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Cows Fleeing Blogger and Other Texas Pictures


Roundabout Jarrell, Texas, two tractor-trailers collided on I-35 and shut the entire freeway. I escaped through a grassy ditch and found a parallel road and then headed east toward route 95, and along the way paused to take a picture of some cows. They scampered as though I was about to turn them into hamburger.


Mysterious building in Austin, possibly some kind of shrine. Has portrait inside of Sam Houston injured as Santa Anna is brought to him after the battle of the Alamo. [Actually, after the battle after the battle of the Alamo.] [I will upload the pic when back on solid ground.]


There you go.

More photos after the jump.

Meanwhile, for political junkies only, here's an excellent piece in the Atlantic, replete (complete?) with links, about the inner workings of the Clinton campaign.

And more news about Earth.


King of the Wild Frontier.


Where I found some hoppin' nightlife.


I need to start a special gallery of Ron Paul signs standing amid desolate landscapes.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 15, 2008; 4:12 PM ET
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Next: Crawford, Texas


Portrait is probably of Houston after San Jacinto actually? That's a strange battle.

9/10 on the last quiz.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 15, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I thought the cows would run TO a human. Expectation of being fed and all that...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 15, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I would expect Joel will still in the vehicle, Scotty. And since it was a rental I would also expect it wasn't a pickup, which is what cows thinking they were going to be fed would be looking for.

Does that make ANY sense?

Posted by: Slyness | February 15, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

SCC will still BE in the vehicle. *sigh*

Posted by: Slyness | February 15, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It was the hair. Texas bovines have never seen such flyaway hair.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

SOC, good catch.

Actually I got out of the car and then they scampered. They looked me over for half a beat, though. I don't know, maybe it's the hair or something. Or the press credential around my neck????

Posted by: Achenbach | February 15, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Dogies, SonofCarl, we little dogies gitted along. So to speak.

Great pictures. The cows were spooked by the camera, of course. Actually cows are easily spooked. If you drive into their fields around the time they expect dinner, they'll come up to your car and lick it. Cattle rustling is not for the faint of heart.

Lovely shot of the Texas State Capitol. Shrine indeed. You know, it is taller than the U.S. Capitol building (or indeed any other state capitol, I believe) by three or four feet. Something like that. I don't know whose feet they are.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 15, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I know CP and DotC will notice, but I'd like to point out that nice allee in front of the "shrine." Live oak perhaps. Maybe JA could throw us a bone now and again with a few horticultural observations. (Tomato season is a long way off for almost all except kb and DotC)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 15, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, the western sky, There IS no other. Clouds, clouds, clouds, and the distance: clarity and grace.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Joel, when in Austin be sure and stop by Schultz's Beer Garden and hoist a cold one in honor of Molly Ivins. Unfortunately it is no longer possible to go to Threadgill's Bar where Janis Joplin started out, or Armadillo World Headquarters, where I first saw Johnny Winter, but you can still go to the Elizabet Ney (a seriously strange artist) museum and Laguna Gloria.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Frosti. Such great words and concepts:

(alleys are nice too!)
palmette verrier,
Belgian fence

Ahh, if only I could hear SD say some of those French words.....

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That's right, college parkian. Moving back to Oklahoma I was struck again by the wide open expanse of sky. This is true of all points west including much of Texas (excluding south Texas) and parts of Colorado (mountains sometimes get in the way). The land-based sky starts to shrink again as you reach the California coast, though the ocean has a nice sky to share. There is just nothing like this sky in the eastern part of the country. It makes road trips a joy and delight.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 15, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, so much for my surmises.

Posted by: Slyness | February 15, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse


The cows knew you weren't a Texan cause Texans probably don't take pictures of cows in a pasture. But I appreciated the pic--I love cows. I liked the butter cow pic you took earlier in Iowa, too. You are certainly getting around these days.

Hey, did you see Loomis? :-)

BTW, keep up talk about the earth. It needs more attention! Poor earth and poor great-great grandchildren...if still around then.

Flying back to work now. The imagination is a wonderful place. Like the times, anyway.

Posted by: eidrib | February 15, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Not quite so, k-guy -- the Armadillo is gone, but Threadgill's is there for the visiting. Good food, too.

Posted by: bia | February 15, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Psst, k-guy, its Scholz's, not Schultz's beer joint. Molly's wake was at Scholz's--follow the link I gave to see pics. I know, too. the Clintons and '72 McGovern crew did hang out there, since Texas longnecks were their "drug of choice"--the phrasing coming from Maraniss.

So, Joel's in the air to where?

IIRC correctly, Houston was sent to the nearest hospital in New Orleans to recover from his wounds. Santa Anna didn't fare too well after the battle either. Two years after the fall of the Alamo and his defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto, Santa Anna lost a leg when French naval forces attacked a Mexican citadel. During the Mexican War, Santa Anna lost his artificial leg when he was surprised by an Illinois regiment. Santa Anna's leg is enshrined in a military museum in Illinois (you know, Clinton's and Obama's home state).

Interesting news from AP via CNN yesterday:

First three grafs:

WASHINGTON (AP) - NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) Inc. in September submitted the first application for a new nuclear reactor in the U.S. in nearly three decades, but that doesn't mean the power producer's project will be the first to receive government approval.

NRG last month told federal regulators that cost negotiations were continuing with its reactor vendors, which would make it difficult for the company to respond to specific design questions the government has about the application, NRG spokesman David Knox said Thursday.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday issued a notice that indefinitely postponed the public comment period on NRG's application for two new units at its facility in Bay City, Texas, about 90 miles southwest of Houston. The comment period was supposed to expire on Feb. 25, at which point a public hearing would have been scheduled.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Quinconce CeePee?
Dog and snow tired I am.

Joel, cows can be called back, you just have to know the local practice. What do Texas cows responds to?
Cows can be curious. Once, while I was fishing a small, trout-filled spring meandering through a poor pastured valley I was stalked by cows. They followed me all day. I was glad for the very steep banks of the creek. Another time, I called cows from far away with the local call, to see my esteemed urbanite colleagues dispersed in a very disorderly fashion upon the arrival of the mooing herd. That was fun. (Watch out for bulls though, them guys can be mean)

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 15, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Website for "A Global Map of Human Impacts to Marine Ecosystems"

Almost everything's messed up.

Southern Florida has big skies and cypress strands for hills. Clyde Butcher is the most celebrated photographer of those skies.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 15, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Nice political links, Joel, although I had to snort at this line:

"No one could have predicted Barack Obama's sudden rise..."

I rather suspect Barack did.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 15, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that you should mention delightful road trips, Ivansmom, I was just reading not too many moments ago about Chris Hitchen's interesting road trip along Route 66. It was in Oklahoma where his socks turned pink. He devotes a good chunk of the middle portion of his essay to Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

I sneaked a Valentine's Day gift to myself from Half-Price Books: Hitchen's 2004 book--a series of essays, the book titled, "Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays."

The one essay that caught my attention as I was browsing it was about the teaching of U.S. history--specifically the lack of it. Also fascinating is his assessment in the book of the Kennedys and the Camelot myth.

Will Joel be back for the CNN Austin presidential debate next Thursday? On Tuesday night at the Clinton rally, I did get a chance to say hello to correspondent Dean Reynolds of ABC News. I was just about to greet CNN's Suzanne Malveaux when her cameraman waved me away, saying she was about to file, meaning go on-air.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

How is it that the French revolutionaries didn't convert Versailles into a "Centre national de l'élevage de bétail" with comfy, well-watered cow pastures and magnificent barn facilities. Not to mention a "Jardinerie organique nationale" to utilize all that manure. [Babelfish French].

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 15, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

So Joel wears his credentials around his neck? Not in the brim of his gray fedora?

Posted by: TBG | February 15, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

You could see me, if Joel ever uses the digital photo I sent him of me and the Texas Book Fair dragon, taken by Loomispouse on the grounds of the State Capitol, er, shrine.

To be Texas-akkerut, the "Shrine" of Texas Liberty is the Alamo.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Those cows know reporters like to hang around "tipsters."

Posted by: Jumper | February 15, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually DotC, parts of Versailles was transformed into stables for a while. The Invalides, as well as numerous churches, were used for barn animals as well.
The Talibans destroyed the Buddhas, didn't they? Fanatics aren't good to humanity.

Joel, them cows are cattle for meat. I would stay away from humans too.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 15, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

All herbivores have one reaction to sudden, unidentified movement-- run. More so if they see a flash of yellow or yellowish material, or a reflection as though off of water. Also, claw-like hands can spook them as well. It's all about the "don't get eaten" mindset.

So it's probably the camera that did it, Joel, as well as your claw-like hands while grasping the camera. That and you could also have smelt like you had just enjoyed a steak dinner, as well.

I'd run, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 15, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

From the NYT, more than 100 years ago:

GEN. SANTA ANNA'S CORK LEG.; Proposal in Illinois to Send the Trophy Back to Mexico.

(Includes letter written by Nexican President PORFIRIO DIAZ.)
March 29, 1899, Wednesday
Page 2, 269 words

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 28. -- A cork leg and boot which belonged to Gen. Santa Anna have lain in the war museum of the State House ever since the Mexican war. The artificial leg was either taken from the General by Illinois troops at the battle of Cerro Gordo, or else it was captured in a carriage which the General had vacated rather suddenly on the battlefield, lest he be taken prisoner. The cork limb was brought to Illinois, and ws for many years in the possession of the Mexican Veterans' Association.

This link has a picture of the leg!

General Santa Anna's prosthetic leg is currently part of the Illinois State Military Museum's collection. The leg is displayed on the second floor of The Adjutant General's (TAG) building at Camp Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois.

Over the years Santa Anna, the Mexican government, and the State of Texas all have tried to retrieve the leg. In 1942, two Chicago Democrats introduced a bill to return the leg as a sign of solidarity with Mexico against Nazi Germany. Republicans defeated the measure, saying "the Democrats don't have a leg to stand on". In 1998, Santa Anna's leg had another few minutes of fame when the animated television series "King of the Hill" did a show describing how Santa Anna lost his leg.

Lest we forget the poem:

The Leg I left Behind Me

I am stumpless quite since from the shot
Of Cerro Gordo peggin',
I left behind, to pay Gen. Scott,
My grub, and gave my leg in.

I dare not turn to view the place
Lest Yankee foes should find me,
And mocking shake before my face

The Leg I Left Behind Me.

At Buena Vista I was sure
That Yankee troops must surrender,
And bade my men hurrah, for you're
All going on a bender.

That all my hopes and plans were dashed,
My scattered troops remind me,
But though I there got soundly thrashed,
I left no leg behind me.

Should Gen. Taylor of my track get scent,
Or Gen Scott beat up my quarters,
I may as well just be content
To go across the waters.

But should that my fortune be,
Fate has not quite resigned me
For in the museum I will see
The Leg I Left Behind Me.

Posted by: Loomis | February 15, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

In staggered rows, SD, with French flair and panache etc.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Have you heard of the Encyclopedia Baracktannica?

Here it is.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 15, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse
The Pastry War, wherein Santa Anna loses that leg. While there, click on Cinco De Mayo if you aren't clear on that. I was not, until I read a book about Leopold.

Posted by: Jumper | February 15, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

On a proposed swap: we give you the leg, you give us the flag captured from the Alamo:

Posted by: Jumper | February 15, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Cows are odd critters--skittish, yet curious. When we walk Ray past cow pastures, there's always at least one (the spokesman for the group?) who comes up to the fence to sniff him. Then snort and run. Not understanding their behavior and body language as I do that of horses, they freak me out a bit. They always seem a bit menacing.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 15, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh Raysmom, cows are usually gentle, especially dairy cows. I am not afraid of cows. I have healthy respect for horses, though, since the ones I knew were tough hombres in retirement from cattle days....not ridden much but in a pasture near us. The cows near us, biddable and so, well bovine, let us ride them.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't remember EVERYTHING, but I remember Angus.

