is essentially a suburb of Boston. Romney lives part of the year in New Hampshire, I'm told (he has a house there).

Now I'm tired of barking and need to get to work. So here are my predictions for the results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Iowa, Democrats:
1. Obama
2. Edwards
3. Clinton
4. Richardson

Iowa, Republicans:

1. Huckabee
2. Romney
3. Thompson
4. McCain
5. Giuliani

New Hampshire, Democrats:

1. Obama
2. Clinton
3. Edwards

New Hampshire, Republicans

1. McCain
2. Romney
3. Huckabee
4. Giuliani

[woof, woof...]




Speaking of love and sex with robots, here's an interview with David Levy.

More here.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 2, 2008; 12:12 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Campaign Trail Odd Couple: Iowa and NH
Next: Waiting in New Hampshire for the Iowa Bounce



Posted by: Kim | January 2, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting! I knew I didn't like that Rollins character, but I forgot why!

Great kit, Joel. I like it when people just put it out there. I, for one, am hoping you are right.

Posted by: Kim | January 2, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Oui, c'est toi.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Who's gonna lose and scream like a banshee?

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Kim, you alerts us (kindness) AND get the me-first prize (kidness). Good for you.

"paragraph sweatshop" from Raysmom. Too good to be lost at the end of a stale but good kit.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Picking Hillary to place third in Iowa is a gutsy call. If Edwards can't get a second in either state, he's pretty much toast.

I see McCain, Romney and 9ui11iani duking it out on Super Tuesday unless Hickabee can get his act together.

Ed Rollins is the Dick Morris of the Republicans. A good guy for your opponent to hire.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Reposting from last kit:

I'm enjoying the conversation AND an extra couple of days off before returning to the paragraph sweatshop. We actually watched Rachael Ray's talk show while eating breakfast this morning. One guest was a guy who brought in different animals. Then they played a little game where an animal was in a box and Rachael had to reach in and touch it and guess what it was. The last animal was an African Giant Millipede--really gross and ugly. Just from the audience reaction, she didn't want to reach in. So she told the guy, "If you pull it out, I promise to touch it." 'Nuff said.

We're leaving this afternoon for a few days at the country house to celebrate Raysdad's birthday. So I'm off to the store to buy him a nice single malt to celebrate.

BTW, if I understand the definitions correctly, Raysdad started out as a brown shoe (you can always tell a pilot, but you can't tell him much), then switched to black shoe. He's now the topsider variety, his favorite pair of which is dusty blue and pink, mostly for the reactions they generate, I think.


Now I really am outta here.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 2, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The Dick Morris analogy is very perceptive, yello. Both guys are poison. I don't know what the he11 Huckleberry was thinking.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I think its gutsy to make a call at all. Very interesting from a guy who has been and seen.

Posted by: dr | January 2, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, you need to work on your spelling, man. "9ui11iani" clearly should be spelled "9iu11iani".

Posted by: StorytellerTimo | January 2, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

StorytellerTimo? How did that happen?

Posted by: StorytellerTim | January 2, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I had to go and click on that link. Now my concentration is shot for the rest of the day.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree with yello. I think Edwards needs to prove that he is still viable with a strong showing. Personally, I think he could surprise a lot of people and end up being a good compromise candidate.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. According to that article about cupboard cleanup our pantry is a veritable death trap of expired foodstuffs. I think we have rice from before it was a cultivated crop.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"A Good Compromise Candidate" sounds like a blind date with someone who "Has a Great Personality," but with a better haircut.


Posted by: bc | January 2, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Sticking head up. I've obviously missed something important.

Loomis, I take it you are not well. I do hope you feel better very soon.

The things that have been happening in Kenya have been a bit worrying in the office. Our intrepid receptionist is in Africa as we speak, in Jinja, Uganda, which is only about 100 km from the Kenyan border. I'm sure she is quite safe, so long as the conflict stays as a Kenyan matter and does not become a tribal war.

I will however, be counting the days till she is home, both as co-worker and aunt.

Posted by: dr | January 2, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

bc - well,I guess it kind of is. I just suspect that at some point enough Democrats will get so nervous enough about either Obama or Clinton that Edwards will start to look really good.

Just a guess. Not even a bark. More like a pathetic whimper because I need to go out for a walk.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

See...See.."Fetal Positioned Red Head Freckled Jazz Singer" has me so distracted that I inserted an extra "enough."

I think I really do need a walk.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Well... this should make us feel better about the candidates being decided in rural America...

Yee-Haw! My Vote Cancels Out Y'all's!

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

Since former Sen. Phil Gramm is practically a neighbor...his spread just beyond Helotes, you, Joel, made me curious...

The average expenditure cited above is from 1990, in which year Texas Republican Phil Gramm made the most expensive bid for a Senate seat, spending $12.5 million. Congressional Quarterly Almanac 46 (101st Congress, 2nd Session, 1990): 909-910.

From the same source:
Admittedly, in the worst case to date, when Michael Huffington disbursed $29.4 million in the election of 1994, almost all of it from his personal fortune, there was scattered criticism of the candidate's ethics and sense of propriety, but perhaps the principal effect of this squandered wealth was the cover it gave to his victorious rival, Dianne Feinstein, whose chief claim to running a virtuous campaign was having spent "less than half" of what was spent by Huffington. "Contested Winners Seated; Challengers in Pursuit," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, (Jan. 7, 1995): 28.

On to 1996:

For all the talk about the influence of money in presidential politics last year, the campaign season actually produced three more exhibits of money men who could not buy the Oval Office for themselves. Tycoons Ross Perot and Steve Forbes spent millions, gained attention, but failed (in Perot's case, for the second time) to win the ultimate prize. And Senator Phil Gramm (R.-Texas), a former economist who talked incessantly about how vital money was in politics, surpassed the record of his fellow Texan, the late John Connally, to claim the dubious honor of raising the most money to least effect. Connally, running in 1980, raised $12 million to secure a single GOP convention delegate; in 1996, Gramm raised $20.8 million before returning to the Senate empty-handed.

NYT, July 4, 1999:
FINALLY there was Senator Phil Gramm in 1996. He raised $13 million by May 1995 and was eagerly advertising his money-raising skills. They didn't do him much good, partly because he was spending money almost as fast as it came in, partly because his message of Republican populism conflicted with his opulent fund-raising and partly because Pat Buchanan had a better pitchfork. Mr. Gramm ultimately spent $25 million and won 10 delegates, proving minimally more effective than Mr. Connally.

Saw Tim Russert's show on Sunday. Caught a tidbit that Huckabee didn't know where Afghanistan is in relation to Pakistan.

