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Don't Drink the Water?


Still on the road. Guess the location. I saw this gazebo with a water fountain sort of thing, and fizzy water shooting out, and there wasn't any warning about not drinking it. So I had some. Carbonated, mineralized, kind of nasty, with notes of pepper, black cherries, magnesium, uranium, roadkill and lawn clippings. I am pretty sure that at any moment I am simply going to explode.


Here's a glimpse of a hotel downtown. Neat burg with lots of Victorian houses. I found an old bookstore across the street from a cigar shop and just steps from a Ben & Jerry's and a wine store. Clearly need to rent space there for an A-blog bureau. Photos by Shane Achenbach.


Earlier in the day, a view of downtown Middlebury, VT. From this angle it looks like the village will wash away by the weekend. Otter Creek is surging with snowmelt. It's also the brand of an excellent microbrew that, purely for journalistic purposes, I sampled at the Two Brothers Tavern. [Or maybe it's Taverne -- whenever there's an extra letter, you pay more.]


The billiard room at a college we couldn't possibly afford.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 28, 2008; 9:09 AM ET
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Next: Fate of the Earth and Stuff Like That


That water looks a bit like the stuff in Ashland, Oregon.

Looks like you're venturing into the Eastern Great White North!

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

JA - tell me you didn't really drink that water.

Posted by: Kim | March 28, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Yet another photographer in the family!

(I think Joel is enjoying this road trip waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy too much.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I see that good photographic skills run in the Achenbach family. Nice pics.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

That is a mighty fine porch there, but I'll fax some heaters. It looks a wee bit chilly.

Posted by: dr | March 28, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I've consumed the nasty fizzy Ashland water and survived. But they, too, have plenty of ice cream. But thinking of that snowmelt, I did visit Ashland the first day the town had running (regular, non-fizzy) water after the creek had torn apart the park and the Plaza. A couple of guys were already studying a cleaned-out bare floor that had been a store.

I'm impressed that Vermonters created so many sturdy and Rather Grave buildings in the 19th century. The southern states, by and large, don't have that, unless you count spots like the Great Valley of Virginia. Even the pillared houses of Athens, Georgia, are relatively modest. Maybe those northern Victorians benefitted from a lack of malaria and hookworms.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The new A-blog bureau is well stocked with photographers. Nice work Shane.

Posted by: dr | March 28, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The *ScienceSpouse* woulda sampled that water. What are you guys, chicken? At Mesa Verde (Spruce Tree House, I think), she tried the water from the sad little trickle that served as a water supply for the residents, way back when. The ranger was shocked, stunned, appalled, that she would drink this questionable water from this uncertain source (that had once supported the water needs of a couple hundred people for centuries). Also, she asked how it tasted.

Joel, I commend you for your bravery.

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

Ok, Ok, I commend JA for his bravery, but yes, I am a chicken. There is no way I would drink anything that came out of that fountain.

Love the pics.

Posted by: Kim | March 28, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for the pics from the Ben & Jerry's production facility. Lotsa college interning possibilities, I'm told... *nudge nudge*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 28, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I have no idea where that is, although that fountain reminds me of one I once saw in Vancouver, British Columbia. (I'm pretty sure that isn't right.) Given how chilly it looks, I do wonder if the road-trip might have ventured up into Maine.

As a kid I remember visiting mineral springs near Mt. Rainier. The waters were the color of finely oxidized nails, and tasted about the same. Yet for some perverse reason I found the stuff fascinating, despite the oddly unpleasant flavor. (Sort of like when I first tasted beer.) I drank quite a lot of the mineral water, and suffered the inevitable results. Of which we shall not speak.

Anyway, I am really enjoying this vicarious road trip. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I commend you for your brewery. Otter Creek is good stuff. I believe it is available at TJ's in this area.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Joel, good lesson for the kids on how to decide whether to do something: is there a sign warning not to do it? If not, go ahead!

Seriously, that "don't drink the water" issue is current for me. In my youth I would drink any water I found when camping. My dad likes to tell the story of the old timer who would say, "if my horse will drink it, I will drink it." On my recent camping trip I eschewed "unprotected source" water and only drank spring water. But the official literature for Shenandoah National Park specifically advises visitors NOT to drink the spring water unless it is "purified." I'm sure I was healthier after drinking the spring water ("unpurified") for a week. That mineral water you drank probably cured things you didn't even know you had.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 28, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm impressed that you can detect the taste of uranium.

And I'm glad to see the great pics from a another Achentographer.

Well done, Shane.

[Resisting the urge to ask her to come back...].


Posted by: bc | March 28, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

bc, hope your cold is on the waning side and you're feeling better.

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This is why the NPS doesn't want you drinking that water, kb.

Giardia is bad bad news. So say my friends who've experienced it.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Yours too, Mudge. Nothing like a spring cold to make a person feel miserable, is there?

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I have just discovered that I, StorytellerTim will be telling a story at the Calvert Marine Museum on May 10 as part of their Solomons Maritime Festival. Come on down!

This does not constitute a commercial advertisement, as I will not be paid.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | March 28, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

K-guy, in your opinion, was Joel taking a comparable risk when he drank the mineral water from the fountain?

Posted by: kbertocci | March 28, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Okay my guess is Burlington, Vermont, where UVM is located. It is within driving distance of Middlebury. Also, it has water.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Does Bennington have billiards?

Posted by: Shiloh | March 28, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

No, because if the fountain water were unhealthy there would have been BIG WARNING SIGNS. We live in the United Suits of America, after all. Even Vermonters.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

the water fountain is in Saratoga Springs, NY. That particular fountain was across the street about ten years ago, until they had to move it so they city could build a parking garage. Also, the hotel is the Adelphia Hotel on Broadway in Saratoga.

Posted by: parker91 | March 28, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

What doesn't kill ya, makes ya stronger.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, so to speak, but I was allowed to come up for air from the underworld of the land of the black helicopters for only a brief moment. One tinsey observation from the last boodle: In all that talk about funerals, and caskets, and rip-offs, and whatnot, nobody mentioned the huge headache we leave our heirs in the form of the probate process.

I intend (although I confess that I myself have not yet followed through with this intention) to collect all of the necessary forms to wade through the probate process ahead of time. Then I will fill them all out, except for the date and place of my final demise, of course. I'm even thinking of making my own extremely modest pine box, knocked down but ready for quick assembly when needed. (There's an idea to keep Martooni employed.) Remembering how difficult it was to write a eulogy for my folks and my wife's parents, I also intend to scratch together a terse autobiography.

If I *really* had my way about it all, I'd throw myself my own pre-death wake. Why should I pay hard-earned money for good food and drink when I can't even enjoy it? Then what few friends and family that care to gather can tell me straight to my face what a dufus I've been. (And vice versa!)

Posted by: Don from I-270 | March 28, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought the article that Frosti linked to in the last boodle deserves reposting.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Forty years ago, Giardia was presumably around but unappreciated. I recall a friend telling me that spending some time in Leningrad proved difficult because the local water supply was contaminated with it. Locals weren't affected, presumably a matter of lifetime exposure. I just ran a quick Google search to check this hazy memory, and....

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Cornell? Rensselaer Poly? Colgate? Crest?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 28, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Shiloh | March 28, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

A quick Google search confirms what "parker91" says. Looks like we have a winner!

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Where the fizzy water's a half mile down the street and the wildlife forensic lab much closer.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Dang! I seemed to have missed another conference. At least I still have the big one in El Paso to look forward to.

Posted by: K:LOTD | March 28, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

At least they are heading south. I was starting to get worried.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Giardia been around a looong time. My close friend and intrepid female coworker at the Tahoe Trib did a story about it in our neck of the woods circa 1980. Also known as "beaver fever." Need I say more--streams are nature's latrine. Muskrats also a possible source.

Backcountry backpackers always advised to boil the H2O.

Posted by: Loomis | March 28, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I love Saratoga Springs, my brother lives next door, so to speak, in Schuylersville, NY. I'll have to look for the fountain next time I'm up there.

Yep, if the giardia crud gets you, you are guaranteed to lose 10-15 pounds and it ain't fun.

Posted by: Kim | March 28, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Another quick thought: Joel, we've been waiting for you to "blow up" on the Internet for years now, and well, you've been a steady producer for a long while now.

No matter how Heavy that water you drank is, I don't see you blowing up anytime soon. Now, some serious swelling, *that* I would believe.


Posted by: bc | March 28, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "Another quick thought: Joel, we've been waiting for you to "blow up" on the Internet for years now, and well, you've produced a steady stream for a long while, with some notable peaks."

Gotta love having second thoughts.

Wish I used the preview function more often...

I am feeling better, slyness, thanks.
And frosti (and Boko), thanks for the link to that zesty SciAm piece.


Posted by: bc | March 28, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

i had giardia, which i got in russia. it went undiagnosed for about six months, making my senior year in college very difficult. wreaked havoc on my digestive system because i didn't know i had it. after the initial onset (which in my case, i interpreted as "stuff happens" when you're overseas), it can be somewhat dormant, depending on how your body reacts.

i remember after several minutes of talking to the doctor about symptoms and what not, i said "i just don't know what's wrong with me, i've been having these problems since i was in russia this summer..." at which point, he was like "russia? oh, we need to run some tests." he guessed what it was at that point, and he was right.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 28, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Giardia? Love her show on the Food Network.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 28, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

kb, i think that the threat of lawsuits would force signage if there were a risk, especially if this fountain is a "saratoga spring" of some sort.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 28, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Kurosawaguy, you must be right; that's what Joel thought, too.

I still think drinking spring water isn't particularly dangerous (not like eating raw broccoli in Mexico, for example)--but I accept the fact that it's riskier than it used to be, and maybe the next time I venture into the wilds I'll invest in one of those cool UV wands.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 28, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Drink water?!?. Do you know what do in that stuff?

Posted by: WC | March 28, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

SCC fish.
fish dammit

Posted by: A usual suspect999 | March 28, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, ya made me snort coffee.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ah, cryptosporidium. If only it was spelled with a "k" it could be a super hero's secret weapon, or his nemesis. "Watch out, kbertocci! The Blogotherians are using their kryptosporidium grenades, and we're all out of unobtainium shields!"

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

oh, you guys have to watch the recent colbert report on water. it's hilarious, and the museum director (?) does a great job responding to colbert's character.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 28, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I also must learn to read more carefully. I didn't pick up that the fountain and the micro-brewery where in different towns.
I know my first reaction to drinking a town's foul water would not be to look for a brewery.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why the state of Iowa won't allow the sale of water purefing devices?

Posted by: bh | March 28, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Scotty beat me to it, but here's my post:

The problem with Giardia is its got to many letters. Just get rid of the 'r' and the second 'i':

Posted by: omni | March 28, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

SCC-potential double post. Hal and I have been tussling this morning.

What a risk averse bunch. I would at least taste that water.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

By Iowa law, portable camping water filters are treated the same way as any public or private water treatment system which makes any claim to remove harmful materials and\or organisms. Iowa demands that such claims be confirmed by approved third party testing under established protocols before the devices can be sold in Iowa. I suspect that the cost of compliance is not worth the loss of business, and so the purifiers are not sold to Iowa addresses.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse


I hear now that The Fix has its own t-shirts but the Boodle doesn't get any! Umbrage! This is NOT FAIR!

Posted by: CowTown | March 28, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse


I hear now that The Fix has its own t-shirts but the Boodle doesn't get any! Umbrage! This is NOT FAIR!


Posted by: CowTown | March 28, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

(Please excuse dual postings. My bad.)

Thank you for your kind attention.