Posted by: Russ | February 15, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse


I grew up around cows. They really don't care much about humans unless food is involved. But they have those big brown eyes and long eye lashes, and lots of spots, and provide milk and cheese (okay, and some of them meat)...see what I mean?

But they are big animals and that alone is a bit intimidating when you get close to them. They'd just as soon tip you over without thinking about it if you get in the way of a group of them unless you have yellow on or show claws like Wilbrod said.

They provide humans so much, though. Cows are my favorite animal but I don't get carried away with them like folks do in India. Letting them walk freely in the streets is too much adoration...and mess. Cow pie, anyone?

Posted by: eidrib | February 15, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I've read some pretty strange threads here on the Boodle over the past two or so years -- but this paean to cows might be one for the books.

Maggie, that Slate link about Obama you post led me into reading that longish piece on the best wine ever made (the '47 Cheval Blanc), which was an interesting read.

And I was thinking about writing my own remininscences of the Pastry War, but it made me hungry just thinking about it, so now I'm gonna go make dinner instead.

Back in a bit. Happy three-day weekend to those of you leaving the Boodle for a while.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 15, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Added a couple more really museum-quality images of the paintings in the mysterious domed shrine in Austin.

Flying home...yay...Beating it out of here just ahead of a big storm I think...

Posted by: Achenbach | February 15, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

10/10 on previous quiz - woo hoo! I'll admit that 3-4 were guesses, a couple educated and a couple just lucky.

Cow stories: while attending community college in CNY, a friend of mine had a housemate from NYC. One day we were all riding around in my boyfriend's station wagon when she suddenly yelled "Stop the car! Stop the car!" He pulled over, she jumped out and ran over to the fence, all of us right behind her. She turned to us with a look of wonder and said "Those are COWS!" Well, duh. Then she explained to us she had never seen a real, live cow, only pictures. Truly strange idea to those of us who had grown up in rural CNY!

Also, same BF and I lived one summer in a camp on the river behind his parent's farm. They no longer ran the farm but rented out pasture land to another area farmer. There was an electric fence around said camp and behind the camp we had planted a *ahem* certain herb. The plants had grown very tall. The plants were ready to be harvested. The cows broke thru the electric fence one night and commenced chowing down on all that lovely herb. Not a stalk nor seed to be found.

Good thing they weren't milk cows.

Posted by: TLF | February 15, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Cow tipping, Jumper. hee hee. When I lived in Boston there was a student legend of some restaurant out off one of the highways that had plastic cow statues in its yard. Students aided by copious libation would go out after hours and tip the cows. Or so the story went.

It always startled people when I said that out where there were real cows there was no cow tipping, and that actual cows could, in fact, bend their legs and lie down. A shock to the folks familiar with the plastic variety of the breed.

My suggestion that the cows ran from Joel's camera was partly in jest. They might have, of course, but they might have run for any number of reasons or none at all. They might not even have seen him and still decided to run. These are cows, folks. Don't overthink it. They won't.

Cows are smarter than professional football players. Given an option, they'll come in out of a storm.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 15, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

An experiment for JA if he is so inclined next time he has the opportunity to take a cow photo and gets out of his car.

Carry a bucket. Odds are they will come.

Disclaimer: may result in being shot by protective ranchers.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 15, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the new pictures, Joel, and get out while you can. We're just waiting for that storm to get here. I hope at least this time it brings snow rather than ice.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 15, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, fair enough. Always wise to avoid a cow paean whenever possible.

Crockett looks like John Cusack to me in that portrait:

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 15, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Lookee here, at the dairy of my childhood, now long gone BUT in 2000, these barns stood:

Oh my, I am homesick for long ago and far away. Look at this photo to, if you like my pastures were classic bucolic. Tough territory there, for cows and people.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian,

Your picture of the dairy farm brings back memories of the farms near where I grew up in western Pennsylvania.

Mudge, be glad we aren't in India!


Posted by: eidrib | February 15, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Dang I pretty much missed the cow stories day.

When I was a kid waaaaaaay back we had a few cows. We always wanted to be out in the barns with dad rather than in the kitchen drying dishes with mom, and sometimes we got to go. If we misbehaved, and he was milking a complacent cow, he'd squirt us in the face. If we were good, he aim it so we could have a drink.

Posted by: dr | February 15, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

You were livin in a van, down by the river, TLF??? This reminds me of something...

Posted by: Jumper | February 15, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

It all gets better. History Moment: Apparently, the site of the dairy -- lower fields were were expressly forbidden to visit in spring because of the river melt -- has been determined to be one of the portage sites for the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. Here is the paragraph:

Ayrshire Dairy Farm - Upper Portage & White Bear Island Overlook - The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent a momentous month here, June-July 1805 - completing the portage at Great Falls; assembling Lewis's famed, failed iron boat; and preparing to cross the Rocky Mountains. They fought off grizzly bears, hunted bison, and carried supplies naked through brutal hail storms, wrongly expecting that a quick route to the Pacific Ocean lay just a few ridges away. Here they celebrated the nation's 29th birthday on July 4th, and drank the last of their "grog." [To get there: In Great Falls, take 10th Avenue South to 13th Street. Turn south on 13th and travel about four miles to 40th Street. Turn right (west) on 40th; the display area is on the left about 400 yards from 13th Street.]

From the Undaunted Heritage project:
I wish we still had the arrowheads and military buttons we found, as bored but industrious rock hounds; agates, too; lots of fossils; and the occasional pony bead, left over from trading days.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I forgot you are a grape nut!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 15, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the recipes everyone. all of them sound so good.

what a conversation piece, cows. as a teenager i tried to milk a cow. could not get the hang of it, and i kept thinking the cow was going to kick me. not a good feeling. i did not like the idea of sitting that close to the cow, and the idea of pulling anything on the cow was way to much for me. you've probably guessed by now, never got the hang of that art, milking a cow.

JA, the pictures are nice. I think it is so grand that you get to travel and see so much. Of course, I suspect you may miss your family.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 15, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed the cows in India, eidrib. They really do wander loose and will lie down on the meridans to chew their cuds as cars roar past. They wouldn't run from Joel at all.

They also eat garbage such as melon rinds, etc. Littering is rife in India and people just haven't even thought about the physics of chucking stuff out of car windows. NRIs (Non-resident Indians) living aboard often come home with much raised awareness and a little embarrassment over this fact. On the other hand, most of the garbage is biodegradable and easily eaten by pigs and cows; Tamil Nadu has also banned all plastic bags and such because of the impact on the environment.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 15, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

More about the satellite shoot-down at
"The falling satellite is named USA 193. It was launched Dec. 14, 2006. It has been described as being similar in size to a school bus and might weigh as much as 10,000 pounds. It carries a sophisticated and secret imaging sensor but the satellite's central computer failed shortly after launch, never reaching its final orbit, and the Pentagon declared it a total loss in early 2007."

"About the size of a school bus" suggests this is a roughly Hubble-size dead weight in space. It also means a Hubble-size price tag, of order $1 billion. We astronomers get somewhat peeved at the derision we receive over the early optical problems of the Hubble, considering the Pentagon launches one or two of 'em per year and has lost one or more in launch failures or problems like this one. Yet, no one raises even a mild peep of indignation over the similar financial cost. We feel picked-on.

The failure of the computer explains the inability to execute a controlled de-orbit. I stand by my sense that the hydrazine on board is harmless to us, as it will never reach the ground. A few thousand pounds of supersonic plummeting space junk, on the other hand, raises some concerns. Presumably, the difference between this shoot-down and the Chinese satellite shoot-down is that this target already is in a decaying orbit and its broken bits will find their way into the atmosphere and burn up on a much shorter time scale.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 15, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, that would be the Hilltop Steak House (Sneaks, please to confirm?), right on Route 1 just south of Route 128. Kids would have to be QUITE soused to attempt cow-tipping a few yards from a busy divided highway.

Then again, we ARE talking Beantown's college hordes, so...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 15, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm an explorer in a large western territory, and never thought I'd be writing in with one of my own stories. But the other day Meriwether [not his real name] and I were carrying supplies naked in a hailstorm when...

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 15, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

just read a story under the health section of the washpost about the dental program in maryland being revamped because of the death of a young boy. his name is deamonte driver and he died from an infection to the brain from lack of dental care, he was twelve years old. a sad story. it seems his family was homeless, and could not get the appropriate dental care in time to save him. it is hard to find a dentist that will fool with the government payouts and all that paperwork. and that leaves so many young children at risk. it seems maryland has come up with a plan that they think will cover this problem, and perhaps be a guideline for other states suffering from the same problem.

time to turn in. i am exhausted. i went to the laundry room this morning, and then came back and cleaned the oven. that is one job i would pay someone else to do. the fumes from that stuff, not good.

have a good weekend, friends. get some rest if that's possible. i hope to talk with you later. sweet dreams. night boodle.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 15, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

No, Jumper, we didn't live in the van - we actually lived in a two-room camp, no electric or water, kerosene lamps and heat stove and a by-gosh gen-u-wine two seater. We ate most of our meals up at the "farmhouse" with his parents and moved up there for the winter long about November. The camp stayed warm but the outhouse...not even my nature-lovin' hippie persona could tolerate THAT!

Posted by: TLF | February 15, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Can we please put the whole cow-tipping thing to rest once and for all? For the record, cows can stand, and lie down, and get up. They even roll in the grass from time to time.

Posted by: Yoki | February 15, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Yoki.

SofCarl -- you are silly; you can, should you wish to go further, join one of the reinactor groups and try this for real, sort of.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

What shall we call it when boodling leads us to bizarre loops of knowledge?

I just tootled around Google Earth, to look at the Lewis in Clark pushpins. I found my house growing up, my park, my school, etc. And, I triangulated in on the Ayrshire Dairy on the Lewis/Clark encampment. CHILL descends. Some soul has posted the declassified locations and names of all the missile silos around Great Falls and Malstrom AFB. OH MY GOODNESS. The number staggers. I counted more than 35 dotting my growing up landscape.

Now wonder we still did duck and cover into the 70s. I am stunned, really, stunned, that so many silos were all around me....within blocks. I assumed that there were maybe ten, way out in the wheatfields out of town. Frosti, don't Airmen "people" those silos...peopled them?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

CP-I only have a passing acquaintance with the silos. Like Great Falls' Malstrom both Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases had the Minuteman missiles. When I was at the U in Grand Forks, North Dakotans boasted that if they went off on their own they'd be the world's second biggest owner of nuclear weaponry. The squadron that controlled the silos at Grand Forks was deactivated in '99.

Power to Yoki for debunking the cow tipping myth.

I think I've mentioned here before how I hate the Chick-fil-a ad campaign that features Holsteins that can't spell. If you are going to anthropomorphize cows why make them appear stupid? How can people let this anti-bovine bias stand??!!

Posted by: frostbitten | February 15, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures, Joel. Backboodling like mad. TBG, glad to hear that your nephew is better. Hope he'll be fully recovered soon.

Thanks Maggie for the eggplant parmesan recipe in the previous boodle. Will try it one of these days.

Posted by: rainforest | February 15, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

From the pictures Texas looks like just the way I would picture it, Big and desolate.

Busy night here at work,all the young lovers getting hotel rooms with their sweethearts.

I just heard Pink Floyd's "Time" on the radio and no matter how bad I am feeling, that song just lifts my spirits. Especially when it is cranked to the max.

Have a good evening boodle!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 15, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

That's it, Scottynuke! Hilltop! I couldn't remember, since I never went on these "cow"tipping excursions. Yes indeedy, the Hilltop Steakhouse off Route 128. Ah, nostalgia.

