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This morning on CBS someone was talking about "white women over 40 making less than $50,000 a year" (or words to that effect) as the core of Hillary's support. That's how we discuss this campaign -- as a battle for demographic groups. As you know I've been rambling around the country (let's see, Iowa, NH, Florida, S. Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona, Utah, Massachusetts, Texas and Montana) and have interviewed a lot of people, hardly any of which introduce themselves as members of a voting bloc.

The demographics do help us understand the campaign, and people do, in many cases, vote as you think they would -- but so often they don't. In fact that's what struck me again and again, how unpredictable people are, how complicated, how a single person can represent multiple alleged voting blocs that do not necessarily line up neatly with one another.

So I wrote a piece on voters and labels, which ran today in the A section along with some half-arsed photos I took. Excerpt:

SAN ANTONIO -- Just days before this week's Texas primary, Morris Merritt stood guard outside the Alamo.

He's an "Alamo Ranger" who keeps an eye on things around the Texas mission, helps tourists take pictures and dispenses historical tidbits. "Stacked the bodies in three piles," he tells a visitor. "Burned 'em."

Merritt is white, 67 years old, wears a cowboy hat and maintains a rather stony expression. Just about any political pundit would take one look and peg him as a conservative.

But he planned to vote for Sen. Barack Obama.

"I think the country needs extreme change," he says.

The presidential race has spawned endless discussion of demographics, focusing in particular on the race, ethnicity, gender, religion and incomes of the electorate, particularly in a Democratic race that features no great ideological differences between the candidates but appears to be heavily influenced by identity politics.

An emerging theme has been the Starbucks-Dunkin' Donuts divide, also known as the wine-track/beer-track split. The conventional wisdom goes that a Prius-driving, cappuccino-sipping voter with decidedly strong opinions about pinot noir vs. merlot will vote for Obama, while the beefy Pabst-chugging guy with the tattoo and a cigarette behind his ear is surely going to vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But labels don't always stick, and demographic truisms don't always survive contact with an actual voter.

[Click here to keep reading.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 7, 2008; 8:28 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Grand Canyon Older Than We Thought?
Next: McCain and the Grizzlies



Posted by: dbG | March 7, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

so many questions in the previous boodle and I finally catch up to find they've all been answered already. Except: "Grace Under Fire". I too loved that show.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Wade Swoboda: I love you like a Sister.
Grace Kelly: Oh, Wade. I'm Southern. Please don't tell me you love me like a sister!

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link for bc:

A SciFi book I'm reading has this term in it, and I at first thought it was a word the author made up. Was a bit annoyed that he never explained what it is. Looked it up this AM and it now makes less sense. Should have just stuck with thinking it was the author's imagination.

Frederik Pohl: "Starburst"

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Brett Butler self-destructed as she did. Another talent lost.

I think we all should self-demographicize ourselves...

I'm a 35-45, white, veteran, civil servant, college grad, unaffiliated, non-smoker, non-drinker, married male. And no, you can't guess how I'll vote.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 7, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Scones! You had to say SCONES!

Worked from home yesterday, nobody told me it was tie day here. But an unasked friend scrounged up one that completely matches my shirt down to the glitter threaded stripes and cafe au lait color. Go figure. It's the first time I've ever worn a tie.

50+, white, advanced degree, Dem/Indep, non-smoker, light drinker, divorced female. Above the salary demographic mentioned in Joel's kit. Lesse. Her husband is speaking here today, I'm not going--although I probably will for her.

Now to go get that scone.

Posted by: dbG | March 7, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

So I guess this means that Miles would definately vote for Obama. I'm also guessing here, but Jack probably wouldn't vote at all.

(Think "Sideways")

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Rita Rudner.

Posted by: dbG | March 7, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Lovely bunch o'comments over at the print version... *RME*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 7, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I think this is one of the most important things Joel has ever written. Seriously. And that he did it without resorting to a discussion of overlapping distributions is even more impressive.

One of the most horrible things we people do is treat groups as sentient creatures. This has led to all sorts of grief in the world. We do it both because it is easy, and because there are enough common characteristics in a given group to fool us into believing in a group consciousness.

The point, of course, is that *even if* there are statistically significant aggregate measures that can be applied to a group, the predictive power of such measures when applied to an individual is insignificant. And this isn't some kind of mooshy statement of philosophy. It is a hard mathematical fact.

I mean, the average number of children in an American family with children is 1.86. While this figure has great importance in looking at the aggregate nature of American families, I defy anyone to use this figure to absolutely predict the number of children in any given family.

Indeed, I assert without fear of contradiction that the number of families that have exactly 1.86 children is zero. There *are no* average families.

In the same way it is foolish to predict any kind of individual behavior on group statistics. There are no average whites. There are no average blacks. There are no average men. There are no average women. There are no average people.

And, as Joel so eloquently explains, there are no average voters.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

All your getting from me is that I'm unaffiliated/independent; fiscally conservative/socially liberal. Which is why I almost always vote Dem.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

From the Weingarten school of thought: All women are above average.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Wait, what the heck kind of word is Demographicoguery? And why did it take me so long to notice?

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

From the tail of the previous Boodle:

Personally, I think Jack Benny was funnier as a stand-up comedian, but Groucho's movies and wide-ranging social and political commentary are superior to anything I ever saw from Benny though I don't discount his inclusion of the Rochester character.

I'm not sure who was a better foil/straightperson for each; Rochester for Benny, or Margaret Dumont for Groucho.

Having said all that, Benny and the Marx Brothers both came up through vaudeville in the early 20th century, and I'm pretty sure that they were friends. Benny was involved with - maybe married? - one of the Marx sisters, IIRC.

On a seperate note I see that Marc Kaufmann has written a piece about something I've long been saying would be a problem: With the decomissioning of the Space Shuttles in 2010, the US will have no manned space capability until the new Ares/Orion systems come on line in 2012 or so.

And the Russians get to name their prices for ferrying Americans to the ISS, as tensions between the two countries are rising...


Posted by: bc | March 7, 2008 09:04 AM

Now give me a moment to catch up with this Kit and kaons...

"Starker! There is *no laughing* in Kaons!"



Posted by: bc | March 7, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Never mind, I figured it out.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm confuseder than before bc:*no+laughing*+in+Kaons

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Scones didn't look as good as something else.

Count me in as a member of the blueberry muffin demographic. (Almost typed demongraphic there. Hmmmm.)

Posted by: dbG | March 7, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Methinks bc was doing a K.A.O.S./Kaon play on words.

But I've been wrong before.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 7, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

joel, i think you mean "excerpt" not "except."

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 7, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Achenbach | March 7, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Demographicoguery. Wow, Joel has such a way with words. I'm in awe. It's...Germanic in the way he put the syllables together so that you know exactly what he means.

Given my demographics (female, over 50, master's in public administration, retired, non-smoker, occasional wine drinker), you'd think I would be solidly in Hillary's corner. But I'll most likely vote for Obama in the primary.

I am READY for SERIOUS change.

(318 days till January 20, 2009!)

Posted by: slyness | March 7, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Great kit Joel.

Demographics is a delicate issue with me at the moment I move up a bracket in a few months and everytime I see something that reminds me of that I get a little anxious.

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Ooops, forgot the muffin demographic:
Carrot cake.

And let's not get into the comedian demo, shall we?


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 7, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Married male, 30s, college grad, educator, toker, non-smoker, beer-swiller (but never Pabst- I'm a connoisseur), Sonic for breakfast (no doughnuts or scones), and with a kid and an 8-1/2-month pregnant wife, I believe that I actually do have almost exactly 1.86 children.

Posted by: Gomer | March 7, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Great writing JA, and love your photos. Hilary and Obama are both coming to Casper, Wyoming today...have to see the tax man first, though. Wapo rocks!

Posted by: Gunde | March 7, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

You got screwed, blued and tattooed by the San Antonio Express-News this morning. I'm talking about your reporting about the age, contentious by all accounts, of the Grand Canyon.

I saw your blog item, read John Noble Wilford's reporting on the same at the NYT, then returned to to read your entire article. That's how I know Wilford's reporting ended with a mention of John Wesley Powell and his 1869 trip down the Colorado River through the canyon, the story of great interest to me--an extension of the stories of Western exploration and mapping told by Goetzmann in his award-winning book.

What did I find on the second A section in our paper this morning, on page 15A? A reprint of the Wilford article, but with 10 paragraphs appended after the mention of Powell. I thought to myself, "This sure looks like Joel's work from yesterday." At the end of the entire piece, there is a small blurb that reads, "The Washington Post contributed to this report."

No shared byline for the reprinted article, no mention of your work, Joel, nada. I'd say you were Texas hornswoggled.

Posted by: Loomis | March 7, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks scotty, it now makes sense. well, at least the no laughing part.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Joel, thanks for reminding me to pick-up half a dozens at the Scone Witches. Darn they are good.
I've entered Catholic churches in a state of mortal sin without any unpleasant incidents. Should I wear asbestos underwear for Commemorative service of a colleague's mother this PM? The first Protestant mass I'll ever attend will be held in a nice downtown United Church (that is everything but United these days).
Enough bad things happened to that woman in her life one would expect at least her death would be dignified and peaceful, but this is not the way it happened. The tough ones gets challenged to the end apparently. She is at rest now, finally.
As for demographics I'm not a citizen nor a resident of the USA, so it doesn't matter. I'm quite sure I would not have voted for W though. I do not trust people born with a silver spoon in their mouth pretending to be one of the boys.
Weekend forecast :12-20in. of snow. Oh joy.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 7, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Jack: If they want to drink Merlot, we're drinking Merlot.
Miles Raymond: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f*ing Merlot!

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

omni - after I saw that film I looked sheepishly at my own modest collection of wines and sighed.

I really enjoyed "Sideways" although the image of the fat nekkid guy haunts me still.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Just to prove Shriek really does have reason to complain.

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

omni, you're hurting me with reminders of the movie that made my beloved Pinot more expensive! Although I tend to agree with him about Merlot...

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Probability is not applicable to single events, not really. Thank you, RD. It took me a very long time to find scientific literature to back up what I knew instinctively but couldn't express, being not very educated, science-wise. Here's something from the internet:

"... According to Reichenbach, the probability concept is extended by giving probability a 'fictitious' meaning in reference to single events. We find the probability associated with an infinite sequences and transfer that value to a given single member of it. ... This procedure, which seems natural in the case of the coin toss, does involve basic difficulties. The whole trouble is that a given single event belongs to many sequences, and the probabilities associated with the different sequences may differ considerably. The problem is to decide from which sequence to take the probability that is to be attached 'fictitiously' to the single event."

Posted by: kbertocci | March 7, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Groucho once said that Dumont was so good with him because she had absolutely no sense of humor and never got the joke, never anticipated the punchline.

Male, white (well more of a blotchy beige), almost 60, very married, parent of (very) adult child, non-veteran unless you count being born in an Army hospital and spending 16 years as a military brat, college- graduated from University if Texas Laudy How Cum, 1.86 chins, bald, semihemidemipaunch, ex-Marlboro man, no coffee, yes wine and beer (no PBR, we have our standards. They're low, but we have them.) In the coming contest i favor Obama, mostly because I cannot stand the thought of listening to all the garbage about Monica and Jennifer and bimbo eruptions and blue dresses and the definition of "is" for another four years. If Bill should take a flight on Amelia Earhart Airlines between now and the election I could vote for HRC without qualm. I have no respect left for Johnny Mac. Over the last seven years he has compromised each and every principle he ever had in his quest for the White House. At first it was sad to watch. Now it's just disgusting.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 7, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Wait just a gull-durned minute. I've got some business from the last boodle to take care of: Wilbrod wrote: "I foresee an plant rights movement coming up...."

That being so, it occured to me that the VRM (Vegetable Rights Movement) needs a catchy, bumper-sticker type slogan and songs. I prose the following:

"Free the Broccoli 11"
"We Will Not Be Sauteed!"
"Tippicanoe and Cauliflower Too"
"54-40 or Blight!"
"Okra-homer, Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plain"
"You Say 'To-may-to,' I Say It's a Not a Stupid Fruit"
"A Fool and His Succotash Are Soon Parted"
"A Grazing Maize, How Sweet the Ground"

Just tryin' to be helpful.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

omni beat me to the Sideways merlot quote. I use that as often and as loudly as possible.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 7, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of movies, it looks like an "unemployed psychologist" may win the Netflix prize for figuring out a better algorithm for movie recommendations.

"Next to Potter's computer there's a sheet of notebook paper. On it is an intricate computation in a neat, squarish hand. Not his -- the calculation was done by his oldest daughter, Emily, a high school senior who plans to start a degree at Oxford next fall. She is, for the moment, serving as her father's higher-math consultant. "He gives me bits of calculus to do," she says, in a manner that suggests she feels ready to assume a position of greater responsibility on the project. (Emily has received no authoritative word as to what portion of any prize money would accrue to her personal accounts.)"

Read it all here:

Posted by: frostbitten | March 7, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I like good Merlot, especially when blended with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. The problem is that a lot of mediocre grapes have been hauled into service, so the overall quality has been debased.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd called the older female voters that support Hillary "shoulder pad" feminists. I guess that means women that were old enough to remember wearing shoulder pads in the office.

Her commercials in Texas were very much aimed at women exclusively to the point of exhuming the shoulder pad wearing Ann Richards to endorse her from the grave.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | March 7, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Thinking about preparing to get busy here - thanks, Cassandra, that was really funny. And so true.

Joel, brilliant column, and I second RD on its importance. Of course, the riposte would be that this is all anecdotal, but then that's the point of actual individual stories rather than statistical projections: the former are anecdotal. The voter is always the particular, not the general.