Time magazine, Jan. 1, 2008: He [Huckabee] mistakenly said Pakistan shares its eastern border with Afghanistan. (It is the western border.)

Sunday we ate at our local burger and malt shop since I hardly felt like being in the kitchen. Our reed-thin waiter, in his mid-to late 20s, and a real fave of mine since he is a geography major and is now starting the coursework for his second (double) major in econ, had a real good chuckle over this.

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

Time to start finding ways to mention Lindsay Lohan in each Trail post. The new way to pay web journalists:

Base salary plus bonus based on pageviews.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

My predictions:

Iowa Dems: Obama, Edwards and Clinton all close enough to be a statistical tie, more or less, with no clear winner. Biden finishes a surprising fourth. Dodd drops out before New Hampshire; Kuchinich gets virtually no votes, but remains in race. No one knows where the he11 Mike Gravel is, and he doesn't find out about the causus until a French-Canadian scout tracking a wounded caribou accidentally runs across him near the headwaters of the Yukon River, and tells him what happened. "No s---t," Gravel replies. "Who's this Edward guy?"

Iowa Repubs:

1) Huckleberry, but only by a hair;
2) Romney and McCain in something like a statistical tie, maybe a point or two apart and only 2 points behind Huckleberry.
3) Thompson, Giuliani and Ron Paul in something close to a statistical tie for 4th place. Ron Paul declares it a moral victory. Thompson stays in the race until New Hampshire, where he again finishes far down the pack. He is the first major candidate to drop out, shortly after NH. Characteristically blunt and honest, he says something like "the voters have spoken." Giuliani whines the loudest abiout his lack of a showing, and makes a faux pas of some sort, virtually finishing himself off. But he stays in the race, and gets his butt kicked on Super Tuesday, after which he drops out with a lot of unseemly sour grapes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Worcestershire sauce improves with age because the water evaporates?? Pretty soon someone will be selling special reserve 12 year old worcestershire sauce. How about if it's kept in wooden barrels in a storehouse for balsamic vinegar of Modena?

I've given up on figuring out the country's political mood. I have a hunch that should McCain be nominated, he could make the Democratic candidate look like a threat to national security. But Edwards could make any Republican look like a threat to the wellbeing of ordinary Americans.

And here in Florida, Democrats might throw oranges at emissaries from the Democratic National Committee for depriving the state of delegates to their convention. It would be great fun if a nomination is decided because Florida's delegates won't be seated.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to both DotC and Kb, it might be nice if both parties chose their candidate without input from Florida. The underground weirdness magnet has the state thoroughly in its grip.

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

Florida would probably nominate Anita Bryant on the GOP ticket and Jimmy Biffet on the Dem side. (I'd vote for Buffet.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

SCC: He11, I don't know who Jimmy Biffet is, but I'd probably vote for him anyway. Name recognition was never a big factor for me.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey, anybody seen omni lately?

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

Here's the strait feces, from a fly-on-the-wall at the meeting where such things are determined:

Edwards and Huckabee win in Iowa, Obama and Romney in New Hampshire. All four are assassinated in a re-run of 1968 (40th anniversary celebration). After multiple accusations of voting fraud by everyone in every succeeding primary the current administration cites multiple violations of the 1965 Voting Act as it invades South Carolina and initiates a bombing campaign in Harney County, Oregon. A high school football team from Southeast Charleston stops the invasion dead in its tracks; Harney County doesn't notice. And my grandmother has a little red tricycle.

There. Any questions?

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | January 2, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Don't bogart the joint, MoF

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

That makes my story pitch for Seven Days of Manchurian Mama sound lucid.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' MoF a prescription for some LESS effective meds*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 2, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

oh oh. MoF is mixing booze and meds again.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 2, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

says he, chasing a Keflex with rum&coke...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 2, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

MoF-liked the Red Dawn allusion, even though it was one of the worst movies ever made.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Over on "The Trail," Dan Balz has a column, and in the comments some jerk named "rat-the" claims Joel has been censoring him. Anybody got any idea what that's all about?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Red Dawn is AWESOME!

I'm negotiating for the Farsi remake rights.


Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Where's ftb with her "Wolverines!" ?

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Gee, mudge, the list of trolls we have driven off is pretty long. I'd put money on sf, LoneMule or Pop Socket.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"The Great State of Florida Proudly Casts All Its Votes (and we'll do it standing up, if we can't be seated) For David Barry, Jr."

A favorite son, and an actual (perennial) candidate. What could be better. We already know we could do much worse.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 2, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... the "rat-the" guy probably got the Halbot and thinks it ws personal.

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Ohmigosh, I hadn't thought about LoneMule in months!

This blog STINKS!


Thanks, yello, I just had to say that.

Posted by: Slyness | January 2, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware we'd driven off dear old Pop Socket. I thought he was just here a day or two ago. He probably just wandered off to the drug store and can't remember how to get home again. Somebody find him and tell him he's always welcome to blog--up until he "sundowns."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wonder if the Lone Mule wasn't Tony Kornheiser.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think Edwards is a viable mainstream candidate. I know a few old-fashioned lifelong Republicans who like him the best of the Democrats. He may be slick (beats bumbling) yet he has passion.

I liked the "uncanny valley" link in that Levy interview.

Too realistic and these computer mannequins come across as diseased, damaged, disturbed, or dead, which make for reasonable fear-triggers.

Many predators and scavengers approach apparently dead yet intact animals with caution in case the animal is only playing dead.

Vocabulary words du jour:
Coulrophobia, fear of clowns/mimes
Pediophobia, fear of dolls or mannequins
Necrophobia, Fear of death or dead things.
Teratophobia, fear of deformed people or of bearing deformed children.

Those are relatively common fears.

Even Gnomophobia (the fear of garden gnomes) exists.

When I read this story I asked myself, is this the act of pranksters, freedom fighters, or gnomophobes?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that it doesn't really matter how the Iowa Democrats caucus, nor how the New Hampshire Dems vote. The Democrats have at least 4 solid candidates, maybe 5 (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Biden, and Richardson, I suppose), any one of whom looks like he (that would be the inclusive gender-neutral 'he') could make a President who would be halfway decent. That's miles above the bar set by the incumbent. It matters to the individual candidate, of course, but from the national and party point of view, the critical thing is to avoid internecine fighting to the point that the candidates all make each other look like a bad choice. Under current circumstances, it would take tremendous political ineptitude to lose to a Republican, no matter who the Republicads nominate. The time has come to rally 'round the standard of moderation and inoffensiveness, to lure the vote of those citizens who sorta know they've voted stupidly in the past two elections, but don't want to come right out and acknowledge it by voting for someone who stands against all the stupid claims that have been used to gain their votes in the recent past.