Posted by: CowTown | March 28, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Bennington does have a pool table in the basement of their Student Center, so that remains a possibility:

The estimate tuition, room, board, books, laundry money, etc. for Bennington is $51,950:

Bennington traditionally likes to vie for most expensive college in America. I once noticed an SUV with both Bennington and MIT brag decals in the back window. I would hate to have his tuition payment plan.

Bennington is 60 miles from the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs and 150 miles from Middlebury. Middlebury is 85 miles north of Saratoga Springs.

Who has put the Spidey tracker on the Achenmobile so that we can stalk him in real time?

My son's choices are narrowing. Free Speech Movement University e-mailed him a reject notice notice last night. That leaves one school left on the notification list. He had been not wearing school logoed shirts to school to avoid questions. Today he was in a sweatshirt from The Alma Mater. I'm taking that as a papal puff of smoke.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about youse guys, but I got my shirt.

It's getting a bit ratty and time for a new one though. Perhaps one with the blogmonster on it. but that's one more piece of intellectual property to clear rights for.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

FSMU at Berkely, yello? I suppose if Alan Watts can champion Zen at UC, then the FSM School of Religion has found a perfect home.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 28, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to the sweatshirt son. Of course those aren't reject letters, they're non-acceptances. I think Japanese universities sent out vague letters announcing that the cherry blossoms were falling, or that the persimmon crop had fallen victim to squirrels.

One remarkable book on admissions at the "selective" colleges is from pup:

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

And a pup book on underperforming colleges:

(I suspect that overworked Reedies would snicker)

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Grrrrrrrr. Refresh not working again.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So, who's sending their kid to Berea, the college with no tuition and a work requirement?

Posted by: PlainTim | March 28, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

And a pup book featuring Rome's excellent drinking water, a huge advantage back in ancient times:

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

When I moved back to Philadelphia, we lived in a townhouse complex where wild ducks flew overhead daily and there were dozens of other dogs (the owners made more $ by encouraging pets for extra fees).

My 2 got giardia almost immediately. After several months of very expensive bills, I took them to a different vet who gave them the vaccine. He said it didn't work in every case, but it was the end of the problem for us.

Posted by: dbG | March 28, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that some of those early spas were intended, in part, to get you "healthy" by cleaning out the pipes. I remember once camping out in SW Pennsylvania at a state park. They had the regulation water well pump for campers to use, but the water was awful! It tasted much as described by JA, with an extra dash of brimstone and no fizz. The well was probably on top of about 3 coal seams. IIRC, Middlebury got nailed with a huge flood of Otter Creek back in the 1920's.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 28, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The wording of "non-acceptance" letters is ever so delicate. They make you feel sorry for them.

I think I had some mileages mixed up:

Saratoga Springs to Bennington: 59.45 miles, 1:13 driving time

Bennington to Middlebury: 87.51 miles, 1:58

Middlebury to Saratoga Springs: 85.73 miles, 1:48

And I missed parker91 already calling out the Adelphi. Where in the world is Joel Achenbach now?

My son and wife are kicking around roadtrip ideas for this summer and a swing by the Ben and Jerry's factory between Waterbury and Stowe. My wife and I did that tour on our honeymoon. One of the many memorable pleasurable moments of that trip.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I live fairly close to the resort town of Berkeley Springs west by god,where the water is not only tasty but it is also believed to have healing powers(mineral water).In the smallest state park in WV, they have a fountain for picking up drinking water,many people visit the park for the water,bring all sorts of large containers to carry it away. they also have roman baths where you can get in the mineral water with anywhere up to 10 of your closest friends. The park also features George washington outdoor bath tub. Now we all know ole George slept just about everywhere.But we have the claim to fame that he only bathed here...LOL....

I also live along the Cacapon river which the Shawnee Indians called Cacapon for "healing water" and i like to think that every time I use the river I am being healed.

Along the theme of the last kit.I would like to have this song played at my funeral
From Marshall Tuckers first album "Ab's Song"

If i die at twenty three,won't you bury me,in the sunshine
Please let me know you are still mine,though I'm gone
My love for will still go on.

And when the grass grows over me,let me know,you still love me
never put nobody else above me,though I'm gone
My love for you will still be strong

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Everyone fed up with the college acceptance dance should read this-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Good bet: Canandaigua, Finger Lakes area, Cornell.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 28, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I also must be quick to point out that people have told me i have a Baltimore accent and instead of saying water, It sounds more like "wooder"

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 28, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse


My son got a letter very similar to that from that other (lesser) institution in Cambridge which was the only reason he entertained applying to them. His response to them was not nearly as witty as John Mongan's to MIT.

It's all a ploy to manipulate the acceptance ratio and yield rates so that they can jump back over Joel's old haunt in the various ratings.

And speaking of CarTalk, does this organization sound familiar?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

> The *ScienceSpouse* woulda sampled that water.

No, Dear, I would'na. There is a huge difference between pristine(ish) water trickling from a natural aquifer, and fizzy urban water flowing from a (probably lead) pipe.

Giardia was not a concern, as the aquifer water had no chance to be exposed to feces.

Posted by: The ScienceSpouse | March 28, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse


And in Bawlmer you drink the wooder from the zinc.

Bath, England sells sips of their mineral water for 50p. Since it was universally noted in the guide books as being awful, we passed.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Famed Cornell chemical ecologist Thomas Eisner had a framed non-admit letter from Cornell in his office.

Undergraduate admissions systems that emphasize alumni connections and athletics (but never seem to have provided much affirmative action) probably give high school kids misleading impressions of what to expect from graduate/professional school admissions.

I'd like to see selective colleges offer early rejection. Those choosing the option would face a slightly reduced probability of admission in return for enhanced ability to focus on more relevant options.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

*laughing at "Early Rejection" letters* That's great, Dave.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

*quickly laying out the doilies and vacuuming the bunker for the unanticipated arrival of ScienceSpouse*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 28, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

And for those who haven't been with the boodle for two years, this is what happened when t-shirts were last considered:

And this was the reaction:

Just another Bicentennial Minute from one of the boodle's amateur historians.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Loved this from Milbank's chat:

"McLean, Va.: Should the crowd boo President Bush when he throws out the first pitch on Sunday?"

"Dana Milbank: I suspect there will be some booing, but fans would be well advised to save some of that for the Nationals late in the game."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

the marriott ad keeps going off and is really annoying me.

dbg, didn't know they had made a vaccination for giardia. (didn't even know it was possible to vaccinate against a protozoan parasite, but i googled it and read about it.)

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 28, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Opening lines anyone:


I only knew nine with certainty cause I have read them (or in two cases started but haven't finished). One was a good guess, I guess.

Posted by: omni | March 28, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Me too.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

9\13 on the quiz, but for my money no one has ever done better than this-

"It was a crisp and spicy morning in early October. The lilacs and laburnums, lit with the glory-fires of autumn, hung burning and flashing in the upper air, a fairy bridge provided by kind Nature for the wingless wild things that have their homes in the tree-tops and would visit together; the larch and the pomegranate flung their purple and yellow flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of the woodland; the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere; far in the empty sky a solitary esophagus slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and the peace of God."
(Mark Twain [Samuel Clements] A Double-Barreled Detective Story, 1902)

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

11/13 It always amazes me how the mind works. The ones I got right I knew with certainty, more certainty than my phone number (I never call myself!).

Avert your eyes if you don't want a quiz answer revealed.

Here's the link to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, "where www means wretched writers welcome."

Posted by: frostbitten | March 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

8/13 with considerable guessing and not enough reading (the questions AND the books, obviously).


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Me, too, omni: 10/13 with one good guess. Missed the Jonah, "need of a wife" and sick man questions.

Harking back to yesterday's Boodle, I just had a conversation with my office mate, who has a bluegrass band. During it I learned a friend of his has dragooned him into singing (solo) "The Wedding Song" at a "dying party" for a 90-something mother of a friend of his. She's got terminal cancer, and before she goes they are having a big to-do for her. I think it's a great idea.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

We're having the weirdest weather - snow even though it's 37 degrees. Must be a very cold cloud mass...or something. It's been doing this for hours, not accumulating, but still...I want Spring! Followed by a long, hot summer.

I considered Middlebury College way back when, but never visited it. Not sure I applied because I got into Georgetown with early admission by carefully picking my major (Russian), which helped, I think. Middlebury looks way too cold for me.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all.

Yet more wunnerful pictures. I too am relieved to see that the Achenclan is heading back south. I had visions of polar exploration - the university at the top of the world, that type of thing.

I think that water looks tasty. Really, I probably would have tried it. We go to a hot springs in Pagosa Springs, Colorado once a year, but that water is so redolent of sulphur I've never been tempted to sip.

12/13 on the quiz - a combination of knowledge and guesswork. I missed the sci/fi question. Go figure.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 28, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Got the ones I've read. 10/13
I thought I was a better guesser.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My favorite opening line:

"Bang, bang, bang, bang. Four shots ripped into my groin and I was off on the greatest adventure of my life...
But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself."

---May Shulman (author of "Dobie Gillis"), "Sleep Till Noon."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I got 8/13. I have read only 3 of the 13. I feel so unlettered.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | March 28, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ScienceTim | March 28, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

11/13 but missed one that I just read, so that was a little embarrassing.

I boil all collected water in the backcountry, although I will take the risk off high altitude snowfields. In Canada or the U.S. I would expect a public fountain to be safe to drink unless warned otherwise.

L.A., thanks for that story. I always assumed giardia would manifest itself quicker and with more, um, obvious symptoms.

Baltimore is apparently the home of Ace of Cakes, which I saw while channel surfing last night.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 28, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

So I followed one of the links on yello's 2.31 post back into the dim mists of time, mis-read the word "Achenshirt" in one of the first comments there, and was momentarily confused: was 'Reader' describing a giardia symptoms occasioned by JA drinking from the fountain pictured at the top of TODAY'S thing?

As Keanu Reeves would say, "WHOA."

Posted by: byoolin has come unstuck in time. | March 28, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

'a giardia symptoms.' WHOA, SCC.

Posted by: byoolin | March 28, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The quote is classic Twain. He sweeps the reader along on a wave of gauzy description to the point that you're barely reading the words and mood has completely subverted comprehension and then he slips in something utterly nonsensical that half the people won't even notice. And that is the solitary esophagus sleeping on motionless wing. Another classic is the minute description of the posture of the petrified man in the Virginia City Nevada newspaper-

"A petrified man was found some time ago in the mountains south of Gravelly Ford. Every limb and feature of the stony mummy was perfect, not even excepting the left leg, which has evidently been a wooden one during the lifetime of the owner - which lifetime, by the way, came to a close about a century ago, in the opinion of a savan who has examined the defunct. The body was in a sitting posture, and leaning against a huge mass of croppings; the attitude was pensive, the right thumb resting against the side of the nose; the left thumb partially supported the chin, the fore-finger pressing the inner corner of the left eye and drawing it partly open; the right eye was closed, and the fingers of the right hand spread apart. This strange freak of nature created a profound sensation in the vicinity, and our informant states that by request, Justice Sewell or Sowell, of Humboldt City, at once proceeded to the spot and held an inquest on the body. The verdict of the jury was that "deceased came to his death from protracted exposure," etc. The people of the neighborhood volunteered to bury the poor unfortunate, and were even anxious to do so; but it was discovered, when they attempted to remove him, that the water which had dripped upon him for ages from the crag above, had coursed down his back and deposited a limestone sediment under him which had glued him to the bed rock upon which he sat, as with a cement of adamant, and Judge S. refused to allow the charitable citizens to blast him from his position. The opinion expressed by his Honor that such a course would be little less than sacrilege, was eminently just and proper. Everybody goes to see the stone man, as many as three hundred having visited the hardened creature during the past five or six weeks."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 28, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, please don't bother, I'm only popping in for a moment!

In your face, StorytellerTim: 10/13.