Female, short, white, 47, married, one child, lawyer, musician, community volunteer, policy wonk, Democrat, non-smoker, like country music, rock'nroll and opera, beer, wine and sour mash whisky, donuts & scones, cowboy boots & high heels. Prefer books to TV. Simpsons watcher.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 7, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Lots of problems with the Texas caucuses--logistic, legal challenges, by the way for those not following the Texas press. Many calls, editorially in the last two or three days, to do away with the Texas Two-Step--specifically, a call to eliminate the caucus system. As was proved Tuesday with huge voter turnout, the caucus system is unwieldy.

I came this close to staying after our caucus to apply for being a delegate, but the night was cool and getting colder and I was still cramping from the procedure. After I waited almost a half hour, my husband with me, we threw in the towel and headed home to our warmer house.

Our caucus went relatively smoothly, since our 2099 precinct is dinky. We were colocated with another larger district, 2066, which had a very large turnout--the lines for Baack and Hillary very evenly split, according to my rough-approximation headcount and to our amazement. It was very tempting to stay, since our precinct falls in state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte's district, she to be one of the Dem convention cochairs in Denver.

If you look at the map of Texas, the Democratic vote, Hillary swept almost all of rural Texas, and the border areas--except large Brewster County where the Rio Grande bends and gives the border its well-known bump.

Obama took Dallas and Fort Worth, Houston, and a checkerboard of counties in eastern Texas. What surprised me most was the number of counties that went for Obama around Austin, and south to just north of San Antonio, including a swath of counties to Austin's west.

Interesting that Obama chose to deliver his Texas primary election night speech from in front of our Municipal Auditorium, with its oversized black doors--this in a county, ours, Bexar, that was really a sweep for Hillary Clinton. "Si se puede" just didn't seem to hold any magic for Obama here.

As one of the gay guys with whom I stood in line with at the Clinton rally, the one from Arkansas, pointed out, no one in our area of line fit the Hillary blue-collar, less than $50,000-income stereotype. After his analysis, we all laughed.

All educated professionals--the former municipal judge; the two older female students working on their doctorates at UTSA; the gay couple, the one I chatted most with having worked in the telecomm business for decades; the 80-year-old woman who worked for Motorola for years in Chicago, before retiring here in her mid-60s, San Antonio her husband's hometown. And this humorous man from Pine Bluff, whose parents attended Mike Huckabee's church--his father a Baptist, his mother Greek Orthodox, said he actually preferred Dunkin' Donuts to Starbuck's.

The headline in today's paper--rate increased proposed for energy, about $7 a month. D@mn Texas nuclear boondoggle down on the coast! Electicity up, gas up, food up, medical care very expensive, gold up, stocks way down. What next?

Posted by: Loomis | March 7, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Raysmom, but I've got more...This part gets me emotional every time. I fall in deeply in love Virginia Madsen all over again.

Maya: You know, can I ask you a personal question, Miles?
Miles Raymond: Sure.
Maya: Why are you so in to Pinot?
Miles Raymond: [laughs softly]
Maya: I mean, it's like a thing with you.
Miles Raymond: [continues laughing softly]
Miles Raymond: Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet.

Miles Raymond: What about you?
Maya: What about me?
Miles Raymond: I don't know. Why are you into wine?
Maya: Oh I... I think I... I originally got in to wine through my ex-husband.
Miles Raymond: Ah.
Maya: You know, he had this big, sort of show-off cellar, you know.
Miles Raymond: Right.
Maya: But then I discovered that I had a really sharp palate.
Miles Raymond: Uh-huh.
Maya: And the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.
Miles Raymond: Like what?
Maya: Like what a fraud he was.
[Miles laughs softly]
Maya: No, I- I like to think about the life of wine.
Miles Raymond: Yeah.
Maya: How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your '61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline.
Miles Raymond: Hmm.
Maya: And it tastes so f*ing good.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Classic Houston quote from Marilyn Oshman, art patron who founded Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, sponsors of the Beer Can House: "One good thing about not having any zoning is you can do stuff."

Yes indeedy.

[NYT article, today.]

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 7, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I like merlot. I like quiche (though not together -- I make a vegetarian spinach quiche, and it really is better accompanied by a dry white). If you disagree with me on these issues, or are contemptuous of my tastes -- well, you don't have to eat my darned quiche, and you can go buy your own dang beverage.

White, male, almost 46, reasonably well paid, advanced degree (PhD), professional scientist, fiscally conservative, personally fairly conservative with a strong belief that others have a right to choose differently than I do, strongly feminist, registered Dem, never taken illegal drugs (except an underage drink or two), never smoked, no fixed religious affiliation, determinedly heterosexual, monogamous, procrastinator. Woulda voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, but I didn't arrange for an absentee ballot in time and I was out of state on that day. Will vote for whoever will do the best job of publicly repudiating George W. Bush before the world's nations.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 7, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ann Richards children were split--the daughter going for Hillary, saying Ann would, too, if she were alive. The Richards sons going for Obama.

That shoulder pad column was weird. I could mail Dowd a whole box of shoulder pads that I took out of my clothing. Always thought I would cut up the foam and make yard pillows out of them. The most appropriate place for that fashion look is next to my derriere. Now this year, we have those awful swing jackets. Last year it was the baby-doll, empire look. Fashion, bah.

Posted by: Loomis | March 7, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

From the story about the Netflix prize:

In other words: The computer scientists and statisticians at the top of the leaderboard have developed elaborate and carefully tuned algorithms for representing movie watchers by lists of numbers, from which their tastes in movies can be estimated by a formula. Which is fine, in Gavin Potter's view -- except people aren't lists of numbers and don't watch movies as if they were.

Hmmm, accidentally on kit. Just change "people aren't lists of numbers and don't watch movies as if they were" to "don't vote as if they were."

Female, 47, married, mother of 2, veteran, spouse of a soldier, red wine and beer drinker (not together), gardening enthusiast, donuts and bagles, proudly pantyhose free since July 9, 1999, community volunteer, policy wonk, singing impaired, opposed to fruity bits in baked goods (especially raisins).

Posted by: frostbitten | March 7, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Good point on Merlot, RD. If you went into a wine store and grabbed one $10 bottle of each varietal, chances are the Merlot would be the worst.

Female, 50s, WASP, twice-married, no kids, MBA, fiscal conservative, social liberal, wine drinker, NASCAR watcher, (very) occasional cigar smoker, panty hose hater, HGTV addict, help-desk phobic. Good luck.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

In the movie "Notting Hill", one of the characters is a fruitarian meaning she will only eat plant matter that has voluntarily committed suicide, i.e. fallen of the tree.

Keziah: No thanks, I'm a fruitarian.
Max: I didn't realize that.
William: And, ahm: what exactly is a fruitarian?
Keziah: We believe that fruits and vegetables have feeling so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that have actually fallen off a tree or bush - that are, in fact, dead already.
William: Right. Right. Interesting stuff. So, these carrots...
Keziah: Have been murdered, yes.
William: Murdered? Poor carrots. How beastly!

The movie slightly overstates the beliefs of fruitarians who are a subsect of vegetarians that believe no food should be cooked.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 7, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

She brings tears to my eyes. The quote doesn't really do it justice. Just so many words. You really have to hear her saying it.

A YouTube search only finds the Miles quote. dang

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

A Wilford-Achenbach mashup. Hmm. Sounds tectonic.

Saddened to see today's story of the shooting death of the student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 7, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Merlot's making up the more than half some of the greatest Bordeaux (like the Pomerols IIRC) RD Padouk. It's a mixture grape in my own opinion. That the Merlot vine can produce a lot of grape is its potential downfall as the quality dwindles when the yield increases. The miserly yield of some merlot vines, they even harvest off half the green grapes for crying out loud, gives us the mighty Pétrus. Not that I afford Pétrus but I had a couple of glasses of one great Pomerol or another over the year and those are great wines and mostly merlot.

Linda, I know it's childish but I chuckle interiorly every time you mention Mrs Van de Putte. Pute in French is short for putain (wh@re). So I read it Van the 'ho. I'm not proud of it, it's sad but true.

I'll try to find some time to post snow pictures next weekend, you know, between shoveling sessions.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 7, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

omni, "Starburst" is one of my least favorite Pohl novels. Interesting ideas and science, kinda goofy execution of the plot IMO. I'd have advised against it, though my memory of it is from 20+ years ago...

Scotty figured out my K.A.O.S/kaon "Get Smart" double entendre. Perhaps I'm not completely insane.

Kaons, mesons, hadrons, bosons - the intersection of quantum and particle physics is a quarky eigenstate of strangeness for me.

Speaking of strangeness and probabilities, predicting the actions of individual voters is subject to what I propose we call the Achenbach Uncertainty Principle, in that we Observers can know certain demograpic properties of a given voter - ethnic, food and beverage preferences, location, etc., but not exactly how they'll vote. That vote exists as a cloud of probablilites (and properties of a given voter) in the Higgs Ocean unitl it collapses when it's cast in the booth somewhere (see Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment).

And for each individual vote, Observers can't know exactly who cast it, but can assign some statistical probablities based on what you Observe of the voters in a given district, but you'd be hard pressed to assign that vote to an individual.

In all of these thought experiments, People are Unpredictable actors, as well as Unreliable Observers.

But we're all we've got.


Posted by: bc | March 7, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, SonofCarl, etc... this is for you...

Posted by: TBG | March 7, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how men wear ties day after day! It's open further than a necklace I wear every day and it's still bothering me.

On the other hand, someone in the ladies' room loved it, calling it (unasked) the "perfect yet insouciant look." Sounds like style creds to me. :-)

Posted by: dbG | March 7, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm Liking it just fine, 'Starburst' that is. It's kind of quirky (and quarky). I do think I agree that it's not one of his best. I have another at home (don't recall the title at the moment) and recently finished 'The Coming of the Quantum Cats'. I needed a break from all the classic lit I've been reading lately. The used book store (Idle Time Books) at the bottom end of the block is now in the near the top, and I frequently find myself walking past after Sat brunch. Its gravitational pull is immense. I think my favorite Pohl is 'A Plague of Pythons'. I read that more than twenty years ago. Close to thirty I think. It was my Mom's book.ha

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I wear a tie every once and a while just to prove to myself that I can still do a decent double Windsor. But if I wear one too often I start to lose street cred.

Besides, it makes everyone think I must be interviewing for a new job.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I only own three ties. Your classic business power red, a shiny metallic gold and a shiny metallic blue. The last time I wore one to work was fifteen years ago, first day on the job, never again after that. The shiny blue sort of metallic one I wore with a shiny green silk shirt to a friends christmas party about five years ago. Strangely enough it was a really cool look. So once in the past fifteen years for me.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

No discussion of gaming with the Reaper is complete without "De Duva" from 1968-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 7, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Self-strangulation devices are unfortunately a fact of life in my office.

When I'm out of my cubicle, that is. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 7, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

When I first started working here all the men in IT and finance and all the male managers wore ties. I didn't wear a tie on my second day. By the end of the year only one guy in IT was still wearing a tie. About six moths later we finally broke him and he stopped wearing one. Nowadays only finance and upper level management stil wear them. Am I a trend setter or what.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

SCC:months not moths

time for a walk and lunch

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I have not worn a tie since the 80's, it was my Grandfathers tie. Fashion was awful in the eighties, I believe I wore my grandfathers old fedora with the outfit.

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's my key to wine snobbery. Find one white and one red varietal that you like and stick to it. Ours are pinot gris and merlot. This was before Sideways made merlot a punchline. Once you have the variety down, you usually have between two and five choices in that category. Then you can make some arbitrary decision based on region, reputation or (my favorite) price. Don't order the cheapest of anything in a restaurant, but the next cheapest is usually not that much of a premium.

"Our" wine is Rutherford Hill because we toured their winery in Napa Valley once upon a time and they market mostly to restaurants rather than wine stores. We were shocked and delighted to find a reasonably priced RH merlot at Sparks in New York. If it's good enough for Sparks, it's good enough for anywhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 7, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

We're generally a white wine couple. A recent favorite is Elk Cove Pinot Gris from Washington State. Unfortunately, it's currently out of stock--wine store says maybe 2-3 months. Also found a very nice red from Spain (name escapes me at the moment).

Posted by: ebtnut | March 7, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Good kit, JA. Is this not an exciting election? Of course, they're starting to get ugly. I kind of knew that was going to happen, but we can hope. And I think it is wonderful that people are interested, really interested, in the voting process, especially the young people. I just hope they vote.

African-American female, 50's, child of God and lover of Christ, Bible study teacher and community volunteer, grandmother, widow, Achenblog boodler,registered Dem., hearing-impaired, HGTV and DIY watcher.

Mudge I had to laugh at your list. Where do you get that stuff?

Omni, I saw the movie,but don't remember that exchange. I thought the movie was funny.

Glad you got a laugh this morning.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 7, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

yello, I've heard the advice about ordering wine in a restaurant the other way around. No one likes to look cheap by ordering the cheapest, so they order the second cheapest. Therefore, that's the one on which the restaurant puts the biggest markup. Ah, rules of thumb--who knows? Actually, I tend to order wines I've never heard of (at least then I'm blissfully unaware of the markup) or have an unusual attribute (Tasmanian Pinot Noir, anyone?). And the best words to describe the wines we have on hand are "abundant" and "eclectic."

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Oooh. cassandra watches design tv! I'm an addict. When you come to Calgary, cassandra, we'll cook and eat and watch all ten design channels non-stop (scoffing at 'theme' decor not only permitted, but encouraged).

Posted by: Yoki | March 7, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Me too Scotty,although I have yet to be endangered by catching it in something. My tie always ends up in whatever i am eating.
Also we have to wear the same standard tie everyday, every once in awhile I will put on something different to see if management notices,so far 3 different ties and they haven't noticed.