Posted by: Tim | January 2, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe not. I don't claim to know anything about politics.

Posted by: Tim | January 2, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Tim, I hope and pray that you are right.

Posted by: Slyness | January 2, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear that the Republicans want to run against Hillary. Since the NH primary is "open", if I were a conservative schemer, I would vote early and often for her just to keep the waters muddied.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Didn't The Lone Mule (or somebody claiming to be him) show up at a BPH once?

Tony is not a bad guess, but since he's attacked more than one WaPo blog and insulted the WaPo itself, that'd be chancing a lot for a simplistic insult prank. I'd guess somebody who doesn't actually work at the WaPo-- at least works here no more.

Personally, my money is on Karl Rove after a few beers.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse


We PhotoShopped LM into an early BPH pic, yes...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 2, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Iowa, Democrats: Votes split 30, 25, 20 15 and 10 % for none of the above and Iowas delegates get spread more or less evenly as a result. Hew Hampshire, roughly the same, nobody gets all the delegates. South Carolina, Edwards, Obama, and Hillary in any order, and again delegates get spread mostly evenly. Super Tuesday a whole bunch of delegates get mostly spread out because nobody can concentrate on ALL of the states, so they pick their favorite and punt on the others, or they spread themselves thin and get delegates the same way. By the end of march there are three or four candidates still standing and many uncommitted delegates. THIS TIME, Ohio and the late spring states get a LOT of attention. (My guess is that going into the convention it looks like 1960, with Hillary as JFK, Edwards as LBJ and Obama as HHH. Just a guess)

Republicans: IowaHuckabee, Romney, and every body else. Since it seems to be winner takes all, Huckabee's 30% makes him act like he won a landslide. That makes New Hampshire a bit grumpy and It goes McCain, Romney, Huckabee. Paul then bolts, and Thompson, having found out how to win less than single digits goes with him. Hunter ought to go home but hope springs eternal. Dirty tricks and South Carolina are again not nice to McCain, but they aren't nice to anybody else. The Republicans go into the convention looking for another Warren Harding. Being Republicans they find him.

Somebody start a score card: Primaries in order, delegates available, delegates committed, State by State, (remember Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the trust Territory of the Pacific all get voting delegates, and might even make the difference).

The parties can't even solve the problem the traditional way, smoke filled rooms being illegal just about every where. (Mon Dieu, even in France!!) They may have to adjourn to Agana to find a place where a smoke filled room is still allowed.

Final prediction: THIS election will be the most entertaining in a century either way.

Posted by: | January 2, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Considering the 2000 elections, I hope you mean entertaining in a GOOD way.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

No predictions but this image. Lone Mule makes me think of a lady's boudoir slipper, without a mate (the shoe not the lady): Something in pink satin, with matching marabou trim.

Meow. In a Mae West sort-of voice.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow... Google Images is great, eh?

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

That was originally... "Posted by: ot | February 11, 2006 07:05 AM"

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Courtesy of the blogging anesthesiologist at www dot bookofjoe dot calm

In Pittsburgh, if you lose a mitten, you can check this website for a prayer at re-unification.

A lone mitten option, so to speak

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

CP with "the voice". Is it just me, or is it really hot in here?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 2, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- thanks and fun to see the mugs assembled. Where is dear Omni, anyway?

That mule makes me think of borax, as in Twenty Mule Team. Or, the mule-driven canal barges at Great Falls and up the C&O.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse


Mae West had that voice to make ice into puddles, gravel into sand, etc.

I cannot do that voice. As Pat will remind you, I sound like I am fifteen-forever. We now have audio voice-overs to go with teaching PPoint Presentations. When I play them back on the course web spaces I am always shocked at the sound. This even though I have an alto singing voice.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse


I am not sure that Lone Mule will react thusly to the Mae West visual on his? web handle. I think that Lone Mule presents as tough and unforgiving, with some boodle acid-tinged commentary.

Did I remember Lone Mule as others do?

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It seems we've seen "ot" around here lately, even as we're missing omni (I think on holiday) and martooni (back in the shop, according to his Etsy shop) and Tomfan/Achenfan/Dreamer, etc.

Another voice not heard lately... Shiloh. You out there,?

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I hope Omni will bring back chocolates for the lunch room.

Boodle chocolates will not violate any NY diet resolutions.

BC and Scotty, don't you dare poke the bottoms to check contents. Use a knife and then create a map so we all benefit.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

What the. . . . ??? I just tried to post an entry that for me was exceptionally innocuous and I was thanked, but the posting was held for review.

Hey Joel -- what's going on??? I mean it's ME, ftb, for goodness sakes! Geez.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 2, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Violent goings-on out by Laurel. A prisoner from Jessup had been taken to the hospital, where he disarmed the armed member of his two-man guard, overpowered a second security team guarding another prisoner, shot the driver of a car (in the hospital now, doing all right), and stole the car. Dumped the car and carjacked another. Police finally caught him and shot him down.

The hospital is right near our synagogue.

Posted by: Tim | January 2, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I *heart* the Lone Mule even if we agreed not to heart anybody. He's (or she) is just that kind of being.

Chocolate is an important food group, and it is an urban myth that it contains any calories. It is often used as a medicinal herb. Yeah that's it.

Posted by: dr | January 2, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

AGAIN, my post was rejected! Geez, Joel, wanna look into this??? Krickey!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 2, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

firstimeblogger - carefully go through the post and see if there are *any* words or phrases that in a different context might be considered offensive. Like the name of the actor that played Rob Petrie. The filter is pretty dumb.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

DR, thanks for reminding me about how big the tent is here. Some handles yield pictures; others not so much.

Firsttimeblogger: sorry for your troubles. No picture in your name.

bc = Johnny Hart sketches
Scotty Nuke = radiation symbol
birdie = wren
rainforest = lush vegetation and hibiscu
Moose = and squirrel
Omni = the sci mag cover
Shiloh = face and voice of Shelby Foote
Cassandra = the sooth-saying Greek goddess
Tangent = Sec Tan Sin Cos functions
Wilbrod = a garden gnome
Martooni = fairy doors

Posted by: College Parkian | January 2, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

What a charming approach to health insurance coverage, courtesy of Mitt Romney and the Massachusetts legislature, no?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon as a pirate with a blue bottom.

Posted by: dr | January 2, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Make that a beardless garden gnome, of course.
Wilbrodog's feeling left out out of your mental gallery.

