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Crawford, Texas

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At the southern entrance to town. Note the "artsy" angle on the photo. Very creative. The photo of the Bushes has yellowed in the sun over the past couple of years. The same photo can be seen at the eastern and northern approaches to town.


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At the big gift shop at the blinking light in the heart of Crawford there's a special on two huge stuffed brown bears, one standing tall in a ready-to-maul pose: $9,500 for the both of them. Also there are Bush souvenirs galore.


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Crawford Peace House. No one home when I stopped by.

More photos after the jump.

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A political statement in Peace House window.


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Football team's glory, and the names of every player, chiseled in stone.


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The historical marker just east of the railroad tracks. Storm blowing in from the north.


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The fellas at the Masonic Lodge.


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Downtown Crawford. Business is slow in winter.


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An "action shot," dang near in focus.


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The view from the Crawford Peace House toward the silos by the tracks.


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A mural on the side of the Masonic Lodge.


Here's my story on Crawford:

CRAWFORD, Tex. -- From certain angles, this town looks as if it already got hit by a recession. The gift shop next to the police station closed about a year ago, and there's a "Building For Sale" banner flapping from the cornice. Two other gift shops have long since gone out of business. Another one is open now only on weekends. Two more are still going, but they sometimes close early in the day during the lonely winter months.

The Bush boom is over.

"It didn't last. You can only sell so many souvenirs," says the former mayor, Robert Campbell.

When the then-governor of Texas bought a ranch outside of town in 1999, Crawford suddenly became more than just a crossroads west of Waco. When George W. Bush became president of the United States, the village sprouted signs declaring itself the Western White House. Property values spiked. World leaders made regular appearances. A new bank branch opened on the main intersection.

But Bush is now a lame duck, and this little piece of Bush Country is in a transitional moment just as Texas is about to play a pivotal role in the presidential race.

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.

In Crawford, the presidential contest might as well be happening on a different planet. Ask about the primary and you might get a quizzical look, as though you're bringing up something kind of eccentric, like cricket or lawn bowling. For Republicans the primary is anticlimactic, since there's already a presumptive nominee. And for the first time this century, Crawford doesn't have a dog in the fight.

You don't see any yard signs around here -- not one -- with a presidential candidate's name. You might, though, see a campaign sign for someone like "Doc" Anderson, who's running for state representative, or Stan Hickey, who's running for Precinct 5 constable.

But the politics of Crawford are more complicated than you might think.

"This was a Democratic town before Bush came here," says Joe Cuff, who owns a general store and gift shop.

Several other locals mentioned the same thing -- it's almost Crawford's dirty little secret. The town had a Democratic mayor well into Bush's tenure. But the town voted overwhelmingly for Bush in both 2000 and 2004.

"All the people like him. You know. Just the person, you know. I think it was better before 9/11. After 9/11, things kind of went to hell," Cuff says.

One way to get people stirred up here is to mention the Clintons. For some Bush loyalists, the Clinton name acts like a cattle prod to the ribs.

"If she stayed with her husband after what he did, I'm afraid her choices aren't very good," says Donald Lammert, 66, a Crawford native who works for Franklin Industrial Minerals, hauling crushed rock and hanging onto his job because he needs the medical insurance.

"People around here have had enough Clintons," says a man who gives his name only as J.W., one of eight fellows gathered after dusk at the Masonic Lodge in Crawford. They tell stories about the roads getting shut down when the president visits, the choppers overhead, the strange boat that appears in the lake. The president and first lady vote in the little fire station a block away, with every street blockaded by school buses.

The president has brought attention to a part of the world that could be generously described as unassuming. Crawford dates itself to 1871 and really got rolling in the 1880s when it had a cotton gin and served as a stop on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway. To this day, the skyline is dominated by the massive grain silos along the tracks. A stone monument in the heart of town commemorates the achievements of the high school football team of 2004, state champions in their division.

Joe Holmes, born and raised here, recalls how it used to take half a day to ride a horse to Waco.

"You take people my age, they haven't forgotten Hoover," Holmes says.

"I thought people your age couldn't remember Hoover," jibes his friend George Cross.

Talley Barnes, 69, a retired firefighter, recalls the time he was down at a burger place on the main drag and a huge guy came in and checked out all the doors. Barnes said the men's room is over there. The huge guy said that the president of the United States was about to walk in. Bush popped in, grabbed some coffee in a Styrofoam cup, sat at the table with Barnes and five friends and chewed the fat for 30 minutes. They talked about the best places to play golf in the area. Barnes assured the president that he should stick to that country club over in Waco.

So he likes Bush. But not as much as before.

"I think this war is turning people off of Bush. They're still Republican. But if he was running again this time, I wouldn't vote for him," Barnes says.

Melanie Lowe, 18, a waitress, says she'll vote for Sen. Clinton, though she's not entirely sure why. "I think it's the woman thing," she says.

A guy in a pickup truck down the street huffs and snorts when asked about the election. He says all the candidates are related to one another. It's not clear if he means this literally. "They all go to the same schools. They belong to the same clubs." He turns and stomps off without giving his name.

Things have gotten so slow in Crawford that even the Crawford Peace House, base camp for antiwar protesters and alternative-thinking folks, looked forlorn this week, all locked up, the two "staff parking" spaces empty. There was not a soul walking the stone labyrinth and meditating on peace.

Activist Kay Lucas, who lives about 40 minutes away, says she's not sure if the house can continue to operate once Bush leaves office. The activists had a meeting a few weeks ago that drew nearly 20 people, but they can't staff the Peace House on a daily basis. Funding just isn't there. But she adds, "I think for sure we're going to have a huge celebration Jan. 20, 2009."

At the Red Bull gift shop, manager Jamie Burgess, 42, says people still buy the Bush souvenirs -- the beverage cozies, $3, are a big seller, for example -- but the slowing economy has hurt business.

"It'll pick up with the wedding," she ventures.

That'll be May 10. Jenna Bush, presidential daughter, is getting married out at the ranch. The Red Bull is already getting ready to stock the wedding souvenirs, and hoping that Crawford's moment in the sun isn't over just yet.


By Joel Achenbach  |  February 18, 2008; 12:03 PM ET
 
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Comments

First?

Love this:
"At the Red Bull gift shop, manager Jamie Burgess, 42, says people still buy the Bush souvenirs -- the beverage cozies, $3, are a big seller, for example,.."

bc

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

I can feel that storm coming in. Great photo!

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope Crawford will regain its peacefulness after January 20, 2009. The town deserves it.

Posted by: Slyness | February 18, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, this one was a beauty, too:

'"All the people like him. You know. Just the person, you know. I think it was better before 9/11. After 9/11, things kind of went to hell," Cuff says.'

You can say that again, Mr. Cuff.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was "coozies." As in, beer coozie. In contrast to a tea cozy. But it's probably a regional thing.

Posted by: bia | February 18, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

From a bloomberg.com book review-

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Barton Biggs has some offbeat advice for the rich: Insure yourself against war and disaster by buying a remote farm or ranch and stocking it with ``seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc.''

The ``etc.'' must mean guns.

``A few rounds over the approaching brigands' heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage,'' he writes in his new book, ``Wealth, War and Wisdom.''


Biggs isn't exactly a household name but he's not a survivalist nut job either. Read the rest of the review here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aImBVle3OMyo&refer=home

I often wonder if Mr. F would have been so eager to retire to the old family home in the middle of nowhere if he hadn't spent so much time fighting the GWOT. Apparently he sees an advantage in living somewhere that so few people see as habitable in the first place. I guess having a spouse who knows how to can venison and can run a trap line was just gravy. (He thinks my refusal to do these things as a hobby could be overcome by hunger. When they pry the Starbucks card out of my cold dead hands!)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Goin' to Paraguay soon, and be a dental floss tycoon! Is it safe?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/oct/23/mainsection.tomphillips

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

bia-I had never heard "coozie" until '01 when my Iowa Pork Princess friend introduced it to the frostfam. My Minnesota cousins use it too, but I can't say I've ever heard it in VA or FL. At home we usually say "beer can cooler thingie."

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Splendid pictures, especially of the storm. When Crawford is left in peace will there be anything left?

People use "coozie" here too but I think it is just too odd and so cannot say it at all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Now there's a little "W" as an icon in my browser line displaying this website.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... that little "W" is the favicon on all the WaPo pages. The peace sign you described the other day is on Craigslist pages--not sure who else uses it.


Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

yello... when I checked yesterday there were tickets available for Jonathan Coulton at the Birchmere on March 7. That's the day before Son of G arrives for Spring Break. Dr G doesn't want to go.. maybe we should organize a BPH there that night.

Anyone else interested? Jonathan Coulton, March 7 at the Birchmere?

http://potw.news.yahoo.com/s/potw/61785/how-to-become-a-rock-star

http://www.jonathancoulton.com/

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/15003F87B1C7A218?artistid=1124657&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=1

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

TBG, is he the Code Monkey guy? (I'm too lazy to look at the link you so kindly posted.) I'd go, but you know...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

If you look just beyond the grain silos, and past the railroad X-ing sign, you'll se Nick Spanos' Crawford Coffee Station, pretty much the only sit-down restaurant or eatery in town, except for perhaps a Blue Bell ice cream cone or a piece of pie in one of the souvenir shops.

The Crawford Coffee Station also has the cardboard cutout, life-size, of President George W. Bush. No charge to have your picture taken with Bush. Also tons of Bush memorabilia on the walls of the diner.

I can only imagine that this is where Joel got his quote from the waitress. My waitress was Tiffany, the day I ate lunch there when pushing off from San Antonio for Connecticut. I told her that John Kerry is a distant cousin, at which point she cooed, "Oh, I'm soooo SORRY." You can be certain I stiffed her on the tip.

On an earlier trip we met Cheryl there, both waitress and cook from nearby MacGregor, whose claim to fame was that she had flipped one of George W.'s burgers when he eaten there some time earlier, accompanied by Secret Service detail, of course.

The real question is, when Bush retires, will he really settle there on the ranch or will his activites as elder statesman keep him globetrotting?