I had been an avid beer drinker for the longest time,Then a friend turned me onto wine and i haven't looked back. I still have a occasional beer or two,at a sporting event or steamed crabs,but now a 12-pack last for a couple of months.

And Joel,from your list of travels you may want to consider this Johnny Cash ditty as your theme song

You have been everywhere man

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 7, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Alamo...

Who showed up early yesterday for the reenactment but British pop star Phil Collins. (Tony Blair was also in town--another story.) Who knew Collins was such an Alamo history buff? According to the local press, Collins' interest was stimulated by the Disney "King of the Wild Frontier" series.

Among the nearly 200 in attendance was Collins, drummer for the rock group Genesis, whose career includes such hits as "In the Air Tonight," and "One More Night."

"I'm just very moved by it," he said of the ceremony.

Though at least 11 Alamo defenders were from his homeland of England, Collins said he's simply had a passion for the Alamo since he was a boy -- roughly the same time he started pounding on his first tin drum.

"I've had an interest since I was 5 years old, watching (actor) Fess Parker" as Davy Crockett in the 1950s, Collins said.

"I've really developed an interest in the last 20 years, collecting bits and pieces (on Alamo history) here and there," he said. "I've been here twice, once in the 1970s and again four years ago. But I've never been here at this time of the year."

Posted by: Loomis | March 7, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Great article today, Joel!

The constant demographics talk has been driving me nuts. The twin assumptions underlying these articles seem to be: 1) People vote for the candidate with whom they can identify personally, and 2) Race/ethnicity and gender are the key components of identity, closely followed by age and income. Reality is much more complicated.

Two "outliers" I've come across:

- both white women in their 70s, lifelong D voters

- one retired, middle class, high school education, loves Bill O'Reilly, from NY,
can't STAND Clinton, and votes ABC

- one retired, upper middle class, grad. degrees, liked Biden, but can't choose
between Clinton and Obama, voted McCain in the primary because he's the
only R she could accept as president, will vote any D in the general

Anyway, thanks again for a thoughtful piece!

Posted by: kancha | March 7, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hours of fun for fans of demographics:

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Where do I get those ideas, Cassandra? I like to think maybe it's a brain tumor benign).

Although my wife and I are both semi-serious "grape nuts" (many thanks to Maggie O'D for that phrase) we are pretty far outside the "mainstream," in that neither of us likes wine aged in oak barrels--too tannic and too dry. We prefer wines aged in stainless steel. My wife loves almost all white zinfandels and "blush" wines (which her friends make fun of as "Kool Aid"). I like German and Italian white wines, Liebfraumilch and pretty much any kind of Riesling and Gewürztraminer. I like most pinot grigio wines, and any kind of sweet or semi-sweet wines (and dessert wines/"ice" wines). If I have to drink a red, I like chianti, Montepulchiano (by Citra), and just about any reasonable Sangria (which I can drink all night). If my only choice is a merlot, I'd rather drink a glass of water.

I've harped on my favorite winery often enough here: Stone Mountain Vineyard, out near the Shenandoah Valley (love their Bacon Hollow Revenuers Reserve), and Vuiansa and Madoona wineries in the Sonoma Valley. (Virginia, amazingly, has something like 160 vineyards/wineries, and there's a lot of darn good wine coming from that state.) (A number of us had a mini-BPH last year at a wine festival at Montpelier (Madison's estate) last year.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Great article, Joel!

OK, I'm game:

Late 20s, married, WASP (Episcopal), lawyer in "BigLaw", mother of 1, originally from SC but live in VA, parents were strong Republicans (dad worked for Strom Thurmond), went to a women's college, fiscal conservative but social liberal.

Voted for Obama in the primary, but if Hillary gets the nom, may consider not voting at all in the general election.

Posted by: PLS | March 7, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I abhor the taste of beer. Blech. I'll drink just about any wine as long as it's good wine!

Posted by: PLS | March 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Viansa

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, PLS! Howya been? You haven't been around lately.

Sure good to hear from a lot of the old gang recently: PLS, Tangent, Miss Toronto. UI'm forgetting somebody else who just stopped by in the last day or so. Anybody able to refresh my memory?

Anyway, welcome. Sit down. Have a canape. Don't mind the doilies.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We here on the banks of the mighty Anacostia are about to get deluged with rain in about two minutes, methinks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

D@mn! My prediction was off by a minute.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm surprised that you mentioned Viansa, because they make *a lot* of oaky wines. Bet you like Vittoria, their Pino Grigio, and their Frescolina. Am I close?

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... if you like sweet Virginia wines, you would like Sweet Evangeline (or anything with "sweet" in the name) from the Breaux winery near Purcellville. I find it at Harris-Teeter and Wegmans.

Our new favorite sweet wine in the G house is Samos Muscat. A deliciously sweet Greek white.

But lately I'm a Cabernet Sauvignon person. The "bigger" the better.

Posted by: TBG | March 7, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Mudge! I've been good, just busy. I'm going to have write down some of these Virginia wineries - I haven't gotten to very many. We lived in Berkeley, CA for a while, so we've been to at least a couple dozen West coast wineries. Some of my favorites: Trefethen, Goosecross, Cakebread, Paradigm, Duckhorn, Ferrari-Carano, J Vineyards (they specialize in pinot noir), Grgich Hills.

Posted by: PLS | March 7, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Columbia Crest has a pretty good Cabernet, but I am not a big winer (wino?). At least I dig on it, though that may not say much. The stuff is probably comparable to rotgut in the eyes of serious wine-drinkers, but It's something I can swallow. I hate the buzz I get from too much vino, though. I prefer a good Fat Tire buzz, but a Blueberry or Northern Lights buzz takes the cake any day. No hangovers, and dinner tastes so nice.

Posted by: Gomer | March 7, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

My wine selection technique involves a mix of of price (I favor the cheap) and evaluation of the funniness and unpronounceability of the name. An unpronouncable funny name is a good sign, because then the only thing that could persuade anyone to keep the wine on the market is a decent quality.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | March 7, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I tend to go to the lesser priced wines lately, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy a nice Cakebread,Stagsleap or Frogsleap.

And who can forget Martooni's wine list from a couple of weeks ago.Man I am still laughing. How are you doing Dang Hippie?

Time to put on my "self stragulation device" and head to work.

Everyone have a nice weekend!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 7, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom: yes, especially the Frescolina (visited Viansa when we were in S.F. several years ago).

TBG: Got a couple bottles of Sweet Evangeline at home right now (might have bought them at the Montpelier BPH, as I recall). We've been to Breaux--they make good stuff. (

For locals: if you head out Route 7 toward the Blue Ridge and turn onto Rt. 9 West, there's a string of seven pretty good wineries (one of them is Breaux, on Rt. 671 off Rt. 9) all within a 10- or 15-mile stretch of road. You can do an entire day of winetasting just in this one stretch of road. (If you think you can do more than 4 or 5 in a day you ain't doin' it right). You don't even have to know the names of the vineyards in advance--just drive out Rt. 9; ya can't miss 'em.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Someothers LTNS posters showing up recently (I think I have this right):


Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Fat B@stard has been a favorite in my circle of buddies...I'm not into wine far enough to have favorites, although I do like a good dry white.

Dave, Mr. T just noted that the UNC Board of Trustees has a $25,000 reward out for info on the killer of the UNC student president. She was a senior pre-med with a double major in PoliSci and biology and a Morehead scholar. A huge and terrible loss.

Posted by: slyness | March 7, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, omni.

Your some of you newbies, about a year ago we here on the boodle were all pulling for PLS, who at the time was study for her bar exam (and while being a wife and mother of a fairly recent newborn, IIRC). And then she made it! So now she swims in shark-infested waters with some of our other barristers, such as Ivansmom, Son of Carl (Canucki Division), and there's one other, who I'm forgetting. Mostlylurking, was that you? And of course Yoki, who isn't a shark herself, but kind of a high-ranking shark wrangler.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm mostly a Cabernet drinker. White wines tend to make me drowsy, but my favorite white is Retsina. I generally don't like sweet things. I also like Shiraz and Malbec and Pinot Noir. Merlot to my taste buds just seems too soft, not enough flavor. But I'm not a snob like Paul's character in Sideways. I will drink it if it's free.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Today's Gene Pool is much more interesting than yesterday's. Much more. Unfortunately I have nothing to add.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Middle east democracy building: Rolling Stone has a reporter that actually went there, and actually spoke the language.

Demographic information: glass of fashion, mold of form, pedant's pedant, otherwise perfect. No more need be said.

13/11 on last quiz (whatever it may have been).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We did the wine tour day trip a few falls back. we hit three and decided that's all that was safe without a designated driver.

At the last winery a party bus showed up and they had been more than tasting. They were luck to get in and out of the bus upright.

My folks buy a joke wine called Old Fart. The find it hilariously appropriate.

And the prevalence of lawyers, copy editors and other users and abusers of the written word in the boodle often makes me self-conscious.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 7, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

High-ranking shark wrangler, very funny Mudge and a nice description of Yoki. Firsttimeblogger is also of the shark persuasion and I know there are a couple of others.

Good to hear from you PLS!

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 7, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of wines called Fat B@stard and Old Fart, myy wife brought home a bottle of wine she and her gal friends like, called simply "B1tch."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My sister bought us a bottle of Jarhead Red just because she like the name. It wasn't bad. Cheap, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, the results are in, and it appears that actual white guys who read Doonesbury prefer Obama 3 to 1 over the Hillster.

Posted by: K:LOTD | March 7, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Vital stats:
I am the same age as the last two digits of my birth year
Non-cheese eater
Pickup truck owner
Two pets
middle eastern music listener
7 keys on keyring
I have lived in 14 towns longer than 6 months.
I have had 27 jobs in my life.

Posted by: Jumper | March 7, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Right, right, it was FTB, not mostly. Sorry to whichever of you I may have offended. (Probably mostly.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on reaching 54, Jumper.

Isn't Bill Everything also a, lawyer?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

There are two types of pleasurable wine experiences, the times that "damn the dollars, let's get the good stuff" actually results in a revelatory glass, and the times (much rarer and therefore more exciting) when you find the vintage $9 bottle of Chateau Thames Embankment that actually tastes pretty darn good.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 7, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Curmudgeon. I'm 4. Born in '04.

Posted by: Jumper | March 7, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

bc just phoned me from his car to report that at this moment on the local radio station of NPR, WAMU (88.5 FM) they are talking about the age of the Grand Canyon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm the same age as roughly 63% of the peeople born the same year I was. Figure that one out...hehehe

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I have only one Chateau Thames Embankment "wine" glass left.

Interestingly, the spell-checker in Safari identifies "Thames" as a misspelling. That's the problem with obscure rivers running through obscure little towns located in obscure banana republics. Nobody knows how to spell the name.

Posted by: CulinaryTim | March 7, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

At a recent restaurant outing, we were gazing at the wine list and noticed bottles prices at $1,200 - $1,400. We had a short discussion of the price point at which you stop enjoying the wine and are simply throwing money away (guessing this is subjective).

We by the way did not order anything remotely as expensive - probably $30 range.

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Born in 04, Jumper? That makes you two years older than Jesus, doesn't it?

Oh, sorry. I didn't see the apostrophe there. Thought it was some fly scat on my monitor screen.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

When the prices top a grand, it's usually for a 1.5 liter magnum, effectively dropping the price per glass in half. Not that it makes the prices any less outrageous.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 7, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your 2:41... Clinton's not a shark. He's a Jet!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 7, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

A lot of strange things show up when you do a google image search on Chateau Thames Embankment wine glass. While "Chateau Thames Embankment wine glass" is a currently a googlenope.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere recently that there are significant differences between people's senses of taste, so that some pretty large percentage of people just don't taste the difference between decent wine and deservingly-ridiculously-expensive wine. But some (I think smaller) percentage of people do. It was a new study or something. That seems like the kind of thing I would have read here. Did I read it here?

Posted by: bia | March 7, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

True, omni, true. But Googling "Chateau Thames Embankment" without "wine glass" gets you this Wikipedia entry on dear old Rumpole: "On a daily basis he visits "Pommeroy's", a wine bar located on Fleet Street within walking distance of both the Old Bailey and his law office at Equity Court, and at which he contributes regularly to an ever-increasing bar tab by purchasing glasses of red wine of a questionable quality, to which he refers as either "Cooking Claret", "Pommeroy's Plonk", "Pommeroy's Very Ordinary", "Chateau Thames Embankment", or "Chateau Fleet Street".

I've always been partial to "Chateau Fleet Street," myself, Fleet Street being the (notorious?) home of British newspaper people.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

OK, I realize it's only been 21 minutes since my 2:50 challenge. But I'm headed home now with a couple of well known (at least here on the boodle) pitstops along the way.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, there you go. Takes all kinds. Say the word "Fleet" and some think "Navy" some think "Tabloids" and some think "Enema."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 7, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Dang. I really needed to listen to the Grand Canyon piece.

WM, 50.5; married; 3 children; registered indep; Episcopal; one leg shorter than the other by nearly an inch; hangnails; public school teacher.

Posted by: jack | March 7, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Good answer Yello, when I saw the price I didn't look close to see that the $1,400 was a large format bottle 3000 ml, however,
that doesn't apply to all there expensive wine, at $1,200 it is still regular size, from their online wine list (I love the internet).

Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Premier Cru, Pauillac, 1990 $1250.00
Chateau Haut Brion, Premier Cru, Pessac-Leognan, 1990 $1250.00
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Premier Cru, Pauillac, 1990 $1250.00

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm back from church. With not a burn, singe or even a rash. Good thing.
Lots of old folk on hand of course, the lady was 86 and the husband is a frail 92. That made for a slow visiting line.
The grieving colleague wasn't pleased that his youngest daughter, about 14, was not there but "with friends". That young lady will have her ears ringing soon.

