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Montana Bureau Open For Business

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As you know, I'm in Montana. That's my rental combine in the snowfield with the Front Range in the background. The big question the last few days has been where to set up the permanent A-blog Montana Bureau. I've been looking high and low. The good news is that a lot of potential bureaus are abundant in what is known as "character" and "atmosphere." Finding a place that also has Wi-Fi and valet service is tricky.


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This place looked very tempting -- if I wanted to take a break from blogging I could buy into a poker game.


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This is the place with the scary bar-bears.


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What's not to like????


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Now we're talking! Plenty of room to stretch out. This is where I'm setting up, even if the place is technically closed for the winter. My only concern is that it could turn into a situation out of "The Shining." I'll end up writing, over and over, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

More photos after the jump.


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They got some big mountains here.


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And strange creatures that consume and then excrete huge sprays of snow.


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Some unusual looking dogs playing in a river.


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This is the train shipping my expense account forms and receipts back East.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 27, 2008; 8:28 AM ET
 
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Comments

First, love the barn, and announced new kit before posting here.

Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

First.

I wanna be copy boy.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 27, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Hello, Hellllllloooooo!

Checks to see nobody's looking, gets a running start, and slides across the ice.

Stepping off the ice, grinning from ear to ear.

Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Yello!

Big story in Philadelphia today:
http://www.philly.com/dailynews/top_story/20080227_Twin_gay-porn_stars_arrested_in_rooftop_burglaries.html

A number of DJs did dramatic readings of Taleon's escape this morning, culminating with remarks about the missing handcuffs.

Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

dbG - you have way too much energy this am, care to fax some extra up here :-)

Great pictures Joel.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I can't believe you of all people have decided to stay in one of the few spots in the Northern Hemisphere where there is NO Starbucks. Not a one in all of Whitefish. (There's a couple dozen in Boise, and a handful in Helena, just in case you get a bit strrung out and need your over-priced caffeine fix.)

Those dogs playing in the river don't look very friendly. What are they? Elkhounds?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, great pictures, but even greater captioning. Hilarious. Once again I'm lucky to be out of soda...

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Take a look at this bow. http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashionshows/S2008RTW/VIKROLF/RUNWAY/00390m.jpg

At least nobody is insane enough to wear that combo to the Oscars.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

dbG, careful out there on the ice!

Oooh!

Looks like fun, but I'll skip today. I don't need any broken bones.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Is it true that "What happens in Whitefish stays in Whitefish"?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'd stay away from those dogs in the river if I were you, Joel.

Some of them look kinda, well, h0rny.

Could proabably do some damage to your leg should one of them take a shine to ya.

[I can't believe I went there.]

bc

Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Wired, dmd! No need for fax, I'll just run some up! I do sound kind of manic, don't I?

Been working on Irish time and actually got to bed by 7 last night. Up at 1:30 AM and given the ~ gallon of green iced tea I've had and avoidance of bear for breakfast, I'm still flying.

Great images, Joel! The one of the train made me wonder if _Switchback_ had been filmed in Montana, but it was Colorado. Looking for another Montana film connection, all I can think of is _The Hunt for Red October_ where Vasily (Sam Neill) says he wants to move to Montana.

Posted by: dbG | February 27, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Mudge shouldn't that be Is something happens in Whitefish - would anyone really noticed?

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

bc, do you think that's where the term "horndog" came from?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Are Ms. Hilton's eyes yellow?

http://www.hollywoodbackwash.com/2007/11/01/paris-hilton-trashy-army-halloween-costume/paris-hilton-army-costume-2jpg/

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mudge/JA,

There's a Starbucks in Kalispell on 93 just a few miles south of Whitefish. Next to the stagecoach stop.

Posted by: markwa | February 27, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Poll in LA Times today shows McCain ahead of Obama 44-42 and Clinton 46-40.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 27, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

2 Montana films I remember were "A River Run Through it" and "Disorganized Crime" both Great flicks.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 27, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Montana Coffee Roasters is working for me. There's one in Columbia Falls and another in Whitefish. Got it all sussed out. Heading today to Missoula.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 27, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Made in Montana-

http://montanafilm.com/features.htm

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

If you want to see Marlon Brando as a cross dressing hired killer in the Old West (and who doesn't?) seek out "The Missouri Breaks" made in Montana with Jack Nicholson.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The rodents in the river aren't dogs. Them things have horns, dogs don't. They must be some kind of goat or cow.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 27, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The big yellow thing is called a Canadian combine and it is seen harvesting Canada's biggest crop. I wish I had one this size. Mine is puny in comparison. Another 3-4 in. felled last night.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Movie quotes from "The Missouri Breaks":

Tittle Tod: Damn, I don't know why they had to put Canada all the way up here.

Tom Logan: The closer you get to Canada, the more things'll eat your horse.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Here's a line from another Montana film "Rancho Deluxe" with a young Sam Waterston playing a Native American cattle rustler. It says a lot about the red states in general.

"I've seen more of this state's poor cowboys, miners, railroaders and Indians go broke buyin' pickup trucks. The poor people of this state are dope fiends for pickup trucks. As soon's they get ten cents ahead they trade in on a new pickup truck. The families, homesteads, schools, hospitals and happiness of Montana have been sold down the river to buy pickup trucks!... And there's a sickness here worse than alcohol and dope. It is the pickup truck debt! And there's no cure in sight."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I had a little Japanese pickup, but then again gas was as expensive in 1980 as it is this week.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 27, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The Lodge looks great; a little solitude is a good thing. Can't imagine why it's closed this time of year, with all the glories of nature right at the doorstep.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 27, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

These are splendid pictures, really. Although we're enjoying a warm winter, they make me long for snow. Thanks for letting me live vicariously! I particularly liked the frolicking dogs. You just don't see dogs like that very often. I'm going to show the picture to my dogs, to encourage them.

I want to say, Joel has been in Montana for days now. Not nearly enough has been said about dental floss.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I asked for the Dental Floss report a days ago.

Got nuthin'.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

For those of you collecting Kurasawa films, Turner Classic Movies has two (2) on tonight, consecutively for better taping/Tivo-ing. "Seven Samuri" and "Rashomon." Starting at 9:00 here in California.

Posted by: nellie | February 27, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

That lodge looks like a good place for a dental floss tycoon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

*trying valiantly here*

The floss king picks the lodge for fly fishing b/c a river runs through it (good flick!) down to the pond inhabited by elk in search of a triple vanilla salmon flavored latte.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 27, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

No beer and no tv makes Joel something something.

Posted by: wiredog | February 27, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, VL! You are catching on quickly.

Bill Buckley is dead:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022701603.html?hpid=topnews

RIP

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Go crazy?"

"Don't mind if I do! Waaaaaahhhhhh!"

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

These posts and pictures make me flush with desire -- no, not THAT desire, but a hankering for the home place.

Mudge, we had an elkhound, Norwegian style. Very cute and tough dogs that really, ahem, heard elk! Boots, the first best dog in the world, who I left on a farm when we decamped suddenly for CA in 1978. I have never been the same since. I never did ask my parents if the farm was a euphemism for an appointment with a swift and cruel, but inevitable, slug. Sigh.

MadisonM: concur with the smell of bear meat; however, it can work nicely into pemmican.

JA -- try some pemmican. Found in the same places as smoky slim jims. And, you might find an opportunity to sample real or homemade jerky.


Posted by: College Parkian | February 27, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"I would like to say something, not just to Vietnam veterans in New England, but to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families. [...] I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft gun, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless..." -Jane Fonda

If my uncle who enlisted and fought in Vietnam can forgive her I guess I can too.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm such a dunce, that was meant for a different blog. I knew that would happen sooner or later...

Posted by: omniD'oh | February 27, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I could say something about dental floss, but that would just be stringing you along.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

omni, what does it say about Achenblog that if you hadn't told us, we would never have suspected--"non sequitur" just
doesn't exist here. Everything follows.

Re: today's photos, I am impressed by the entertainment/nightlife choices in Montana. I can't decide, should I go to the "Casino and Grill" or to the "Grill and Casino"--?

Posted by: kbertocci | February 27, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Just general FYI, in 2006 Montana had the highest rate of drunk driver fatalities of any state in the country (the lowest was almost-but-not-quite-neighboring Utah, with all those tee-totalin' Mormons). Also, since somebody mentioned pickup trucks, male pickup truck drivers 21 to 24 years old in rural areas traveling on rural roads have the highest fatality rate. And of course they are least likely to buckle their seat belts.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Or go play with the "dogs" in the creek.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 27, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

When I first looked at that picture I thought it said "Casino and Girl." Which would have been something else entirely.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a mennil-toss flykune"-

Bawlmer's own Francis Zappa

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Oops, just Frank. Not Francis.

Posted by: K:LOTD | February 27, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Those pygmy ponies in the river appear to have handlebars.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 27, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Re: young males in pick-em-up trucks, watch "Murderball."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm going with the "Grill and Casino" - they advertise steak and eggs and breakfast at 7 am.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"What happens in Whitefish stays in Whitefish"

Where else could it go?
Where else would want it?

Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

re Whitefish. Group ski trips are fairly notorious. Think band camp without all the supervision and musical instruments.

re Buckley. "reptilian languor" kind of nails it

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. I misspelled both "Samurai" and "Kurosawa" in my 11:42 post. I will roll up my tatami and go sit in the corner.

Posted by: nellie | February 27, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Today is Wednesday. Your transgressions are excused, nellie. Seppuku will not, I repeat not, be required.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, lukilee fer you, spelin dont count fer mulch here on the Bodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I've never been to Montana, but the pics remind me of the upper Cascade region of Washington State. (This is the area where "Northern Exposure" was filmed back in the previous century.)

The "Packer's Roost" place looks especially familiar. It wouldn't surprise me if the heads of some of those eccentric-looking river dogs were hanging on the walls.

Personally, I've never been able to properly enjoy a cold beverage with the glassy eyes of deceased ruminants staring at me. But then again, I'm not exactly part of their target audience. I drive an Ion.

The picture of the train also brought back memories. My grandfather's house abutted the railway, and as kids we used to get frighteningly close when the lumbering logging trains passed. This was partly to keep an eye on the small change we used to place on the rails.

Yes, we indulged in this dangerous activity. Somewhere I think I still have a smooshed 1967 penny. I would never do this today, but this was a more innocent time. And, we were stupid.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

What's so bad about putting change on the rails? I've never caused a derailment (to the best of my recollection). Once, while in college, I raced a train, passing it in order to stop at the next crossing to do the change thing. Always put down a bunch because at least half of the coins are never found.

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Padouk wrote: "Personally, I've never been able to properly enjoy a cold beverage with the glassy eyes of deceased ruminants staring at me." RD, is this why you only ever came to one BPH? Did omni, bc and I scare you off?

(Ruminants are people who ruminate on subjects, right?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Nah, Mudge, when it comes to drinkin' I'm the one who usually ends up with the glassy eyes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I have never been to Montana. But, the things I have heard about the math department at Montana State are just, you know, too darned amazing for words. I have asked members of other departments, but they claim no knowledge of such shenanigans. I question whether my informant might have moved in peculiar circles, independent of the rest of that department.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Well as I recall isn't there some sort of dead fish on the wall of M&S starring down at the table?

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

You must be the Ion Red Line with the Supercharged 205HP engine kind of guy RDP.

I vaguely remembered there was something odd about Zappa's brood given names. Wow. Via wiki:
"They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. "

Talk about stripper-ready names.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 27, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Um, Mudge, ruminants are the ones with the extra stomachs. Sure you want to go there?

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

Gomer - we thought nothing of squooshing pennies, dimes, and even the occasional aluminum can. But these were extremely slow-moving lumber trains. I have since learned that anything placed in the path of newer fast-moving trains is frowned upon in a very legally binding way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

There were train tracks across the path of a route I walked. When the slow moving trains blocked my path I would often think to myself that if I timed it right I think I could crawl across the tracks underneath it while it was moving.

This is an example of why there are more women than men over mid-20s.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I remember when Moon Unit used to be a guest VJ on MTV in the mid 1980s. I thought she was charming. But would she ever return my phone calls? Never.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten - If your Kodak camera has a removable memory card and your new computer or printer has card slots, just remove the memory card from the camera and insert it into the appropriate slot. The computer will read it just like a disk drive and will assign it a drive letter, like J:. Almost all new consumer computers and many printers have these slots. If not, go to your nearest office supply store or Wal-Mart and purchase a USB card reader. Just make sure you get one that handles your card style. Shop around a bit and spend no more than $20.

If you don't have a removable card in the Kodak, I got nuttin'.

At the moment.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

SoC too funny, and you are correct I am not sure that idea would pop into the head of many 20 something women.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I hope Joel isn't serious about those receipts. What a pain. Whenever I travel I do "per diem" where you get a fixed amount each day. If you go under you keep the difference. If you go over, that's your problem.

This is why when I am on the road I eat a lot of fast food.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Gomer, RD, SoC -

Have ya'll ever used the phrase "Hey, watch this!"

Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

K-guy, at this point there's very little that could ruin my reputation further. Two stomachs? Sure, what the he11.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I drive a 2003 Green Ion with the duct tape over that small wheel-well gash and the left running light that keeps flickering.

I like to think it makes a statement.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

DLD - absolutely. Occasionally followed by "But don't tell mom."

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

RD and DLD, then the recounting begins, "No s**t, there I was..."

Posted by: K:LOTD | February 27, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

DLD, the other variation (for the older boys) is "Hold my beer and watch this"

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 27, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Here, hold this while I do..."

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

2003 was the first year model, quite the risk taker aren't we RDP.