On another note, Tony Blair tickets at Trinity for his March speech hard to come by:

http://media.www.trinitonian.com/media/storage/paper819/news/2008/01/25/News/Tony-Blair.Proves.A.Hot.Ticket-3169163.shtml

Tickets for the March 6 Flora Cameron Lecture on Politics and Public Affairs featuring guest speaker Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, officially became available free of charge to Trinity students on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

According to Kevin Hawkins, director of Laurie Auditorium, the Laurie Auditorium box office ran out of student tickets on Thursday, Jan. 17, less than 48 hours after tickets had initially become available.

According to Hawkins, at one point on Wednesday the box office had four people working while over 300 people waited in line.

Hawkins said that the University initially allocated 600 tickets to students, 500 tickets to faculty and staff and the 1605 remaining seats of Laurie Auditorium to donors and associates. However, the overwhelming student demand led to the decision to up the student allocation to 1000 tickets.

"If there is anything left out of that, then we will start at the top of the waiting list and email those students and say you have a ticket waiting for you," Hawkins said.

According to Hawkins, in an e-mail, as of Jan. 24, the waiting list contained 172 students.

Interesting, too, that our paper today has zero info about the Obama rally tomorrow, but the Austin-American Statesman has the full details about the Obama rally here tomorrow in the afternoon and the Austin rally tomorrow night. The Statesman had a link where one could RSVP for the San Antonio rally, which I did. I assumed that RSVP was only for the purposes of headcount. I got an e-mail reply already thanking me for RSVPing, saying attendance is on a first-come, first-serve basis, no placards or signs or bags allowed. I did respond to the Obama e-mail, but it's not something you'd want to read. What a ruse, just as I suspected.

Doors open at noon for the Obama rally, and this venue is on Guadalupe Street is very small, compared to St. Mary's. No doubt Obama is going directly for the Latino vote, since the locale is far from the east or southeast of town, where many African-Americans reside. I'll try to be there, even if it means standing in line early. Wouldn't miss it. Hope they sell bottled water, which was an afterthought at the Clinton rally.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I got a free coozie in the shape of a boot when we attended the recent (Rodeo) Cowboy Breakfast--thrust at me, by the way. The breakfast was just about everything that is wrong with the American diet, except the milk, and a big bonanza for local advertisers. The only good thing about it was the price, plus two tickets for free skillet burritos at Mickey D's, our breakfast outing last Friday morning.

We debated if we will ever return--an ad here, and an ad there, here an ad, there an add, everywhere an ad-ad . At least the McDonald's coffee was hot and plentiful on that chilly morning.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Does McDonalds have decent coffee in Texas, LL? Because here in Maryland it is swill. And I'd never stiff a waitress because I didn't like her politics.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This piece really goes with Joel's earlier pieces on Hope, Arkansas and the other small towns through which he's travelled. The fact that Bush still returns to his Crawford property may obscure the equal fact that Crawford is another dwindling small town. I doubt either Jenna's wedding or his retirement will bring any lasting benefit to the townsfolk. In central Texas (unlike elsewhere in the state) it is even possible to visit a ranch like Crawford and not automatically stop to fill up the tank and grab a soda. I doubt Bush's arrival in the area did more than provide some relatively brief excitement on the town's timeline. They'll be there long after he's tired of clearing brush.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, we no sooner stepped into the arena of the Cowbiy Breakfast and got in line, when a stanger, a young male, tugged on my sleeve, near the elbow, and told us not to get the coffee in the line we were in and pointed us towards the McDonald's tent. Yes, I would say in McDonald's coffee in Texas is a number of grades above swill.

I tip on the waitress' attitude and tone--and service. Joking is one thing, rude and flippant are others.

I would also gently correct yello--I think it was, who talked about brush in relation to Bush's ranch. Maybe he was trying to joke about brush-bush-shrub. The Crawford area in not brushy, but rolling pastureland, dotted with the most colorful wildflowers and so green in the spring--provided there is good rainfall. We got .2 of an inch of rain Saturday. The drought marches on.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Coonties would resent being refered to as "coozies".

Here, the first shocking-pink bromeliad inflorescence of spring has popped out. Regrettably, the plant's leaves have sawtooth edges that lacerate, so I think most of the clump will be given away shortly.

Verbena tampensis, a blue-flowered Florida native, is doing nicely. The plants are a bit too loose and sprawling to be a real commercial hit, but they seem to sell well at the Big Box Hardware place anyway.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 18, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Politics and commercial relationships:

My husband told me the woman who cut his hair at the neighborhood barbershop was trying hard to convince him that he should vote for a Republican, any Republican, to keep Obama out of office because he's a Muslim [sic] and would pull the troops out of Iraq, with the result that we would have to "fight the terrorists here, instead of over there..."

Knowing my spouse holds opinions considerably further left on the political spectrum, and is no shrinking violet about expressing said opinions, I asked him, "What did YOU say?"

"I didn't say anything!" he answered. "Last time she was cutting my hair, I mentioned something about the Democrats and she (accidentally?) nicked the back of my head with the clippers!"

OOPS.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Loomis,
Long ago, when I was a Penn State student, the university had a culture program that--weirdly--took student fees, booked acts, and then handed out "free" tickets. Most (say, Scarlatti on harpsichord) managed to more or less fill the turn-of-the-century auditorium. But a few meant showing up EARLY. The only way to see "Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" was during a football game. Intermission coincided with the fourth quarter. Radios came out of hiding. The audience cheered. The play resumed.

Really, really difficult was getting into the annual International Gymnastics Meet.

All this was in a naive age for a blue-collar student body. I'm sure today's hot tickets are hotter and the strategies far more subtle.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 18, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, just not sure you'd get this any other way, sorry to JA and the other boodlers!

At least 8 more online handcrafted sites and some reviews.
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5467592&page=1

Posted by: dbG | February 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Aha moment. My six word memoir at last:

Finnish radical centrist, always tips well.

In case you missed my previous flog of the six word memoir:

http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/

A haunting submission:
Father murdered, husband murderer. Children thrive.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Central Texas is not known as country for brush. However, Bush has often been described as enjoying clearing the brush on his ranch - I think he even said so once. Thus the Crawford ranch is synonymous in many peoples' minds with brush. This makes sense because either (a) Bush has a West Texas background and is used to calling all undesirable undergrowth (and all ranches have it) brush; (b) the popular non-ranch mind, after accumulated years of Westerns, associates ranches with brush; or (c) both.

This is all of a piece with the somewhat vague sense a lot of the country has about actual Texas geography. For instance, a CNN report today discussed a refinery explosion and kept using Dallas as a reference point, even though it is 200 miles away. Ivansdad couldn't understand it. I told him when I lived on the East Coast, Dallas was the only Texas city a lot of people could even approximately locate on a map.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, the site is addictive in an good way.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

CP's right, frosti. Thanks for introducing us.

Ivansmom, as a native Philadelphian, I'm not sure I can even locate Texas on the map. Forget about the Dakotas and, um, Iowa.

Posted by: dbG | February 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon:

Are you really sure you would ever "stiff" a waitress ever--politics or not? Remember, you were trying to have one day off from "chores" before going back to the daily grind of a three day weekend. Sorry, all, and to you, 'mudge--I just couldn't resist. I always picture all of you regulars (I'm an "irregular') and think of all of you as a part of my circle of friends and acquaintances. I can't even catch up with the blog on an at least the work day basis at certain times but I do my best to play "catch up" and please (groan--no infield fly rules--Yay--baseball is coming!)

And I would agree that I would never not tip a wait person for any reason--political expresssions or otherwise--unless I saw she/he do something unthinkable to my food or someone else's.

My best to all of the Boodle. I hope you are enjoing an excellent day whether "on holiday" or "toiling away in the vineyards."

I do hope on the Dem's side of the aisle this will be decided before the final primary in June. I voted on "Super Duper Tuesday" after my person had suspended his campaign--John Edwards--and I had a long tussle internally before I decided that I was going to vote for . . .

Obama.

But, that being said, and I won't bore you with the reasons that made me cast my vote the way I did, I will vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is.

I would like to know, however, and haven't had a chance to pose this until now to this astute group--what is the difference between "suspending" one's campaign, rather than "withdrawing" or "quitting" or whatever other term is used by the candidate(s)? It gave me anxious moments when I couldn't find out before I just kept reading the "still in the race" candidates positions BEFORE I voted at 6:36 a.m. in New Haven, CT. I almost to that crucial moment still voted for Edwards, but couldn't get info and decided, still conflicted, what was my next option so that there would be a win in November, 2008?

aroc

Posted by: aroc | February 18, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I heard that hesitation, dbG. Yes, there is a state called Iowa. It is not to be confused with the state called Idaho. They are both up there north of me and out there west of you, but vary greatly in topography. Think Iowa, think endless fields of corn or soybeans or something equally tedious after two or three hundred miles. Idaho, think wide open landscape, with sheep and cows, interspersed with really beautiful mountains.

Iowa is more like Illinois but sounds more like Idaho.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I heard that hesitation, dbG. Yes, there is a state called Iowa. It is not to be confused with the state called Idaho. They are both up there north of me and out there west of you, but vary greatly in topography. Think Iowa, think endless fields of corn or soybeans or something equally tedious after two or three hundred miles. Idaho, think wide open landscape, with sheep and cows, interspersed with really beautiful mountains.

Iowa is more like Illinois but sounds more like Idaho.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Whoops. Sorry.

aroc, I think the Boodle decided "suspended" v. "quit" had something to do with money. Don't worry. If you'd voted for Edwards you would have thrown that vote away.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wow, even the McDonald's coffee is better in Texas?

Dag, why haven't I moved there yet?

[bc, slapping himself in the forehead]
Oh, now I remember why - it must be because if I had to take a second job working as a waiter to support myself and my kids and a person I'm serving makes a comment that their distant relative lost an election for President of the US a few years back to a Texas state son (I guy I may have voted for, being a Texan and all), and I made an apologetic-sounding comment, it would result that person leaving no tip whatsoever and a few less dollars for me and my kids.

I guess *that's* why I'm not moving to Texas.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ivansmom.

See that. You have a collective super insight into things here. I love this Achenblog. Glad my instinct was correct. I certainly did not want to have my vote not count. I had been giving what I could financially to Edwards from the day in January, 2007, that he announced his campaign.

aroc

Posted by: aroc | February 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Aroc,

I really like your handle. Is it initials? Does it mean something?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

And, does it help to know that I am working, too?