As for Curmudgeon/Mudge, may I mention that he conjures up an image between Lou Grant, Andrew Rooney, The Skipper (blue shirts, blue bottoms), and/or Captain Queeg, the precise percentages depending whether you like what he's saying or not.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to speak verrrry slowly now.

(1) TBG -- I exulted about Michigan's win in the last kit. Thrilled to p i e c e s.

(2) I still like E d w a r d s.

(3) Sad news about Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), who's retiring at the end of the year, due to e s o p h a g e a l cancer (or c a n c e r). He's a H o l o c a u s t survivor, who was rescued by R a o u l W a l l e n b e r g's group. He'll be turning 80 on Feb. 1st (which was my late m o t h e r's BD (as well as my n i e c e's BD).

Think I've spoken s l o w l y enough?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 2, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

One more thing -- we (globally) don't want O h i o S t a t e to win anything!

There! I've said it and I'm sticking to it (and I guess now need a shower).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 2, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

See, ftb... speak quietly and make us all lean in to hear you. Works every time.

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, ftb, I understood you completely! Dunno what problem Moveable Type would have had with that. No telling, is there?

Posted by: Slyness | January 2, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Phineas >

Has gone to doggie heaven. I've cleaned the house, washed the kitchen floor and vacuumed the rugs, threw away the dog beds and now he is no more.

Except that I see him everywhere. In the family room there is the LL Bean mat with his name on it, and upstairs a toy, both missed on the first frenetic pass-through.

He stopped eating yesterday, and today he just lay around whimpering, and when I gave him a greenie and he sniffed it and said 'no thanks,'

I knew then that it was time. When I took him to the vet this afternoon, he was very agitated and couldn't quiet down, as if he knew what was going on. Two of the tech girls came in and cried over him as he jumped up
and licked their hands and faces. When the vet came in, she said that the other vets will be very sad because they loved him so much. She told me what a great life he had had and how loved and pampered he had
been by all who knew him.

He will be missed and mourned and laughed about and loved forever.

Such a great little Westie.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 2, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Maggie. I'm so sorry.

Thank you for sharing Phineas with us... making him part of our world as well. The more he's shared around the world, the more he lives on.

Posted by: TBG | January 2, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Maggie I am so sorry.

Posted by: dmd | January 2, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh Maggie. So sad.

Posted by: dr | January 2, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I am so very sorry.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 2, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear about Phineas Maggie.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 2, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Maggie-so sorry, he was loved and will be missed by imaginary friends as well.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 2, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about Mr. P.

I always suspected Lone Mule was really Achenbro, spoofing and ribbing his bro.

Posted by: Obvious Pseudonym | January 2, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget me, Buzz the mascot.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Oops! I BOO'ed right into a doggie wake.

I am so sorry about Phineas. Your dog sounded like he was loving and loyal like so many dogs are. I have the check for my Chessie's cremation on the counter. I can't bring myself to mail it out of the finality of it. Excuse me while I compose myself.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 2, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Westies are great. I am so sorry for you.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 2, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Maggie. Over the years we had three Westies--just the greatest of dogs. Mac was the oldest, and died at home at a very old age. Tally had all sorts of skin diseases, and then got sick with something, and I had to take her to the vet to be put asleep--one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Piper, our third, is still alive and living down the road in a great household where they breed Westies, and he's been their house stud, happily making puppies like crazy.

There's that one TV commercial that features Westies, and I can't watch it without thinking of Mac and Tally and Piper.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 2, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, NukeSpouse and I send you our best thoughts, and remember, Phineas and Murphy will share many a laugh trading tales of the silly humans who love them so very, very much. *HUGSSSS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I'm sorry to hear about Phineas. You did the right thing, of course. May your memories of him always been happy ones.

Posted by: Slyness | January 2, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Yiz guys are just so great! Thank you for your kind words.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 2, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I was listening on the radio the pregame show for west virginia/oklahoma and they said something about a bald eagle flying onto the field. It made me think of the sign above the entrance to mountaineer stadium that says" No Firearms of any kind allowed"

Not that a bald eagle looks anything like a wild turkey!!!

Go Moonshine Boys!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 2, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

You live down the road from the Playwestie Mansion, Mudge?

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear that Phineas has made his final exit, Maggie O'D. However, it appears Mudge can easily give you the phone number of some lusty westies should you seek a new pup.
Hopefully you don't have to buy the calendar wherein these same dogs are featured in leather, lace, and skimpy thongs.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 2, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I'm very sorry to hear about Phineas.

Posted by: dbG | January 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Me too, Maggie, very sorry. My sister has a Westie, Paddy, so I know what a great friend Phineas was for you.

Posted by: Kim | January 2, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I'm so sorry. I think of my old kit a lot - he was such a strong presence.

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 2, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

WV has 2 defensive lineman one is named Dingle and the other is named Berry, they were just sitting on the bench together, but Berry was to the left of Dingle.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 2, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Maggie - I'm sorry for your loss. I'm also glad that you seem to have a goodly supply of good memories!

Posted by: Bob S. | January 2, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

greenw/ - Aaah, but where was the camera?

Posted by: Bob S. | January 2, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Sitting behind the bench

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 2, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Well WV rolled over the sooners. I actually heard the announcer say West By God Virginia, shucks and knuckleheads.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 3, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

i'm back on the lower left coast. from middle america to liberal land in a day.

maggie, sorry about your dog.

my political two cents. edwards and obama are both anti-clinton candidates. if edwards underperforms early on, a lot of his support could go to obama. even if edwards wins iowa, he won't win the nomination because the fundraising situation is just too skewed against him.

but if edwards continues to do reasonably well, he is essentially dividing a certain pool of voters with obama (progressives, people who won't vote for clinton), and actually helping clinton.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | January 3, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

TBG, if you are out there...

I will never look at the shawl in the same way again. It's going to be a really great shawl, filled with the warmth of imaginary friends as I'll be thinking of you as I work. It will be fine once I get the picture of thongs out of my head and replace it with that of a more piratical fellow.

Posted by: dr | January 3, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I suggest Sean Connery or somebody else that stokes the Arrrr in your heart, dr.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 3, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. It is so cold here. Not inside the apartment, but one can tell just how cold it is outside by the feel in here. I dread the bus stop this morning. And as perky as the g-girl is, she might not like the cold this morning.

Maggie, I am so sorry about your beautiful pet.

Yesterday was a bad day for the g-girl. Just real cranky and crying. I went to the funeral, but had to leave. I don't think she got much rest while staying with mom and dad. And she's not eating good. Maybe the routine of school will set things right.