"French Rabbit" is a decent cheap single cépage white (cabernet sauvignon). It's packaged in a multiply carton so it's also easier to pack for fishing expeditions and goes well with fish. What more can you ask?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 7, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

As I've said before, the best way to buy wine is to go to a lot of wine tastings. Indeed, I believe that the mega wine store by my house is having one now.

And here I am hanging out here.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm fond of Border Shell and Bull Cabernet Sauvignon. You may be more familiar with it as Frontera Concha y Toro.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk - so true! I wouldn't know the wines that I *really* like if I hadn't done tastings at all of those vineyards out in CA. For every vineyard where I found a wine I liked, there were probably two others that I would give a pass to if I were to go back to that area. (Robert Mondavi is coming to mind for that purpose.)

Posted by: PLS | March 7, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

And no discussion of wine is complete without a link to this Monty Python classic:

With the immortal line:

"Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is Perth Pink. This is a bottle with a message in, and the message is 'beware'. This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 7, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, with my totally non discering palate when it comes to Cabs I know I'm going to be happy with anything I get unless it's corked.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

SCC: put an 'n' about 66% of the way into the 6th word and a comma after Cabs.

Posted by: omni | March 7, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

dmd, those three wines are in the top five Bordeaux from the 1885 classification. It's not wine, it's prestige and history. Those wines would be very old school but probably very good as well, to my old-school tastes anyway.

I tried to name the Puppy "Lafite", I thought that was clever for a dogue de Bordeaux. I was so badly outnumbered and ridiculed by the female members of the clan it wasn't even a contest.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 7, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Well Shriek my favorite wine is Chabis from Bordeaux, but I have eased back as the prices have risen.

Count me as someone who's palate just could not appreciate $1,200 for wine - it might be very good but I would just think it a waste of money.

Snow has started here, wish I could just spend the next 36 hours drinking.

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I've had bad luck with expensive wines. My friend who offers them is actually the one with the bad luck, he BUYS them and then ages them. So often they are corked, or just not significantly delicious. Occasionally he scores big, and the wine is just monstrously good. But not regularly. I used to work at a wine distributor, and with all the tastings, I learned that (in '94, so adjust for inflation)$50 bottles were usually far better than the $40. I would guess that's about a $60 average threshold now, but I don't know. I quit the stuff, it's just too strong for me these days. Sigh.
I confess a liking for new wine. The whites can be very nice. Even some red zinfandels can be just mouth-watering good. Old age may be overrated. Except for the glenfiddich. Yow! But that's another story.

Posted by: Jumper | March 7, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

A few years ago we drank a wine that was given to Raysdad back in the 80s--a 1986 Lynch-Bages. It was very, very good. A few months later, we were in a wine store and saw a 1996 vintage of the same wine, and it was over $300! The fact that the wine we drank probably went for $30 when it was purchased did not alleviate my sense of sullied Yankee thrift for having drunk that wine vs. re-selling.

Long story short, it *was* a very, very good wine, but not appreciably better than wines costing far, far less. There is some type of law of diminishing marginal returns in quality as one goes up the price scale. Hence the reason that most of the time we drink anything that's under $10 at Trader Joe's.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

shriek... I think Steenky Lafite would make an excellent name for a puppy.

Posted by: TBG | March 7, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

And since we have wine with dinner pretty much every night, we have asked the question, "Honey, what kind of wine goes with hot dogs?" (Which, by the way, is a Googletres.) Answer: beer.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 7, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I am off for the weekend, kids are on March Break and it is hockey tournament weekend. Snow, and hockey I am a walking Canadian cliche (modern canuck I guess as the hockey players are girls).

Have a good one all.

Posted by: dmd | March 7, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI and BTW, Steenky Lafite is also available as a Boodle handle. Contact Scottynuke for details and Boodle-friendly pricing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Wanna see pictures of lava falling into the ocean? Check this out and click on see more photos. Beautiful!

Posted by: Aloha | March 7, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The demographic statistics sometimes remind me of baseball commentary - "He's six for seventeen against left-handed batters at night games when it's over 70 degrees."

I suspect the reasons are similar, too. You have a bunch of people (political analysts or sports broadcasters) stuck for several hours (election night or an afternoon game). They have to keep up a continuous stream of chatter, but the actually interesting events (precinct reports or exciting plays) are spaced pretty far apart. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, they have computers...

Posted by: Ken | March 7, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TBG. I'm actually home ith a glass of rosé in my left hand, thinking about what should I serve for dinner.
And it is snowing heavily. The 20-50 cm forecast of this am has solidified to 30-35cm, approx 12-4in.
The FIL was posted in France for a few years, he returned in 1991 I think. The hundred or so bottles he came back with were made in 1989-90, two of the best vintages of the 20th century. Most were OK to good bottles (say 8-20$ at duty-free French prices of the time) with a few great bottles thrown in. We got a few outstanding experiences out of this lot, with only a few duds. I think we drank the last bottle at the next to last Christmas. It was a great wine.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 7, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, Aloha!

I just love saying that.

All this talk of wine makes me want to go have a glass. Aargh. I like wine and drink a glass most evenings with dinner (I ask the same kind of things, Raysmom). However, I have deliberately failed to cultivate my palate. That way I can pick up the $5 to $15 bottles,that are perfectly good with a meal. I also feel free to experiment. Tempranillo, nero d'avila, grenache, carmenere, grape names I can't remember - all are grist for my mill. Or grapes for my stomping. Whatever.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 7, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Omni and bc, I just found this definition easier to stuff into my head than the wikipedia article.

In short, a "mega-heavy, unstable meson that's the child of a huge particle collision."

That's a character portrait right there.

All that technicality about strange quarks and such was just poorly written and confused wonkiness, like a lot of wiki articles on physics.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Aloha-Do you have your flight to the big island booked yet? Great pictures, thanks for posting the link.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 7, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

To Raysmom or Ivansmom or anybody else who usually has wine with dinner. Can I come over? I don't eat much.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for sharing those pictures, Aloha. Mr. T and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon (I swear, the only reason the man married me was to have an excuse to go to Hawaii!). We loved the Big Island and Volcanoes National Park. There was a lava flow into the sea that May; we watched from a safe distance. The rangers had marked a trail over the old flow; it's amazing how difficult it is to walk on such uneven terrain. And the heat. Boy, was it hot. And windy.

Posted by: slyness | March 7, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Price is only weakly correlated with wine quality. Anything under 5 bucks or so usually tastes it. By which I mean you don't want to drink it as much as use it to remove paint. But anything above that really is a matter of taste. I recently bought a few bottles of Australian Shiraz at $7 each that I think are very good.

Now, as you go up in price, you will encounter some truly spectacular wines. The point is, just because a wine is expensive doesn't necessarily make it great. I have spent over 50 bucks on a wine and found it disappointing.

Wine tastings are your friend.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 7, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

One of Pa Frostbitten's surprising new hobbies after retiring from the cattle business is studying and tasting wines, and learning a lot about viticulture. Of course living in Paso Robles, CA makes that easy. I love the Pinot Noirs of the Paso area, but will drink Cabernet and Merlot just as easily. Fortunately he is a generous man so I rarely have to buy them as most of my favorites, from York Mountain winery in particular, have exceeded my $20 a bottle limit.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 7, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

We generally only drink wine in the $5 to $15 range. A few times I've paid up to about $35 or $40 in a (very) fancy restaurant, but that sorta doesn't count, since restaurant markup is about three times the average store price (so a $45 bottle in a restaurant would cost you $15 in a liquor store or wine shop); it was still only $15 wine.

Well, I see by the old clock on the bottom of my monitor screen that it's about that time on a rainy, miserable Friday afternoon, so I'll be outa here any minute. (I'm still having Internet troubles at home; don't know if I'll get the *&%$#^ back up over the weekend, so I'm very liable to be silent until Monday afternoon. I'll probably have severe Boodle withdrawal. Cassandra, don't worry about me.)

Everybody stay warm and dry.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 7, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut - Elk Cove is in Gaston, Oregon. Absolutely lovely grounds. Would probably the perfect site for a major party - if I was planning any such major do. If you are in a direct shipping state a case would run $193.80 plus shipping.

Posted by: Pacifica | March 7, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice article, Joel. I think everybody resents being generalized, especially people percieved as minorities.

Who wants to be patronized as though they're incapable of seeing past the surface to the issues and intangibles?

Everybody who's been in a "minority" or so classed as such knows a lot of people in the "same demographics" that they are polar-opposites with and would never want to be in the same room for more than 2 seconds.

I sure do feel that way about a LOT of people I share at least one or more of "the same demographics" with.

Americans are too mobile and work in too many diverse workplaces now for them to ONLY know and be comfortable professionally with people of same demographics.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

And no, I'm not listing MY demographics.

The secret society of gnomes shalt remain yet unknown to mankind.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Deaf people can't join the military, but there are deaf people in the military now anyway.

Tinnitis is really devasting; the constant distraction can make focusing on tasks difficult. I can't say as I miss that at all.

I would suggest that the Pentagon consider recruiting deaf people and working on how to make combat operations possible with a single deaf unit-- communications, support, etc.

I know so many deaf people who are highly patriotic and would serve in a heartbeat if they were only allowed to enlist. Many in fact work in civilian support for the military already.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to clarify further: There are already digital hearing aids out there that are programmable to only emit sounds on specific frequencies for deaf people who have hearing loss in specific frequencies.

Such a digital hearing aid that also provided significant hearing protection on other frequencies, as well as a combat unit radio feed-- that would likely be precisely what the Pentagon needs to combat hearing loss from combat.

Earplugs per se are worse than useless.

Military dogs already serve as good sentinels, and it's often estimated that if there had been more dogs in Vietnam, combat fatalities wouldn't have been so high.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you wilbrod. Tinnitus drove a nice young man my sister went to school to commit suicide. He just couldn't take it any more.

Mudge, from your wine list, I'm failry certain you would like Erhefelser. Currently not priced too highly, but as people learn of it, its will be come prized. full fruited and dry.

I'm pretty sure that next summer we will be doing more wine tasting in the Okanagan. Next time we might try to go when its wine festival season.

Posted by: dr | March 7, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

SCCCCCCC I sometimes wonder if my eye sight would improve if I drank more wine.

Posted by: dr | March 7, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse


I've had tinnitus so long, I can't count the years. As I type this comment the sound has elevated several decibels. It is constant, it neverending, it is loud, and it is nerve racking.

I was sitting in a restaurant one evening, and suddenly it just stopped for about two minutes. I thought I was getting ready to die. Then started right back up.

It never goes away. The only relief is sleep. It is always there. Sometimes loud, sometimes, slight, but never gone.

I tried to drink it away, but that did not help. I've learned to live with it. Yet it does wear one down.

Mudge, I will try not to worry if you don't chime in on over the weekend. Enjoy your weekend, and give my best to your family. Hope you get your Internet connection working.

Have a great weekend, folks. JA, hope you're getting some rest in between all the traveling.

As for the wine, I don't drink wine. I like wine, but it used to give me a terrific headache, so I basically don't bother. And as one that has had a serious drinking problem, I pretty much avoid anything stronger than Coke.

I was thinking by the time the voting got around to North Carolina, it would all be over. It seems we just might have an impact.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 7, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, when I used to THINK about hearing, the tinnitis would skyrocket. After a while, I noticed the tinnitis would drop pitch gradually and that I would never hear a sound again after it had been rung out of my ears.

Now I just have sound synthesia induced by motion or light flashes, which is normally very soft, almost not there-- no tinnitis pain at all.

It's glorious whispering silence. The only downside is that I can have constant whining synthesia at night from moonlight, or when I sleep with my shoulder in the wrong position. So, I just sleep with my eyes covered. You may want to see if that helps at night.

Oliver Sacks wrote in Musicophilia about auditory hallucinations occuring in deaf people and I had to write him on that.

I'd urge you to read the first few chapters, you'll feel so not alone, Cassandra.

Drinking could have worsened it, so it is indeed just as well that you stopped.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Cassandra, have a great evening and I hope all is well with you and yours.

I had that glass of inexpensive Bordeaux, and communed with Beatrice the bunny, and am much happier. It is so fun that Joel wrote this excellent Kit on demographics, which we all applaud, and it led to a discussion of wine. What a Boodle.

For you Obama supporters, he's now a character on World of Warcraft. He's a level 35 Dranei hunter. Or so the Boy tells me. Someone has a sense of humor, or a really committed political perspective. Hey - where's the online geek Dem demographic?

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

Can you (or the Boy) translate what a Dranei is, Ivansmom, for those who have never played WoW?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

We're back from supper. I suppose we're getting into an elderly demographic, because we tend to eat dinner early. Oh well, that's when I'm hungry.

We tried a place that just opened in the building where a Mexican restaurant had been for about three decades. The new place specializes in burgers. Mr. T and I shared a basket of sweet potato fries with bleu cheese dressing - excellent. And we both had real buffalo burgers, also excellent. No wine, just unsweetened tea for us. We will return.

Posted by: slyness | March 7, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, Dranei are Alliance. They are space goat squids. They come from space, they have tentacles for beards, and their knees go backward like goats. They're blue, except Barack Obama was dark purple. That's Alliance, meaning that they are not Horde. I can't fully explain the difference between Alliance (humans are Alliance) and Horde, except to repeat the Boy's explanation that they just have a lot of wars because they don't like each other.

I suppose it would be difficult to really survey the political affiliations of the online gaming geeks, since (a) they so seldom emerge in a recognizable form in real life, so (b) you'd have to interview them online in the course of the games and (c) they could give unreliable information, claiming for instance the affiliation of a character they've created which would have no actual voter counterpart. Gee, this demographic reporting business is hard.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 7, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks a bunch, Wilbrod.