Posted by: Aroc | February 18, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Aroc, I made a similar decision myself, and did so many people nationwide. You did good; Edwards said in his speech from New Orleans that he was stepping aside so destiny could blaze its path.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 18, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

bc, nice response there about all things Texas.

good to hear from you, aroc.

Crawford sounds like one of those small towns that has been deemed dead, but they haven't thrown the dirt on. A little like where I live. Sometimes folks don't know the town is dead because they're still breathing. If one can count the number of stores on one hand located in the part called "downtown or uptown", the town is legally dead. Anything less is more than dead, it is rotten.

Lots of places in America look that way. I wonder if it will ever change. Probably not in my lifetime.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Texas pix deserve a little Bob Wills served up on the side:

San Antonio Rose with his Texas Playboys(classic version, with muted yee-haws as grace notes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8w1WNjkVko

And this version with baby-faced Glenn Campbell sporting a pompadour; Bob Wills is the fiddler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ1lyXkCkuo&feature=related

Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman is a pretty darn good song.


Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian:

I thought somebody clever here would have reversed it by now . . . it's my first name in lower case spelled backwards. I think I also chose is when Joel was doing a kit on "It's Rocktober" way back in the day.

aroc

Posted by: aroc | February 18, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I like the new Achenblog icon! That's kewl! It looks like a green football held by three fingers to me.

Posted by: Slyness | February 18, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

aroc=cora

Such a great name. No, it did not occur to me.

Rainy. Rainy.

Trying to slip a dog walk in between the raindrops.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

For those easterners who have a hard time with the interior of this country, here's the New Yorker cover that will help explain it.

http://www.saulsteinbergfoundation.org/gallery.html

Click on the picture on the right side,the twenty fourth one (or the sixth from the bottom).

Can anyone explain to me how to copy images?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 18, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought you were a minor Babylonian diety.

Posted by: Bean | February 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

CP-BBC Radio 2's "Sold on Song" ranked Wichita Lineman as #87 in the top 100. Good interview on how Glen met songwriter Jimmy Webb here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/witchitalineman.shtml

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the compliment. No, decidedly not a minor Babylonian deity. And, I guess I did well. I did get a text of Senator Edwards' speech, spelling out the "stepping aside" thing. I have a numbered, signed photo, framed,with he and John Kerry, hands held entwined from the 2004 campaign.

Apologies to those who want someone else--even a non Dem to win--this time around. I used to be a Republican long ago in my youth, when there was still some semblance of a liberal, or moderate wing/side, to that party. Trite, I know, but I didn't leave the party--the GOP left me. I was a Republican from 1972 until circa '82-83, then unaffiliated from '83-84 until 1993, and then registered as a Democrat. I'll be long dead, probably, before it happens, but I believe by 2050 or a tad earlier, both parties may implode and from the ashes will arise two "new" parties that take the best from either/or and will have different names.

Cassandra and Martooni: Happy Presidents' Day to you.

aroc

Posted by: aroc | February 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Can insulator "thingies" are also spelled Koozies.

In honor of presidents day I have spent one Washington and one Lincoln on a six pack of Adams.

Steinbergs view of America from 9th is a great comment on citizen perspective.

AROC also = Alfa Romeo Owners Club.

That's all folks.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, click on that pix you want so that it opens enlarged in the new window. Then put your cursor over the pix, and right-click. Chose "Save Picture As" and it'll save it for you. A screen will come up asking where to save it-- in "My Picrtures" or wherever you want. You can also rename it at that time if you want.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Oops! That should be Steinbergs Weltanschauung from 9th Avenue.

Samuel Adams sometimes clouds my thinking.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

aroc... you sound like my Twin Separated at Birth. I contributed regularly to Edwards until he "suspended" his campaign; I was actually the first person to pose that same question to the boodle about what "suspended" means.

I also struggled internally before voting, but will vote for the Dem nominee whoever it is.

But I'm not working today. Not really happy about it either; This should be a regular work day for me, according to our production schedule, so it really only means I'm staying home and not getting paid.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I was just listening to NPR news. Douglas Brinkley was just answering a question as to whether any great speakers had turned into duds once elected to the presidency. His response was that great speakers tend to make great presidents.

"Bully Pulpit" indeed!

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks for the instructions. I'll try it. As a former Mac person, I always forget that there's a right click function on the mouse.

TGB, make us triplets. I'm with you and Aroc on the Edwards thing.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 18, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, Sammy Davis,Jr. also covers Wichita Lineman, to strangely pleasant effect:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmex-3CGTv0

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Bush's verbal skills would seem to suggest that bad speakers turn out to be duds - or worse.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, one last video clip:

Charley Pride singing "Anyone goin' to San Antone?" at the ROTTERDAM country music festival, 1980.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjXev8iMLZo

Pardon this classic country and western moment. Hey you haters, keep a lid on it. We're done.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

bc writes:

[bc, slapping himself in the forehead]
Oh, now I remember why - it must be because if I had to take a second job working as a waiter to support myself and my kids and a person I'm serving makes a comment that their distant relative lost an election for President of the US a few years back to a Texas state son (I guy I may have voted for, being a Texan and all), and I made an apologetic-sounding comment, it would result that person leaving no tip whatsoever and a few less dollars for me and my kids.

Uh, gee, bc. I was there at Crawford in late April, 2004. The election that year was Nov. 2, 2004--one know, between Kerry and Bush. Do you think I should have driven back up to Crawford by summer's end to tell Tiffany that I'm George Bush's distant cousin, too--something I didn't put together until after my trip to Crawford? The young thingie Tiffany probably didn't have kids, but was a smart alecky kid herself. Do you think her enthusiam then would have garnered her a bigger tip?

[Try slapping yourself in the forehead a little harder next time, O.K.?]

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

State son, my patoot. Carpetbagger George W. was born in New Haven, Connecticut.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"...sleepin' under a table in a roadside park, a man could wake up dead." One of the best breakup song lines ever CP! Thanks for that link, and destroying any semblance of progress I was making in getting ahead on the work week... humming "I've Got My Doubts About It."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter, Loomis, why you stiffed her. Did she take your order and bring your food? Part of the expense of eating at a place where you sit down and have someone bring your food is the tip for that server. Her politics shouldn't have anything to do with it. Or her immaturity, for that matter.

Don't like her? Don't go back there. Or ask for another waitress. Or better yet.. set her straight, but don't stiff her. She's working there because she needs the money. Maybe her husband only gives her an allowance of $25 a week.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

http://explorer.altopix.com/map/fu0a7j/George_W_Bushs_Prairie_Chapel_Ranch.htm

Prairie Chapel Ranch is a 1583 acre (6.4 km?) estate located seven miles (10 km) northwest of Crawford, Texas. It is the home of President George W. Bush. Then-Governor Bush bought the land, which was a former pig farm, in 1999 shortly after earning a $14.3-million profit from the sale of the Texas Rangers. Based on fair-market land prices at the time the deal was closed for an estimated $1.3 million. While Bush is there as President, the estate is known as the Western White House.

This blogger is far less kind about the pig farm, which she dubs Rancho Boguso:

http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=2053

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Yahoo headline: Explosion rocks Texas oil refinery

They are probably raising the price at your local gas station even as I type.

Posted by: Bean | February 18, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to add that Sammy Davis Jr. looked smokin' hot in a cowboy hat.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dang it, Frosti was that you? I though we had us a convert.

Yes, on the Sammy in a hat; he wears it well.

The thing about growing up with Charley Pride -- he lived in GF, MT is this: I thought that country and western music was a black and white genre. Man (Woman!) was in for some lessons later in life. Anyway, Charley Pride is one of the voices from my childhood: radio, especially on long trips in the car, when you still carried two kinds of water: for people drinking also for the radiator.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

My little sister used to think the words were "I am allergic to the county."

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

From Mo MoDo's blog site:
All content on this site is copyright by the contributors and cannot be reprinted, quoted, or otherwise used in any medium, print or electronic, *without credit and link to the source material*.

I'm curious if Mo MoDo is your son, TBG?

Regardless, shall we tackle how bad Mo Mo Do's analysis of Maureen Dowd's NYT Sunday column was--after all it's in the public domain?

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mo MoDo is yellojkt, Loomis. He's never hidden that fact.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

You know I'm not part of your clubby, insider Backboodling group.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I'm sure you didn't intend this impression, but your last post looked a lot like you didn't like TGB's post about tipping and tried to counter it with what you hoped would be an attack on something written by her son. I certainly hope that's not true.

Why you'd think MoMoDo was anyone other than yellojkt I don't know; he's mentioned it often.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

bc, you really should be studying the posts better. Next time, pay special attention to the dates. (If there are no dates given, please, do your research to past posts, see if you can figure it out. Maybe you should print out the posts, organize them for future reference.) And really, don't you know that anything a server says should be taken in the most negative light possible?

Another thing you clearly don't know (you too, TBG)...while politics, sex and religion as dinner conversation topics may be considered by many to be gauche, for some, it's considered bad form to NOT discuss these topics at meal time. With your server.

Finally, name-dropping doesn't always have to be just annoying; it can be a quick way to having your food spit on between a restaurant's kitchen and your table.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 18, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to be on-kit most of the day, with my music posts.

JA, thanks for the silo pictures fronted by the peace sculpture. Ain't America great when silos and peace symbols live together?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

CP-Charley Pride induces such excitement I forgot to enter my handle, a thousand pardons.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I wish Mo MoDo was my blog. Then I'd be sure to have loyal readers like you!

Personally, I like yellojkt's writing...

Posted by: Son of G | February 18, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

> You can be certain I stiffed her on the tip.

That's okay, Loomis. I'm sure she spat in your food before you did.

Posted by: CC | February 18, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, Frosti, I understand. So few people in the world -- at least back East -- understand Charley-Pride love.

Funny how people will not like a music style wholesale and they FALL ALL OVER THEMSELVES with a phenom like _O, Brother, Where art Thou_. Same sort of rootsie music. Very 'Merican. Europeans and Japanese audiences love our roots music, INCLUDING country and western.

Passionate rant down, sorta.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I am so tempted... but I won't.

I had a train of thought going and wanted to know if any of my more well-traveled - or faraway - boodlefriends could add to my short list. Rainforest, I have an idea you could help.