Yoki, I tried my best while back in the NE to scotch the cow-tipping myth, but some folks just wanna believe.

Greenwithenvy: Texas is big, yes, but not desolate. Not, anyway, if you like wide open spaces with virtually nothing there. This is west Texas, mind you, and most of the Panhandle. All the way through central Texas south to San Antonio and Houston is pretty gosh darn populated, full of strip malls and such. I find the populated interstates more desolate than the lonely ones.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 15, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Several years ago, Ivansmom, Mr. T and I went exploring, driving I-15 north of Salt Lake City into Idaho. Many of the interchanges, if not most, had signs reading, No services. That felt very strange, not to have fastfood establishments or gas stations at every interchange. Obviously I am a southerner and east coaster.

Posted by: Slyness | February 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, Slyness. Traveling through the West you quickly learn to never let your gas tank get near empty, and it is a good idea to carry a water bottle or two. On some days I can call out the names of all the towns with services between here and the Santa Fe turnoff, and I can almost count them on my fingers.

Time to join the Boy. Vaya con cows, Boodle, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 15, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

dr --

I had no idea you were a kitty!

Posted by: nellie | February 15, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, there are those who think I'm not so much a grape nut but a grape nut flake.

Um, CP, why would anyone carry supplies while naked and in a hail storm? (Your 7:16 post)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 15, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, thought I was previewing and I posted. An internet sin.

Wanted to post that picture of the cats sitting up to get milk from the guy milking the cows.

Posted by: nellie | February 15, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ivansmom, I bet it is beautiful.

One of these days I am going to see all of this beautiful country I live in.

I once heard a poem about driving in Texas or driving thru Texas

The sun is ris,the sun is set and here we is in texas yet.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 15, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

GWE, you know how interstates have mile markers? I-20 through Texas is more than 800 miles, IIRC. By my reckoning, that's more than a day's journey. I'm sure someone here will know the exact distance.

Posted by: Slyness | February 15, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, blame SofC...!

Nitey, nite here.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 15, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"All one has to do is Google, and one gets:

"According to the software program Streets & Trips, the program calculates the length of the i-20 in Texas at approx. 635 miles long, requiring an estimated non-stop driving time of approx. 10 hrs. and 33 minutes to complete."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 15, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke and Ivansmom,
Growing up in Somerville/Cambridge and spending the fabulous 2 weeks in Hampton Beach, NH, I passed the Hilltop Steakhouse many, many times, and I was always amazed at the long lines waiting to enter the restaurant. I never saw a toppled cow (I never hoped to see one, apoligies to Ogden Nash),and it was only once as an adult that I ate there, and it was FABULOUS!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 15, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I never saw a toppled cow/
I never hope to see one/
But, if I do, I'll tell you now/
I'd rather see, than eat one.

Thank you Maggie and Ogden,

Posted by: Shiloh | February 15, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"The" I-20? I thought that was a California idiom... maybe they say it in Texas, too. I remember once on X-Files, the supposed Washingtonians Mulder and Scully referred to 95 as "the" 95. Bah.

Posted by: Woofin | February 15, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Yep, S'nuke, you and Ivansmom have remembered correctly. The Hilltop Steak House on rt. 1 in Saugus, MA. There used to be another one south of Boston, in Braintree, but it closed a year or two ago. I don't remember if the Braintree one had cows. Not only were the cows in Saugus tipped, but from time to time some of them would 'disappear,' only to resurface after pleas from local DJ's on college oriented stations.

Tired, very long week finally ended. I seem to have suffered a relapse of the stomach virus I had last weekend. Some ginger ale and saltines have helped but I'm going to go to bed and hope for a better day tomorrow. Night all.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 15, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Sleep well, Bad Sneakers...

I've gotta say, Braintree always made me think of a giant cauliflower.

Posted by: Woofin | February 15, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Ron Paul signs, here's one (scroll to the end of this slightly dated 10thcircle blog item):


Posted by: bc | February 15, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Shiloh! Hi, Woofin!

We pick out Californians here by their use of "the 5" and "the 405".

I've been on I-15 from Wyoming (or Idaho, possibly) through Montana - lovely road, no one on it, and lots of "No Services" signs. We stopped at a rest stop where a truck was already parked, and it was kind of spooky. I was imagining something out of No Country for Old Men...

When we moved out of Texas, we drove from Houston to beyond Amarillo, just over the state line into New Mexico in one day. So we wouldn't have to be in Texas any longer than necessary.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 15, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Scholz, Schultz, whatever. I haven't been in the place in 30+ years, and I was never sober when I did frequent it. As to Threadgill's, the name may survive but without old man Threadgill it's just a beer joint in a gas station.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 15, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Hilltop. My 3rd job out of college was at the HLS and my cousin (coincidentally, my roommate) would go there and stock up on cut-to-order meat. Good with eggplant, too!

Posted by: dbG | February 15, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, I loved Ivansmom's 6:39 - these are cows-don't overthink it! Made me laugh.

Goodnight all.

Posted by: Kim | February 15, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"When we moved out of Texas, we drove from Houston to beyond Amarillo, just over the state line into New Mexico in one day. So we wouldn't have to be in Texas any longer than necessary.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 15, 2008 11:12 PM "

Many, many years ago, that was my husband's criteria for driving across Texas!

Posted by: nellie | February 16, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

We are making some progress here in Texas. You may recall that Gov. Rick Perry held an inauguration not too long ago during which Ted Nugent performed along with the Confederate flag--and no one at the inauguration seemed to notice or to care.

Lately, Perry's made appearances at fundraisers for the United Negro College Fund. Don't know if he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart or he thought he'd be Rudy Giuliani's running mate:

The United Negro College Fund raised more than $160,000 on Wednesday [ this past week] at its inaugural South Texas Governor's Luncheon in San Antonio, where Gov. Rick Perry challenged attendees to support the organization's mission of educating minority students.

"This is worth our attention," Perry told more than 300 attendees inside the ballrooms of the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk Hotel. "This is worth our time. This is worth our investment."

It was Perry's second time headlining a governor's luncheon benefiting the United Negro College Fund. In September, he spoke at a similar luncheon in Dallas, which attracted about twice as many attendees and raised $185,000 for the fund.

LL: I talked much about Gen. Santa Anna's artificial leg. What happened to the real leg he lost is equally as interesting, fascinating really. Will try to tackle the rest of the story manana.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

nellie, not quite a cat. See the unlucky short kids among us used to have push the cats aside for it. Elbowing all those cats aside is what made us farm girls tough.

I'm going to have to refute the refutation of cow tipping. I'm quite certain I saw this happen. Of course it was dark, there had been some wine consumption, and we were teenage girls, so there was a lot of giggling going on. Something tipped. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: dr | February 16, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Dry conditions were reflected in National Weather Service Red Flag warnings in 174 counties on 4 February, and through the first five weeks of 2008, as many acres (121,305) had already burned in Texas as did in all of 2007 (121,964). A 1-category degradation to D2A was made in southwestern Texas from south of Del Rio to Laredo and San Antonio. A lack of rainfall made the September 2007 to January 2008 five-month period the 2nd driest on record for San Antonio (records dating to 1871) and the 4th driest at Austin Bergstrom (since 1949).

LL: It actually poured for about three minutes tonight when we were in Barnes and Noble. Clash of air masses--cold and dry vs. warm and humid--prompted the local weatherman to issue a warning about possible tornadoes tomorrow.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Earth News, Joel-- here's a story with political fallout potential.

Seems like Lake Mead could be dry by 2012... no joke, just warmer temps, less rainfall, and higher demand. Even Lake Superior hit its lowest point in 2007, after a winter with subpar snowcover.

Minnesota is the driest state in the Midwest but it is also where the Mississippi river starts. The great 1993 Missisippi floods hit some weeks after 40 days out of 50 days it had rained in northern Minnesota.

A historical fact: On February 15, 1895,
a snowstorm in New Orleans dumped 8 inches of snow. Horse trolleys were stalled.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Lake Mead and the others like it would be allowed to go dry. I suspect some water would be kept if only to create enough head to generate a reasonable amount of hydro power -- that's a major part of the Western dams' purpose.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 16, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

They say Lake Mead may go dry in 2021 - Wilbrod transposed the numbers. So, party on, Las Vegas!

I heard that the other day, but didn't get a chance to read about it. Some great lines in the story. When I was in Vegas a few years ago, I heard that it was the fastest growing area in the country. And my thought was, what about water? Of course, I'm the one who almost moved to San Diego, but after spending 3 weeks there, couldn't deal with the dry, sunny weather day after day. I complain about the rain in Seattle, but I'm happy to have it, most of the time.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 16, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse


Lucky you! I would love to see the cows in India. But only for a little while.

Wow the cow was on the prowl a long while this boodle day.

Yoki--agree cow tipping is a myth. People tipping by cows not a myth.


Posted by: eidrib | February 16, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Las Vegas and water reminds me of SUVs and petroleum -- we can't control ourselves. The accepted wisdom seems to be that the magic of the market will impose controls will that lead to an outcome that's good for all of us "if only we let it operate", which IMHO is a joke. We've gotten to the present mess because self-interest has had the upper hand all along -- nobody ever has to pay for externalities, and with the low tax crowd in charge, the state isn't going to pay for them or clean them up either.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 16, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm here, but duly chastened. In the words of the great philosopher Sting - "I'll be watching you"!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 16, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Watched a production of the musical "Billy Bishop Goes to War" tonight. One actor, playing Brooks and various other characters and a pianist.

The real Bishop was an improbable Canadian World War I hero, a fighter ace who later on was instrumental in getting American citizens to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force prior to US entry into the second World War. One of my high school neighbors was one of those Americans.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 16, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Las Vegas has become fairly good at water conservation. It doesn't take that much of the stuff to fill hotel pools and fountains.

If Lake Mead is going dry, I assume Lake Powell farther upstream is toast. Would it be possible to blow up the soon-to-be-useless dam?

I suppose large new supplies of electricity will be needed to replace the hydropower.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 16, 2008 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Solar plants, Dave. Solar panels don't work too well in the heat; instead for many solar plants, mirrors may instead funnel light to a single point for power generation.

Here's how we stand on solar energy:

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Texas isn't the only place with long stretches of highway... I-95 in northern Maine is pretty monotonous. 'Cept for the occasional moose in the road. Not quite a cow, but... :-)

Got an e-mail from my Dad yesterday, with pictures of the scene at his place in Maine, near the N.H. border and the White Mountains. Snow EVERYWHERE!!! *jellus SIGH* For some reason he goes on the roof HIMSELF to clear the snow. :-O

*preparing-for-my-skiing-vacation-and-quick-roof-clearing-visit-to-Dad-as-I-enjoy-this-long-weekend Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 16, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: Scottynuke | February 16, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

morning, morning, friends. ah, the stories of cows and eating establishments. i'm getting ready to hit the shower. want to get to the radio station early, and do the taping. i do have a speaker lined up for this week, just want to have an extra in case that doesn't pan out.

everyone gets a long weekend. a lot of time to rest and enjoy the family. and perhaps do a bit of work? nah, no work.

scotty, enjoy yourself, and the best to your dad. mudge, slyness, martonni, get up folks, oh, well don't have to, good morning to you, and to all.*waving*

loomis, you've pretty much covered the catholic church, what you got on the baptist?

it's a little chilly here, perhaps it will warm up later.

sneaks, i hope you feel better. maybe you need to get checked out by the doctor. those stomach viurses can be hard to deal with. keep in touch so we'll know how you're doing.

enjoy your weekend, boodle.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 16, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

RE: Wilbrod @ 3:13: My solar energy experience in the southwestern US didn't consider the haboob factor in rooftop collector efficiency maintenance. Climbing up to clean the rooftop panels after every dust devil or storm became tiresome. Solar plants may be more efficient, especially if you can grow them from seed.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, the ski vacation is NEXT weekend. I just have trouble waiting... :-)

Hey Cassandra! *faxin' tea w/honey before the taping*

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 16, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

hello, shiloah, good to hear from you.

thanks, scotty, for the tea and honey. i think my voice sounds so awful over the radio. if the tea and honey will help, i probably should try it.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 16, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

And a good morning to you, Cassandra. A wee drop of scotch with the tea and honey will increase the efficacy of soothing your speaking voice - but, don't overdo it. Tea total is a half measure.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 16, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

When I drove around the country two years ago, it took us three days to get out of Texas. We got into El Paso from the Grand Canyon well after dark. We headed out the next morning on I-10 which is where my son got his speeding ticket for doing 80 in a 70, two miles before the speed limit went up to 80. We stopped for lunch at a Sonic in Fort Stockton and made the Alamo in time for sunset.

