Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Thank God Mike Gravel's Still Running

For so long we've had all these candidates to mock -- I mean, to cover. Now they're almost all gone. Time to regroup on this end, take stock, see how many japes are still in the cupboard. How many bon mots not yet gone rancid.

I will miss Mitt Romney, who, if nothing else, had that Reed Richards thing going on. You know, he just looked so much like Mister Fantastic. And I loved how Romney could flatten his body to half an inch high and then slide under a door.


These campaigns are so intense. Just a couple of months ago I was attempting to interview pretty much everyone who had ever known Fred Thompson. Now I couldn't sell that profile on the streetcorner for 10 cents even if I offered, as a bonus, a new toaster.

That wasn't me who compared John Edwards to Bobby Kennedy, right?

Duncan Hunter, we hardly knew ye. Wait, let me be more specific: We never knew ye AT ALL.

Did Tommy Thompson ever hold a campaign event?

Jim Gilmore: Sorry, doesn't ring a bell.

You have to stand in awe of all the people who dive into these presidential races, sweating blood for months and even years, going all day and all night, shaking hands until it hurts. Romney may not have made it this time, but he gave it a good shot -- I have a vivid image of how bouncy he was in South Carolina the morning after he'd clobbered McCain in Michigan -- and didn't hurt himself for 2012. He'll be back.

Howie takes notice of Romney's parting attack on Democrats (Romney basically said they want to surrender to the terrorists). Here's an interesting question for Democratic strategists: Do you ignore that? Or do the Democratic candidates, and perhaps the Democrats as a party, immediately counter-attack? Iraq has been a strangely muted issue in the last couple of months as violence there has decreased and the economy here has soured, but with McCain as the GOP nominee the war will be front and center again.

Howie also writes, "I don't think Romney ever caught a break from the media. I think many reporters viewed him as a phony, based on his evolution from Massachusetts moderate, and as a plastic man."

True enough about reporters, but it's also true of lot of Republican voters I talked to in the past couple of months. Time and again, they'd say something like, "I just don't trust him." A woman in South Carolina told me, "He has untrustworthy eyes." Were these people just echoing what they'd heard from reporters? Or was it the other way around?

Cynical reporters didn't sink the Romney campaign -- Southern Republicans did. The evangelicals never accepted him. And thus Romney got Huckabeed.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 8, 2008; 9:12 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: John McCain's Perfect Ride
Next: Checkmate and Stalemate


LOL! You had me with the headline, JA.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

TGIF to all. I'm still waiting for Joe Walsh to throw his hat into the ring.

Posted by: jack | February 8, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

So happy to see Mudge to be 1st!

Posted by: daiwanlan | February 8, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

You remember jw, Mudge. Young guy, in the Coast Guard. In law school. We haven't heard from him for a while.

jw, you out there? Check in!

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Oooooo! Illustrations!
So is its Huckabee, Huckabeed and Huckabunk ?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It is breathtaking the way the field has winnowed down. It seems just yesterday that we were all figuring out the repercussion of a President Giuliani. (Remember, that fellow with the Italian name who used to have that dreadful combover?)

Campaigns really really are all about timing aren't they? They ebb and flow like the tides. Remember Al Gore in 2000? As I recall Joel made the astute comment that Gore's problem was that his candidacy never really caught fire until late November.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

That jw was in the Weingarten chat? Now I gotta go back and look.

Hey, jw. Still Shepardizing sea anchors, I hope.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

$35k is a lot of coin to spend just so you can make a point.

Posted by: jack | February 8, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, he's in the intro. sent GW the link to the stupidest dog.

Posted by: omni | February 8, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

From the Weingarten chat:

Next, thanks to my old friend Jeremy Weiss, we have irrefutable evidence of the world's stupidest dog. This is a pants-wetter (Lizzie, protect your upholstery.)

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

SCC: I meant 35M.

Posted by: jack | February 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

To recapture a thread from the last boodle. This left handed thing really has me worried. There is something, well, sinister about it all.

My father, father-in-law, and brother are all lefties. Here at work you can't but swing a cat and hit a lefty. Something about the brain chemistry just gives them a little something extra when it comes to analytical thinking.

And left handed women? Having dated two left handed women (of which only one was actually a redhead, I hasten to add) I can attest that there are advantages. For example, when attending the cinema you can both eat from the same bag of popcorn without stretching.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Testing Wurdy Dirt Filter that eats my Sinfest posts, :-(

Posted by: DNA Girl | February 8, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I think I need to bring this to the Boodle's attention. It is from CNN Money/Fortune Magazine:

"February 8 2008: 9:18 AM EST
"Unusual perks: Goldman Sachs covers sex changes

The investment bank, No. 9 on the Best Companies to Work For list, added the benefit last year as part of a push to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce.
By Althea Chang

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Wall Street is typically considered a pretty
conservative place to work. But the classic white-shoe investment bank is loosening things up by adding health benefits that cover sex-change operations.
Not only is Goldman Sachs ranked No. 9 on Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, it also appears on what could be a list of transgendered job-seekers' ideal employers as well.

Goldman added health-insurance coverage of sex reassignment surgery as part of a push last year to attract top talent and recruit and retain a more diverse workforce, the company said.

The surgeryalone could cost an individual anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000 if they paid out of pocket, depending on their particular situation, said Pauline Park, chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, a group that campaigns for transgender rights.

That figure doesn't include hormone and other drug treatments.


Now, I have a number of questions about this story, but I think at the top of my list has to be this one: what kind of a chintzy, half-a$$ed sex change operation can you get for a lousy 5 thousand bucks?

The mind boggles. And the world just gets stranger and stranger.

I'm not even sure my health plan covers sickness or death, never mind the fun stuff. Sheesh.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is still hanging tough. Unless he quit and nobody bothered to report it.

Posted by: Pop Socket | February 8, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Here's a follow up to Scotty's post the other day about electronic searches at the border. Shaking my head.

Posted by: dmd | February 8, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Pop Socket,
See DNA Girl post 10.32 am

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, "gender reassignment" is also covered by the health plan of the Canadian Forces. (the "Armed" bit in the middle was dropped circa 1969).

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

You mean you are no longer armed? How you gonna invade us? Gee...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

$5,000 would cover a boob job.

Posted by: omni | February 8, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

My guess is they plan to invade with doilies. hehe

Posted by: omni | February 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Boot to the head.- The Frantics

Posted by: MrCanoehead999 | February 8, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow! $5000 for a boob job. Do they give a discount for the second one like tires?
When they do a boob job do they put'er up on the rack?

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting commentary on Obama's appeal to western voters:

Posted by: kbertocci | February 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Please, Joel already mentioned Mr. Fantastic. We don't need to bring the invisible woman (Jessica Alba) into this.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting post kbertocci. I guess I am still a little confused by the lack of Latino support for Obama. There are the usual unsavory theories, but I wonder if it is simply that Hillary Clinton has made more of an effort?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

kber, interesting. I wonder if that's a reflection of Dems in red states being more purist liberals and therefore rejecting Clinton.

Likewise, one of our papers up here had a map of who won what state so far. To me, McCain looked heavy on states that the Dems won in 2004 esp CA, IL and NY. How many 2004 red states has he actually won so far?

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 8, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I thought of a new tagline for the A-Blog

Achenblog: Finally a home for Centrist Wingnuts.

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

(One of) JFK's love child may be living in Vancouver.
"a tall man in his late 40s named Jack who bears a striking resemblance to JFK - and lives in Vancouver"
1/5. Makes me a poor candidate

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

sonofcarl, i love it.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 8, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Me, too, SofC.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The average total cost ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. The average cost for the implants is $1,000 to $1,300; the anesthesia fee is typically $600 to $800; the facility fee typically ranges from $800 to $1,200. The remaining cost is the surgeon's fee.

Posted by: omni | February 8, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Congested, just now finishing my first cup of coffee waves!

In military news- the top doc, Gen. Eric Schoomaker, says the army is looking into a cluster of soldier deaths similar to the Heath Ledger fatal overdose. Detecting the increase in prescription med involved deaths seems to be an outgrowth of assigning convalescing soldiers to units designed to keep track of them and their medical issues. You can read the brief AP report here:

Seems to me that Schoomaker has made some pretty effective organizational changes.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert. Please report to battle stations.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert. Mind your p's and q's, wingnuts.

Posted by: jack | February 8, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If this is going to be another one of those T&A days at the boodle then I'm going elsewhere.

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | February 8, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

rainforest, Happy New Year!

I loved that stupid dog video. I read GW's chat at work so I wasn't able to open it, so thanks for posting it, TBG.

Obama's coming to our area...not sure where yet, but I'm going to be out of town, dagnabit. I would like to hear him speak.

As far as JA wondering if Democratic strategists should go after Romney's comments about all us terrorist lovin' Democrats or just ignore it, I would say that both HRC and Obama should go after his comments with guns blazing. Criminy, that just frosts my butt when I hear that cr@p.

SoC - I love that tagline.

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Having been trending Obamaward for some time, I have recently received information from a number of sources which has convinced me to support him unconditionally. The word is out. Obama supporters are members of the "liberal elite." For me, being a member of any elite at all would be a first, and at my age I just can't pass up an opportunity like this. Go, Barack, go! McCainiacs, smell my effete!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey, why does the noble wingnut get so insulted, so disrespected, so discombobulated?

Wingnuts of the world, unite!

(Proud to be a wingnut, YMMV.)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 8, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

For the prosecutorial type, a good line of questioning by the Queen's Counsel.
Note that both the QC and the accused are named Wright. It got me confused at first, but then I am in a permanent state of confusion.

Also, there are a couple of stinging opinion pieces, mostly by women columnist, about the dear Archbishop's suggestion of adopting part of the Sharya in the UK.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I second Kim on the "guns blazing" response.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I always thought kidney theives were an uban legend. Wrong again.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree somewhat Kim. They should respond quickly and deftly, and then move on. It would seem to me that the last thing a candidate wants is for the opponent -- let alone a former opponent -- to dictate the talking points.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 8, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I will give that to the righ wingnuts; they have no class.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC Right. I have no dexterity.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I asked the question last night, but did not get a response. I would really love to hear your thoughts.

Considering we may have some serious surprises after this administration leaves office in any form, what do you feel the candidates should do, and do you think the next President should do anything at all? Even to revealing what those surprises might be? Or just move on to the future, and not even make the country aware of any of this stuff? Your thoughts, please?

Posted by: cassandra s | February 8, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Someone once said of George Romney, "Deep down, he's shallow." The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

SD, there was never any question of that. I hope the SCOTUS tells them to fess up and go stuff themselves.

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Hax is starting a discussion (blog) too. She's looking for possible names.

Yoki! Please get your clever mind over there and help her before she decides something she'll regret!

Posted by: dbG | February 8, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Is Bush's endorsement of McCain his kiss of death?

I also wonder if Bush will start taking pot shots at the dems? or does his advisors have him tied up in the oval office with duct tape over his mouth threatening to bolo punch him if he even thinks about opening his mouth.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 8, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, yet another great question from you. I for one am on record for wanting blood and heads to roll, so yes, in the next administration I want TONS of Congressional investigations and exposes. I think I also once suggested that Patrick Fitzgerald be named permanent special prosecutor to just go after Cheney, Rove, Gonzalez, and anything else he can find.

One thing that worries me about Obama is that with his "let's-all-get-along" Kumbiyah stance he may be loath to do that. But hyes, as a matter of policy, I think we need to dig up all the stuff that happened and bring it to daylight, not cover it up with silence and try to paper it over with faked "bipartisanship."

Now, what I am less sure about is whether a Dem candidate -- Hillary or Obama -- ought to make a big deal about this during the campaigning, or whether it wouldn't be better to stay mum on it. I can argue it either way.

I have a hunch that during the last week--if not the very last day--in office, Bush is going to sign a vast string of pardons to every Tom, Dick and Harry in his administration, designed to protect them from exactly the kind of bloodletting I'm proposing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Joel says "even if I offered, as a bonus, a new toaster" I don't know Joel, I might take that profile - he still does have the voice - and you have no idea how bad my toaster is.

Sliding back under wads of paperwork. People expect me to finish it all BEFORE I leave. Filed too. Has no one heard of garbage?

Posted by: dr | February 8, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hm, Mudge, if Bush does that, he will destroy the Republican Party for a generation. Not that I would object to that, but.

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

And the Right Wing War Machine opens one lazy eye and grinds into motion. Buckle up, boys, it's going to be a bumpy campaign.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, find the blanket "centrist wingnut" label insulting.

I am a far-left-of-left moon bat, dammit -- and proud of it, too.

Posted by: martooni | February 8, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, Shiloh nice to see you.

Posted by: dmd | February 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Moonbats and wing nuts living in harmony...

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It must be the meds, yello. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | February 8, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Kim, LiT, I saw Romney's comments - in fact, Jon Stewart made a lot of them in the Daily Show last night (you can catch it again tonight on Comendy Central at 8 PM, IIRC) - and laughed at the angry paranoia of them (and chalked it up to Romney's anger at being defeated), but then it occurred to me that some of the far-right Republican base probably *does* feel that way.

And I think it's probably a good idea for the Dems to point out how patently ridiculous those comments are and then move on their own agenda, as LiT points out. The best defense here is a good offense, but on their own terms. IMO the GOP has to play defense in this election and it's best for the Dems to keep them there, and have McCain defend the Bush Administration and the GOP in general.

As a friend of mine pointed out to me, McCain has a bit of a temper and could have a Very Adverse Public Reaction at some point. A case of the VAPRs, you might say.

Following that line of thinking: Here's something that JA's Kit sparked in me - who are the super heroes/comic book characters that the remaining Candidates make you think of?

Personally, I'm trying to decide if McCain is the Hulk or the Thing. What sounds better coming out of McCain's mouth - "McCain SMASH," or "It's clobberin' time!"? Oh, wait - maybe Wolverine?

HRC as Catwoman [with Bill as the Dark Knight]? Obama as Daredevil, Captain America (sorry, Colbert), or maybe the Silver Surfer? Edwards as the Human Torch or the Flash? Huckabee as -- Green Lantern?

Ron Paul as Aquaman?

Thompson as Iron Man?


Posted by: bc | February 8, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I'd argue that Bush (and Rove) have *already* ruined the GOP for a generation. It's only in the last few months that the clock has started.

Meanwhile, in other sad news, it appears we now have our first female school-related psycho-murderer:

Feb 8, 12:31 PM EST
Woman kills 2, herself at La. college
Associated Press Writer
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- A young woman killed two female students in a college classroom at a vocational college Friday, then killed herself,
police said.
The students apparently were shot in their seats in the second-floor
classroom at Louisiana Technical College, Sgt. Don Kelly said.
Officers ran into the building within four minutes of the first 911
call, which came at 8:36 a.m., he said.
"There was mass pandemonium, people running," Kelly said. "One officer
- the first into the classroom - told me he could still smell
The students' names and ages were not immediately released, and it was
not clear whether the shooter also was a student.
The school offers classes in a dozen subjects including early childhood
education, practical nursing, drafting and welding.
Students had to stay in their classrooms for about two hours before
being released for the day, said Louis Davis. He said he was taking a
test for an automobile technology class when a teacher "said to stay in
the classroom because there's been an incident." Davis said
He said they were allowed to leave after a police officer asked them
brief questions.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait - maybe Rudy is Aquaman...


Posted by: bc | February 8, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The problem, outside of inciting a vicious cycle of repercussions, is that nearly all the stuff that so enrages the left about Bush was not against the law. Horribly stupid and ill-advised, but not illegal.

Why do you think the Democrats in Congress haven't started this process already? Because they understand that being criminally stupid isn't really criminal. Especially when those involved were the same ones who were making the law. The dirty truth is that the people to be blamed for Bush and Company are the people who elected them. Twice.

Besides, to get back to Cassandra's question, just what sort of "surprises" does anyone think will be discovered? Secret memos left in the bottom of filing cabinets? Any secrets Bush has will leave with Bush.

I'm as frustrated as anyone with the way the last eight years have gone. And I despise Kumbaya. But I also realize that the notoriously short attention span of America is also one of its strengths. It prevents us from becoming entangled in the vicious cycles of recrimination that torment so much of the planet. How else can a nation of such diversity hope to function?

I honestly think it is time to move beyond talk of bloodletting and vengeance.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon refresh my memory. I know the Bush crew is full of Dicks, but who are Tom and Harry?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It's not superheroes, but I'm going to post this Star Wars Guide to the Candidates again...

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Is this one of your sources, Kurasowaguy? (at 12:22)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 8, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, RD... I think for starters, deleting emails was illegal.

Hey.. good to see you Shiloh! Been a long time.

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Point taken, Mudge. It's a real shame, too.

Hey Martooni, hope you're feeling well.

Hi Shiloh, good to hear from you.

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

thanks, mudge, for answering my question.

martooni and shiloh, good to hear from you.

waiting to get the goods on the book fair.

perhaps it is just my overactive imagination, but I just keep thinking, there is a not so good surprise waiting to be found out. it doesn't have to be that, and I'm hoping against hope it's just me. just got a bad feeling.

google ads

ten ways to cut belly fat

which spyware remover?

remove sexxpassprot free

Posted by: cassandra s | February 8, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, my Google ads:

What part of GO don't you
Understand Matthew 28:19

Eat Red. Choose Cherries
and help raise funds for the American Heart Assoc.

Relief Worker Positions
Professional Operators wanted for disaster relief deployments

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

isn't torture against the law?

and what about lying? doesn't that fall somewhere under criminal? weren't we the ones that aimed to impeach a President for lying?

well, maybe not.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Every President issues many, many pardons over their last days in office, IIRC.

And to RD's point, I think they serve a purpose in making the transition between Administrations smoother, forcing the incoming Administration to focus on looking ahead at fixing problems and to make progress on the planks of their election platform rather than considering that platform's use as a public gallows to Reward Those to Whom We Can Assign Blame.


Posted by: bc | February 8, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Just when I think things in Virginia are looking up, I see that the Virginia Speaker of the House (William J. Howell from Stafford) has endorsed Mike Huckabee...

Gag me, please.

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with TBG about the e-mail thing being illegal. I think the wiretapping/NSA stuff is/was illegal, at least during some of the interim periods until they started fooling with FISA. There's not a doubt in my mind all the torture was illegal (Bush says it wasn't, but that's not a legal opinion rendered by a court with jurisdiction; it was the opinion of the chief defendant, like asking Manson if he thinks he's guilty). I think there has been a good deal of plain out-and-out graft by contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater. I'd like to know about Cheney's meeting with the oil company execs they've been shielding from virtually the beginning; I'm sure there's "smoke" there, if not fire (proving it is another matter, of course).

I believe most -- if not all -- the signing statements have been illegal, not criminally, but in civil law.

I believe there is/was and will be massive document-shredding and evidence-destroying. Not a flicker of a doubt in my mind about that.

I know we talked about the blood/vengence thing once before, Padouk, and I said then I wanted blood and vengence -- even though I recognize it may not be the best thing for the country, and that I would therefore probably have to forego it. I haven't said we *should* hang anybody -- only that I wanted to. (Alas, I want things I know I shouldn't all the time.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm with martooni about that "centrist wingnut" label being an insult.

Umbrage alert: "I'm a centrist dingbat!" DANGIT!!!

Posted by: omni | February 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Alright children pay attention. There's a gunman in the school shooting students so we're going to sit here quietly and see if he gets as far as us. As the soon as the bad man runs out of bullets or kills himself the police hiding behind their cars will come in and rescue you.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

omni and martooni, relax. We centrist wingnuts are a very open-minded, inclusive bunch; we believe in the "big tent of wingnuts" approach. Dingbats and moonbats are also welcome here under the Big Tent.

Besides, we have repciprocal visiting priveleges with your "home" dingbat and moonbat institutions, kind of like yacht clubs and golf courses. So make yourselves right at home. (FYI, the greens fee is still $150 for visitors as well as resident members. Dingbats can use the club dinghy [dingboat] all they want; moonbats need to be accompanied by certified dinghymasters until their prowess has been determined. The moonbat moonbeam & moonlight dinner cruise leaves the dock at 7 p.m., returns at 11 p.m., buffet, beer and wine on board; sorry, no BYO)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

bc - believe me, there are people who buy into what Romney said about terrorist-lovin', enablin' Democrats and there are a boatload of them down here in Tidewater. I agree with you and LiT that a response should be forthcoming in no uncertain terms but that the candidates shouldn't dwell on it. I just don't think they should let the rightwing nuts get away with that kind of hogwash. It perpetuates a stereotype of tree-hugging, wimpy Democrats and we should fight that. I'd like to sic K-guy on 'em. He's made me laugh out loud twice today. I'm sure he could make fun of them and make the point in a very pithy way.

I sometimes wonder if living down here with, believe me, a bunch of Hillary haters skews my perspective. I just don't think she's electable. I understand what Ivansmom was saying re: vote for her and then she'll be electable, but I don't think people like me will make the difference. It is the independents who will close the deal in this election and I don't believe they will go to Hillary. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you dmd, TBG, slyness, Cassandra, for your warm greetings. I am occassionally granted outpatient status from the centrist wingnuthouse and can stop by to say things I hope will not have me recommitted.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

What about the lugnuts, Mudge? Where do they fit in?

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Are radical moderates allowed in the tent?

Posted by: dmd | February 8, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Lugnuts need not apply. We *do* have standards.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should say that, dmd. I've considered myself a radical moderate for years, as well as pragmo-gressive-centrist.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Boko,so tragic.

Big sigh.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. That was me at 2:50. As if you didn't know.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Are we talking bats again?

Posted by: dr | February 8, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to imply that there wasn't possible criminal acts or that there shouldn't be investigations, but that with Pres pardons issued and the threat of prosecution removed, there's not a lot of motiviation for pursuit or cooperation.


Posted by: bc | February 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Kim-I listened to Congressman Bobby Scott on WAMU this morning talking about his support of Obama. I think he's reading the electorate in your area just as you are, and he should know a thing or two about a dem being electable there.

Here's a little silliness for the boodle to take into the weekend:

Posted by: frostbitten | February 8, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

pragmo-gressive-centrist, LOVE IT!!

Yes boko, that story is just awful.

Posted by: dmd | February 8, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Internet connectivity problems for 25.5 hours. Time Warner service call this morning and a long (pleasant and productive call) with a young Indian service rep in a Bangalore call center. I'm bbbaaaaaacckkkkk!

And I'm catching up, just on this Kit. I did check in at the NYT first, and found David Brooks intriguing today. Essentially he analyzes those who comprise the Democratic party by income and outlook on life (demographics and psychographics), and quite humorously at times, too. Two grafs about Obama's appeal below, but he also gives equal grafs to Hillary:

Barack Obama is an experience provider. He attracts the educated consumer. In the last Pew Research national survey, he led among people with college degrees by 22 points. Educated people get all emotional when they shop and vote. They want an uplifting experience so they can persuade themselves that they're not engaging in a grubby self-interested transaction. They fall for all that zero-carbon footprint, locally grown, community-enhancing Third Place hype. They want cultural signifiers that enrich their lives with meaning.

Obama offers to defeat cynicism with hope. Apparently he's going to turn politics into a form of sharing. Have you noticed that he's actually carried into his rallies by a flock of cherubs while the heavens open up with the Hallelujah Chorus? I wonder how he does that.