I was talking to a guy from Timbuktu a while back, and mentioned that at least here in the USA, "Timbuktu" is a sort of a symbol of a place that is very faraway - a place difficult to get to. "The 'ends of the earth'" our mutual friend paraphrased. Timbuktu guy was shocked - shocked!- to find this out. I had had a recent conversation about this very subject shortly prior to that with F. from France. He had said that Timbuktu was no big deal; he had driven through it on a motorcycle. So we had asked him, well, F., what do they say in France to generically represent the faraway place? "Texas. We say it is as far away as Texas." I got the idea he sort of thought we should have known this! After all, this all occurred IN Texas. But we had not known this, and were all greatly amused. And so when the subject arose with Timbuktu guy, I added this nugget of recently acquired knowledge. By the way, the man from Timbuktu could think of no comparable expression from his native locale, so we came to a dead end. I guess we were hoping he would say something on the order of, "Siberia is Timbuktu's Timbuktu!"

But now my curiosity is again piqued. I sure would like to hear from the non-USA folks here on their ideas.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Son of G.

Posted by: dmd | February 18, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, such fun!!!!! Who knew?

I can offer Alzada, Montana as one such place up for grabs.

One of the rules is that word must be rhythmic and fundrous to say:

Zanadu
Timbuktu
Constantinople
Rishikesh, too

etc.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Old-timey music, CP?

My husband cherishes his Folkways cowboy songs CDs. Good stuff.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd. First time poster, long time lurker and reaper of Boodle-benefits.

Posted by: Son of G | February 18, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Am I going to have to watch out now?

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see you again, Son of G. Speak up, your thoughts are valued.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Mom. I've been fact-checking your family anecdotes since long ago.

Posted by: Son of G | February 18, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Loomis: //You know I'm not part of your clubby, insider Backboodling group.//

Well, since everyone in the world has access to your e-mail address, that's probably because membership is based on the boodler's attitude and tone. Joking is one thing, rude is another.

Welcome, Son of G (or SoG). :-)

Posted by: dbG | February 18, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Heya G. You can relate to this scenario: four great 15 year-old boys suddenly at the house and VERY HUNGRY. Off to buy pizza for the masses.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Just don't talk about Zeus, honey. They know all about it.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Charley Pride, College Parkian et al, and the reference to Jimmy Webb (proud son of this great state, sorry I'm still in centennial mode). Also a shout-out to whomever threw in Bob Wills (Aah-ha!). Here's some real old-timers, the Sons of the Pioneers. Also, does anyone remember Clint Black from a decade or two ago? It seems like he started well, resisted the Nashville Sound, then just kinda disappeared. Or maybe it was me who lost track.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for Rishikesh. God, I want to go...

No censoring that boy, TBG. What about Zeus?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus_%28disambiguation%29

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Clint Black is touring the rez casino circuit. He'll be not too far from me on April 18 and 19

http://tickets.northernlightcasino.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=596&c=40&pg=

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, Jumper. You won't find this definition of Zeus on Wikipedia. It's more of an UrbanDictionary.com thing.

Posted by: Son of G | February 18, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

hey, son of g, good to hear from you!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 18, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

LiT, thanks for the laugh. I stand corrected. Can I borrow your copy of "Manners and Etiquette for Texans?"

TBG, I'm with ya, sister.

Loomis, thanks for the tip on smacking myself in the forehead. Next time please help me - can you bring a two by four with a couple of nails driven through it?

Also, going after SoG, Loomis? What is it with you and kids, anyway?

bc

Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The thunder from down under.

Posted by: Zeus | February 18, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

Posted by: Not Achenbach | February 18, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Son of G! Good to see you around here. I hope you got back to school okay last night, and not too late.

Posted by: Slyness | February 18, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, aroc, maggie, TBG and everyone -- may I join the Edwards train, too? I've always liked him and, while I'm disappointed for him (and for us) that things didn't turn out well for him in the presidential race, he will do good and do well long beyond this race. And, yes, I will vote for whomever is nominated on the Democratic side.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 18, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Son of G

welcome, welcome, so good to hear from you. it seems like ages since i saw you. hope everything is going well at school. please take care of yourself and be safe.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 18, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, frostbitten, for the Clint Black information. I'm glad to see he's still out there making music. Come to think of it, I bet he's played at some of our giant super-grand casinos (I'm not kidding, a couple of those things are like not-so-little Vegas).

Howdy Son of G!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, abusive, defamatory, obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent, and young; that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, or that is otherwise inappropriate.

Posted by: Graceless | February 18, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

did someone start talking about zeus again?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 18, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say my writing is in the public domain. I say that I require credit and attribution for quoting. That is more in lines with a Creative Commons license. I hardly expect there to be any great demand for my writing. I would prefer the publicity to any royalties. Remember that anything written on the Boodle is the property of the Washington Post per their Service Discussion Guidelines.

I was accused the other day of being Maureen Dowd writing under a sock puppet , so being accused of being TBG's son is a big step up.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 18, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

GF of SoG seems uncomfortable with this topic.

Posted by: Son of G | February 18, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Son of G, you could be G-man here in boodle land.

About the possibility of being named Zeus, son of CP could have been named Thor, pronounced Tor. Frosti, I resisted the Borg-of-Norswedish in-laws mightily.

Not that there is anything wrong with being named Thor......

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Yuck! Yuck!
I just watched ABC News's report on tainted beef. I am now OFFICIALLY not eating hamburger, or steak, or lamb, or pork, or poultry. So, now with tainted fish, drugs, veggies, I guess I'm limited to what my father used to call 'air,' as in "What am I supposed to eat with my tea? Air?"

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 18, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

son of g

the g-girl says hello too. you would not recognize her, she's grown a lot!

well, time for me to hit the sack. i am so tired, the kids have worn me out. i'm always glad to see them, but the old body can't take much. it is getting to be a bit much, even the g-girl.

i can't believe what happened here today. it was just too much. this is absolutely the best forum in the world, and we are like family here. it is so disrespectful to mr. achenbach and his work, and to his person when some of us forget that.

have a good night, boodle. sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 18, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I too was a big fan of Charley Pride. My dad had a huge collection of 70s era country that I ransacked for smutty lyrics.

Jonathan Coulton is an artist that has milked the Creatives Commons concept to fame. Because his music can be used in derivative works, his fans create videos for the songs, often using World of Warcraft animation. This girl created the definitive "Code Monkey" dance and has even performed it live on stage with him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lLRBiEBRAc

Anybody that gets college age girls to post videos of themselves dancing in their pajamas is a genuine public treasure.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I kind of figure you are not too worried about the WaPo stealing your material, yello. It would almost be nice if they stole mine, it would validate it and I'd get a monster lawyer to invalidate it all. And finally get a check!

Thought you'd appreciate my alteration of the terms as Graceless. That's my sole puppet for today.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to program pandora radio to play me some Charlie Pride. You've all piqued my interest. I remember GF of Jumper's dad was playing us some in his pickup. I appreciated his attempt at the time (1971) but I couldn't "get it." Maybe this time.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

My blog has a comments section just like this one. Please feel free to leave any opinions about my essays you have there. It may stun you, but I usually only post links when they have some semblance to a topic or thread. Lately, as the most vociferous Clinton supporter here, you have been the person most likely to invoke the djinn and summon me.

There are a lot of Dowd haters out there with blogs as well. I'm sure they would love to hear your opinions as well.

And who is this yellojkt fellow?

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 18, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I know - I've been trying to avoid watching the video about the poor cows, but I heard a graphic description on NPR this morning. And I thought about the previous Kit - no wonder the cows are running. It's greed and inhumanity. If the cows can't walk, they ought to be put out of their misery humanely, and we shouldn't be eating them.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 18, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Say, Jumper, I did like that Graceless list. You almost had me for awhile, but when I hit "young" I had to stop and read the whole thing again. Funny.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Jumper,

Charley Pride is a naturally rich baritone. No high country, bluegrass whine there 'tall. I remember my mother saying that Charley Pride's voice is perfect for babies and lullabies. She has seven, so an authority of sorts. His voice is rich and uncluttered, utterly self-taught and earnest.

His signature song might be be:

Kiss an angel good mornin'

However, I like his gospel best, including
I'll Fly Away. I also recall some fine covers with Hank Williams.


Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

And in celebration of President's Day, here is a Coulton fan-vid done with all creative commons or public domain images:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdUUywIsIGI

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

bc, on behalf of myself (and maybe Jumper, too?), can I ask that you not generalize your umbrage at one person to all residents of that person's state? Thanks!

Posted by: bia | February 18, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Jumper-Charley Pride is a great portal to great C&W. I also recommend Don Williams.
See this cover of one of his songs by Pete Townshend and Eddie Vedder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRyseNvF_L8

Here's the original:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_4UlelkVWM

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Not me, boss, I was disenumbred. I mostly liked it living in Texas. Except for this one time... (more later)

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

bia, fair enough.

My bad, please accept my apologies.

I'm going to have to give myself a ticket for a BWI - Boodling While Irritated.

I'm sure you understand.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, of course I understand, no problem. I debated about posting, but just figured I should throw it out there. Texas (and the South in general) is such an easy target for so many people.

Posted by: bia | February 18, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse


I guess it really started to sink in when I heard on my radio that John Lennon had been shot. The radio was tuned to a Houston college radio station, an underground thing of noise and in-your-face programming, speedmetal, oh yeah, that would describe it, punks breathing a rancid but new breath across the humid, yellow-skied 1980 Houston area for forty miles beyond the perimeter of the hard industrial town, into the deserted landscape and right up into the radio in the trailer next to the big loud drilling rig, and the roughnecks were a mixture of Louisiana and Texas oil field trash.That's what people called us, and so with disdain and pride we called ourselves that, too.

I remember walking up to the rig floor and experiencing November, the cold dry air blowing in from Colorado or Utah to the northwest, and there had been a squall a day or two before but it was long gone. The yellow skies, the wretched smog of drilling mud steam and smell and rig lights and diesel and grease and engine oil, the fecal leak on the engineer's mobile home set on concrete blocks on the edge of the 1/2 acre pad of limestone fill that defined the drilling site and set it apart from the surrounding cornfield... or was it sorghum? The cool blowing overhead kept the zone of industrial alienness low, as if wind alone could blow away the hovering yellow sky on a November night like this. Everything was drying out and cooling off, fast.

The drilling rig roared ungodly loud as usual, 120 feet tall, all lit up with the yellow lights that illuminated the smog and the red light on top to warn away airplanes, and snarling at the northwest wind and letting the wind cut itself on the steel and making the wind cry.