I want to make some guesses concerning the Iowa caucus, but I don't have the slightest idea how to go about that. I believe we need a forward thinking person as President, and someone that can perhaps shine up our image in the world. It really have taken a nose dive. I know some consider that the price of making us safe, but are we really safe? It just seems to me it might cause more problems.

Scotty, Mudge, Slyness, and all.*waving*
Check on the elderly in your neighborhood if the weather is real cold. And the homeless. Don't forget your pets too.

Have a great day, folks, and stay warm.

And Nanni, wherever you are, have a great new year.
We do miss you, Error.

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

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 3, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes CP, you own a lovely voice. Having maintained its youthful characteristic after instructing teenagers for so many years is a clear sign of remarkable patience. BTW: I lost my right hand mitten, the one I need for my cane hand, so I wore my left hand mitten backwards on 2 separate walks to the bookstore. Praying here that St Anthony will pull through for me on this one.

Maggie, sad to hear about the loss of your companion. Though I've only suffered the trauma twice, both times I experienced ghost noises, like a scratch at the door, a tingling collar, or pet paws on the floor, or something that would remind me of my furry friend.

Hi Cassandra. Wishing you (and all boodlers) a warm day, in spirit of course. Remember, there is still the better part of 3 days of Christmas left to go this winter. I'll consider it a cold day if I get frost on my mustache when I leave for work in an hour or so. I wunder what our most northern boodlers consider the tipping point of cold.

Posted by: Pat | January 3, 2008 4:58 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

*can't-think-of-anything-witty-but-sure-something-will-come-to-me-once-I'm-on-the-road Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Scotty and Cassandra. I see you guys are already up.

On the political news front, David Broder has waited until today to write a column explaining that the Iowa vote today is basically meaningless. Which I've been saying for weeks. Woulda been nice if he and a couple other reporters had been repeating this refrain over the past few weeks instead of allowing this ridiculous bandwagon of expectations to build up. This event has all the significance of a Redskins first scrimmage in preseason during which thier fourth-string prospects play our fourth-string prospects: the outcome is meaningless.

And Novak has a column about Hillary which I can't wait to NOT read. What could Novak possibly have to say that would be worth the thirty or forty seconds it might take me to read the first graf or two?

*wandering off in search of sustenance*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 5:31 AM | Report abuse

I usually like Dan Balz's stuff, but he has a piece called "8 questions Iowa could answer." Note the weasel verb "could." In the piece, Balz proceeds to raise 8questions, and knocks down all of them as either meaningless, or unlikely to happen, or otherwise not subject to clear interpretation, or maybe this but maybe that, or quoting opposite party "strategists," blah blah blah. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit that is crap. (Time-honorored and hallowed newspaper crap, oh yes. But still crap all the same; it's just crap with long and honorable roots. It's the kind of stuff reporters write when their editors tell them they MUST come up with a column, even when there's nothing to say. So, that's what they write. It's like the opening scenes in "Casablanca" where the cops Lackadaisically round up all the usual suspects; they know it's a farce, and so do the suspects.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Earlier in the season Dingle and Berry were sitting on the bench in reverse alphabetical order.

Her boss thought it was hilarious but refused to explain. I had to brief her on the more delicate meaning of the phrase.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2008 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. It's 21 degrees F here in the Queen City; I think I'll delay my walk till later in the day. Of course I could be in the mountains, where it is a whopping 5 degrees F. I don't do that kind of cold well at all.

The thought that we will spend the whole, entire year on the presidential election makes me tired. But, then again, I already know I'm not going to vote Republican. Thank heavens I have the Achenblog to keep me reasonably informed.

Morning, Cassandra. Hope the girl is in a better mood today. Wrap yourself and her up well for the wait at the bus stop!

Posted by: Slyness | January 3, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

My New Year's res was to actually join in the boodle instead of just lurking (enjoyably!)for the last several months, so here goes.

Maggie, I'm so sorry about Phineas, I know how our pets become part of the family. Our beagle, Joe, is like one of the children (albeit much more spoiled then our (grown) children were ever allowed to become!)

Politically, although I have my preferences, I agree with Tim - just about any of the Democrats would probably make a decent President. I shudder when I think about any of the Repub candidates actually achieving that goal. My SO is basically a conservative Repub (many fireworks since he lives with a proud, long-time hippie-liberal-bleeding heart demo but not too bad yet since he doesn't like any of the Repub guys either).

Don't want to take over but I hope to join in frequently now that I'm here.

Posted by: TLF | January 3, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey, TLF, welcome! Beware, boodling is addictive. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted by: Slyness | January 3, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Welcome, TLF! Take your coat off, stay awhile.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle! It is 30 degrees in Tampa and 19 at Chez Frostbitten North. 30 feels a lot colder here in FL than it does up north. I had forgotten until this morning just how nicely radiant floor heat warms up a toilet seat. On the bright side we now know our heating system still works. It hadn't been turned on in the 26 months since we inspected the house at closing.

Question-Is this the first year the press has covered the Iowa caucuses? It sure feels like it, because yet again we have a front page story headlined "So few in Iowa decide for you" (St. Pete Times). The Tampa Tribune did similar reportage earlier this week. If I hear one more person on TV or radio explain how unlike the rest of the US Iowa is, how small and pale the population, or how a candidate needs 15% for viability in a Democratic caucus I'll probably tear my hair out (I've already been yelling at the offending screen/speaker.) I certainly didn't hear the commentators explaining the basic rules of football during all these bowl games.

Mr. F asked last night what attending a MN caucus is like and I think at least some of it applies to IA as well. I told him it's like getting a bunch of people together who would get all the punch lines in Charlie Wilson's War,even if they didn't laugh. Those would be the people at the Rep. caucus.

Caucus attendees are small town and neighborhood policy wonks who are different from the TV pundits because they have to commit a precious vote by the end of the evening. Then there's a bunch of party business to conduct, which I think the press portrays either not at all or as quaint. But here is the beauty of the system. In both MN and IA you can register the day of the caucus (or any election)and be heard. In the caucus this means you can influence the direction of the party without clearing the obstacles other states might put in your path.