Mudge, no later than last a week a local 20-something male indidual driving a light open-bed truck known as a pickup went around 2 waiting cars, through the ringing bells and flashing lights, to struck the side of an incoming train engine. His death wish wasn't granted, he wasn't even hurt. As per SoC, he apparently thought he had the timing just about right. He went all huffed-up when he was charged with a couple of points heavy, expensive ones.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 27, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom - Glad to hear you can print out those IRS forms. Just want to reiterate that using the Vista generic drivers is meant to be a temporary stop-gap measure. Won't hurt anything but may not give you full access to the printer's other features such as the scanner, copier, or fax. So you will probably want to fix this problem at some point. Other work-arounds include using the printer's control panel to fax or copy.

You must bug HP until they provide a fix for your problems. Threaten to return the printer it they do not.

Have you seen this and does it apply to your case?
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01016940&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=1119598&rule=45954&lang=en

Funny side note; Using the spell checker in Firefox to enter my submissions here, it red-lines "Raysmom" and provides "Cosmonaut" as a replacement. ???


Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The critical systems of the Ion have actually held up well. It's the stupid exterior paneling that has caused me pain. True, as advertised, it doesn't dent. Instead, it tears.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

SCC: ...IF they do not.

Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Most of the foolish things I did were done with my brothers when we were still little. Stuff like blowing up cans with firecrackers and riding our bikes down frighteningly steep hills. That and making rafts out of cardboard and floating them in the swampy shallow pond across the street. I think the worst we could have reasonably done is break an arm. (Which my brother managed to do.)

And although I look back on these moments of Extreme Boy Stuff with some alarm, I also often wish my son had the opportunity to indulge in such things. Not only was he raised in the stifling suburbs -and lacking any neighbors his own age- his mother insists on doing that whole "parental supervision" thing much more than my mom did. Free range children where all the rage in my semi-rural neighborhood.

But it is probably a moot point. Even given the opportunity I doubt my son would choose to do much. His adventures are all virtual. Them dang video-game thingies burrowed into his brain early and haven't let go.

Perhaps this makes for a safer childhood. But one with, I fear, significantly fewer epic stories to tell.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

RD, he may be a bit old for it, but you should buy him a copy of the Dangerous Book for Boys.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Further Sky reports from Montana. State motto: "More mountains than People."

I. Front Range

Two lines of mountains
Blue snowy rock, backed by clouds
Loom hard behind field.

II. Casey's Bar
Pine shingles, green planks.
"Booze, mail, business, poker"
Reads the neon jingles

III. Blue Moon
Four-car strip mall's open.
Dine and gamble--with money
(Beware of food, too)

IV. Packer's Roost ("What's not to like??)

Shamrocks string the stairs
Trucks face wooden bar with neon
Motorbike rides truck.

V. "Now we're talking!

Long lodge peeks through spruce
Snow heavy on brow and lap
Fence and mounts its wrap

VI. IMG0690.jpg. (Mountains)

Upswept cirrus sky
Bleak marbled blue triangles
Over featureless white

VII. IMG0682.jpg. (Mountains)

Dark conifer forests
Merry clouds claim bright blue sky
Snow glosses rough rocks

VIII. IMG0650.jpg (snow blower)

Wee yellow engine
Snow arcs in thrice-high dark plumes
The snowblower could.

XI. 0626.jpg (some strange dogs in river)

Ripples rush by snow bank
Long-stilt legs ford, dark heads watch
Rump circles mean Elk.


X. Freight train.

Nine painted boxes
Train's weight flattens pale landscape Freight's fraught with receipts.

That does it for the haiku descriptions of Joel's photography.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I've heard of that book, Slyness. But at 17 I fear those days have passed. Oh well. Maybe grandchildren will be more receptive.

Although I am willing to wait quite a number of years for the opportunity.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that last haiku didn't have the proper carriage returns.

X.
Nine painted boxes
Train's weight flattens pale landscape
Freight fraught with receipts.


Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Snowmobile not motorcycle in pickup.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Now I see the "Arctic cat" dimly on its flap, yeah. Thanks, k-guy. That'd have fit in as well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Excellent haiku.

Reminds me, haiku, canoe? I kun knot.

Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

These stories remind me of the time in junior high I thought I'd impress my skiing friends by trying a "backscratcher" off a ski jump. This is done by dropping the tips of your skis and bringing your back of your skis upwards towards your back. Except, being somewhat cautious, I thought I'd perform this wonderful stunt off a 3' jump.

Torque: n. a force that tends to cause rotation. Origin C19: from L. torquere 'to twist'

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 27, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Motorbike scans better than snowmobile
Now that's a fact.
But skidoo won't work any better
And bikes aren't made by Arctic Cat.

Posted by: K:LOTD | February 27, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking in the passive voice, it has been pointed out to me that perhaps I might make a more cordial and sufficiently-in-advance invitation to these Family Science Night events at the National Air and Space Museum. These dealies aren't exactly open to the general public, but neither are they closed. Schools sign up, and the auditorium usually is underfilled (sometimes not by much, and once we had to turn some people away -- that made for some bad blood). There's usually some seats open, especially in the front two rows.

That said: I am presenting a Family Science Night program at NASM tonight. Come on down and join the fun. ScienceKid #1 will be attending. The doors open for the program at 6:30 (or is it 6:45? I don't recall). You get to wander around a few open galleries for a while, then we herd folks into the IMAX Theatre at 7:15. I talk from about 7:30 to 8:00, then you see a pre-selected movie (tonight: Roving Mars), then you get the heck out by 9:00 PM so we don't rack up huge overtime charges for the guards and staff.

My next such event is March 10, same program as tonight. I am doing a somewhat similar sort of thing in a presentation at the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention in May -- smaller room, smaller crowd, a bit more technical, talking about the EPOXI space flight mission.

If you come to one of the NASM events, I suggest you do NOT bring a crowd with you. If the room is overfull, I would ask you to do the honorable thing and step aside in favor of the kids and families that signed up for it (not that this is a highly probable predicament). Better would be to view this as a scouting expedition and to then approach your school with glowing reviews (I assume that that would be the only possible kind of review) and convince them to participate next year. This year and next year, the FSN program is supported by the EPOXI mission. We would be perfectly willing to work out a deal in which a school or school system pays the costs themselves, if we get more interest than we have the funding to support.

Oh, dear. I hope that hasn't crossed the line into commercial advocacy. This is all not-for-profit activity.

See you there?

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question. I lived in an all-boy universe until I was seven when my sister was born. And even after that girls where mostly just something I encountered at school until I became an adolescent.

What kind of memories do women have of their wild childhoods? I imagine there were significantly fewer explosions, but I can't help but imagine there were opportunities for great mischief.

My wife is no help in this matter because she was woefully supervised.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Joel,

While in Missoula, there are a few characters in Charlie B's downtown on Higgins Ave. There's no sign but it's across the street from Warden's Market. Great pictures on the walls.

And, dining at The Depot is great.

Have fun.

Posted by: markwa | February 27, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

7/10 http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/departments/education_1/?page=quiz161&Quizid=161 some of the clues where very helpful.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

that is an interesting question, RD. Because I grew up with 3.5 brothers and no sisters, I do believe my childhood was more similar than different to yours. Most unsupervised play involved ordnance, deep water, wood, nails, the occasional power tool (*bad* idea), matches, and for some reason now obscure, the launching of oneself (and sometimes a sib as well) off high or steep precipi. The presence of large domesticated beasts such as horses and cows was always considered a bonus.

It was *great.*

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

With lucky guesses, 7/10.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

RD, it's not mischief if you don't get caught and punished for doing it.

I prefer to think of boundary-pushing as exploration, not mischief.

Hmm, trying umbrellas as parachutes, walking my dog all over town and through woods... including borrowing a bike without permission and winding up concussed after I got mad at being told I couldn't go visit my friend 2 miles away...

Also, redoing garage attic and cupboard under the stairs without permission, digging up a big chunk of the lawn for a garden, inciting small kids to climb big trees without adult supervision, breaking stuff, and a few other things that weren't too naughty because nothing completely irreversible and causing loss to life and limb occured.

I was really sore when my mom said zoning laws would prohibit me letting a part of the lawn go to seed and wild for a science experiment to be divided into patches and measured over the year to see what kind of plants would colonize the lawn if left unmowed.

I was born to woefully unscientific parents, unfortunately. Dang!

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the most adventurous thing my little sister ever did was make and bake a mud pie in her easy bake oven.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

RD, I remember an adventurous childhood, my mom was a stay at home mom of 4 spirited children. To maintain her sanity she promoted (enforced) a strict out of doors rule unless the weather was such that we might get seriously hurt (lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes).

I remember playing on near train tracks, climbing trees, exploring woods, riding my bike everywhere, skating on frozen ponds and the harbour, playing in streams, tobaganning down a hill that if you did not stop in time ended with a small wooded hill with a stream at the bottom.

That said I was always on the safe side of adventure.

Fireworks and explosions were something my Dad and brothers enjoyed.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Also 7/10.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i think it's more male to burn and blow things up or take serious risks. i did love to put pennies on the town's railroad tracks and then collect them after a train went by. we had a safe suburban area, so we ran around the neighborhood playing kick the can, hide and seek, and various other games, climbing trees, building forts, catching butterflies (my favorite), also going down to the river to catch verious critters, play in the mud, dig for clay, etc. pretty out-doorsy, but pretty safe as well.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 27, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

RD- Got a book suggestion for you and anyone else who laments the lack of outdoor play in today's youth. Read "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. He gives us the term "nature-deficit disorder", a tongue-in-cheek reference to our need to give a scientific-disease-sounding name to everything. A great book, it made me realize that with more and more rules against trespassing and littering, a lot of the outdoor, harmless stuff that we did as kids can get today's youth tied up with the law today. It isn't just the wife's supervision that stops kids from playing outdoors. Sometimes it is the fact that it is illegal for the kids to play in any of the outdoor locations close to their homes, the only places a kid under 16 can access.

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse


Here's Achenbach's Rough Draft on Nature Deficit Disorder:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/24/AR2005052401262.html

Posted by: kbertocci | February 27, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving these stories. And thanks for that book recommendation, Gomer. "Nature Deficit Disorder" Yep. That's what I'm talking about.

Didn't that Joel fellow talk about this at some point?

Wait a minute.

Yep. Here it is.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2005/06/out_of_the_woods_rough_draft_c.html

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

That is a good point Gomer two of my favourite place to place when I was young at some point both became off limits. One a large open field behind out house with greeehouses and a small allee of trees at the opposite end. One day a fence appeared all around the area (about 1/2 a block). The land was not developed until well after we had moved away. I missed digging through the discarded flowers to bring home a bouquet of carnations - it seems some children enjoyed throwing stones at the glass on the greenhouses.

The other activity was exploring the houses that were undercontruction, I loved going through the houses and commenting on the layouts/fixtures, and imagining what they would look like when they were finished.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow, 10/10 on the quiz, with only one guess (Calvin Broadus).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci - you are a quick one!

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I guessed on that one too (among many others). 50/50 chance of getting it right.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I think one day the Achenblog will be viewed as the source of all knowledge. There ain't nothing that guy hasn't written about.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

RD, "great minds like a think," that's what my pop-up ads keep telling me.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 27, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

9/10

Finally, *finally* FINALLY a subject I know something about!

Posted by: nellie | February 27, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

10/10 This one is high and inside for moi.

In college in Texas we used to get "enhanced" and ride pump jacks like this-

http://www.dauben-international.com/images/pumpjack.jpg

The other things to do were to lie under the counterweight on the pump jack as it rotated about six inches from one's face and to run through a burning gas flare (well operators would release natural gas sometimes for days, and the safest thing to do was ignite it and let it burn off ) where the twenty foot long flame shot out of a horizontal pipe about four feet off the ground. This last was an excellent way to singe all the hair off your head, or worse, and required extra special "enhancement."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

A couple of people mentioned building forts when they were young. That is one of the very activities listed in the book I spoke of that is today considered illegal, or at least in very bad form. Vacant lots are not "vacant" anymore. They are "slated for development". Fort-building materials don't go by their old name either. Now, they are "stolen construction materials" and when deposited at the afore-mentioned lot are referred to as "illegal dumping". Give a kid a skateboard and tell him to go play and see how long you have to wait before he is brought home to you in trouble for trespassing. Maybe a poor example, because skateparks are being built around here, but if the kid can't drive or get a ride, most can't get to said skatepark.

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

k-guy-

I have a good friend who has a mangled right hand from getting it caught in the squishy business end of one of those pumpjack thingies. Makes me wanna keep my kid inside all the time.

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

RD has inspired me to buy a book: 'The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life' by Laurie Notaro

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

6/10; clearly I have lots more cramming to do.

Used to roller skate into oncoming traffic...something along the lines of "if I timed it right"... Got creamed lightly (folded gently?) by a bicycle. Awesome bruise on the chest. Too bad I couldn't show it off...chalk that one up to differences b/w girls and boys.