Joel writes:
Or do the Democratic candidates, and perhaps the Democrats as a party, immediately counter-attack? Iraq has been a strangely muted issue in the last couple of months as violence there has decreased and the economy here has soured, but with McCain as the GOP nominee the war will be front and center again.

Fuggedaboutit, Iraq and Iran, says Fareed Zakaria. Both were guests on a one-hour Anderson Cooper/CNN 360 program that aired here last night. Unfortunately, I caught only the last half hour of the show titled: Extreme Challenges: The Next Four Years." This folowing comment more than caught my attention, and the transcipt or show is worthy of more consideration than just Fareed's comments about Iraq. The trio discussed the plan to build a large number of coal-fired power plants in China and India and the environmental impact.:

ZAKARIA: I think that the system in Washington pulls you towards the urgent. What you need is a leader who understands what's important and that the two are different. We need to get out of the eighth century in Baghdad, adjudicating claims between Shias and Sunnis and move to the 21st century, to China, to India, to Brazil, to where the future is being made and to figure out what are the challenges for America to prosper and thrive in the future.

We can't keep getting dragged back into every small crisis in hell hole because a bomb goes off somewhere. We've got to look ahead and ask how do we shape this world and how do we help Americans thrive and succeed in it.

Posted by: Loomis | February 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Kim I understand completely. Despite the fact that she "carried" OK, I'm in hate-Hillary land too. My point, which was kind of silly, was that nobody will be electable if people don't vote for them because they might not be electable. However, there's a lot of Hillary haters who make that a very valid concern.

Dingbat, moonbat, wingnut - how about pointyheads (in the affectionate, not pejorative, sense of the word)?

I'm off to pick up entirely too many teenagers for my car - plus the Boy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Home page made me think for a minute that I was reading The Onion: Al-Quaeda Seeks Softer Approach.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

And then there is always Fruitbat in a Dinner Jacket.

My guess is that he wouldn't be welcome.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | February 8, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

That dog video was hilarious. I realize this topic has been covered, but I just got here.

Posted by: Sara | February 8, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Just as the winding down of the Bush countdown clock gives much joy, this counter of the cost of the war is exceedingly depressing

(found via the web site of Congressman Jim Oberstar, dem MN)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 8, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually Maggie, I found the Brooks WSJ piece a real downer. It was all about Safeway vs Whole Foods and I'm a Trader Joe's kind of guy. "Hey look, there's some more of that $4 Barolo that did such a great job stripping the paint off the front hall radiator. Let's buy a case." And just when I thought I had found an elite of my very own, too.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The Brooks column is a long form version of the conventional wisdom that Obama is the chardonnay and brie candidate and Hillary is the beer and pretzels choice.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, Brooks was in NYT rather than WSJ. My bad. No wonder the usual WSJ snottiness seemed muted.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse


I look forward to a rousing Obama rally if one ever comes to Alamo City. I bought Obama's autobiography last week (juicy discount coupon), and would like to see him and Michelle in the flesh, rather than just in debates, news clips or ads on CNN. Ditto for a rally for McCain and Clinton--to listen, observe; I'd go.

I see that I shall have to tackle George Whitefield here at the Boodle. *Especially if an Obama rally rolls through town.*

Meanwhile, David Broks at the NYT today directs his readers here:

Then did you see the Hopemeister's speech? His schtick makes sense if you've got a basic level of security in your life, if you're looking up, not down. Meanwhile, Obama's people are so taken with their messiah that soon they'll be selling flowers at airports and arranging mass weddings. There's a "Yes We Can" video floating around YouTube in which a bunch of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and the guy from the Black Eyed Peas are singing the words to an Obama speech in escalating states of righteousness and ecstasy. If that video doesn't creep out normal working-class voters, then nothing will.

Hey, I just watched the video..well, most of it...and guess what, not one issue was mentioned by Obama or his bevy of lip synchers. But it was pure entertainment!

Posted by: Loomis | February 8, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking for a moderately priced Cab-Shiraz blend to go with bruschetta smeared with gorgonzola and a drizzle of honey. Who's that?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Rather than "beer and pretzels" I would characterize Hillary as a Pouilly Fuisse' - dry, medium bodied, pale and refreshing, but concur with pretzels - brittle and salty.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 8, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Yes we can video"

Posted by: Loomis | February 8, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I admire Fareed Zakaria. He makes it seem the West Wing needs a Big Picture specialist. Or maybe some kind of Big Picture Kitchen Cabinet to warn the President about getting caught up in the urgent but lower-priority Little Picture stuff. Maybe a role for Big Al?

Thinking of the non-urgent, some southern states once lagged in terms of tornado warnings and response. As terrible as this week's outbreak was, it would likely have been far more deadly a decade or so ago.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 8, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey there Sara.

How go the classes. oops, oh wait. um, never mind.

But the 'Hey there' stands.

I'm off to the video store, then liquor store, cause it's movie night at the omniapt.

Have a great weekend everybody, and stay dry

Posted by: omni | February 8, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You're darn right it's tragic 'Mudge. A friend and I were watching the coverage of the Colombine murders and were disgusted to see groups of heavily armed police cowering outside while kids were being shot inside. I've see this repeated several times including an incident at the Ottawa bus depot when it took the cops 4 hours to move in after the shooting had stoppped. If the job's too dangerous for them maybe they should go into another line of work.
This incident has reminded me that I should tell my neice and nephew to ingnore anyone who tells them that they can't leave because they're locked down, to keep their heads, and eyes open, and get the he!! out of there. Stat.
It's much harder to hit a running target.
Let the looney shoot the sheep.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Because " Provide universal health care" and "Expand stem cell research" makes for such jazzy jingle lyrics.

Hillary was using Celine Dion tunes for a while. I'm not sure if I plugged it a few days ago, but I came up with the songs that the candidates should really be using.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the Hillary and the common person analogy. Pouilly Fuisse sounds right for her,(also my favorite wine), and heck Shilohs description is not far off describing me either. :-)

Posted by: dmd | February 8, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

>"I see that I shall have to tackle George Whitefield here at the Boodle."

Please, don't go to any trouble on our account, LL.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

John Kerry isn't running this time around.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, thanks for that link. I nearly fell out of my chair.

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I assert that what incites wrath is not the legality of his actions but the morality of his actions. It is legal for a President to advocate a war. That's part of his, or her, job description. It is even legal for a President to withhold information if an assessment is made that it is in the national interest to do so. It is even legal for a President to install an Attorney General who's convoluted interpretation of the law supports questionable policies. None of these are illegal. What they are, at least to the left, is morally reprehensible.

It is this notion of moral indignation that gets the bloodlust flowing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Loomis... I'm still having trouble figuring out which are your words and which are from the articles you're quoting. Can you add a space, or use some sort of //notation// or something?

For example, the "Hey, I just watched the video.." Is that you talking or Brooks?

I know I struggle with this myself. I often delete entire posts because I can't figure out the best way to make it readable (I know.. really? Me? You're not reading everything I write? Can you believe it?)

Too bad we don't have *italics* or something.

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse


Hey there back! And I actually went to classes today. Miracles do happen.

Posted by: Sara | February 8, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... you've sent Mr. G off on a Steve Martin YouTube tangent. Thanks!

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama brings to mind Freixenet's Cordon Negro: sparkling, crisp, clean, well-balanced, soft and smooth. It's food affinity is anything that beer tastes good with. And it costs less than Pouilly Fuisse'.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 8, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to admit, the Clinton ads are just chock full of substantive issue oriented informative good stuff compared to that feel good fluff from the other elite, I mean, the Obama camp. Why, just check these out-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, Padouk; while you may be technically correct about some of your 3:33, I think you're dodging some aspects of it. Yes, a president can "advocate" for a war...but it's *not* within his purview to start one; that right is specifically reserved to Congress, not the president. He can "advocate" all he wants. Waging one is different.

Yes, it is legal to withhold if the purposes are ":national security" -- but one must basically trust the guy in the first place. "Shielding one's administration" and covering up stuff are *not* specifically "in the national interest -- though of course it's easy to see how Arbusto et al. might think so.

"What they are, at least to the left, is morally reprehensible." Yes indeed. Why aren't they morally reprehensible to the center and right?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

K-guy, at least your Trader Joe's can sell wine. In this county, it's verboten to see wine, beer, etc. in supermarkets.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 8, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Crossing the Potomac and seeing Two Buck Chuck in TJ's is the only time I ever wish I lived on that side of the river.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Kim, I grew up in Norfolk and will be very interested in the Democratic primary results in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads region. I know the mindset you are speaking of. If a candidate is perceived to be a "liberal", it's all over for her/him down there. It is the mantra of Tidewater to hate Hilary because she is a liberal.

McCain, on the other hand, because he is a war hero, will do very well. There is a large retired military population who will vote for him. Even tho he is not really a conservative, it's still a conservative/liberal thing in my home region.

I truly doubt many will vote for Obama. I hope I am wrong.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 8, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I like what Froomkin said today about Bush's endorsement of McCain...

"But it's a sound bite more likely to show up in a Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton commercial than a McCain one."

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - my point is that a *legal* recourse is not necessarily the correct one. The correct recourse is to keep people with such views out of office until the end of time.

And you know as well as I do why some don't find these things as reprehensible. The argument goes that to do so would "let the terrorists win."

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

One of the meta-ironies here is that McCain spent a lot of time kissing up to, I mean supporting, Dubya in the 2004 race to make sure he was seen as the heir apparent. Now that he is the presumptive nominee, I can't see him touching Bush with a ten foot pole.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

This obsession with issues and experience with regards to Obama misses the point.

The half-life of a position paper is pretty short, and the world changes so quickly that experience is equally ephemeral. The future is a voyage into uncharted waters. We are all making it up as we go along.

What matters most is intellectual flexibility, strong logical skills and a lack or personal hubris. It is the lack of these things that have cursed the Bush Administration.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Steve Martin from the current Smithsonian magazine:

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on yello. John Kerry may be many things, but "moderately priced" ain't one of 'em.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Boko, on the other thread, there must be something in the air today. This incident is just a few miles from my office - fortunately no one hurt.

Posted by: dmd | February 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Have a good weekend folks!

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I've been hearing about Two-Buck Chuck for a few years now, but haven't tasted it. Is it as good as the urban legend says it is? Is it dry?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Correction: not so much is it dry, but is it aged (like, for 20 minutes) in oak?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

It's almost like the question to a Jeopardy answer:

The endorsement less welcome by a candidate than Barry's endorsement of Obama.

What is "Bush Rallies Republican Base Around McCain?"

Posted by: Raysmom | February 8, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Crossing the Potomac and seeing Two Buck Chuck in TJ's is the only time I ever wish I lived on that side of the river."

Spoken like a man with no college age children.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge quotes: "What they are, at least to the left, is morally reprehensible." Yes indeed. Why aren't they morally reprehensible to the center and right?

The center tries not to pay much attention to stuff that in their view doesn't directly affect them. The right has no moral uncertainty about their ends justifying all sorts of means. "They" aren't like us, so therefore we don't have to treat them like we would those who are "like us."

Posted by: ebtnut | February 8, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, some of the Chucks are better than others, but all are OK for the price. You won't mistake them for a fine (choose your favorite) wine, but neither will you feel you opened paint thinner by mistake. The Chardonnay has a bit of a sweet edge to it, but that's OK by me. As for aging, I believe that is done on your car seat on the way home from TJs.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 8, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

So no oakey taste? (I'm reminded of the scene in Mr. Roberts where Doc "ages" a faux bottle of scotch with coal tar-based hair tonic--and looks at his watch for 10 seconds before pronouncing, "There! That'll age the he11 out of it!")

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Raysmom, help me out with the funny CP reference on the last kit/boodle string.

Horrid cold here in the house or mild flu....PLEASE SEND HOME REMEDIES FOR SANDPAPER THROAT! Sipping Jamesons non stop could cause problems as I am also pulling nurse duty.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 8, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse


My son turned up his nose at VT last summer because there weren't any decent bookstores within walking distance of the campus, so the in-state tuition point is moot.

He and mrs. jkt are up at Ursinus today doing some due diligence to see if the archetypal Small Liberal Arts College is anything he would have an interest in.

I looked into relocating to Atlanta a few years ago, but the salary hit my wife would take as a public school teacher negated any savings the Hope Scholarship would confer.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

It may have a passing acquaintance with oak, but it doesn't taste oaky to me.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 8, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

CP, it was a headline about CP being on Next Runway Model. CP being Clinton Portis.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 8, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I recall hauling a couple of big bottles of cheap TJ's maple syrup from Oregon to Florida in my checked baggage. At the time, brownish, full-flavored syup was labelled "grade B" in the US, while the more pale, less-tasty variety was "A".

TJ's seemed adept at exploiting opportunities like that.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 8, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I can't see "our" CP being a running back for the Redskins. For one thing, huddles usually don't last long enough to do any serious knitting, and anyway, it's cumbersome busting through the line and picking up a hard six yards all the while trailing a skene of yarn. And she'd be penalized 15 yards for dropping a stitch.

No offense-- but keep your day job, CP. Anyway, you'd hate working for Dan Snyder. Everybody else does.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh RM, fun to know. But, truth be told, a couple of costumey people on campus are trading notes on the Project Runway Show:

Stitch Biichery

These are some of our fun words lately. I still winch at frosty Prussian Heidi's curt dismissal, softened with Kuss Kuss Eurostyle.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 8, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Exhaustion alert!!!!

I have been on the phone for most of the day. No lunch, one pit stop between phone calls -- and ............... finally!!!! I am mostly functional (i.e., my 'puter is, and I'm trying valiantly to catch up).

Turns out that what was interfering with my internet connex was (*drum roll*) Microsoft Firewall. Oh, yeah, I'm really surprised. So we disabled that and I installed ZoneAlarm (which I've been using anyway forever and am very pleased with).

Then I talked with my domain hosting entity and, instead of simply forwarding to Comcast (as had been the case), I signed up for an actual mailbox. The price per year is laughable and it'll be all set by this time tomorrow, so I'll be able to *send* emails for a change. We did the same thing for the domain I have with the firm I'm Of Counsel to (it's been an alias), and that'll be good to go.

I'm exhausted -- and, so, here I go . .. .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 8, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I would NEVER run with needles. But I have knitted while walking.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 8, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I was not under the impression that Va Tech was the only college option available in Virginia. Perhaps I am misinformed.

Ursinus College-

Suburban 168-acre campus with easy access to Philadelphia

Degrees Offered

Comprehensive Cost
$43,160 includes full-time tuition ($35,000), mandatory fees ($160), and room and board ($8000). Full-time tuition and fees vary according to course load. Part-time tuition: $1094 per credit hour. Part-time tuition and fees vary according to course load
(Cost includes full-time tuition plus additional fees such as room and board and mandatory fees)

Entrance Difficulty
Very difficult , 47% of applicants were admitted

University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Suburban 1160-acre campus with easy access to Richmond

Degrees Offered
Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, First Professional, and Post-Master's Certificates

Tuition state resident $6628 full-time; nonresident $25,878 full-time. Part-time tuition and fees vary according to course load
Required fees $1872 full-time
Room and board $7435; room only: $4015. Room and board charges vary according to board plan and housing facility

Entrance Difficulty
Very difficult , 37% of applicants were admitted

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

We still have a tall, two year old grade B Trader Jo's maple syrup bottle half full. It ages well!

Two buck chuck is now four or five bucks per bottle. Love TJ's, I feel very smug when I use my TJ's reuseable red grocery bags, even in Whole Foods. WF & TJs are relatively small and friendly compared to most of the super duper markets.

Posted by: VintageLady | February 8, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I am so ashamed. I am laughing so hard, and can't seem to stop. It really isn't the thing to do, but I cannot help myself.

And on that note I'm going to say good night, sweet dreams. Have a wonderful weekend.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 8, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Spoken like a man who, when informed there is a armed crazyperson in the building, leaves the building. Sorry if it screws up the attendance taking but I'd rather have me and mine alive.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The decisions that go into a kid picking colleges are random and capricious. And usually wholly unrelated to his parent's financial situation. For example, the other day he announced that Harvard was his third choice. I'm sure the trustees of that brand would be shocked that anyone wouldn't consider them first.

After a family trip to OK State (don't ask) why) most rural schools were off the table. Ursinus waived all application fees and earlier this week we got a three page letter from the school addressed direct to the parents extolling its reputation. They are definitely giving the hard sell. More so than even the omnipresent Washington University in St. Louis. There's a school with a marketing department working overtime.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I think I bought a couple of non-text books as an undergrad. Maybe something by René Dubos. But I don't recall any bookstores in the State College, Pa. of 1970.

I had cluelessly applied to a couple of "selective" Liberal Arts colleges. Later on, I was startled at how easy it was to find a grad school. And maybe even odder, my grad-school roommate is now the Provost at such a college.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 8, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, tuition rates are the equivalent of sticker prices at a car dealer and the state schools are the Saturn dealers.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, TBG, *italics*. How long have we wished for the capability?

RD is out of here, and given the lapse of time since Mudge's multi-graf post the other day which included a graf about Hillary not apologizing for her war vote (and now, 36 or so hours later, I still have these thoughts swirling in my head)...

I agree, that in *one speech,* Obama was against the war. But given that speech, what would his policy(ies) toward Iraq have been otherwise? Would he have embraced or discarded any of the previous Clinton policies? By that, I mean, would he have kept economic sanctions in place? Would he have enforced the northern and southern no-fly zones established under Clinton, despite complaints at the time that these daily aerial ops were rather expensive, but by no means anywhere near as ruinous, dollarwise, as the current seemingly endless war there? Would he have let U.N. weapons inspectors complete their jobs? Would he have brought the case against Saddam to the U.N. Security Council, as Bush did? Better yet and going back to the time shortly after 9/11, how long would he have waged the war in Afghanistan? Is Obama, assuminging that he was elected, now ready to go with significant force into either or both Afghanistan and Pakistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden, especially since al Qaeda is no longer centralized, like it once was?

What was the kind of intelligence that U.S. senators had when they made their vote authorizing force against Saddam? For the October (year? 2002?) date I need to open the Bernstein Clinton biography, which is downstairs. How many senators voted against that resolution authorizing Bush to start something against Iraq--really curious about this one? Of all the senators, who voted for the resolution, is John Edwards the only one to have publicly apologized for his vote--or are they others besides Edwards?

Speaking of apology or lack thereof, I remember Howie Kurtz writing a long piece, with free access to individuals within the Washington Post, explaining how the Washington Post goofed in its coverage in the run-up to war. But not one word of apology. The Washington Post was guilty of much, but apparently not sorry.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I was fairly vagrant about college choice myself. Irecall being put off by the University of Pennsylvania because the housing situation didn't seem very good.

Also, with my dad as an alum, I reasoned that if I were admitted based on alum kid preference, it would be unfair and I'd be attending a university that didn't pick the best available applicants. Not to mention that getting rejected would be more embarrasing than a rejection from someplace else. Beside, if universities were generically not such good places for undergraduates, why not go to a relatively cheap one?

I don't recall getting any marketing mailings from PSU, or anyone else. It's a different world today.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 8, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

When our daughter was a HS junior, we had the college talk around the kitchen table. We all sat down and I told her she could go anywhere she was accepted, but this amount was the most we could afford to pay. If she wanted to go somewhere more costly she would have to get loans and pay them herself. If, OTOH, she chose to go to UVA, we would pay everything and maybe, if things went well, swing some study abroad. Things did go well, well enough to send her to Copenhagen for 6 months in her last year of architecture school. She graduated debt free and we still have only one mortgage. I think sometimes parents are reluctant to discuss the family finances in detail with their emerging adults and that's a mistake. I think it's also perfectly OK to put limits on the amount of financial help you give and make that clear to your kid.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Any small college will waive the application fee if you visit them. And many will waive it if you just talk to them or write for more information.

The one thing we learned from our still-laughed-about visit to High Point University (whose motto seems to be "Where nothing's too good for my baby") and our half-hour sit down with their slick car salesman-like president, was that every college wants to admit only first-choicers. If Harvard is your son's third choice, make sure they don't know that.

Another thing we learned from our college visits... make sure his Facebook page doesn't include anything he wouldn't want an admissions officer to know. Or potential employer. My niece is on Facebook and all the other such sites because she's in charge of hiring for her company.

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I am seldom truly gone.

The answer to all your rhetorical questions regarding Obama is my rhetorical assumption that he would have reacted the correct way. Obama was right and Clinton was wrong. But Clinton was in good company.

And nobody should ever need to apologize for being wrong. There is no shame in error. There is just shame in refusing to learn from error.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Still here, tho' packing up.

LL, I don't think it was Kurtz's place to do any apologizing; he doesn't speak for the company.

Everybody have a good weekend. Like about half of you, I'm still battling my cold.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

And now I really am going to be gone cause I am running so late, but one more important insight.

And one not based on my questionable intellect.

If you are looking for a bargain robust red check out the Italian Bastardo at Trader Joes. Best deal in the place.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Kurosawachick had friends at High Point. The motto is "what's the point, let's get high."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 8, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Something's wrong with my proofreading today. Yuk.

Happy weekend, everyone. Please eat or drink some grapefruits.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 8, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

CP as the Next Top Model, yeah, I can see it. I'm picturing her walking, not running, down the runway, knitting needles in hand, trailing her yarn. Wearing the latest knits, of course.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | February 8, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

We've made it clear to our son that no college choice can be made until all financial aid offers are in. My guess is that all the schools he's looking at (2 out-of-state-schools and 3 private) are going to price out the same.

My wife and I both have regrets about colleges our parents steered us away from.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

kguy... you should see HIgh Point today. This new president came in and raised $100 million in one year to completely rebuild the campus. Single dorm rooms, free Starbucks, valet parking. All this was shown off in a tour of the tiny campus via golf cart. No mention of the academics.

And when my son said to the school's president, "I hope you raised $200 million to pay your faculty," the guy laughed and said, "Shhhh.. don't let them hear you say that!"

I was so pleased when Son of G turned to me after the tour and whispered, "Let's get out of here. This place gives me the creeps."

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

When my late father-in-law insisted that his grandson attend one of his alma maters (Caltech and Stanford) I said "fine, if you pay the cost differential between one of those schools and a state school." His college costs in the 1930s were very different from those in the 1980s and the "sticker shock" was the end of that conversation.

Posted by: Shiloh | February 8, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the guy in MO who killed 5 city officials-cops got the NRA's motto backward. It's not using the second amendment to protect the first but the oher way around. His brother:
""My brother went to war tonight with the government," Gerald Thornton said in an interview with a local television station after the incident. "He decided that he could no longer verbally work it out.""

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 8, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Yello--Re your McCain song, I think an adaption of this would work:

I see a few lines that could be tweaked to be relevant.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 8, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The conversation I had with my children was that they could go anywhere they wanted, as long as they could pay or get scholarships. If they wanted their father and me to pay, any of the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina were fine (except East Carolina, I didn't want to drive that far). When a seventh grader, older dottir told me she wanted to go to Appalachian State; when she was accepted (the day after Thanksgiving) that was the end of that. Younger dottir applied to NC State and Carolina, and chose the latter. She didn't get the letter till the end of March, but then she didn't apply till the last minute anyway. Worked out well, in both cases.

Posted by: Slyness | February 8, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who cares about what the candidates actually stand for on a specific issue can go to

I analyzed Hillary, Barack, and John's record on disability rights in office AND their platforms. Two have personal connections to the issues, one doesn't.