Posted by: The ScienceSpouse | March 28, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, K-guy for lilac quote.

Giardia, been there done that, while pregnant.

The letters asking students to apply are marketing puff pieces, often written on contract. Caveat (applier) emptor.

A radical notion might be that students can do well at a number of places. Setting the young-ens up now for the PEFECT LIFE PATH DEPENDS ON PERFECT DECISIONS...well, ain't so.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 28, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

10/13. I guessed pretty well.

This has been a very nice day. I went out to lunch with friends to celebrate my birthday last week, and, since it's Friday, Mr. T and I will go out to supper. No time in the kitchen!

And Carolina won last night!

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Congrats slyness!! *confetti* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Come back, ScienceSpouse, come back!

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The network to Timbuktu seems very slow today - taking forever to post comments.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse


As noble as that modest suggestion is, I wouldn't expect any kid to take the bait. It would seem that a more judicious pacing of the notifications would be more humane, but that is not what this is all about.

There is a reason the heavy hitters wait until the last minute. It's the exact opposite of primary election scheduling. It keeps their image up.

Then there is the waiting list game:

The article says MIT wait listed 739 applicants. The offficial MIT admissions blog says it waitlisted 389. MIT's website says that 1,554 (or 1,474, they seem to be fuzzy on the number) got the fat envelope out of 13,396 applicants for 1,040 slots in the Class of 2012. It's been three years since they had to go to the list to fill slots. I don't think those waitlisted kids should be holding their breath.

Sour grapes alert: At least we haven't been subjected to that limbo.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

11/13 which includes two lucky guesses and one unlucky one. And there was one that if I got it wrong, I was going to pretend I didn't take the quiz.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

For me, yello, that was the one about finding a wife. What was yours?

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing the "Call me Jonah." Which I was happy to say I got right. Thank goodness it was multiple choice - I would have missed a lot if I had to come up with them on my own.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Paul Simon:

"They say Jonah was swallowed by a whale
But I say there's no truth to that tale
I know Jonah
Was swallowed by a song"

I had a lot of self-respect at stake even though I wasn't 100% sure.

Having just watched it on tv, yours was a gimme.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

11/13. Two right guesses, two wrong guesses.

I haven't finished backboodling, so forgive me if it's already been brought up, but didn't kb say she had a bag with the blogosaurus?

Posted by: bia | March 28, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

That's "blogalumphagus".

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 28, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Interesting... blogalumphagus used to be "The Beast Whose Name Cannot Be Boodled", but that appears no longer to be true. Or, have I misspelled it? I don't think it's "blogalumphagous," which would mean "resembling a blogalumph in character or fashion."

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 28, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It is time for a CafePress moment or two for Boodler-booty. I mean LOOT not plether regions.

TBG is good at this. I guess we need JA's permission of his cartoonie buddy to produce the animal logo on tote bags etc. At my age, I refuse to where cartoons on t-shirts.

Are we somehow not allowed to do this? Can we agree to save the money and send to Cassandra's tutoring efforts?

Posted by: College Parkian | March 28, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

She does. She does have one. I seen a piktur.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Kber did the original tee, CP. I recall that there was some controversy about it, but darned if I can remember the outcome. Yello will recall, or Mudge. I have a tee and love wearing it in warm weather.

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, SciTim. I knew there was a name I wasn't remembering.

Posted by: bia | March 28, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Happy 5:00, all you workin' Boodlers...

Time to let your hair down and get wiggly. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | March 28, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

kb, née Reader, credits Artist Alice with the graphic design. There was less than a 24 hour window before she took the items down at Joel's gentle teasing. See my links at 2:31 (more proof that nobody pays attention to me).

I don't know how many were sold total. I didn't have the courage to order a lime green one at the time and now I regret it.

I have no knowledge of blogalumphagus accessories. Those must have been private label merchandise never offered to the public.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Note the difference between the original blogalumphagus and the current one:

We need some biologically oriented boodler to perform a taxonomic classification to determine if the two are related.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The "h" in blogalumphagus is very controversial as it used to result in held comments. Obviously not so much any more.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it's just about that time, gang. Everybody have a good weekend.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 28, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The bushy-tailed, flagellated blogalumphagus probably succumbed to the flagellated protozoan Giardia lamblia,known to infect certain animals.

Posted by: Shiloh | March 28, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"A federal appellate court has ordered former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman released from prison while he appeals his 2006 conviction for bribery."

"The House Judiciary Committee has invited Siegelman to come testify about his case. Should make for good viewing."

Oboy, oboy, oboy.
Say goodnight Karl.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I am the proud owner of a "bootleg Achenblog bookbag" which came into my possession at about the same time as when I visited kbertocci. Hmmm...

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, ScienceSpouse! It's about time you came and set the record straight! :-)

Posted by: dbG | March 28, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Good night, Karl."

Posted by: Gracie | March 28, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I like the original blogalumphagus (never saw it before- it pre-dates me here). Looks very "Where The Wild Things Are"

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 28, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Is it really SciSpouse? Identity can sometimes be fluid and tricky here.

I adore the purple monster of a blumbasaurus. Or Blepheritisaurus. Or Blogininator........

Oh, dear, are we in troubled territory about a two week run of limited edition gear? Could be for a good cause?

I guess that JA should develop a line of ""Official" items, which could be purchased at the WaPo you think that journalists will have to hock their tie-in wares to make it over the next decade?

Posted by: College Parkian | March 28, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mostly, been snowing here almost all day in the banana belt and the theromometer says 40F @1:30 PDT. The clouds must be very cold. We are at the 2200 foot elevation.
Sorry Georgestown folks. BIG comeback by David. Where is David located? Nice looking bunch of kids on both teams. Only saw one modest tattoo.
One of out airedales got giardia when we lived on a ranch by Grass Valley that had an old mining company ditch and a lot of turkeys. The owners also dumped horse manure in the ditch. The vet wouldn't hazzard a guess of what caused it but she said lots of dogs around GV came down with it. "Maybe it was the deer". One vaccination turned the thick.

Posted by: bh | March 28, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

SCC trick

Posted by: bh | March 28, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I can translate the article linked from Frosti, reposted in Bokos's 10:30:

Ayn Rand was full of it.

Posted by: Jumper | March 28, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Since Mudge is probably on the bus and I don't see an Acting Shop Steward or any other authorityish figures around, so...

Live from Ohio... it's Bad Limmerick Friday!

There once was a gal from La Guardia
Who the boys all highly regarded (yah)
They all took a turn
Not-a-one would she spurn
And they all came down with giardia

{* ducks *}

Posted by: martooni | March 28, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

CP - That's one of the toughest lessons to learn. That perfect decisions do not always lead to a perfect outcome. Really, some folks never really get it.

I mean, take parents who assume that if they do everything just right their kids will grow up perfectly. The same folks who darkly assume that problem kids must have been somehow mis-parented. You know, allowed to watch television or something equally heinous.

Truth is, alas, that there is a gosh darn lot of chaos in life. Good decisions can lead to bad outcomes. This would lead to naught but existential angst except, mercifully, the inverse is also true. You can make some bad decisions, and even have a lot of bad luck, and still, somehow, have things turn out all right.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Ha, 11/13.

I didn't finish lots of those but by golly I started them. And I missed Jonah. The horror. The shame.

I am into Mr Sammler's Planet now. I haven't read Bellow in so long, I'm unsure if it is, as I am beginning to suspect, his best. It feels like it though.

Posted by: Jumper | March 28, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I recall getting a postal card in an envelope, to be returned if I wanted to be wait listed (no postage provided). The kindly Lib Arts college made it clear that they would only resort the the list if there were a repetition of the 1918 flu epidemic or most of the incoming freshmen suffered horrific food poisoning during a summer freshman orientation event and quit en masse.

I assumed the wait list was a polite "honorable rejection" as opposed to "rejection with prejudice", which would be reserved for militant militarists who had applied as a joke (Quaker college), feminists who had undoubtedly applied (it was all-male at the time), or dingbats whose applications were riddled with bad grammar.

I agree that the Master of the Universe undergrad programs probably wouldn't want Early Rejection, but everyone else would benefit from a screening process that reduced the number of applicants to some low multiple of the number of acceptances to be sent out. Don't law and med schools do that??

Come to think of it, don't some of the ultra-exclusive colleges send out "we're likely to admit you" letters already? How much more difficult would it be to send out a letter saying something like "thank you, but we have far more outstanding applicants who want double-major in film-making and financial engineering than we can possibly accomodate, and your application, terrific thought it is, will almost certainly not make the "admit" list. Would you like to withdraw your application so as to be better able to focus on other institutions?"

Umm. Sheer fantasy.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 28, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

So is the blogadon on the bootleg boodle paraphernalia the Purple Rove one or the Orange Blog one?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Ooo, Bad Limerick Friday (and hey, on kit!)

Giardia is nasty; you must foil it
when taken water from a stream by boiling it
for God's sake take the time
it won't cost you a dime
and you won't spend your vacation with a toilet

re rejection letters: we called those the PFO letters.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 28, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I think the taxonomic question is going to need Dooley. It may very well be of ancient origin.

Yello, just the other day on your bolg you were talking about the new terminal at Heathrow. Apparently yesterday was their first full day of operation. It was very very bad.

And my favourite quote on the side bar at the Telegraph.

"We tried to be British about it (though I did notice one Japanese woman weeping)"

Looks like you got away just in time.

Posted by: dr | March 28, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Here is a grant program that not too many people apply for.

Posted by: bh | March 28, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Picking a college is like picking a spouse. Concentrating on winning the most impressive specimen available is certainly one approach, but I think it is a shortsighted one. The trick is to find a good match.

Students should seek out a college that makes their little hearts go pitter-pat even if it doesn't wow the neighbors.

I picked a funny-sounding school that impresses few outside geekdom. But I loved the place the minute I read the brochure. I loved it so much that I didn't even bother applying anywhere else. If I hadn't get in there, I would have gone to a community college.

That's the kind of match every kid, who can, should shoot for.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

RD-very articulate way of saying what I've been thinking.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 28, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

RD -- me too on the one college app. I wanted to go to the beautiful college plunked down in one of the historic CA Missions: flowers and lusciousness that looked awfully exotic and moist to the prairie gal used to the harsh stark beauty of the high steppe cold desert that is MT. My back-up plan, literally, was to life guard at the Boy Scout camp my brothers worked at in the High Sierra. After that, I dunno, youth conservation corps or smoke jumper/firefighter school.

I was more selective about graduate school, applying to only two. I rejected a professional school berth at one brick institution in a NE city, the school being what might call the ultimate ivy to go to Maryland, where I could study an emerging field: environmental policy. I was able to study with a scholar whose work I had been reading for at least two years.

RD -- about this and the spouse process, chaos theory applies, doesn't it. So planning, while natural, is a bit, well, optimistic.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 28, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, bh. "Sometimes people visit me, but they don't stay long." Ya think?

I only applied to one college myself, RD. I knew I'd get in, and I got my acceptance the first week of December, IIRC. I was going to do 2 years at UNC-Charlotte and then transfer to Chapel Hill, but I ended up with two degrees from UNCC. It worked for me.

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If a student ends up at the "wrong" school, transfer is possible. But because of the array of courses, professors, other students, culture and community around a college, a myriad of possibilities about ideas -- and career paths -- can occur. Chaos theory applies: tiny, tiny, tiny occasions and choices and paths result in the pattern that are our lives. It is false to trace all to one decision node.

"Polly WENT TO THE WRONG SCHOOL, doing so, she MARRIED THE WRONG PERSON....they moved to the WRONG TOWN....." At her funeral we all nod that her perils and perdition BEGAN WHEN SHE ACCEPTED A BERTH AT THE WRONG COLLEGE, being all of 17.