And when I went up onto the drilling floor acting odd and reticent and said, "Hey, you know that John Lennon? Someone shot him, killed 'im," the floorhands looked at each other in confusion and one of them said to the other,
Oh, yeah, the one in a group called the Beatles, they made music... they wuz famous..."

God I felt alone.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... love your question about Timbuktu.

I was reading your post to my husband and he reminded me that there is a certain town in Egypt that may be more remote than Timbuktu.

I'm sure you've heard of it, so I don't have to break any of the rules by naming it here.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"when you still carried two kinds of water: for people drinking also for the radiator."

CP, laughed out loud at this. You took me back in time.

Posted by: dr | February 18, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

DR -- as you know Eastern Montana is not very forgiving. I used to wonder if we would have to choose between watering US or watering the car.

This is an early and eerie introduction to lifeboat ethics. Of course, in the winter, remember driving with flares, sleeping bags, and a box of cereal, in case you ended up in a blizzard?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

...or Norswedish in-laws.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, do you have Norswedish in laws, too?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

TBG, some New Englander friends figure I live there now! Sometimes they call it Cackalacky, however.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll backboodle with you for five pounds of cooked canadian bacon, Loomis.

The payment is up front, no installment plans, though.

Alas, I already have all my money sunk in an off-seas account trying to help rescue some long-lost relatives of mine from an animal shelter in Russia through a Nigerian lawyer. I don't know how it all works, but I trust the ransom will go to good things.

Once you have paid me in fresh canadian bacon, I know you or your sheltie will enjoy your frequent tree-mails about all the important things that I'm doing every day.


Posted by: Wilbrodog | February 18, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different: thrust oscillation. Sounds nasty, but it isn't. Just hazardous.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/science/19ROCKET.html?ref=science

Posted by: jack | February 18, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

HM, I step away from the Boodle for one day, just part of a day, and SonofG posts! Tarnation. Welcome SonofG! Great to see you here.

I guess some things really are bigger in Texas.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that "thrust oscillation" is not available as a boodle handle, but it's the Shop Steward's call.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 18, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Another of the blizzard-survival widgets was a large candle-in-a-can, intended to make things a bit warmer and lighter.

I did once wonder whether buying a prudent pickup was prudent--color too much like snow.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 18, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - I loved your Timbuktu tidbits. This is not a Texas slur, but it doesn't seem all that strange that furriners would think that Texas is the edge of the world, simply because of all the miles and miles of open space.

aroc - hello! I lived in the Westville area of New Haven (a couple of streets away from Joe Lieberman's house) for 2 years. We loved New Haven.

Son of G - boodle benefits! That's great.

Wichita Lineman - it's been years! A new song to put on my new ipod...yea!

Posted by: Kim | February 18, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help myself. Every time I see, or hear, the word Timbuktu I think of this-

St. Peter decided to hold a competition -- winner to enter first -- Rules -- each had 3 minutes to compose a quatrain using the word, "Timbuktu" --

Browning submitted his --

"As I was walking by the shore
Listening to the ocean roar
A sailing ship come passing thru
Her destination -- Timbuktu"

Little impressed Peter said to Nash, "let's see yours" Nash wrote

"As Tim and I awalking went
We saw three women in a tent
As they were three and we but two
I bucked one and
TIM BUCKED TWO."

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, crud. I see I "tell" jokes online as well as I do IRL. That should have started out with Robert Browning and Ogden Nash arrive at the pearly gates from Purgatory. As Mudge says, "move along, nothing to see here."

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh DoC, I have some coffee cans in the garage, the lovely red, green, and white Medaglia dOro ones. I always think about this. In fact, during the snow of a few weeks ago, a neighbor was having brickwork done. The brave masons kept showing up. I gave them coffee three times in a day AND gave them coffee can candle set ups, so they could warm their hands.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

CP, I *am* the Norswedish in-law.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

OmiGOD, Mudge. Pardon the preference to not name CPBOY Thor.

Other names strongly suggested included:

Leif
Sven
Sverre

I dared to suggest that since he would walk about with a very classic Nordic last name, might we not name him something from my side?

Worked out fine, since his nickname is very Scandi-proper.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Jumper -

I was raised and still live and work south of the Mason-Dixon line, and am a native Washingtonian. Have a little bit of a southern accent and occasionally sprinke my informal speech with a genteel "y'all."

I'm an easy target, too, but that's OK.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

When I met F. from France while in Texas, I had the distinct impression he had come to Texas BECAUSE he considered it the end of the world. He liked Texas. Got a doctorate there.

Posted by: Jumper | February 18, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

It's country music, it's Waylon Jennings, and "Luckenbach" rhymes with "Achenbach" so here goes:

Luckenbach, Texas
by Waylon Jennings

There only two things in life that make it worth livin'
Is guitars that tune good and firm feelin' women
I don't need my name in the marquee lights
I got my song and I got you with me tonight
Maybe it's time we got back to the basics of love

Chorus:
Let's go to Luckenbach Texas with Waylon and Willie and the boys
This successful life we're livin' got us fueding
Like the Hatfields and McCoys
Between Hank Williams pain songs,and Newberry's train songs
And blue eyes cryin' in the rain out in Luckenbach Texas
There ain't nobody feelin' no pain

So baby let's sell your diamond ring
Buy some boots and faded jeans and go away
This coat and tie is choking me
In your high society you cry all day
We've been so busy keepin' up with the Jones
Four car garage and we're still building on
Maybe it's time we got back to the basics of love

Chorus:
Let's go to Luckenbach Texas with Waylon and Willie and the boys
This successful life we're livin' got us feuding
Like the Hatfields and McCoys
Between Hank Williams pain songs,and Newberry's train songs
And blue eyes cryin' in the rain out in Luckenbach Texas
There ain't nobody feelin' no pain

Let's go to Luckenbach Texas with willie and Waylon and the boys
This successful life we're livin' got us feuding
Like the Hatfields and McCoys
Between Hank Williams pain songs, and Jerry Jeff's train songs
And blue eyes cryin' in the rain out in Luckenbach Texas
There ain't nobody feelin' no pain

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Texas north, through Oklahoma and into Montana is one big place.

Texoklatana, I say.

Nice regional variations, but home to lots of sky, clouds, rocks, cows.....smattering of people.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention... Cassandra... I heard your voice on the radio a few weeks ago and you have a very nice southern drawl. A very soothing voice, too.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

My non-vascular plants professor in grad school said: "If there were ever he11 on Earth, it'd be in El Paso." *cueing up the appropriate tune cootie, since kb designated this cowboy night*

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden;
I was in love but in vain, I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in,
Wild as the West Texas wind.
Dashing and daring,
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina,
The girl that I loved.

So in anger I

Challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

Just for a moment I stood there in silence,
Shocked by the FOUL EVIL deed I had done.
Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there;
I had but one chance and that was to run.

Out through the back door of Rosa's I ran,
Out where the horses were tied.
I caught a good one.
It looked like it could run.
Up on its back
And away I did ride,

Just as fast as I

Could from the West Texas town of El Paso
Out to the bad-lands of New Mexico.

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.
Everything's gone in life; nothing is left.
It's been so long since I've seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death.

I saddled up and away I did go,
Riding alone in the dark.
Maybe tomorrow
A bullet may find me.
Tonight nothing's worse than this
Pain in my heart.

And at last here I

Am on the hill overlooking El Paso;
I can see Rosa's cantina below.
My love is strong and it pushes me onward.
Down off the hill to Felina I go.

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys;
Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
Shouting and shooting I can't let them catch me.
I have to make it to Rosa's back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying
To stay in the saddle,
I'm getting weary,
Unable to ride.

But my love for

Felina is strong and I rise where I've fallen,
Though I am weary I can't stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.

Marty Robbins

Posted by: jack | February 18, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

People who grew up in our fair city often say "out in the toolies" for the middle of nowhere. (Hard to believe they needed a word since there are few places more remote than here, but I digress) A little examination, aka a bit of googling, reveals that this makes sense as...
"In times of antiquity, "Thule" (tooly) was the name given to an archipelago far to the north of the Scandinavian seas. The Greek explorer Pytheas told his contemporaries
about this far-away place, and about the year 330 B.C. he sailed northward
from Marseilles in France in search of the source of amber. When he reached
Britain, he heard of an archipelago further north known as "Thule". The name was apparently Celtic; the archipelago what are now known as the Shetland Isles.
After Pytheas' time, the ancients called Scandinavia "Thule". In poetry, it
became "Ultima Thule", i.e. "farthest Thule", a distant northern place.
As the frontiers of man's exploration gradually expanded, the legendary Ultima
Thule acquired a more northerly location. It moved with the Vikings from the
Faroe Islands to Iceland, and, when Iceland was colonized in the ninth century
A.D., Greenland became "Thule" in folklore.

You can read the whole PDF detailing some permutations here:
http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic29-2-83.pdf

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

KB -- such fun. One thing about country music, you hear all the words, and the stories are thrown in for free.

Jerry Jeff Walker!!! Wrote Mr. Bojangles. Sang but did not write, LA Freeway.

SoCarl may, if so inclined, write an Achenbach verse or two take-off.

Off to listen to Thor recite lots of DNA factoids. He has the three by three trait Punnett squares down cold.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 18, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Guy Clark wrote it, but I think Jerry Jeff Walker does a better performance:

Desperadoes Waiting for a Train

I played the Red River Valley.
He'd sit in the kitchen and cry.
Run his fingers through seventy years of livin'.
"I wonder, Lord, has every well I've drilled gone dry?".
We were friends, me and this old man,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Desperados waitin' for a train.

Well, he's a drifter an' a driller of oil wells.
And an old school man of the world.
He taught me how to drive his car when he w's too drunk to.
Oh, and he'd wink and give me money for the girls.
An' our lives were like, some old Western movie,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.

An' from the time that I could walk, he'd take me with him,
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe.
An' there was old men with beer guts and dominos.
Oh, an they're lying 'bout their lives while they played.
An' I was just a kid, that they all called his sidekick,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.

One day I looked up and he's pushin' eighty.
An' he's brown tobacco stains all down his chin.
Well, to me he's one of the heroes of this country,
So why's he all dressed up like them old men?
He's drinkin' beer and playin' Moon and Forty-two.
Like a desperado waitin' for a train.
Like a desperado waitin' for a train.