If anybody finds additional sources that may clarify further, please send them to me.
Stereotyping people or candidates, trolling, comparing people to objects can go to delete button.

And now for something completely different.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 8, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

SCC: that's the last time I ask Wilbrodog to type for me. He never uses grammar check, damnit!

By the way, he has some hollywood headshots up at

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 8, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey I think SciTim made it up the mountain today!

Posted by: dr | February 8, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Geez. Once again, an afternoon of fine, stimulating commentary on many interesting issues, and I take an embarrassingly trivial thought from it. Yesterday it was Sea Monkeys (oh no, I didn't forget). Today? I bemoan the lack of Trader Joe's. We really enjoyed shopping there when we lived in California.

On the other hand, this afternoon I went to our local Mediterranean deli (called, practically enough, the Mediterranean Deli) and purchased many tasty staples like yogurt, lebni, hummus, feta cheese, olives, sour cherry preserves and dolma, to go with my bottle of Greek wine. Life is good.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 8, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom... Can I come over?

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, TBG! There's also cheeseburgers for the timid of food heart (translated as: more for us!).

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 8, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

What, no pastrami? What kinda goyishe deli is that?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Finished the half hour of network nightly news, so flipped on Hardball. The blonde guy had two strategist types on, Republicans, who were laying out a game plan for McCain to go after Obama first--and soon--since Obama is the lesser known of the two Democratic contenders among the public and even though the Democratic contest is far from over.

One thing is certain, the next president will come from the senatorial ranks--hasn't happened, in the last 100 years or so, since Harding and JFK.

Thus a group of Senators, taking control of the 1920 Republican Convention when the principal candidates deadlocked, turned to Harding.

I'm pretty excited, after stumbling on a press release that says our local Trinity University is creating a new lecture series after a local newspaperman and scion of a prominent Texas family, who passed not too long ago--Maury Maverick. The first guest in this new series--Sy Hersh, to speak on April 3. I'll put this date on the calendar in supersized letters. Still kicking myself over missing Abizaid's talk.

Posted by: Loomis | February 8, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge. For what it's worth, my wife tells me she favors following the next inauguration with a nice public flogging.

She scares me sometimes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Those redheads, Padouk--ya gotta love 'em.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Mudge. Shhh! My wife is a brunette. So ixnay on the edheadray talk...

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Ooops! Sorry. It's just that with your fondness for...I just

Mum's the word.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

My wife and son got back from the college visit, but mu wife had to take care of a scholastic crisis (a paper she though she had more time on was due). Which left me to debrief the kid. I asked about the campus and the majors and other stuff. Right at the end of dinner he said, "Oh, yeah. They accepted me. The letter would have gone out in the mail on Tuesday, but since they knew I was coming, they gave it to me in person."

As part of the take-back literature they had this article by Jay Mathews from 2005:

But then Mathews wrote a column this week in praise of senioritis, so I don't know how much credence to give him.

It exposes the "better keep your grades up or your college will rescind their acceptance" myth. It's good to have a few bogeymen to scare kids with.

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

Found this on another site:

It seems that Clinton is a PC and Obama is a Mac. It comes to this conclusion by comparing the two candidates websites. Since this predates Brooks's grocery store analogy, is it possible he was "inspired" by it?

Posted by: yellojkt | February 8, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

(deep breath) - - - the last acorn to fall from the tree is the printer issue. After getting adapter cables which wouldn't fit, somehow the light bulb came on as I was doing the dishes and I called HP. Turns out (wait for it) I have to buy a new printer. Hemorrhaging money has never been of interest to me, but dontcha know, that's what I'm doing. The good news is that the printer I ordered (laser) is on sale (good price), shipping is free AND they'll take my old printer and gimme some money for it. Good deal all around, actually. Problem is, though, I won't get it until maybe Tuesday or Wednesday next week. What the "H". At this point, I'm too tired to even care about it.

*sigh* [off to bed]

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | February 8, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

an obama supporter i know made the pc-mac analogy to me last week. i think it may have been out there in the blogosphere. or maybe it's just intuitive.

personally, i'm bi-platformal.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 8, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey. The next President will have to be a Senator? Youse guys ain't givin Governor Huckable or whats-it Gravel or Nutcase No-Last-Name Paul any respect here. He'll getcha come inauguration day.

RD, it depends on who is being flogged.

Hmmm. Clinton is a PC and Obama is a Mac. So Obama has less toxic problems, works better and is easier to understand, but Clinton is the worldwide standard and gets the job done, though with random and unexplained outages at inopportune moments. Sounds like regular political analysis to me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 8, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

a person i know who is mormon expressed relief that romney was out of the race. she also mentioned that mormons are totally pissed off right now at huckabee, so if huckabee ends up on the ticket, that would seriously take away mormon votes from the republicans. and dobson endorsed huckabee today. go conservatives. knock yourselves out.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 8, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

ivansmom, i liked your political analysis.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 8, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Just who does your wife want flogged, RD?

ftb - G'night. I hope you have sweet dreams that do not include any computers.

Very interesting piece on senioritis, yj. Now, can someone tell me that junioritis is ok? My son has always been a good student, not a rocket scientist, but a good, self-directed, organized hard worker and has done well. This year he seems to be floundering. His grades aren't bad, but he has been inconsistent and his desire to do well fluctuates to put it politely. He is taking a brutal load this year (his choice) so I feel for him, but we don't see him consistently working as hard as could (and I don't mean that he should be killing himself...just perhaps dial back on ESPN and guitar hero). Sigh. We're just trying to stay positive and balance our expectations that he work up to his potential with the knowledge that we can't do it for him and he has to want it himself. He's a great kid and I know it will all work out, but parenting teenagers is really not a walk in the park...

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

My wife would like to see George Bush flogged. She doesn't suffer fools gladly. Which makes me wonder why she married me.

Of course, she is not partisan. She also despises Bill Clinton for that whole Lewinsky business. And she is not too fond of Hillary for not leaving the man. Perhaps with part of his anatomy as a souvenir.

That in two decades I have never once fooled around on this woman is not entirely due to my virtuous nature.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 8, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, you spoke of reducing access to abortion. I have mixed feelings about that; the reason being that people confront the abortion choice for a reason, and they need counselling on the subject.

If they are denied that option, they may seek other, more drastic choices. A woman once confided in me that she had been raped twice before she was age 20 and got pregnant each time. The first rape occured when she was with a friend in a mall, her friend didn't, she did.

She was an adopted child, with an abusive mother and was already drinking in secret to try and deal with her pain while being "the good girl." To make it worse, she had once been told way before that, "you get pregnant, you're out of here!"

She got an abortion. And another one. She never told her parents about it, and for good reason. She was telling me this because over 10 years later, she had been infertile in her marriage and she asked me if the abortions she had could have caused scarring. I told her regretfully it was very possible.

She loved kids, and I think if she had been told that an abortion could have caused a risk of being infertile later, that would have weighed her decision. In fact, a high school classmate once told a girl he knew who was using abortion as birth control very bluntly that if she got too many abortions she might never be able to have kids again. "She decided to keep the child," he said.

What I am thinking is, what would have happened back then? She finally told her mother long after and the mother said that they wouldn't have thrown her out and would have tried to help her. That could be true-- or false.

You see, her mother's physical abuse also caused her to have grand mal epilepsy with first seizure starting around, I think, age 20, and if she DID get pregnant, she would have to go off medication and risk serious seizures as a result.

It is possible that if she had not gotten the abortions, the physiological demands of pregnancy would have accelerated her first seizures in a situation that would have killed her.

I happened to save another abused friend's life by being present when she had her first grand mal seizure, and I can say she would have died if she had been alone, she wasn't breathing for over 10 minutes.

I have come to the conclusion that you just can't judge that a mother's life is NOT at risk because they don't have any apparent physical reasons not to bear a child, just environmental reasons.

I've known too many people who had suicide attempts during their late teens to think that a desperate young woman who is denied any help or support won't choose suicide instead.

If you want to prevent abortions, you must be ready to give support to young women sitting in a clinic, too afraid to think about what to do. So, you must INCREASE access to abortion and counsellors.

You may disagree with my reasoning, College Parkian, but I sincerely think that the seamless garment philosophy should include the idea of putting priority on taking care of the life that is here and in front of you today, not tomorrow.

This is why I say that we are not ready for the consequences of limiting or ending access to abortion. I hope the situation is better now than it was years ago.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 8, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

It was previously clear to me that your wife has good judgment, RD, based on her choice of husbands. This information shows she is also a clear and steady thinker. My already boundless admiration for her has only increased.

Before marrying my husband, I told him I would never leave him. I did, however, reserve the right to kill him. It hasn't been necessary.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 8, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Alrighty then, I will second the motion that GWB be flogged and agree that RD's wife sounds like she knows a good thing when she sees him.

The hubby and I went to see U2 3D tonight at an IMAX theater. I'm exhausted. I feel like I attended the concert. There were actually a couple of times that I had to stop myself from clapping in the theater. It really was a great show. If you're a U2 fan at all, I recommend it heartily.

I hope everyone who feels under the weather can get some good rest this weekend.
Good night all!

Posted by: Kim | February 8, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Kim... my sister told me tonight that she wants to see that U2 movie at the IMAX.

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

That's the second time I've seen the Great Flydini, and the first time I remember realizing his left arm was a complete dummy arm. It's very well done, only 1-2 times you might see the hand moving under the pants... which kind of adds to the funny-yuck factor anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 8, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to go see U2-3D next weekend, I think. Not clap? Are you kidding - I'm hoping everyone is up and singing along like at the real thing! Talk about a revival - it's like going to church.

Do you get to keep the glasses?

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 8, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - The story of your friend is terribly painful, but seems only tangentially related to the issue of access to abortion. It IS pretty relevant to greater access & acceptance of counseling services.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 8, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, let me get this straight: Mormons are ticked at evangelicals and won't vote for Huckleberry. Evangelicals don't like Mormons and wouldn't vote for Romney.

Jeez, some of you "Christians." Doncha just love religion? This is the first time in decades I've taken any comfort from it. Kinda makes me wanna run out and burn a witch at the stake. Man, ye reap what ye sow. Maybe if we work hard enough, we can get Lutherans to hate Methodists, and vice versa.

FYI, the PC-Mac thing has been out there in the ethernet/blogosphere (re HC and Obama) for at least a week or more.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I have a question I'm hoping my Canadian friends can answer...

We're watching How It's Made, which apparently is a Canadian show. They are showing how snack cakes are made and are making a chocolate-covered snack cake called Jos. Louis. I only know this because they showed the box while demonstrating how the packaging occurs. They are only mentioned as generic "snack cakes."

I've never seen or heard of these; they seem to be a Canadian delicacy. I found the company's website and even read the Wikipedia page. Here's my question...

Is it pronounced "Joseph Louis" or "Joss Louis"?

Posted by: TBG | February 8, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge - Ooohh, a Tom Lehrer moment!

'National Brotherhood Week'

"Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks.
To hate all but the right folks
Is an old established rule....

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews...."

Posted by: Bob S. | February 8, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

oops - a link to the lyrics:

Posted by: Bob S. | February 8, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Since I've either bored or offended everyone away for the moment, I'll submit that this is a better link to the Lehrer lyrics, because it also includes his spoken introduction to the song:

Posted by: Bob S. | February 8, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm still here with ya, Bob.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 8, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

The ghastly 'Jo Louee' is the Quebecois 'Twinky'. Although they have a self-life measured in centuries, uneaten portions must be treated as toxic waste.
They taste like a cream filled salt lick.

I didn't encounter them until I moved to Ottawa (across the river from Quebec) from Toronto where they were, and still are I hope, unknown.
One bite was enough for me. Yech!
SD may have a different perspective, for sure, for sure, eh.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

...and after backskimming, I am too. Trying to keep up with all of the primary stuff is exhausting. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I am preoccupied with trying to figure out if the democratic candidate will have a chance in the fall against Sen. McCain. It occurred to me that the turnout during the primary season, to date, has been heavy on the Democratic side. This links to a set of stats, including total turn out as of 5 Feb: approx. 14M (D) to approx. 8M (R).

An underlying buzz around here is that if Sen. Obama doesn't get the nomination, that a lot of voters will stay home on election day. Thus, I believe that despite the nice talk that the selection of the Democratic candidate isn't about race or gender it's really all about race and gender. My wife is fond of saying that there are some beliefs and behaviours that individuals have that just don't change. Things are going to be mighty interesting for the duration of the primary season and the subsequent Presidential campaign. If, however, the Democratic candidate plays it right, we may yet see a Democrat in the White House that also has a stronger majority in the House and Senate. I'm with you, 'Mudge, that there should be a special prosecutor appointed to hold people like Addington, Yoo, Rove, Cheney and countless others accountable for breaking the law.

Posted by: jack | February 8, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

SD? Did you enjoy the 'ockey last night?
Don't press my nerve.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 8, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Boko: I read your post regarding armed assaults in the schools and other public places. They could be used as a rationale for enacting stricter gun control measures, but thanks to some powerful lobbying groups on this side of the border, that isn't likely to happen. My room is adjacent to two access points, neither of which are locked. I lock my door with specific directions to my charges that only I will answer to any knocking. I have a fire escape window (shade always drawn) and access to some woods about 150 m from the window and have told my kids how to shield themselves to make it look like the room is empty, and that when it is safe to do so, that we'll RLH for the woods. I hope that I'll never have to put those directions into practice. I also hope that I never have to be called into duty to find a bomb, as I have the privilege of being on the team of folks in our building that look for those kinds of things as the need arises.

Posted by: jack | February 9, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Bill Maher points out on tonight's new show where Barack Obama's campaign slogan, Yes We Can," originated:

When Davis published his first memoir, "Yes, I Can", in 1965, it was a critical and popular success--acclaimed for a candor and thoughtfulness rare in celebrity autobiographies and for its painful evocation of life as a black peformer in segregated America. Davis's 1980 memoir, "Why Me?", laid bare Davis's troubled relationship to the Kennedys, his ambivalence toward the Black Pride movement, the end of his marriage to Britt (and his complex open marriage with Altovise Davis), and his flamboyant, self-loathing misbehavior, from ruinous extravagance to flirtations with Satanism.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Woo hoo, WA state on the front page:
I was surprised that Gregoire endorsed Obama.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Bill Maher pointed out on his new show tonight where Barack Obama's campaign slogan, "Yes We Can," originated:

From's review of Sammy's second book:

When Davis published his first memoir, Yes, I Can, in 1965, it was a critical and popular success--acclaimed for a candor and thoughtfulness rare in celebrity autobiographies and for its painful evocation of life as a black peformer in segregated America. Davis's 1980 memoir, Why Me?, laid bare Davis's troubled relationship to the Kennedys, his ambivalence toward the Black Pride movement, the end of his marriage to Britt (and his complex open marriage with Altovise Davis), and his flamboyant, self-loathing misbehavior, from ruinous extravagance to flirtations with Satanism.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Sorry for double post, but it's taking forever out here in flyover land for a post to display.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow! That's an awful lot of baggage for such a short, fairly banal-sounding phrase!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

mostly: you (and anyone else who is so inclined) would get a kick out of this clip from the GD Europe tour in '72: bozos and bolos during a rendition of Big Railroad Blues. Check it out in the absence of the kids, as the beginning is somewhat suggestive, and funny in an adult sort of way.

Posted by: jack | February 9, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why restricting the access to firearms seems onerous to some people. I had to prove I can operate a car safely before I could drive a car and I didn't mind having to take a firearms safety course and go through a criminal record check in order to possess guns.

Your perspective on lockdowns is probably different than mine as you are responsible for 30 lives while I only have to look out for my mangy hide.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 9, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Boko, I don't know either. Part of it comes from being ensconced in our Constitution - the Second (!), not the Ninth, or Seventeenth Amendment. It's like the Ten Commandments or something. It's an American right to own a gun, even if it makes no sense in this day and age, when we'd need fighter planes to really stand up against the evil gummint. I'd like to melt 'em all down.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think, Loomis, that Obama dredged up a 43 year old book title to twist the wording a bit (replacing I with We) just so the slogan would resonate with other black one-eyed Jews? Now it is true that is a demographic that probably hasn't been touched on before ---

Posted by: nellie | February 9, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, found tonight and there you were! is juried, but I think they should be interested in you too.

Posted by: dbG | February 9, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Yes, when CP speaks of limiting access, I unfortunately visualized protests and harrassing doctors and even shooting them, whether she intended it or not (and I believe she did NOT intend this).

Pro-life folks sitting down and talking civilly with people who are awaiting abortion has a far better track record for stopping abortions, which CP knows, as well as helping them accept and be happy with their decision. It's hard to see that kind of outreach done when abortions are done illegally again, if you get me?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Boko - My thoughts about gun control are of a piece with my thoughts about abortion and the death penalty. Abortion is physically & emotionally icky and should be less common, but limiting its access creates awful consequences. Executing vicious criminals is satisfying in some aspects (but also very physically & emotionally icky in its, uh..., "execution"), but much observation convinces me that the punishment cannot ever, under any circumstances, be administered systematically without horrible unfairness and bad consequences for the society in which it's practiced. Pragmatism dictates certain policies, and argues strongly against others.

While I'm theoretically in favor of a well-armed citizenry (just to keep the authorities honest), I'm unable to forget for a moment the horrific damage wrought by relatively unfettered access to firearms, and handguns specifically, by irresponsible parties. And I'm unaware of any good tests for responsibility which don't involve at least moderate invasions of privacy.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

mostly. I'd feel the same way if I lived a society were so many people think violence is a legitimate way to resolve personal conflict. Lucky for me I don't.
The big debate up here is whether violence is a legitimate way to resolve hockey games. The pro fighting crowd are afraid that if fighting is banned hockey will lose its American market.
The anti-fighting crowd are known as Europeans.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 9, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

My musing on abortion were brought around by reading a story about how a man had talked to a couple awaiting an abortion and encouraged them to change their minds. They thanked him and named the child after him.
I just got to thinking of how much my friend would have appreciated that when she was alone and scared so long ago (and it was a long time ago). She would still have felt the same way even if she hadn't had an abortion, but her problems would have been so much worse.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"And I'm unaware of any good tests for responsibility which don't involve at least moderate invasions of privacy."

I doubt there are. The authourities can demand access to my home at any time without a warrant to make sure my firearms and ammunition are legally stored. They are, as there are heavy fines and confiscation if they aren't.

I always get a laugh from the idiots in the militia movement down there. A squad of real soldiers would go through them like a short sh!t trhough a long Swede.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 9, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Boko - Yeah, I can see how that PARTICULAR test for responsibility is gonna be a real tough sales job in the land of Dan'l Boone & the Massachusetts Minutemen.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I love this current front page header:

"Pr. William Trains Officers to Focus on Criminals"

About time, I say!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Another headie - //Putin, in Speech, Accuses U.S. of Setting Off 'New Arms Race'//

Golly, I sure would like it if sometime, some leader, somewhere, said: "Hmmm... My theoretical opponent is developing stronger defenses. Maybe we should develop stronger defenses also. Maybe soon, we'll both have defenses so strong that we no longer need offenses!"

Just kidding!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Ow, that joke had a cold war barb in it, Bob S.

On the other hand-- an interesting article from the WSJ about Senator Clinton.

It struck me of something a friend said back around 1995, when the Clintons were under attack, which translates as: "Hillary doesn't know how to give up. She will do everything possible no matter how dysfunctional things get, so if things failed, it wasn't because she didn't do her very best."

What stuck in my head was how she said it. To her, "giving it her all" wasn't a compliment, but as a form of obessesive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or a potentially tragic character flaw.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 2:59 AM | Report abuse

To assist Cassandra's understanding, maybe I can keep chewing over something I discovered just in the last few days about the conservatives. I noticed that the sort that are really messing things up, keep referring to the "conservative movement" and the others just call themselves conservatives, mostly. It's the "movement" buzzword that has begun to stand out for me lately. I think it's code.

Another insight I have achieved for quite some time now, I call the "mountain of lies" technique. This is how they baffle their opponents. With such a HUGE PILE of lies, no possible human effort can chip away at them all successfully. They will slip 1,000 into the conversation while we have only time to do serious refutation of three. And so on. And they will stall on each and every one of them.

This is so successful, a variant of it has been adopted by the Bush people to avoid impeachment. Bush and Cheney have violated, at last count, some 1,100 laws, and the enormity of this actually paralyzes the people. No one single crime stands out in the string of unending atrocity.

Posted by: Jumper | February 9, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

boko, I had my last Loe Louee at least 30 years. I couln't resist the tease after the 8-0 game. I'll try to be a better christian in the future.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 9, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

For the uninformed, a joe louis is a layer of white sugary snot sandwiched between two disks of sweetened brown polyurethane foam and coated with sweetened brown paraffin. I was a demi-lune kid myself. Same white snot but with white polyurethane foam and no paraffin.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 9, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

TBG, Joe Louis and a whole line of other products were staples at my small high school. Lacking a cafeteria we had basically vending food/tuck shop junk to purchase.

This is a good representation of those food, I was more a 1/2 moon girl.

Posted by: dmd | February 9, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Shriek I am laughing just hit refresh and saw your post, do you remember the 1/2 moon with the extra edible oil product in the middle?

Posted by: dmd | February 9, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

A "lion" was prancing in my sister's living room this afternoon. The local youth club has a team of youths who performs lion dance in homes during the lunar new year and also competes in regional competitions. This year my sister invited the team to come to the house to perform. The "lion" is made up of 2 persons and its movement is directed by the sound of the drum and the cymbal. After about 5 to 8 mins of prancing, they stopped and sprawled over the 3 mandarins my sister had placed on the floor. After a few minutes, the "lion" got up and left and there was a Chinese character "spring" on the floor, and also the mandarin peels (they don't clean up for you). Their fee was given to them in a red packet placed on the floor together with the mandarins.

Every year, our neighbour have them perform acts that required more skills. He would place 8 mandarins on the floor, which means the "lion" would have to make one or two Chinese characters with all the mandarins. And then he would tie the red packet together with a piece of green veggie at the end of a 10' to 12' pole. The "lion" and the rest of the team would have to human stack to collect what's at the end of the pole. It's exciting to see the "lion" making its way up the backs of their teammates to reach the red packet.

Posted by: rainforest | February 9, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Love the Canadian snack cake page! Thanks for the help, friends. The show also showed how the Jelly Logs (Billot?) were made.

So do you guys have Twinkies and Ho Hos up there?

When we travel, one of our regular sightseeing stops is always the local grocery store to find regional favorites. It was mind-blowing the first time we visited Canada. The candy, too, is very different.

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

DMD, I remember the sisters, Motherhouse in Regina, bringing those sorts of treats. The First Nation children who lived when them would sometimes bring them in their lunch boxes to school.

Can our canouckies confirm this myth: Canadian candy, like European brands, is less sweet that U.S. counterparts, sometimes. If so, I would like to buy a few bars or more for a stash.

Wilbrod, "limiting access" in my earlier post are the measures that reflect the sensibilities of many mainstream people: parental notification, as is standard with minors and medical procedures; and careful limits on late term, especially partial birth procedures. My experience on the notion that people don't help women in crisis pregnancies is that I know lots of people who help in a variety of ways from providing free medical care, housing, counseling, and other supportive practical measures. Anecdotal? Yes. I also will say that teaching on a college campus afforded me several opportunities to simply say, "oh my. Would you like to talk? What would help you today?"