You too, Ivansmom. I'm alone, and it is quiet. I think I need a pet, but the g-girl would probably come back and be afraid. Not a bunny, a beautiful cat. I'm crazy about cats. They're so much work, and hey, I'm trying to avoid as much of that as I can.

My apartment still looking the same way. This is an update from this morning.

dr, I can understand that young man's trouble. I wish he could have worked it out some other way, though.

I want to thank you guys for supporting us in the radio outreach program. Your support means a lot. Just hooking up through the Internet and listening is support or plugging in, as they say.

My bed is calling, and I feel like answering. Good night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 7, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Never mind, I looked it up and nearly fell asleep reading about the Draenei. I did nab something about heroic and inspiring presence, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm not of the lawyerly persuasion - I'm a computer tech, which is nearly as despised (and believe me, I'm not so thrilled about it either). Not offended, but amused.

Pinot Grigio is my favorite these days. I usually get WA state wines - Covey Run is one I like. Riesling, Muscat - I prefer chilled white wines to red. And I'm sure I can't tell an expensive wine from a cheap one - I'd probably prefer the cheap one (having started out on Boone's Farm and Mateus). Will have to see what's in the fridge.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 7, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Trying to feel more a part of things by emailing my posts home to be edited and sent at night. Joel has hit on one of my favorite annoyances, being pigeonholed. Slightly over 60, some college, divorced but committed, somewhat liberal to flamingly so, depending on the issue, unenrolled (as they call independents in MA), but can count on one hand the times I've voted for a Republican. I voted for Obama but would vote for any Democrat over McCain (altho' Hillary is making this harder with her endorsement yesterday of McCain's leadership abilities and the dissing of Obama's. Um, Hil, are you a Democrat or a Liebermanish toady?). I agree completely with K'guy about McCain's selling out his principles. I don't think the Dems and Independents who claim they will vote for McCain if their candidate doesn't win are thinking things through. The Supreme Court make up, the war in Iraq, healthcare, continued tax breaks for the wealthy, are some examples of issues they should consider.

Can't add anything to the wine discussion for obvious reasons. But I am very impressed with how long you all have managed to stay on that topic.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 7, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, if she's going down, she's taking Obama down with her, is her thinking. Maybe she's trying to bully her way to the nomination.

Bad Sneakers, you have a point there, but I really would rather take my chances on McCain and a democratic congress, than Hillary and a hostile congress who may well become Republican by 2006 if she ticks people off enough. And she will.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I go to wine tastings for the cheese.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 7, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Happy weekend, everybody!

I have had an extremely challenging week but it's over and I am less than 12 hours away from leaving on vacation.


I'll be totally off line for about a week. Not reachable by mail, phone, email, or even in person. The only communication option will be ESP, and by that I do NOT mean that no communication will be taking place. I expect to be sending and receiving messages all week, but it might be difficult to characterize or quantify them.

I hope everybody has a happy week. I hope porching season arrives on schedule for as many people as possible.

I am looking forward to meeting up with some local DC boodlers on March 19. I'm sure I'll be checking in here sometime before then.

Peace, y'all.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 7, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, therein lies the problem. I cannot vote for McCain but a vote for Hillary may bring a scenario such as you describe. Let's just hope Obama prevails.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 7, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I am continually amazed by what the family geek finds on the Web. This site gives me the giggles. Enjoy, everybody:

Posted by: slyness | March 7, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

As for demographics, I am well over 60, have a BA (and had one job of about eight where a degree was a requirement --- mostly I just typed.) A Republican all my life except for a little handwashing there after Nixon, represented by a vote for Carter.

I will not vote for Hillary, I find her too condescending. And I will not vote for McCain. My husband had a 28 year career in the military; our oldest son went to the Naval Academy.

I read McCain's bio in Wikipedia. He got into the Navy as a "legacy" -- father and grandfather were Admirals. So he took a free ride thru the Academy as a trouble maker, and graduated third from the bottom.

I don't find that the kind of info I want to help add to the history books!

Posted by: nellie | March 7, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Have a great vacation, kbertocci!

I'll be sending good thoughts your way, you'll have to let me know if you received them when I see you on the 19th.

On the Cosmological front, I see that there were more results released today concerning 5 years' worth of data collected by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which reveals several ways that the universe has evolved over the past 15 Billion years or so.

Interesting new information about cosmic neutrinos, the compostion of the Universe with regards to matter (light and dark) as well as energy (ditto, I suppose) and all the other stuff in the 'verse, as well as some measurements from The Beginning:

Cool stuff, IMO.

Anything that helps me understand Who's to Blame for All This and Where They Went Wrong, I'm all for it.


Posted by: bc | March 7, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse


I am pretty sure these are sheep.

Posted by: nellie | March 7, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure *neutrinos* are sheep.

Posted by: nellie | March 7, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you nellie, I think they are supposed to provide the finest wool for knitting.

Toodles boodle. Time to pack for the return to the frozen north. Wish me luck in getting the trusty truck started when I get to Minneapolis. It's a 4.5 hour drive and I'd like to get home by darkish.


Posted by: frostbitten | March 7, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to frosti and all who are starting a long trek somewhere. Enjoy your time off, kbertocci; it sounds great. I'm going to have a little quiet rabbit time, then off to bed. Vaya con queso, and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 7, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

kb, have a great vacation! We'll be thinking of you. Can hardly wait to hear all about it and the BPH - I'll be there in spirit.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 7, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I found the Rolling Stone story on the surge sad. Corruption is so rife in the invasion of Iraq that it's not even funny anymore.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 7, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Time to get the chores and such out of the way... An hour less time to do 'em this weekend, of course. *SIGH*

*semi-soggy-but-properly-perky-for-a-Saturday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 8, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Morning everybody. Scotty, you are too perky for that time on a Saturday morning.

I hope it's a pleasant Saturday for everyone. We're expecting falling temperatures, snow, and high winds this afternoon in the High Country. I think I'll stay in. Good thing I brought a couple of books to read.

And there's that UNC/Duke basketball thing today too.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, woke up dreading the snowfall that is supposed to happen today, kids have four games between them so sitting at home in front of the fire is not an option. Thankfully the tournament is our local tournament so no real travelling issues.

Then I saw the morning paper and noted that Toronto has had 178 centimetres of snow this year, the record from 1938-39 is 207.c centimeters. So I am thinking if we have to go through this weather we might as well go for the record. Expecting 15-20 centimetres in Toronto over the next day, with luck and a little change in the winds off the lake we just might make it.

Still our record is puny compared to Shriek's - 400+ centimetres?

Posted by: dmd | March 8, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! Off to the airport in a bit to pick up Son of G coming home for spring break.

Maybe someone already posted this, but here's an excellent piece about the Charlotte Allen "women are dumb" cr@p. I believe it was firsttimeblogger who actually expressed these particular sentiments in words here, but I'm sure we were all thinking it...

"A far more important question is this: Why did The Post publish this nonsense? I can't imagine a great newspaper airing comparable trash talk about any other group. "Asians Really Do Just Copy." "No Wonder Africa's Such a Mess: It's Full of Black People!" Misogyny is the last acceptable prejudice, and nowhere more so than in our nation's clueless and overwhelmingly white-male-controlled media. I can just picture the edit meeting: This time, let's get a woman to say women are dumb and silly! If readers raise too big a ruckus, Outlook editor John Pomfret can say it was all "tongue in cheek." Women are dingbats! Get it? Ha. Ha. Ha."

Posted by: TBG | March 8, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

dmd, we are sitting at 365cm this am. We are between systems as they say. The 10cm we got last night makes it very pretty as it was light very fluffy snow. The next system is the big one, 20-30cm are expected later today. We'll see the 400cm this weekend maybe.
Some area in eastern Quebec have nearly 200cm on the ground. oy

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 8, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I see I'm late to the discussion. I got a telephone call early this morning with not so good news.

I have a headache too. Hoping it will ease off eventually. I'm jumping in the shower so I can get to the radio station this morning. Then I have a missionary meeting up the road a piece. Don't you just love country talk?

Kbert, please enjoy your vacation, your lovely voice will be missed.

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

Time and time again, we do the same things, the same tasks, the same work, even the same body language, yet we keep hoping for difference, for something new, something unheard of, something magnificent. Oh, the sweet smell of change, the new-ness, the lovely path of beginnings.

As you can see, the medicine is kicking in.

Hope your weekend is a shout. I'm out of here.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 8, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul quits the campaign.
Where will Pop Socket go?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 8, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Morning! I've been up for a while, waiting for the rain to let up a little bit so we can go for our walk.

TBG, I think the aftermath of that article and the explanations for it are almost worse than the article itself. They're doing the "See? Women don't have a sense of humor!" bit. Grrr.

Today brings finishing up the taxes (the printer derailment segued into considerable procrastination on my part), going through closets for charity donations, and similar chores.

Wine report from last night: A Chilean blend of Cabernet, Malbec, Merlot, and Carmenere. Rich flavor, almost chocolatey, with a silky quality.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 8, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I posted something over at "The Gene Pool." Naturally it includes a typo. I don't know how often I will do this.

It made me feel vaguely disloyal.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 8, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom - Those Chilean reds used to be a great value back in the 90s. I haven't checked them out lately, but that one sounds impressive.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 8, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.
Got up, got some exercise, probably heading over to a friend's house later to do some race car work, then out to dinner and a movie with some friends...

As I said before, and even insinuated last Sunday, I think the problem with Allen's piece is that she wrote what she thought was satire, but without using humor or some other device (obvious hyperbole, etc.)to make readers receptive or bringing them into the joke.

Instead, she (and the editor, it must be said) chose to put it in the Outlook section with a headline that some would find offensive, and engaging readers' critical thinking without signifying obvious satirical intent. If she'd simply suggested something like an online system for receiving virtual undergarmets thrown from at Sen. Obama's Web Site (I expect that the Obama site accepts Linden Dollars for campaign contributions, I wonder if they'll accept Lindenthongs?), or calling someone "Ms. Poopypants," then things might have been different.

But that's just my opinion when it comes to humor - if you try to be too smart by half, then you're lucky if you end up looking even half-smart.


Posted by: bc | March 8, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Am lucky that the good-low priced wines work for me.

I like Shiraz best, well, because that name sounds realistically exotic. Pino Grigio in summer helps with the sticky evenings of the Potomac. I did enjoy some Vouvray and its cousin or child, as it were, called moelleux for an evening of January babies, as we call ourselves. Nice. But if if becomes an IT wine, will be expensive soon. Best served NOT chilled but not room temp, so this is a nice white choice for winter.

Frosti, CPDad, fierce man that he is, lives in the foothills near San Luis Obispo. Easier to be old and independent in a temperate clime, I think. The wineries in the Santa Lucia range near Paso Robles are quite fine, but suddenly out of price range for me. Tobin James Cellars is quite nice but I only enjoy this at the kindness of Christmas elves.

I fit that Hil-gal stat of over 40 (48) and making under 50K. But what is more interesting about me as a data point on a huge cohort curve would be these:

*pro-life democrat
*pro-life feminist
*no heels; no hose; seldom socks
*bike to work since 2001; in rain and snow and occasionally in a skirt
*practicing R. Catholic with interests in liberation theology and RC social teaching critique of capitalism
*anti-death penalty (things\bubbling in MD this spring)
*children are (and have been) the minority in their public high school
*heroes include bullmoose Republican Teddy Roosevelt and Nobel Pr. economist Amartya Sen
*Love Jane Austen's stuff AND L. McMurtry's Lonsesome Dove stuff equally
*voted for Barry Commoner when I first was legal, but voted for Bob Dole because if we are really honest with ourselves, centrist Dems and centrist Repubs are awfully similar fiscally; Congress keeps an ideology in check

And, must admit, I have NOT seeen the Grand Canyon but I know the northern tier of the West quite well. I will travel someday to the North Rim. While we are at wonders, Niagara is sublime. I prefer the tacky US side, but the casinos make me sad. Not all tribes benefit from this odd and touching hegemony. Driving along the river above the steep canyon permits a view of that huge turquoise-green whirlpool. Occasionally, you see a miner's hand cart pulley across the canyon. See that contraption makes me feel weak in the knees. Keep driving to the lake, Ontario, naturally, to Niagara-on-the-Lake and you can see Toronto -- friendly and polite -- across the wide water.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 8, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Bia: You're right, people's sense of taste varies depending on taste bud quantity and quality ( Then there's the psychological factor. A recent "study" in the news indicated that people's enjoyment of a particular wine was linked to how expensive they preceived the wine to be.
I'm a male of indescriminate age, avid F. Pohl fan, Barrack supporter, Hillary disliker, Ralph Nader conflicted, epicurean stoic.

Posted by: Bean | March 8, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

RD, the Chilean wines are not as inexpensive as they used to be. That one was $13.99. I got it at my favorite wine store up in my mom's neck of the woods. They're really good about getting a variety of wines from around the world, not just those that people are familiar with. And they post any ratings the wine has received (and are good about being sure that the rating is for the vintage they are offering). I shop there using the $ per points method. This one was rated a 90 by Wine Enthusiast. I know this because I wrote it on the label, not because I have such an excellent memory. (cross-reference: Retentive, An@l).

Posted by: Raysmom | March 8, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning y'all. It is a beautiful sunny morning here and might even warm up. Those brave daffodils look cold.

RD, you can post on other sites without guilt, as long as you save the good stuff for us.

Cassandra, I'm sorry to hear about that bad-news call. I hope the radio and meeting make the day better.