Is Iowa meaningless? I think not, or at least I hope not. The alternative of leading off with a much larger more diverse state is appealing, but I think that would just turn the race back into the "who has done the best fundraising" contest the press flogged to death before the Iowa campaign was in full swing. Call me crazy, but I'd rather have a butter cow carver or tractor factory worker picking the early frontrunner than donation bundlers.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 3, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Looks like it's cold all over the right coast this morning. We have -14F_-26C temperature this morning for the early walk. The Puppy wasn't pleased, its paws were sticking to the compacted snow. Good thought for Phineas Maggie.
Not being a Murican I usually stay out of the presidentil eletions discussions. But I must say these Iowa caucuses are nuts. The process itself is nuts, the money spent per vote (someone figured about $400 per vote on the democrat side) is nuts, the media attention given to it (even our JA made his pilgrimage out there, at a cost too) is nuts, and all this for something that the most acute political observers say is meaningless. What are the chances that Iowa will elect a democratic party electoral college? Why should the democratic party candidates care about Iowa then?
Another thing. Florida was punished by the democratic party for some reason and their delegates will not go to the party's convention. Why anger Florida democrats? Nobody remembers November 2000?
(OK, stepping off the soapbox gingerly)

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 3, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

If I were to offer a relatively inane opinion, I'd note that since the "campaign" has already dragged on for most of a year, people are anxious for ANY sort of "result," hence the somewhat-greater-than-usual interest in Iowa.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

There's a famous SNL sketch from the 80s where all the candidates are in Iowa doing personal errands trying to garner votes. That joke is still being used today.

Quadrennial humor you can just dust off every four years.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, I will take the 30 degrees in Tampa or even the 19 in MN since it's a balmy -8 degrees here in sunny central NY. Even the cats won't go out and are using the dreaded litter box. Took the dog about 1 minute to do his business and get right back in. However, it's supposed to be in the 30's by the weekend and in the 40's next week so I have successfully put off the cleaning of the SO's truck (desperately needed after deer season - yuk) and the hoeing out of one of the storage sheds so we can make room for more things that need to be stored.

Just back from reading Froomkin's White House Watch column, I find that it keeps me pretty informed on that front, however it usually raises my bp to a dangerous level so that I now have to go do something more calming like pay the monthly bills. (I've just gotta get me one of those Bush Out of Office Countdown calendars - going straight to Amazon to order ASAP.) Apparently there's some speculation that WH cabel may actually have known "something" about destroyed CIA interrogation tapes - yuh think?

Posted by: TLF | January 3, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Greenland Eskimos have many words for "cold", but my favorite translates as "cold enough to freeze emerging urine." There's an image to conjure with as you walk Rover in the predawn darkness!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 3, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Sunny central NY. Sounds like you are our new tripwire in the upcoming Canucki invasion. If you see people heading south with US$ denominated bookstore gift cards and armed with knitting needles, sound the alarm.

My wife read the Dave Barry 2007 Wrap-Up in the WaPo Magazine this weekend and found this line hilarious:

"On the homeland security front, the U.S. government begins requiring people arriving in the United States by air from Mexico or Canada to present passports, fueling speculation that Canada is a foreign country."

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Welcome TLF, and stay warm.

S'nuke-I think you are quite right about people being ready for some result, even if from a "meaningless" exercise in a non-representative state.

The St. Pete Times just got around to running a David Brooks NY Times piece from Jan.1. In explainingg why a win for Romney this month would mean a loss for the Reps. in November he says-

"The leaders of the Republican coalition know Romney will lose. But some would rather remain in control of a party that loses than lose control of a party that wins."

Describes human nature I think. It certainly explains why we hang on to some "allies" way beyond the point that is healthy for the countries they lead or our own national interest.

The rest is here:

Posted by: frostbitten | January 3, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Maggie, I'm sorry to hear about Phineas.

Welcome, TLF.

shrieking denizen, I agree with you regarding the nuts.

Posted by: rainforest | January 3, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Welcome TLF! Glad to finally meet you. (Great first initial, by the way). We'll lead the way with our alphabet boodling.

Didn't Iowa actually give us Kerry last time? Am I mistaken (which I could be) or did he come surprisingly out of the pack then (leading to Dean's banshee screech) and pretty much take the nomination in the next couple of weeks or so?

Also... Shrieking... I think the Dems DO remember what the Florida Democratic voters did in 2000 and are punishing them for it now. Butterfly ballots, hanging chads and accidental votes for Pat Buchanan? No thanks, we don't need you anymore! (Sorry DoftheC and kb... nothing personal!)

Posted by: TBG | January 3, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think the DNC didn't take kindly to its Florida affiliate's attempt to cut in line at the delegate dance...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Welcome abaord, TLF. As they say up in New England, "proud, long-time hippie-liberal-bleeding-heart Dem = finest kind." Your official Boodle Membership Card will be mailed out from the shop steward's office as soon as our parttime secrtary, Clymydia Sue Hornrim, gets back from her Caribbean cruise. And, as an extra added redundantly free gift bonus, as the first brand-new Boodler of 2008, we'll have Clymydia Sue waive your annual Boodle membership dues! That's the kinda swell outfit we are here in the Boodle shop steward's office, yessiree Bob. (Not that Bob. A different Bob.)

In the book review section, there's a review of "Proust Was a Neuroscientist," in which we learn "retrotransposons [are]junk genes that randomly jump around the human genome, were present in unusually high numbers in brain cells, where they arbitrarily altered genetic programs. "The brain seemed intentionally destructive," as Lehrer vividly summarizes it."

That's just dandy. That's just what I needed: a bunch of retrotransposons jumping around randomly in my head willy-nilly screwing with my hard-wiring. As if I didn't already have enough trouble remembering the names of my grandchildren. Sheesh. Retro my blue butt.

*wandering off to get more coffee, if I can recall where we put the coffee station. Oh, there it is*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hi Pat: resolved, counter each funeral with either a baptism or wedding. Slyness recommends that we seek out friends in their 20s and 30s.

Can we do a roll call for the NEW T-boodler? I think that Omni does this, right? But Pat has that boodlepop program that finds things.

SD -- give us the FrenchieFroggie word for butterflied chicken? I want to think of the FL ballots thusly.

Florida: where they spatchcock your ballots for free.

Posted by: College Parkian | January 3, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

CP, wouldn't that be "le Spatchcoq au vin"?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse


Annette!! Cubby!! Roy!!!

Ooooops, sorry, wrong roll call... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

There once was a Westie named Phineas
Who lived with a Maggie O'Genius
Trotting the yard edges
Not digging the rose hedges
That darling, wee-love of a Phineas

Phineas, chrysanthemum-mugged Westie, now enter into heaven.
Murphy - yes a cat, but such an esteemed feline - will be your mentor and guide. (Get over it, Phinny, submit now and chase him later, behind that nimbus cloud.)

Posted by: College Limerickian | January 3, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the citrus wasn't harmed.

A colleague is still considering retiring to central New York.

And Oxford Unversity Press has published a biography of the late University of Florida professor Archie Carr, "The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles". Carr was a formidable writer, so there's a strong argument for reading his books rather than a bio.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 3, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Welcome TLF!