The situations you mention are heartbreaking. At the risk of sounding wonky, I think on the ideas of many legal theorists who agree that when we develop laws overmuch in response to singular cases, we may find the laws less helpful for typical cases. I say this as a comment about the larger picture, but not as a slap about those personal tragedies.

I appreciate that the boodle has permitted a civil yet small side discussion about a deeply divisive question of law and morality.

I expect that many disagree with me, quite strongly. I understand and respect this. Thank you for the reserve and civility.

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

Catching up, as usual. As I've said here before, I have no love lost for Mitt. He lived here for many years, made tons of money in venture capital, then went to Utah and saved the Olympics (with a boatload of taxpayer's money). After living out there for a while, comes back here to claim that this is where he really lives - so he can run for governor. He wins because the democrat running against him ran a very poor campaign. (We here in MA have a habit of electing Republican governors- not sure if it's our way to balance things out a bit, or if all Dems run lousy campaigns for gov.) He no sooner gets elected when it becomes obvious that his sights are set on the White House. The last year he was our governor, he spent 219 days out of state. Once he began campaigning for president, he missed no opportunity to trash Massachusetts. He changed his opinion on almost everything and in the speech when he quit he basically said that a vote for the Democratic nominee would be a vote for the terrorists.

One thing I am very pleased with this year is that none of the remaining candidates of either party comes from a wealthy background. Considering that most of the population in this country struggles financially to varying degrees, I want someone who can empathize with that struggle.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 9, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Our local Metro section this morning is chock-full of news about politicians either in Texas or gearing up for visits here:

From AP: Vice President Dick Cheney is returning this weekend to the South Texas ranch where he accidentally shot Austin attorney and hunting companion Harry Whittington two years ago.

Cheney was supposed to arrive at the 50,000 ranch owned by Anne Armstrong, near the more well-known King Ranch, yesterday, according to Armstrong.

"We have a wonderful quail crop, and he is a fabulous shot," said Armstrong, a former ambassador to Great Britain and adviser to Republican presidents. She is also known for being a longtime Republican confabulator.

It's Cheney's first trip back to the ranch since the Feb. 11, 2006, hunting mishap that sparked a worldwide frenzy of scrutiny and jokes at the vice president's expense--well, actually, jokes aimed directly at the vice president.

Chenye is scheduled to stay through Sunday afternoon, according to press secretary Megan Mitchell. If he peppers anyone during this weekend's visit with his 28-gauge shotgun, Cheney, will, of course, be asked to leave earlier than usual.

She said Whitington hunted at the ranch last year--when Cheney couldn't make his annual trip because of scheduling conflicts--but that Whittington couldn't make it for this weekend's visit. Whittington prefers to remain in an undisclosed location.

In another article, titled, "Bringing It to Texas," Washington correspondent Gary Martin reports that veterans are planning a San Antonio campaign rally for John McCain, according to retired Army Sgt. Maj. Ben Guerrero. There is no indication that McCain will be traveling anywhere near the Armstrong ranch during his trip through the Lone Star State.

In a front-page article on the front of hte Meto section, "Hopefuls prepare for Texas primaries," Martin and reporter Greg Jefferson are somewhat fuzzy about dates and locations, saying Obama and Clinton will probably arrive in the state to campaign some time after the start of the coming week. Clinton's campaign, however, said that she will campaign next Tuesday and Wednesday, with rallies in El Paso and the lower Rio Grande Valley. She is expected to steer clear of the Armstrong Ranch.

According to this article, Obama campaign oficials have reiterated that they have agreed to particpate in at least one debate in Texas, though the details of where and when that event would occur have yet to be finalized. Clinton has suggested a debate in Houston on Feb. 28, with a focus on energy issues.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

And just to get it right? it's pronounced "Joe Louwee" or just plain ol' "Joe Lewis" ?


Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

CP, that website I linked to earlier is for Canadian expats living in the US and includes many of the Chocolates/candy that is not for sale outside Canada. Not sure if it is less sweet, but would definitely closer to British chocolate bars.

Posted by: dmd | February 9, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Still busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger here, though I'm finally down to last dozen backorders -- I can see the light!

Being a Linux freak, I had to laugh at the whole Mac vs. PC analogy regarding the candidates. I'd love to see a candidate who would compare to Linux -- free, reliable, secure and completely open to public scrutiny.

dbG... glad you found me at MintD. Trunkt has been on my list, just haven't had time to send them my stuff. Have you seen I'm set up there, too ( -- they limit you to five items with the free account, but free is free. ;-)

Anyway... back to work here.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Well, DMD, I suppose we could stage a boodle focus group survey event.....I guess that some of the snacks that are more bakery-style would put us in mind of regional treats like:

Dolly Madison (West but not MT in the 70s)
Zingers, especially, with Peanuts advertizing.

and these quite-good thingies back East under the brand
Little Debbie

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

Great big fluffy snowflakes preceding -20 cold front waves!

Rainforest-thanks for telling us about the lion in your living room.

Wow, in the time it took me to type this the snowflakes turned from big fluffy flakes to dandruff. But at least it's not too cold yet.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Peter Max inspired Zingers poster from the 70s with Lucy AND Charley Brown:


Posted by: College Nostalgian | February 9, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Little Debbie Nutty Bars=nectar of the gods
(at about 800 calories a serving)

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


When I have a hard time getting students to show up at a worthy seminar, I often will say, Little Debbie will show....which ones do you prefer?

Swiss Rolls
Nutty Bars

in a dead heat. NO ONE asks for honey buns, in this day of Cinnabon.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 9, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I prefer home-cooked desserts, cakes, candies and pastries, I do occasionally give in to temptation during a road trip and buy a chocolate double-deck Moon Pie, sometimes the yellow (orange/citrus flavored) Hostess Cup Cakes, or if it's going to be a long weekend, a box of hot glazed Krispy Kreme donuts right out of the oven. Tim Horton's will do just fine when I'm in that neck of the woods, too.

That Canuckistani snacky link made me hungry. Mmmmmmm.


Posted by: bc | February 9, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Little Debbies are quite popular in the G household... many of the different kinds of "cakes." Of course, the favorite is the "Swiss Cake Roll."

In a much-discussed taste test in our kitchen, the Little Debbies version beat out Ho Hos and a forgotten generic grocery-store brand.

They are all way too sweet for me. Cloying is the word that comes to mind. But they're nice and cheap and a pleasant surprise for the kids in the lunchbox or backpack.

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

True enjoyment of the honey bun requires mad skills with a microwave or toaster oven that most college students have not yet acquired. Treading that fine line between too hot to handle but not hard as a rock on the outer ring(microwave) or warmed through but not aflame (toaster oven) is not for wimps.

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

May I add they are an occasional snack here.

My kids are so weird.. if I brought home a box of grape tomatoes, a box of red/yellow/orange bell peppers and a box of snack cakes, the box of snack cakes would still be here after the others were empty.

You'll find my kids just as likely to be sitting on the couch mindlessly eating a bag of chopped lettuce as you will with a bag of chips.

So it's my job to make sure there IS a bag of chopped lettuce in the fridge for them to choose. The first time I saw my son doing that my initial response was to want to say, "hey! That's for dinner!" and then I realized how stupid that really was for me to say.

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Homebaked rulz, dear bc. However, the homebaking moments are fleeting and far, aren't they?

However, if your oven will be on this weekend, we shall all arrive by, say, 2PM on Sunday. What else shall we bring?

Posted by: College Parkian | February 9, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

In honor of Dick's trip to texas for some hunting.

And TBG, who needs an energy drink when you got a little Debbies snack instead.I like the oatmeal creme pies.

Off to be bashed at the community meeting regarding gypsy moths. I am so glad my term as environmental chairmen is almost up.

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

Martooni, I think Ron Paul might be the Linux candidate. Absolute minimalist rules, .00005 market share, of no interest to most people, but intense loyalty from a tiny, tiny coterie of admirers.

'Morning, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 9, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of cinnabon- here's a clone recipe from that I have used for years.
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

The dough can by made by hand too. Just follow the usual yeast bread making drill. Also, no need to use "bread machine yeast." Just make sure your yeast hasn't passed its "best if used by" date.

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

Little Debbie is a seductive temptress. Her faux innocence disguises her true nature. She has brought me close to ruin more than once.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Cinnabons! Be gone you unclean temptress of earthly delights! I feel my waist expand even as I read these intoxicating words of temptation.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Why mess around?

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

Jumper-Mr. F likes Entenmanns, but I've never cared for them. To me they always look much tastier than they turn out to be.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

This is why Minnesotans are obsessed with weather- It has dropped 5 degrees here in 10 minutes. I have 17 above and 20 miles west a cousin reports -2F and of course it's headed my way. Yuck.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Your link to the Huffington Post vis-a-vis Cheney's weekend visit to Texas is too, too funny! Especially, when the video "game" is attempted.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Loomis but it was greenwithenvy's link. I am still drooling over the thought of Frosti's cinnabuns.

Posted by: dmd | February 9, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

SCC: greenwithenvy, not dmd

How I need more coffee! We went to see the French film, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" last night. A challenging, difficult, but extemely well-done film. Wonder if it will get the Oscar nod for best foreign flick?

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Fairly well-known poem with Cinnabon in it:

Gate C22 (by Ellen Bass, from "The Human Line," Copper Canyon Press, 2007)

At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other like he'd just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island, like she'd been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.

Neither of them was young. His beard was gray. She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish kisses like the ocean in the early morning, the way it gathers and swells, sucking each rock under, swallowing it again and again. We were all watching -- passengers waiting for the delayed flight to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots, the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn't look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.

But the best part was his face. When he drew back and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter what happened after -- if she beat you or left you or you're lonely now -- you once lay there, the vernix not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman's middle-aged body, her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Loomis-it was not nominated. The arcane,and oft changed, rules of the Academy require that the Foreign Language film be put up from the country from whence it came. Thus, the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, with its American director didn't stand a chance.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Great poem Loomis, thanks.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

good morning, boodle friends. The talk is Little Debbie, and that's just too beautiful for words. You know I love them dearly. And mind you I used the word love in reference to food. You can take it from there.

Just got back in. I had to do the radio program this morning. Hope to get a speaker this week, one that does not cancel out on me.

Enjoy your weekend. I hope the weather is nice where you are, it is lovely here.

Got to go.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 9, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Canned donuts can't be far behind.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 9, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Busy Saturday boodle.
TGB. The Louis in Jos. Louis is pronounced like the Louis in St. Louis or Louis XIV.
I've nevr seen a Ho Ho up here but the Italians in Toronto call the anglos mungacakes because the anglo kids, back in the '50's, had Twinkies in their lunch boxes.

SD. Even Jesus couldn't have resisted a dig like that.

This made me larf 'cause it's true.

Posted by: Boko999 | February 9, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, I think you would be a formidable Oscar opinionator if the ceremony, slated for later this month, does air, provided the writers' strike ends.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

My Mom of the Decade status is still holding... Daughter and I got tickets this morning online for the teen-sensation Jonas Brothers, coming to the Patriot Center at GMU next month.

Got online exactly at 10:00, secured two *excellent* tickets by 10:01 and discovered at 10:03 that they were sold out. Woo hoo!

Almost best part? The Patriot Center is less than 3 miles from my house.

Absolutely best part? I don't have to go!

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! I refuse to buy Little Debbie et al. or have them in the house. Occasionally the Boy and his dad will get a Hostess chocolate cupcake two-pack as a treat, but I notice the Boy doesn't eat much of one. He's more an apple guy. In my rose-colored pre-parenting youth I swore I would always have time to make cookies from scratch. Well, that's true, if by "scratch" you mean taking a spoonful of prepared Nestle's dough and baking it myself. This actually works quite well as we have fewer cookies on hand at any given time, and the ones we eat are fresh and warm.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 9, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Other good snacking for me - frozen cookies and candies: Ho Hos (love that snap of the frozen chocolate outer layer), Three Musketeers/Mikly Way/Snickers, and coming very very soon (yay!), Girl Scout Thin Mints.

The Jonas Bros., oy.


Posted by: bc | February 9, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

All hail the prowess of TBG and the pantry-purity of IM.

TBG, CPBoy wants to see Flogging Molly at Ramshead:
Flogging Molly
The Green 17 Tour
w/ The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band,
The Mighty Stef
Saturday, March 1
Doors 7pm
$23.50 Advance | $25 Day of Show

BUT he does not want to go with me. We shall see.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 9, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Just a note...

I called my husband upstairs to play the Huffington Post's Dick Cheney video game. He started "shooting" before ever seeing a bird--before the quail was flushed out of the bushes, which made the game hang and we had to start over. So typical of a man! Loomispouse claims he had to test the video-game gun out first.

A word of precaution: Wait for the quail to fly before aiming your 28.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Jonas Bros. are *the really big draw* at our ongoing Stock Show and Rodeo.

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

For them what's curious - here's a blog with photos of the actual Trekking Mahlzeiten canned burger, and a blow-by-blow of the eating experience.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Loomis-the only Oscar opinion I ever offer is with regard to original score, and then only because I listen to Andy Trudeau's commentary on NPR in the weeks leading up to the show.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I was just going to complain about how difficult it is to make sure Frostcat#1 gets enough of his prescription diet, and none of the regular stuff, while #s2-4 don't gorge on his prescription food or slip him some of the "good stuff." Which I guess I have now done, but it reminded me of this:

White Whine-a new white person complaint every day of the week.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey everybody.

Beautiful day in the Carolinas. Mr. T and I have worked in the yard. We mowed the leaves in the natural area in front, to make them break down faster, and I sprayed fungicide on the camellias. I should have done that weeks ago.

I don't buy much in the way of snack foods, because I'll eat them if I do. Mr. T likes popscicles so I keep sugar-free ones for him, but they are getting ridiculously expensive. $4.39 for a box! Highway robbery!

We had dinner last night with elder dottir and her SO. I was to bring dessert, so I went to look for ingredients for a brownie sundae, but I saw mint Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and bought those instead. Yum.

Posted by: Slyness | February 9, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, I'd seen bigcartel before, but also when you posted it here. For mintd, I was tracking another jewelry artisan who does this full-time, which helps me find new sites. And there you were in the new shops section :-)

I thought this was a helpful thread about advertising:

Next week I go back to the early am split schedule, which will give me time to go onto more sites myself. Can't wait.

Posted by: dbG | February 9, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Slyness-you remind me of a friend (soon to be promoted to General) who likes to wow the spouses at potluck events with his ice cream torte.

big box of cheap ice cream sandwiches
non-dairy whipped topping
can of real whipped cream

In a 9X13 pan alternate layers of ice cream sandwiches and whipped topping starting and ending with ice cream sandwiches. (the thinner the sandwich the more layers you'll get and the fancier it will look when cut, so get the cheapest you can find!). Top the last sandwich layer with decorative squiggles of the canned whipped cream. Store in freezer until an hour or so before serving, then move to refrigerator. Let stand at room temp until soft enough to serve easily.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

rainforest, thanks for telling us about the Lion Dance. I didn't know they had to do tricks - I've only seen them in parades, but I love them.

Hoping to get to the caucus today. Problems at work, but they will have to wait for me, if I can get out the door.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

frosti - Wow, do I have an acquaintance who's in desperate need of exposure to the White Whine site! She won't quite get the underlying mockery, though. She'll just feel that she's found new soul-mates.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mmmmm, cinnabons...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Deep South Snack of Choice: Moon Pie

With an RC Cola.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 9, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Little Debbies. Yes, I ate a lot of those as a child. And you know, I weighed over 10 pounds at birth, and gained weight from there steadily until about age 22, although I stopped getting taller at age 14. You do the math.

Little Debbie is not my friend. Even though I can't honestly say I don't like her.

I have something important to rant about. I just posted about the Little Debbies so it would seem like I was somewhat sociable. Coming up, unless I get interrupted.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 9, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

CP> "At the risk of sounding wonky, I think on the ideas of many legal theorists who agree that when we develop laws overmuch in response to singular cases, we may find the laws less helpful for typical cases."

Lawyers' expression: hard cases make bad law

Posted by: SonofCarl | February 9, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

My wife and son have a weakness for Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets straight from Philadelphia. Because of egg allergies, my daughter can't eat any of these baked goodies. Her carb of choice is Pop Tarts. (Hard to argue with the classics.)

As I kid I loved Hostess Ding Dongs wrapped in foil. That and the cinnamon rolls my Mom used to make Sunday mornings after church. I think she went through a can of cinnamon a week.

I still find the smell of cinnamon rolls a spiritual experience.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the pack of salted peanuts too, yello.

Frosti, that torte sounds fabulous. And something I could do!

Posted by: Slyness | February 9, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Rant away, kbert -- we're all entitled to an occasional semi-controlled explosion.

[* cues the 1812 Overture *]

You can always say that you were experiencing a mild (if conveniently timed) case of Tourette's Syndrome.

[* cues BTO's "You Ain't Seen Nuttin' Yet" *]

If that doesn't work, just call "umbrage" and say you're on a mission.

[* cues "March of the Valkyries" *]

Myself, I've been swearing at the computer (and it's programmer, moi) most of the morning. Been a while since I've configured Apache Web Server to play nice with PHP and MySQL database. It's been nothing but "./configure --with-madness", "make", "make install", read "make" error messages, install missing package dependencies, rinse, wipe hands on pants, repeat.

But I got it all working. Now working up a new database schema for my fairy door stuff, then (hopefully) bang out a bunch of PHP pages to interface with it, then enter about 6 months of data. I think I'll be slipping off to the shop with a cold Boddington's after that.

[* cues Cheap Trick's, "Surrender" *]

Peace out, babeez :-)

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm ticked off. This article in the New York Times reports that up until fairly recently it was a common belief among DOCTORS that babies cannot feel pain. And even now, the concept is somewhat controversial. Doctors aren't sure, do babies feel pain, or not?


Listen to me, anybody who may be having a baby or a grandbaby anytime in the future. Interview your pediatrician, and ask him/her, point blank, "Can babies feel pain?" If they say ANYTHING other than, "of course they can" --if they say, "Yes, but..." or "Well,..." or "It's been shown that..." feel free to use the following rant that I've been working on since I read this article.

"You are not qualified to treat my baby. You are not even qualified to TOUCH my baby. I don't want you in the same ROOM as my baby. I am sorry that you have to remain on the same PLANET as my baby."

I am horrified to realize that at the time my daughter was born, if she had needed neonatal surgery, chances are that she would have been given "only a paralytic" so she couldn't move, and nothing to stop her from feeling the pain of the surgical procedure.

Whew, this rant is over, but I don't feel better. I am sick about this and will need to read about a hundred articles reassuring me that as of now, all doctors understand that the old belief was wrong--and even then I'll never be completely reassured, just the idea that doctors could be so stupid about something so basic, really freaks me out.

Posted by: kbertocci | February 9, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

KB -- AMEN. CPDOT1's bestest and oldest friend had TWO OPEN HEART SURGERIES, three and six weeks post-birth as a very at-rick premie. She is now 25. That news about babies and pain -- CURARE! was the paralytic, and nary even a Tylenol drip to go with --started to leak out when our daughters were toddlers. Her mother saw the article in the WaPo paper version probably in 1985 or so. She wept and wept and wept about what her daughter endured.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Those people were nuts. I can't imagine being around an infant for any length of time and having any question about whether they can feel pain. Their reactions show it. What did those doctors think the babies were - surprised?

Time to acquire implements of history project creation, requiring a trip to the crafts store (shudder), then skateboarding! in our unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 9, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I've never heard of this "babies don't feel pain" guano. Any doctor who ascribes to that nonsense has got to be a quack.

If babies didn't feel pain, why would they cry over things like diaper rash, indigestion, or being mauled by the pet ferret?

I say that any doctor who believes in and spreads this farcicle notion should be subjected to prodding with hot irons and pummeling with sledgehammers.

My experience, limited to Little Bean, is that if it hurts, it hurts -- no bones about it. If it didn't, all those shots and vaccinations should never have elicited a single tear, let alone blood-curdling screams.

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm right with you, kber. No excuse whatsoever for THAT stupidity.

I remember when my brother was born in 1961, they gave him bourbon when he was circumcised. That I could deal with.

Of course, the whole history of medical intervention in childbirth is full of procedures that did harm. Does the name Semmelweis ring a bell?

With me, it was the episiotomy with my first baby. Absolutely refused to consider it with my second, and the doctors then wouldn't have me as a patient. I found a woman OB/GYN and was fine.

Posted by: Slyness | February 9, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I realize that NYTimes article wanders all over and talks a lot about whether *fetuses* can feel pain, which is only a slightly different question, in my opinion. For people who don't want to read the whole article, here's a passage:

"...He finds "outrageous" the suggestion that the fetus feels anything like the pain that an older child or an adult experiences. 'A fetus is biologically human, of course,' he says. 'It isn't a cow. But it's not yet psychologically human.' That is a status not bestowed at conception but earned with each connection made and word spoken. Following this logic to its conclusion, Derbyshire has declared that babies cannot feel pain until they are 1 year old. His claim has become notorious in pain-research circles, and even Derbyshire says he thinks he may have overstepped. 'I sometimes regret that I pushed it out quite that far, he concedes. 'But really, who knows when the light finally switches on?'"

Posted by: kbertocci | February 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's a humor website cited in the NYT.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | February 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the "light switches on" the first time you say or otherwise realize "ouch".

I don't know if this happens at the fetal stage, but I do know that when they smack a newborn's bottom right after birth, the little bugger cries and screams. Sure, the baby may be "surprised" by the smack, but so would me or you. The question is whether it hurts. I tend to think that a smack to the bottom would hurt.

Just curious... is the jackass behind this theory in line for a Bush appointment? If so, I wouldn't be surprised. This falls into the 6000 year-old Earth and the "teaching abstinence is enough to prevent unwanted pregnancies" schools of thought.

Sometimes I just want to drop my pacifist gloves and beat the living guano out of the idiots OTHER people elected for me. Then I want to beat the guano out of the people who ELECTED those idiots.

If it weren't for the ideocrats-in-charge and their stupid monkey/sheep-supporters, sanity and reason just might stand a chance.

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Counselor SofCarl: Jurisprudential philosophers are wordy, lawyers succinct. Usually.

The talk of treats made me do this for CPboy and friends: shortbread cookie dough balls, embossed with large chocolate chips. Easy. Rich. At this moment, I am MomoftheBlock. However, JN's homemade chicken pot pie shall displace me this evening. CPBoy hopes for an invitation.

BTW, he just rode off on my auxiliary back-up bike: lumbering women's Huffy three speed from the 70s, with white sidewall tires. He did not make a deal about the gal-bar, nor did his two side- kick comrades. Either boys are truly liberated now or they do not recognize the lowered bar as proto-typically female.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 9, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

kb, I don't want to read the article. I figure ants and spiders feel pain - never knew it was a question for babies, or even fetuses past a certain stage. Yikes.

Good article here about the prez candidates and WA caucuses.

I'm determined to go, even though there is a system down. The vendor hasn't shown up in 9 hours, so I figure a few more hours if they have to wait for me won't hurt. All I can do is check things out once it's back up anyway (looks like a power suppy failed).

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Maggie - I enjoyed 'Cracked' magazine, along with 'Mad', when I was a kid. Great subversive stuff. I just discovered their website fairly recently myself. Still great subversive stuff!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Snow at the summit right now, possibly still snowing. Not all our guys are awake yet (we had a late night of instrument-preparation.