I like to think that Aristotle can whisper in many places:
in a classroom that faces the famous Harvard Yaaaahhhhhd;
an online class by Phoenix U;
an ESL composition class at a Jr. College in Muncie, IN;

Knowledge and shared learning can take place in many places. Yes, some teachers are better than others. But, at some point, we must all take responsibility for our learning: despite crappy and expensive text books, despite a prof who insists on reading from PP slides, despite a thick accent from the dazed but earnest Chinese math TA......we can hope to raise life-long learners in our homes....and in schools.

Off for a brief ride in the waning light, with lights weather is sublime. Get some for yourselves.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 28, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I only applied to one school, but it was a different time then and I had to tell Ga. Tech, MIT and the Marine Corps I wasn't interested so please quit calling. (My PSAT and ASVAB scores came in the same week and there was a mad push to get women into science majors, and the marines) I was 16 when I started college and took the offer, from the University of ND, that said it didn't matter what I majored in. Good thing too, I didn't declare a major until forced to late in my junior year. I took everything that looked interesting, and some things that didn't but turned out to be. I may be the only person who ever attended a 4 year college and absolutely loved it without participating in anything you'd call the "traditional college experience" except class and research. I am sure the highly selective schools I could have been admitted to are all wonderful, and their reputations well deserved, but they wouldn't have been a good match for me. As it turns out, more Army aviators graduate from the University of North Dakota than any other school save USMA. I am one of the few who ended up flying without taking a single class in the Aviation department. Go figure, I think it's the only dept. I missed.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 28, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Orange Blog - like at the top of this very Kit. Pictured here:
And I got the name wrong, as usual. It is "Bootleg Boodle Bookbagâ„¢". I'm very honored to have one - I have no idea how to do anything like this. Now, if I could just get Joel's autograph on it, my life would be complete!

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 28, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Frosti - I think it's a fairly safe assumption that most aviators take no "Aviation" classes in college. I'd even be willing to hazard a guess that the vast majority of colleges have no such critter as an aviation department.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Flying is one of those (like fixing cars): Mostly, you come to it because you're hanging out with people who already do it, or you're interested/obsessed and you go and find the people who are doing it.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Mostly - my "Mostly" in the last comment wasn't meant to refer to you!

I've gotta feeling that it wouldn't be all that hard to wheedle a signature from Joel. You know his e-mail address, right?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Bob S.-Good point, most Universities don't have an Aviation dept., but of those that do UND has one of the largest which is why the school is so well represented in military flight schools. Many Embry Riddle U grads end up flying in the military for a while too, but that's a vocational school (elitist sniff, if such a thing can be mustered by a ND alum).

Posted by: frostbitten | March 28, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

CP - The contingent nature of life goes way, way back. Heck, if my parents had bought a house 100 feet to the north I would have gone to the Sumner school district.

I might have met Sandra Lee.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 28, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

My neice will be taking nursing courses at her local (Ottawa)community college for 3 years then finish her last year at McMaster University in Hamilton On for a nursing degree. Mucho money will be saved.
The business courses I took at St. Lawrence College are recognized by the University of Ottawa and the University of British Columbia and can be used toward a degree.
This is a great system for late bloomers and people who spent their high school years trying to drive their teachers to suicide.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten - (chuckle) This, of course, is why there are race car drivers and champion barbecue cooks, but there are also automotive engineers and cordon bleu chefs. Generally, each realizes that they couldn't compete on the other's turf.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I was just talking to Kerric. He is actively persuing learning though not in school.

He has decided to learn how to play the violin. He has always liked it, but decided to take it up when he was put in the tool crib out in the middle of nowhere with no internet access. He plans to practise while he works, and since there usually isn't anyone around, he hoping that no one will complain about the noise.

I can't wait to hear him. In a month or two.

Posted by: dr | March 28, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

10/13. Two guesses didn't pan out, but I should have gotten the Clifford one.

Hi! If billards tables are a major consideration in college selection, George Mason University has a pool hall, as well, and I hear the prices may still be quite reasonable in-state as well, besides it's a stone's throw from the Captiol of the United States with all that a city has to offer, supports a highly diverse student body, and participates in a consortium with other prestigous universities, such as University of Maryland and George Washington University, all at home university tuition prices. Plus, it's named after a president.

That link sounds like an very interesting sea lion project; I'm sure Wilbrodog would LOVE to help with the canine olfactographic analyses, as well as the pelage-roll viscosity testing.

Whether I would want to live with him EVER again afterwards is open to question, though.

Taxonomically, the two blogosauri are related; the original purple one in fact was a poodle-ized version bred for spirited show gait, complete with docked tail, while the orange one is clearly a much more rustic type suitable for trail riding through rocky reporting grounds; the uncropped, barbed tail remains highly functional for wrapping around trees in case of a slip down a nearly vertical slope.

Frostbitten, I agree that the college that gives you the most learning opportunities beats the college that has a great reputation but basically stiffs you on opportunities.

For somebody who's not uber-brilliant or focused on one field, a solid liberal arts education is always a must, and that includes time to think about all the stuff your professors are shovelling down your throat.
Even though I was certain I wanted a degree in biology, I wasn't adverse to having a second major and I did not want to be wonked out with all science classes and no liberal arts.

This was kind of decided when one of my early first choices, a "IT" sent their acceptance letter with a full registration of courses based on my declared major. I deferred my admission and never did go; they had a very weak program in the other majors I was considering.

As it turned out, by my final semester of senior year I had completed my biology requirements, was burned out, and my last semester was 12 hours of foreign languages; just because I could, and that did take some fancy work.

I was so bored by learning biology that I decided to defer graduate school until I was sure I did want to do it; graduate school is not the time to "explore" options.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 28, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

dr - I've started (after dropping it many, many years ago) noodling around with a harmonica. If it comes to anything, I'll give a small recital at a BPH event.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I'm so glad we can count on you for the anatomic analysis of the blogosaurous, or whatever it is...

So Davidson blew Wisconsin out. Whatta night!

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I was more conflicted about the bootleg boodle bookbags than about the Achenshirt, because of the significant contribution of Richard Thompson, who is uncredited and unremunerated in the transaction. I felt bad about that. But the graphic I copied from the top of the blog is low resolution and the original printed bags came out looking crappy. I handpainted the whole thing, using the blurry, faint image that Cafepress printed on the bags as a guide. That made me feel better, like I had contributed to the project.

So, even if I were to tell you where to go to buy the bag

you would be need to be advised that it is an INFERIOR PRODUCT AS DELIVERED, and requires a considerable amount of enhancement before it is presentable.

I wished I had had more time to work on it--better than fabric paint would have been embroidery--not needlepoint or cross-stitch, but something more like crewel embroidery:

We have knitters and crochet mavens, but do we have any embroiderers on the boodle? I've done some needlework in the past but don't have time for it nowadays. When I retire, I'll do all that stuff.

Yellojkt, thanks for that walk down memory lane--I liked when the "interloper(s)" showed up with his/their t-shirt suggestions: "Achenblog: where the effete meet the elite" That's funny.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 28, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

One of "The Lonemule"'s first appearances was in there, yes?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh kber, I'm your embroiderer when you need one. Haven't done much recently, but I have all the materials close at hand and the skilz will come back, with a little practice.

Posted by: slyness | March 28, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Raises hand, and slinks back in corner.

You are outing all my obsessions people. I don't do as much anymore, because of my vision, but first thing in the morning, I do hope to do a few things. I've done some crewel, but not huge amounts. I prefer counted thread work. Seriously if there is a string and needles involved...

Bob, we should have a boodle band. (Course I have not heard Kerric...)Martooni needs to direct it because he is seriously talented. Way back he linked to some of his stuff. Lovely things.

Posted by: dr | March 28, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

One of the great regrets of my life (and the regrets are legion) is not attending college in Saratoga Springs.


Posted by: breth | March 28, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

All these New England college photos have driven me to crank up the DVD for "College" from the first season of the Sopranos. Joel, I trust that you didn't spot any hiding journalists that you had to strangle because they formerly betrayed their sources.

Posted by: bill everything | March 28, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for linking and explaining. I was wondering about the rather tiny and pixelated source image being used on such a large item. If only we knew someone with access to the original artwork. Hmmmm.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 28, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm some wicked on the old kazoo and I know I have an old washboard around here someplace. Get me some duct tape for my bongos and the percussion section is taken care of. If the band would like to do some Spike Jones covers I'm sure I could arrange something as long as someone kept an eye out for the police. It's a different world after 9/11.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

kd lang is going to be on the Tonight Show.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 28, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

yello - I expect that we'll get the proper authorities to lend us the original image before I finish this, but - I've started work on "fine-graining" it, just for practice. I can't even begin to predict how long it might take me, because both my talent and my ability to sustain interest in the project are unknown variables.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 28, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

i've seen the t-shirts before, but i didn't know there was an achenblog handbag. learn something new every day.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 29, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Zzz Zzz Zzz Zzz

Posted by: Anonymous | March 29, 2008 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Me thinks the lion must be sleeping.

Posted by: dr | March 29, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Then again, some people apply to a single university because it's their default in-state tuition choice after being overseas for several years.

And it had a Journalism program.

Ahhh, serendipity.

*off-to-the-Cherry-Blossom-Festival-with-visiting-relatives Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 29, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

8\13 on the quizz. I've read two of the books I missed in French, so I have a weak excuse. On the "dark and stormy night", I would have put down Snoopy if it has been an option.
Beautiful sunny day here, but cold. The sun will do its job of melting the snow nevertheless.
On colleges, I've made 3 applications, got accepted for my second and third choices. The decision wasn't difficult then and it turned out to be a good match. The only annoying thing was the timing of my graduation in 1985. The economy was at the very bottom of the 1982-87 slump. Only 2 out of 15 engineers graduating in my cohort got job offers, it was pretty bad.
It's time for more coffee and a walk. The Puppy will be 1 year old in three weeks, time sure flies.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 29, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Put your things in order before CERN fires up the Large Hadron Collider. We may all collapse in a tiny black hole.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 29, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention how much I adore that puppy of yours, shrieking.

Gotta love those cheeks.

Posted by: dr | March 29, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks dr, he is a cutie, in his particular way. Pretty awful for this Williams family, eh?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 29, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the plaintiffs in the CERN lawsuit know about tabletop black holes.

Good morning boodle! 31 degrees is so much nicer than 9 degrees to be out and about in. I see out my front window that people are still driving vehicles out on the ice. It is 3 feet thick, but 3 feet of old ice is nowhere near as safe as 1 foot of new-it gets very porous and before you know it someone is scrambling out a truck window and trying to explain things to the insurance company, or worse.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Shriek that Williams story is heartbreaking.

I now have a snow free south facing lawn - west facing lawn still has large piles from the plows but double digit temps and rain for the start of the week should fix that. Beautiful blue sunny skies here right now.

Enjoy your day everyone

Posted by: dmd | March 29, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning. Ha Ha. dr thought I was a lion.
SD. I hope you and the puppy weren't upset by my remarks about his pecu...particular appearance.
I was unemployed for alost a year during the late 80's slump. That, and me getting tired of being ordered around by ignorant a$$hats, was what sent me scurrying back to school. After college I got ordered around by a better educated class of a$$hat.
Hi Scotty.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

10/13 on the quiz. Have only read a bout a third of the books but knew enough of some of the rest to make educated guesses. The water fountain reminds me of the one at the playground when I was young. My dog used to stand up and drink from it while I worked the push button for him.

Busy day full of errands. Beautiful clear blue sky but temps only in the 30's and windy. Our spring gets later every year here.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 29, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that NYT link SD. The article mentions my favourite lady scientist, the braney Lis Randall. Rrr Rrr.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... Son of G and I did visit the university at the top of the world. At least it felt that way...