The next day we toured the other San Antonio missions and had lunch at Stubbs in Austin.

We stopped for the night in Dallas and ate at Sonny Bryan's. The next day we made it Texarkana for lunch and Memphis by dinner.

My dad suggested that I take I-40 instead of I-10 so I could go through my birthplace of Big Spring, but that was a little out of the way.

As you can tell, I like my cows in the form of beef brisket.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 16, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

When I lived in Florida, it was a point of pride that Florida was the second largest cattle state. I had plenty of opportunities to see cattle on my many frequent traverses of SR60, but I never stopped them. My obligatory cow joke is: "Those must be some excellent cows because they are outstanding in their field."

It slays them every time.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 16, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I can also recommend Texas Pride Barbecue on 1604 east of San Antonio. Thursday is Bike Night and they have live music on the weekends. I imagine of both types.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 16, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

My only experience with Texas was a layover at Houston many years ago. We were eating dinner in the hotel when a couple who had been seated next to us requested a different table after they heard our definitely northeastern accents. I have zero desire to go back to that state.

Cassandra, coincidentally I do have an appointment with my doctor on Tuesday for other issues - I think I've developed a lactose intolerance. So I will mention this stomach bug too. Feeling ok this morning, but not great. Wish I could hear your radio show, is there a link?

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 16, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

G'morning boodle. Both kinds, good one yello.

E.D. Hirsch weighs in on why "No Child Left Behind" is leaving so many children behind.

I agree with him that it is not the law itself that is so bad, despite the bugaboo of "unfunded mandates," but the response schools have made to it. (Disclaimer-I was in Dr. Hirsch's first graduate seminar in UVA's school of ed., he was busy with his Core Knowledge Foundation and already easing back from full duties as an English professor when he called the Ed. Dean's bluff to come over and teach educators if he thought he knew so much about it. Most of the class was loaded for bear, thinking his _Cultural Literacy_ books and Core Knowledge school movement were elitist. I don't know anyone in the class he didn't win over to seeing literacy, in the broad sense of knowing a lot of stuff, as a social justice issue.)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 16, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Boodle, lovely cold sunny winter morning here. That however, is soon to change as we receive yet another gift this winter from out dear friends in Texas (enough with the gifts already!).

Good thing it is a long weekend here.®ion=wwcaon0029&ref=wxeyealerts

Posted by: dmd | February 16, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I do have a Baptist story from the Clinton rally last Tuesday, but it will have to wait until Monday, I think. After our breakfast, I want to finish the story of Santa Anna's real leg.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Joel, don't take those cows' behavior personally. They clearly knew you were from DC, and when you didn't offer them the "I like Bush League" handshake, they knew to keep their distance lest you discover that they're scouting temporary locations for the GW Bush Presidential Library (until the Constellation/Ares system comes on line in a few years, then it's To the Moon, Alice!).

Gee just think of what you could have learned if you'd chased one of those cows down and talked to it.


Posted by: bc | February 16, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I was eating dinner last night with my eight-year-old daughter at Cliffbreakers in Rockford, IL, and there were coyotes running around outside on the frozen Rock River. That was the best part of the dinner. The seafood buffet wasn't that great. I haven't seen a coyote since I was a kid in California.

Posted by: Bean | February 16, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Bean.. people see coyotes around here in suburban DC (Fairfax, Va) in the neighborhoods. Yikes.

I guess if they're still using those Acme products, though, we don't really have to worry, do we?

Posted by: TBG | February 16, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

O.K., let's set the stage for what happened to Santa Anna's leg--both physically and politically.

The Battle of the Alamo began in February 1836 and ended on March 6, 1836. The Battle of San Jacinto in Texas (see Joel's photo, above) occurred on April 21, 1836. Gen. Santa Anna lost his leg below the knee at Veracruz during the Pastry War. After this battle, Santa Anna became the hero of Vera Cruz and the debacle at San Jacinto was soon forgotten. On Oct. 6, 1841, Santa Anna rode into Mexico in a luxurious carriage drawn by four white horses and assumed power as a dictator.

In 1842, Gen. Santa Anna ordered that an ornate funeral service be performed for his leg, as I mentioned, lost while fighting the French at Veracruz in 1838. This funeral ceremony for the leg was seen as the culmination of the caudillo's vainglory and megalomania.

After the leg had been amputated, the leg was buried for four years at Santa Anna's hacienda, Manga de Clavo, in the state of Veracruz. When Santa Anna resumed the presidency in late 1841, he had the limb dug up, placed in a crystal vase, and taken amid a full military dress parade to Mexico City, where it was buried beneath an elaborate monument in the cemetery of Santa Paula. The funeral involved cannon salvos, speeches, and poems in the general's honor.

The presidency, however, was not going so well, thanks to Santa Anna's autocratic governing style. The general ruled in a very intemperate and imperious fashion, disbanding Congress when it tried to pass a constitution guaranteeing human rights and an end to special priveleges and monopolies, and granting himself, as president, powers that were practically absolute. A full accounting of the decadence of Santa Anna's "Court" was written by one of Santa Anna's many detractors at the time, Guillermo Prieto, who would later act as finance minister in the liberal government of Benito Juarez.

To make a long story shorter, there was an uprising of rebels against Santa Anna on Dec. 6, 1844, called the Glorious Revolution of 1844. Men gathered in the Congressional Palace with rifles, fire-locks, pistols, and sabers. Deputies and senators, beaming, followed the wild-eyed crowd, who let loose with b1oodthirsty howls and rowdy laughter. The rabid crowd surged to the local theater and demolished the plaster statue erected to Sant Anna. They ran furiously to the Pantheon of Santa Paula and with savage ferocity exhumed Santa Anna's leg, playing games with it, making it the object of ridicule; then they turned toward other locations within the city.

Was that the end of the rest of Santa Anna, the living corpus? Not by a long shot.

Have a nice weekend, y'all, it being President's Day Weekend and all. Hope you enjoyed this story of a President--just not one of the United States. Santa Anna does go on to have dealings with President Polk--from Cuba.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of dictators...and Texas...

Local Express-News business columnist Dave Hendricks is on a roll this week, his column this morning about Chavez and Big Oil and Exxon Mobile and our local Valero Oil and the U.S. strategic petroleum reserves:

If Chávez actually banned U.S. oil exports, the United States would have to draw from its strategic petroleum reserves, Moroney said.

And that would not be painless here.

U.S. drivers definitely would feel the pinch if that happened because gasoline prices and oil prices would rise in tandem. Spot markets to replace lost supplies have evaporated. The U.S. recession could be extended.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I saw a coyote in my VA yard a few months back. He was either out for an early Sunday morning stroll, or he was really late on his way back from his Saturday night galavanting. Scary...since my yard there is about the size of a postage stamp, and there are a fair amount of kids in that neighborhood. I'll have to send away for that Acme catalogue.

I'm out of the city for a few days, where the problem is not coyotes, but bears. Not sure Acme has anything for that, but maybe they've branched out into new markets.

Hope all continues to be well with the nephew, TBG.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 16, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm happy to report that my nephew is fine... still in the hospital but likely to go home today. He was kept only for observation... he hadn't eaten much or had much to drink yesterday and was still wobbly on his feet.

But he slept like a rock last night, despite all the hospital noise (can't say as much for my sister, but she said she got about 2 hours of solid sleep) and has eaten breakfast and is complaining he wants to go home.. all good things!

He had a complex febrile seizure... complex because it wasn't the typical five-minutes-and-you're-OK variety. But no lingering effects and no reason to expect it'll happen again. The long recovery was really over the medication.. not so much the seizure itself.

Both ears were infected, as it turns out.. one eardrum had perforated, which is why the pain from the night before had actually subsided and he was feeling OK that day despite the fever.

My sister says "THANKS!" for all the comfort, prayers and support. She wasn't surprised that I had turned to you all for such.. in fact she's glad I have such real imaginary friends. I join her in her sentiments.

Posted by: TBG | February 16, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. There's a lot of just-above-freezing rain amidst a thunderstorm here; ice on the branches but I hope the roads are okay as we must get out later today. I'm a little worried about the ice but glad to see the rain as we certainly needed it.

Good luck with the taping, Cassandra.

I saw a coyote sitting at the bar at Trader Vic's - his hair was perfect.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 16, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: mostlylurking | February 16, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I remember that song! "Coyotes of Rockford, Illinois!"

Posted by: TBG | February 16, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

TBG, glad to hear your nephew is better. I hope he and your sister can get some rest once they get home. Hospitals just aren't the place for rest. The boodle loves lifting folks spirits, and prayers never hurt.

Sneakers, I hope you get some help and feel better. The station is WKDX am and 1250 on the dial. There is an Internet connection. It's in Hamlet, NC.

Thanks Ivansmom, the taping went well. I'm suppose to talk for fifteen minutes, but the station manager is doing thirty, and no one told me. I don't want to ask why, but I'm curious.

Shiloh, sorry about the spelling. My spelling is awful, as everyone here can attest to. And sentence structure, blah, the worse. I hope everything is well with you.

Loomis, I'm teasing you. Just messing with you, that's all. Your post are so serious sometimes, and sometimes they hurt, just trying to lighten it up. I probably don't want to read the Baptist history if it's anything like the other one. No offense. Enjoy the long weekend.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 16, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Let this day be remembered as the time Loomis made a 37 word post--with later redemption by the rest of Santa Anna's leg story. Thanks Loomis.

Posted by: lowen | February 16, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Was it just a short time ago that CP was reduced to technology induced boodle haiku?

What would we say if the comment box allowed only 500 characters? 250? 50?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 16, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

It would be splendid, wouldn't it? We'd all need to think whether the Boodle was interested in each and every comment. Ack!

Posted by: Yoki | February 16, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

20/20 documentary on Youtube about animal owners, and why "animal cruelty" prosecutions need to be more tightly controlled.

Those cages are certainly better than what I've seen in some shelters, and clearly meet USDA standards. Second part is about Texas.

"Animal cruelty" is getting way too loosely defined.

When I was younger, I remember a dog who would wander a lot because his family had no fenced yard and couldn't afford one. Having an professional escape artist myself, I was sympathetic. One day I saw the dog tied up and knew that the family must have been told to stop his wanderings or else. I also noticed that there was no visible water, so I went back home and brought a bowl of water for the dog-- and a note. The paterfamilias came up looking quite angry, and it was quite a note to say "I know you take good care of your dog, and I don't want anybody to see no water and get the wrong idea."

He relaxed, and after that he was sure to have water well visible for the dog whenever the dog was out. See, my dog had been previously picked up for neglect because she was tied out all day without visible water or food.

Nowadays, it doesn't have to be "all day" for an animal cruelty case to develop. In areas with very aggressive ACOs and neighbors, you could be facing animal cruelty charges for having your dog tied out for a hour or so without water, never mind the circumstances such as the dog can come to the door and ask to come in for water.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Transcript of the story:

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Cows fear cameras
Suggestion of importance
Not a happy state

Posted by: Haiku Master | February 16, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

And no more Moby Dick stories.