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 27, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Fort-building! I was the Vauban of the Philly suburbs. I was into any sort of construction there was: Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, plastic bricks (forerunners of Legos, which didn't exist); you name I could build it. And then I graduated to kid-scale stuff: forts made out of trree limbs and fallen trees and whatever detritus I could drag into the woods behind my house; I had a veritable Maginot Line back there. And of course it was a group effort, along with my little brother and some other kids. And these were completely adaptable: Western Cavalry fort to fight off Apaches from one day; the next day to fend off attacks by the Sheriff of Nottingham, or the evil minions of either Tojo or Hitler (depending on the weather, among other variables). But mostly we did a lot of indian-fighting back then. There were d@mn few Commanch left in the Philly suburbs, I can tell you.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and giant cardboard boxes and crates that dishwashers and refrigerators came in! O ecstasy!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I can gladly report that cardboard boxes have stood the test of time, they are still a treasured toy in our house. Younger child was using a ripped up piece of cardboard as a makeshift toboggan last night.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

No, ecstasy is what has replaced giant cardboard boxes for entertainment.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 27, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I have similar tales of that sort Mudge, only these took place in the Indianapolis suburbs. When we ran out indians and Nazis we converted the fort into a shuttle and battled Klingons and Romulans. Fortunately the Borg weren't around yet.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

We replaced our cap guns with home made phasers and communicators. Pretty true looking to the show too.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

They had household appliances and cardboard when you were a boy? Wow.

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I just remembered another sister adventure. She once clothes pinned some playing cards to her bike to make motorcycle sounds. Yep, that's about it.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, once a boy always a boy. We never grow up, we just get bigger. Nyuk Nyuk.

Posted by: omni | February 27, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I know that, omni. I was just thinking about 'mudge's age; as far as I know there were no household refrigerators until just before WWI, and he's much older than that.

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

We continually wore the grass out in the front yard. I don't know why my parents even tried to keep it going. Badmiton, Red Rover, running through the sprinkler, the front yard was the perfect place to be rambunctious. The park was a couple of blocks away, and we always had more fun playing in the creek than on the play equipment - although we did that too.

I remember an attempt to build a minature golf course in the backyard with my brother's Erector set, but that wasn't very successful. My brother and his buddies built go-carts one summer, but they were pretty primitive. We weren't allowed to ride our bikes in the street so we had to stay on the sidewalk; that was always a bummer. The front porch was screened, and when we had cousins or friends over, we'd sleep out there in the summer. It was much more comfortable than the un-airconditioned house in July or August.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

DLD, I was afraid that the "plug-er-in" solution was just a work-around. When I have enough time, patience, and scotch I will redirect the issue with HP. Thanks again.

But let me state for the record, I have never been a cosmonaut.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 27, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, in my case the cardboard boxes where what cauldrons, Iron Maidens, pikes, spare tumbril wheels, racks (the kind for drawing and quartering) etc., came in.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So I guess that "Nice rack" expression meant something else back then, huh?

What'd you say back then? "Great big tracts of land" or some such I imagine.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

If I don't get my dissertation done, I'm blaming the Boodle. Bad enough that it's always there just waiting to distract me, now you're all going on about outside adventures and forcing me to leave my "writing" (that's what I'm calling house cleaning, wedding invitation printing, and web surfing these days) and go out in the sunshine. Thanks a lot, guys. I'm telling my advisor on you. Just as soon as I get back from my walk.

Posted by: bia | February 27, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

When I was wee, I had a clubhouse made out of an wooden piano box, one half of one side removed. It was awesome and it was also too low for most of my siblings to come in and bother me (4'x4'x4', I think).

Cardboard boxes are OK and good for building stuff-- I've made "outhouses" for cat litter boxes out of those (including shrubbery for the entrance and exit), but wood is real wealth to a kid.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

K-guy, we would say something like, "Yea, verily, methinks yon wench hath a most pleasing bosom, upon which I would forswear to lay my weary head."

And then she'd whack you with mace.

Ah, good times, good times.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

We lived on an acreage which was even more wooded and isolated than it is now. We played in the creek, climbed trees and built forts, ran around the fields, had sword fights with day lily stems, hung out at the barbecue pit, explored the falling-down old barn, explored the woods, caught fireflies. Stuff like that. The Boy continues to do some of it, though we can't reach the creek anymore. I briefly lived in the "city" in a neighborhood, and went with the kids there to collect snails from the giant drainage pipe.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 27, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Why Wilbrod, that means your shrubbery was not too expensive.

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, drainage snails, or as the French say, "escargots du drainage". A rare delicacy, best eaten dipped in the green goo at the bottom of the pipe.

Posted by: Gomer | February 27, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "mace" = "a mace." In the Yorkshire region of Jolly Old Blighty it was and is common to drop articles such as "the," "an," and "a" from in front of nouns.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

RD, at 17 he is only just arriving at the doing stupid things stage.


I'd say more but back to the grind.

Posted by: dr | February 27, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Not at all, Yoki, just cardboard with green construction paper glued on to form a faux shrubbery row to conceal entrance and exit.

The cat was kind of funny about being watched accessing the litterbox-- probably because I was so fussy about changing the litterbox daily, and he didn't want to be caught making the stink, and our apartment was too small to put it in an out-of-the-way room so he could "read the newspaper" in peace.

He took to the outhouse (complete with the moon) just fine.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes. Like "trouble at mill" and going "down pub."

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

LA lurker's description of childhood pretty much covers mine, too. We had woods behind our house and a pretty big and clear backyard, too, which was perfect for a small *ball diamond (kickball, baseball, softball, tennisball.. whatever was available). I do remember one time using my friend's brother's trike for 2nd base and when he came and rode it away we all screamed, "He's stealing 2nd base!" ha ha ha

We made forts, but not with building materials... ours were made from clearing out parts of the woods and making clearings surrounded by shrubbery and underbrush. We did a lot of running away from Nazis, Communists, etc in those woods.

We also rode our bikes all over the place. RD... we may have very well played in the yard where your house is now--or in my current yard. We found every little creek or pond around and came home more than once a little too wet for Mom's comfort.

We rode bikes down to the railroad tracks in Burke (near where the Target is now) and wait for trains to go by so we could scream at the top of our lungs. Good times.

We also went to "the pool." We belonged to a neighborhood pool about a mile away, but we walked or rode our bikes to and from almost every day.

And of course, let's not forget The Summer of the Trolls. We played with those stupid-looking dolls every day... built incredibly complex houses and towns out of shoeboxes and the such. And clothes out of fabric scraps. The height of fashion and architecture.

But you know, for all this talk about what we did, it also seems we did a lot of sitting around in the grass saying, "Whaddya wanna do?" "I dunno.. whadda YOU wanna do?" etc etc

Posted by: TBG | February 27, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

dmd, are you sure we didn't have the same mom (referring to the mandatory out-of-doors policy)?

This discussion is actually linked in my mind with the earlier one on scars. 3 out of 4 of my childhood suturing experiences can be directly attributed to the fact that there were only boys to play with in my neighborhood.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 27, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

We lived for a couple of years in an oil "camp" (once a sort of miniature town with all services, slowly taken apart as the oil was used up.) Most of it was gone by the time we were there.

Besides the usual runs down hills on bikes or in a wagon, we had two specialties. One was climbing to the top of the water storage tank to look at the fish and the green weeds. (Sometimes that green stuff came out in the bath water.)

The other fun thing was going down to the unused and empty swimming pool and fishing for tumbleweeds with a bent pin and a string.

Talk about good times!

Posted by: nellie | February 27, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I never had problems finding stuff to do, TBG, but with a group of friends you always do that kind of "so are we all interested in the same thing today?" kind of dull consensus building.

But what are friends for if not to be bored with?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Missoula's where you can see the bathtub rings from the glacial lake that periodically emptied, flooding everything downstream. Portland's urban volcano, Mt. Tabor, was left an island in the torrent, presumably harboring a few bewildered elk and squirrels.

If only Vauban had access to bulldozers, France would be all straight lines and clear lines of fire.

Then again, the Spanish in San Juan, Puerto Rico had few resources, but they built gargantuan fortifications anyway.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 27, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Easter's coming, and that means -

http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/8148/

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 27, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If we were bored, we had to be sure to do it outside of Mom's sight lines. And surely never-ever voice it to her. 'Cuz that could lead to a fun afternoon of weeding the garden, hanging the laundry, cleaning your room or other such entertainment. And I remember my friends' moms being pretty much the same way, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 27, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

My childhood was fairly mundane as they go, growing up in the large suburbs of Long Beach, CA, surrounding the Long Beach Airport, Douglas Aircraft plant, Naval Shipyard, and the like. But one Christmas, my two younger brothers and I got the most wonderful presents any three boys could receive.

We each got identical Colt six-shooter style cap pistols with real leather holsters and belts with cartridge loops.
Now these were not your ordinary cap pistols, no sir'ree.

These were nearly full size (real Colts are not that big) and used a unique cap cartridge. Each cartridge held a pointed plastic bullet that was just smaller than .38 cal. The bullet was propelled by a very heavy coil spring in the cartridge and would travel 30-40 ft with fair accuracy. Press the bullet into the cartridge, apply a sticky cap where a primer would go in a real gun, and load six into the chambers. We had the most authentic gun fights! And we all managed, somehow, to keep our eyes.

Other than not using real ammo, the only thing that was not correct about these guns is that, if I remember rightly, they were double-action instead of the more authentic single-action. But what did we know?

These were also some of the best made toys I have ever seen. We used them almost every day for three years and only gave them up when the plastic bullets became unavailable. We may have outgrown the belts also.

What was really interesting to me years later was that my mother was VERY anti-gun. We were not allowed to own real guns until we left home. Dad's one attempt to purchase a shotgun to go dove/quail hunting, as he did in his youth, was met with fire and brimstone. Yet they bought us these "toys".

Oh, and there were the experiments with potassium nitrate and sugar mixtures. (Not involving the guns.)

But I think it best not to go into that.


Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, so much to comment on today, and I don't have a lot of time at the moment.

However, I will see some of you down at the NASM this evening...

bc

Posted by: bc | February 27, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

So we get Easter eggs lying everywhere because the Killer Easter Bunny ate the Easter mother hens? I'm not sure if that's the version you should tell very little kids.

Wheel of life, though. Wheel of life.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The pictures of the mountains must have been taken over by Cut Bank. The picture of Lake Macdonald was taken a few hundred yards east of the Apgar motel. It is a cheap plywood place but in 1966, when I was a clueless 15, the Goldwater people held a small conference there. While I was out skipping rocks on the lake these folks, my Dad included, were planning and initiating the profound resurgence of the western conservatives. One of these guys, from Cut Bank, had earlier organized and produced the speech Ronald Reagan gave at the San Francisco convention. Very few know about this seminal meeting but hints of it can be found in Martin Anderson's book "Revolution."

Posted by: mechanic | February 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yea, Raysmom I do believe our mothers must have been related. We had one warning if we uttered the I'm bored phrase - mom would nicely reply - read a book, after that a repeated I'm bored would result in her assigning a chore.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

wow, I haven't checked in for a long time... nice photos Joel!!! what are you doing in Montana? guess I am out of the loop.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | February 27, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I once asked Raysdad what would have happened in his house had he declared he was bored. Pretty much the same thing. Maybe it was a 60s mom-memo or something. And maybe it's why I never find myself bored--or wanting to do chores!

Posted by: Raysmom | February 27, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, mechanic... that's the kind of cool info that we find here that I love. Thanks!

Do you live in that area now?

Posted by: TBG | February 27, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Bc, I'm sure you could write a whole book on your childhood mischief. And that doing so probably would land you with a FBI, CIA, and on the "no-fly list". If not actually get you banned (along with your book) from a few countries.

When RD asks about mischief, he's asking the wrong question. Girls normally have more fear about trying suicidally dangerous stuff... also called "sense".

While teenage boys go "oh, he nearly broke his neck doing that... wow, COOL!" Girls say "I prefer to stay alive, thank you."

However girls can well disobey and commit subterfuge to do what they're not supposed to... and usually don't get caught as easily, because they're quieter at it, while you know from certain ominous shaking or loud noises that the boys are up to no good.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, DLD, I, too, experimented with potassium nitrate and sugar during my basement mad chemist phase. Carefully cutting rolls of caps apart to get the gunpowder out of them--trying to scrape the stuff off of wooden matches. Using Jetex fuse. Igniting magnesium powder...breaking open cherry bombs to get the stuff out of them...

Oh yes. Sometimes I wonder how I lived past the age of 15. Just lucky, I guess.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Miss Toronoto!!! Long time no see! Welcome back. Stick around. How ya been?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 27, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

great pics. we have some snow covered mountains around los angeles right now, a few even visible from where i live. (i realize that compared to montana, these are only barely respectable hills.)

alas, the snow is probably melting. it is sunny and 78 degrees right now.
*ducking*

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 27, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

When my kids claimed to be bored, they were likely to assailed with the following verse of Flanders and Swann's "The Sloth."

I could climb the very highest Himalayas,
Be among the greatest ever tennis players,
Win at chess or marry a Princess or
Study hard and be an eminent professor.
I could be a millionaire, play the clarinet,
Travel everywhere,
Learn to cook, catch a crook,
Win a war then write a book about it.
I could paint a Mona Lisa,
I could be another Caesar.
Compose an oratorio that was sublime.
The door's not shut on my genius but
I just don't have the time!

Posted by: Yoki | February 27, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

When Son of G committed a Stupid Teenage Boy Act that nearly burned his hand off--and our house down--I was really PO'ed at all the doctors along the way who said, "Lemme tell you what *I* did when *I* was your age."

NO. They should have been telling him about the things the losers they know did when they were teenagers. I didn't want him to hear about how the Stupid Kid grew into the Successful Doctor.

Posted by: TBG | February 27, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, Montana has its primary June 3, so it'd seem a little early to visit there, although perhaps Joel got a leak that Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana is on Obama's short-list for veep.

As well, there's a water rights wrangle going on right now.
http://www.adn.com/uspolitics/story/319335.html

Climate changes are melting glaciers in Montana but that doesn't seem about to help the water supply any.