Posted by: TBG | March 29, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh spring! Tulips remind me now of housing prices. This very old manuscript is quite nice, P. Cos, nurseryman, Tulip Book of 1637.

Background on the book -- and tulip mania: Co's tulip book or nursery catalog features named tulips, not a typical practice of the time. Viceroy, or the Viseroij, sold for Dfl 3,000 and Dfl 4,200. This would be about about 2 to 3 million dollar in US dollars now. Source: Wageningen Tulip Portal.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 29, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Boodlers, do your significant others, or ex SOs, share your tastes in literature?

Considering some recent Boodle discussion I found the quote below quite amusing. From "It's Not You It's Your Books in the NYT (tomorrow's review of books for those who don't like to read early, avert your eyes)

"Pity the would-be Romeo who earnestly confesses middlebrow tastes: sometimes, it's the Howard Roark problem as much as the Pushkin one. "I did have to break up with one guy because he was very keen on Ayn Rand," said Laura Miller, a book critic for Salon. "He was sweet and incredibly decent despite all the grandiosely heartless 'philosophy' he espoused, but it wasn't even the ideology that did it. I just thought Rand was a hilariously bad writer, and past a certain point I couldn't hide my amusement.'"

Ma Frostbitten says she new Mr. F (spouse #3) would stick when I first described him to her and said "he reads."

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

SD, dmd.
Could you provide a link to the Williams story?
Profuse advance thanks.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The Alberta crash

While I am at it the Globe is compiling the 50 greatest books list - with people submitting entries - some of you may be interested.

Posted by: dmd | March 29, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

SCC the Globe is compiling a list..., as pretentious as the Globe can be at time I am sure even they don't believe they are creating *the* list!

Posted by: dmd | March 29, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, Glad for you about the reader-who-sticks. Shall we revise the chaos theory of relationships that RD hinted at, namely, that the quality of readerness may boost chances of mutual, shared contentment.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 29, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

SCC: knew not new. Previewing does me no good. Sheesh.

CP-Tulip mania is an apt comparison to housing prices. Some people I know, who want to appear patient and wise, say "we're waiting out this market." But, they mean to wait a few years and hope to see prices climb like they did from '03-'05, as if that was not the anomaly. Now I shall have to come up with some quip about how long people have been waiting for the big return of the tulip market.

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

I welcome some return of scale to the housing market. Geez! Shall our children NOT be able to buy houses, to say nothing of ourselves. And, shall the poor and working-poor-to-mid eat cake, rather than by a house?

Posted by: College Parkian | March 29, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... been meaning to ask... how is the sale of Frosthouse South is going?

Posted by: TBG | March 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

TBG- I was going to suggest you take a look at the real "top of the world" U, the U of MN, Duluth. Their home page is full of false advertising though. Pictured are students in a green house full of tropical plants. The Duluth Shipping News is a far better taste of what things are like this time of year (Hal won't let me post the link!!!)

The UMD Women's hockey team just won the NCAA div I title. Go Bulldogs!

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Samuel C. Taylor's

And the Albatross begins to be avenged:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot : O Christ !
That ever this should be !
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night ;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
Meant to post that earlier. Now, I am on-kit!

Frosti, we need CafePress bags or tees with a tulip image and line like this:

Mortage Crisis? Bah, I lived through Tulipomania.....

And, of course, I would like you to see your house a good margin. Sigh, what is good for us, is sometimes hard on others.....and I know you want Frostprogeny and others to able to buy houses too.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 29, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking TBG. Chez Frostbitten South has been listed for a week now and as far as we know not a single phone call or other show of interest. Typical for Tampa where so many houses are on the market and so few buyers are looking right now. No worries. We'll rent it out if it doesn't sell by June(ish) and try again when the market absorbs more of the thousands of new Florida homes that are sitting empty. 2015 or so?

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks dmd.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

CP-Oh what a mess the housing market has caused for young folks, perhaps more for those who bought homes than those who gave up because they couldn't afford it. Sadly, as we look at hip urban lofts in St. Paul more than a few are occupied by couples in their 20s or early 30s who are in dire straits because of "creative financing" like interest only ARMs. Some have those degrees in corporate raiding and can't claim fraud, or that they didn't understand what they were signing. Somewhere in the back of their minds they knew building equity through price appreciation was not a good plan, but they didn't see the end of the boom coming because they had never seen the before times. Even sadder are the empty lofts where a new, presumably better job has taken the owner to a new town where she is probably living in a closet until the old place sells.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

You know, living in a hip urban loft in St Paul sounds wonderful.

For someone like me who's lived in the same world for most of my life, I'm envious of those of you who get to change lives every few years. I know there are ups and downs to both lifestyles, but I think I'm the type who would have been well suited to yours, Frosti.

That's certainly not to say I haven't been happy in mine. Quite the contrary. It's just that I could have enjoyed the opposite kind of life.

Of course, there's still plenty of time.

Posted by: TBG | March 29, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Frosti, thanks for reminding me about the shades of generations here....awful, awful, awful....

Have put away winter clothes and boots. will pull some grass weeds where they should not be and toss grass seed where I would like some of that greenery. Doggie is eating new grass. Memo to self: this is doggy upchuck season.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 29, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!
Embroidery - yes, I do that. I haven't had much time lately but I do enjoy it. A blogalumphagus-broidered bootleg Boodle bag -- now that would be a treat. Or benison, if you will. (or if you won't.)

After two almost 80-degree, sunny days we've had two days of chill and clouds. In comparison it feels like winter all over again.

The new HDTV, with attendant lesser electronic equipment, is almost all set up thanks to the intrepid Ivansdad. Cables, cables everywhere and all an inch too short. Fortunately he understands all this electronic stuff. He and the Boy have promised to show me how everything turns on when it is all finished.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 29, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

dmd, Shreiking, I had not seen the news of the AD Williams crash. I'm well aquainted with the firm, and I'm pretty sure my former boss knew some of these guys. It's so very sad.

Posted by: dr | March 29, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Whew! I'm sitting down to rest awhile. Mr. T and I planted 130 day lilies and 50 periwinkle plants this morning. My back finally told me: No more! NO MORE BENDING OVER. So I'm not going to bend over any more.

A friend whose husband abandoned her after 20 years of marriage is going to have to sell her house because she can't afford the mortgage. I feel so bad for her; she has a decent job but they had remodeled the house several times and added to the original debt. It got me thinking that I, too, would have to get rid of my house if something were to happen to Mr. T. Of course, I wouldn't need the 2500 square feet and half acre yard, but it would be tought.

Posted by: slyness | March 29, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

I haven't had much time to Boodle lately, but I had to admit that the CERN lawsuit did make me chuckle.

Have a good day, all.


Posted by: bc | March 29, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I feel for your friend. The first house Mr. F and I bought together, before we were married, was an 1893 Victorian beauty in Hopkinsville, KY. It had been her dream house, until the marriage crumbled. She moved out leaving it for him to sell. His second marriage was shaken by the ordeal as 8 years later, 2 of them with the house empty of renters even, it still hadn't sold. I've never seen sellers so happy to bring a check to closing.

TBG-I enjoy moving, and being able to reinvent my life a bit every few years, but it can be a chore. The house I wrote about above could have been my dream house but we were only in it 9 months and it was under renovation the entire time. I was hanging wallpaper in the dining room the night before I drove away to move to a terrible split level rental in suburban Kansas City. I doubt I'll ever live in a home with 5 fireplaces again, sigh.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, my friends. Still trying to get things in shape for the inspection. The g-girl is back with mom, and my grandson is here, but staying with my daughter. The other grandson stayed home because of punishment for something he did in school. Don't have the details, but working on that.

Slyness, congrats are in order. Everyone was shouting and cheering on the news. I'm so happy for your city. It is news that everyone can embrace.

It is like winter time here too, Ivansmom. Yesterday it was in the eighties, today I doubt if we reach fifty. I have a sweater on, and still cold.

That water does look nasty and the pipe that it's flowing from. Don't know if I would drink that. Of course, we risk life and limb when we turn on the faucet. Here they allow you to drink the nasty stuff, then write a story in the paper saying it wasn't that bad. Only a percentage of a tiny percentage of whatever the nasty was. I'm convinced we eat and drink we know not what. And it doesn't matter how careful we are, we're still going to get it. And the "it" is nasty. I'm just hoping my body has enough weapons to fight "it" off or the pharmacy is stocked.

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope the weather is good where you are.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 29, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The pictures are very nice, SA. I keep thinking I might be able to do that, but, nah, I doubt it.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 29, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about this judging people on their nadirs in literary taste. I'm with Ariel Levy on this-- I'm not looking for clones of myself.

Some of the best read people I know, enjoy genre stuff such as mysteries, romance or comic books in addition to hefty reading on history, literature, etc. Are they more in tune with pop taste and more likely to know come up with amusing quotes or interesting subjects that I don't know? Yes.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reassuring words Wilbrod. I'm still going to keep my Clive Cussler novels hidden but I feel a bit better.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Almost forgot, I can do crewel embroidery too, but my hands will object if I do too much fine needlework.

The buying and selling of houses and all the 'woulda, coulda, shoulda's' that go with them. The last house I owned with my ex we (mostly I) built just before the end of the marriage. If I could have found a way to hold onto it for a few years I would have made some serious money on it. Of course then I wouldn't have been where I was when I met "S" so I that's a no-brainer. I will say that I sold my last house at just the right time two years ago before everything started going to he11. I bought this not knowing that "S" was going to end up selling his house and joining me, so it's a bit small but it is affordable. I don't think I'd have to move if anything terrible happened to him. I'm sure this house is worth less than I paid for it but as I have no plans to move, I don't care.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 29, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Boko-no need to hide your buddy Clive. Mr. F is a big fan of his, and others of that ilk. I see that as one of his more endearing qualities

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Am I the last liberal dem in America to hear about Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ? Saw him on Bill Moyers' Journal last night and "wow." Have done a little reading about him since then and he has a wonderful quote about how he had to really become a better student at Stanford to be competitive for grad school (he was a Rhodes scholar and is a Yale Law grad). "Stanford recruited me because of my 1400 and 4.0 in high school. That would be 1400 yards rushing per game and 40 yards in 4.0"

Here's a good New Yorker video from '07.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

When we were first getting to know my sister's husband (#2 for her), he let us stay in his house overnight for a wedding. He stayed with my sister (horrors! the scandal!).

I knew he was the guy for her when I saw that next to every piece of seating in the house was a pile of books. The book on the top of each pile had a bookmark in it.

Many different kinds of books... but mostly fiction and lots of mystery and thrillers and the such.. but anyone who reads that much is our kind of guy.

They have been happily married for nearly 9 years now and he's one of my favorite people.

Posted by: TBG | March 29, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

stupid Hal won't let me post the link.

city 2012 cory booker

it should be your first result

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

To all with military cred here - is this as scary as it sounds? -

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future.

A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006.

The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.

Posted by: Delurker | March 29, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised Delurker. I'm reading Craig Unger's "The Fall of the House of Bush" and this is a piece of the neocons adgenda.
[Rant removed at request of better self]

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Frosti I watched the Moyer's program (excellent, as usual) but I'd like to scratch a little deeper into Mayor Booker. He was using a few too many Religious Right code words and phrases for my comfort.
Probably just my paranoia but it doesn't hurt to check.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I saw Bill Moyers last night, and that was my reaction, too. Cory Booker is really impressive. I had heard of him - I think 60 Minutes did a story on him a few years ago. But I hadn't heard him speak at length, and I liked what I heard.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 29, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Boko-the New Yorker video (Hal won't let me post. You bite Hal!!) is less like that. I didn't see at as strongly as you did, but I have observed that Moyers seems to bring more religiosity out of most of his interviewees. His own evangelical bent perhaps? Will have to watch more carefully. Anyway, I'm watching Street Fight, the documentary about his unsuccessful '02 race, right now (love "view now" on Netflix).