Posted by: dr | February 16, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, I dunno, Wilbrod. Across the back fence and two down from us are two debarked dogs who live outside in a pen with an insulated dog house, water available at all times, pen big enough for them to play in, the male of the household feeds them twice a day and takes them for a walk at least twice a week. So all is well as far as animal control is concerned.

Nonetheless, at -50 as it was a week ago, it was still too cold out for the dogs, but nothing anybody could do.

I'd like to see owners warned and then fined and then prosecuted for animal cruelty under those circumstances, where there might some discretion about what 'shelter' means in the law.

Posted by: Yoki | February 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Once my dog got caught in razor wire and ran home, right at the same time a neighbor, trying to start a problematic car that had sat a few days, caused it to backfire loudly. At that moment my bleeding dog appeared at my back door, bleeding profusely and visibly. Well, you can imagine what I thought: that that "boom" and my dog's injury, meant she had just been shot!

So 911 was called and animal control dispatched. By the time they arrived, we had figured it all out. The backfire guy was innocent, multiple witnesses knew. My frisky dog had been granted a hair too much freedom by me, who was technically at fault for her encounter with razor wire at a nearby facility. I had not been a good parent. This has been resolved by the time I write this.

But the animal control lady made superficial judgements of me when she arrived. I think she viewed me as a bad pet owner. She made an ultimatium that veterinary treatment was not optional, it was demanded.By this time of course my dog was bandaged, having her wound shaved and dressed by me, and disinfected by gentle peroxide. I had determined an undeterminate period of observation. This carried no weight with animal control lady. I was to present to her evidence of a complete veterinary examination within 24 hours. So we went. My vet basically repeated what I had done, but vended us some antibiotics which I thought was a boon. so all was well.

Next day the animal control lady pulls up just as promised, and when I gave her all the certificates on my dog, the complete vaccination and spaying records from the past 15 years of all my beasts as well as this one, plus the record of her most recent injury, the lady was surprised. New respect for me was shown. She hadn't realized I really did care.

Posted by: Jumper | February 16, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that's a story that turned out well.

Yoki, if the doghouse is made properly and has a wind break in front of it, it indeed can be warm enough for -50 degrees. The key is to be sure there IS a windbreak, whether by the house or by a free-standing construction.

I used to go into my dog's old dog house to put down the new pad with straw, and I'd always feel really toasty-warm within minutes, and it wasn't particularly "insulated". My dog's house was inside a covered porch, so it had ample windbreak in addition.

Many people keep dogs outside for various reasons-- can't housebreak or teach them not to chew; allergic to things that the dog may bring in on their fur, the dog always wants to be outside and is hot inside, etc.

None of which I personally agree with (except for the allergies and the dog being hot bit), but my dog was fine being an indoor/outdoors dog until she got old.

Of course, my present dog has NEVER slept outside at night ever since he was in a shelter. It would be self-defeating to his job purpose to sleep outside.

Still, it sounds like those outdoor dogs are far from neglected, and if they are hardy livestock or arctic breeds they may be good, but you could always suggest the windbreak to the owners. If these dogs do get frostbite, they're up for animal cruelty regardless of whether their shelter is normally adequate.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! :-)

'tooni, new startup site:

Posted by: dbG | February 16, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard this since I was a kid:

Posted by: Bean | February 16, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to do is raise the doghouses a few inches so they won't lose heat to the ground frost.

It really does depend on the dog-- Siberian huskies and other arctic breeds (Samoyeds) can withstand temperatures of -50 to -75 F; all they need is enough food and for their fur not to be tampered with or get wet. They instinctively dig into snow to help insulate them from the subzero temperatures when they don't have shelter available. Their fur should insulate so well that they don't melt the snow at all (many mushers check for this).

Labradors really don't do well being out too long at -20 or below without relief unless they have unusually thick coats for their breed.

Wilbrodog, will often have snow covering his fur that doesn't melt at all, showing his overall insulation is good, but his belly and chest are not as well insulated, and his long legs and paws definitely are not furred thickly enough to cope well with prolonged heat loss at temperatures at temperatures below -15, -20 F, but he can still exercise well.

After subzero walks, I often use him as a hot water bottle to help thaw out my thighs; no matter how well I dress, I always seem to get cold thighs.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Buddy999 eats in morning and in the evening so he doesn't require feeding when he's out running free around the unfenced property during the day. While he is provided with fresh water spring, summer, and fall during the winter his water bowl only needs to be filled once as he prefers snow to a large chunk of ice, when lying there, curled up with his tail wrapped around his nose ,husky style, yawning in the raging blizzard.
Anyone entering my property to leave phony 'helpful' notes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
After the patting and licking, of course.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 16, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Cassandra, the Baptist and Greek Orthodox story will be good because it'll have Mike Huckabee in it, Martha Mitchell, and two Democratic Scottish terriers named Paris and Freddy.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And Tommy Lee Jones.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I think Wilbrod has it right about dogs outdoors in the cold. They're far better at it than we.

TBG, thanks for the excellent news about your nephew, but that perforated eardrum may be a mixed blessing.

I suffered a perforated eardrum once (sharp tip of a palm leaflet). I temporarily lost much of my hearing in that ear--I couldn't locate things like cars. Going to listen to the orchestra was particularly weird because, say, the violins and flutes seemed to come from exactly the same place. I hadn't realized that listening to live music was such a three-dimensional experience, nor that I depended so heavily on locating things by hearing in everyday life.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 16, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. The trees at the Texas Capitol. The ragged outlines of the trees indicate they're live oaks (which are definitely abundant in San Antonio). I'm not sure how big they get out there, but in Florida those would be young trees and, left to their own devices, they'd eventually arch over the walk, blocking the view of the building.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 16, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Bad news down in 'Mudge's neck of the woods...

I have a feeling the immature drivers involved weren't actually underage...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 16, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

That is actually a fairly poor rendition of a coyote call. They sing best as a choir. Take that one and layer it, make some calls deeper, some more ragged. Its really quite stunning to hear them some nights.

Every night after dark, all year round, and more often in the springtime when the litters are small, they sing. They come close to the subdivision, but I've never seen any scat in the yard. Too many dogs in the area.

Posted by: dr | February 16, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Mind you, some boxers, toy breeds, etc. are absolutely hopeless as outdoors dogs in near-freezing temperatures, never mind subzero temperatures.

Boxers can vary though; some tolerate cold surprisingly well, while others are sheer wusses even in above-freezing weather.

So it's really about the dog.

Dobermans are also not good cold weather dogs, but can tolerate freezing temperatures as long as they're active and have some relief from it before frostbite sets in; they will play in -5, -10 degree C weather.

I know of one woman who had to relieve her doberman in -40 degrees C... she said her dog basically tried to walk on air the whole foray.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well it's an Illinois coyote for Pete's sake. If he had a chorus of brethern he wouldn't sound so darn lonesome and brief.

Posted by: Bean | February 16, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

And a truly strange finding: viruses needed to make lambs?

Endogenous retroviruses can also become transposons (jumping genes) and/or serve as sites for transcription factors to dock near genes, influencing how the genes are expressed.

Alu elements in primates are thought to be one such transposon, and it is responsive to thyroid hormone receptors and other hormonal substances. Our Alu elements have evolved rather quickly compared to our chimp cousins and may explain much about how our development differs with such similar genes.

It is also possible that endogenous retroviruses, in fact, originate from such jumping genes (this is, in fact, likely) making the jump to other organisms, becoming active once again (with some extra mutations or stuff borrowed from other viruses).

Endogenous retroviruses, in fact, are thought to serve a purpose similar to anti-virus programs; containing some of the coding necessary for the body to recognize and combat real viruses within the cell.

The best way to inactivate a virus is to clamp onto it with some "killer" RNA or DNA that partly matches its coding, to block it from hijacking the cell's transcription machinery to make more copies of itself. Such mechanisms (as well as key mutations) also normally keep those endogenous retroviruses from activating whenever copied as part of the body's DNA.

Apparently HIV is tailored to prevent such host defenses from functioning.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Boy. I step away from the Boodle for a minute and we jump from cows to dogs, presumably through coyotes. Quadrupeds all, but oh! what differences.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 16, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

You gotta root for the host defenses all the same.

Posted by: Bean | February 16, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

you know at times, ignorance is bliss. this is one of those times.

goodnight, boodle. sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 16, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse


I am very glad to hear your nephew is okay.

Posted by: Moose | February 16, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I am selflessly posting in order to resurrect the Boodle. My post must be short, as rice must be cooked and the roasting chicken must be dismembered. However, I'm trying to do my part for the Blog Effort.

Carry on.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 16, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I'm glad your nephew's doing better as well. Kids are pretty resilient - I think he'll be back to his old (as in 4-year) self soon.

Sadly, I recognize a few of names of folks invoved with that accident down southern MD. Just terrible.


Posted by: bc | February 16, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Bc, was that "rural strip" near the beltway/I270 ramp-- the road leading to Potomac, Chevy Chase, or DC, relatively near the C&O Canal?

That area sprung to mind for some reason...

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how +34F can breathe life into a weekend and keep a boodler away from the computer.

Foodies-You must read this piece in the Financial Times by Fuschia Dunlop (cookbook author)

"There were candles on the table and the wine was chilled. When Pietro arrived, I put the finishing touches to our dinner: whole trout, braised in the Sichuanese style, with some bright, fresh vegetables. We took our places and I gave him some fish, laying it gently on a bed of white rice. I had put my heart into that meal and hoped it would arouse his desire as well as his palate. In the event, my plan failed, but in the most unexpected way."

Read the rest, and the fish recipe, here:

Posted by: frostbitten | February 16, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... picture the opposite side of the Beltway, down Indian Head Highway, which is right across the Wilson Bridge from Virginia.

What a horrible story.

Posted by: TBG | February 16, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, a horrible story.

There's a street like that not far from me. After watching about 10 years of impromptu racing, the city built a police station at 1 end. Pretty much stopped it.

Posted by: dbG | February 16, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Because of my allergies, I don't wash the dogz often. However, tomorrow is school picture day. Cutter is very, very old and fragile and I wanted some photographs by a real artist.

Emma was reluctant to get into the tub, reluctant to stay in the tub, hated getting wet--until I spread coconut-scented dog shampoo all over her. I thought she was going to swoon in delight and eventually had to pick her up to get her *out* of the tub.

Cutter's an old hand and climbed right in, endured it and emerged looking like a black Samoyed, all fluff.

Now if I can just keep them from rolling in the dirt tonight!

Posted by: dbG | February 16, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Coconut shampoo? Hmm, I think Wilbrodog would flip over peanut butter shampoo (yuck).

I use a human rosemary-floral shampoo on him. I just take care to wash it out well. He hasn't had any adverse reactions and he always looks great and smells great for a couple days afterwards.

In between, I use a lot of wet wipes and general towelling to clean off the surface of the fur.

I hope photo day goes well, DbG. I love taking pictures of Wilbrodog.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Wilbrod. Actually, I'm not the photographer tomorrow.

I saw someone whose work showed me without a doubt that I take photographs, she creates art. She's a professional, spent a year or two photographing thousands of dogs all over the US in a talent search for a company seeking a new mascot. She also photographs shelter dogs and sells the photographs to raise money for the shelter. Those photos broke my heart.

Luckily, she's based in Philadelphia and coming here tomorrow morning. . . just one step closer to becoming the crazy dog lady.

Posted by: dbG | February 16, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Sounds wonderful, I love seeing the work of truly talented photographers... for some reason, black and white photography is more evocative for me :)

Does she have a website?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

There are no cattle ranches in this country. Buffaloes wandering around in some areas is quite common. Most owners let their buffaloes wander. I assume they'll wander home after awhile. Apparently, their owners are worried about thief. Sometimes you'd see them "waiting for the bus" at the bus-stop along the road.

dbG, I can relate to dogs rolling in the dirt after a bath. My dog, Fluff's fur is longish. In my previous place, after I bathed her, she'd go roll in the mud, every time.