I think we must simply regard this as a cloak and dagger reporting operation and simply wait for his story to break. One thing's clear, Joel's collecting plenty of color although you couldn't tell it by all the snowy pictures.



Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Tying together Wilbrod and omni's comments, I have learned that the sotto voce addition to many girls' "lack of adventures" is something to the effect of "as far as you know".

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 27, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Ha, ha, SofC, that's what I was thinking!

Raysmom, Cosmonaut has a nice ring to it. I watched In the Shadow of the Moon last night - very good. I think Joel blogged about it. I really enjoyed hearing Michael Collins, and Alan Bean, who said he thought he was one of the more fearful astronauts.

I was a tomboy, so I did all the things like play with cap guns and cherry bombs - have always been scared of blowing off a finger with firecrackers, though. We had woods to play in, and houses under construction, and neighbors to torment. I would have killed my kid if he had tried any of that.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 27, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Curmudgeon,
thanks... glad you all remember me still... well, it's nice to be back... I've been haunting Facebook... looking up long lost friends. What an amazing experience.

... hate to be a curmudgeon but all this political stuff is 'tres boring' for those of us north of the border... mainly because it's just a complicated detail oriented process that is difficult to keep up with... good luck to all!!! that's what I say!!!!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | February 27, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Long ago I read a Ken Kesey piece where there is a girl in a wheelchair or braces, who claims to have written a book called "Teenage Girl Genius Saves the World." Kesey could write awfully close to the truth and I wondered if it was real or some obscure point he was trying to make. Just now googling this, I come across a different thing: Girl Genius comix. I know nothing of this.
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/index.php

I just saw the movie Jumper. It's jam packed with action and could have used 13 more minutes running time to tie up some loose ends. Deep, it's not. Fresh, it is. Thumbs up, with caveats. Not for everyone. Plus some weak spots especially at the end. But online I was just researching the producer Ralph Vicinanza. SF fans, just LOOK at the properties this guy is proposing to film! Good gracious!
http://www.hollywood.com/celebrity/Ralph_Vicinanza/1116095
yellojkt should be drooling. I am.

Posted by: Jumper | February 27, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The internet is a truly remarkable place. I had never known anyone who remembered those cap pistols. I hadn't thought of them in years. Here is a guy who still sells them to collectors. Judging from these prices my brothers and I used up about $5000 of this stuff!

http://www.vintagecapguns.com/product/MF50RC4-17/Mattel_Shootin_Shell_Fanner_Cap_Pistol_Gun.html

http://www.vintagecapguns.com/product/MSSBRASSCASING/Mattel_Shootin_Shell_Brass_Casing_Cap_Gun.html

http://www.vintagecapguns.com/product/MSSTIP/Mattel_Shootin_Shell_Gray_Tip.html

Posted by: DLD | February 27, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The nephew left the East to become a snowboard bum in Whitefish. He works nights driving a snowcat for a lodge, delivering groceries; and also runs snow machines. Snowboards during the day. He is in snowboard bum heaven right now. I know he is irresponsibly neglecting his future instead of living in a cubicle, building a 401K. Yet I do envy him.

Posted by: Jumper | February 27, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I won't assume everyone has heard about Wm Buckley's death.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/27/usa2

Posted by: Jumper | February 27, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Great pics, Joel. Even the watering holes and pickup trucks look picaresque in Montana. "S" and I used to joke about moving to a submarine in Montana whenever we heard some outrageous news regarding the government or Hollywood weirdness.

As a very protected only child, I wasn't allowed to get into much trouble. I do remember cap pistols and the rolls of caps and how one summer the best thing to do with the rolls was to hit them with a hammer. This produced a very loud bang and one time the accompanying flash nearly set fire (singed) my shorts. I think the hammer was taken away after that, but there were always rocks!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 27, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

TBG, yes I live a couple of hours to the west. I immediately recognize the pictures of the mountains because that was the sight I first remember when I was four. It was about twenty below or more at the time and the drifts were huge. My Dad had me driving the hay truck to feed the cattle because my mom was way pregnant with my brother and he couldn't afford help. He used to feed us from his winnings at the poker table in Cut Bank. That is where he met F.W., the guy who was R.Reagan's pal. R.R. and Nancy visited in Cut Bank a year or so before his election as Pres.

Posted by: mechanic | February 27, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

ahhhh, cap pistols... it's all coming back. I remember the hammer method... I was a tomboy as a kid and was bosom buddies with my friend Peter, who was a very hyperactive little boy, who would introduce me to all these things. Invariably we would get caught, get in trouble, and I would be blamed! of course!!!!

didn't stop us one bit :)

Posted by: Miss Toronto | February 27, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not allowed to tell my children of my adventurous years. My wife thinks it would set a bad example, particularly for our son. She's right. There are, however lots of fun things that can be done pushing something as benign as a shopping cart. Or dumpsters.

Posted by: jack | February 27, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a sad story:

On the roof of my (five-story) parking garage, a few weeks ago I discovered a bee colony--the bees had colonized a hollow space in the concrete on the outside of the wall. Since I found it I have been visiting it regularly. I find it comforting to observe the bees, they're fun to watch because they are always, you know, so BUSY. I was also heartened in light of the reports of bee decline--at least here was one thriving colony. Today when I went to visit my bees, I found that the hole had been filled in with fiberglass foam. All around the filled-in hole were bee corpses. It looked like genocide. I was all choked up. I don't mean to be maudlin but it didn't seem like those bees could have been hurting anything, and there are plants all around that probably were benefitting from them.

I'm going to bed with my book now--it's cold in my house tonight. (60 degrees)

On se revoit?

Posted by: kbertocci | February 27, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Those cap guns that shot the plastic bullets were called "Fanner 50's". I desired one desperately, and was really jealous when one of my chums actually got one. As I recall, they were quickly modified so as to not shoot the bullets because ne'r do wells were converting them to zip guns. In the vein of "things we shouldn't have done", some of us kids built "forts" down in the basement. Since none of us could find any cap guns, we decided to have a war with just the caps. We got 3 or 4 caps and put them in the jaws of pliers, then whacked the pliers against the basement wall. We got a nice loud pop, but it left a quite noticeable GSR residue (as they say on CSI) on the wall. My dad was NOT happy!

Posted by: ebtnut | February 27, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Miss Toronto! I'm glad that childhood adventures have drawn you out of the shadows. We had greenie stick'em caps and the red roll caps. You could get a pretty good burn from those things if they were used carelessly. I like to think that my generation (those of us 50+ers) was responsible for the volumes of literature, warning labels, and disclaimers that now accompany nearly everything. We didn't discover the real pleasure associated with fireworks until much later in life.

Posted by: jack | February 27, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Miss Toronto! I'm glad that childhood adventures have drawn you out of the shadows. We had greenie stick'em caps and the red roll caps. You could get a pretty good burn from those things if they were used carelessly. I like to think that my generation (those of us 50+ers) was responsible for the volumes of literature, warning labels, and disclaimers that now accompany nearly everything. We didn't discover the real pleasure associated with fireworks until much later in life. (This might double post, as the line seems to be hung up...)

Posted by: jack | February 27, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Those cap guns that shot the plastic bullets were called "Fanner 50's". I desired one desperately, and was really jealous when one of my chums actually got one. As I recall, they were quickly modified so as to not shoot the bullets because ne'r do wells were converting them to zip guns. In the vein of "things we shouldn't have done", some of us kids built "forts" down in the basement. Since none of us could find any cap guns, we decided to have a war with just the caps. We got 3 or 4 caps and put them in the jaws of pliers, then whacked the pliers against the basement wall. We got a nice loud pop, but it left a quite noticeable GSR residue (as they say on CSI) on the wall. My dad was NOT happy!

Posted by: ebtnut | February 27, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

not sure being adventurous is necessarily going to set a bad example... I like to think of it as 'thinking outside the box' :)... as the corporate mantra goes!!!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | February 27, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the system got hung, and double posts have resulted. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 27, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

We were thinking outside the box, alright. Then we discovered all sorts of ways to bend fold spindle and mutilate it.

Posted by: jack | February 27, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Then we did it again, just for gp's.

Posted by: jack | February 27, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"We were thinking outside the box, alright. Then we discovered all sorts of ways to bend fold spindle and mutilate it."

And set it on fire!

Posted by: TBG | February 27, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Awww, I'm a bee-catcher, and I like honeybees.

If the bees were up north, say VA or MN, the bees would all naturally be dead except for the queen, who is hibernating safely in the soil, ready to start a new colony come spring thaw.

Here's hoping there are a couple hive queens left to build a new empire ready to strike back, bee-allergic garage-users or not.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I've really enjoyed all these stories. I always think the best posts are taken from personal experience.

I also recall cap-guns. We used to get impatient with the rolls of exploding powder and instead simply smacked them with a ball-peen hammer. The bang was the thing, anyway.

As far as forts, the coolest one I recall was made by my older brother and the neighbor twins. It was underground. They built it by digging a large pit and covering it with scrap plywood. As I recall, once they ran an extension cord out it quickly mutated into a secret lab. They conducted various experiments involving paraffin, sulfur, and a "Creepy Crawler" hot plate. They were attempting to push out the envelope for noxious fumes.

My younger brother also spent much time creating anti-slug potions, since simply pouring on salt was insufficiently gruesome.

He had issues.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the bees, KBert.

RD

There were three girls, and my mother in our household. Sometimes my dad showed up, but I do believe he just could not take a house full of women, having come from that same existence. As children, my sisters and I lived in a rural area with plenty of woods. We practically lived in the woods taking picnic lunches and staying all day long. We loved it. In my teenage years, I used to race my mom's car with the guys on that same #74 highway that you traveled this weekend, Slyness. It was two lanes then. I think they let me win, but sometimes they could not help themselves. I used to sneak and smoke cigarettes in the bathroom in high school. I hated cigarettes, but everyone that was cool did that. I was a slightly odd young person. People always wanted to beat me up. I don't know if it was because I got good grades in school or because of the way I look. I always had a plan for retaliation in case a fight went down. I was seriously into this, carrying knives and Coke bottles in my purse.

My mother was very strict with us, but she did allow us to entertain our friends at home, and she allowed us to go out, but we had a curfew, and Lord, you did not want to mess with her on that.

The pictures are beautiful, JA. I do believe you have captured the true spirit of Montana. Thanks so much for the view.


Time for bed. Goodnight, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 27, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

RD

I tell you, RD, you missed your calling. Stand-up comedy guy, that's you. I'm laughing so hard at your eight o'clock comment about your brother and the slugs. He had issues. That's too much. It's as if I can envision your face when you said that. You are a trip, RD, no, a vacation.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly never going to sneak up on Cassandra in the locker room and try to beat her up! Who could have imagined she is such a dangerous character?

Have a good sleep, Cassandra.

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

Goodness me, I only got challenged to a fight once-- by a girl couple years older and a foot taller than me. The odd thing was, she said it bored and restless-like.

I had been aware of some resentment there as she was in my math class and pretty quiet there), but it was a very strange encounter and came out of the clear blue.

This was the only time I remember her addressing me. As it was, I think the expression on my face said it all, and she dropped the idea there.

My guess is she may have felt ignored or disliked by me (although I did not intend this). However if I do remember right, I did have a couple of near-fights with boys, and I had whupped a couple at wrestling one day, so I might have had a reputation for liking to fight, and she actually was serious. I have no idea, that girl barely talked all year and never seemed particularly violent. I hugged her at her middle school graduation, though.

One of my friends kept her nails long because she was threatened with a fight in high school and she got paranoid about it as well, ao I don't think you're alone in worrying about self-defense there.



Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, RD, I hope I did not offend. We can laugh at that, right?

Posted by: cassandra s | February 27, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the little black button things that expanded to look like snakes when you lit them? They were weird. They also left a permanent black ring on the sidewalk in front of the house.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm not that person now. I did not want to fight then, but sometimes people are picked on because of any number of things. In my case, I think it was the books, the reading. And I was very quiet, very shy.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 27, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, the snakes!! I loved those, I was never big on firecrackers (disliked the noise) but the snakes and burning school houses amused me.

Posted by: dmd | February 27, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Time to dust off and reinforce our anti-trust and anti-monoploy laws?

http://www.corporations.org/media/

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

For them what's interested in such things: Here's a site that has the video from the 1968 ABC program with Gore Vidal & Wm. Buckley.

http://www.kronykronicle.com/1968/BV1.html

Posted by: Bob S. | February 27, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... the page doesn't seem to have a "Next" button, so here are the five parts of the video:
http://www.kronykronicle.com/1968/BV1.html
http://www.kronykronicle.com/1968/BV2.html
---
Well, you get the idea. Just change the "...1968/BV#..." part of the web address to the next part.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 27, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

RD, I had forgotten about creepy crawlers! We used to like to see who could put together the grossest color combination.

I remember when my fourth grade teacher broke us up into teams and gave us "mystery powders" to identify (flour, salt, sugar, corn starch and baking soda IIRC). We were also given a number of things to help us identify these items, such as vinegar and a bunsen burner. I don't think she anticipated the particular combination my team made--sugar, baking soda, and vinegar heated over the burner. A lovely frothing black goo! A brave woman, that.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 27, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"Creepy Crawlers"! Oh my, I had forgotten them. We got them for our kids --- not realizing just how "hot" that hot plate got. It was another one of those parent-intensive things like the d@mn EasyBake oven.

Posted by: nellie | February 27, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, offended? Certainly not. To say I can make you laugh is high praise indeed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

They still make "Creepy Crawlers." Except now the heating element is safely contained within a plastic frame. Which makes sense, since manufacturing an open hot-plate for kids was never the brightest of notions.