I liked that Katha Pollitt rejection of the Allen flop, and the elegant way she raised the larger point of why it was published.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 8, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Change of subject, but sad news about Patrick Swayze and cancer. Always seemed a decent sort and to manage a 30 year marriage to one person is no small feat. People may enjoy seeing him in S.E. Hinton's youthcult story, _The Outsiders._ Other young and familiar faces are:
* Matt Dillon
* Ralph Macchio
* Rob Lowe
* Emilio Estevez
* Tom Cruise
* Diane Lane
* Leif Garrett
* Tom Waits a

Posted by: College Parkian | March 8, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Don Swayze, Patrick's brother, plays James Bonham in "The Alamo: Price of Freedom" that is shown regularly in the IMAX theater near the Alamo itself. Hated the short film for its jingoism when I saw it on our first visit here (our scouting trip) before we ever moved.

Patrick and family hail from Houston. Although alcoholism is not implicated in pancreatic cancer (but chronic pancreatitis can contribute to pancreatic cancer), sad to learn that Patrick Swayze battled it.

Posted by: Loomis | March 8, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I moved on quite awhile ago. I now make snarky comments on Wonkette.

My pal Mo MoDo hangs out there too.

Posted by: Pop Socket | March 8, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

What, no planning for Ron Paul in 2012, Pop Socket?

Posted by: WIlbrod | March 8, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Overselling "experience" isn't something that appeals to me lately.

When Clinton was first lady, she had zero experience first-hand in politics other than being asked to be on the Watergate commission (She failed the DC bar exam, and relocated to Arkansas to teach law within a year). She did advocacy as a nonprofit and corporate lawyer, that's it.

How realistic would it have been for her to be given a major role internationally outside the traditional confines of being a First Lady, especially with the political backlash this would cause?

This article on Nancy Reagan points out the uneasy dynamics of the East Wing in the White House.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What I get tired of is when some right-wing columnist starts crying about a tax, and argues how taxes take money from those who rightfully earned it. Sounds just, right? Until you realize they are really arguing for the elimination of all taxes. Which may even be a valid point for argument, yet they lack the courage to reframe their argument in this slightly more honest proposition. It comes down to a shell game: Don't tax my pals and me! And why doesn't the Left forcibly argue the Trickle Up theory? It may or may not be correct but I guarantee you it's exactly as valid an argument.

Posted by: Jumper | March 8, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

This article discussing Hillary's big political role/issue-- health care reform, as well as her entry in the senate points out the same tensions.

It seems to be quite fair in discussing positively her overall reputation in the senate.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Jumper.

How many of us would purchase fire protection, or food inspection services, or an army, if left to our own devices? Yet all of those provide services for the public good, whether or not we utilize them ourselves.

Of course, I'm the public service retiree, but I just don't get the animus against all taxes. Granted, taxes should provide efficient and effective services and policies that provide the most good, but still. I don't want to live in a vigilante society.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

{* peeks head out from under a snowbank and waves *}

Boy howdy did we get our March weather yesterday (and last night, and today and probably into tomorrow). My part of Ohio doesn't get the 400cm stuff, but we got about 8 inches since yesterday afternoon and are expecting another 6 by morning. Right now it's all getting a lovely coat of freezing rain. I'm glad I sprung for new tires this fall -- they sure came in handy today.

Anyway, to chip in on the demographic front, I represent possibly the smallest demographic ever -- a 40 year old left wing moonbat who is the manifestation of the overfed long-haired leaping gnome of "Spill the Wine" fame, a veteran of the mosh pits and slam dances of the 80's who left the relative safety and steady paycheck of the cubicle farm to make fairy doors for a living. I'm part hillbilly, part hippie, part punk, part entrepeneur and fully expect to play up my 25% Irish heritage to the max in a couple of weeks.

In other words, I voted for Obama since Kucinich dropped out of the race.

Now I must be off to the workshop... fairy doors don't make themselves, y'know.

Peace out...

{* blows a kiss and a wave to Cassandra on the way out (and one for Mudge, too, just because I can) *}

Posted by: martooni | March 8, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What's with the "small demographic" jokes, Martooni? Are you trying to mislead people into thinking gnomes are rare? I didn't get that memo.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh right, I got no memo because gnomes don't even exist and there's no super-secret gnomish cabal cloaking our role in modern society.

Carry on and forget the previous comment. It was just a small jest from a small gnome.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

{* does the secret gnome dance *}

Nope. No gnomes to see here. Move along folks. Just a small hobbit with a pointy cap and a beard. Nothing to fret about. Your garden is safe. Please move along...

Posted by: martooni | March 8, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I have no faith
That my garden is safe
From gnomes, gnomen,
cognomen, and waifs.

But if it is not
I can say without thought
I'm more worried oenophiles
Will disrupt what I've wrought.

Burma Shave!

Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | March 8, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

no one is willing to take on my challenge
come on
54 was easy
you'll only be off by one or two
i did say roughly didn't i

math wimps

Posted by: omni | March 8, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Omni, missed that challenge originally. Hmm, so you're a tax day baby?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Greetings, everyone!

Several months ago the Post had an article about Mike Connors which, among other things, talked about his show "Mannix" and that it wasn't on DVD. That has changed. The first season of "Mannix" will be released in June. It will be fun to watch that show again. I had forgotten that Connors also starred in "Tightrope" playing an undercover cop who always had a .38 tucked in the back waistband of his pants. That show was only on for one season, 1959-1960, so I obviously saw it in re-runs.

Posted by: pj | March 8, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Cheez, that's tougher than "Ask Marilyn." How, Wilbrod?

Posted by: Jumper | March 8, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

37% x 365 days in a year= 135.05 days since the start of the year.

Divide by 30 days (months) and get 4.501 months, which would be April 15. Give or take a few days.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

BTW, since April 15 hasn't happened yet, Omni would still indeed have a birthday to come.

It made no sense, say, to assume he meant March 9, because that'd be more than 63% of all people theoretically born in Omni's birthday year, assuming an even distribution of birthdays throughout the year (not necessarily true). I'm staying by my answer even though it's not quite what he may have meant to ask.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm just a shade under 50%, omni. Although if I was born a year later, the percentage would have been slightly different.

Posted by: pj | March 8, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I count that to be more like May 15, Wilbrod.

Posted by: pj | March 8, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

True enough, pj. I suspect you're cheating because now I vaguely remember Omni said something about May 15 being his birthday once.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Pelted with pea-sized hail on my bike ride just now. Sky is fabulous but threatening. Not snow, but is what we have.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 8, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Nope, Wilbrod. Just took the arithmetic of 135 and added 31+28+31=90 and that's gonna take you past the 30 of April.

Posted by: pj | March 8, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mudge missed a chance to use the word "frass."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Send shovels!! :-)

Posted by: dmd | March 8, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

How bad is it DMD? "S" and I were just discussing how much snow we would have had if all the rain of the past few days, and especially today, had been snow.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 8, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

30 of March, PJ, for 3 months.

You're correct that 4.5 months into the year should be May 15, I was kidding you about cheating.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking we got off easy maybe 6-8 inches, then it started snowing again and I read that the worst is to come tonight, snow and windy. Afternoon hockey games cancelled as the City closed the rinks.

In total on the ground including what we had before is approaching two feet, just had to move the snow away from the furnance exhaust. We already had a small incident where my husband left a pan on the stove unattended - smoke no fire - we do not need carbon monoxide detectors going off as well.

Thank god for alcohol, just kidding not a big drinker.

Posted by: dmd | March 8, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone note that "Rodham" rhymes with "Saddam?" (Colbert Report)

What does McCain rhyme with / sound like / symbolize?

Posted by: Jumper | March 8, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, a lot of rhymes for that. A quick selection:

Cain, feign, chain, John Wayne, pain, rain, mundane, complain, retain, sustain, wolf's bane...

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

And I do believe that Rodham might rhyme with "atom bomb", if it rhymes with Saddam?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday, Saturday, was our general election day. Votes are still been counted. Results so far have shown that the opposition has denied the ruling party two-thirds majority. Finally, parliament will not be a rubber stamp anymore.

I'm a very happy camper :-)))))))

Posted by: rainforest | March 8, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Rainforest!

Posted by: frostbitten | March 8, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

sounds good, rainforest.

hope everyone is having a good weekend, even if snowy.

it's sunny and warm here - got up to the mid 70s. (not to rub it in or anything.)
faxed weather is available upon request.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 8, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

OK the pile at the side of the driveway where we shovel the snow is now officially taller than I am, I am 5'6" - this is a first for this house. Good thing this snow is light and fluffy not wet heavy snow.

Posted by: dmd | March 8, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Rainforest.

Posted by: dmd | March 8, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

That sounds very promising, rainforest. Congrats, and good luck!

LAL, don't rub it in. Currently 18 degrees F and high wind.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Wanted: Cow doctors.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Gee dmd, that's an amazing amount of snow. Slyness, it's colder there than here. The heavy rain just moved out and the temp is 57 but headed downwards and the wind is blowing hard. Rainforest, very happy for you, I hope we have something to celebrate here in eight months time.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 8, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

...when you call me, you can call me LAL...
na na na na na

*faxing dmd and slyness some sunshine*

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 8, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Yay, rainforest!

dmd, martooni, everyone else hit by the snow - sorry to hear it. I think we're out of snow danger, but who knows anymore? We had some sun today - not quite spring, but on its way. Saw some redbuds starting to bloom in my favorite (not) shade of mauve (rhymes with cove).

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 8, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

mostly-I'll take your unfavored redbuds any day. Though I must say they look better on the margins of woods than as specimen trees.

I'm back at Chez Frostbitten North and the closest thing we have to spring are the faintest hints of color in the willows. The stems will turn more and more golden over the next few weeks before we see a hint of leaf. The lake ice is still safe to drive on, sigh. What to do with daylight saving when there's no warmth to go with that extra light in the evening?

Posted by: frostbitten | March 8, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Some trees went into bloom/pollen from the thaw a couple weeks ago. I was sneezing when I was across the river yesterday-- they have many planted dedicious trees there. Not sure what produces orangey branch tips... Elm or maple, one of those sorts of trees would be my guess.

It's strange to have hay fever when there is snow on the ground but there you are. Wilbrodog is being treated for an mild ear infection from his allergies right now. He got a B-A-T-H, too, to reduce the pollen load in his fur, so he is one unhappy pup.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Go Heels!

Posted by: TBG | March 8, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog-so sorry to hear about your pollen problem. I have a dry skin itch I can't wait to kick with the end of winter. I have half convinced frostbitten that it is a food allergy to some yucky prescription diet so she has been allowing me some Kitty Crack, aka Fancy Feast brand canned food, to "jump start" my appetite, tee hee.

Posted by: frostcat#1 | March 8, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Ikea disses Danes? Seems they name their less glamorous offerings, like doormats, after Danish places and the Danes have had enough-going so far as to threaten to name a light beer after a Swedish town (apparently "everyone" knows the Swedes hold light beer in low esteem). Read the whole sordid thing here:

Posted by: frostbitten | March 8, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if you can't hate your neighbors, how will you endure the insanity of long winters and short summers, Frostbitten?

Besides, Denmark used to rule parts of or the whole of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and parts of England. The Swedish empire also took Norway later after the Napoleonic wars.

Think of of the historic tensions and land fights between England vs France, it's not dissimilar.

They also have a strong football (soccer) rivalry.

I can see why the Danes took this as a subtle form of Swedish slur, rather than a homage to their culture. Because Swedes just don't do that.

The offical website for Denmark mentions their rivalry with Sweden and how Sweden nearly ate Denmark.

So... yeah, I do see their Danish Modern viewpoint.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 8, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Danish Modern viewpoint-good one Wilbrod.

Gathering the felines for a short winter's nap. Hate, hate, hate when the clocks spring forward.


Posted by: frostbitten | March 8, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a tax day baby, too -- it was ides of March, not April, back when I was born.

Posted by: LTL-CA | March 8, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The Dallas Star has counted the votes of the Texas caucus and calls the total delegate split in Texas as Senator Barak Obama 98 delegates and Senator Hillary Clinton 95 delegates. Barka Obama won the Texas election by 98-95. You readers might want to re-calibrate your estimation o the media community, because all you are hearing is the Sen Clinton won Texas, whereas what actually happened is that she won 67 delegates in the primary, he won 61 delegates in the primary, and there are returns indicating a 55% to 45% win for Barak Obama in the Texas caucus. He won the caucus and she won the primary. It was close. Barak Obama won, 98 - 95.
I find it strange that the media acts as though and spins as though the caucus didnt happen. It did and he won it.
He won Wyoming Saturday and is leading in the polls in Mississippi, which is actually next. All the chat about Pennsylvania is weird, when you consider there is an election on Tuesday. Is is unimportant because she cant win it?
Why doesnt it matter that Barak can win in diverse places.
For her to claim something about winning New York, a big state, when it is the state she is representing is like Edwards bragging he won in South Carolina. It doesnt matter. Obama can win in NY, the same as she did. It is more liberal than most states.
The difference between them that superdelegates need to notice is that he can win in the entire country, anywhere, really.
The fact that The Clintons have clout in the Latino community is a powerful legacy from 8 years in office. It is as though Bill Clinton gets to have another four years, because his work is granting her votes. It is not a reflection of whether Obama would get those votes in the fall. He will.
I am saying this because the spin looks all Pennsylvania all the time, and it is 6 weeks off. In the meanwhile, Obama will win another state next week and the Texas state officials will bless the 98-95 Obama win on Mar 29th and he will be within shouting distance of a win before the convention. All it will take is carrying Michigan and it is nearly a sure thing. The name Hussein will be just fine there. This is not over. Stay with reality. Obama won Texas.
Isnt that different from the impression you get from the reportage? The only reason I prefer Obama over Clinton is his clarity that he would restore habeas corpus. That I presume will include allowing the Senate to ban the CIA from waterboarding, unlike the Repubicans, McCain included. In case you didnt notice this election is about whether the CIA runs foreign policy or the President and the Senate thru it foreign relations committee as the Constitution says. Bush veto'd the attempt by the Senate to choose foreign policy that is consistent with negotiated international law. Our troops are in danger because Bush/McCain approve of waterboarding. Think Puritan mob vs the witch. Think Muslim mob, having some revenge.
Why are the American people, including the media accepting this veto?