Posted by: rainforest | February 16, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

And no, I don't think it is crazy to get a real portrait of a dog in its lifetime, DbG.

I love the few really good ones I have of my old dog; I also painted and sculpted her while she was alive, as well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, your 7 something reminded me of this plaintive song from the 60's.

Tile :Donovan - Yellow Is The Color
This is lyrics from

It's Saturday night, it feels like a Sunday in some ways
If you had any sense, you'd maybe go away for a few days
Be that as it may, you can only say you are lonely
You are but a young girl working your way through the

Cafe on, milk gone, such a sad light and fading.
Yourself you touch, but not too much. You hear it's

The flowers on your stockings wilting away in the midnight
The book you are reading is someone's opinion of moonlight
Your skin is so white, you'd like maybe to go to bed soon
Just closing your eyes if you're to rise up before noon

High heels, car wheels, all the losers are groovin'
Your dream, strange scene, images are movin'

Your friends they are making a pop star or two every evening

You know that scene backwards, they can't see the patterns
they're weaving
Your friends they're all models but you soon got over that
You sit in your one room a little brought down in London

Cafe on, milk gone, such a sad light and fading.
Yourself you touch, but not too much. You hear it's

It's Saturday night, it feels like a Sunday in some ways
If you had any sense, you'd maybe go away for a few days
Be that as it may, you can only say you are lonely
You are but a young girl working your way through the

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 16, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

We watched the Brad Pitt/Jesse James movie tonight, and now I'm looking at this cow picture with different eyes. That movie had lots of great cinematography capturing the vastness and desolation of the West. My husband is endlessly fascinated by movies that are set in New York City. I told him tonight, I guess this western landscape is my New York--I never get tired of looking at it, and imagining what it's like to live with so much space around.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 16, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, the site of the accident is about 11 miles south of the beltway section just on the Maryland side of the Wilson Bridge. It is almost exactly due west of Waldorf, where I live, and I know that area well; my bus used to go over Route 228 and then turn right (north) onto Route 210 (Indian Head Highway). The crash area was about a mile south of that intersection.

I was completely unaware that anybody was using it for semi-organized late-night drag racing; apparently there was quite a crowd gathered there for it. I can't believe the police didn't know about it and break up that kind of thing.

There's going to be a great deal of shock in the neighborhood over this.

On an almost equally somber note, I just watched "Letters From Iwo Jima," making its TV premiere on AMC. I'd never seen it before. It was really quite moving.

Now I must go read the rest of the story Frosty linked to.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 16, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Kb, isn't it strange how some scenes worm their way into our fancy? For years I dreamed of the Mojave desert.

I like the highways and the boreal forest of Minnesota-- evergreen and birch mix, the flatness, the fields, and the big sky. There are some lovely sunsets around here.

Idaho was also lovely-- tumbleweeds in town that far north, surprising.

However I did fall in love with the forests of the eastern U.S.. It's just a damn shame at least half of it has been cut down (if not more) since I moved to VA.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

We arrived back home from the dog show a while ago. We went to a seminar about grooming, and everything we've learned about the craft has been turned on its head. I had no idea how drying a dog properly is key to maintaining the coat, especially on long haired varieties. Keep your dogs dry, as they can develop athlete's foot type infections quite easily, spreading the fungus from foot to head and progressively to the rear.

I couldn't help but see the news of the accident on Md 210. Shocking. A lot of young folks are picking up the detuned police interceptor iteration of Crown Vics at the State auctions of late. They're crazy fast, even in the detuned state.

On the brighter side, for us SU fans, the Pinhead managed to coach the Orange to victory in a rivalry that spans a generation:

My brother used to play golf with Coach B, thus the game closest to the pin.

Posted by: jack | February 16, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

The scene that is always in my head is the memory of the town of Vineyard Haven, on Martha's Vineyard, as seen from the water. It was a foggy, rainy, misty day, very gray and glum, and the water was dead calm. All the sailboats were at anchor in the harbor, and I was on the ferry coming in. The scene itself is just of the boats in the fog and the mist. Very tranquil. Although the scene appears to ve cold and miserable, it actually warms me, because wherever I am at the moment (presumably standing near the bow of the ferry I am warm and comfortable and glad I'm not out in it. Maybe mostly knows what I'm talking about; I like rain and fog and coastlines and rocks and mist. My Yankee/Viking soul, I suppose.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 16, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Dowd: Refco. Rezko. What's the dif? In neither case was wrongdoing assigned.

Posted by: Loomis | February 16, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, quite a few of my friends belong to that fog cult; I never understand why they want to inhale water as well as look at and be on water and such-like.

Personally, I prefer breathing air.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Teasin', Mudge. Here's my pic of Lake Superior from last year:

Mind you, I snapped this because it looked like the lake was boiling... at -20 degrees F.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 16, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Three bits of scenery pop into my mind: coming off the mountains into the Nevada desert and seeing nothing but a dark expanse, excepting the island of light that is Las Vegas, visible from at least 75 miles that particular night; looking east from Dolly Sods, W.Va., to see at least five ridges, the most distant being the Blue Ridge; and, looking west from the top of Hawksbill Mt. in the SNP, taking in the valley and the Shenandoah Mt. toward W.Va..

Posted by: jack | February 16, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Cool picture, Wilbrod. -20, however, gets old fast. Snow is squeaky when it gets that cold.

Posted by: jack | February 16, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"Letters from Iwo Jima" is quite a moving film IMO, and a very balanced companion to "Flags of Our Fathers."

To those involved in the local motorsports communities, that section of Indian Head highway is infamous for illegal late night racing, particularly at this time of year when all of the local racetracks are closed for the winter. That's no excuse whatsovever, of course. Street racing is foolish and dangerous, but some people don't have the maturity to resist the siren calls of competition and adrenaline.

Having said that, this was even more tragic than usual in that the racers themselves contributed to the accident with the tire smoke from their burnouts, but the actual incidents involved bystanders and travellers in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Posted by: bc | February 16, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

That's why I was bothered by the picture of the Crown Vic.

Posted by: jack | February 16, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

That racing accident was a real tragedy. We used to that kind of racing, too, by youngsters on motorcycles. Police were out every night to catch them. I haven't heard about them for quite awhile now. They've probably stopped. And instead, changed the mufflers in their cars/motorcycles and when they accelerate their cars/motorcycles made a racket

Posted by: rainforest | February 16, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Reading of favorite and longed for vistas makes me feel fortunate to have lived in so many different places. To my mind nothing beats the view of the night sky far away from city lights. Whether in the desert in Egypt or on the big Island of Hawaii it never ceases to amaze.

G'night boodle. Wishing on a star.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 17, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you on that, frostbitten. I remember the awe I had camping out West and seeing the full night sky away from all the light pollution. The sky here isn't perfect, but it's nice to see the stars at night. There will be a lunar eclipse on Feb 21-- something to watch.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 17, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

SCC : There's supposed to be a full stop at the end of "racket."

Posted by: rainforest | February 17, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the fog/misty rain/big lake/ocean is a favorite of mine - brisk, bracing air. Probably harks back to my Irish/Scottish roots. Sunny here today, but with thick, gray clouds. Gorgeous moonlit night tonight, shimmery water.

I love the western landscapes too. I want to see the Jesse James movie. One of the shorts I saw tonight was called Tonto Woman, set somewhere in the west, probably California, but I'm not sure where it was actually filmed. Looked like parts of eastern Washington or Montana, even. It's based on an Elmore Leonard story - very good. There was also one that is a John Lennon interview from 1969, by a 14-year-old kid from Toronto, with line animation. Very interesting - he talks about non-violence and peace and being anti-war. And a very surreal animated short about a woman on a train. When it was over, I turned to my friend and asked her what she thought it was supposed to mean, and she said, I don't know, but I've been on a train like that across Canada - and it was a Canadian film.

I feel most at home with hills and trees.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 17, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I gave a heifer some pear-apples once. Bad mistake. He became quite fond of me. An attempted mounting took place. Large animal, relatively small Bob. Much amusement for the onlookers.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 17, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Not too far from where I live, the cliff collapsed onto the beach burying a teenage girl up to her neck. She is fine.

The video shows the skies that I am used to seeing.

Posted by: Pacifica | February 17, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks be to Carl Sandburg and his poem I remember from so long ago...


"THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on"

Funny thing about fog, it distorts sound near the waterline, brings it closer to me, I think.

While visiting Martha's Vineyard, we found the only winery there. They do not grow all of their grapes, use some NY State and grapes from Massachusetts for making their wines. Lovely light wines in the interior of the island.

Distorted sentence above.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 17, 2008 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Refco/Rezko comparison. I used it without attribution:
"All hat, no cattle" indeed.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 17, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

good morning, friends. getting ready to jump in the shower and head out the door. it's time for sunday school and worship service. it's sunday already. hope you get a chance to attend church too.

and also hope that everyone is enjoying their long weekend.

mudge, slyness, martooni, scotty, time to get up or maybe not, good morning to all.*waving*

don't know what to expect when i go outside, but it doesn't feel too chilly in here. i think we're going to get rain today.

I had a dog when I lived in the mobile home. When the weather got real cold, like during snow, I would bring the dog in. I don't like to see animals cold or humans for that matter. For me, cold is right next to being hungry. Neither is good for the body.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 17, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Jack, a couple of things from my perspective: I don't think the Crown Vic was actually racing - in fact, I don't think any of the cars that *were* racing were involved in the terrible accident. You're right that the retired police interceptors are availble relatively cheaply, but I wouldn't describe them as "crazy fast."

There are a *lot* of cars available these days that are much, much faster. Your typical government agency isn't willing to invest in a fleet of cars that would keep up in that sort of an arms race, and a policy that dates back to the mid-1960s. Street racers can't out run the speed of light, right?


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Yay! I have the whole day free! The photographer is *next* Sunday. :-)

Wilbrod, I'll send you her site.

Posted by: dbG | February 17, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle! Had trouble sleeping last night. Very unusual for me, but it meant I was awake to hear a piece from the BBC World Service about _Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famoous and Obscure_

My favorite shared by the editor, to explain how some that played with the form were included in the book despite not being 6 words precisely-
"Can't resist over achieving."

Read more, or submit your own at:

Be sure to watch the video.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 17, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Jack-that "heifer" must have been suffering from some gender confusion.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 17, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh, but dbG... doesn't that mean another bath next Saturday night? (For the dogs, for those of you who haven't backboodled--although I believe dbG takes a bath once a week whether she needs it or not).


This is Bye Bye Birdie weekend. The last show is today at 2. Son of G flew in for a short weekend to see his sister on stage, so it's been a great weekend for the whole family. He'll leave again tonight, so I'm not seeing the matinee so I can spend more time with him and get him to BWI to his flight. I'm so happy to have him home, even for such a short time.

The show was amazing. I don't know if there's anyone I admire more than the 13- and 14-year-old kids who get up on stage and act and sing and dance in front of their families and peers. I believe these kids are set for life. If they can do that, they can do anything.

The show was sold out on Friday night and the audience was fabulous... lots of cheering and yelling and clapping... so there was great energy everywhere.

Nephew is home. Cranky and tired, but doing fine. I'm hoping, and imagining, that my sister slept well. I wanted to drop by last night at 8 or so but she said they were all ready to crash.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

TBG is correct, once a week is enough for me! :-)

I don't know. I'll brush them every day this week and see how that goes. It might be worth it to wash them again just to see Emma's head back, eyes closed, sighing reaction to the coconut shampoo.