When my son was younger we also had a similar toy that melted metal beads. I believe the beads were much like the alloy used to make fillings. I figured in a pinch we could take home dentistry to a whole new level.

Slyness - I think you are describing a firework called "Magic Snakes." You can still get them. And, I can state without fear of contradiction, they still stain concrete.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I think "frothing black goo" is a phrase destined for immortality.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Super Thing Maker, with molds for

Incredible Edibles
Creepy Crawlers
Fighting Men
Creeple People
Fright Factory
Fun Flowers

Posted by: College Parkian | February 27, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

CP - I remember the Incredible Edibles. They had a flavor that lingered long in my memory.

Real, real long.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

As soon as someone mentioned caps I thought of those Snakes. I, also afraid of firecrackers, LOVED those snakes (and sparklers; I loved sparklers; still do).

I even loved the smell they made when they burned and snaked. And I loved the black circles they left on the sidewalk... like a permanent reminder of good times.

When we're in the fancier restaurants... you know.. the kind that give you a paper-wrapped straw with your choice of beverage... my kids like to push the wrapper all the way to the bottom of the straw, take it off the straw and then drop a drop of liquid onto it. it snakes out just like ones you set on fire.

But it doesn't leave a cool circle on the table.

Posted by: TBG | February 27, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Funny flavor, like burnt Spree candies but a jelly texture, RD

Search on penguin and "cut bank" to see a piece of Montana roadway kitsch. Rivals Frosti's Paul Bunyan of Bemidji.

I do believe that some of the pictures are circa Cut Bank, heading toward Browning and East Glacier. Shelby and Choteau would nice have such views, if I remember correctly.

Names for the state:

Treasure State
Bonanza State

Big Sky
Land of the Shining Mountains
High Wide and Handsome
Last of the best places

Posted by: College Parkian | February 27, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The coolest shop in the neighborhood was a little hole-in-the-wall place called Science Hobbies. IIRC, that's where the magic snakes came from. I was into geology myself, and collected rocks for a quarter a specimen. Wish I still had them.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

what a great kit, I used to and still love putting coins on the RR tracks. My dad used to work for the B&O railroad so we were always around trains. One cool thing about RR tracks is all the rocks to throw.

My biggest regret in my childhood was Big Wheels came out after I was too big to ride them,even though I still tried.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 27, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

TBG, in my house, a person didn't get candles on a birthday cake. My mother preferred sparklers. She would buy them in South Carolina or Georgia, since they were illegal in NC. That always made me uneasy. The sparklers were cool on cakes, though.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

sparklers - pound for pound your best firework value. If you bend them near the base you can do spinny tricks!

That "Science Hobbies" sounds like my kind of place. I really liked rock collecting as a kid. I still own a rock tumbler, although the last time I used it was when my daughter and I made "beach glass" by tumbling pieces of broken glass with sand.


Posted by: RD Padouk | February 27, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

It was a fun place, RD, especially for kids. I bought a telescope from them for my exhusband for Christmas one year. Like many small businesses, it went downhill after the original owners sold it. I think it's closed now.

Posted by: slyness | February 27, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

i was thinking more about whether i did anything dangerous growing up. perhaps under the influence of my male cousins, but nothing much.

my love of catching insects and other critters did lead me to pick up a snake at camp. i just saw something green moving and grabbed it (managing to get my hand behind the head before getting bitten). cute little 15 inch long green snake, no biggie. the counselor was less amused and advised me not to just pick up anything that moved.

i was also great at catching frogs - caught lots of little ones and occasionally big ones. once got a bullfrog with foot long legs with a single swipe of the hand.

my mother put up with our catching butterflies and letting them go in the house. they just flew to the nearest window, in case anyone thinks that sounds crazy. we would let them go at the end of the day.

still, i did not blow anything up. missed out, i guess.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 27, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

oh, but you know that cousin i recently mentioned? he went to the emergency room like every year when he was growing up. total dare-devil. broke his collar bone twice, put a pitchfork through his foot, and had various and sundry other accidents.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 27, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

You know, reading about the fun you all had growing up, I'm starting to feel even more dull than usual. The curse of being overprotected lasts forever. But I have enjoyed all the stories very much!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 27, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Were you forced to take piano lessons, attend the opera, etc, Bad Sneakers? There can be an upside to being overprotected sometimes. I've known people who grew up underprotected and underloved, and they'd have liked a little of your curse.

I was fairly sheltered myself, but being in a big family meant I could escape for hours at a time without Being Checked On.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 27, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

We moved up from hitting muntiple stacks of caps with a hammer to cutting up jerry reeds father's shotgun shells to get the gun power to try to make pipe bombs. Tried stuffing the pipe with newspaper but only got a pissss! and some smoke

Posted by: bh | February 27, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Joel's a trend-setter. The Economist now has a Montana bureau. Their take on Yellowstone, Butte, and Last Chance Gulch is at
http://www.economist.com/dailyachenbl/diary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10751175

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 27, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Bendy sparkler flash
Magic circle of fire
Winter melts within

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 27, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

How sad to have interesting work (programming something from scratch rather than changing a canned message or the rule for computing initial repayment rate on a loan) that has kept me nearly 100% occupied for the past few days, which means I've missed so much discussion! And so much to say about growing up in the Santa Monica Mountains, in one of the first houses in a development approx a square mile, so years and years of houses under construction nearby, not to mention hills and brush, dogs riding in the basket on my bike, and so forth.

Something that struck me in the Montana pics was the bars with neon signs for Coors and also other beers. I remember the days when Coors was something of a secret. Some bars had it, not too many stores, and people their clientele spread through the neon sign in the window and word of mouth. Almost no advertising, no give-aways or promotions, just a fleet of trucks that fanned out from Colorado and covered the West, dishing out the beer and returning with the empty kegs. Then they tried to defeat the union, with the result a boycott that turned even the place where I pulled beer during college into a Bud bar (gasp!) because the truck drivers from the warehouses across the street wouldn't buy Coors even though it was their favorite. (The English, math and geography departments eventually drifted off, driven away by the Bud, but the drivers and swing shift workers from FMC on "lunch" break were a lot more numerous.) After the boycott, Coors started selling nationally, which involved great expense for advertising and transportation that they never had before. Now Coors sells tons of beer, and whatever that Light stuff is, but they also have a huge advertising and promotions overhead that they didn't have at all before.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 27, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Hmm.... 3rd sentence in 2nd para is pretty garbled, but you probably get the point.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 27, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I remember when Coors was almost a myth back East. Didn't know or have forgotten about the boycott before it went national, and lost its mystique.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 27, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Fun stories! LTL-CA - I'm not sure of the time frame you're talking about, but I do remember that Coors seemed to be the IT beer in the late '70's in my neck of the woods (So Cal desert). I wasn't a beer drinker, but I can remember my best friend's father, a fireman named Woody, arguing with a friend of mine about Coors. Woody felt that Coors was a beer for lightweights and that's all there was to it. Of course, all of my friends thought he was a Neanderthal and gave up trying to convince him of the superiority of Coors...but I think that was due as much to good manners as to any real conviction about Coors.

I was the oldest of 7, two girls and then five boys. We grew up in a small desert town and equal opportunity adventures were pretty much the norm. I was a serious book worm, so I missed a lot of excitement but we pretty much had the run of the town on our bikes. We would leave the house in the a.m. and would return in time for dinner and there was No Cell Phone Conversation in the interim. We would check out the boulevard, go to a friend's to swim, go to the rec programs at the elementary school (pre- Proposition 13), build forts in the desert or what have you! I was lucky enough to have the dad that would gather all the neighborhood children together pretty much every night after dinner from April through October to play kickball, whiffleball, softball or some version thereof. We had a square front yard that was perfect for those games and my dad was always the pitcher. Our neighborhood here in VaBeach is crawling with kids, so we're lucky that our children can roll out the door in the morning and we know that someone will feed the horde lunch and that someone knows what's going on all the time. It's not quite the freedom that the hubby and I had to roam all over town, but it's close.

Posted by: Kim | February 27, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh and mostly- I just got In the Shadow of the Moon from Netflix! Isn't that the boodle for you? I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by: Kim | February 28, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

The memories start coming. I had a couple of shelties (during 50s) and one would ride in the bike basket, the other run along side. They learned that no matter how worried they might feel about being in the basket, it was worse to jump out while moving.

Pulled beer in Frank's Cafe, a beer joint, mid-late 60s after turning 21 and being recommended by one of my professors who felt I needed some seasoning. The owner showed me the kegs, sinks, taps, toaster oven (for the "sandwiches"), pot of chili his wife made daily, walk-in fridge, coffee nearly in plain sight to "hide" the money, procedure for fetching and installing a new keg when one runs out (one in use plus a full one sitting in wait), and so forth, and said come back tomorrow at 6 to start (work to 2 am closing, plus mopping the floor). Interesting things included the small cans of tomato juice, supposedly for people from Minnesota who drank their beer with 1/2 inch of TJ in the bottom (never encountered any), the cheap wine for the day crowd that was put away at 5, and also the supply of Miller's in bottles for those who found Coors too sweet. (These days they're all sweet.) Next day, when I walked in the front door at 6, he saw me and immediately shot out the back. As usual at that time, the place was pretty full, so I got busy drawing beeers and didn't notice he had left me with one empty keg and the other with just a few inches. Fortunately, the script also included one of the part-time bartenders sitting at the bar, who was built like a keg and was able to carry a fresh one out from the back gently enough that it was more or less usable pretty quickly, when I ran out after a few minutes. Yes, the lesson was learned, and after that I always checked the weight of the two kegs under the bar first thing on arrival. After a year or so of 3 nights a week of this I couldn't stand the smell of beer (or maybe it was the smell of people drinking beer), but managed to overcome that later.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 28, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Oops, that's coffee can.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 28, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, LTL - now I remember that my parents used to drink some beer/tomato juice concoction. My parents grew up in Illinois. Snappy Tom? Was Snappy Tom the name of the concoction or the name of the tomato juice that they added to their beer? These are weighty questions. Clearly I need to go to bed to ruminate upon them.

g'night boodle.

Posted by: Kim | February 28, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Vintage Lady, your assessment of a community is right on target. Here, because of the high unemployment, social services is stressed beyond the max. But I believe the complaining comes from the fact that most citizens hate to see their tax dollar going to those that don't work.

Mudge, Slyness, we'll leave you out, Scotty, Martooni, and all, good morning to you.*waving*

Hope the vacation is going good, Scotty.

Really good stories about childhood and things of childhood. I enjoyed your stories.

I went to visit a relative and my church member yesterday in the hospital in the adjacent county. It is good to get out of one's domain sometimes and look around. There were so many new buildings in this place, and one that I noted in particular. You will never guess what I saw? A STARBUCKS store! I thought, wow, this is so great. This is the place the boodle talks about all the time. I did not go in, just rode by, but it was nice to see one. I'm going back and check it out.

At the Center yesterday we did multiplication and division. The last part of the multiplication table and two digit division. It was fun. Only one student, but she seemed to enjoy the work.

Have a great day, folks. It is so cold here. We're getting a blast of cold air from the north. Yesterday we had snowflakes twice, but I missed it all. Not much, just a dab.

Going to that laundry room. *sigh*

Mudge, you need to get a move on?

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 28, 2008 5:18 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

There's an excellent David Ignatius column everybody needs to read this morning at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022703179.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Robert Novak (yes, I know) apparently has received a vaccination against Pawlenty Fever, and doesn't like the guy (he's a closet liberal, apparently--bwahahahahahaha). And George Will doesn't like McCain -- what a pity.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Boy, it took me forever this morning to catch up on all I missed yesterday. Really enjoyed all the childhood memories. I grew up in a small town and have many of the same memories - cap guns, forts, the freedom to roam. We rode our bikes everywhere (no helmets), roller skated on very bumpy sidewalks (no helmets), later on skateboarded (no helmets) - well, you get my drift. I know it's a safety issue but I sometimes wonder how we all survived with nothing more than the usual bumps, bruises and scrapes with an occasional broken bone thrown in (which helmets wouldn't have prevented anyway). I see kids wearing helmets for seemingly every activity these days and they seem, I dunno, so tied to earth. There's nothing like the wind blowin' thru your hair and whistlin' in your ears as you ride your bike heck-bent for leather!

Going to read "real" news now and will undoubtedly scurry back to the boodle for real life.

Posted by: TLF | February 28, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning everybody, hey Cassandra. I'm not a Starbucks customer, but there are two stores about four blocks apart nearby. One just opened in the last month, the other is a couple of years old. I wonder if one or the other will be closed.

I'm with you on Ignatius' column, Mudge. That's a book I'd like to read. Unfortunately, I've got about five I already on hand that I need to get through.

This will be a busy day. The 90 year old lady I'm responsible for visiting and watching over at church fell and broke her hip yesterday, so that's a trip to the hospital today. I called her to see if I could visit, and she said she didn't know where she would be, she thought she had broken her hip and was going to the doctor tomorrow (today). Wait a day to check on that? I was glad when I got a call a little later that she had been transported. She's so sweet and fun, I hate this for her.

Posted by: slyness | February 28, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Mornin'
Still Montana on the boodle. I remain amazed. KB was wondering about a secret place. Well, I will suggest a valley that
begins with Y;
rhymes with Mack;
has a spokesman named Bass;
nearly touches Canada;

And, the name of said valley is the Kootanai word for arrow.