Posted by: Bruce becker | March 8, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your well wishes. I'm going to bake some brownies to celebrate.

I'm going to like your new time better than your old cuz you and I will be on the same time. Only need to swap the am for pm and pm for am.

Posted by: rainforest | March 9, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Morning, morning, friends. I hope this time thing is right. I'm always confused about whether it is forward or backwards. Anyway, I'm up, and have been for some time. When the g-girl isn't here, I can sleep pretty well. But still miss her.

I see Obama has added another victory to his list.
And did anyone see that basketball game last night, the one with the trick shot? I can't remember both teams, but I believe one of the teams was UCLA.

Slyness, it was so cold and windy here yesterday. When I got in, I did not go back out. The wind was blowing my car and I could actually feel it. I saw where a tree fell on a car in your city, and the lady in the car died. Also noticed that a minister is offering a reward for information concerning the death of the young boy that was killed at the birthday party. I hope they find that person.

Mudge, Scotty, Martooni(good to hear from you), good morning to all. *waving*

TBG, tell son of G hello for me.

Well, time to find the coffee, and try to get dressed for Sunday school and church this morning. I hope you can find time in your busy day to give God some of your time. Enjoy your families.

I had a nice visit with my friend from Georgia. It was good to see her.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 9, 2008 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Way down at bottom of list:
restore daylight savings time.

Posted by: Jumper | March 9, 2008 4:36 AM | Report abuse


I forgot to thank you for the information about the song, Bitter Earth. Thanks.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 9, 2008 5:56 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, everybody. I woke up at the normal time, but it was 8 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. That's okay for today.

The wind really roared around here in the night. It's still going but it's quite so gusty. When we got up, the temperature was 18F. But the sun is shining!

Go Heels, indeed, TBG. They won that one for Eve Carson. God be with her family. I cannot imagine the pain they are experiencing.

I read the story about the lady who died when a tree fell on her car, Cassandra, and of course I know exactly where it was: not far from Son of G's school, in an area with lots of old willow oaks. Another family to pray for.

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

'morning from the snowy North. Let me count he total, 6in. Friday + 14in. yesterday makes about 20in. of snow in the past 48 hours. The crocuses will have to wait a little bit.
However there is something intrinsically relaxing in being inside in warm house and looking at the storm blowing outside. Especially when holding a glass of wine after a good winter meal.
The Easter Bunny will have to wear snowshoes to go around burying eggs in the snow though. This won't be an Easter weekend when women break out their spring wardrobe.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 9, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning, cassandra... I will pass along your greetings to my boy. He took off with a couple of friends for two days at the Maryland shore, staying in my sister's house there. I got some good time with him yesterday and he'll be back on Monday and then he's mine all week.

So folks.... what time is it? Are we living in the past, the future or the present?

It's 9:03 in my world... what does it say down below on my time stamp?

Posted by: TBG | March 9, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Hmph. You'd think the Post could have figured this time thing out by now. Or Moveable Type... or someone...


Posted by: TBG | March 9, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Gorgeous sunny morning here, all the better for the fresh snow. Tried to take pictures this morning, got a few out back but when I went to take some out front the plow was going by and the dog ran out. Thank goodness for an alert driver how stopped in tme - with the snow banks so high I am not sure how he saw the dog in time. After a few mintures of backing at the plow and running through the fresh snow dog came back in the house - well trained he's not.

sunlight at the waterpark

Posted by: dmd | March 9, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Sunny, chilly, with the promise of bluster today. March, iconically I think.

Grumpy household, resenting that lost hour mightily.

Easter is nearly upon us; early Easters do not seem right. Give me an April one every time.

Take care, boodlers-all in what-have-you weather. Rest and re-create, for Monday shall soon be upon us!

Posted by: College Parkian | March 9, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I've been after Hal and the support team (and the vendors who provide services like TypePad) for years to add a process for automating the time changes, expecially since Congress has modified DST.

Still, the does not appear to be interested in making life easy for themselves or their vendors, so I have no doubt we'll see some variation of the Achenblog - Severe Temporal Dislocation that we tend to have every time DST kicks in or out.

Achen-STDs may be fun in the beginning, but tend to be a PITA in the long run. And they usually take some time to clear up, too.



Posted by: bc | March 9, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Front page news: Douglas "the dumbest f**king guy on the planet" Feith found out who screwed up Iraq and it wasn't him. It was Colin Powell for not talking Dubya out of it.

His title remains unchallenged. I don't know WaPo managed to report on the feud between Feith and Tommy Franks without mentioning the epithet Franks pinned on him.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of fact and fiction and monstrous vermin:

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 9, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

i looked up ucla basketball on youtube to find the answer to cassandra's question. i am happy to report that ucla beat cal yesterday.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 9, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

DNA Girl- I think you'll enjoy this on the next big memoir scandals

Posted by: frostbitten | March 9, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Some victory. Obama picked up two more delegates than Clinton in a caucus in a state that is about as red as they come.

Posted by: Loomis | March 9, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

For crying out loud, computers have been changing time automatically for decades now. I'd love to know who the service provider for WaPo is. I kid about them being in Timbuktu, or somewhere that doesn't change the time, but sheesh. They've had quite awhile to apply the patches.

Springing forward makes me cranky.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 9, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

A view of the importance of this election from across the pond. Wow.

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Wow indeed, Slyness.

The disorientation of springing forward is a cruel price to pay for the joy of having daylight in the evening. To make it easier, I tried resetting the clocks last night at 7. Didn't work. The alarm ringing tomorrow at what my body is saying is 4:30 a.m. will still be painful.

And sheesh! If our IT people at work can figure this time change thing out, anyone should be able to.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Republican claims Al Qaida "dancing in streets" if Obama wins, means he shouldn't win.

I can only quote Major Clipton:
"Madness! Madness!!"

Posted by: Anonymous | March 9, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

My favorite computer time change story is that one fall I was on my computer at 2am and it popped up a window saying that it was now daylight saving time and did I want to adjust my clock. I clicked "yes" and continued surfing. One our later, again at 2am, it asked me the same thing. That time I clicked no and decided it was time to go to bed.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Of course, I meant it was the end of daylight saving time. Spring forward, fall back. No wonder I'm two hours off. Yeesh.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It's dead, Jim.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh, the servers are so foncused I just got an odd pop-up survey request... :-O

*busy-week-ahead-and-trying-to-stay-ahead-of-the-curve-despite-temporal-dislocation Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 9, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Code Blue
Paddles stat
2 ccs on the rapid infuser

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 9, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I am a woman in my 50s with two masters degrees. I manage a team of mostly women between the ages of 25 and 45. All have at least one bachelors degree and make $50k+. All of us are voting for Hillary.

My daughter is 29 with two bachelors degrees and is a nurse. She and all of her "young" professional male and female friends who also make more than $50k are voting for Hillary.

Educated women and men across this country support Hillary because they understand that experience is more important than rhetoric.

Posted by: Valerie | March 9, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Here's an homage to that D & D guy.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 9, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Suffering some temporal dislocation, why is it so doggone bright out at 3:30PM?

I've been on the phone off and on all day. The dott's soldier bf decided to break up with her, over the phone from Iraq this AM. I am thankful we didn't have this train wreck over Christmas, and think she is at least half grateful to not be stuck standing by through a deployment just to break up later, but there's nothing we can do but wait out the puffy eyed angst of it all. With any luck she'll soon embrace the fullness of the possibilities stretching out before her.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 9, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The box in the bottom left corner of the NYT column article suckered me in and nailed me. Busted. And every single box made some sort of sense to me. Frightening.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I thought of you and JDP specifically when I posted that. Your comment made me go back and look at that diagram more closely. I started at the top right, answered 'no' to the question about being exposed to D&D early in life. Then I followed the dotted line all the way down to 'Girls.' D'oh!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 9, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, frosti... your post brought tears to my eyes. Tell her what my grandmother said once to my sister after a break-up... you have to listen for the Greek accent...

"They more fish in the sea!"

Doesn't help now, but give her lots of virtual, long-distance hugs (why couldn't he have done this a couple of days ago?) and tell her she's got lots of boodle mojo coming her way.

Oh.. and she's mahvelous. Whether he thinks so or not.

Posted by: TBG | March 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Becker, thanks for mentioning that Obama, in fact, won a majority of delegates in Texas after all.

Educated men and women across the country support Obama because they believe in talent, appreciate his clear agenda, history of not attempting to pass mandates against everything from flag burning to health care and circumventing the constitutional process. In addition, when they check his website on the issues that interest them, they can find clear information, including the itemization of the bills he would want to pass, instead of vague hypotheticals and ideas.

Hillary just keeps stealing everybody's ideas left and right if they sound good. Smart she is, creative she ain't. In addition, there's the little side-effect of possibly never hearing about semen on dresses ever again. Sounds like a slam-dunk to me.

Also, as we prosecute Al-Qaeda, domestic terrorism is on the rise, and here's a little thing we haven't noticed... our water supply isn't quite that safe after all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 9, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I liked the Gygax tribute, and oy, do I know *way* too much about that diagram.

Personally, I'd add some boxes that say "Unix" and "Linux" rather than the "PERL" box, and there's no "Battlestar Galactica" or "Cryptonomicon" boxes (though one could make a case that the "Capt. Crunch" box may cover "Cryptonomicon").

Here's Deborah Howell - Washington Post Ombudsman - re. Charlotte Allen's Outlook piece last week:

An interesting perspective on the Editors of Outlook, IMO.


Posted by: bc | March 9, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness; for he is truly his brother's keeper and finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brother. And you will know my name is the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

Posted by: Jumper | March 9, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Tongue.. too.. far.. in.. cheek.. cramping..

Posted by: Jumper | March 9, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Jumper with the Jules/"Pulp Fiction" reference.

Oh, he's quoting some Book, isn't he?

"Say 'what' again, ****** ******!"


Posted by: bc | March 9, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Can TBG organize a BPH in Philadelphia so we can all go to this show? It's right down our alley...

Posted by: Maggie O'D | March 9, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering how Deborah Howell was going to weigh in on the Charlotte Allen debacle. Thanks for pointing to that bc, I didn't get a chance to open more than the Magazine today (the paper's still in it's plastic slip on the kitchen counter).

Allen and the Washington Post editors who thought her piece was funny should read more of Joel's writing if they want to see how to combine fact, science and humor. Does anyone do it better?

Allen seems to think her piece used self-deprecating humor. The humor was definitely missing.

Posted by: TBG | March 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Self-deprecating humor would be commenting that the fainting women are getting nearly as excited over Obama as they are over finding the perfect matching shoes for a new outfit.

And maybe a few more things to point out that women often spend far more time studying and planning the most mundane things of their life than they do when practicing their hard-fought civil rights and vote for their future leaders.

Or commenting that golly, maybe she forgot to research the facts behind her newest Outlook article to be published in a major newspaper, because she was too busy watching soap operas on TV in the middle of the day.

After all if it's good enough for the Clinton campaign, it's good enough for the Post.

You know, like, have an actual point about misplaced priorities and lack of attention to issues?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 9, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Looks like my Montana story will run tomorrow. It's about grizzly bears. I'll post a new kit with the story as soon as I can -- and will throw in some pics and I would sure like to figure out how to post video, because there is great video of bears taken by USGS cameras.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 9, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Well,ate too much, and feeling too full. Need to run around the block,but can't seem to get warm.

For those of you snowed in, I'm thinking warm thoughts and hopes of melting ice and snow.

I am sleepy. I guess the time change is having an impact on me. In a few weeks it is will be spring. Time for gardens and planting. I do so want to do something this year. Just hope I have enough wind to do it. As in breathing. It is going to take some getting used to this time change things.

Have a good evening, folks. Just think, before you know it, it will be Monday morning, and a brand new week ahead. Okay, no groaning, look on the bright side, if you're around tomorrow morning you get to see a day you've never seen before, and the possibilities are endless. You can do a new thing or do what you usually do, but you get to decide.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 9, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

You actually got paid to do a sciency-policy article, Joel? I was laying even money it was a wild goose veep chase of some sort.

Good for you.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 9, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, if all else fails, link to the video, Joel. That way we can enjoy without worrying about downloading the video as part of the blog everytime we refresh.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 9, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Some snow pictures and to show I am not vain there is a picture of me shovelling in the snow complete with appropriate outfit - looking good is not a priority - staying warm is.

Also inspired by Joel's pictures of the crocus, I took my own picture of my crocus a few days before the storm.

Posted by: dmd | March 9, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is nice here; I am finishing up some rice while a pork loin roast is resting (cooking just tired it out, poor thing, despite the rum/sherry, thyme, onions, celery & garlic - can you tell I kinda made this up?). It is the calm before the storm though, as the Boy still has science to read.

Frostbitten, I'm so sorry for your daughter. But it is better to find these things out sooner than later. Please send her hugs.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 9, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

dmd, better thee than me. I took pictures of my crocuses too, but they didn't turn out as nice as Joel's. Did more tidying up in the yard today, fertilized the clematis and roses lightly. Started seeds inside! Mr Ml is putting up a small plexiglass greenhouse where he's hoping to ripen tomatoes and peppers. So we're very close to having spring fever here, but the cool temperatures are keeping us from going nuts.

Looking forward to the grizzly bear story. When we lived in Montana, we saw what we were convinced was a bear, far away but big nonetheless, on the side of a hill. Not sure if it was a grizzly. Very impressive.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 9, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I remember lots of winters like that dmd, but probably won't see too many of them now that we live near the water and further south. Frosti, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I've been down that road with mine and it's not fun. But, as Ivansmom said, better now than later.