Posted by: dbG | February 17, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I guess this will be a Kit later...

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Joel wrote about Texas, in his article about Crawford, Texas:

The state holds a primary on March 4 in which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton desperately needs a victory over the surging Sen. Barack Obama. But Texans are only now focusing on the primary. "I've got two land lines, and they haven't called me yet. I don't think we mattered until a few days ago," says James Hansen, 50, a motivational speaker in nearby McGregor.

The presidential campaign was supposed to be over before it ever got to Texas, so it's not as if anyone anticipated a race here. Clinton's visit to South Texas last week seemed to have been thrown together at the last minute. On Thursday the Obama campaign headquarters in Austin still had hardly a stick of furniture, and a volunteer sat on the floor tapping into his laptop.

From this morning's San Antonio Express-News:

LL: "They only come to the cactus when it bears fruit."--Spanish dicho. Obama to campaign Tuesday in San Antonio at Guadalupe Plaza.

Obama campaign sets up in S.A.

Meanwhile, the woman who helped coin the "Si se puede" mantra of the United Farm Workers mocked Obama for appropriating the "Yes, we can" message and said he had done little to help Hispanics.

Dolores Huerta, speaking to hundreds of volunteers Saturday at Clinton's presidential campaign offices on San Pedro, had harsh words for Obama at the same time she emphasized Clinton's longstanding ties to Latinos in Texas.

"He didn't lift a finger" to help Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant who had sought sanctuary at a Chicago church, or to aid two Hispanics on the Illinois death row, Huerta said.

Obama's campaign responded that he'd made sympathetic comments for Arellano and had visited with her.

Huerta suggested, too, that Clinton was wooing Hispanics opportunistically, quoting a saying in Spanish that translated to, "They only come to the cactus when it bears fruit."

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Mo MoDo,
Let me come back very soon to the appropriateness of attribution. I have a wonderful source for it, if I can locate it easily--a book titled "Spiritual Literacy."

Sadly for you, other than borrowing my idea, you make to additional mention or reference to Refco or Red Bone or the lack of heat in certain Chicago slums.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

And, as far as Joel's caption, the four men from Crawford may have sat outside shooting the breeze, in front of the Masonic Hall in Crawford that evening Joel was there, but it looks like the men were seated inside for the photo. (I know the place.)

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse


It's sad indeed when the clarion call of adrenaline ends up bringing lambs to the slaughter... *SIGH*

*off-to-a-day-of-jogging-and-chores Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 17, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry that you didn't get the opportunity to drive a few miles north of Crawford to Clifton, Texas, and meet W. Leon Smith, editor of the Clifton Record, and former editor of the Crawford Iconoclast. Did anyone with whom you spoke in Crawford mention the now defunct Iconoclast?

More on W. Leon Smith, along with a photo (who is not as curmudgeonly as he appears):

W. Leon Smith hails from the family of Erastus Smith, the courageous patriot who guided the survivors of The Alamo to safety. Sam Houston, among others, believed his timely actions made Texas independence possible. "Remember the Alamo," first came from the lips of Erastus Smith.

W. Leon Smith is the courageous newspaper editor who published The Editorial for the Iconoclast in 2004 endorsing John Kerry instead of George W. Bush. In the aftermath Smith and those working for him were threatened and assaulted. The boycott of both the Iconoclast and the Clifton Record, the other paper owned my Smith, continues to this day and has cost Smith heavily.

Here's more about Erastus "Deaf" Smith:

Yet I never knew about Deaf Smith until 1993. While providing CART (communication access realtime translation) at a Deaf banquet at the Lone Star Brewery, downtown San Antonio, with the sun setting, wind blowing, children playing cowboys and Indians (in full costume) around my one-legged screen and my husband kneeling to hold my screen with two hands - there I learned about a fearless Deaf soldier who crossed enemy lines to read lips changing history as we know it.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Kosovo sez it's independant now...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 17, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I didn't realize the Dubya bought his "ranch" in 1999. By now you'd think he had the market cornered in brush. My dad from his Texas days still marvels at the marketing miracle that is mesquite charcoal. In his day, mesquite was the wood you used when there was nothing else to be found.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse


Didn't Han Solo make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"As many as 80 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at an outdoor dog-fighting competition in Kandahar on Sunday, an Afghan official said."

Insanity upon insanity.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 17, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

yello-with as much time as I've spent in the southwest, and despite my association with the cattle business through Pa Frostinlaw, I will never "get" ranches that don't look like they can support 1 cow per 100 acres.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 17, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

And Mo MoDo, don't forget Barnhill.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Pet markets in Iraq, dog fighting in Afghanistan, has PETA infiltrated AQ?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 17, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Hans should have taken the Kessel Bypass. It's further but a lot quicker.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 17, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there some sort of tribal polo game in Afghanistan that's played with a goat's head?

I'd stay away from those, too.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

A parsec is 3.262 light-years.

Posted by: Jumper | February 17, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I love these parallel conversations.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Hi, TBG. How y'all doing?

Posted by: Jumper | February 17, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It took me many years to figure why some never got the y'all straight. (in my mind it's just vosotros, someone wanted it so recreated it) But it's partly my fault. I will say "y'all" to a lone person, meaning "you and yours" and those overhearing don't realize the implied meaning.

Posted by: Jumper | February 17, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Ralph Lauren Polo has not invaded the sport of Buzkashi--played not with the head of a goat or lamb, but the headless carcass.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The modern game of polo, favorite pastime of English aristocrats and snobbish upper-class wannabes, is usually played with a small ball about the size of a billiard ball, and almost never with a human head or a dead goat. But that's how the sport of king's began thousands of years ago under a different name - "bughazi" (also spelled buzkashi [wiki] - Ed).

In fact, bughazi wasn't so much a leisure activity as military training for Persian cavalry, and it was possibly adopted from tribesmen in what is now modern-day Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Aside from the dead goat factor, there were also other differences in play. Instead of four players on a side, for instance, the ancient version involved armies of men - literally - with hundreds or even thousands of players on each side. In fact, it's believed that the first tournament was won by Turkish tribesmen playing against the Persians in 600 BCE.

And although the game was often played with animal heads, the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan made a popular change, instituting the practice of decapitating military opponents and making a game of their noggins, still in their helmets.

LL: Then again, as far as b1ood sport goes, Santa Anna took no prisoners.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The Tonto Woman was filmed in Spain, evoking the American West. Francesco Quinn, Anthony's son, is the male lead. Very, very good.

The John Lennon film is I Met the Walrus.

Jumper, I've heard that explanation before about "y'all" addressed to one person implying the family, etc...And of course, the plural of "y'all" is "all y'all".

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 17, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"All y'all is divided into three parts..." See: *Commentari de Bello Gallico*

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't say where I heard it, but there is also a word, "y'uns" short for "you-ones", it's pronounced with the schwa sound rather than any recognizable vowel. As jumper said, we have a need for that plural of "you" so various groups have invented it.

My favorite invented word is "finta," which is a contracted form of "fixin' to," which means "getting ready to" but not really because it doesn't mean preparation as much as that the action is imminent, it's going to happen soon. Some people in Key West use that expression; in Oklahoma I have heard "fixin' to" but not "finta."

Posted by: kbertocci | February 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

No, no, y'all have not grasped the infinite portmanteau quality of "y'all". You can address one person as "y'all", or many. You may also use the expansive "all y'all" but it is not necessary; one y'all does for all. It is the perfect form of address.

We do say "fixin' to" here rather than "finta"; true Southerners tend to elide their consonsants to the point of inaudibility. I once put "fixin' to" in an opinion; it was the best description available for the action at issue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

In some parts of the country (Brooklyn) the plural of you is "youse," as in, "Youse guys..." Regional or local declensions of you color our language.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 17, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

You can say to a lone individual "Are all you guys coming out to Sherrie's party?" meaning, "you and your normal entourage."

Posted by: Jumper | February 17, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and you can say, "Are y'all going to the party?" meaning, are you yourself going OR are you and your minions going. Works both ways. It can be very handy when you aren't sure if the entourage is included or even if the entourage is still around. Eases a potentially delicate situation.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 17, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Yunz" is from western PA - I hate, hate, hate it. Which is why I gravitated to the much more melodious drawled "y'all" of the south. My family didn't have much of the Pittsburgh accent, and I worked not to pick it up. It sounds ugly to me - clipped vowels, kind of nasal. At work, we've recently begun supporting a site in Philadelphia, and honestly, I can barely understand some of those people. Baltimore has a similar accent - not sure if they say "yunz" - I do know they say "hon".

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 17, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone mention "yiz?" As in "Ahr yiz cummin?" as said in many ethnic working class neigborhoods of Boston and 'Ahr fayah city.'

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 17, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I like how my cousins in Boston say,

gaaajus, just gaaajus,

as in lovely day or lovely gal.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 17, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

CP, or they can say "gawjis, just gawjis.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 17, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

youse and y'all come in handy when teaching a language with singular and plural forms of you. of course, technically "thou" is the english singular and "you" the plural, but that sometimes confuses people.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 17, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, that line about the Kessel run has bothered me for over 30 years.


Posted by: bc | February 17, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I've known about "Deaf" Smith (and Deaf Smith County, Texas) since I was 12.

He's considered the first (and most famous) deaf spy in American history.

Guess when it comes to Texas, I do know how to lipread gee from haw, after all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 17, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of deaf history, hope Mudge knows why he uses baseball signs at the plate, and why the third base coach does the same.

He was a Wisconsin boy who settled near Cincinnati, Ohio after retirement and coached the Goodyear Silents.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 17, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse


We used to make fun of the "Pittsboirg" accent. I never acquired one but actually when I hear it it fondly reminds me of my home long ago. We spelled in "where yins goin?" Good people.

I have also live in "Baltmore" as they say.

Crick for creek is also popular.

Posted by: eidrib | February 17, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Just dropped my son off at the Bawlmer airport. The one we used to call Friendship Airport. Did y'all know it's still on Friendship Rd?

Flight's delayed, though. Bad weather up in Boston apparently. I hope yiz up there are doing OK.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. and Jumper... I'm doing fine! Thanks for asking.. and I love the fine conversation your little greeting started.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, if you start supporting my site you'll be able to understand me, right? :-)

Posted by: dbG | February 17, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the night sky -- if you've seen it in the Southern Hemisphere (a lot more stars), in Australia a couple hundred miles from a large city (no air or light pollution), you know the thing to say is WOW.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 17, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

What is SoG upto in Boston? We are in Atlanta and dropped our son off for an overnight hard-sell at the North Avenue Trade School It's my last chance to have him see the light. We can only hope.

There has been much retconning over the years on how the Kessel run line makes any sense. If you just look at Obi Wan's eye rolling, you know it doesn't and everyone knows it doesn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 17, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

My son introduced me to this guy's music yesterday. Today he's featured on Yahoo. I think he should be the Boodle's Rock Star...

I love his music... much of it is available as free podcasts on iTunes. His website is and you can get his music there, too... many of the songs are free.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

yello... Son of G is on his way back to Charlotte, but the flight originated in Boston.

He came home for the weekend to see his sister in her show. When he arrived on Friday afternoon, it took him less time to get from Charlotte to BWI than it took his dad to get from Fairfax to BWI. Air Tran has some great deals from CLT to BWI, I will never book him on a rush-hour flight again.

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Well I spelled his name wrong. Sorry folks... next time it's cut and paste for me...

Posted by: TBG | February 17, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Because Southerners are so unfailingly polite, I always thought that y'all was simply second person plural, the polite form to be used when the person you're speaking to isn't an intimate or child or pet and worthy of being tu-toi'ed.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 17, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

TBG: I used to live in the Friendship Airport flight path. The aircraft at O'Hare frequently taxi a greater distance than the drive from my driveway to the "new" BWI.