Kb, you have three helps:

a lifeline to the boodle;
a phone call to a friend;
a lucky penny from RD's childhood to wish upon.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Early for beer, but the Coors-Bud stories mean that this is worthy, since this brewery was the Montanan choice for years:

Cue the tom toms (Hey, Mudge, those are BONGOS, get 'em outa here! Sheesh, can we get a percussionist?

From the Land of Sky Blue Waters,
From the land of pines, lofty balsams,
Comes the beer refreshing,
Hamm's the beer refreshing.

Brewed where nature works her wonders,
Aged for many moons, gently mellowed,
Hamm's the beer refreshing,
Hamm's the beer refreshing.

From across the rippling water,
Through the whisp'ring pines and birches,
Comes the beer refreshing,
Hamm's the beer refreshing.

Comes a call to cool enchantment,
Comes a call to cool refreshment,
Hamm's the beer refreshing,
Hamm's the beer refreshing.

Hints of lakes and sunset breezes,
Dance and sparkle in each glassful,
Hamm's the beer refreshing,
Hamm's the beer refreshing.

Hamms! Listen to the mp3 here:
http://home.nycap.rr.com/dasimperator/hamms.mp3


From WIKIPEDIA, this quote:
In Culture

* Hamm's is featured in the 1972 film The Candidate. Before reaching out to some hippies, Robert Redford shares a can of Hamm's with a female hippie. Later, Redford drinks Hamm's with Melvyn Douglas.

* In Death Proof, a "Hamm's On Tap" neon sign hangs inside of The Texas Chili Parlor.

----
Beer, not for breakfast anymore.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

From the Miller website, this tidbit from a bear -- oops, make that beer -- competition,

Hamm's -- American-Style Lager/Ale or Cream (Gold, 2007; Silver, 2002)

I hear Hamm's might be in Northern CA and the Portland and Oregon areas, in some places. So, good luck, JA, should you be hoping to sample.

Avoid Starbucks. Coffee in Montana is shrill and rude, but kicks you awake. Apply as needed. Try to P33 in the snow BEHIND the buildings because yellow snow just depresses us all.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

So much to comment on, to little time at the moment.

Rockets, bicycles, skateboards, sports, minibikes and motorcycles, science, magic, part-time jobs (yes, I tried to make money as a kid), pranks, mischevious behavior, broken bones, stitches, I did all and more. I'll have to write something when I have time.

Went to Science Tim's gig at the NASM last night. Pocket review: I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I got to toss the World around, and spent some quality time with Science Kid #1 (a very nice young lady).

All in all, a good evening, and an excellent primer on the Solar System for kids of all ages. I'm diggin' on *Tim's Prince Valiant hairstyle these days, too.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Wondering if Science Tim ever comes to the Dulles NASA Museum for a program? Not far away from our neighborhood.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 28, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

All the childhood stories are really fun to read, but no one has told really "stupid things that I did" yet....so here goes.

Back in the day, my brother and I were free roaming children, most of us were in Norfolk, a Navy and blue collar town. One day I found a bullet casing/cap in the wood behind our house and took it home to my room, to my mirror. I stuck it on my left eye tooth (being lefthanded) to see what I would look like with a gold tooth :). Well, I thought I looked just grand, except that I could not get it off! It was hard to hid a thing like that being such a gabby sort of child, so finally I told my mother. She was so disgusted with me. She couldn't get it off. Finally she got her *pocketbook* which meant we were going to walk to the dentist office. True fear of visitng Dr. Payne took over and I got it off somehow.

Not to be outdone, a few days later, my brother got his head stuck between the bannisters of my grandparents porch railing. Grandpa got his saw and removed a piece so he could get out.....Ah, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end....

Posted by: VintageLady | February 28, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations are in order for Maryn Smith of Great Falls Montana...

My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris


Read the rest here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022703086.html

Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Ah, but VintageLady, we did the "stupid things I did" a few days ago. You remember the "where my scars are and how I got them" discussion.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Great story VintageLady, I always had a fear of getting my head stuck in our balcony banister - of course I think I got the idea of Brandy Bunch or some such show.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

yes, vl, i think i shared how i rode my bicycle into a parked car. (if i didn't, i meant to.) 25 stitches. plenty of derision from my fellow seventh graders.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 28, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, that Ignatius column is indeed excellent.

Over at the Guardian, a talk with economist Joseph Stiglitz about his new book on the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/28/iraq.afghanistan

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing in particular, I just want to say how pleased I am that we've got some new people here on the Boodle (and how quickly they've "caught on" to our foibles and mores): MarkWa, TLF, VintageLady, DNA Girl, MadisonMama, DLD -- and abject apologies if I've neglected anyone else. Glad you folks stopped by, glad you've hung around. (And as shop steward I've waived all your membership dues for this calendar year. However, you *will* be expected to contribute to the Shopt Steward Retirement Home on lovely St. Martin; don't complain-- it's tax-deductible.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady, one of my stupidest acts as a child also involved stitches.

My childhood pony was a bit of escape artist. She could crawl under, over, or through just about any physical barrier we created. Then, once free, she was slippery and hard to catch--even when bribed with sweet feed.

On one such occasion, Mom and I were chasing her around the yard. I tried to grab her around the neck, but slipped and ended up with just her tail. I yelled to Mom, "I got her!" Mom, being on the other side of the house and unable to see what I had grasped, called back, "Hold on!" I did, and wham! An infuriated pony kicked, and her tiny hoof caught me in the right eye. Fortunately for me, it was just a few stitches in the eyelid vs. a concussion, broken orbital bone, or worse. Horse Husbandry Lesson #1 for me.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 28, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Um, yeah, the Dulles Annex (aka, the Udvar-Hazy Center). Actually, I am going to be there on March 8 as a volunteer with University of MD for Girl Scout Day. I won't be doing my usual public presentation schtick. I'll just be hanging out at a table, helping Girl Scouts do some as-yet-unannounced crafts project, and being my endearingly geeky self. I plan on finally getting a haircut, tomorrow.

The day after Girl Scout Day, the family and I are scheduled to visit the Holocaust Museum with our synagogue. Life is a roller-coaster.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

A dentist named Dr. Payne? How Weingarten-esque.

I made a catalog of scars the other day, and completely forgot the faint lingering traces on the back of my left hand from an over-generous attempt at soldering. When I flicked the molten solder off my workpiece, it flew into the air and came to rest in a manner that created A Valuable Teachable Moment (Auto-Didact Edition). No outside party required to instruct me on the error in my actions.

ScienceKid#2 had an unfortunate incident with a pony in a petting zoo during tiny-childhood and now is a bit perturbed to be near such creatures. Vicious, they are. Vicious. And able to kick surprisingly high.

Snappy Tom sounds almost like one of my stable of Boodle handles. Almost.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

And, as long as I am Boodle-hogging, I would just like to say: First! on the next Boodle. I got dibs.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Gee, this has been a great kit. Double-stack train pic from Joel, Montana mountains (without any Hannah), and beer. Hamm's tried to make inroads here in the east back in the '70's. I remember their animated commercials (including dancing bears) with the jingle noted above. We once had quite a selection of local brews. National Bohemian was "brewed in the land of pleasant living" (Baltimore, actually). There was Gunther beer, with the 3 interlocked rings for a logo on the label. And Carling Black Label--it was Canadian-owned, as I recall, but they had a brewery just outside Baltimore as well. Then there was the Calvert whiskey distillery. You could smell the mash cooking from a couple of miles away on a torpid July day.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 28, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

This is totally off topic but still, as we used to say, FFO-

http://www.artgallery.lu/digitalart/women_in_art.html

Posted by: K:LOTD | February 28, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Thanks ebtnut, you reminded me of the Carling flag that used to fly at our house in the summer - a friend of my Dad's worked for Carling and gave us a Red Cap flag (another of their brands).

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Ignatius article, this is excellent --
http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares
It's okay for the BBC, but apparently too strong for us timid Murkins.

Posted by: LTL-CA | February 28, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

A little better 8/10

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/departments/homework/?page=Quiz170&Quizid=170

Never heard of 'The Spirit', so unlcuky guess on #10.

Have heard of 'Watchmen', never read it. So another unlucky guess on #8. This is in post production and should be released next Feb/Mar. Can't wait. Has Carla Gugino in it. Mmmm.

I wonder if I should make any predictions on who gets 10/10 or 3/10 and the like. Um, maybe better not...

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

OK, OK, I stand corrected, some of you all really have had "paynefully stupid" childhood experiences and lived to tell the tale (tail), especially Raysmom. Each generation has been kept in "stitches"; now that pun is terrible, I know.

Mr. Mudge, the lightness of being in this boodle is pure pleasure. BTW, I used to know Mrs. Novak, a lovely, somewhat scholarly person, perhaps opposites attract?

Science Tim, the annex will be full of the music of scout voices. Love to hear children's happy talk, giggles and such.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 28, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

8/10 cause I forgot the name for Electra's fondue fork thingies. I was bummed that there was no mention of Kavalier and Clay or the Escapist.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 28, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

To prove your theory correct Omni - I got 3/10 - the three would have been pure luck - never was into Super heros. I did get 8/10 yesterday but mostly but listening to your advice and picking up on the clues.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

10/10

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

6/10 on the quiz, including no less than three lucky guesses. I was never into that stuff. Hope you had me pegged for the "3," omni.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

A more interesting question would have been: what weapon did Bullseye use to kill Elektra Natchios? (anybody know? I know. Do you?)

How was she resurrected? (Her soul was redeemed by the purity of Daredevil's love for her, in his incompetent attempt to resurrect her. She was then resurrected by Daredevil/Matt Murdock's master in the ways of martial arts, Stick. These events made it all the more irritating and inconsistent when Daredevil was later written into being a flawed and irritating jerk, when the comic fell back into lesser hands than Frank Miller).

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of cold and desolation (I'm working on a segue here), anybody check out this article on the "seed vault"?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/26/AR2008022600481.html


This raises certain questions in my mind. Who picks the seeds? Will *those* kinds of seeds be included, or will the post-apocalyptic world be vulnerable to Glaucoma?

Naturally I assume that the failure to mention the "Hall of Tomatoes," including, I assume, the Mr. Stripey wing, was just an egregious oversight.

Finally, might this suggest the need for similar vaults? Can we really say we are comfortable with a world without other essentials?

For example, I'm thinking, like, the world's deepest wine cellar.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes, RD.. I was wondering if there's a Turkey Hill Ice Cream vault somewhere?

Posted by: TBG | February 28, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

RD, you mean they aren't storing any grape seeds?

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The article suggests that each country is able to contribute the seeds of choice. So I assume France will kick in some grape seeds, 'merica some corn, Jamaica some - well, you get the idea.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Just did some wickedly fast boodle skimming and will have to go back to read more of childhood derring do, by girls and boys.

A few things-

I have never eaten bear for breakfast. (I've only eaten bear 2-3 times max in my entire life) I did have elk sloppy joes a few weeks ago, but was tricked into it by a friend who passed it off for beef.

Thanks dmd (I think it was dmd) for the memory card advice on the camera. I do have one, just didn't use it for these pics (candid shots of the frostcats, not like I can't do more of those with the card).

Gotta go. Brought tons of work with me to Tampa and though not as important as bia's dissertation, deadlines are looming.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

6/10 - missed the last 3 and the ninja guy thingy - not a super hero fan but a few I actually knew and the rest were good and bad guesses.

Sunny but very cold here today after receiving the lovely gift of about 14" of snow over past two days. Prediction of more snow over weekend - hope that bodes well for "in like a lion, out like a lamb".

Making 15-bean and ham soup - good for what ails ya on a cold wintry day. A homemade loaf of bread and a crunchy salad and we're all set for dinner. I'll throw the soup fixin's in the crockpot after the beans cook for a while and let it simmer the rest of the day - yummy.

MadisonMama - a few boodles back re: bear meat. Once when Mr. F and I were in Maine, the guys in the cabin next to us were there for bear hunting. One of the wives made bear jerky in one of those dehydrator thingys and it was very good. Can't say as I'd like it any other way tho - don't much care for most kinds of game. Which is why we have two seasons worth of venison in the freezer - Mr. F has to cook it himself if he wants any. My motto is "You kill it, you clean it, you cook it."

Posted by: TLF | February 28, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I only got as far as seeing this picture of the Norwegian PM and got distracted - I am willing to trade Norway for our PM plus a few cabinet ministers.

Seriously the vault is 620 miles from the North Pole and needs armed guards?

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

To protect the vault from polar bears...

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Aah, impervious to nuclear attack and earthquake but the Achilles heel is polar bears :-)

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Plant germplasm storage is a technologically sophisticated business. The Arctic depository is good for keeping seeds cold, but there's a lot more techniques.
http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/
The National Plant Germplasm System page has links to repositories. One is in Washington, D.C. (woody landscape plants), and tomatoes are in Davis, California.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Dave otc, I wonder who the author of that Economist diary is? Could it be? I note the url (which didn't work for me - I had to go to the home page and go from there).

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Do tell, DMD, is the NordyPM way cute? Our prime minister is not that cute....DOH! We don't have one!

If you like NordyPMguy's general looks, then get thee to Northern Minnesota. Lots of NordyGenes sprinkled thereabout. You can find some in Devil's Lake, ND, too. Frosti can confirm this. BTW, Renee Zellweger's intense dark eyes, charmingly scrunched in the Nordic face make sense now. A student, who is part Sami, told class that RZ is part Sami, too.

In the last great days of non-mogul skying styles, I would often see men and women skiing in full classic Nordic (clothing, etc. NOT x-country) garb. Some of the skii-style was telemark. But generally, they would examine a clean (virginal) slope early in the am, and plan a downhill oourse with few terms. Slalom sort of, but not racing.