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

meant I agreed with frostbitten's reaction, because I hadn't seen Boko's. I didn't pick up any religious right code words - but maybe I don't know what they are! The wikipedia link is interesting. Don't think he leans to the right much. I'd post the link, but Hal or the New Kid won't let me.

BTW, I've been meaning to mention that Charlie Rose interviewed David McCullough recently. It's probably viewable on Charlie's website. Which I'd link to, but...

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 29, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Delurker-I wouldn't put too much stock in that. The Stennis just came out of prolonged maintenance at Bremerton WA and has sea trials including carrier quals to do, which can be accomplished enroute I suppose but they generally spend a few months doing that. The Eisenhower returned to its homebase in Norfolk in '07 and was replaced by the Nimitz IIRC. So, if nothing else it looks like the Bush administration is not the only government with an intelligence problem. (read that however you wish).

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Religious right code words:


Atheistic left code words, hmm:
boiling babies to feed the rich...

Hmm. I may have a tin ear for code words, given I never really listen to the yapping of the fringe. Boko?

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm... Let's see:

LHC? Check.

End of the world? Check.

I've been an unwilling participant in that sort of conversation before. *SIGH*

And delurker, I don't put much stock in that report.

*glad-to-have-survived-Cherry-Blossom-viewing Grover faints*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 29, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Chez Frostbitten South has been shown! Not nearly as exciting as sold, but at least someone has looked.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The boodle is being very reassuring on all counts today.
It seemed to me that the good mayor mentioned Jesus about 6 times in 5 minutes. What really caught my ear was when he said that government wasn't the solution. I agree, it's only the biggest part of a solution.IMO

Posted by: Boko999 | March 29, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone. I'll put off donning the tin-foil hat and creeping into my fallout shelter.

Posted by: Delurker | March 29, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Boko- Perhaps I lived too long in the south to read too much into frequent references to the almighty. I think there's room on the left for Booker's personal responsibility message. There is a wide gulf between "government is not the answer" and the right's position that "government is the problem."

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

sorry dr, I wasn't expecting to drag you into that story. The story is biggish here, I was expecting it would be huge in your neck of the woods.
Delurker, Russian media are crap. Most, if not all, things with the .ru appendage is crap as well. Spam it is.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 29, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

do you ever wonder what Hal does with all the comments that are held?

No problem sd, I missed the news last night, and mrdr came home late (Firday Night Fights). It was all over the news today.

I would show you a picture of what I've been up to, my comment was held. I've made and spun something that looks suspiciously like yarn. Bad yarn, but yarn. I could knit it but I think its going on the trophy shelf.

Posted by: dr | March 29, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

SCC, Friday

And yes some of the gents we know, knew these people. Pretty darn devastating.

Posted by: dr | March 29, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

The Post Hunt website is up, but Hal won't let me post the link to it. It's a link to a WASHINGTON POST website, you might think that would pass the security test!

Anyway, the Hunt is May 18. Look for info in the Post, a video by Shroder/Barry/Weingarten and links to the Tropic Hunt / Herald Hunt fansite so you can practice figuring out the warped clues. It's fun--and three lucky teams will win trips to Fort Lauderdale. Why shouldn't a Boodle team win?

Posted by: kbertocci | March 29, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Let's try this...

Add an h, t, t, p, / and / to the front of this...

Posted by: TBG | March 29, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

And a : too.

Posted by: TBG | March 29, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, TBG. I think your team would definitely have a chance to win.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 29, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

No need to type in the http, just copying and pasting

worked for me

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

New Guy better have the link problem fixed, pronto. Most of what I read that's enlightening, or amusing, or both is found via the boodle.

Toodles boodle, and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 29, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten - I'm about halfway through the video, though that I'd pause it to thank you for the heads up. I like the guy!

Posted by: Bob S. | March 29, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

frosti - I "thought" that I'd pause... and I refer, of course, to the Cory Booker interview. Neat guy.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 29, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was an amusing little quip, at the end of a book blurb:

"In the 1864 election, Union soldiers voted for Lincoln by larger majorities than civilians did. Lincoln, by the way, was a lanky lawyer and legislator from Illinois. His officeholding resume was short, but he knew how to give a good speech."

The reference to more contemporary politicians was completely intended.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 29, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Ooops - link for the quote above:

w w w .

Posted by: Bob S. | March 29, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The CERN lawsuit features Warren L. Wagner, a very capable botanist from Hawaii, but not someone I'd expect to know much about physics. Strange.

The NY Times has a striking editorial refuting accusations that trade unionists in Colombia are being slaughtered in some sort of genocidal frenzy sponsored or tolerated by the Colombian government. Maybe students at elite colleges will burning paper copies of the Times and promising never to read it again.

Leu Gardens in Orlando is holding its big annual plant sale. Their hippeastrum (Christmas "amaryllis") beds are magnificent right now. Brisk weather earlier in the week set Florida up for a perfect weekend.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 29, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Wagner hates black holes! But perhaps this is just because he hasn't learned to appreciate their strange beauty. When's the last time he watched "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", do you suppose?

Posted by: Bob S. | March 30, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Not the same Wagner, by the way. (I'm sure you knew that.) Warren's the botanist. Walter's the crank.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 30, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

re: the Wagner/Sancho lawsuit - I'm willing to defer to the science professionals here, but I'm inclined to agree with the findings in the 2003 risk assessment ( ) which basically came down to: "The same stuff happens regularly in nature, and we're all still here."

I suspect that the Wagner/Sancho argument that artificially-created "stationary" artifacts will be more dangerous than "natural" collisions is a red herring. Particles at relativistic velocities ("cosmic rays") stream at the Earth constantly from every direction, and collide not only with Earth matter but with each other in the vicinity of Earth on a daily basis. It's statistically unlikely that the head-on collisions which are so upsetting to Messrs. Wagner & Sancho haven't already occurred, frequently and recently. I notice that we're still here.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 30, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Hal, you've made the server ate 2 of my postings already. You can stop playing with the server now. I know it's Sunday and it's 4:30am where you are but it's 4:30pm where I am and I want to post.

Posted by: rainforest | March 30, 2008 4:28 AM | Report abuse

...I'm assuming the server residing somewhere in the east.

Posted by: rainforest | March 30, 2008 4:36 AM | Report abuse

SCC : .. server is

Posted by: rainforest | March 30, 2008 4:37 AM | Report abuse

I like flowers with multiple petals. Multiple petal cherry blossoms rank very high on my list of very "beautiful flowers."

Last year, my sister joined a tour and went to Korea for vacation. She deliberately went at around this of the year because she wanted to see cherry blossoms. She came home a little disappointed. She was brought to a place where there were only white cherry blossoms. She was expecting to see pink ones. As far as she is concerned, cherry blossom is not cherry blossom unless it's pink.

Posted by: rainforest | March 30, 2008 4:41 AM | Report abuse

'morning boodle. I see on the front page that the cherry trees blossomed right on cue. Good for the D.C. and area people. The Tulip Festival in Ottawa has a much more difficult timing issue. Some years it's the Stem Festival, others the Tulip Bud Festival. This year, we simply hope the snow will be gone. It's supposed to be above freezing later today. Yes!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 30, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

shrieking... there may have been a time when I would have shown up for the Stems and Seeds Festival.

Hope all you boodlers are having a nice Sunday. We have a very happy Dr G in the house, with the 'Heels going to the Final Four and all. He's in full swing on his Tarheel Boodle this morning.

Posted by: TBG | March 30, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Yes, TBG, we are happy in the T household as well. I was so tired I didn't make the second half, which I gather was most exciting. But the outcome is what matters.

Rainforest, when my children were little, my elder daughter referred to a cherry in our neighborhood as the snow tree, a very apt description. They are at full flower here now, and lovely.

Posted by: slyness | March 30, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle.

Rainforest-glad you were able to get at least a few comments through. If I went on a cherry blossom viewing trip I'd want pink too, though I would love to go to Korea even to see ethereal white flowers. It's been 20 years since I was last there. Mr. F gets to go a couple times a year for work but is totally ignorant of horticultural matters.

Woke up to a light dusting of new snow. Waaaah. It is 37 degrees and supposed to be in the mid-40s by mid afternoon but with wind to knock you out of your winter crocs. But there are signs of spring-

Moss on massive dark logs is fluorescing chartreuse against the forest's composition in gray and white.

The lower meadow is free of snow and almost dry enough to do a controlled burn. Can I hope for blueberries to move in?

Irises have just begun to shape leathery bands of spiky new leaves into dull gray fans. They disappoint for two months, then overnight flower stems rise up and burst into regal purple blue flowers. Just as well. The leaves are tough but too-early flower buds would never survive the hard frosts we'll have into late spring.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Although cherry trees get all the press coverage, blossoms are sprouting on trees all around the region. The pathetic little peach tree I planted three years ago is covered with brilliant pink flowers. Soon these shall transform into nascent peaches. Or, as we like to call them, bird food.

Despite the beauty outside, I am spending most of the weekend remodeling our side room. So far I have repaired the ceiling, showered myself in textured paint, and removed a lot of old paneling. Sadly, and against all expectation, I have found neither cash, coins, nor transferable securities hidden in the walls.

On the other hand, there have been no dead rodents either.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 30, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Been pondering a couple of things; the CERN/LHC lawsuit and venturing down to the Tidal Basin to check out the Cherry Blossoms.

Not sure which I view with more trepidation.

I don't need to Observe my NCAA brackets; that Cat's dead for sure.


Posted by: bc | March 30, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

RD-a rehab without dead rodents is always a good thing. Thanks for the chuckle.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

II. "Loveliest of trees, the cherry now..."
by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 30, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest. Perhaps your sis needed some rose coloured glasses.

SD. What you said.

TBG. Seeds are so 1960's.

RD. Why would you paint before removing the panels? I'm so confused.

All. Good beautiful morning.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 30, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

RD, nice to know we aren't the only ones in remodeling he11. We're working on our bedroom - have spent the last 6 days: ripping off wallpaper, scraping off residue, more scraping, pulling up old carpet, patching sub-floor, washing down walls, 2 coats primer, 2 coats paint, laying laminate wood floor (you know, the "easy" install kind - took us half the floor to really get it right so laying the second half took much less time than the first half!). Today we paint all the new woodwork - crown molding, baseboard and window trim - and hopefully get it installed before the end of the day. Then it's only a quick clean-up before we can bring in the new bed Mr. F made me for Christmas. Oh, I forgot, have to install the new ceiling fixture first.

I'm hopeful I will be sleeping in an actual bed tomorrow night as opposed to sofa bed for the past week. Puppy also looking forward to his dog-bed back in the bedroom (now stored in the back of the truck) and Kitties have been mightily perturbed that sofa bed does not offer as much s t r e t c h room as big bed so they will be happy also.

Whew - I've back-boodled and there's been so much I've missed, I'm just going to start anew and not try to comment on some very interesting conversations I've missed!

Posted by: TLF | March 30, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

That NYTimes article, "It's not you, it's your books"

h t t p : // w w w . n y t i m e s . c o m

actually made me hesitate before posting that poem. Housman is so middlebrow. He's one of my childhood favorites, though, and I haven't outgrown him. Remember _Out of Africa_, Meryl Streep reading "To An Athlete Dying Young" - ? I think I need to watch that again.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 30, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Portland, Oregon is amazing for flowering plums and cherries. Out of many, one of the more memorable is one street in Sunnyside, a somewhat rough neighborhood, lined with double-flowered cherries. A nice view from the bus.