Yello, technically Passports are only required to enter the US by air, congress has a bill (on the floor?) to delay the passport requirement by land and sea until June 2009. By such time enhanced drivers licenses may also be allowed. Nexus cards can currently be used in place of a passport - this fact is so little known that the US Border guard interviewing me was aware of this detail - his partner had to read the memo to him - quite literally while I was sitting there.

Cold here - my definition has always been when the harbour that was across the street from my childhood home would freeze over. This usually happened when we had a big drop in temperatures, the mist would rise from the water in clouds. If we were really luck it would stay cold and we could skate on the harbour - not something that happened often but I remember at least three times in my childhood - such a feeling of freedom skating on a large open surface.

Posted by: dmd | January 3, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Maggie, I'm so sorry about Phineas. I shed a real tear for you. My heart goes out to you.

I'm very excited to have a new Boodler. Welcome TLF! Have a cookie.

TBG, I made Kourabiedes (sp?) the other day, so you should have one too.

I'm getting my hair cut today, so will take the paper bag off my head and Boodle more often in the next few days before I go back to work.

You should all come for dinner tonight. I've got short ribs braising, some risotto cakes ready to bake and will do a saute of zuchini and peppers, followed by a chocolate souffle.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Nexus cards? How about MasterCards?

George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, has died, age 82. I think Dirda mentioned him yesterday.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 3, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

DMD -- so children, say 13-18, could drive into Canada on the basis of school IDs?

Perhaps some of the illegal children who play and sing in the band and choir MIGHT be able to go to Toronto anyway....our music program has probably 30 kids without passport options....all though about half of them have a US birth cert.

Son of Carl? Aren't you a Canookie (not Kooky) lawyer?

Shall boodle knowledge, again, save the day?

Posted by: College Parkian | January 3, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

dmd, I saw pictures of your big freeze on the news last night. Stay bundled up!

I wonder if dbG got all her jewelery made, or whether we will find her under a landslide of stones and have to trace her avalanche beacon?

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

CP starting Jan. 31 two pieces of ID are required for US citizens returning to the US, however, children under 18? only require birth certificates.

Big freeze is OK Yoki, few cold days and then warming up to mid teens c next week, I have seen what has happened to the maritimes (they are entitled to complain), I refuse to complain short of a plague of locusts.

Posted by: dmd | January 3, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, y'all, for the welcome.

Curmudgeon, I certainly hope you don't mean THAT Bob - my dearest one wiggled his eyebrows every time a "BOB" commercial came on until I informed him that if he ever smiled at me that way, I would immediately sign committal papers - whether for him or me yet to be determined.

Off to be "productive", repainting step stools made by SO for the upteemth - sigh - time until I can get a color I like.

Posted by: TLF | January 3, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I am checking flight times now - Ribs yea!

Posted by: dmd | January 3, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Ford announced that it's negotiating the sale of Jaguar-Land Rover to India's Tata. So maybe we might someday see made-in-India Land Rover Defenders?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 3, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Why do I think the first Tata-produced Jaguar model would be called "Bagheera?"


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, boodle, and New Year's salutations to all. I'm back from break in a new Christmas sweater. Given that the temperature was 18F this a.m., I feel underdressed.

Maggie, I'm so sorry to hear of your dog.

Welcome, TLF. I graduated HS in CNY and graduated from the what was formerly the State University College in Potsdam.

So we may be heading to the car dealer to check out the new Tata's???

Posted by: jack | January 3, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

CP, poulet en crapaudine.
Can't wait to look at those nice Tatas.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 3, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Get you hands on a Tata, you'll never let go!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

OTOH, "Like a Rock!" doesn't work at all.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 3, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Would a Tata made in India come with a manual showing the 78 possible seating positions? Like "Two Mongoose Reclining Face-to-Face With Feet Up On Dashboard"?

Me, I'm still trying to figure out where exactly the yoni is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

...and the new XJS comes specially equipped with Ccup holders...

Posted by: jack | January 3, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, I was iching to pop a yuk-yuk 'bout the new car, as well. But I always get in trouble when I try to get funny.

Yoki, glad you took that paper bag off your head. Your glorious red hair should never ever be hidden. I wonder how you do your ribs. I made some for NewYears eve, and they turned out awful, like hard rubber. I braised them for a few minuets, then baked them in BBQ sauce for an hour at 325, per the package instructions.

CP, neat limerick.

Maggie, I'm not a doggie kinda guy, but I am sorry for your loss. Over the NY weekend, I had to walk and feed our neighbors Westie while they were gone. He's cute, but good grief, did he HAVE to mark nine dozen spots in a three block run? I mean, is that like, doggie boodling, or something? Sheese.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 3, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

FYI, ladies: biker chic is back, and not a season too soon.

Posted by: jack | January 3, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Those would be some bodacious Tatas!

Posted by: TBG | January 3, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year jack! You must be back at school where you can boodle between classes.

Posted by: TBG | January 3, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Jeezy-peezy, I go for "The Jungle Book" and y'all go... THERE.

I gotta get my mind back in the gutter, obviously.


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, TBG. We were quite busy over holiday. The last few days have been spent constructing cabinets to fit some doors that we've had lying about for quite some time and striping a wall, both for our daughter's room. She has outgrown the present decor. My wife did a great job picking the new fabric for the curtains and the colour scheme for the striping on the wall.

Posted by: jack | January 3, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Just reminded that when I handled a RFP from TaTa that they used "doe snot" instead of "does not" in one of their answers. Hysterical, but they didn't get the job.

Yoki, thank you for inviting us! What would you like me to bring?

The jewelry is finished and should have been given out at the rehearsal dinner last evening. There's not going to be a next time, but if there were, I'd ask earlier when it was needed. I'd been thinking the morning of the wedding (this Friday) and discovered on Christmas that Wednesday morning was their unspoken assumption. What they'd wanted wasn't complex, just detailed, and it took over 24 work hours to complete. I've already vowed that next year the holidays are for the holidays.

Welcome, new T!

Have a good day, everyone. Boodle away and let me know what's going on in the Iowa circuses.

Posted by: dbG | January 3, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

CP, what dmd said. I suspect getting into Canada wouldn't be the hard part - it would be getting back home.

Hmm. Story on French cafes and smoking. Apres Galois, le deluge?

Posted by: SonofCarl | January 3, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Don, these have been marinating overnight in Dijon mustard, garlic, fresh red chilis and white wine. I then drained the marinade, roasted them on a rack for about 45 minutes at 375 to render the fat, then tossed them in a large casserole with couple of cups of beef stock, a good two cups of mirepoix, a little red wine (very little) and the marinade, some pepper, covered the pot and put it back in the oven at 325.