The skiis were looooooooooooooong.

Mogul skiing, however exiting, is not the old school stuff on my childhood.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, so the Norwegians invited all these special people to the opening ceremony of the seed vault and then MADE THEM CARRY BOXES INTO THE VAULT!

Kind of like inviting your friends over without telling them they're going to help you move.

Posted by: TBG | February 28, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

skying sounds fun but skiing!

turns not terms

Sigh. Throw the tomatoes now. If they are important seed-stock wise, I shall send seeds to RD. You know, he began the paperwork for the

Mr. Stripey and Friends Preservation and Appreciation Society

long ago. We must send our box tops and coupons and seeds to him.

Posted by: College Apologian | February 28, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Here's that Economist link to Montana:
http://www.economist.com/daily/diary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10751175

When I lived in Cody, I wondered about Yellowstone blowing up and turning my little townhouse into something out of Pompeii. More so after driving through Yellowstone on the way back from Mt. St. Helens a couple of months after it blew up. Anyhow, we're likely to have an ice age or two before the next blowup.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

RotC - Thanks for that link. I had no idea there was so much complexity involved. And I have learned a new word: germplasm.

I can't wait to work that into casual conversation.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

That was to you DotC. RotC is clearly a Canadian relative.

Hahaha...never mind.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

CP, picture of Norwegian PM,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2008/02/26/GA2008022601923.html?sid=ST2008022601108

Canadian PM (who, to say the least, I am not a fan of).

http://pm.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

TLF, I hope those 15 beans you put in your soup recipe are really humungus; otherwise I think it's gonna be a little...um...insubstantial.

The absence of a Mr. Stripey wing, along with the total absence of both a Liebfraumilch wing AND a Philly Cheese Steak wing is just criminally negligent. That's all there is too it: willful negligence. I shall write a strongly worded protest to my Congressperson forthwith.

Growing up, we didn't see a lot of bears in the Philly area, so I never ate bear meat of any kind. Probably consumed a fair aount of horse meat as well as kangaroo meat disguised as Philly cheese steak meat, though. Since I eat a fair amount of Chinese (or faux American-type Chinese) I've probably eaten a fair amount of puppy dog, without knowing it.

On the other hand, I love scrapple, and only god knows what was in that stuff.

Stoopid things I've done as a child:
1) I wonder if this thing is hot? (multiple)
2) I wonder if this is sharp? (multiple)
3) How deep is this? (multiple)
4) I don't think there's any undertow. (twice)
5) This piece of dry ice can't be any colder than an ice cube, can it? (Only once)

Stoopid things I've done as an adult:
1) I don't think there's any undertow. (Once more)
2) I bet I can match my dad drink for drink. (Once)
3) I'm not too stoned to drive over to Nick and Phyllis's house. (once)
4) OK, George, let's go for a ride in your brand-new Corvette. (once)
5) No, I don't need to put on more suntan oil. (multiple)
6) This looks like an okay place to sit down and have a beer. (multiple)
7) What is sloe gin? (once)

...and several other things I'm much better off not mentioning.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

i forgot to brag about my only interesting talent as a kid. i was great at riding a bicycle with no hands. since this was my transportation to school for all good-weather days, i can even report that i've ridden to both of my grammar schools, which were about a mile and mile and half from home respectively, without once using the handles, including turning numerous corners, crossing major streets, etc.

this had nothing to do with my intimate encounter with a parked car, however. being a total space cadette sometimes did.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 28, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, they're 15 of the magical multiplying variety. You know, the kind that keep on multiplying even after they've been consumed :-)

Posted by: TLF | February 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

4/10 for Super Dunce. Touching the lantern a dying idiot gave me makes me extremely dumb. Touch it twice before a workday in a gunmint office.

I had bear ham a couple of times. As in marinated in spices/nitrites/salt then smoked beyond recognition. Not as good as pork ham but edible. Maybe even kosher, who knows. I've helped skinning a bear once (long story), the smell is gagging. That memory alone would make me avoid eating "fresh" bear meat.
As most guys my age I was a free range kid. I came back bloody a few times, but hey, with socialized medicine the trips to the emergency room (only when absolutely necessary) were free.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 28, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Yes, raw bear is disgusting, even while still alive! They stink.

Did you know that most bears have such high concentrations of Vitamin A in their livers that consumer the organ is toxic? I seem to have known this all my life. I guess it is something Canadians feel the need to know.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

SCC "consuming"

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Whew thanks Shriek I feel much better about my 5/10 now.

I tried Bear meat at an Oyster/wild game roast one time,it was a little gamey for my tastes.

I'm sure we were all tortured by Bactine as my mother used to keep a gallon of that stuff around. It reminded me of "my big fat greek wedding" when the father put windex on everything

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 28, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Bears stink? Not in northernmost Florida.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

mercurochrome & iodine

Posted by: VintageLady | February 28, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's a Canadian thing Dave. The Canadian black bear is a pretty rough creature. It is NOT an animal of refined taste; a particular ruffian near my home town developed a habit of breaking into roadside french fries shacks to gorge itself on the congealed frying fat left in the fryers. Yummy.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 28, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and add to both my child and adult "Stoopid" lists the following: "This doesn't look like poison ivy" and to the child list, "I wonder if they/it bite(s)?"

This is a fairly long but very good piece on the "consensus" of global warming: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/02/27/global_warming_deniers/

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

IIRC Yoki, the toxic liver only applies to polar bears and some seals, which of course is a major food source for the bears. Although not normally fatal, vitaminosis A is darned unpleasant- symptoms ranging from drowsiness to headache, vomiting, and peeling skin over part or all of the body. Vitamin A is highly concentrated in the polar bear liver, 1000x the RDA. Therapy includes big doses of vitamin C.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 28, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The last time I was close enough to form an opinion the stench from the fish gut pit overpowered the eau de bear.

8/10 thanks to the heads up on following the hints.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are actually the font of all knowledge!

Who was the Arctic explorer who died from Vitamin A toxicity (polar bear liver)?

Wiki comments on a Swiss scientist who died in 1913 because his Antarctic expedition lost their food supplies and ate their *sled dogs* (emphasis mine). Serves him right and how did they think they were going to get back without the dogs anyway?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinol

frosti, I'm sorry if I intimated you ate bear for breakfast. I'm continually amazed, delighted and jealous at the variety of your breakfasts.

And now, off to the gym. Have a good day, everyone!


Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

SCC: That would be *sled dogs' livers*

Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Busy day. Writing. Meetings. Wish I were in Montana. With my zircon-encrusted tweezers.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 28, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Heaven help us if I am the font of knowledge!

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Who would want to live in a world where glacoma meds are grown from seeds?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 28, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Xavier Mertz died on an 1911 Antacrtic expedition of vitaminosis A.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Only got 6/10 on the quiz, and I think I really only knew two of the answers. My folks were kinda strict about reading material. They weren't too happy about comics in general. If the cover didn't say Disney or Looney Toons, they were not welcome.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 28, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

3/10 on the quiz. But then, each answer was a blind guess. Except #4, which I thought was a *good* guess, 'cuz the correct answer is just stupid (and redundant).

Posted by: Raysmom | February 28, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

*attempting to add bear liver to a long list of things I'm never going to taste/eat, but finding it covered generically by a number of other equally disgusting categories*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

4/10. At least I'm in good company. I bought candy instead of comic books, with the exception of Mad magazine. Later as a teenager, NatLamp was better than comic books.

One of the dumb things I did as an adult involved sledding. The ground was covered in a combination of ice and snow, enough to sled on, so I took our eldest daughter out for her first sled ride. She was three or so. Anyway, the yard was big and I had her lie down on the sled and pushed her as hard as I could toward the back yard. Head first into a bush. Duh. She didn't get banged up, but she wasn't all that eager to go sledding after that.

Posted by: jack | February 28, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The Wiki entry for Renee Zellweger has this text in the external links section:

Renée Zellweger Norwegian/Sami family tree

but the link doesn't work.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Two true stories of childhood derring-do:

CPBro2/4, circa age 4, poked at the
pritty Mr.Snakey. I backed away and called to my dad, who told valuable and beloved boy to freeze. CPDad shot the rattler into smithereens. We still have the rattle.

Me? Well, I fell into the Roe River near Giant Springs, as it empties into the mighty Missouri. I was retrieving a most darling Easter bonnet, as it fell into the gurgling snowmelt.

My dad flew into the water after me. We bobbled and pushed back against the currents. My feeling was one of bone-clattering chill. He practically collapsed with relief at what could have been. My mother herded the seven of us into the car. She resisted the temptation to leash us all at the next trip to water's edge. No spares, even in that brood of stair-step redheads.

At Yellowstone, however, she would not allow us to walk around the Morning Glory hot spring. No fences around the hot spots in those dayd.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

K-guy, Yoki is right to an extent.

The final versions of Vitamin A concentrates in the liver, and is fat soluble (so it doesn't excrete quickly from the body). You get this from eating animals, and too much of this can be toxic.

Vitamin A from vegetables is mostly beta-carotene and is stored in the skin and inactive until it's needed (wherein the liver converts it to vitamin A).

So eating too many carrots will only turn you orange, but it takes animal version of vitamin A to really kill you with vitamin A toxicity.

All animals' livers will have some vitamin A, but carnivores sequester vitamin A from poisoning them by depositing it hard in their livers. You eat those livers, you get poisoned. Polar bear livers are more toxic than grizzly livers, but about any carnivores' liver in excess will do it. "Excess" means a few extra ounces.

Myself, the only liver I've ever liked is chicken, which apparently is lower in vitamin A.

Website singing the praises of liver (snort).

http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/liver.html

I will say that I'm probably the only one in my family who willingly eats liver, but I wouldn't call it all that-- I like it once in a long while.


Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Bears? Liver? Bears are omnivores so no, it is not a meat I would eat willingly, unless there was nothing around and I was starving and that will be a nice, but unimaginable day in heaven.

Liver, I like. One of my most favourite things is fresh home made buns warm from the oven with a bit of liverwurst on top. Sadly liver does not like me. It makes my toe hurt.

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

4/10. At least I'm in good company. I bought candy instead of comic books, with the exception of Mad magazine. Later as a teenager, NatLamp was better than comic books.

One of the dumb things I did as an adult involved sledding. The ground was covered in a combination of ice and snow, enough to sled on, so I took our eldest daughter out for her first sled ride. She was three or so. Anyway, the yard was big and I had her lie down on the sled and pushed her as hard as I could toward the back yard. Head first into a bush. Duh. She didn't get banged up, but she wasn't all that eager to go sledding after that.

Posted by: jack | February 28, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to believe that Braunschweiger is made from liver. I hate liver. I prefer to believe that Braunschweiger is a tuber.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who thinks Canadian PM Harper looks like Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall and News Radio fame?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

dr, I don't if that last line is the truth; a joke; or a euphemism, but it did make me laugh.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, Dave Foley is now on a show up here, in the commercials for the show I noticed Dave has added a few pounds - he does indeed look a bit like the PM. Just wish he was as entertaining.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

SCC just to be clear I wish our PM was as entertaining as Dave Foley.

Posted by: dmd | February 28, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

shrieking & frostbitten,
For whatever reason, the Osceola National Forest black bears were a healthy bunch with nice fur. They even took a prolonged nap in the winter. Maybe they didn't have fish to eat. They were easy enough to snare, perhaps because the guy doing the "small mammal study" was the first ever to pull that trick in that part of the world. Bears were much more interesting than the local rodents--Peromyscus and Sigmodon.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

dmd-It was in interviews for the 25th anniversary of the movie Strange Brew that I first saw the resemblance, noticing that with the extra pounds (and a humor removal operation) Foley and Harper could be close kin.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

VintageLady's 12:29 post "mercurochrome & iodine" reminded me of two other things we had in our medicine closet when I was a child. One was powdered sulfur--I think that was for chiggers, but I don't remember ever using it. The other was Porter's Salve. That was not available in Oklahoma but my mother had it shipped to us somehow from her hometown of Baltimore. She just didn't want to try to raise three kids without it, I guess. Now you can buy it on the internet. Maybe I should get some.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 28, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, it's true stories about people who die under tragic dog-liver-eating circumstances that just seems to attract the muse. Usually it's the song-writin' muse who comes to me, but this time I confess it was the po'try-writin' gal who came and perched her won self upon my shoulder. Accordingly, I have herewith composed a few modest lines reflectin' upon the sad, sad death of Xavier Mertz

and it goes

a little something

like this:

Ode to Xavier Mertz (1883-1913)

Now gather round, children, pay heed to my wertz
As I tell you the story of Xavier Mertz,
The first man to die of Vitamin A,
A week after New Year's (1913); it happened this way:

Now Xavier was born in the Swiss town of Basle,
Went to law school, got worn to a frasle,
Decided a trip to the frozen Antarctic
Might do him some good, might be highly catharctic.

Signed up to explore with Mawson and Ninnis,
Never quite knowing it might be his finis.
It'll be cold, said Mawson to Mertz,
So pack up your longjohns, and a few extra shertz.

So off they all went, to the Queen Mary Coast
To make better maps of that foreign outpost.
Says Mawson to Mertz, "You're in charge of the dogs;
They're here to pull sleds; I'm not doin' no jogs."

The dogs came from Greenland, the kind used by Amundsen,
Who explored to the north of the bay named for Hudson.
Called Grønlandshunden by the Danes, they're a kind of a Spitz,
Who hunt seals and bears, and chew 'em to bitz.