There's a largely-British film crew here right now in the dormitory main building, filming a documentary for National Geographic. They're talking about the high-tech equipment operating the telescopes, so I guess this is a little background bit. The on-camera guy, Richard Hammond (having googled him from his appearance on the British science-humor show Brainiac, I now know that bc probably recognizes his name) is playing with the darts and the pool tables for the camera. A little about "life of the astronomer", I guess. Being British, his dart-throwing was probably 10 times better than mine, at birth. I fear checking on the results of his throwing.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 9, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

TBG, Loowee as boko said. Sorry to extend the snack cake discussion. I don't know if it's possible to add more sugar than we already have in some of those snacks, they are saturated. Most of them things are the perfect storm of stuff bad for you; trans fat, highly refined flour and high fructose corn syrup. Yummy. As a practising diabetic I have shorn them for years. But right now Mrs. Denizen home-made sablés are mightily tempting. They are small round cookies with a layer of the mother-in-law's rasberry jam between sablé wafers. The top wafer has a hole in it like a doughnut, except for one imperfect one Witch no. 2 had to destroy by eating it. Very little sugar except in the jam so I'll allow myself one later.
The Fungi and his 2 usual acolytes are just back from a night in the woods and maybe 20 miles of snowshoeing, as they often do. Their red eyes were a sure sign they had already it the "appetizers" and I had to interpose myself between the cookie box and the boys to salvage some for the rest of the family.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 9, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The Hamster on top of Mauna Kea? Cool. Don't let him drive you down that twisty road though.
I would fax Tim a snowblower but I need it. Snow yesterday, snow today and snow forecasted for tomorrow. We are fripping buried.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 9, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Sci Tim, you're going to be famous! Or at least notorious.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. I guess this is the law of unintended consequences in action.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hotel Mauna Kea has had over 35,000 views. It's high time YouTube featured it. (pun intended)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

and in sports parity for girls

"MOOSE LAKE, Minn. (CBS) ― The Moose Lake Police Department is investigating a fight during a high school hockey game that temporarily left a girl partially paralyzed.

Kim Ergen, 15, of Moose Lake was among those vying for a puck in front of the International Falls net in the final seconds of a Jan. 26 game.

A fight ensued, punches were allegedly thrown and Kim Ergen lay motionless on the ice once the period expired. No penalty was called on the play."

Which leads to a point I've been meaning to bring up-people who think a woman Commander in Chief would be less likely to use armed forces than a man, just because she is a woman, should probably use another criteria to make their voting decision.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

frosty... I have yet to meet a woman who wouldn't at least seriously consider the use of armed force (or any force) when given the chance, be she "Commander In Chief" or the lovely and oh-so-beautiful-and-never-ever-wrong Mrs. M who happens to be looking over my shoulder right now.

I've been beaned with enough crockery and other household items typically considered inocuous (until thrown with the intent to kill, maim or otherwise get the target to just shut up) to know better.

I'm all for "girl power" -- as long as us guys get complimentary bunkers, body armor and reasonably adequate legal defense.

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Note to Mudge from the San Francisco Chronicle February 2008
//2006 Charles Shaw California Shiraz ($2) One reader recently noted: "The wine snobs just can't stand the fact that Two Buck Chuck tastes just as fine as a $100 bottle." For many people, this is actually true. An underreported corollary to Yale professor Linda Bartoshuk's theory of "supertasters" - people whose taste buds are more acute than others - is that as much as a quarter of the population may be "nontasters" who have trouble distinguishing flavors. That's a lot of people who would be wasting their money spending $100 on wine; all of them should drink Charles Shaw ("Two Buck Chuck") every night. This wine's still a steal: You have to spend more than three times as much to get something better, and not many products can make that boast. Charles Shaw wines vary a lot by vintage and also by bottle; in past years I have preferred the Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. At $2, you can afford to try all, then buy truckloads of the best. This one fooled some of my friends on Thanksgiving into thinking it was a Cotes du Rhone, with its tart red currant and plum flavors with floral and earthy notes. And let's face it, you can't even buy a latte in this town for two bucks.//

Posted by: bh | February 9, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

... not that I'm "whipped" or anything.

I still have my ZZ-Top-ish beard and my very own workshop to play in.

Any guy who lives with a woman who routinely watches the Lifetime Channel knows that his bed is just as flammable as the next guy's.

Let's just say I live at the intersection of Pragmatic Boulevard and Survival Street.

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I do indeed recognize Richard Hammond. Brainiac, and for me, of course Top Gear (with Very Cool Dude Tiff Needell).

If you talk to him, please give him my regards. That guy's lucky to be alive after a jet car he was driving blew out at tire and crashed at 300 mph or so (that's not a typo) a couple of years ago. I seem to remember that he doesn't like talking about the crash, so probably best not to bring it up.

Anyway, *Tim, enjoy your time snowed in on the Summit with Hammond, I'm sure he's got some great stories. I'd love to spend a few hours (and a few pints) talking cars and science with you guys.


Posted by: bc | February 9, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, thanks for that, bh.

Loomis, that was a very nice poem (wish I'd written it).

And what do you know? Huckabee has kicked McCain's butt in the Kansas GOP caucus! Seems Kansas doesn't give a darn who has it all wrapped up; they want to make a statement.

Padouk, I, too, share your wife's addiction to Tastycake butterscotch crimpets. My addidiction is at least 57 years old. Maybe older.

Posted by: Cyrmudgeon | February 9, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

bh - as a reformed wine snob I think there is much truth in the assertion that the correlation between price and taste is weak.

The best way to purchase wine is to attend a lot of wine tastings until you determine your personal taste - which need not be expensive. Then take some time to investigate other wines made with the same grape, from the same region, or in the same style.

One day, when the offspring are all educated, I will once again become familiar with the world of wine. (Which has changed tremendously in the 17 years since I was a fixture at the local wine store.)

My wife has been warned.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mudge! I figgered you would be no stranger to the charms of Tastykake.

It's a PA thing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Like mother's milk, Padouk. Those krimpets and either apple or cherry pie. My brother's addiction was those chocolate-covered peanutbutter things.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 9, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Just a note about the power of the Internet before I start shutting things down here at the Community Technology Center (I've been subbing for the manager today.) It is now -4F here with the windchill calculated at -27. I have 5 patrons using the computers and they all walked to get here. This is not like we're in town. If you stand at the window you can see the highway, and trees-no one here has less than a half mile walk.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, their chocolate cupcakes. I can still taste that icing...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 9, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, do the words "Sweetzels, Chipzels and Tritzels" mean anything to you or your wife?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 9, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey - if anyone is really interested in wine, this is a great place to start:

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

It's all too much. Set off cravings for an apricot pie. I have the dry apricots slowly simmering to doneness in a water and orange-pineapple juice mix. Sugar and spices will be added soon to the filling. I almost bought filo to make the crust, but thought better of it and got frozen premade crusts. I had better go check on it. Soon it will be assembled.

Posted by: Jumper | February 9, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Pi day is approaching, for anyone who cares.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

kb.. Dr. G says babies can feel pain but they can't remember it. But you also have to know that he was the person who decided that our son would not be... er.. you know.. have his.. you know... cut... when he was born. For that exact reason.

And speaking of that, kind of... I have to relate an instant-messaging conversation I just had with him...

>Me: someone mentioned Zeus so I said, "My son still hasn't forgiven me for not naming him Zeus."

EXCEPT I wrote..

My son still hasn't forgiven me for not naming his Zeus.

And much hilarity ensued

>Son of G: that is what i call it

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I believe that what the young hockey player experienced is known in some circles as a "stinger". Scary stuff! Been there, done it, very bad thoughts run through your mind while you're laying there unable to move. The doctor said I should try to avoid it 'cuz it sure ain't good for you.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I love to bake pies and pastries buns bread and cookies, but the only kind of cake I can bake is pound cake. Start off looking for a nice poppy seed chiffon? Pound cake. Lemon Angel food? Pound cake. I do cakes about like I spell.

Kerric is a very good baker of pies. Stickman bakes great buns. Only son3 has never found a baked speciality.

Posted by: dr | February 9, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

dr - In theory, my specialty is yeast breads in flavors and proportions I've never tried before, because I like the challenge. In practice, I'm seldom bold enough to depend on them as my only option for guests, because my success:failure rate is probably only just over 4:1 on initial attempts. Even the failures are typically edible, but that's not exactly the same as "guestworthy".

Posted by: Bob S. | February 9, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Top selling wines of Youngstown, Ohio:

4. Wild Irish Rose: A fruity wine with toxic waste undertones. Best served chilled in a brown paper bag while sitting under a bridge over the Mahoning River watching bodies float by.

3. Thunderbird: Supposedly a chardonay-ish or otherwise "white" wine, T-bird is known as the nectar of those whose tastebuds have shriveled up (or no longer have any desire whatsoever to be included in "polite" company).

2. Boone's Farm: Doesn't pack the punch of the other contenders, but it *is* cheap and if you drink enough of it, you'll come to the conclusion that any wine consumed in massive quantities is just fine (until you dash to the bathroom to kneel before your porcelain god).

1. MD 20/20: If you want to puke in plaid, buy yourself a few pints of this nuclear Kool-Aid and get some Taco Bell carryout. I can say (from personal experience) that good old Mad Dog is "Da Bomb" when it comes to a cheap way to forget your name, where you live, or whether you have any outstanding warrants that should motivate you to avoid law enforcement peoples.

Posted by: martooni | February 9, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention that I, too dig the Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpets.


Speaking of PA bakeries, I also like Entemann's donuts.
Especially the dark chocolate/yellow cake, though the Coffee Cake dounts are pretty good, too.

Is it wrong to like the Hostess Apple Pie as much as the McDonald's hot apple pie?

Wow, I'm thinking of lots of stuff I haven't eaten in *years*...


Posted by: bc | February 9, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Son of Carl, I agree. But I don't think there is an easy case when it comes to abortion.

Under U,S. law, people need to be notified of the risks of surgery or other dangerous medical procedures so they can have informed consent. That my friend had two abortions and had no idea that it could have affected her fertility until over a decade after the fact indicates a problem.

For me, this seems to be the easy point. Anybody undergoing an abortion should get counselling on the probable risks based on their medical history, whether a teenager or an married woman, and answer a questionnaire to screen for possible unidentified medical risks such as a prospenity to bleed, prior history of head injury, unsafe relationships at home.

Right now my HMO actually asks this question at every visit-- do you feel unsafe in any relationships at home? It's done so by law.

To require parental notification of medical procedures brings up the whole mess of parental rights versus patient privacy issues.

Do minors have NO right to medical privacy from their parents? What if abuse is suspected? Will this lead to kids lying about being abused just so their parents don't find out?

For this reason, I don't think parental notification laws are necessarily well thought-out. It's a overly simple legal solution.

And how does it work? MUST the doctor phone the parents immediately? Can the doctor be sued if the doctor decides to handle the patient first and calm her first before calling the parents?

The real problem with the abortion idea is that the pregnancy is often NOT disclosed to the parents in the first place either.

Why isn't there a law for that? How many infanticides per year of newborns by minors would be prevented by such laws?

Check out this paper:

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

martooni, I'm so laughing at your wine list because in my lifetime I've consumed everyone of those brands. And MD20/20 has to be just the most awful one out of the whole bunch. Drinking that stuff takes away memory and everything else. That was my husband's favorite wine. Before he died, none of it helped the pain from the cancer that took his life. And he had a closet full.

I thank God through Christ, that I no longer have that taste.

Those Tastycakes are good. I love the cupcakes too, Mudge.

Whose cooking yeast bread? Can you fax me some?

I see we're taking a break from politics to talk about food. You go, boodle.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 9, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, I too had to laugh at your wine list. Haven't thought of many of those in years.

The cheap wine of choice when I was in HS was a horrendous brew called Bali Hai. Also a vodka/orange drink called Tango. And we used to have chugging contests with Boone's Farm (apple, never strawberry).

Can't believe all our livers didn't just give up the ghost.

Posted by: TLF | February 9, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

A voter's eye view of the Nebraska dem caucus. I followed this a bit today, as best could be done since (what, can't anyone in Nebraska live blog?!!) I was forced away from c-span of an afternoon. (I'll have some gouda with that white whine)

Posted by: frostbitten | February 9, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Happy Saturday. Happy to see Martooni and Cassandra and CP and all.

Posted by: daiwanlan | February 9, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, some of our livers did!

Posted by: CC | February 9, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I ran the "Sweetzels, Chipzels and Tritzels" bit past my wife but she doesn't recall them. Where they, perhaps, before her time? If so I imagine her parents might now them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I went to my caucus today - and the SA who was working the system problem went to his too. I told him he should, as the vendor still hadn't shown up. Anyway, it was kind of chaotic and disorganized. Lots of people, crammed into a middle school cafeteria. The woman sitting next to me was telling about the 2004 caucus, which was held at the bowling alley. Seemed to be mostly an Obama crowd. My precinct wound up with 4 delegates for Obama, one for Clinton. Those folks go to the county convention in April, I guess.

I took my knitting along - wound up spending 2 hours there, and left before it was all over, so I don't know how the whole district or whatever wound up. It was interesting and fun to meet people from the neighborhood.

The Times and PI both have stories "live" from the caucuses:

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 9, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

At this moment, I am watching a TV camera on the roof of the telescope building (well, the signal from the camera) as a member of the observatory staff is up there trying to free the ice from a window covering the camera. She's about 8 stories above ground on an ice-covered flat roof. I need to get them to take me up there some time. Unfortunately, this camera is not available on the web.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 9, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Omygod. Jim Zorn is the new coach of the Washington Redskins. I have no idea if this will work out or not, but for me, who remembers him as the QB of the Seahawks during the Carter Administration, it is pretty cool.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 9, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: With a rating of 100% from the HSUS, Clinton would not be the Democratic candidate of choice in Nebraska, NOR in Texas.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Re: Two Buck Chuck

The quality varies dependent on where the grapes/wine were purchased. The ultimate case of YMMV.

The drill is to purchase one of each varietals offered, open quickly and for those found suitable, run back and purchase a case or two.

People coming from a distance have been known to pop the cork in the parking lot, I am much more discreet. I drive the five miles home, sample, and have husband drive me back to purchase a case of the stuff I pronounce good.

Posted by: Pacifica | February 9, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting paper on kinship and fertility; some cousins are far more than kissing cousins...

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The article on pain was very well researched. I will comment that there is considerable evidence to indicate that stress experienced by the mother can translate into altered neurology in the offspring-- in humans, dogs, etc.

In fact if you stress a pregnant dog during the final couple weeks of its pregnancy, the puppies WILL be born anxious and fearful, no matter what the genetic temperament is. I believe some autism comes from similar reasons-- premature birth, etc, and there is a certain window when that occurs, so you have the paradoxical situation where babies born much more premature may do better than babies born only slightly premature.

I just saw this latest one:

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC is calling both Washington and Nebraska for Obama.

Posted by: Pacifica | February 9, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Snack cakes and bad wine. What great conversation.

Does anyone remember Hop 'n Gator? That's what we drank in high school, if we drank at all. Came in cans like beer... kind of a fruity beer, I guess.

We didn't really drink much back then, even though we were old enough at 18. We were more of the test-pilot kind of student.

Jim Zorn? Cool. It's so surprising that we didn't end up with an already proven bad head coach. A nice change.

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Howdy all
Martooni your wine list brings back some old memories and I was LMAO.

And I just got from dinner at a neighbors with real cake and they passed around a bowl of homemade frosting to boot.

I am happy to say that the gypsy moth vote went in my favor.We had three good ole boys from the WV dept of Agriculture show up with answers to everyone's questions.

Jim Zorn? I like him and think he will do well, oh and by the way. I am pretty sure that the Ravens will be playing the Redskins in Baltimore next year.

Oh and one final thought.

You people are the best!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 9, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama will say tomorrow on 60 Minutes;
"We're not going to fabricate things. We're not going to try to distort or twist her positions."

This is hypocritical. He's already done it.

- "hit job" on Bill Clinton
- Press release slanting Hill & Bill NH remarks as
anti-Af/American, confirmed by Tim Russert
- "Harry & Louise" mailer twisting Hillary's health
care proposal

Above are documented at -

Posted by: RG | February 9, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Jim Zorn?

Cool, I remember him in Seattle, throwing a gazillion passes to former Congressman Steve Largent.

To your point, TBG, at least it's not Fassel or Mooch. Or a college coach...


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

greenie, glad to hear the Gypsy Rose Lee, er, Moth, thing went well today.

That Washington at Baltimore game should be an interesting Battle of the Rookie Head Coaches, too.


Posted by: bc | February 9, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

We've been Tivo'ing the old western TV show Bat Masterson. Gene Barry as the fancy dude gunfighter. We're also watching Big Valley these days. Lots of fun to watch, and best of all.. no commercials!

Back when the west was very young,
There lived a man named Masterson.
He wore a cane and derby hat,
They called him Bat, Bat Masterson.

Posted by: TBG | February 9, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

howdy, all.

mostlylurking, it's a four-way race among the repubs in your state and huckabee is currently winning. any comment?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 9, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

(other than that you had nothing to do with it, of course.)

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 9, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

And mostlylurking, today the caucuses were held in the Evergreen State, but doesn't your state hold a wide-open primary on Feb. 19? Thought I read that somewhere...

Posted by: Loomis | February 9, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

RG, who needs to do a hit job on Bill Clinton when Kenneth Starr already did it?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

TLF: Tango was a staple item on the sidelines of many an athletic match during my college days upstate. Tango Tequila Sunrise is a mind eraser.

Sen. Obama is on a roll. FWIW, the Clinton campaign has succeeded in winning the delegates in the big states, however, has been taken to the woodshed everywhere else. It was a shrewd move to leave her name on the ballot in Michigan. The DNC has a real problem on their hands in the form of the delegates that were chosen in Mi. and Fla. in favour of Sen. Clinton, whose campaign staff won't give them up without a very public fight. I'd like to be the proverbial fly dropping in on the discussions that lead to a resolution of this conundrum.

Posted by: jack | February 9, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

TBG: Four words = classic TV westerns: Maverick and The Rifleman. Wanted Dead or Alive wasn't bad either. By the time I saw these as a child ('63 ish), however, they had been in syndicaton for a long time.

Posted by: jack | February 9, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

If I was in Michigan and Florida, I'd be demanding a new primary before the votes could be counted.
The only hope of resolution is for Obama to get a big enough lead to rule out those states, or get enough delegates to get the nomination. I'm calling Texas for Obama, by the way.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 9, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Pssst! Get your Tastykakes here!

Anyone who's really going through withdrawal should drop me a line and we'll work it out. They're really cheap by the box (if you just want 1 kind) and should ship well. If you want an assortment, I'll throw one together.

Butterscotch Krimpets, yeeeessss, but didn't they used to have a jelly-filled one with coconut frosting? Can't tell you because I avert my gaze when I pass a display.

Posted by: dbG | February 9, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Just visited Tastykakes website.

Almost everything is sold by the case, >80 items a case. Spending $95.99 on Tastykakes just seems wrong, especially when they don't have jelly krimpets anymore!

I think I've sent people boxes of 12 before. . .

Posted by: dbG | February 9, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Significant Obama sweep, by 2-1, 2-1, and 3-2. Very impresssive.

However, it looks like he's not the only one: it looks like Huckleberry is winning all three of his states. This surprises me quite a lot: not only are the McCain haters not giving up, they are not giving up with a vengence.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 9, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't bet on another round of voting in either Michigan nor Florida, Wilbrod. This article posted earlier on the front page suggests that the costs and logistical hurdles are formidable. Interesting that you're calling Texas for Sen. Obama. I was thinking that the support Sen. Clinton received from the HIspanic community in California would be similar in Texas. I was surprised that my sister, residing in Roch., NY, voted for Sen. Clinton. I spoke to her about a week before the primary there and she seemed disinclined to cast a vote for Clinton, but ultimately did so. She felt like the the Senator's experience and generally positive reputation with foreign heads of state were a plus.

Posted by: jack | February 9, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

D@mn, I had Vinny Testeverde in the pool.

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

I pine for the days of the fruity wine coolers. Bartle and Jaymes were my two best drinking buddies. I had some friends over tonight and cracked open a bottle of Kweichow Moutai rice wine that was given to me as gift in China.

For the record, rice wine is neither. This stuff was 106 proof and peeled paint from across the room. Nobody other than me took more than one shot. That bottle will last a long time.

The dark and stormy drinks went over much better. A shot of Black Seal Rum and half a can of ginger beer over ice. Only the box only came with two cans of ginger beer. A reliable source of good ginger beer has been one of my quests for decades. And don't send me to Trader Joes. The brands they carry are mediocre at best.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 10, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

There's a few weeks left to March 4, Jack.

Texas is a state unto itself in many ways, even in how it votes.

This rally last year was interesting:

So, shall Joel be in Texas or Ohio in the next few weeks?

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 10, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

What makes you think you know gee from haw, as far as Texas is concerned?

Posted by: Loomis | February 10, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Finally checking back in. Got one problem at work fixed, then another system crashed. Sigh. Then I had to get away from computers for awhile.

Yes, McCain barely beat out Ron Paul here! Huckabee was ahead in the early returns,but really it was almost a 4-way tie. I have no explanation, especially for why anyone would vote for a candidate that has dropped out. Ron Paul has had lots of support from younger voters here.

WA state does have a primary on the 19th. The Dems won't use it at all for choosing delegates; the Reps will choose half their delegates based on its results. I'm going to send in my ballot anyway - and I'd rather have a primary. Caucuses are too confusing, time-consuming, and keep too many people from participating. I could easily have had a work-related problem that would have prevented me from going. It's hard for elderly people, people with kids. Kind of a crazy way to do things, especially with a big turnout.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 10, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

SCC - candidate who - a thousand apologies.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 10, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - That your friend was not notified of the surgical risks was an instance of malpractice, not a lack of proper regulation.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 10, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, you'll just have to be sure to prove me wrong, Loomis. Go out and campaign for Clinton, since you're obviously passionate about her as a candidate.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 10, 2008 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Loomis - I'm not trying to be aggressive here, but I'm genuinely curious:

Why question Wilbrod's gee-from-haw knowledge about Texas? Maybe she just knows some things about Obama and/or Clinton and/or national political trends at the moment.

Heck, I'll make a firm prediction about Texas right now, and be prepared to take all of the resultant ridicule if I'm wrong:

Some Texas-resident blog contributor will be unhappy with something said by someone else on this blog very soon!

Posted by: Bob S. | February 10, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

For anyone interested in super delegates - here's a website. (Clinton, Clinton and Obama are SD's.)

Posted by: ot | February 10, 2008 5:06 AM | Report abuse

good morning, friends. well, i see the night went by with talk of cakes, wines, and politics, with the resulting fist thrown in for fun. i assume it was for fun, not serious. ah, don't you love the achenblog? i mean it just does not get any better than this. oops, that's a commercial isn't it?

time for me and the g-girl to get ready for sunday school and church. her mom came to church last sunday, maybe she will this sunday too. it would be nice.

i hope you're planning on giving some time to God this day. that would be nice too.

and your weekend is going good? the weather here is so fantastic. not too warm, and not too chilly, and blue sky galore. just really bright and care free, makes one want to hugged the day, and never let go.

mudge, slyness, scotty, martooni, just because it's sunday is no excuse for not showing up,get a move on guys. and good morning to all. *waving*

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 10, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

*grumble, grumble, mumble, scratching*

'Morning, Cassandra.