The city manager for a smallish city (a quite conservative guy) is horrified at the dissolution of state and local government in Florida. Property tax cuts combined with sales tax shortfalls mean the worst-paid state employees in the country, the lousy schools, the worst-funded state universities, and law enforcement will all be slashed. The courts are being slashed. Ambulances, too. No eyeglasses or dental care for the needy. Competent employees are fleeing to wherever employment's available (I noted that Alberta urgently needs such people). Not to mention that the State's assumption of risk for hurricane insurance isn't accompanied by adequate reinsurance or financial reserves. The state's plan to issue bonds to pay for the next hurricane won't work if there's no way to pay them off. Need an ambulance or police officers? You may wait. The city manager's never seen anything like it. He worries that we could become like the sections of northernmost Mexico that are in the hands of the drug cartels (excellent story, "Tyranny on the Border" by Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Post recently. Think of Orlando being run by people who use fear and intimidation.

Bottom line: the governor and legislature have gone crazy. The city manager suspects it's partly a matter of Floridians taking out their frustrations with the unresponsive, incompetent federal government by slashing away at their own reasonably-competent governments.

At various times in the past, parts of Florida have been beyond the reach of government, much like parts of Latin America or Pakistan today. Looks like we're going back. Now if that city manager could talk to Carl Hiaasen....

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 30, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The joy of spring,
and morel picking
in the offing

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 30, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This year's batch of cherry blossoms were the best I've seen in many years. I even found what I consider the prettiest cherry tree on Haines Point. I'll post it as soon as I can download and sort the nearly 200 pictures I took.

You're making feel better and better about bailing out of the sunshine state when I did.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 30, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

DotC-thanks for the FL local government analysis. Even as we prepared to move to Tampa I felt the state was broken, but as a newcomer, then only very part-time resident, wasn't sure I had a clear view.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm waiting for a story to appear: "Last ball-bearing plant in U.S. closes doors; outsourced."

Posted by: Jumper | March 30, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hal wouldn't let link to HuffPo so:
NEW YORK -- Dith Pran, the Cambodian-born journalist whose harrowing tale of enslavement and eventual escape from that country's murderous Khmer Rouge revolutionaries in 1979 became the subject of the award-winning film "The Killing Fields," died Sunday. He was 65.

Dith died at a New Jersey hospital Sunday morning of pancreatic cancer, according to Sydney Schanberg, his former colleague at The New York Times. Dith had been diagnosed almost three months ago.

Dith was working as an interpreter and assistant for Schanberg in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, when the Vietnam War reached its chaotic end in April 1975 and both countries were taken over by Communist forces.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 30, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm testing Hal, after having a comment eaten for the dreaded http linkage. The above link is to an illustrated guide to all sorts of needlework and such, now out of copyright and available through Project Gutenberg.

Posted by: Jumper | March 30, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I have not posted the weather lately because we have had it extraoridnarily fine. Lovely warm and sunny days or warm and cloudy. BUT now that spring should be coming full bore, it is -13 C and looks like it is going to stay that way.

The pussy willows were out but if they are wise they are going to slink back into the stem. I await cherry blossom pictures.

Posted by: dr | March 30, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

help! I'm a long time lurker that needs a science question answered. My son is working on a biology project. Can anyone explain to this simple mind (mine) if rabies is lytic or lysongenic? any insight or links would be greatly appreciated! thanks, boodle.

Posted by: lurkerinneed | March 30, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It's spelled lysogenic and article differentiating the two is at wikipedia.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Cold here today too dr, not cold by your temps but it doesn't feel like spring,mid 30 with some wind.

went to the river this mornin,see some friends who have had a tough week too,it was nice,but too cold. I did manage to skip a few rocks and get a couple of souvenirs. I'm such a kid sometimes!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 30, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

thanks, my typo. We can't seem to clarify the lytic or lysogenic nature of the rabies virus specifically. thanks, everyone.

Posted by: lurkerinneed | March 30, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

How's your mom, GWE? Are you back home now or still in Balmer?

Posted by: TBG | March 30, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

lurkerinneed- Rabies is caused by the lyssavirus and my understanding is that it isn't a biophage (infects bacteria) at all so wouldn't be either lytic or lysogenic but a generalist pathogen. I recommend searching for "lyssavirus RNA" to find some illustrations from university lectures. Some should be boiled down to PPT slides that even the non-pointy headed (I include myself) can understand.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

We had snow(!) here last night - just a dusting, and it was 36 degrees, but there's still some on the ground. My clematis armandii is beautiful, lots of cascading white flowers. I need more daffodils. The cherry trees are blooming here too. There are some that ring a small airport near me - not as picturesque as the Tidal Basin, but pretty nonetheless. DC is a gorgeous place in spring - lots of azaleas and dogwoods and magnolias.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 30, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Boko - the textured paint is only for some exposed beams - not the whole ceiling, which will be done with standard flat paint. So the sequence is fix the ceiling, paint the beams, remove paneling while beams dry, check for booty and/or dead animals in the wall, and do the ceiling with flat paint. Optimized schedule thus guaranteeing one gets to Miller Time as quickly as is possible.

Or, in this case, Australian Shiraz time. Although that isn't nearly as catchy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 30, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, mostly, just sigh. Is that the big one in the back corner?

Posted by: dr | March 30, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

We had a dusting of tiny white ice crystals this morning. Just back from a walk up the hill with the dogs. We are going to have a million shooting stars soon. Some stems with buds are starting to show. Sunny now but very cold.

Posted by: bh | March 30, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

tbg, Mom's good thank you for asking,I am home now and the weekend support group is there.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 30, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

With luck, Florida might have a sane legislature next year.

I'm not in a position to escape, and I don't really want a small but intense hurricane to hit an intensely Republican bit of the state to drive the state into bankruptcy.

I recall, maybe 20 years ago, a public employee in Riverton, Wyoming driving his official vehicle onto the local reservoir's ice during non-working hours. The results were predictable.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 30, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

dr, yes, I should take a picture. It's doing what I pictured when I planted it, which doesn't happen all that often! This is probably the best the back corner will look all year.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 30, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse


I have Interbet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Switched from *&$#^% Comcast to Verizon. Take that, you b@st@rds!!!)

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!

Hey, Cassandra.

OK, got a lot of backboodle reading to do here.

Hiya doin', Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Hi Lurkerinnneed. Here is the text of an abstract your son could cite. I would allow a citation of an abstract. i believe my son's HS honors biology teacher would also. Hope this helps.

(You can find this at the database)

Crit Rev Microbiol. 2007;33(4):301-24. Links

Nel LH, Markotter W.
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
Lyssaviruses are the etiological agents of rabies, one of the oldest viral diseases known to man and a disease that has persisted over many centuries. Together with sound diagnostic methods and efficacious vaccines--both of which had been available for many decades, an understanding of the epidemiology of the disease have enabled its control and even elimination in some specific reservoir species in North America and Western Europe. However, worldwide rabies still radiates into new host species and geographical domains and has become vastly underestimated throughout the developing world through lack of awareness, apathy and poor surveillance. As a result, this disease is now more of a global public and veterinary health threat than it has ever been.
PMID: 18033596 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Posted by: College Parkian | March 30, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification RD. I'm considering your novel idea of seperating Miller Time and home projects. It may be that the time I save by multi-tasking is offset by the time consumed from trips to the hospital.
Miller Time would be inappropriate in my case, I'll refer to it as my Blue period.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 30, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

SCC -that 'from' is all wrong but I can't suss out why. hic.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 30, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

HIYA 'Mudge!!

Posted by: Boko999 | March 30, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

dr. Are you watching the Canadain ladies battling the Communist Chinese Curling Hordes?

Posted by: Boko999 | March 30, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Super Mudge! As far as I'm concerned Comcast is the devil. I am waiting non too patiently for FiOS to come to town so I can get rid of them for TV.

We've been sprucing up the sunroom/porch. Bought some cheap blinds at Lowe's to keep the sun out and fading of the carpet to a minimum. "S" was cutting them to fit when he ran into a bit of trouble. Seems the sliders on the back are smaller than the ones on each side, so we have covered one back slider more than we had intended and he has gone off to get one more blind for the side. It's 70 degrees on the porch right now and about 45 degrees outside. Next weekend we can start neatening up the flower beds, if it doesn't snow. ;-)

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 30, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I can't thank you enough, frostbitten and college parkian! I told my son about the Achenblog, and he desperately asked me to post the question. Your help gave him the nudge he needed, and maybe even the nudge for me to come out of lurker status. thank you. thank you. thank you!

Posted by: lurkerinneed | March 30, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Welcome lurkerinneed, hope you stick around.

Mudge Yea!

Thanks for the tip Boko forgot about the women's curling - I am suddenly feeling old thought - they so young, and Canada has a redhead on the team - could be a Canadian secret to help the sport catch on outsde Canada.

Glad everything is fixed Mudge.

Posted by: dmd | March 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome lurkerinneed. If I need a quick and credible answer to a question, beyond "Does this make me look fat?" (which doesn't want a credible answer anyway) the boodle is where I turn.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I love it when lurkers stop lurking, lurkerinneed. I hope you're son gets it all figured out and does well.

boko is making me laugh!

Hope everyone is having a nice Sunday. It's 47 here, rainy and yucky. Hmmmphh. The kiddies are doing their volunteer gig at the aquarium and the hubby had to go into the office. The beagle and I have had a lazy afternoon, as I resolutely ignored the filthy kitchen floor. I just finished The People of the Book and it's now almost Australian chardonnay time as I make eggplant parmesan. I wish the family was home with me, but there's no denying that it's been peaceful!

gwe - glad to hear your mom is doing well and that you could get some R&R.

Yea! Mudge is in the building!

Posted by: Kim | March 30, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Frostbitten" and "College Parkian" posting in response to Lurkinneed's post. Achenblog. By Joel Achenbach. Washington Post. Query and two posted dated March 30, 2008.

I guess this would be the citation!!!!!!

AND, no you do not need to cite us. Just poking fun at it all.

WIlbrod would have posted a great answer, now doubt.

I cautiously like Verizon Fios at my house. But, I am concerned that when the two years elapses, the price shall jump in "we gotcha!" fashion.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 30, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Frostbitten" and "College Parkian" posting in response to "Lurkinneed'" post. Achenblog. By Joel Achenbach. Washington Post. Query and two posts dated March 30, 2008.

Whoops, hit submit when I meant to preview. Off to a chilly bike ride past Adelphi Mill, where sadly, I will see MS13 tag marks on tree trunks in blue spray paint. Park rangers cannot figure out how to remove them without harming the trees.

Next week, I expect to see scads of fishfolk along the NE and NW Branchs, Sligo Creek and Paint Branch too, for the stocking of rainbow shall begin.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 30, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Cloudy and cool here in the Carolinas, a chilly 44. It was mean, just mean!, of spring to taunt us with a nice day on Friday. I'm back into my sweats and fleece-lined mules this afternoon.

I think I'll make a run to the store to get milk so I can make muffins for Mr. T's breakfast. Wonder what else I need?

Welcome home, Mudge! We tried to keep the bunker in shape while you were gone, but it was tough. I hope the doilies aren't all over the place, messing it up for you.

Posted by: slyness | March 30, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr dr screwed up the time of the game. He ought to wander in about when they finish. Mr dr is the RESL fanatic.

We have been watching it all week, and its been interesting. China has beaten Canada twice this spiel. They are a superb team and have played almost flawlessly. They are either driven to do well, or there is something about curling that really translates well into the Chinese culture and mindset. Watching the Chinese men last year (a much tougher field of teams)was a delight.

I must go now, to watch. I feel kind of like bc when he prepares for watching the Indy. I have a check list. Gotta go.

Posted by: dr | March 30, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, friends. Yeah, Mudge! So glad you got the cable thing worked out. Glad your mom is doing okay, gwe.