Posted by: Bean | February 17, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Longtime Clinton friend ('72 McGovern campaign), Texan and former gubernatorial candidate Gary Mauro organizing a get-out-the-Clinton-vote effort in Austin (big volunteer turnout), dubbed the Dunkin' Donuts Democrats. *l*

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

It's getting busier here than a windmill in a whirlwind.

Local NBC-affiliate reporting: On the Republican side, We contacted Senator John Maccain's [sic] campaign, there are no planed [sic] stops in San Antonio yet. As for his competitor Mike Huckabee, his website says he'll be at St. Mary's on Thursday, February 21, at 7:30 pm. [...for all those Republicans not watching the Democratic debate taking place at the same time up in Austin.]

[I'm sure Huckabee and Archbishop Gomez ought to hit it off just fine.]

Paper's editor today on the dustup between the local diocese and St. Mary's over Democratic rally last week:

Interestingly, Plaza Guadalupe, where Barack Obama will hold his rally Tuesday in San Antonio, was the site for a 1987 mass lead by Pope John Paul II.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

It's getting busier here than a windmill in a whirlwind.

Local NBC-affiliate reporting: On the Republican side, We contacted Senator John Maccain's [sic] campaign, there are no planed [sic] stops in San Antonio yet. As for his competitor Mike Huckabee, his website says he'll be at St. Mary's on Thursday, February 21, at 7:30 pm. [...for all those Republicans not watching the Democratic debate taking place at the same time up in Austin.]

[I'm sure Huckabee and Archbishop Gomez ought to hit it off just fine.]

Paper's editor today on the dustup between the local diocese and St. Mary's over Democratic rally last week:

Interestingly, Plaza Guadalupe, where Barack Obama will hold his rally Tuesday in San Antonio, was the site for a 1987 mass lead by Pope John Paul II.

If Huckabee will be in town Thursday, all the better reason to hold my Baptist story until then. Besides, when I said on Saturday that I'd tell the tale Monday, I hadn't gotten my mind around the fact that it is a three-day weekend. Besides, Loomispouse sprained his ankle big time on Thursday, and he's been limpin' and gimpin' around the house all weekend. He'll probably be back to work on Tuesday, I hope.

Posted by: Loomis | February 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, every umpire knows who Dummy Hoy was. And when I was chief umpire instructor for six years, I taught rookie classes all about him. Nobody ever got out of one of my classes without knowing Dummy Hoy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 17, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The new Alice Munroe short story mentions elf windows and Canadian Tire money.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 17, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected, bc. I watched the 500 on and off. I was struck by the stability of the COT, particularly near the end of the race when the 22 was forced into the wall. That kind of accident in the middle of the pack would have been the big one if last year's models were running. This article also caught my attention, as NASCAR is beginning to realize that tickets to their events are largely priced beyond the ability of the everyman that made the sport to afford attending the events. I think I read that it's become too high class. I'd have to agree. If I took my family to a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, I'd pay approximately $325 for decent seats before I even passed through the gate ($75 x 5, plus $25 for parking). Harumph.

Posted by: jack | February 18, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

And rhubarb, Boko, rhubarb.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 18, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

I discovered Jonathon Coulton a while back and he is definitely the nerd poet laureate. He is playing the Birchmere on March 7. don't know about ticket availability. May have to try to sell my family on this one.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2008 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing how holidays get filled up with chores WAY too often?

*still-glad-for-a-short-work-week Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Looks like I'm moving to Lafayette, LA. Anyone have any advice?

Posted by: Bean | February 18, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Bean, all the government workers are probably sleeping in today -- or, as Scotty claims, "doing chores." (Is that what they call it nowadays, haha.)

Good morning. Happy Presidents Day!

Everything I know about Lafayette is that it is mentioned in a Paul Simon song:

Implication is that there is some cajun culture there. That's all I've got for you, sorry.

Now, on with my private-sector, working-in-the-coal-mine, regular-type Monday.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I remember when I was a government worker with holidays off. I remember going to White Flint Mall and feeling kind of guilty that I had the day off and all these working stiffs were stuck with their noses to the grindstone. I'm really looking forward to having all of those benefits again!

Posted by: Bean | February 18, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Morning, morning, friends. The grandsons are here, so the day is full. Not complaining, glad to see them. The g-girl is so excited, she now has someone to cut up with.

I meant to ask those of you that listens to the radio program on the Internet, if that is the case, does my Southern accent come on strong? I know the voice is terrible, but can you pick up the accent?

It is raining here, and looks like a steady drizzle for much of the day. Not complaining on that front either.

Slyness, what's it doing in your town this morning? Any news on the twelve-year old that was killed yesterday?

Southerners love the word "y'all", not sure if that is the correct spelling. And as Ivansmom explained it can be taken a number of ways. Covers a lot of bases.

Time to get cracking, have breakfast to cook, and questions to ask. My grandsons only agreed to stay if I did not do lessons with them today. I guess the lesson on fractions didn't go over well the last time. You think?

Where are you guys, Mudge, Martooni, Scotty? A good morning to all.*waving* oops, I missed you Scotty.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Bean if it helps at all, my one brief stay in Lafayette many years ago was very enjoyable. Nice place, great people.

Posted by: dmd | February 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

In Vegas, I wonder if there is a line on Clinton and Obama, and what would the odds be on that bet?

This is getting to be one fast ride. How many of you guessed it would be this way? Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine this election to be what it turning out to be. I am thrilled that young people are paying attention. When it hits their radar, it's time to pay attention.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 18, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, I thought President's Day was a popular day off for the private sector too. I know I'm enjoying being home. I actually need this day to be sure my stomach bug is finally gone. It's been a rough weekend, feeling good one minute, feeling rotten the next. We did manage to get out yesterday to walk my daughter's dog and do a bit of browsing and shopping on the Cape.

The weather here is extremely odd for February. The temp is 59 and we are experiencing a windblow driving rain. The lights have flickered a few times already. It's a good day to stay in and read. I just bought 'Team of Rivals' and am enjoying it a lot.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 18, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Good point about the CoT, jack, it's more diffcult to drive than the CoY due to the higher center of gravity and the NASCAR-issued pieces for given races (shocks, springs, etc.), but aerodyamically, the wing and endplates out back really help pull the rear of the car back in line when the rear steps out for some reason.

It's ugly, but it works.

NASCAR is being built more on TV revenue than track revenue, and your point about ticket prices is well taken. Sounds like the NFL when I think about it.

Also interesting how people are realizing that NASCAR - as most forms of auto racing - is a *team* sport.


Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like our day yesterday Bad Sneaks, started the day at -5c with a few hours of freezing rain, then it warmed all day to +9c, now it is +2c, all the rain on top of the record snow we already had menas there is water everywhere.

This is our first year with today being "Family Day",a good day to be at home.

Posted by: dmd | February 18, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

It's a reverse President's day here in Ottawa. The private sector is enjoying the first Family Day off while us federal drones have to work.
My drive way and semi-rural street were covered in ice this morning. Very slippery and I was fresh out of sand and salt. It's part the pleasures of winter in the frozen North.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 18, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Just read Dan Balz's piece about how Clinton's ties to Texas are long and deep.

It was interesting to see who was on the stage with Clinton at last Wednesday's rally in San Antonio. First there was County Judge and former San Antonio mayor Nelson Wolf, distasteful to me because of his lack of action during the Helotes mulch fire, who spoke first, he the one sharing the fact that 25 percent of San Antonians are without health insurance.

Then there was state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte who represents a large portion of San Antonio, a pharmacist for 25 years, who will co-chair the 2008 Democratic National Convention late this summer in Denver. I believe she will share the honor along with Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. She spoke last at the rally and introduced Clinton.

On stage, standing next to Clinton in a nonspeaking role--much to my surprise, was the wife of Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, Carolina Rodriguez. I was surprised because her husband has stayed neutral as far as endorsing either Clinton or Obama, but, as I mentioned, Rodriguez's chief of staff, Adrian Saenz, took a leave of absence to head the Obama campaign here in Texas.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Here's a Presidents Day quiz for y'all--I got a pathetic "60%.">1=10888

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I found it ironic that the Car of Tomorrow is equipped with a carburator on a push rod engine and the rear suspension of a 1960's pick-up truck.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 18, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I only got 60% too.

Posted by: Bean | February 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

9/10, missed the GWB/Stevie Wonder question.

Whew, I'm back from the DMV, where I managed to pass the test and get my driver's license renewed. It's always SUCH a relief to get that over with!

Sad story about that death, Cassandra, but not much info yet. I suppose we'll hear more as the day goes on. Why guns at a birthday party on a Sunday night?

Posted by: Slyness | February 18, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Here's a gummint worker who is working today. I brought work home; something I have to finish by tomorrow. It was also my day to take kids to school, and since all 3 morning-carpool adults have the day off we just stuck to the schedule. Turns out the Boy is ill; I sent him back to bed. At least I was up bright & early to start this official-type gummint stuff.

Bean, I recall Lafayette LA as having good food. Also, it was pronounced "laugh" as opposed to the "loff" in Lafayette IN. That's all I remember.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. 8/10 on the quiz; blew the Bush/Stevie Wonder question, like Slyness. Got lucky on Ford and Zach Taylor.

Gonna try to spend the day writing and cooking, although my spouse has in mind a bunch of honey-doos. The thing is, she had the last two days of me doing plumbing work (unsuccessfully) on the vac house, and I figure at least one day of a three-day weekend belongs to me. We'll see how it goes.

Don't bother reading the "How Hollywood Views Conservatism" piece, nor either of the Bin Laden pieces on the Outlook page--they've been up there for three days and they are still pretty weak. The Susan Jacoby piece on the Nation of Dunces is quite good, however.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

G'morning boodle. Wouldn't allow myself to check in until I had accomplished some much needed house cleaning this morning. Looking back on the past few years, accomplishing seldom-done chores is a Presidents Day tradition at Chez Frostbitten. Mr. F is finishing up a redo of the caulking in our master bath shower in Tampa and I moved both sofa and refrigerator to do a thorough floor scrubbing here in the frozen north. Good thing I'm not afraid of dust bunnies.

Many rant worthy pieces in my morning read, but when it looks like we have another politics suppressing science case my knickers get really twisted:
"Delay Of Report Is Blamed On Politics
Document Suggests Public Health Risks Near Great Lakes"

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Dave Barry knows about this.

TAMPA - Ybor City's 3-year-old Relevant Church offered a unique challenge to its members Sunday: 30 straight days of sex, or no sex at all.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Need a little life in this boodle, don't we?

Well, why should we return to the moon? One reason might be to look for dinosaur artifacts there.

Another blow struck against anthropomorphism.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

9/10 on the presidents quiz. Tripped up by JFK. i would be working but I'm in Atlanta today on vacation. MY wife wants me to take her to a Cartier store to show me something. Since Valentine's Day was last week and her birthday is Wednesday, I'm suspicious.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to post some pics of my visit to Crawford in a moment here. Just got to get my developer poured into the bin...and my fixer...get the enlarger cranked up...seal the darkroom...

Posted by: Achenbach | February 18, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bean, Lafayette is the heart of Cajun country. It was a little eerie to get service in French in the middle of Louisiana, something that doesn't happened in the Western part of Ottawa.
I can recommend Préjean's restaurant. Darn good gumbos and there was a live Zydeco band as well. Even dancing fur crying out loud. My colleague was quite the success with the ladies. Me, not so much. Running 10k's every day and lifting weight has to have some behefits I guess.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 18, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

9/10 Yet it had to have been true- it was in the paper!

Who said we haven't found "strange junkyards" already, here on earth? I call 'em "coal deposits."

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, you got me in trouble now! I sent the link about the sex challenge to my pastor, and she says she's going to use it in a sermon!

Posted by: Slyness | February 18, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Slyness-you'll have to tell me what she says.

New kit!

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