*mumble, grumble, heading toward the bathroom*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I see from the paper Hillary's going to be just up the road in Bowie later today, while Bill is even closer, in Upper Marlboro, just up the road. (Both are in PG County, the wealthiest majority-black county in the U.S. I don't know what the strategy is, but she's gonna get hammered there, and in Maryland generally.)

Meanwhile, Obama's got a rally tomorrow in the same county, in CP's namesake town of College Park, home of the U. of Md. Talk about the heart of Obama territory.

Right at this minute Russert is saying Obama leads in elected delegates. He's also predicting Obama with a 53-27 lead in Virginia.

Grrrr. Now he's just ticked me off by saying "No one" had predicted this deadlocked, week-by-week, day-by-day battle all the way to the convention. Ahem, ahem, ahem.

TV now saying you northern plains states folks are getting a chilly snap. After what you've been reporting the last couple of weeks, I gotta ask what a "cold snap" looks like to you guys. No, don't tell me--I don't wanna know!

*faxing firewood and long johns to everyone in the Deep North*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if either Bill or Hillary will be stopping by Clinton today? If they're in Upper Marlboro and Bowie, they're a short drive away off of Rts 301 and Rt 5 there (also a short hop off of the Beltway near Andrews AFB)...

Wilbrod, I think you're as entitled to guess about Texas as anyone. After all, you *did* live and work Washington DC for a while.

Pah, I didn't have Zorn in the pool either. I had Sammy Baugh (I hear Danny *loves* that guy).


Posted by: bc | February 10, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

On Friday I gave a general dispensation for students to see Obama rather than come to class. However, they must write a paragraph for me about the event.

The event was moved from classic, classy Cole Field House to the cavernous and corporate and cold dome that is Comcast Center. (we used to sled down that perfect hill, but, alas, no more)

Cole events include

Elvis Presley,
Simon and Garfunkel and
Aretha Franklin;
Olga Korbut, AND
Chinese-US Ping Pong tourney, which may have been the first sporting interaction with China and US ever.

And this b-ball story from 1965 in which a DeMatha team beat Powers Memorial, led by Lew Alcindor.

I taught for a few years in one of the curious classrooms off the back of Cole: robust classic interior with lacquered wooden flip seats, ceiling with exposed steam infra-structure, and the elixir of floor wax, oiled wood, Ben-gay, popcorn, and the subtle undernote of mansweat plus sneaks.

FOOTNOTE: U2 did NOT play Cole; they filled Ritchie Coliseum, another venerable building on campus where most of us will vote in the Potomac primary.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

STEEL INFRASTRUCTURE....steam infrastructure? Coffee, more.

Posted by: College Loopeyian | February 10, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

I think I'll keep my thoughts regarding Texas to myself. When I was a young'un, we had a neighbor from Houston who could never say anything about anything without having to insert a comment about how everything is bigger and better in Texas. I'm sure not everyone from Texas has such a superiority complex, but then again...

Mudge... send some of that firewood my way (I'm good on the longjohns). We're not having the sub-zero stuff, but it's not exactly shorts weather here.

btw... Frank Rich has a pretty good piece this morning on the Clinton vs. Obama thing -- and how Hill & Bill's tactics are not just costing her votes, but exacerbating the rift within the Dem party.

Wow... I just used "exacerbating" in a sentence without even flinching or trying to sound smarter than I am. And I don't even have the "increase your vocabulary" shower curtains Joel wrote about a while back.

Off to the shop now... need my daily dose of sawdust, lacquer fumes and cursing.

Posted by: martooni | February 10, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I suppose a link to Rich's article would be nice:

[* really off to the shop now... *]

Posted by: martooni | February 10, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think you know this about subregions in PG, but here goes.

My region -- inner Beltway, older "suburban" but really urban in demographics -- does not count so much money or powerwise.

Power centers are in Bowie and Mitchellville. Hil's visit to Bowie, rather than frank-Mitchellville may be a play to the strength of soccer moms, many of them white. Jack Johnson -- soulness conniver that the WaPo finds reason to slap editorial-wise at least four times per year -- went for Hil, but I believe that black-power PG will go for Obama times seven.

I wonder about the Latino vote, however, I do not the the registration is high....

Posted by: Colllege Parkian | February 10, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

-18F, without the windchill (which I don't want to know), waves. Grrrrr...

Mr. F called this morning with a post race report from the Gasparilla half-marathon in Tampa. He ran both the 5k and 15k yesterday, his usual routine for this event, and after running 13+ miles today thinks he made his goal of averaging 8 minute miles over the 3 races. He was rather dejected though as he was beaten by Admiral Olson, SOCOM commander, who his 8 years his senior. In actual fact he expected to be bested by Olson who is a good deal shorter and lighter than Mr. F, and is training to run the Boston marathon this April. But, as he put it "I didn't expect him to beat me while he was guiding a blind guy!" The admiral did indeed serve as a guide, for a former SEAL who was blinded in Iraq.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. Just a drive-by for the purposes of salutations and then off to church. Thanks to all for well wishes to my MIL. She's still in the hospital for the purposes of rehydration and observation, and none the worse for wear and tear, excepting the broken arm.

Posted by: jack | February 10, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Mornin All
Off to baltimore today for some winter birthday's and some duckpin bowling.

Also I am green with envy that the canidates are making appearances all over your area. I sure hope they come to West By God in May.

Stay warm today everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 10, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

My fun project today is editing about 16 hours of home movies down to something watchable. The movies cover 1991 to 2001 - the golden decade of progenical cuteness. I stopped videotaping the kids in 2001 because the screams of protest began to rob the process of its charm.

My decision to do this editing now, after seven years of successful procrastination, is partly driven by technical obsolescence. The movies are on 8mm tape, and if I don't get them ported over to something digital now, they may very well be lost for all eternity.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

RD, don't think about editing it down, think about breaking it up into a mini-series a la Ken Burns.

All you need to do is watch all of it, then write and record 16 hours' worth of narration...


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

I'll tell you something said on this blog that I'm unhappy with--the use of some language. Gwen Ifill had some fasinating comments this morning on Russert's program about the use of language and code words and its interpretation by blacks and women in the two Democratic camps.

The guy from MSNBC who said that Chelsea was being p1mped out [makes me quite upset] by the Clintons has now been suspended from his job.

Last night jack mentioned that Clinton was being taken to the woodshed by Obama. Indeed, these words can be used as a metaphor, from the link below (and given that there were two caucuses last night and a primary in the South and the contest is far from over, we return, unfortunately, to Russert's word, "humiliation"): "A countermetaphor. A woodshed story. A self-inflicted public humiliation."

Given the amount of violence against women, both domestic and as shown in so many types of media, one must recall from the situation what is the basis of the metaphor:

"Wood shed beating" is derived from being punished for an especially egregious offense by your Dad. He would take you to the wood shed and hit you with a switch.

As far as Frank Rich and his column today, I'm tempted to go to our branch library and see if his memoir "Ghost Lights," is in the sytem and check it out, to learn more about what happened to him when he was seven and its impact on him. Perhaps his own personal "Civil War"?

As far as Texas, there is interesting, fascinating material to consider. Including articles about Texas and the Dems and how they might vote on March 4, articles in today's paper, which I have yet to read. I have several links that I can pass along, about Texas media and Texas psychographics, not from today's paper. I haven't heard Wilbrod mention anything substantive about Texas itself, inside the state's borders, except her prediction.

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

RD.. edit if you must, but please also copy ALL the video onto your digital medium. Years from now you're going to want to see all of it, not just the "good stuff."

"Remember that old wallpaper?!" and hearing voices of long-gone relatives are the parts that are precious in years to come. Believe me... I've spent enough time now going over old pictures and and video and hoping to hear small burst of my parents' voices. I'm thankful we're not good editors or scrapbookers around here.

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

On a side (ahem) note, I saw this by Pamela Druckerman in today's Outlook section:

"If I have to get old, I want to do it in Paris.

It's not because of the dank weather, the constant personal snubs or a fetish for unpasteurized cheese. It's because, quite frankly, I'd like to keep having sex."

As a man of a certain age, there's little I can say here that couldn't be open to misinterpretation, but suffice it to say that this, er, piece, put me in mind of Ben Franklin's "Old Mistress' Apologue."


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

I agree, CP. I think the only district Hillary even has a prayer of carrying might be the 9th--and I wouldn't put money on even that one either way. I agree Johnson's support means nothing. I don't think the Latino vote will be significant, not because they don't have good numbers, but because of the legal status of a lot of them.

I've always been somewhat fascinated with Mitchellville--I always think of it as where Will Smith grew up in "Fresh Prince," and where Dr. Huxtable had his practice.

Also, CP, you might be mildly annoyed to know that the former councilman from District 3 is an old family friend of ours; during my wife's first marriage, she lived across the street from him, and his wife and my (future) wife became friends, and the kids played together. Much later, after she married me, my wife and I had them over for dinner a few times, and we've stayed in loose touch. Turns out he's a Philly transplant, like me, and grew up in Philly politics the same time I did. What's amazing is that we *didn't* run into each other way back when. But we played "Who Do You Know" and of course we had dozens of mutual acquaintances. I don't want to post his name here, but I know you know who he is. (The reason you'll be "annoyed" at him is he has close ties to Johnson. I don't know for certain, but I assume from general experience he'd be for Hillary, though I'm sure he'd switch to Obama in a heartbeat after the convention [if not sooner].)

*faxing three cords of wood and two chords of music (because I'm music-impaired) to martooni. Putting the longjohns back in the drawer.*

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

Loomis: //I haven't heard Wilbrod mention anything substantive about Texas itself, inside the state's borders, except her prediction.//

Why would she have to? Sometimes it's not necessary to pee on *every* tree.

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

Laughing here, dbG. By the way, do "Sweetzels, Chipzels and Tritzels" mean anything to you?

Also I remember the name of the things my brother was addicted to: Tandykakes. And I was distressed to hear the rumor/report (?) that jelly krimpets have been discontinued (they never had icing and/or coconut on them; the vanilla cupcakes did). The jelly krimpets were my fallback on many an occasion.

In 1964 and 65 era, we used to go to Phillies games at Connie Mack Stadium (22nd and Lehigh; don't ask, you don't wanna know) and sit on the upper deck right behind the small auxillary scoreboard over third base. We'd take all our food with us to the game: containers of milk and a sack of assorted Tastycakes. After the game we'd walk over to Broad Street to North Philly station and take the train home to Hatboro, and walk home through the silent midnight streets. Among the happiest days (nights) of my life.

Loomis, here's the line that ought to have sent you screaming into the night: "The right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh felt free to question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy in December by sneering, "Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?" (From the very interesting Pamela Druckerman article bc linked to earlier. Zut, alors.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh, anybody seen anything Joel's written lately? I thoiught I've been checking diligently, but haven't seen anything on The Trail lately. Not that I begrudge him some down time.

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

No idea, Mudge. It's also a Googlenope, looked to see if my memory could be jogged. So what was the flat cake which had mixed white and pink coconut on top and was jammy?

They're still a big thing here. The cafeteria at work has a big rack of them that's gone every day by about 2.

Off to hang the new curtains. Tonight I go back on the newly-recreated 2 am, work from home some of the time shift. I'm looking forward to it, and will right up until 7 pm tonight when I have to go to bed.

Posted by: dbG | February 10, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Now that I've had some sleep, maybe I can report on some of the interesting aspects of the caucus I attended:
I took my camera, intending to take a few pictures of the crowd, but as usual, felt a bit shy about doing that. I did get one blurry one which I'll put up on my blog later, but it got way more crowded after that.

At 1 pm, a guy up on the stage told us what would go on. When he asked if there were questions, quite a few people shouted, Who are YOU? (or variants thereof) He introduced himself, although I've forgotten his name and title. He roused us with cheers for putting a Democrat in the White House in Nov (or shortly thereafter). He used the phrase "Democrat party", and people objected and he apologized.

We had to wait till 1:30 to sign in and write our preference for a candidate. We discussed which clock to use - there was an analog on the wall, and a digital, and we compared cell phones. The sign in sheet had an optional box for ethnicity and for "LGBT" - which someone who worked for a school said was "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual". Guess they are gathering demographics, but still...

We had no undecided people, so we didn't do any of the speechmaking for candidates that I've heard take place elsewhere. I think some of the Clinton folks at our table were kind of miffed about that - and I'm sure we would have listened to them, but in the chaos and cacophony, they never got the chance.

Kind of anticlimactic. In the end, I just sort of drifted out. It was like being in a noisy restaurant - too hard to hear or follow what was going on, and I didn't have time to hang around. Glad I went, though.

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 10, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Remember when Limbaugh seemed to matter? Seems so long ago now. Pa Frostinlaw brings up a Limbaugh rant now and again, but even he no longer sees anything he says as mattering much to any significant group, in numbers or influence. Or am I feeling the influence obit a bit too soon?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

mostly-I feel for folks who got to their precincts only to find the caucus system break under the weight of unexpectedly huge voter turnout.

I'm concerned that MN will move back towards a primary to solve what may be a one off event. Would Wilbrod and I have sought out the opportunity to be delegates to our county conventions if we hadn't been drafted by our fellow caucus goers? I can't speak for her, but without a good dose of guilt from my uncle and my own guilting of a friend to represent another precinct, two of our rural precincts would have been saddled with whomever the party decided (cajoled?) into putting in our places.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, always bet on the SEAL, even if blind. However, cast your lot with the excellent Mr. F (running or walking).

Limbaugh is less important-ey, I think. However, since I neither know him, nor have listened in detail to his broadcasts, nor live in his state, nor am a man, nor a Republican, nor a prescription-drug (ab)user, nor balding, nor suit-wearing, nor married (dating?) (to) a former CNN broadcaster, nor rich, nor punditry-prone.....not sure I can comment.

I defer.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Pi day came early, and it was good. I winged the whole thing, and it came out perfect. I didn't think I was risking much with hydrating the apricots with the orange-pineapple juice, because my mother used to make "fried pies" - a Southern delicacy long before they became available in the quicky marts. (In fact, she tried to sell her recipe to a distributer once, and they finally told her "no deal" about 3 years before they came on the market.) Of hers, the apricot ones are my favorite. She put a little orange juice in the crust dough, instead of the bit of icewater normally used. As well, I saw online a recipe for orange liqueur in apricot pie. So I proceeded. It's delicioso!

The painful infant surgery question is a little trickier, I am afraid. Anesthesia is always a calculated risk, so I suspect the surgeons have talked themselves into this madness partially to justify the withholding of the anesthesia. It still is awful to ponder, and I think I would insist on anesthesia if I had an infant going to the operating room.

"Withhold" has double "h"s. Does any other word? ("Withheld" doesn't count.)

I predict simply on the basis of once living in Texas that Dems will go for Obama in the primary. I predict the state will go Repub in the general, but I'm not a betting man. At least on that. Paul will gain a good handful of delegates there unless it's a winner-take-all primary, which I haven't researched yet.

Posted by: Jumper | February 10, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I guess I should have been clearer. I am copying all 8 tapes onto a very big external hard drive for archiving. I am also burning a "greatest hits" DVD for home enjoyment.

I wouldn't dream of losing even a second of these films. And I am sure the historians of the future will be grateful for my vigilence.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Loomis - are you asserting that by using the metaphor "taken to the woodshed" jack was actually engaging in hate speech against women? I'm just trying to assess the threshold.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

That's it, I'm out the political game. I'm too ignorant of the machinery. Issues I'm better at.

Posted by: Jumper | February 10, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Wild, exasperating-to-me problems with CPU and computer memory this morning. Frustrated that I lost a longer post with three links.

We have a major tree to take down that was planted by previous owner too close to the foundation--while the temp is still cool. One link at a time.

Express-News editor Robert Rivard about why Hillary and Barack probably won't talk issues while they're campaigning here:

It's been 16 years since pundit turned presidential wannabe Pat Buchanan donned a Stetson and then a coonskin cap and waved a Confederate saber in front of the Alamo.
Most might have forgotten that March day in 1992 when he came to San Antonio and told supporters that if elected he would build a wall between Mexico and the United States.

Buchanan's target back then was the first President Bush, and the issue of the day was the looming free trade agreement. Isolationism and xenophobia, however, were the underlying themes. ...

The real contest March 4, of course, is between the two Democratic hopefuls, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, both of whom favor comprehensive immigration reform.

Both agree the system is broken, and neither will demonize migrant workers in front of the Alamo. Yet both are careful to list border security first on their immigration reform agendas, and both have to walk a fine line on the debate over whether workers who come here illegally take away jobs from working-class minorities who are citizens.

Posted by: Loomis | February 10, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, faxin some butter rolls directly.

Bob, I have a variant of an oatmeal bread that uses leftover whole gran ceral. The seven grain stuff. Use it to replace about half of the liquid (though this depends on your climate). It ends up being a dense heavy bread when done, but makes the finest toast. With real butter, it is almost heaven.

I'm doing a roast this afternoon, glazed with maple syrup and a little mustard. I do believe I'll toss in some buns too.

Posted by: dr | February 10, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse


New laptop and wireless connection.

Posted by: Raysmom | February 10, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

LL: I was just saying that the contests in which Sen. Obama has been the victor have been by extraordinary margins. Like losing a soccer match 12 - nil, or a baseball game 42 to 7; the losing side has been taken to the woodshed, whipped, thumped, maimed, folded, spindled, and mutilated. Chopped, chromed and toasted. Waxed.

Posted by: jack | February 10, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I wonder at your restraint. If it were me I'd have lawsuits out all over the place.

Just this morning Express-News editor Robert Rivard used your words and thoughts without proper attribution. It seems to happen all the time. The New York Time, the Washington Post, list goes on and on.

Shocking. Just shocking.

Posted by: CC | February 10, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This is way too good not to share it.

By the way, poor grades and eating bags of lettuce are sure signs of marijhootchie use.

Never forget Jumper's painfully learned lesson that 90% of computer weirdness is hardware related. At least, if you have virus protection, it's probably working. Look elsewhere FIRST. Such as spotting capacitors oozing glue, on the boards. And a new power supply module never hurts. I wish I had known that before I fried my whole system a while back.

Posted by: Jumper | February 10, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Very thought provoking article about the possible rise of the "Restless and Anxious Moderates." Although I like "centrist wingnuts" better.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cassandra, sorry, I didn't turn the computer on before we went to church. Once I got the paper read, I just didn't have time.

This was Youth Sunday, always a highlight of the year. The three seniors who spoke did a wonderful job, and the music was great. Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus was the scripture. We were all ROTFL at the children's time, when one of the pastor's sons returned four-fold the case of Gatorade he and buddies illicitly consumed at the house of a friend. I remember when these children were born, so it is bittersweet to mark their growing up and to celebrate the wonderful people they are becoming.

Yello, what's with the GT women's basketball team wearing pick today? It looks nice beside the Carolina women's team' blue, but WTF?

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... you takin' to me?

I'd agree, but the referenced habits reach far back to 1st or 2nd grade. I doubt there was any marijhootchie use back then.

That doesn't mean there hasn't been in recent years, but I won't use those as the telltale signs.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

dr, thanks so much. i'm just getting in from church and so hungry. and did not cook. the rolls will fit in nicely.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 10, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm Mr. Mom until my wife gets back from seeing her Mom at the hospital. Thus, I'm preparing lunch: pizza bites. Just to be clear, bites doesn't refer to the quality of the pizza in question, simply that they are bite sized. Not like "Pizza bites, Dad.", just "Pizza bites, Dad?".

Posted by: jack | February 10, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Pizza bites Dad!
Pizza bites Dad?

"Pizza." bites Dad.

"Pizza!" bites Dad.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Pizza bites Dad, Dad bites back."

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

Glad to hear your MIL is on the mend, jack. Sorry the pizza bites, though.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

As long as the pizza has had its rabies shots, I wouldn't worry too much. Just clean it out well.

Posted by: dbG | February 10, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

And watch out for those bagel bites, too. They can sting.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I used to fight it out with every pizza that came to town. Then I was walking down the street one day and I heard a voice from behind me say: "You think you're so tough, wanna piece of me?" Well I turned around to see a personal pan pie staring me right in the face. I couldn't bear it any more, turned and walked away. That little pie bit me right in the a$$. (with apologies to Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks)

Posted by: jack | February 10, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG. I'm grateful for such kind imaginary friends.

Posted by: jack | February 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Politics makes strange bedfellows. In short, Clinton came to Texas (I Achenblogged), campaigns with Dem. Ciro Rodriguez against longtime incumbent Repub Rep. Henry Bonilla. Bonilla loses. Rodriguez campaign mgr. Saenz becomes Rodriguez's chief of staff, now takes leave of absence from present post to head Obama's campaign in the Lone Star State.

No more dancin' with the one who brung ya, I guess.

Tree toppled, cleanup looms.

Today our paper endorses Obama. *giggles hard to control* Citizens ignore editorial board's past recommendations about eight times out of ten.

Posted by: Loomis | February 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm making chili with a nice jalapeno bite Jack.
I wish I had your problem RD padouk. We have no video of the kids in their cute period. Barely a few pictures really when it comes to it. I have been an early convert to digital photography (1998, $600 for a 1.2M pix Olympus with a sliding door) so I have a ton of stuff after that. I now make generous use of the video feature of our cameras. The kids will found in a few years that we have hours of the Puppy on video yet nothing of them in their cute years. Ha!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | February 10, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Watch out, shriek. Jalapenos are notorious for the morning bite after.

This link makes a good arguement for thoughtful urban planning.

Posted by: jack | February 10, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

We are not picture people. An underwater disposable had pictures of Frostdottir's first hotel stay with us before she was placed with us for adoption (age 6), a vacation in Hawaii (9), and her 1st scuba certification dive (12) before we finally had it developed. We're no better with digital I fear.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Catching up this morning after dropping in that little rating of Two Buck Chuck yesterday afternoon. We were just on the way out to take the dogs out for a little stroll since the sun made its appearance for the first time in two weeks. We were headed up to a little loop trail by Applegate Lake that we hadn't hiked for a couple of years. It was just supposed be a 1.6 mile loop but when we got there we found some more short loops had been added. Well 1.6 miles turned into over five before we got back. As a result, slept in late this morning.

All those wine lists that included Thunder Bird reminded me of when I was going to school at Fresno State and me and a couple of buddies rented a house a block out of the city limits and a short distance from the Gallo winery then billed as the biggest in the world, maybe still is. During the fall they would haul in Thompson seedless grapes in belly dump truck and trailer rigs drizzling grape juice down the road. They went up over a big steel grate and dropped the grapes going about twenty miles and hour. The local joke was that the trucks picked up the freshly bottled Thunderbird and Golden Spur on the other side of the plant on the way out.

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

"Sometimes it's not necessary to pee on *every* tree. Posted by: dbG"

It's NOT?! What have you been doing, conspirating with Wilbrod? I will defend to the death my right to... um, never mind. The gnome just came back.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | February 10, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Frosty, I didn't know your daughter was adopted! *applauding wildly* We have even more in common than I ever suspected!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Daughter and I tried to see Hillary Clinton today in Manassas. We had a hard time finding the locale and got there late. By that time, it was supposed to be starting and the line of folks trying to get in wound around the entire school, so we turned around and headed back home.