An' then the day before he died, I went to see him,
I was grown and he was almost gone.
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen,
And sang another verse to that old song.
Come on, Jack, that son-of-a-bltch is comin'.
We're like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4cFIjqdxzA&feature=related

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

No offense taken, CP; I never liked the name "Thor" very much anyway. Always kinda liked Leif, though.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Texas song.

http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/usa/devlmade.htm

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 18, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I always thought Ultima Thule was an exotic dancer.

I learn something new in the Boodle every day.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 18, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the lyrics, guys. I know the Marty Robbins well but the Willie Nelson brought tears of nostalgia to my eyes. I remember many an inebriated hour in college and law school shouting out, "Let's go to Luckenbach Texas with Willie and Waylon and the boys." Just something about that tune that makes the lyrics perfect. In law school, by the way, the Texans were so homesick there was a regular beer run from Cambridge to NYC for Lone Star - a terrible beer in and of itself, but evocative. I remember in Houston filling the back of my 1970 Cutlass (there was a car, bc) with cases of Lone Star until they reached the level of the rear-view mirror. Ah, sweet bird of youth.

Thanks also for the history on "Ultima Thule", College Parkian. I knew a little, but now I know a whole lot more than I thought I did.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

If I remember correctly, Ultima Thule used to dance at the Cafe' Risque' in Gainesville, Florida. Joel may remember.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked, shocked I tell ya, that our Canuckistani friends did not alert us to last week's Rick Mercer photo challenge featuring Clinton and Obama.

http://www.rickmercer.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.gallery&challengeId=90&seasonId=3

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom,

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but when I was growing up in Oklahoma I didn't like country music at all--the most I would tolerate was "Austin City Limits" once in a while.

But then I moved to Boston, and Jerry Jeff Walker became one of my favorites. I used to love "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother"--I will refrain from posting those lyrics, but they are classic. I saw Jerry Jeff with Asleep at the Wheel in Harvard Square, must have been 1977--that was a good show.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 18, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Frosti, I ment to post that but got busy and forgot.

Posted by: dmd | February 18, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Me too, kbertocci! That is, I didn't see Jerry Jeff in Hahvahd Square or anywhere else (what luck!) but moving to the east coast is when I really began to like country music. I explored it a little in college in Houston but I definitely wasn't interested while growing up in Oklahoma. Too country. So to speak. On the east coast was also when I began wearing cowboy boots, and found to my surprise that they're really comfortable. I guess those cowboys were smarter than I thought.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

No offense meant to anyone here on the Boodle, and no offense meant to anyone's sensibilities, musical or otherwise. But I'm tired of hearing about Texas. I'm tired of reading about it. I'm tired of its sports teams. I'm (more than) tired of its politicians, even its Democratic ones. I'm tired of it always being "in my face" and demanding that I pay attention to it. I'm tired of its music, tired of its food, tired of its accent, tired of its mores and customs and habits and mannerisms, tired of its cowboy boots and VERY tired of its cowboy hats (I gave up my fetish for cowboy boots and cowboy hat when I was 9; is it unreasonable of me to have expected others to do the same?), tired of its allegedly iconic towns and its cattle, its oil, its tumbleweed, and its dusty, dry, unpleasant "open spaces." I don't care how fording big its sky is. I don't care how many stars it has at night. I just wish Texsas would go away for a nice long vacation somewhere, and maybe after its gone for a couple of years, maybe I'll miss it (but probably not).

Look, Oregon does nothing to acquire or require my attention. Offhand, I can't think of a single song about Oregon. Vermont makes no claims upon me; it doesn't insist that join with it in jolly Vermontian fellowship. Except for one song about its moonlight, I can't think of anything musical about Vermont. I'm sure its a very nice state, and among other things I admire its sense of modesty and its desire to not toot its own horn. As far as I'm aware, Idaho has done nothing to warrant my attention, nor has Connecticut, or North OR South Dakota, and that's pretty much how I like it. I never pick up a newspaper or magazine and read yet another stinking article about Minnesota. As far as I'm aware, no one except its own Chamber of Commerce brags about how Illinois is by God theeee Greatest State in the Union and the font of all that is Decent and Good and God-fearin'. And it's not just a Texas thing: virtually all the Southern states (Florida seems to have escaped) have these beloved, self-congratulatory songs about how fording great they think they are, and how people long to return there to some sort of womb-like bliss. How many songs are there about, say, El Paso, or "San Antone" as compared to, say, Wilkes-Barre or Dover, Delaware?

What's that you say? Aren't there a gazillion songs about wonderful New York? Yes, indeed, you're dead right--and that's approximately a gazillion songs too many. Yes, the City of New York vies toe-to-toe with the Great State of Texas for obnoxious self-promotion and ego. So while I'm ranting about how I just plain don't want to see, hear, read, listen to, feel or absorb through my skin anything more to do with Texas, if you want to throw in the Big Apple, be my guest. But I'm just tired of everything Texas always being in my face. Go away. Go play with your little dogeys or whatever the he11 they are.

Let's give Ohio a turn, then maybe New Mexico and New Hampshire. Maine. Maryland. Washington State. Wisconsin. Wyoming. (No, not Wyoming. That just conjures up Dick Cheney. So let's skip Wyoming for the time beiong.) Rhode Island. Let's give poor little Rhode Island some love, shall we? I'd say Oklahoma, but I'm conflicted; they have their very own musical, all to themselves. (Granted, it's, ya know, a Broadway musical, but still...). Missouri and Indiana. Maybe Nevada. Nobody there, to speak of, with a population of 9, but still, nobody writes songs about the blue skies of Nevada.

Just. No. More. Fording. Texas. Please.

Thank you. This concludes my rant for the day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

tules:
"Low, swampy land is tules or tule land in the parlance of northern California. When the Spanish colonized Mexico and Central America, they borrowed from the native inhabitants the Nahuatl word tollin, "bulrush." The English-speaking settlers of the West in turn borrowed the Spanish word tule to refer to certain varieties of bulrushes native to California. Eventually the meaning of the word was extended to the marshy land where the bulrushes grew." (Dictionary.com)

Guess you had to grow up in California to learn this definition --- it is where you drove with your boyfriend to er, look at the stars.

Posted by: nellie | February 18, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Mudge.. I wish you'd tell us how you really feel.

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, y'all are so cute.

Good news for the Ivansclan. Ivansgramma had a kidney removed today, complete with cancerous tumor. Apparently all went well. Ivansrepresentatives will follow during the recuperation period. She not unreasonably felt she'd rather have them there when she was somewhat conscious.

The document is written (by and large), the supper is cooked and consumed, the dishes are done, and it is time for me to go get my sick family off to sleep. They're already in bed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, whaddya think, Prince is all we got up here? Listen to Toolmaster of Brainerd by Trip Shakespeare (long defunct band)

http://www.last.fm/music/Trip+Shakespeare/_/Toolmaster+of+Brainerd

Toolmaster of Brainerd
(Wilson/Munson)

He held a job at the Buckeye Creamery
Toolmaster of Brainerd
He had a way with the old machinery
Toolmaster of Brainerd
But on the day when the shutdown came
All his old girlfriends looked the same
He rumbled down for a change of scenery
Hello, Toolmaster of Brainerd

Inside his case was a Gibson Disaster
Toolmaster of Brainerd
He played guitar like a master but faster
Toolmaster of Brainerd
He came to town on a charter bus
Too young and sweet to be hustling us
He played guitar like a natural disaster
Play on, Toolmaster of Brainerd

A letter came from the Buckeye Creamery
It said, "Mr. Master of Brainerd
We're going to start up the old machinery
Mr. Master of Brainerd"
Then all this old girlfriends lined up in the sky
And told him to kiss the Twin Towns goodbye
He rumbled up north for a change of scenery
Goodbye, Toolmaster of Brainerd

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I found some songs about Ohio, etc. at this:
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/usa.html

Hundreds of traditional songs (not all good) through the last 250 years, sailing ditties, the R4D Cannonball Express, etc.

And also the song of a 10,000 year old man, which you probably wrote, Mudge.

Besides, New England gets its share of glory too. Think of all the limericks about Nantucket...

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 18, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

G'night, Ivansmom, I hope the whole family feels better tomorrow. Good news about Ivansgramma, may she recover quickly.

So this was the evening for dinner with my buddies, where I learned that a young lady I watched grow up has been elected student body president at Carolina. Amazing. Of course, she should still be in middle school, instead of a college junior. Tempus fugit.

Posted by: Slyness | February 18, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Nellie-with vast expanses of peat bog near us our thules could be tules.

Ivansmom-good to hear all is well, but did you have to make me feel so lazy?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, the only song that comes to mind about Ohio is hardly flattering: "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own...four dead in Ohio...."

Ohio doesn't get in your face. Ohio doesn't think it it is god's gift to America. Ohio is just one of the guys, and that's what I like about it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Well this one has a boat of sorts in it.

"Beautiful Ohio" (musta been a long time ago, pal).

http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/usa/beauohio.htm

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 18, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Anytime, frostbitten. Actually it is usually your posts which spur me to action.

Curmudgeon, I thought of that song too, but also the immortal Chrissi Hynds (?) of the Pretenders singing, "Where'd ya go, Ohio?"

Vaya con queso, Boodle, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 18, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Just to be annoying, I might mention that the unassuming NW Wyoming town where I lived had a singular lack of hats other than the baseball type (beet farmers) and even the ranchers tended to behave similarly. The local economy benefited from people like a friend who worked part time as a salesman/financial person at the local Chevy dealer (yes, I bought a truck from him) and the rest of the time did accounting work for non-local clients. It was a pre-Internet case of someone who could work anywhere choosing a town with good schools.

Overall, I doubt that Wyoming's small towns are doing much better than those elsewhere. Is it possible that the only way to be a successful small town is to attract significant numbers of urban expatriates (rural northern Virginia and northern Georgia) or be a social/recreational attraction (Aspen, Sun Valley)?

The Great Beef Recall makes me wonder about the best way to get decent hamburger. By UPS from someone in Montana or Omaha perhaps? Or maybe the fast-food places have better supply chains than public schools?