I'll leave them to braise for about another two hours or until they are just falling-off-the-bone tender. Then remove them from the liquid, strain and reduce the sauce to gravy consistency.

I think they'll be OK.

Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez, Yoki. Can you pick me up at the airport? I'm comin in on the 4:38.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Yep, Don 270, that is EXACTLY what dogs are doing- Boodling. We have considered changing our dog's name from Mick to Mark for just that reason. My question is- what does he get from all that sniffing? I mean, is it "Strange dog been here, must overmark!" or it more complex "That grouchy beagle mix from down the street was here 15 minutes ago. He had Alpo for dinner and has bad breath. He streams left and never covers me. Must overmark!"

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 3, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, you've ruined my keyboard. I'm, like, slobbering all over it. Oh Lord, those ribs sound like they are to die for.

Um, what's mirepoix? And, I get the feeling I'm not understanding just what you mean by "braise". To me, that's something you do to meat over high heat in a skillet, no?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 3, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, it was a choice of ogling or Mogli'ing.

Posted by: SonofCarl | January 3, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure, pile on Florida when we're weakened by cold weather and depressed about being persona non grata (collectively) at the Democratic Convention. Go ahead, kick us when we're down.

Just to show that I'm a good sport, however, and taking no umbrage whatsoever, I will note that the Dave Barry discussion will be starting in less than an hour:

And furthermore, I will note once again that Dave IS a Floridian, so be nice; while he's a guest at the Post today try not to insult his Homeland.

Posted by: kbertocci | January 3, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, do you used a fixed/constant ratio in your mirepoix, or just kinda wing it? (And is it still technically mirepoix if you omit the carrots?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 3, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

TFL, here you go! (Sorry to be late with this, ran out to the mall to meet elder child.)

Posted by: Slyness | January 3, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Jack, I take it that the sweater came from Christmas and is not a "Christmas sweater." I am thinking of a, say, brown sweater with a Rudolph face replete with blinking sequin nose on the front. Such a sweater is offered in all spiritual seriousness to the gifted; but the gifted one is in horror at the thought of actually wearing said item. Generally, women give or knit such items for their beloved. Generally, the beloved resists such sartorial kitting-out. But, beloved who wants to retain this quality PRETENDs that the sweater is fab, etc.

I once received a truly horrific sweater from an un-named in-law. Each pocket -- three per side -- featured a snow man scene and the snowmen were all very three-dimension. The back of the sweater was a three-d tufted forest and full of sequined snow flakes and stars.....very heavy, actually, and not so warm. I wore it when said S@t@nic relative showed up. Upon her death, the sweater went to the thrift store. I resisted burning this. Carbon emissions, you know.

From Jack's NYT article on biker chic chickwear:

What is Mr. Lagerfeld with his ponytail, ZZ Top frock coats, half-gloves and knuckles barnacled with Chrome Hearts hardware but the image of a biker daddy?

ZZ Top frock coats: worthy of Robin Givhan.

Yoki and Don/270: do you mean spare ribs or short ribs? Beef are spare, short are pork, right?

Thanks for the Canada X-ings details. SD, so our phrase for Florida voting procedures would be

ballots crapaudine

Does this translate to ballots in the manner of a frog?

Posted by: College Parkian | January 3, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yoki has us eating out of her hand, Mudge. It's got me all hotand bothered for lunch. Wonder of that Chinese sizzling buffet on "M" street does ribs? To heck with my LDL levels, I'm craveing some manfood.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 3, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Omigosh - I wish I could head for Yoki's right now. That sounds perfect!

k-guy - umbrage alert! There is no such thing as a grouchy beagle. But, on second look I realize you wrote beagle that explains it. Rusty, the faithful beagle, drives my kids crazy as he boodle-sniffs his way around the 'hood. Our neighborhood was apparently built on the site of an old hog farm (kind of embarrassing to write) and after Isabella tore up a lot of trees the beagle was lierally overcome the olfactory bounty.

SoC - very nicely done - your 11:20.

TLF - welcome to the A-blog!

Posted by: Kim | January 3, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

CP, I thought Yoki was doing short ribs. Mine were neither beef nor pork. They were cement.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | January 3, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

SCC - wow, shouldn't try to eat turkey sandwich and boodle at the same time..."literally overcome with..."

Posted by: Kim | January 3, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all. Maggie, I am so sorry about Phineas. TLF, glad you came out and joined the party.

Is there an election soon?

The WaPo printed a piece on $100 a barrel oil by David Fleishaker today. David is the OK energy secretary and one smart cookie.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 3, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Don, mirepoix is a mixture of finely diced carrots, onions and celery; it is the universal basis for most French sauces and stocks (substitute some shallots for part of the onions and you have near-restaurant quality).

Braising is a long, slow, covered cook with some sort of liquid to render the toughest (and most flavourful) meats tender. I think you are thinking of searing.

'Mudge, the classic mirepoix is 2 parts onion to 1 part each of carrot and celery. I don't worry too much about that; depending on what the dish is, I would add more or less of each. For chicken, for instance, I like more celery and less carrot. The one I did this morning is correct, however.

CP, beef ribs are short, pork ribs can, but need not, be spare.


Posted by: Yoki | January 3, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, my sympathies for the passing of your friend. My little cairn terrior is 14 years old. She's still feisty (she is, after all, a terrior) though a little deaf. My heart will break when she leaves us.

Boss, what's with the link to "how to preserve dry goods?" What joke did I miss here? (Though I've got to admit I'd never considered the effect on coffee by re-freezing it. Duh!)

Posted by: CowTown | January 3, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

And Yoki, thanks for the invitation and the recipe! I'll certainly be there for dinner in spirit, as I'll be eating unspecified hors d'oeuvres for "supper" -- and looking forward to carryout pizza at home.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 3, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, CP. I didn't think you'd out my sweater.

Posted by: jack | January 3, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Dave Barry's not trying to break any Weingarten chat records.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 3, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Peeking in ever so briefly to join the group of grievers over Maggie's doggie.

I always wanted a dog when I was a kid (what kid doesn't, after all?) and my mother always told me to play with the neighbor's dog. It worked out reasonably well, I suppose. I also wanted a pony. Nope, didn't get that, either. *sigh*

I am still hoping that Edwards does well in Iowa and NH. He's got the real stuff, he does.

(and now, taking deep breath, holding nose, and plunging back down into the mines)

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 3, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse


I think Joel's just trying to steal Dave's thunder...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 3, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link! Also good job on your predictions.

Posted by: Greg Sanders | January 4, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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