It was four years ago today that Son of G and I saw John Edwards speak at GMU. Kerry hadn't quite sealed the deal yet, and Edwards was still campaigning for president.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Chill, Wilbrodog; she didn't mean you. By all means, mark away.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

*Snoopy hugs*

Posted by: Wilbrodog | February 10, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog is making my inner Lucy Van Pelt emerge...

Dog germs!!!!

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I only lick those who deserve it, ma'am.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | February 10, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-Mr. F and I say our most spine tingling war stories involve rearing the dott, not the military. I know from reading some of your comments re: the Mudgekins that you and Mrs. Mudge are adoption superheroes.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Wibrodog, you must come sometime and meet Brutus, the Great Dane who has moved in across the street from us. He is a gentle and friendly giant. You and he would have great fun marking all the trees in the neighborhood.

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Ring! Ring! [caller ID says "Wireless Caller" from 903 area code]

me: Hello?

voice: Hello Ma'am, how are you this evening? I'm calling from the Mike Huck--

me: Oh... you're calling the wrooooong house.

voice: Oh? You vote Democratic?

me: Yes. And your candidate is the person who scares me the most. Thanks! [click]

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Half-watching the Pro Bowl here, a real defensive struggle (ahem), with the AFC leading the NFC 27-21 at the half. Chris Cooley just caught a TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck, cool.

All of the Pro Bowl players from the Washington NFL Franchise are wearing #21 for the late Sean Taylor (who was voted into the game posthumously). A nice gesture, IMO.

[I'm wondering if SciTim managed to get over there to watch the game - it *never* sells out AFAIK. Something tells me that he's not there anyhoo...]

Wilbrodog, I hope you get Wilbrod a Timex for Valentine's Day. After all, a Timex can take a licking and keep on ticking...

Where's John Cameron Swayze when you need him, anyway?


Posted by: bc | February 10, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

TBG- Next time please engage the caller as long as possible, keeping him/her from moving on to a likely prospect.

I like to ask questions-
How does Governor Huckabee reconcile the bible and transmogrification?

I'm so glad you called. I sent in a contribution some time ago and a nice young man promised me an autographed photo of the Governor. Could you follow up on that for me?

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Editing home movies is exhausting. The children look so cute. The incessant commentary provided by the camera operator, however, can start to get annoying. (That would be me.)

Thank heavens for overdubbing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... I was so surprised it was a human and not a recording. We're being inundated with the calls.

Slyness... Have you got power? Myers Park is blacked out. You may be getting a phone call if this goes on too long. :-)

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Curtains are up! Got black turnaround rods and installed them an inch down from the ceiling, curtains down to the floor. Theoretically, this would make the ceiling look higher, but I was unprepared for it to work as well as it did. Curtains cover the outer edges of window moulding, no top treatment.

Now to live with them for a little while and see if I need to paint the window moulding to match the white walls and white 2" wood blinds.

Everyone's interested, right? :-)

The pillow on the right (lapis) is a better representation of the fabric than the curtain shot they have.

You don't want to know how the extremely helpful saleslady pronounced "lapis!"

When we redecorate the bunker, let's go back to this store. They were great.

Posted by: dbG | February 10, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot--also used the black curtain rings with the little clips, so I can use other curtains in the summer.

Wow. The last time I did anything with curtains was tie my boyfriend to the bed with my mother's old sheers. On the whole, a more satisfying experience, but this new one was okay too.

Posted by: dbG | February 10, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Sounds lovely, dbG. The new draperies, I mean.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Since the temps here have been dropping all day (now down to 5F not including windchill), I decided to forgoe freezing my buns off in the shop and instead went to work on a new database for my little door biz.

Now I remember why I quit my gig as a programmer in the first place.

I suppose I could do like everyone else and just use some off-the-shelf package -- it's not like I have a very complicated business to manage -- but no... being a Linux freak, I must roll my own.

TBG... is there something in the air tonight regarding electrical power?

Ours has been on, but since I reactivated this 'puter, the breaker it's on keeps tripping. Of course, the genius who wired my house decided to put the outlet I'm plugged into (as well as one kitchen light fixture, the bathroom fan, one bedroom, and two outlets in the living room) on the same circuit as our furnace (which has been running non-stop all day) -- all on a single 15amp breaker, which happens to be the *only* 15amp breaker in our service box. Everything else is a 20amp or better.


The problem is I don't want to slap a 20 in there because I don't know what cheapskate wiring is lurking behind the walls (I really don't want to burn down the house). I think I'll just do like I did with the shop and run a new line using the heavy-duty commercial-grade stuff. If you guys don't hear from me for a while, I fell through the ceiling again.

Back to PHP/MySQL/Apache land... gotta get that new database done.

Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | February 10, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure he was just relieved you didn't have wooden louvered blinds.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Freezing here as well, temperature has dropped all day, down 20c from yesterdays balmy above freezing temps.

dbG, the cold has reminded me that I need some sort of curtain for our family room sliding door - do you consult? Preferably something thermal lined.

Posted by: dmd | February 10, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

dbG and dmd-we must be mind melding. I love those curtain clips, have a stash in the garage having learned to never, ever give up curtain hardware just because I'm not using it in "this" house. There's always another window. The triple slider behind me could use some thermal drapes. Don't think that often as privacy is not an issue, but as it's now -17F seems like a really good idea.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we've got power, which is too bad because Mr. T is watching the UNC/Clemson rematch and he's NOT happy. Tell SonofG to give us a call, the sheets are clean in the spare bedroom.

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of photos, and kids, my dad took pictures of us through most of our growing years developed as slides. Every once in a while he would take out the slides and show them to our assembled selves.

Then we grew up and had kids of our own. He spent many many kid visits entertaining our kids by showing them the slides from when we were young. He added the narration. There was usually a lot of giggling about bad hair, and odd clothes, and stupid kid tricks, but there was also the points where the kids took over the narration and told the silliest tales. I sometimes think my kids know more about my childhood than I do.

Posted by: dr | February 10, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

High winds are the problem:

Ivansmom, what's your weather right now? I'd like to know what we can expect later in the week.

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

He's got your number, Slyness. Doubt he'll use it, but he knows he's welcome and appreciates it.

Thanks. I appreciate it, too. :-)

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Awww.. to heck with the database guano for tonight.

I can't concentrate now, especially since I just noticed dbG's reference to curtains and bondage.

I'm a sucker for unusual juxtapositions of home decor and "alternative" lifestyles and recreational pursuits.

Posted by: martooni | February 10, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Just got a text message from Son of G: Power's on.

We've had some wild wind here. And boy, did it get cold. Brrrr.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I know someone has posted this before, but this is a great site for keeping track of the primaries...

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I miss beanbag chairs.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

DBG -- such lovely drapery! Happy for you that such feathering is underway.

Tell about the way lapis was pronounced, since this will be fun coming from you a gemstone-jewelry fabricator.

In the meanwhile, here is William Butler Yeats's poem of the same name:

Lapis Lazuli

I HAVE heard that hysterical women say
They are sick of the palette and fiddle-bow.
Of poets that are always gay,
For everybody knows or else should know
That if nothing drastic is done
Aeroplane and Zeppelin will come out.
Pitch like King Billy bomb-balls in
Until the town lie beaten flat.

All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That's Ophelia, that Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.
They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay;
Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.
All men have aimed at, found and lost;
Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:
Tragedy wrought to its uttermost.
Though Hamlet rambles and Lear rages,
And all the drop-scenes drop at once
Upon a hundred thousand stages,
It cannot grow by an inch or an ounce.

On their own feet they came, or On shipboard,'
Camel-back; horse-back, ass-back, mule-back,
Old civilisations put to the sword.
Then they and their wisdom went to rack:
No handiwork of Callimachus,
Who handled marble as if it were bronze,
Made draperies that seemed to rise
When sea-wind swept the corner, stands;
His long lamp-chimney shaped like the stem
Of a slender palm, stood but a day;
All things fall and are built again,
And those that build them again are gay.

Two Chinamen, behind them a third,
Are carved in lapis lazuli,
Over them flies a long-legged bird,
A symbol of longevity;
The third, doubtless a serving-man,
Carries a musical instumment.

Every discoloration of the stone,
Every accidental crack or dent,
Seems a water-course or an avalanche,
Or lofty slope where it still snows
Though doubtless plum or cherry-branch
Sweetens the little half-way house
Those Chinamen climb towards, and I
Delight to imagine them seated there;
There, on the mountain and the sky,
On all the tragic scene they stare.
One asks for mournful melodies;
Accomplished fingers begin to play.
Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,
Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

450th post, I think.

Frosty, we're not adoption superheroes-- we're adoption PTSD survivors.

O'Bama chalked up another one: beat Hillary in Maine. And Hillary has changed campaign managers.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Nope. William Butler Yeats was 450. I was 451 and 452. (Hint, hint, Joel.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

One reason I'm glad the Redskins didn't hire Jim Fassel... don't think I could have taken having to see this image over and over...

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Dave of the Coonties, someone just sent me four photos of a bad a$$ riding mule in Montana taking on a mountain lion and trashing it. As an ole Montaina rider I think you might be interested. Leave some sort of e-mail address and I will forward them. Also to anyone interested.

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

dmd, while I can tell you what I did, every time I went shopping I was accompanied by a friend or my cousin, each of us having the power to say, "No." It took 4 trips to different stores, toting floor tile and furniture swatches each time and multiple online forays.

It was all helpful. I originally wanted tie-top dupioni silk from Pottery Barn, but found that except for 1 color and tie tops, virtually the same curtains were available at half the price. When my cousin and I went to Country Curtains for the hardware, I liked several curtains and we were at an impasse when a talented saleswoman took my samples to their workroom and came back in 3 minutes with everything that would go with the room. We saw this and *done.*

I don't know if they'd ship to Canada, but the quality of their curtains is very, very nice. I'm sure they have insulated as well.

CP, she pronounced it "La-pee", accent on the "pee."

I did not buy any of their black labrador retriever rugs.

Posted by: dbG | February 10, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-adoption PTSD, zactly, and we only did it once. You're like the SEAL who goes back to some third world hell hole with a plate in his head and a titanium foot.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

RD, :-)

He was a USAF Colonel at the time (now retired). I'm certain he could have dealt with *any* situation which came up.

Posted by: dbG | February 10, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Laughing a lot, Frosty. And that foot really aches when there's rain coming.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 10, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Bean bags, yes.

Please vote in one post increments. We have a goal, mind you.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

BH, good story. Hailing from there-abouts myself, I am very interested.

We were afraid of two critters growing up:

rattlers in the scree and river rock AND

cougars (catamounts as my granddad from KC, would say.)

Bears? Not so much. Sing loudly (Happy Wanderer) and bang on the mess kit while on the trail.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, we still have a looong way to go to beat the Rovestorm total. Now THAT was a day to end all days!

Yes on beanbags.

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the

umPEER waists popular in Jane Austen's time AND for about ten minutes last year.


The name refers to Napoleon and his Second Empire: architecture, women's clothing, and other importances reference this period. Ole Boney did NOT have an umPEER....nor did he have an umPIRE.

I am a costumer; I know these things. Fear me.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 10, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

CP, thank you for your 8:48, umpeer drives me nuts. Not to mention it is a style that looks particularly awful on me.

Posted by: dmd | February 10, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Beanbags chairs.. I vote no. Too hard to get in and out of. Even when I was a kid I didn't like them.

My sister, whose scoliosis was diagnosed when she was in Kindergarten, wore a "Milwaukee brace" from then until her back surgery the summer after 7th grade.

Her saving grace for comfortably watching TV in that brace was the giant red vinyl beanbag chair in the rec room.

My mom, tiring of trying to find bags of filler to replenish it when it went flat, started buying new cheap beanbag chairs and cannibalizing them for the beads.

That thing kind of had a life of its own, I think. Maybe that's why I've never really cared for them.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

i was going to post the link to the article about us centrist wingnuts, but rd beat me to it!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | February 10, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Hello and possibly good night to you all.

RD, the Boy has his very own beanbag, which drift from his room to the TV game console as appropriate. I sit there too sometimes.

Slyness, yesterday we were balmy in the the 60 Fs, great skateboarding weather. Today the sun shone bravely but the wind turned to the north and was really cold, keeping the overall temperature in the 40s. The Boy and I got out this afternoon on the south driveway, sheltered by the house.

Chicken is roasted and partly consumed, stock is cooking (leeks, celery & carrots), cookies will appear soon if the Boy comes to learn to bake them. All I need is a couple of rabbits, and life would be good.

RD, please tell me that as a general rule whether frolicking or sulky rabbits make no noise.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 10, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Finished with the editing! Highlights of Son from birth to 10 and Daughter from birth to 8 on one easy-to-view DVD.

I wish I had gotten more video, but as soon as my son turned 10 he refused, to the point of hysteria, to be videotaped. And his easily influenced sister followed suit.

My brothers and I weren't nearly so averse to parental paparazzi. And what resistance we had was easily overcome by my mother. She would encourage us to write our own epic tales which she would then film and edit. (In case I never mentioned it, my mom totally rocks.)

Which is why somewhere in the vast family vault there exists many short films of space exploration and monster attacks starring me and my siblings.

I guess I should make sure she gets these properly archived. For the world will always need great art.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

How do the French pronounce "empire," CP? Just wondering... not arguing.

FYI... Miriam-Webster has the ahm-peer pronunciation first for the adjective "Empire."

Main Entry: Em·pire
Pronunciation: \ˈäm-ˌpir, ˈem-ˌpī(-ə)r\
Function: adjective
Etymology: French, from (le premier) Empire the first Empire of France
Date: 1860

: of, relating to, or characteristic of a style (as of clothing or furniture) popular in early 19th century France

[Just trying to start a little Empirestorm to bring the numbers up, that's all!]

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I own a beanbag chair. I've always wanted one.

With the futon as backprop, it's darn comfortable for watching from the floor.

It's probably not as large as your sister's scolosis special, though, but then, a large beanbag chair will swallow people alive.

Maine? I wouldn't have had the cojones to call that state for Obama, I thought it'd be close, but Clinton.

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

Ivansmom - If bunnies are mad they will stomp their feet. If they are scared they will scream - but they have to be really terrified. Luckily I have never heard this.

When the bunnies are happy and out of their cage they will leap about (called 'binking') which can make a bit of noise. Outside of that they are quiet as, well, bunnies.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

And a lovely letter from a lifelong Republican:

"We need action, not wasted, vituperative hot air."

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 10, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

RD... After hearing a series of the answers like "peep peep" "woof woof" and "buck buck," we would ask the wee ones "what does the bunny say?"

That would bring a quizzical look.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I was taught by Ma Frostbitten, who learned from an old battle axe of a home ec teacher, that it is ahm-peer, rhymes with Pierre SD, when referring to a dress, em-pire to rhyme with umpire when referring to the furniture, historical period etc. Lapiz Lazuli I just avoid saying because I always accent the wrong syllables.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... I sure hope Mr. T didn't turn off the game in disgust.

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, send an address. These are really great pictures.

Posted by: bh | February 10, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

RD, I know about the screaming. When we were kids a cat brought a bunny in my cousin's open window late late one night. His descriptions of the noise lasted us all lo these many years. I mean regular activity - binking sounds fine. It is the vocalizations I wish to keep down.

Ever a technophobe, I vetoed a video camera at the Boy's inception and birth. We still have none. While I'm sure we've missed much footage, we are video-free. I'm sure we'll regret this when he takes over the world and we could have sold this to secure our retirement.

I do have a VCR tape of home movies and slides from the extended family, the 1950s on. We've had great fun watching this and interposing our own acid commentary, to the occasional consternation of an in-law. I must get this preserved on DVD before it is too late. My cousin (now in his 50s) wearing the rabbit suit for Easter when he was 12 is enough to justify the whole thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 10, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

bean bags-I vote uncommitted.

At home I am opposed, ugly, take up too much space, prone to leaking. But, when I was teaching in NoVA they proved a most satisfactory incentive for my charges to read silently for extended periods. Many a great conversation was started with a kid in a bean bag reading something he (they were usually hes) never thought he'd like and me sitting on the floor beside. I have "the bean bag of life," as Frostdottir's cast off bag came to be called, in the garage now. It is covered in black and white fabric with flourescent streaks spattered all about. Even though I had enough bean bags + an old recliner for every student to read in a roster was needed to make sure the turns in this most favored bean bag were meted out fairly. Aaahh memories. Nothing like seeing kids who couldn't make it in "regular" classrooms all snuggled down with a book and whining "ah maaaaaan" when it was time to stop reading.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

No, TBG, we are breathing again. I looked up from time to time but took the discreet part and went for my shower when the game went into overtime. Too bad Clemson had to lose the second time, after leading the entire game.

Well, not really.

It kinda makes up for last Wednesday. A little.

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

RD, I thought bunnies went pka pka pka pka (sometimes spelled buck buck buck) as in soft lipsmacking.
(It's how it's captioned. Swear to god.)

"In the playpens, the mighty playpens, the buns bink tonight

A pka-buckway, a thumpa-way, a pka-buckway, a thumpa-way...

Near the bunker, the quiet bunker, the buns play tonight...

Carrot oh, carrot oh, woah thumpa way

Hush, dear lettuce, don't fear my lettuce, the buns play tonight

.... Sing the full version as you wish.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 10, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I've heard a screaming rabbit --- and it is screaming, no other word for it. This particular bunny had run headfirst into a deadend pipe. All it had to do was back out.

Try telling a screaming cottontail "just back out, dear."

I don't really recall how that ended, altho I remember my mother running around crazily, trying to help. Know my mother, she probably lifted six feet of pipe and shook the rabbit loose. She was a very little person, I might add.

Posted by: nellie | February 10, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the beanbag comment. When my son was little we had this enormous green vinyl beanbag dubbed "The Beast."

My son loved to drive his matchbox cars in the folds of the vinyl and pretend they were treacherous highways ascending a great green mountain. (Occasionally there would be tragic accident.)

Anyway, when I was watching some footage of him engaged in this activity I felt a great surge of nostalgia for that chair. But it might have really been for the little boy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 10, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

RD, I have a big (about five feet across) beanbag - or whatever they stuff those things with these days - chair in the kids' room.

They like it enough to argue over it.

And CP, thanks for the Yeats.


Posted by: bc | February 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I took a Jane Austen break this Sunday to watch the Grammies. One of my measures of codgerdom is how few of the nominees I have ever heard of. I only new 40% of the Best New Artist folk.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 10, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Boodle, and flights of beanbags speed thee to thy rest.

Vaya con queso. Fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | February 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

My uncle tells a story about his mother killing a rabbit for dinner. He'd eaten many a rabbit dinner before, but had never heard the screaming rabbit before. He never ate another bite again.

This discussion of rabbits, lapis and empire waists reminds me of my mom's story about her sister's new fur coat. Mom kept telling her it was rabbit fur, but my aunt insisted that, no, it was lapin!

Posted by: TBG | February 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

'Night, Ivansmom.

'Night, all. Sleep well.

Posted by: Slyness | February 10, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Whilst you folks have been communing most charmingly about amusing lagomorphs, P & P hath been playing upon yon Masterpiece Theatre, doncha know.

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

I think I recall that mule photo or something very similar. In general, a mountain lion would be foolish to go near anything resembling a horse.

A source in Cody, Wyoming keeps me up to date with that sort of stuff. My favorite was a photo from Banff showing a bridge with a separate lane strictly for elk. They evidently caught on fast.

With their remarkable state university system, North Carolinians are spoiled for choices. I'm pleased that the non-medical part of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus is finally getting a major overhaul.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

This is my favorite version of P&P, but perhaps just because it is so familiar. I can work, boodle, and listen, turning to watch only for favorite bits.

Toodles boodle. To bed for me with a teacup of theraflu and setting the alarm for an insanely early morning for a meeting "in town." Too early even to rely on the frostcats for the usual catbreath wake up call demanding food.

Posted by: frostbitten | February 10, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I had a whole rant ready to go that was inspired by an Ann Coulter interview/press conference I happened to catch tonight on the tube -- on C-SPAN, no less.

But after contemplating her asinine ramblings and considering my own liberal bent, I decided to just say this:

"Kiss my ass, Ann. If McCain makes you want to puke, I can't wait to see your reaction when Obama wins the Presidency."

I expect there will be a line, so have your Chapstick and Charmin ready as there will be *much* buttocks kissing if you expect to remain relevant.

Posted by: martooni | February 10, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, sometimes succinct is best, Martooni.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 10, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Although _I_ personally wouldn't let Ann Coulter near my rear end, but that's me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | February 10, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Republicans can't count, either:
WA state's last gubernatorial election was decided by 137 votes or so, and the Republicans were all up in arms about vote counting irregularities.

I'm looking forward to a cup of chai tea (isn't that redundant?) and P&P. Hope my pager doesn't go off...

Posted by: mostlylurking | February 10, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Roy Scheider died. I guess Monday will be Jaws Day.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 10, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. I'm up early because I have to brave the beltway and get up to Shady Grove for a doctor's appt. I keep "joking" that I want them to cut off this *&%$# leg and give me a pegleg so I can become a pirate, only it's barely a joke any more.

Yes, RIP for Roy Scheider, who was 75. "Jaws" gets the press attention, but he was much better in "French Connection" and "All That Jazz."

I don't like the way the Post is playing the election stories: Obama wins a four-state weekend sweep, and the lead is about Hillary switching campaign managers. Granted that's an important story; but shouldn't it be secondary to the guy who made that happen? Poor guy does better than a hat trick on her, and he still can't get the headline. And for the third day in a row, the McCain lede is that Bush has backed him. I mean, shouldn't that story be fading by now? We *know* awready.

OK, gotta run. Catch you guys around 11 this morning. C'mon, Scotty and Cassandra, rise and shine. Rainforest, time for bed.

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

BTW, Rainforest, I've always liked that handle. Very evocative. Takes me back to 8th grade geography class, studying rainforests and savannahs and veldts. Also very euphonic: I can hear the rain pounding on the leaves and hear the water running everywhere. Also very Somerset Maugham with bits of Conrad, Graham Greene, and Ramar of the Jungle.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | February 11, 2008 5:18 AM | Report abuse

good, good, morning, friends. i'm up mudge, just moving a little slow this morning. and i think it is cold outside this morning. gonna have to wrap up me and the the g-girl for the bus. mom has to go to work this morning.

amy winehouse, so much talk about her, i wish i could hear her. is she really that good? her life seems to be in shambles.

obama is really doing his thing. i'm so loving this election process. still thinking about my vote.

can't get to the washroom because of work being done there, and the clothes are piling up. not good.

i do hope your weekend was good, and everything went well. i keep thinking i'm going to feel rested after the weekend, but it isn't happening for me. what about you guys?

i wonder, mudge, if mccain really appreciates an endorsement by the president? i mean isn't that like the kiss of death?

have a great day, everyone. hope the weather isn't too bad where you are.

slyness, did unc win that game? i saw the first part, and clemson was kicking you know what. what happened? oh, and slyness, a good friend of mine is in Iraq as a fireman for a year, maybe longer.

mudge, martooni, scotty, and all, good morning.*waving*

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

Posted by: cassandra s | February 11, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Standing out on the porch this morning, while waiting for my daughter to pull off, I was thinking about prayer. Prayer is a very powerful tool, and we are told in Scripture that men should always pray, and not faint. I thought about prayer in this way; that it is me asking God for His favour on someone. I'm asking Him to put a hedge about someone, to look kindly on someone, to spread His love and light on someone. And I thought about how that favour is so much more valuable than anything in this world, and that includes everything the world considers valuable. This morning, Achenblog, that is my desire for you. Each and everyone of you, my dear friends. May God bless.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 11, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Cassandra. Your prayer invokes the hedgerows of the British Isles....very sturdy and beautiful fences made of shrubs. I like the idea of being surrounded thusly.