Whilst crossing a glacier named for Lieutenant Ninnis
Ninnis fell into a crevice,
Causing Mertz to wonder who his next-of-kin is.
Also into the abyss went the food and their canvas yurts
Leaving homeless and tentless poor Mawson and Mertz.

Three hundred and fifteen miles from camp, quite a pickle,
The chances for both weren't worth a plugged nickel.
They set out for home, though it was quite far,
And on the way dined on sled dog tartare.

Spitz liver puppy chow didn't sitz well with Mertz,
Who on the first of the New Year (1913) to Mawson he blurtz,
"I think I don't feel good; my tummy hurtz."
Says Mawson, "Try some breathe mints, like Certs."

For six days they rode, the sled going slower
As they ate up their sled team, morale growing lower.
One by one they ate up their dogs, these polar expertz,
'Till one day he died, did Xavier Mertz.

Only one hundred miles from camp lay poor Mertz
Whence Mawson pronounced him ashes to ashes, and dirtz to dirtz.
How'd Mawson survive, clinging to life oh so precious?
Eschewing the livers he'd gnawed the paws that refreshes.

The End

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about Porter's Salve but here in the South we have Boudreaux's B*tt Paste.

Cassandra can confirm.

Actually, the * works quite well here, doesn't it?

Posted by: DLD | February 28, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hi all, can only drop in for a sec, but I wrote something about the retirement of Fidel Castro, wondering what he was going to do with the rest of his life.

What Would Castro Do?

http://www.10thcircle.com/10/?p=229

Enjoy, and if you're prone to snorting fluids out of your nose when you laugh, no need to worry here.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Omni, sadly, it is the truth. Liver is high in purines and is one of those things that can raise your levels of uric acid

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=51

which is often asscciated with gout. I do not have gout according to the doctor, but if gout feels like, I am NOT going there. But yes it was supposed to make you laugh.

I was always told as a child that eating liver from game would give you flukes. What's a fluke? No body ever told me that.

Posted by: dr | February 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The last line was almost snort worthy. Maybe for someone else it will be...

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

My 3:35 was to bc.

dr, a fluke is a type of flatworm. I'm guessing you probably wish I hadn't told you that.

Posted by: omni | February 28, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Jumping on a plane again -- heading home. Later today betwixt planes, if the technology is agreeable, I will try to post a new kit.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

That's great, Mudge

At "paws that refreshes" I emitted a chuckle
spilled all my coffee and bit on my knuckle
it's surely a truth that when you eat man's best friend
you're sure to be lonely right there at the end

the full story, however, is even more gritty
if you'll allow me to add to Mudge's neat ditty
For old Mawson let slip later, one day over steaks
"Hmm, tastes a little like Mertz, er I mean, meat cakes"

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 28, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nicely done, bc. I wonder what the unholy offspring of a Cher/Fidel union would look like.

Posted by: Gomer | February 28, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Just one quibble with WWFidelD. He would be working at Ikea in Ybor City, the soon to be first big retailer in the neighborhood (and boy did they have trouble getting that permitted), and probably shagging balls for the Yankees in spring training.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

re bear meat. For those still wavering, I'll add that my understanding is that pretty much all bears carry trichinosis.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/trichinosis/factsht_trichinosis.htm

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 28, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Mr. Mudge and SofC

Finger lickin' paws
Not for the lily livered
Mawson delivered

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 28, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

SoC, don't you mean Mertzwurst?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 28, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that was hysterical. I'm still laughing!

I've spent the afternoon making pierogi. 3 dozen mashed potato/cheese/sauteed green onions down, 4 dozen farmer's cheese with onion to go. . . for some reason, the kitchen is really hot, so I got out of it for a while.

Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

mudge - a big smile on my face! thanks.

Posted by: ot | February 28, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ikea in Ybor City? I would have expected Brandon. Or is Brandon now Ybor East?

In any case, the new store will relieve traffic on Interstate 4 to Orlando especially on the short stretch of gridlocked street from I-4 to Ikea-Orlando (Fortunately, there's a Secret Back Route to Ikea via the rear of the adjoining mall that burrows under I-4).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 28, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, poop, Omni. When somebody told me that about game liver, I thought I could grow a tail like a marine mammal. I saw myself as a radiant mermaid, luring shirtless, muscular and piraty sailors to their doom with my song. And now you tell me it is just a horrid intestinal parasite!

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I love you, but I may never forgive you. I could eat those 9 dozen pirogies all by myself.

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I negelected to mention - nicely done, Mudge.

And all without using "Nantucket," too.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

*suddenly perking up at "radiant mermaid, luring shirtless, muscular and piraty sailors"*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Ack! Curmudgeon is perky!

Posted by: Yoki | February 28, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

DotC-I would have bet on Brandon too, except the typical Ikea customer is more the hip urban type who wants to furnish a condo in Channelside, or that little cottage in Seminole Heights, not a McMansion in Riverview.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

frosti, I considered that, but decided that he'd *never* have anything to do with Yanqui balls.

And I don't really know if Cher and Fidel *would* even have offspring.

I'd be more inclined to believe that they'd set up a cloning lab if they felt the need to reproduce.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

If Cher and Fidel *would* have offspring, I bet they could sing a he11uva version of "Gypsies, Tramps y Ladrones."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

FWI, Dana Milbank leads off his Rough Sketch item like this: "Ralph Nader (I-Harold Stassen), beginning his third long-shot run for the presidency..."

(I-Harold Stassen) -- I love it.

Oh, Nader announced his Veep running mate: some guy you never heard of from Frisco named Matt Gonzalez. Yawn.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 28, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

9/10
My sister-in-law, after getting her black belt, took up those three-pointed daggers and embarked on additional training. A little thing, she strikes terror in me as she holds them and says "Allright, Jumper, act like you are going to attack me." He11, no, I say!

I was once surprised to find Coors tasted much better the closer one is to Colorado itself.

Science Hobbies held on for a long time, Slyness, but finally they closed their doors. A shame too. I bought rubber-band-powered ornithopters there, which flapped their wings and flew like birds. My cats were totally entranced.

I had wondered at the candidates' different visions for the continuation of our space program:
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/02/27/709243.aspx

I agree with Senator Obama. I feel strongly about this.

Posted by: Jumper | February 28, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Jumper did we ever have some good debates re. NASA/manned vs. unmanned missions in the Boodle years ago, when Joel wrote this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/10/AR2005051001265.html

Dag, that was nearly three years ago...

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Joel.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 28, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

If Cher and Fidel had a clone it couldn't possibly be as tall as she is.

They'd call it "Che" for short.

bc

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I looked for mercurochrome not long ago - I remember using for hangnails. Couldn't find it - I suppose because it has mercury in it. Yikes. Methiolate was another tincture (is that the right word?) we had - no idea what was in it.

Love the seed vault. Yay for Norway. (I've always found Renee Z's looks very annoying - didn't associate them with being Norwegian or Laplander or whatever).

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 28, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I do think robot mission give more bang for the buck, and a lot of us were really enthralled to see the Mars exploration.

Should manned space flight be scrapped entirely? I don't think so, but we have a lot of basic engineering research to do. Our space shuttles are decades out of date, and we need to know more before we can upgrade them. Therefore, manned missions should not be a priority to design, especially as people have already died thanks to failures that shouldn't have occured.


Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, hold that thought.

I'm hanging out with a friend tonight to watch college basketball, but I'll be glad to take up the manned vs unmanned tomorrow.

I'd ask this question though: Is visting Rome online the same as Being There?

bc
(aka No Chance)

Posted by: bc | February 28, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

There is an instantaneous way to dramatically decrease the cost of manned space flight: skinny short astronauts. An astronaut proportioned like me, but 5 feet tall, would mass 58% what I do. Energy requirements (and thus requirements for oxygen and food), I hypothesize, would scale roughly linearly with mass (Wilbrod and jack are more competent to address this part of the issue). At $10,000/pound to reach Low Earth Orbit in the shuttle, a 5-foot astronaut saves you about $900,000 just in the cost of launching the person.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 28, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I suggest Buzz Aldrin knows about it, and he said let's check out those near-earth asteroids. I'm all for that. Cruithne mission now!
http://occsec.wellington.net.nz/planet/news/news9910.htm#5

Posted by: Jumper | February 28, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Sure... SCC: planned, not designed. We do need to design any future manned missions... 100%.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm not just frozen, but chapped as well. I mentioned Stassen when Nader first announced, right here on the boodle, and no one even noticed. Harumph.

It's official. Frostdottir and I cannot live under the same roof. I haven't been here 24 hours and she has decamped to as far away as she can get and still be in the house. The problem, as I see it, is that I left home at 16. She is 18 and still hanging about. When she talks about leaving and our supposed placing of obstacles (like not being willing to pay for the lifestyle she enjoys under our roof) I just want to say "leave already." Oh, right. I did that. Looking for a good bottle of wine and counting the minutes until Mr. F's flight from CA lands tonight.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 28, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there, frosti! What kind of wine shall we fax you?

Yoki, we'll make 'em at the Calgary BPH this spring. If you recall, we were going to make them last October for the Philadelphia BPH, but you and I went to the Jersey Shore for the day instead. :-) Sigh--slackers together. Those were the days.

Posted by: dbG | February 28, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I think there are two types of couples. The first type, if one gets mad, the other one tries to talk them down. "Oh, honey, look on the amusing side. Don't be mad, it'll all blow over soon."

The other type, if one of them is mad at something, well, the other one just gets mad at that thing, too. "My boss got me so mad I could have screamed." "That sob, I hate him too, that jerk."

Posted by: Jumper | February 28, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Such cleverness on the boodle. Huzzah.

Oh Frosti, the stinging zingingness of Dots. This too shall pass but what a pain.

Faxing you a chill pill for you to slip into her Diet Coke or pomegranate juice....I concocted the pill myself and I included some hops and relaxine so that she will go to bed early.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 28, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Doubt it's that easy, SciTim.

The life support apparatus still weighs the same even if less oxygen, water, and food (and 'naut) weight saves on the payload costs.

So the total savings are what, maybe 100 pounds out of a 5-ton space shuttle?

Going robotic means a lot less payload, as well as being able to plan shuttles with less shielding, oxygen o-ring thingamungs (like what blew up Challenger), etc. unless you want to run biology experiments in low-G environments. (In that case, manned missions make sense).

Why stop at 5 foot? That's practically "normal".

Why not recruit little people astronauts and build to accomodate their physical needs, such as shorter arms and increased skeletal vulnerablity to high G forces on blast off?

Many of them weigh less than 1/2 what I do (I'm a gnome, but I'm a heavy one).

I just don't think yet another profession needs anorexia as a viable advancement option. For instance, jockeys are supposed to be 110 pounds each. This was OK back in the days when people were shorter due to poorer nutrition and many jockeys were teenage boys anyway. Now it's insane.
There are so many jockeys of moderate build who starve, binge, purge, use drugs, etc. all to stay within weight limits. Jockeys who are naturally small enough and can stay light enough AND are talented are quite few. Willie Shoemaker probably was the last such big-shot jockey.
(Julie Keane is also physically small enough to be in normal weight range and still make the scale weight).

That's a career that requires a lot of work, courage, and skill, but not much in the way of higher education. Astronauts need all that AND higher education.

I don't think it's going to happen, but if NASA wants to hang out a shingle for small astronauts to apply, that sounds good to me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

new little kit

sort of a kitten

Posted by: nellie | February 28, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

New kit --- more like a kitten.

Posted by: nellie | February 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

First, acid rain, and now germy snow...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080228/ap_on_sc/snow_bugs

Just goes to show that nothing on earth is untouched by life, from the sulfur cycle in the ocean and hurricane formation, down to snow in the frosty North.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I feel for you Frosti. I went through a bad patch with my oldest daughter the summer after she graduated college. There were minimal house rules but she refused to honor them. She did move out at the end. We did not give her any monetary support at all. She was working and she had a roommate. She and I had a long period of not being on good terms, mainly because of the boyfriend at the time, a total jerk. I would do some things differently if I had it to do over, but not the part about her moving out. If she couldn't abide by the rules, she couldn't stay. And not the part about no monetary support either, she had to make it on her own. You may not be at that point, I hope you aren't, 18 is still fairly young (of course I was married at 18, which is all the more reason for me to feel it's too young!).

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

There is a new kit, or kitten.

And stuff doesn't seem to be posting. One last try.

Posted by: nellie | February 28, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Where or where did those little posts go?
Where or where could they be?
Off somewhere -- in grandmother's roaster?
Hidden away to embarrass the poster,
At least there were only three!

Posted by: nellie | February 28, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

18 is young and decision-making isn't yet fully developed at that age. I've known 18 year-old pains of women who improved by age 22 and up.

Try and address her as an adult, explain to her what she needs to do to live on her own (write it in a letter if need be, to vent), and good luck.

I would have had no idea how to live on my own at age 18, no matter how independent I seemed.
One, my disability truly sheltered me from picking up that kind of information.
Two, I also faced a lot of discrimination in finding housing even after I had become a reliable tenant.

You just have to look at how your daughter may differ from you in life experience, and maybe you'll find your answer. Has she ever held a full-time job more than a month?

Teenagers often blame parents to mask
their anxiety and insecurity in taking on adult responsibilities.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 28, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

OK, you Canukistanis joke about the invasion, but I think the joke is just to throw us off the scent. First Emm Gryner now this: Basia Bulat. Another Ontarian...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWJxTWQHH6s

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

Posted by: omni | February 29, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

What a God-forsaken wilderness. We must have really hated the Indians to exile so many of them there. Land fit only for strip mining.

Posted by: Lex Pk | February 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

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