I cannot believe how fast the weekends go by. Never left the house yesterday as the rain was so heavy and the wind was howling. Out and about today in the sunshine but still very very windy. Too soon to do more than dream about planting and gardens but we do have plans to enlarge my hydrangea area and reshingle the front of the house. At least with more daylight after work we can begin walking every night before dinner. This should speed up the weight loss from the diets we are on.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 9, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures, dmd. Is the large mound a snow fort? I used to love making them, and then there was the year the younger dottir and her best bud built an igloo. They could get into it and sit!

Frosti, my best thoughts and hugs for frostdottir. As Ivansmom says, better to get these things over so life can go on.

I'm glad to be home and in reasonable/seasonable temperatures. Hope everyone sleeps well tonight.

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

It's Spring here in Southern Oregon today. 60 degrees. The willows all have buds. The tulips are coming up. Everything is green and I'm going to have to mow the lawns.
The quail are starting to pair up. The mourning doves are wo-hooing in the nesting trees. Two pair so far and one guy odd man out are coming to the feeding area. Two humming birds were having terratorial rights issues today at the feeder.
BUT snow is a possibility in the forecast for tomorrow night and tuesday. Hard to believe today.
My computer didn't spring forward last night.

Posted by: bh | March 9, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

It's Spring here in Southern Oregon today. 60 degrees. The willows all have buds. The tulips are coming up. Everything is green and I'm going to have to mow the lawns.
The quail are starting to pair up. The mourning doves are wo-hooing in the nesting trees. Two pair so far and one guy odd man out are coming to the feeding area. Two humming birds were having terratorial rights issues today at the feeder.
BUT snow is a possibility in the forecast for tomorrow night and tuesday. Hard to believe today.
My computer didn't spring forward last night.

Posted by: bh | March 9, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

It's Spring here in Southern Oregon today. 60 degrees. The willows all have buds. The tulips are coming up. Everything is green and I'm going to have to mow the lawns.
The quail are starting to pair up. The mourning doves are wo-hooing in the nesting trees. Two pair so far and one guy odd man out are coming to the feeding area. Two humming birds were having terratorial rights issues today at the feeder.
BUT snow is a possibility in the forecast for tomorrow night and tuesday. Hard to believe today.

Posted by: bh | March 9, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

No those mounds are just mounds of snow from shovelling. Kids down the street made a great snow fort a few storms ago. We used to dig out caves in snow hills but that is considered too dangerous now.

Frosti - sorry to hear about your daughter, she will get through.

Posted by: dmd | March 9, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

No those mounds are just mounds of snow from shovelling. Kids down the street made a great snow fort a few storms ago. We used to dig out caves in snow hills but that is considered too dangerous now.

Frosti - sorry to hear about your daughter, she will get through.

Posted by: dmd | March 9, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

HAL quit saying to submit again!

Posted by: bh | March 9, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Love the pictures, dmd. Is the huge mound a snow fort. I remember happy days building such monuments...The younger dottir and her best bud once built an igloo they could crawl into and sit.

Frosti, sorry to hear about Frostdottir's anguish. I hope she will recover quickly and go onto bigger and better things. I'm sending hugs her way...

We got down the mountain without incident and I'm glad to be in more reasonable and seasonable temperatures.

Sleep well tonight, everyone (especially you, Cassandra) so that early Monday isn't such a terrible surprise.

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, the time switch imp is really upon me... I swear my earlier post wasn't there when I looked! Sorry all.

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Loved the pics, dmd! I wish you and Shrieking d could have sent some of that our way. Third winter with no snow for the kids and they are bitter! Our tulips are coming up and a certain kind of cherry tree is in bloom, the Bradford pears are close to full bloom, so we definitely have full blown spring fever. We had terrible weather here yesterday, sort of warm but a downpour and the same winds that you all have been talking about. Sadly, the wind did a number on our little girl magnolia. It is so beautiful but the blooms are hither, thither and yon at this point. Oh well.

The weekends DO go too fast, but we packed a lot in...kid's basketball games, long walk with the faithful beagle, dinner with friends, some exercise, both the hubby and I had to work some and finished the book What is the What about a "Lost Boy" from the Sudan. Lovely weekend. I hope you all have a great week.

Whoa, Maryland is playing VA...there's is some ghastly caterwauling going on upstairs. It must not be going well...for Maryland, that is. Hope everyone has a lovely week and that spring will come your way this week!

Posted by: Kim | March 9, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Kim, you're right about things not going well for MD's men's basketball team.


dmd, thanks for those snowpics. We had a storm like that here in the DC area a few years back, it was one of the few days I *really* wished I had a snow blower.

Y'know, I'm learning to get used to the Achen - STD issues. 'course, after three years of it, I suppose I *should*.


Posted by: bc | March 9, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Lovely pictures, dmd. Looks cold. Also, looks fun. Be nice if we could get some of your snow.

Sorry about your daughter, frostbitten. It's always sad when things don't work out. Hope she'll get over it soon.

Posted by: rainforest | March 9, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all with the Frostdottir hugs. She's smarting now, but it's nothing like it could have been. I think she's been close to breaking it off herself but just didn't want to be the kind of gf who breaks up with a guy when he's getting shot at.

I better call it a night. I can't believe I have one early meeting scheduled all month and it has to be the first work day after the time change.

Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 9, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Check out the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland for me.

I was at Leu Gardens in Orlando for a tour on Saturday morning. Mostly palms (including a huge silver Bismarckia that would have impressed the Iron Chancellor. The name is a bit of imperialism). The morning was so windy that Spanish moss was flying out of the live oaks, while a big clump of timber bamboo was making all sorts of scary cracking noises. A wedding in the garden worked out OK despite the weather.

Afterward, on-sale shiny blue kitchen cabinet doors at Ikea caused a spontaneous outburst of kitchen-refurbishing enthusiasm. The doors, it seems, didn't sell very well. Americans must be more into wood.

So tomorrow will be Grizzly Monday. Garrison Keillor this weekend wondered about groggy animals coming out of hibernation. How many reporters get to do wanna-be Presidents and Alpha Mammals in the same season?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 9, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's Joel's Grizzly article where he Bears everything:

Including how UnBearable McCain's become these days...


Posted by: bc | March 9, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

i enjoyed the grizzly bear article, and i know the boodle will appreciate the reference to cow flatulence.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 9, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I believe it. Oh, I do, bh. Ma Nature does that sort of thing all the time in March out DC way.

There was that beautiful 75 degree day on March 11, 1994 (I think), less than 48 hours before a blizzard dumped nearly a foot of snow. And there was that April blizzard one year-- 1991? 1990?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 10, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Argh! Is WaPo trying to restrict comments on articles?

I have some experience with systems, so I don't think this is me.

I've tried commenting on the grizzly article at least 6 times. If I start out logged in, it tells me I have to log in again (ok so far). Then when I try to log in again, it takes me to a page to start a NEW, UNIQUE login. No good.

If I start out not logged in and go to the article and log in, it tells me I've already posted within 3 minutes (nothing has shown up) and will have to wait. Then it wants me to log in again, repeat the first cycle above.

Yanno, . . .

Posted by: dbG | March 10, 2008 4:06 AM | Report abuse

No great surprises in the bear tale... Any project is worthwhile to a small enough group. Anything, even something with great worth, needing more than a little explaining can easily be demagogued against to an uninformed public. 'Course, I wouldn't know anything about that, now would I? *SIGH*

And of course, the good Senator doesn't block the worthwhile project, he just uses it as a straw man. *SIGH*

Dear Santa;
Please bring back honest campaigning. Don't worry, I won't hold my breath waiting for it. Thank you.


*off-to-a-jam-packed-week-with-limited-Boodling-chances-but-always-thinkin-bout-y'all Grovers waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 10, 2008 4:06 AM | Report abuse

Great story on bears and funding. Joel gets all the fun assignments: science PLUS politics. And of course it's wonderfully written, as always.

Good morning, everybody. I see we still have the time issue with us. Hal, can you get this fixed?

Posted by: slyness | March 10, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Hooyah! Monday!

Posted by: jack | March 10, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

The Grizzly article is classic Achenbach. And I mean that in a good way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 10, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Great picture. The article left one question unanswered: What is McCain's position on the right to arm bears?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 10, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful piece by JA. I'm looking forward to the pics. The getting-sprayed- with-bear-bait part really got to me and I have a very strong stomach. I couldn't finish my yogurt and pumpkin seed granola.

Good morning everyone!

Posted by: Kim | March 10, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Or, McCain's position to bare arms, yello?

Good Monday morning to you all, the sun is shining and the birds are singing and Joel has a wonderful scientific/nature offering printed for consumption by what is left of the free world Glory be! The possibility of a slobber test is pretty interesting, too.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 10, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Next time I give you all a math challenge just ignore me OK. Anyhow the challenge was aimed specifically at mudge, who is probably still scratching his head as it was all utter nonsense. I think it should be 82% cause only 18% of this year has passed. um, 63% should give you my birthdate if you subtract the number of days that have already passed this year. or something like that. no wait, that's not right,er,ok,i'm getting a headache. it's too early on a monday am for a headache. time for a walk. and could someone tell me why my morning commute was in the dark. did the earth stop spinning for an hour or so some time this weekend. Oh crud...I'm doing it again. I mean did it speed up or something. WalkingWalkingWalking

Posted by: omni | March 10, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

If I remember correctly, black bears are very long-time residents of North America, while grizzlies (=brown bears) arrived around the same time as people. Black bears are impressive enough. I have no great desire to see a grizzly in the wild.

I didn't suspect that Joel would have grizzly bears and a Presidential candidate in the same story. Quite a feat.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 10, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.
"Refreshing" pictures from readers of the local paper:

People are trading war stories and comparing shoveling calluses this morning.

I'll post my own pics later this week. I didn't had time yesterday, I spent 4 hours snowblowing & shoveling...

Good grizzly story. It's funny how McCain dispute a $5 million project while he is willing to spend hundreds of billion to stay in Iraq for hundreds of years.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 10, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Popping in for a moment from out in the mountains. Couple of things.

About wine/alcohol. I would only choose a beer if I were at a crab feast. Raised Eyetalian. Definitely wine with dinner; a Frangelico or a port late at night. Note to self...if ever having dinner at S'Tim's, bring wine.

Once when I was off-the-scale mad at SigO I ordered a ridiculously expensive bottle of wine, charged it to him but split it with a friend. Other than that, I tend to buy based on what I like, and it just works out that they tend to be reasonably priced. Now that I think about it, I had a nice steak that night too. And a very pretty dessert. While admiring my new shoes. Other than that, I'm not too high maintenance. But I digress.

RD, I liked your thoughts on group consciousness and 'average' humans. I wrote a long thing about the use of statistics in science v. political science, but it got eaten. The hard numbers of one vs the myriad guesses of the other; the squishiness factor of those individual guesses (there's no data point for the human experience), and then the manipulation behind not only making the statistics say what you want, but then using those statistics to change human behavior/voting practices to get whole new statistics. Lee Atwater (Rove is no Atwater), Jerry Falwell. Dag.

Omni, you always make me smile. Thanks. It's nice to have a visitor out here in left field from time to time.

On the road again today. Such is life. Or I guess such is my life. I'll catch up on the bears later.

Have a happy day boodlers.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 10, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

The bear study story is one of those "my kid is precocious, yours is just a smart aleck" situations which politicians love so much. When you do it, it's wasteful pork. When I do it, it's constituent service. I do wish Joel had amped up the hypocrisy angle more. I mean, come on, McCain's Montana state chair sponsered the funding and Johnny Mac hisownself voted FOR it!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 10, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

went to my usual Sunday haunt for brunch. only two people bothered to show up. bunch of lazy morons. went to another restaurant down the street. Had a lovely Brazillian woman bartender. She said her manager called everyone up that morning to make sure they remembered the time change. Well, duh. I think I may have to change my Sunday brunch haunt. Anyway, is it wrong for me to spend half the morning flirting with a woman half my age. I'm so dizzy this AM, I'm convinced I'm missing about an hours it miller time yet

Posted by: omni | March 10, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

And the downward spiral continues. Got word that one of the last manufacturing plants left in McKeesport, my wife's home town, is being sold to an Indian conglomerate. CP Industries, which make seamless metal pressure vessels for the Navy and NASA, among others, is a remnant of US Steel's National Tube Works (hence the city's nickname, Tube City). The "Tube" was shut down and scrapped by US Steel in the 1980's, taking about 1,000 jobs with it. CP Industries is currently owned by a holding company that is in Chapter 11, though the plant itself is profitable. We'll see what the future brings, but it's just one more chink in the armor.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 10, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Today's Diehl and Mallaby columns are scary.

On the Diehl side, the Colombian raid that killed a guerilla leader really does seem to have exposed enthusiastic Venezuelan government support for the "good revolutionaries" of the FARC. A news story in the Guardian had already reported rapid expansion of the drug trade through Venezuela.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 10, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Beer/wine? I spotted made-in-Oregon sake at the local Publix. Sushi must really be getting popular.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 10, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

It's a tad early for beer omni. We're still in breakfast cocktail territory, how about a Bloody Mary or Bloody Ceasar?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 10, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm still catching up and see that Wilbrod was on the right track. But because I was using my fuzzy math she was misled. But if you do the 37% X 366 (it is a leap year) then add the result to 3/7 you should get somewhere near where I meant to send you all.7/20

Posted by: omni | March 10, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, thanks for the link - I was thinking of everyone up in Ottawa on the weekend - kept hearing how much snow there was. Just out of curiosity have we heard from Boko lately - is Smith Falls completely buried in snow?

Posted by: dmd | March 10, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

New Kit with bears videos!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 10, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

SCC bear
5 words posting, one typo. *sign*

Posted by: shriek | March 10, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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