Take care, everyone. I keep getting Hilary robot calls. None for Obama. Obama on campus today. Won't see him, but think I can watch on closed circuit TV. Gave my students the nod that going to that instead of class is ok.

Glad the boss is resting up between pieces. I'd like to see 500 boodles.

Posted by: College Parkian | February 11, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

And for us fans of military aircraft, let's not forget "Blue Thunder."

Another tragic loss. Stars of movies I saw as a kid should never die.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 11, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

*slightly exhausted from backBoodling*

Hey all! A successful weekend was had by all, apart from a rather acrobatic landing at National... :-O

RIP Roy, thanks for the "bigger boat."

Now to catch up with laundry and such...

*short-vacation-recovery-day Grover ways* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | February 11, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, absolutely, yellojkt, "Blue Thunder" for sure...

"Come ON, you tub of..."


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 11, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

And yellojkt provided the 500, CP.



Posted by: Scottynuke | February 11, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody, Mudge, be careful out there on the Beltway. I've been there, and it's not pretty.

Cassandra, you are such a good mother and grandmother. Thank you for your prayers. I find life to be so much more calm and peaceful when I make that connection, and I am trying to do it more often.

Yeah, Carolina beat Clemson in double overtime. Younger dottir rather rues the fact that her current boyfriend got her hooked on basketball again. She has spent her entire college career, up to now, not really into it. She played basketball as a kid and loved it, even if she wasn't good at it.

Dave, the one true constant in Chapel Hill is construction. But that is a good thing.

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

I feel bad about Roy Scheider's death. I always had a sort of crush on him, must have been his craggy good looks. I was surprised to learn he was 75, thought he was younger.

Good content in the boodle this weekend. I had the stomach bug yesterday that is going around - at least I felt good on Saturday as I had a busy day. I hope I'm done feeling rotten for a while. I certainly have had enough sleep. It's plenty cold and windy here today, wind chills in the single numbers.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | February 11, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I'll post a new kit in a little bit. I am trying to decide if I'm going to make the candidate tour today. They're everywhere, candidates and surrogates. I'm tempted to go hear Michele Obama at BCC at 5:30, I've never heard her in person.

I also finally got around to reading the famous sally jenkins piece on the dysfunctional redskins. wow. Tell us what you really think, Sally! She's great.

Posted by: Achenbach | February 11, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all... (and brrrrrrrr....)

We're at 1 whole frigid degree here in Ohio (-17F with windchill). I know that's suntanning weather for some Boodlers, but not me. Even with longjohns, polar fleece sweatpants, sweatshirt *and* a hoodie, my you-know-whats are frozen.

They even shut down the schools here today.

So now I get to entertain Little Bean (who is sleeping in, thankfully). Wait a minute... did I just hear pajama footies sliding across the kitchen floor?

Dangit. What's wrong with kids these days? Don't they know that they're supposed to sleep until noon when school gets called off?

Posted by: martooni | February 11, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the notice. I wasn't even really trying. I want to thank my agent, and my producer, and the seamstress that puts the fishing weights in the hem of Beyonce's costumes.

Sorry...still having a bad Grammies flashback. I keep dreaming that Herbie Hancock beat Amy Winehouse by attacking her with motorized mannequins.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 11, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

yello, you are too, too, much. good morning to you. i'm laughing out loud.

can amy sing?

i thought it was great that Herbie got a grammy. he's been around for awhile.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 11, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Mr. Achenbach. Looking forward to your kit concerning Mrs. Obama. And I hope you're getting enough rest. Give my best to your family.

Posted by: cassandra s | February 11, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Spent Saturday dealing with oak leaves that had dropped during the week. I ran out of places to dump them in the beds. The oaks have begun flowering (pollen everywhere), so robins can't be far behind.

Coontie cones are falling apart and dropping their red-coated seeds.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 11, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. My wife left for the hospital this morning at about 3.30 to catch my MIL's MD. The folks at the hospital can't get her insulin regimen right, so her blood sugar is rising and falling like the Dow Jones on quarterly report day. Otherwise, she'd be home by now. Anyone know of a sugar free electrolyte like Gatorade? Part os her problem is that the dehydration from the diarrhea has brought on an electrolyte deficiency.

I agree with your, 'Mudge on the choice of headlines on the front page.

BTW, I feel pretty smug. I'm usually the last one out the door, however, this morning, I single handedly took care of all of the animals, did our get-ready-for-school thing, dropped everyone off ON TIME and made it to the building early.

Posted by: jack | February 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Robot... robot calls? You mean the former president was not calling me personally Friday night? And Saturday, what about Saturday? I thought it was a little rude the way he kept talking and wouldn't let me get a word in, but I figured, you know, he's busy, got a lot of calls to make, and can't stop to chat. Well geez, this changes everything. I'll have to re-think.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 11, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

No one mentions Scheider as Dr. Heywood Floyd in "2010," co-starring with the wonderful Helen Mirren (not to mention Bob Balaban)?


Saw/heard Amy Winehouse on the Grammys last night, and her music is a pretty nifty update of early 60's Motown grooves, IMO. I like the music, but it does seem like her life is a shambles. Well, what we're seeing of it, anyway. A more cynical person than I would suggest that there's a bit of calculated PR going on here, with her being unable to travel to the US, and her going into rehab (ahem) a few weeks back, all just happening to coincide with the Grammy media buildup. Hmmmmm.

She *was* good last night, though.

Probably better than new Washington NFL franchise head coach Jim Zorn who botched the team colors during his press conference (I did watch most of it live, BTW), referring to them as "maroon and black" (Snyder's off-camera "and yellow," was priceless, too).

Burgundy and gold, guys. Burgundy and gold.



Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, where *are* my manners?

Good morning, all!


Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Maroon and yellow. Reminds me of many years ago when we had an in-house print shop at the DC Red Cross. The temp I had hired when the printer was out sick kept referring to "the red X."

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

jack, you should try Propel or E-load for your MIL.

I hear and read good things about them, though I have no experience with them personally.


Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Hillary and Barack won't be debating in Houston until about Feb. 28 (details yet TBD), when one of the topics is supposed to be energy. This local (national, too) issue may be "settled" just three days before. This op-ed about nuclear power in Texas ran last week, written by a scion, an attorney, of a prominent San Antonio family. It's long, I'm going to paste it in in its entirety.:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is fast-tracking licensing for new nuclear power plants, stressing speed over health and safety. The public will be far less protected than in the past, at a time when seven nuclear reactors are planned for Texas.

The South Texas Project application is missing so much information that the NRC refuses to do further work on major parts of it. Yet citizens are expected to identify issues and file their petitions to intervene by Feb. 25.

The construction and operating license proceedings, formerly separated, will now be combined. There will be no construction record available to use in determining whether an operating license should be issued. The NRC essentially eliminated cross-examination of witnesses, a key process for bringing out the truth.

The first STP licensing is an excellent example of why the NRC rush and restrictions put the public at risk.

During those hearings, an inspector at the plant told intervenors about alleged intimidation directed against inspectors who tried to get necessary corrections during construction. From his experience, the inspector did not trust the NRC.

I took the allegations to the NRC regional office, which conducted an examination and found no violations. I then took the inspector to CBS's "60 Minutes." They ran a national story featuring the inspector and his allegations.

Then the NRC sent in a team from outside the region, ended up shutting down the plant for a lengthy period and issued an inspection report noting numerous violations.

Had the citizen intervenor not been in place, the inspector would never have come forward with his information, and an honest investigation would never have taken place.

Later, flaws in engineering appeared, creating still further licensing issues. The license was at risk.

The STP partners then brought in new companies to finish the project. The partners eventually recovered more than $700 million in damages from the original contractor.

The intervenors' role in bringing the problems to light seriously embarrassed the NRC. The lengthy hearings that resulted heavily burdened the utilities. Ultimately, however, the intervenors fulfilled the true purpose of permitting public participation -- safety had first priority.

The current fast track scheduling and highly restrictive hearing process are designed to prevent intervenor oversight, much to the detriment of public health and safety. Those who might have stood guard over the NRC and the utilities are now being prevented from taking up that position as new nuclear plants come forward.

The San Antonio City Council should protect the people by rejecting the proposed rate increase by CPS Energy that starts it down the STP path.

Yes we can!
In the America I see...
Yes we can!

Posted by: Loomis | February 11, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Re: The Redskins coaching debacle--I think word has gotten around the league that working for Dan Snyder is something you DON'T want to do. Someone in one of the sports columns suggested that Snyder ought to just name himself head coach and be done with it. Nothing personally against Zorn, who might have a shot since no one has any high expectation of him like would be the case with a Mooch or a Fassel. But the soap opera that's been going on for the past month is just crazy. Jenkins was right--and Spagnoulo did what he should have--take the new ante from the G-men and stay home.

Posted by: ebtnut | February 11, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, bc. I did some internet mining and discovered the circumstances surrounding Mr. Yates' departure from C/D. Time to find amother magazine to feed my car jones.

Posted by: jack | February 11, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, RIP Roy Scheider. He received a well deserved Oscar nom for "All That Jazz" but had the misfortune to be up against Hoffman, Pacino, Jack Lemmon, and Peter Sellers in one of those rare years when all the performers are good. Got beat out by Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs Kramer". Too bad because this was one of his best performances, the other being in William Friedkin's "Sorcerer," a remake of the French classic "Wages of Fear" from the early 50's. Nobody went to see "Sorcerer" when it came out in the 70's, which is a shame, as it is a gritty thriller with tons of suspense and Schieder is magnificent. The remake may be better than the original. The plot is simple- desperate men drive beat up trucks loaded with nitroglycerine over primitive mountain roads to stop an oil well fire in hopes of getting enough money to turn their lives around.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | February 11, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. My wife left for the hospital this morning at about 3.30 to catch my MIL's MD. The folks at the hospital can't get her insulin regimen right, so her blood sugar is rising and falling like the Dow Jones on quarterly report day. Otherwise, she'd be home by now. Anyone know of a sugar free electrolyte like Gatorade? Part os her problem is that the dehydration from the diarrhea has brought on an electrolyte deficiency.

I agree with your, 'Mudge on the choice of headlines on the front page.

BTW, I feel pretty smug. I'm usually the last one out the door, however, this morning, I single handedly took care of all of the animals, did our get-ready-for-school thing, dropped everyone off ON TIME and made it to the building early.

Posted by: jack | February 11, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I saw "Sorcerer" on late night TV maybe a decade ago. I'd never heard of it.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 11, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

SCC: severely time delayed double post.

Posted by: jack | February 11, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Loomis said:
"It's long, I'm going to paste it in in its entirety."

Which is exactly why you shouldn't. It is VERY bad netiquette (and a copyright violation to boot) to cut and paste an entire article, especially after providing a hypertext link.

Please, please, please, just highlight an appropriate quote, properly format it as a quote, and comment as you feel fit. Do NOT constantly bombard us with lengthy inane off-topic (even by our standards) ramblings.

Better yet, start your own blog about the news of the San Antonio area and feel free to keep us updated. You may find that you can build a following and find other like minded people a little more interested in these events.

Blogs are free and easy. I have nearly a half dozen of them. I use which works off of a Google account and is very easy to use.

If you are this interested in these issues you deserve it to yourself to try reach a larger more involved audience.

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

Reading that provocative article from the San Antonio paper I was initially confused by the Obama "cheer" until I looked at the link and confirmed that it was not part of the original article, but a non-sequitor tacked on.

Linda - people here have repeatedly requested that you clearly designate where your voluminous quotes end and and your own words begin. A simple // would suffice. Why do you refuse? Are you deliberately attempting to confuse us?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 11, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Are brief concise inane off-topic ramblings OK? 'Cause otherwise I'm screwed.

Posted by: K:LOTD | February 11, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I like cats!

Posted by: TBG | February 11, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I think inane rambler is available as a boodle handle.

Posted by: jack | February 11, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

If you'd like a middle name, you could be inane nash rambler. (sorry bc)

Posted by: Raysmom | February 11, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I for one am glad that they are finally putting up more nuclear power plants. It has been what 30 years since any new one have been built? Anything that helps with our energy crunch is a good thing.I am sure the technology over the past 30 years has been quite significant.

When power companies can get away with a 75% increase in charges and oil companies are turning in record profits. I think we must move along with nuclear power and many more plants.It has great potential to ease our energy burden.

Also, I find it hard to believe that the NRC would do anything to by-pass public safety.I do think they would do EVERYTHING to insure it. I think it is a crying shame that our country has waited so long to get back into building more plants.

I for one am tired of struggling to exist paying record prices for gas and power while the fat cats of oil companies are making record profits.

I thought by now we would be driving our own nuclear powered cars.

Sorry for the rant,but C'mon something has got to change!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | February 11, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Nah. Cats are too stringy.

Just kidding maniacal PETA commandos!

The problem I have with cats is you never know what kind of cat you are going to get when you pick out a kitten. Maybe you will end up with a nice friendly feline. Maybe you will end up with a psychotic fiend.

Of course, this could be also be viewed as an argument for why you should adopt adult cats.

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 11, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Inane ramble = dmd :-)

To prove my point I give you this story, I was holding on to it for the new kit as the topic has often been discussed here, and it much loved by a few boodlers.

I give you Curling Idol - (an NBC idea).

Posted by: dmd | February 11, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy - well said.

dmd - Curling *and* Bon Jovi? How could it miss?

Posted by: RD Padouk | February 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I speak only for myself and have no official or unofficial authority or power on Washington Post blogs. I do cite Rule 1 of the Service Discussion Guidelines:

"You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party and that you will remove the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, or that is otherwise inappropriate."

I recognize that your definitions of "lengthy", "inane", "ramblings", "sexual relations", and "is" may vary from mine. Interpret as you feel appropriate and as you conscious and/or diety's variation of The Golden Rule allow.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 11, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

dmd, one of the creators of that show is Colin Campbell. Would that be the NHL's own Mr. Campbell?

Would the contestants have to be actual curlers, or would it be like Dancing With the Stars? We'd have to have a model, an aging Vegas-type star, a singer, and one or two of those famous-for-being-famous types.

Speaking of hockey, Raysdad was watching the Florida-Buffalo game last night. He came in to where I was (talking to Mom on the phone) looking like he had seen a ghost. Seemed he had just seen this:

Posted by: Raysmom | February 11, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Loomis - you're quoting/pasting/reproducing Lanny Sinkin?

You mean *this guy*?

I'm no expert, but this guy sounds like a Rather Odd Individual (note: I didn't say "whack job.").

I was amused to find him living on Hilo, and some of his work on a pro-cannibis website, though.

Personally, I think they guy's an opportunisitc professional protester and activist who goes wherever the money and media attention is.

But that's just my opinion.


Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I see that Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) has passed away. That would be the gentleman with the ummm... "memorably" named sons-in-law.

Posted by: Bob S. | February 11, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, the very reason young kids wear neck guards.

Don't think it is the same Colie Campbell, but it Bon Jovi were to give demostrations of proper curling techique I think I would consider watching. Can't believe the US Curling Association wouldn't be somewhat offended by this.

Posted by: dmd | February 11, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I would note to those linkin' on Sinkin to read that link all the way to the end.

The bits where the article posits that the Texas scion claims to be acting in the interest of the Hawiian kings, and references his 12-year stay in the Federal pen for non-payment of a loan from the State of Colorado make for interesting reading, too.


Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

There's a US Curling Association?

Of course, considering my varied work history around the DC area, well known for its many associations, I'm surprised I haven't worked there at one time or another. (Of course not.. it's headquartered in Wisconsin.)

Posted by: TBG | February 11, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Attorney Sinkin actually resides in Hawaii, Obama's home state. The story of his fight against the safety and construction errors of the South Texas nuclear plant is told by an Hawaiian newspaper:

Upon returning to San Antonio after spending four months in Morocco, he accepted a position as executive director of the Urban Coalition of Metropolitan San Antonio, a roundtable discussion by local interest groups.

But he clashed with business members of the coalition and "ran up on the rocks" concerning the issue of a proposed nuclear power plant in the area. Sinkin clamored for a public hearing, which was granted though the construction of the plant continued despite grievous safety concerns.

Refusing to concede defeat, Sinkin joined a group intent on fighting the state-issued license to build the plant.
In the wake of the publicity generated by Sinkin and his organization, a nuclear inspector working in the plant called him and detailed falsification of records, pressure on inspectors, and general lack of oversight into the safety of the building of the plant. The disinterest of Texas'[??? federal?] Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when approached prompted Sinkin to take the story to the media.

After a special aired on CBS' 60 Minutes where the whistleblower recounted deplorable examples of browbeating and corruption, the NRC shut the plant down and imposed heavy fines.

"Because we did intervene in the licensing process, where everyone told us we'd just get beaten to a bloody pulp," Sinkin said, "the pressure was on, and out pops this report on the engineering of the plant that they had hidden where an independent assessment had come in that the engineering was totally flawed."
It was during this process that Sinkin realized the pervasive educational potential of litigation - for the community, for those on both sides of a contentious issue, and for those who might speak out if they thought anyone would listen.

"If you get involved and you raise an issue, you at least create an opportunity for something to happen," Sinkin said. "If nobody raises it, if nobody steps out and gives a focal point, then things happen with no one knowing about it."

A hearing had been granted when he realized a little more know-how would be necessary to properly challenge the industrial giants they were taking on.
"I was going to participate in this administrative hearing process without really knowing what was going on, so I thought I'd better go to law school and find out how they play this game," Sinkin said.

Sinkin completed his law degree from the University of Texas, nearly missing his first round of finals because they conflicted with hearings on the nuclear plant. A lawyer from the Washington D.C.-based Christic Institute, a non-profit law and public policy center, sat in for and became co-counsel with Sinkin while he completed his finals.

Law school in itself is a daunting undertaking for anyone, but that coupled with intense legal proceedings was enough to push Sinkin to the edge. Yet it is sometimes at the very end of our rope that we find our greatest and most lasting motivations.

Bits and pieces of the 15,000-page hearing record were strewn about his room in Austin, and Sinkin was wondering how he had made it through the last week on six hours of sleep, how he had the strength to persevere. ...

The nuclear plant ultimately received a license, and Sinkin eventually went to work for the Christic Institute.

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

And of course, don't forget Rep. Lantos' REAL claim to fame, according to his Post obit...

"He has been married since 1950 to a childhood friend, Annette Tillemann, reportedly a cousin of the Gabor sisters."

Posted by: TBG | February 11, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Colin Campbell. One of them was a fashionable 18th century British architect who did country houses and such.

Another did the "China Study" that attempted to figure out the health effects of China's diverse regional diets. He came out with firm opinions about what we should eat.

A hockey one, too?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | February 11, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If it gives curling a good name just the watching uncurlers curlers learn the game would be fun.

However giving them a chance at a Olympic slot is wrong unless they follow the same rules other teams use to get there. In my view it would cheapen the Olympic process...and now that the writers strike is almost over, well we'll see if it happens. If they ran it like Big Break, maybe.

It is a sport everyone of every ability and disability can have fun with till they are very old. I'm glad to see it making the news. (Canadian Juniours have been choosen, mens and womens provincials are pretty much done, Scotts on the Horizon, as is Brier. Its just getting good now.)

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

new kit!

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

I skimmed that article you linked to, Loomis.

Loved the parts where he sets up a suit against President George W. Bush and then Defense Secretatry Rumsfeld "on behalf of the cetacean community."

As someone pointed out to me, couldn't someone sue the President and Secretary Spellings (Dept of Education) on behalf of hamsters, due to the way public schoolchildren treat them?

That super Rainbow Friends sanctuary with 80-90 dogs and 200 cats sounds pretty interesting, too. Glad I don't have to change those litterboxes or scoop up *that* yard.


Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Aw, hell. I knew that was going to happen.


Posted by: bc | February 11, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Friday's news from Reuters on the Texas nuclear power plant scenario:

HOUSTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The municipal utility serving the city of Austin will recommend the Texas capital not join NRG Energy Inc as a partner in seeking a license for two new nuclear reactors in Texas, the utility said on Friday.

A consultant hired by the Austin utility said the cost of the two-unit expansion, estimated at between $6 billion and $7 billion, and the construction schedule were overly optimistic and represent an "unacceptable degree" of risk. ...

Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG, the second-largest power producer in Texas, in September filed for a permit for two 1,350-megawatt General Electric Co (parent company of NBC News) advanced boiling water reactors to be built at the South Texas Project nuclear plant 90 miles southwest of Houston. ...

Austin Energy owns 16 percent of STP's existing two units, but the utility has had a rocky history with the plant in previous years. At one point, the city launched legal action to try to leave the partnership.

NRG owns 44 percent of STP and CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipal utility, owns 40 percent.

LL: Let's see, who's sponsoring the two upcoming Democratic debates? Why, an arm of NBC--MSNBC, in Cleveland, certainly. And MSNBC has offered to host the debate in Houston. How likely do you think it is that any serious question about energy, say nuclear, is about to be asked in the Houston, Texas, debate, given that General Electric is heavily involved in the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear plant imbroglio?

Barack Obama pledged Thursday to meet Hillary Rodham Clinton in Democratic presidential debates in Texas and Ohio before the March 4 primaries.

But the Illinois senator stopped short of committing to attend an event planned for Feb. 28 in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

"We're committing to the concept of doing a debate in Texas before the primary," said Josh Earnest, a spokesman for the Obama campaign.

Obama also announced he had accepted an invitation to participate in a debate at Cleveland State University on Feb. 26. That debate, the campaign said, will be hosted by NBC News and WKYC, NBC's Cleveland affiliate. ...

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and the network's Washington bureau chief Tim Russert will moderate the Cleveland debate.

The two veteran newsmen also have promised to moderate the debate the Greater Houston Partnership has been trying to organize in Houston. NBC's cable network MSNBC had committed to airing the Houston forum.

Besides the NBC affiliates in Ohio, the Cleveland debate also will be aired on MSNBC. The forum will be translated into Spanish and then aired on Telemundo that same evening.

Whether NBC's landing the Ohio debate might scuttle plans for a Houston forum two days later remained unclear Thursday.

"We hope that both candidates will agree to participate in both debates," MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.

Thursday's announcement caught the Partnership off guard: "The Greater Houston Partnership has not independently confirmed any of this and is not in a position to comment," it said in a prepared statement.

Obama's pledge to appear in matchups in both Texas and Ohio capped off three days of dueling between the two campaigns over participating in debates.

While voters were still going to the polls on Super Tuesday, Clinton challenged Obama to appear in four debates, starting Sunday. By Thursday the list had grown to five.

Obama balked at committing to so many debates, promising to appear only at two.

Earlier Thursday, Obama took fire in Texas for not committing to the Houston debate. Former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, a Clinton supporter, called Obama's position "disappointing and possibly even disrespectful.

"It looks like he's trying to dodge the debates," Mauro said in a conference call with reporters.

The Partnership has been trying for months to lure the presidential hopefuls to Houston.

"This is not new," said Clinton supporter Carol Alvarado, a former Houston City Council member who also spoke on the conference call.

She noted that Houston is home to a large Hispanic community, whose members are "very anxious [sic: eager] to see this take place."

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

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 2, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 8, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company