Posted by: Dave of the CoontiesJ | February 18, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Less annoyingly, Pennsylvania has a remarkable mesh of heritages, but manages to neglect or denigrate most of them. Good grief, this is the state where every town had at least one brewery.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 18, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

DaveOTC -- news folk have been saying that two fast food chains had that beef, but they have not said *which* chains.

Posted by: nellie | February 18, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Listening to Terry Gross in "Fresh Air" on NPR, the subject being bananas (quite interesting, BTW, to this former geographer). She said "different from" instead of different than! Wow!

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 18, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Florida did not escape, Cur. "Florida Moon" by Al Jolson and Alex Sullivan was a hit in the early wax record era and Betty Grable in "Moon Over Miami" was a hit.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 18, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,

Liked reading your rant. If it makes you feel better, Coloradans, in general, do not like Texans. I have a Texan step-mother who is the most ostentatious person I have ever had the misfortune to know.

But then again, Colorado is probably also on your "go away" state.

Just sayin.

Posted by: eidrib | February 18, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/dec/05/schoolsworldwide.usa

And the poetic description of the ideal leader continues: "Over and over he makes his case clear/Reaching to touch the ones who won't hear/Growing in strength, he won't be unnerved/Ever assuring he'll stand by his word/Wanting the world to join his firm stand."

The revelation is likely to embarrass Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf, who has been criticised at home for taking what has been perceived to be a pro-American stance in supporting the Bush administration's so-called war on terror.

An official working with the Pakistan Education ministry told the Times of India: "We have decided to delete the poem from the book, published by the National Book Foundation, and prescribed for federal board students.

"It will be stretching the matter too far to assert that the poem was inserted in the book deliberately to enumerate the qualities of President Bush."

An investigation has been launched to find out how the work was not spotted by the committees which censor the content of textbooks. It was first printed in A Textbook of English last year after the Pakistani government took the decision to deregulate the publication of textbooks.

The leader

Patient and steady with all he must bear,
Ready to accept every challenge with care,
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel,
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real,
Isn't afraid to propose what is bold,
Doesn't conform to the usual mold,
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight wont do
Never back down when he sees what is true
Tells it all straight, and means it all too

Bracing for war, but praying for peace
Using his power so evil will cease:
So much a leader and worthy of trust,
Here stands a man who will do what he must

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Jack,

Cool song. I've heard it but not seen it. Thanks!

Posted by: eidrib | February 18, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

http://www.madkane.com/yellow.html

Feel free to sing "Yellow Bush of Texas" to "Yellow Rose of Texas."

There's a yellow Bush in Texas, that's where he loves to be.
Where Dub can dodge the media, evading scrutiny.
He cries so when he leaves there, it nearly breaks his heart.
Let's help him lib'ral voters, from Crawford never part.

Dubya's hiding out in Texas, where he so loves to flee.
He drags his top aides with him, to swelter in the heat.
Loves to torture pals and press and staff, with runs that tax the heart.
Survivors get a tee-shirt, but they cannot wait to part.

Dubya keeps the money flowing, fund raising from the right.
They pay big bucks to see him, though Dubya's not too bright.
They know that he'll remember where he got those piles of dough.
A promise of returns so great, their wealth will quickly grow.

An elitist little hustler, from Texas so he claims.
His eyes are small and squinty, they darken when he's blamed
For his speeches which are packed with lies, and manifold misdeeds.
Cause the yellow Bush of Texas, just cannot take the heat.

But soon we're going to bounce him, for the man has got to go.
We'll say good-bye to Cheney, and Ashcroft and Karl Rove.
We'll celebrate so gaily, when we're rid of right wing hoods.
And the yellow Bush of Texas finally's Crawford-bound for good.

Posted by: Loomis | February 18, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The second Mr. F was born of a Texas family but did not have to live there until his Air Force dad retired. He loathed it so much he left college to join the army and at 19 was flying CH-54s (sky crane helicopters) in Vietnam. And people think it's their conservatism and patriotism that has so many Texans in the armed forces.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

No, eidrib, I'm generally okay with Colorado. It's just Texas, NYC, and maybe L.A./Hollywood, the three big ego centers, that I have a problem with. Everybody else is OK (more or less).

bc, I just finished a few minutes ago that piece we talked about at the BPH. I'll send it to you tomorrow. It's probably not what you'd expect.

'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 18, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

We watched Rachel Ray travel to Austin today and it really gave me a hankerin' to visit there. I was thinking a Texas road trip might be in order for the G family. Dallas to Austin to San Antonio to Corpus Christi to Galveston to Houston.

It's such a huge state, there's got to be some good spots, no?

Posted by: TBG | February 18, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Backboodling some more,

I could not watch the cow killing video. Nope. Stickin with my imagination. Big tears.

I was roller skating in Coconut Grove, Florida when I heard the news about John Lennon. I skated really far that day.

Last comment--Texas is a big state.

Posted by: eidrib | February 18, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Toodles boodle. Substitute teaching tomorrow and attending a school board meeting tomorrow night. Long day, but if all goes well our community nonprofit will win approval to buy the school building for $1. I'm sure it's going to be one of those "be careful what you ask for" moments.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 19, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

what, there are big egos in california?

california here i come, right back where i started from
california girls
california dreamin'
i left my heart in s.f.

what others?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 19, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

'mudge is so cute! He's like a yankee, without quite knowing how to be one.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 19, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Oops, forgot to mention: Loomis is so cute! Resembles a Texan, but so adamantly proud not to be one.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 19, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, we don't really have a reference for a faraway place. Some people, esp the literary types, borrow "Timbuktu."

In the local context, our "Timbuktu" is a place called "Temburong" which is a Bn county. The place is actually not that far away. It feels far because one has to take a long windy road, cross into a neighbouring country, and then ride on a ferry to get there. The ferry ride is very short. It takes maybe 2 minutes to walk across the river if you could walk on water. It takes a couple of hours to get there by land and by boat it's probably 1.5 hrs.

Posted by: rainforest | February 19, 2008 4:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm just not gonna say nuthin' about a possible "Little G" Boodle handle... Wouldn't want to anger any Elvis fans or Norse/Greek deities. ;-)

And now, off to a short-but-particularly-crazy work week.

*never-so-rushed-that-I-can't-squeeze-in-some Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2008 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular seem to be disproportionately mentioned by songwriters, but given the trouble they've seen, I'm willing to give them a pass.

The indie folk singer Sufjan Stevens hs vowed to write an entire album for every state, but so far he has only managed two. From Wikipedia:

"Stevens followed this with the first of his ambitious "50 states" albums, a collection of folk songs and instrumentals inspired by his home state of Michigan. The result, the expansive Michigan ("Greetings from Michigan the Great Lake State") included odes to cities including Detroit and Flint, the Upper Peninsula, and vacation areas such as Tahquamenon Falls. Melded into the scenic descriptions and characters are his own declarations of faith in God, sorrow, love and the regeneration of Michigan.

"Following the release of Michigan, Stevens compiled a collection of songs recorded previously into a side project, the Christian-folk album Seven Swans, which was released in March 2004.

"Next he released the second in the 50 states project, entitled Illinois or Come On Feel the Illinoise. Among the subjects explored on Illinois: the cities of Chicago, Decatur and Jacksonville; the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893; the state's (somewhat confusing and obscure) observance of a holiday in honor of Casimir Pulaski; the poet Carl Sandburg; and the serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr."

And who can forget Bruce Springsteen who has done so much for New Jersey as well as Nebraska and even "Baltimore, Jack".

Posted by: yellojkt | February 19, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Whoa, Castro is resigning? I thought the man would die in office. This is really big news!

My dad had a fraternity brother who was an engineer in Cuba. My mom would have loved to visit, but of course after the revolution that wasn't possible. I hope a change in regime will be good for the island.

Good morning all. Hey, Cassandra.

Posted by: Slyness | February 19, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Well, the weather has turned just a tad chilly. I'm going to try and get out today. I was holed up with the grandkids yesterday, and I believe we might be moving on with that. School today for the g-girl, but grandsons don't go back until tomorrow, teacher work day or something.

Morning, Mudge, Scotty, Slyness, Martooni, and good morning to all.*waving*

Good morning, JA. I forgot to mentioned that the pictures are really good, and I enjoyed the kit. Your take on the town of Crawford could read for many small towns in rural North Carolina. For me, it's so sad to see areas like that, and it maybe because I live in such a place. I keep wondering what can be done to turn it around. For me, it's like all the adults died and did not leave any children. But I suspect most of the children go to huge shopping centers or like here, they go to huge Wal-Marts.

Eugene Robinson's take on John McCain is interesting and quite true I suspect in some corners of the good ole USA. His focus sort of shows that McCain and other Republicans are out of sync with mainstream ideas of what is needed or what the people want. I don't find that surprising since Republicans usually only see what they need, the hoot with what others in the country might need. I take from his piece, the Republicans are not happy with McCain's selection as the person to represent them, but will grudgingly go along with it. Eating food they don't really like because it's what everyone else is eating?

Have a good day, folks. Hope the weather is good where you are.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 19, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Slyness. I saw on the news they aren't quite sure who shot the young boy. And your question is a good one. Why a gun at a party with kids? I hope they can find out who shot him.

Going and try to find the coffee.

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

Would Castro's brother rule or would they elect someone new? Even if he steps down would we see a dramatic change in policy right away?

Posted by: cassandra s | February 19, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Did I kill the boodle? I hope it wasn't the comments about the Republican party. I thought it was okay to dish the parties since it's an election year. Not so?

Okay, maybe everyone still sleep.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 19, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

After reading the anti-T*x*s Rant this morning, my thought on my way to work was, "Curmudgeon" is definitely not available as a boodle handle. That beat is covered--thoroughly, and even professionally.

I am not going to stick up for the Lone Star State--I spent my formative years thinking Texans were foreigners with funny accents. However, I don't think a ban on the topic is quite appropriate on a day when Joel has posted pictures and linked to a published story on it.

So, hang in there, Mudge. Texas is not going to "go away" any time soon, but the boodle will surely be moving on to new topics any second now. (Japanese knitting instructions, anyone?)

Posted by: kbertocci | February 19, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Japanese crafts are extremely sweetie-pie-special in that Hello Kitty-way. The Japanese word for this special, cute, darling, cunning, elfin goodness is

kawaii

Posted by: College Parkian | February 19, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

*laughing, Bob S., laughing*

Paper this a.m. informs readers that Democratic presidential candidate surrogates planning to come to town on Thursday--though details have not been firmed up: Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton. McCain may swing through next week, paper reports.

Last week, the NYT gave readers "Cable Insecurity Syndrome." Today, David Brooks in his column writes about "Obama Comedown Syndrome." Brooks had me laughing pretty hard.

Posted by: Loomis | February 19, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

kbert

I don't get the knitting instructions in English, I know I won't catch on if they're in Japanese?

Where are you, Mudge? If I may gently ask?

Also read this morning on the WashPost front page, buying groceries is quite difficult for New Yorkers. The reason, no grocery stores. Developers buying up real estate and putting up residential dwellings, but alas, no grocery store. Supermarkets don't want to go to these areas. I suspect the bottom line might lead this reasoning. And this is a big health concern.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 19, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, I'm waiting with baited breath.
Or something.

Ok, Castro's resigning - was it because his name turned up in the Mitchell Report?

bc

Posted by: bc | February 19, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Methinks Sir Curmudgeon doth protest too much. It smacks of, you know, Panhandle envy. But if it makes you feel any better, Mudge, you can console yourself with the knowledge that the Texas baseball teams have both pretty much sucked since forever.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 19, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

At least Castro finally quit, unlike the usual president-for-life. Miami Herald says, in effect, that people aren't dancing in the streets. Nor doing much of anything else.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 19, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Castro resigns, brother takes over. S squared, D squared.

Posted by: jack | February 19, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

went back and read the article about castro, should have done that before asking the stupid question above. it seems things would not change that much if the brother rules, that according to the article. could be the reason no one is jumping in the streets?

S squared, D squared, jack, don't have slightest idea what that means, but it does make one want to laugh.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 19, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I should have said same crap, different day.

Posted by: jack | February 19, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Ivansmom... I thought of you when I read this "First Person Singular" by Patricia Schroeder about her arrival at Harvard Law School. I don't know if you saw it. I wonder how things had changed by the time you got there?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021302842.html

Posted by: TBG | February 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Off to the Obama rally, and at least a two hour wait in line, on concrete, I suspect, hope it's not more. Temp in the 60s. Taking my own bottle of water, large, what we use on hikes. Taking the backroads into the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center complex--with thoughts of old friend, now-Oklahoma-resident and Osage Charlie Pratt much on my mind--long story.

"Tonto's Revenge" the book, part of this long story and its discourse on the Native film that could be subtitled "Lust in the Dust," along with sex-killer eyeframes. *giggling, even though I know it's all gibberish to you. ooh, oooh, hope Rep. Charlie Gonzales will be there today.*

Posted by: Loomis | February 19, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

right it is gibberish

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is a bright sunny day, I got to work at 7:10 am and home by 9, Boy still sick, in and out all day. Tomorrow, cold and Weather.

TBG, I liked that vignette about HLS from Pat Schroeder. The Law School was not quite that bad when I got there in the early '80s. The student body was about 30% women, not quite a critical mass but enough for protection in crowds. Now it is true that in any given class any woman who spoke risked the assumption that she was giving "the woman's view" in the same way black students were stuck with "the black viewpoint". This was true no matter the subject or opinion. It didn't become really clear until I had a class and seminar that were almost all women, and suddenly the guys in the class were representing "the male view". Refreshing for us all, and eye-opening. There was some prejudice against women students, and still is, but not much. The greater prejudice remains against women lawyers when you get out in the real world. It rears its ugly head when least expected.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 19, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

ROTFLMAO: "I am only here because I couldn't get in at Yale."

Posted by: Slyness | February 19, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, thanks for sharing your John Lennon story. I got very excited when I read it because I bet the radio station was KTRU (Rice) out of Houston. They played just that edgy in-your-face punk and speedmetal and weirdness. Ivansdad used to DJ for it, and right about that time too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 19, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I also enjoyed that story by Patricia Schroeder. It reminded me again of Gina Barreca's memoir about being one of the early "co-eds" at Dartmouth. An excerpt:

"Classes begin, and once again Good Girl Gina sits up front. The American lit. professor appears to be a bulky, middle-aged, heavy-set, tweedy, standard-issue type. Wire-rim glasses perched on a long patrician nose, sparse white hair, broad chest, and deep voice all add to the sense that he's straight out of central casting. Gina feels this is what college is all about.

"Then the professor opens his mouth.

"He announces at the start, "My name is MANN, I am teaching a book about a sperm whale named Moby Dick. anybody who has a problem with that can leave right now. I have been teaching here for thirty years and I am not about to change my ways because there might suddenly be in my classroom a delicate flower whose feminine sensibilities I might offend." He pauses, and walks over to a large, beefy guy in the first row and puts his hand on the young man's shoulder. "And I'm not referring only to Pemberton here, either, although he is known to be sensitive."

"Applause breaks out, whoops and hollers...

"Gina buries herself as far as possible into her seat. How can you be a Good Girl in a place that doesn't want any kind of girl whatsoever?"

http://www.amazon.com/Babes-Boyland-Personal-History-Co-Education/dp/1584652993/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203435754&sr=8-1

Posted by: kbertocci | February 19, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

RIP Toshiba's HD DVD. They have thrown the towel. http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=319007

Youse female lawyers had it easy. My cohort saw the first 2 women registered in Mining Engineering at my alma mater. This was simply brutal. Not so much the class stuff but this was a co-op program with required workplace intership. The workplace was obviously not ready for women engineers. Both girls were tough cookies but in the end they switched to more welcoming programs.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what kind of dive or not that diner was, but in your nicer restaurants, where the waitress and the busboy are two separate people you'd also be stiffing a second person. Also, if alcoholic drinks were served you'd be stiffing a third. Yeah, real nice.

Posted by: omni | February 19, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Interesting story about teaching methods in math. Our daughters went through the approach to the curriculum discusssed in the article. Our son's teacher is taking the traditional tack. I personally feel like there is value in memorizing math facts. In the workplace one doesn't always have the luxury of time, or pencil/papaer to figure out basic math. Interesting debate that will ultimately be settled when a pattern emerges from the ever present standardized test scores.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/18/AR2008021802244.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: jack | February 19, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Interesting Boodle yesterday

1. "and love her like the devil when she gets back home". Fond memories.

2. Clint Black. I once saw a George Strait/Clint Black/ Highway 101 concert. That was a good line up.

3. This whole Crawford kit was just a ruse to out the sometimes C&W fans wasn't it? Dang.

4. Mudge writes a great rant about how some places get all the attention and are constantly self-promoting to the exclusion of others equally deserving of songs and laurels. I can't really identify with what he's talking about so won't comment, eh.

5. RD goes off line for what, a week? and next thing you know Castro's done. Apparently you just need to put the right man on the job. They didn't even have to use the beard remover or the exploding cigar.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 19, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I added some more pictures of Crawford, fyi.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 19, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Don Was was right on the money regarding Castro:

"I was attending Mardi Gras with Fidel Castro.
Buxom cross-dressers threw fake gold coins at our feet as we discussed the fate of the revolution.
Suddenly, CIA men dressed in bikinis tried to stab us with fountain pens.
Fidel blew mustard gas from his cigar and immobalized the lot of them.
19 tequilas later we had a deal: Havana goes back to the mob, and Fidel and I open a chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken shops.
Ain't life sweet?
I feel good.
I feel better than James Brown."

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 19, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Punctuation in the subway, wiiiith a semicolon:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/nyregion/18semicolon.html?em&ex=1203570000&en=dc3cd0cc8983eb99&ei=5087%0A

Posted by: jack | February 19, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I've probably mentioned this here before, but my oldest sister didn't attend UVa because women weren't admitted in 1969 (women attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, nearly 70 miles away).

Just one year later another sister didn't attend because she didn't want to be in the first class of women ("I'm not a pioneer."). Both attended Va Tech instead.

By the time my best friend attended UVa in 1973 it seemed like her class was nearly half women. According to this Timeline, they added the 450 women to the enrollment in 1970; they admitted the same number of men as always.

http://www.lib.virginia.edu/small/exhibits/women/timeline2.html

You know... 1970 wasn't that long ago.

Posted by: TBG | February 19, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at your lack of identification with Mudge's rant Son of Carl. Edmonton's hegemony on culture and the New Brunswick obsession in federal politics is getting to me.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 19, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

SCC are *sigh*

Nice fading pitchers. Somehow, I don't think they'll get renewed.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 19, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Haven't thought of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg for so long. I used to drive down there to see my high-school girl friend who matriculated there, circa 1975.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Screaming down Rt 95 in my mom's yellow VW bug. Those were the days, my friend.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I guess it was the same year, my brother and I drove his blue VW bug from Baltimore to Guatamala. You drive out of the foggy mountains from the beautiful San Cristobal del la Casas Sp? When you see mountains jutting up out of the plain, you're looking at Guatamala.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Here's another way to waste some time:

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I made it to the 12th level, and failed there.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 19, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh... jack.. a man after my own heart; the semicolon is my favorite bit o' punctuation.

Sigh.

Posted by: TBG | February 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yah, bitter, it was my first taste of the flan, the caramalized custurd made from the huevos.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Joel, the pictures have been great. They illustrate the differences in this country wonderfully. The Texas photos are a personal revelation to me -- the first time we drove across that state was nearly 50 years ago, and it looks exactly the same!

Posted by: nellie | February 19, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Excellent new pictures above but also NEW KIT!

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 19, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't get that "new" approach to math[s].

"Memorization will only carry you so far," Knight said. "With 'Investigations,' kids understand the real values of the numbers and are not doing shortcuts. When they multiply 23 times 5, they'll do five 20s to get 100, and then add five 3s to get 15, and they put that all together and get 115. What they've done is made actual use of the numbers."

I use the distributive law of multiplication all the time when doing math in my head. But at some point, you've got to know the value of a*b. Even "five 20s" has a particular value. I learned the times table first, then discovered how to apply the distributive law. I don't see how it can be done in reverse order.

But then, in my elementary school (run by UCLA education dept), we didn't start arithmetic until the 4th grade -- and by the end of 6th grade were ahead of the public school kids.

Brits say maths instead of math. How about Canucks?

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 19, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

New kit indeed.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 19, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

There are only four ways to get unraveled
One is to sleep and the other to travel
One is to go up into the hills
The other to love your neighbor until
His wife comes home.

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