I'm just sitting down at the computer. I went to Sunday school and church this morning, but was running late, so did not post. It is so cold here. It is like a gray winter day, all that is missing is the white stuff.

Still in the process of moving stuff and getting ready for inspections.

Slyness, I hope to attend a state missionary conference in your fair city Saturday. I want to join the missionaries there, hopefully I can. I will keep you posted.

This is a good day for soup. And staying inside.

Today at church, a young man that grew up with my son rededicated his life to the church. This young man and his siblings were always at my house or somewhere playing with my children. When I looked in his young face, smiling, I hugged him and thought about my son. It was sad, but happiness too. It is good to see young people working in the church, and wanting to do that.

Welcome, lurkerinneed. This is the place for lots of information. Stick around, I'll bet you can add to the mix.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 30, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Please don't tell me I killed the boodle.

Well, back to the sink. The dishes are calling.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 30, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

You'll find additional info on rabies if you look under rhabdoviruses (lyssavirus is a genus in the rhabdoviridae family; BTW lyssa means frenzy).

This link might be of use:

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 30, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

We winned. World Womens curling champs for 2008 but it was not so easy as it looked in the last few ends.

Posted by: dr | March 30, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I tuned in just in time for the celebrations. Congratulations!

I posted some pictures on my pathetic blog:

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 30, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

dr... Congrats! I just told my husband, "Hey! Canada's the women's curling champion of the world!"

His reply... "I thought they were the only country that curled."


Posted by: TBG | March 30, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Chez Frostbitten South has now been shown twice! May just have to muster up some optimism if this continues.

Mostly-your blog is not pathetic. Serious frenvy of your spring flowers.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

My ears are burning... must be rabies in the air, along with a bloomin' snow melt and mud galore.

Like frostbitten, I did notice irises raising their first fist at spring. Or was that the british two-finger salute?

Lytic, lysogenic... somebody's teacher has misplaced priorities when it comes to lyssaviruses.

To quote Rudyard Kipling from /The Jungle Book/:

"Even the tiger runs and hides when little Tabaqui goes mad, for madness is the most disgraceful thing that can overtake a wild creature. We call it hydrophobia, but they call it dewanee- the madness- and run."

Lysis or exocystosis is triggered by lysozymes which kills the host cell after the host's machinery has already been amply hijacked to make lots of viruses.

This is common with naked viruses since they have no other way to escape the host cell, and it's pointless to beget an whole army if they're stuck inside forevermore. (this would make a good monty python skit, though.)

Lysogenesis occurs when the virus inserts itself in the cell's DNA to be replicated (AIDS, a retrovirus, and many cancer-causing viruses do this). In this form, a virus can lie dormant. Once inducted by environmental factors, the final release can involve lysis.

I wouldn't think rabies is lysogenic because of its very rapid development and high fatality rate.

Secondly, rabies virus will do budding (chronic release), rather than lysing the host cell. The budding is enabled by the (non-naked) rabies virus packaging itself in capsules.

Thus disguised and protected, the rabiesvirus can (in neurons) rappell down the axon, crack a gate in the cell membrane for a stealthy exit to jump the synaptic junction, infect the next neuron, all the way up to the spinal cord, with the brain the holy grail!

IIRC, in animal cells, rupture of the host cells often is caused by the host itself causing apoptosis in an effort to kill the virus before it can churn out too many copies-- self-triggered suicide, so it is important not to trigger that too fast if possible-- hence the capsules (which docks with cell surface receptors and also protects partially from detection) and the stealth budding approach.

So I'm going with College Parkian's answer. It's as good as any. Viral violence has never been my thing, and I'm disturbed by the obsession with precisely how host cells go kablooey.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 30, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Lurkerinneed, stick around. Tell us about yourself!

frosti, 2 showings qualifies for a celebration. Now you already buried the St. Joseph statue in the back yard, upside down, right? . . . unlike me, remember the bearings of the spot so you can dig him up when it sells.

16 years of Catholic school. Don't tell me I didn't learn anything!

Posted by: dbG | March 30, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Mostly I just updated my blog with how excited I am that the snow is almost gone, cautiously now going to visit your blog and hoping I won't be too envious.

Posted by: dmd | March 30, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Big sigh - Mostly - the clematis is so beautiful.

Posted by: dmd | March 30, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the good answer, Wilbrod. You clarified the meaning of lysis, which I sort of knew, but it had to be refreshed.

Posted by: Jumper | March 30, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Does my butt look fat in these genes?(Don't answer that. Denial is my friend)
DNA girl--If I come out of lurker status for any consistent length of time, I thank you for my boodle handle. I claim "Lyssa". Frenzy is indeed my middle name.
College Parkian, Willbrod and all--you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for taking some of your Sunday to help my son with his report! I've enjoyed the boodle for a long time. Each and every one of you are so unique and intelligent. thanks again.

Posted by: lurkerinneed | March 30, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hi lurkerinneed/Lyssa... glad to meet you! Stick around!

So... if I'd just gone with the seeding, I'd be Queen of the Brackets right now. Sigh.

At least my winner is still in the game... I did pick UNC and UCLA to be in the Final Four (but Pitt was my sleeper team, chosen to lose to the Heels in the final game).

Too bad Davidson couldn't pull that game out tonight, but I'd rather have the Heels play Kansas at this point. Yes, UNC beat Davidson in the regular season, but it was pretty close and those rascally Wildcats look pretty darn good.

Either way... it's just plain sad to think that college basketball will be over after next week.

Posted by: TBG | March 30, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Patience, TBG...the season comes back around the first of November! And heavens, the NBA season isn't anywhere near over. Not that I follow pro basketball, but for those who do...

Mr. T's bracket has Carolina losing to Kansas, but I hope he's wrong. He's missed quite a few anyway, won't be bad if he's wrong about this one.

You know what's sad? I read the chat on Friday about the NCAA tournament, and I actually knew what they were talking about! But then college basketball has always been my favorite, such as it is.

Posted by: slyness | March 30, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all.

It was beautiful on the Tidal Basin today, though it looks like the peak for the cherry blossoms are still to come.

Saw Al Gore on "60 Minutes," and dag, he sure comes across as a likeable guy. Human, even.

Now, the court-appointed President of the United States - wearing a Nats jacket - heards to the mound to throw the first pitch (oh, the boos...I'm trying not to laugh here)... and... well, I think we've found something he's good at as President.
First pitches.


Posted by: bc | March 30, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Nah, bc. Pitch was way high, almost a wild pitch. What I thought was amusing (besides all the boosckly Arbusto came out, threw the ball, and boogied. What was he out there, maybe 20 seconds, total? Jeez.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Cool beans: the first hit in Nationals Park was by the first Nats batter, Christian Guzman, who hit a single into right field on the first pitch. And after a wild pitch he's on 3rd.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Cool beans: the first hit in Nationals Park was by the first Nats batter, Christian Guzman, who hit a single into right field on the first pitch. And after a wild pitch he's on 3rd.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

This may be why I'm sorry to see college basketball end...

When you click on the lead story on the front page about the Nats game tonight and then click on the Schedule link at the top of that page you get... the 2007 schedule!

The 2007 schedule! They've had how many months to set this up? I had to go into the URL and change the 2007 to 2008 to find the correct schedule.


Posted by: TBG | March 30, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Therte's an echo in here.

Nick Johnson drove in Guzman for the first run, with a broken-bat double.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

As boodle handle
Lyssa springs blossomy like
fragrant fleur-de-lys

Alas, she was born,
for Herakles, Aktaion,
to drive men crazy

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 30, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I am singing a happy little song: "I have a new car! I have a new car!" Now I need to buy some magnetic signs with pictures of the planets to nerdily decorate my exterior. Plus, StorytellerTim needs a storytelling sign to stick on the door, too.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 30, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Tim! What did you get?

Posted by: slyness | March 30, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

As much as I like Dubya embarass himself, the bar for first pitch is pretty low. Anything that doesn't bounce is a success.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 30, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Thanks dna girl.
I shoulda known that something lovely would come from a 9th grade biology Achenboodle request! Tons of knowledge and a sciencey boodle handle entwined with Greek mythology! This place is wonderful.
I'll probably continue to lurk more than post, but thanks for the name. Yet another nudge.
(FYI,ScienceTim--your boodle peeps helped my son out with a report on rabies while you were car shopping.) thanks again, folks.

Posted by: Lyssa | March 30, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Your note reminded me of the beautiful JPL float at the 2008 Rose Parade; these pics are better than mine:

Posted by: DNA Girl | March 30, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes Sci/Storyteller Tim, what did you get?

Posted by: frostbitten | March 30, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Wonder what kind of car an astronomer would buy? A Mercury or a Saturn? Maybe an old antique Comet? A Galaxy?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse


Braves tied it up 2-2 in the top of the 9th on passed ball by their high-salary new catcher, LoDuca. I want Brian Schneider back.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse


Zimmerman homers with 2 outs in the 9th for a walk-off win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 30, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the Nats,what a nice way to christin their new ball park and welcome back Mudge!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 30, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Whichever car comes with a skyroof, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 30, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

(I see the "no links allowed" Comment Monster is alive and well... *SIGH*)


I really don't know why I failed to mute the TV when Jon Miller and Joe Morgan did the obligatory half-inning with their special guest... *shrug*

Couldn't quite stay awake for the whole game, but I saw enough things breaking the Nats' way that I thought we had a chance. Way to go Zim! :-)

Welcome back to the home Boodling world, 'Mudge!

And in the "I'm shocked, SHOCKED" department...

*off-to-another-week-of-fun-and-frolic Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 31, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Apropos of the housekeeper discussion a few days ago as well as the test of the loss of hyperlinks:

We seem to be losing features.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 31, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Goood morning! Happy Monday to all!

I think we had some rain overnight, but I can't see yet, there's not enough light. But the paper was wet in spots. Yes, Mr. T brings it in for me before he leaves for work.

Posted by: slyness | March 31, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Morning, morning,friends. My grandson is here early. A bit of a mess this morning dealing with the young people. Hopefully, everything will work out as the day moves on.

Slyness, I believe it is raining here also. As for the missionary conference, don't know if I'll be able to attend. I have a lot to do this week. Everything starts back after Easter vacation. Sorry your team did not win, but it was great being part of that event.

Mudge, Martooni, and you too, Scotty, morning,and all.*waving* Are you smiling this morning, Mudge? Y'all had a win!

It is still quite chilly here. I don't think we're going to see the warming trend we had last week happen this week. It was nice.

Anybody still keeping up with the election?

Is the story of the pregnant man true?

Can anyone get a mortage on house these days?

And who writes the script for the Clintons?

These are all interesting questions to me, and perhaps only me, but I would love to know the answers.

I'm going to try and finish the work today. Still got a lot of junk just sitting at the door. Maybe I can move it, but I'm running out of places.

Have a good day, folks. I know, I know, going back to work, but take comfort in that. Some of the folks here wish that was the case.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 31, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Lyssa -- CPBoy is in HS bio, too. They are working on evolution now. We sometimes use YouTube to look at science animations. I bet that DNA Girl could point you to some of the better ones.

Morning all; did take my bike ride and report that the MS-13 gang tags on the trees have been covered in spray paint. If this keeps us,

gang tag on tree, followed by
government "cover-up"

eventually, I think the trees will have trouble of some sort. How sturdy is exterior bark? Dave of the C-plants: What say you?

I particularly love a small glade off the creek path that is a beech woods. Those grey, smooth trunks show off the navy blue tags
quite well. Sigh.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 31, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

*Tim, you do need some StorytellerTim magnets to schtick (ahem) on the doors.

Mudge, I can't believe you didn't guess a Plymouth Satellite (as a side note, two colors for the classic 1970 Buick GSX muscle car were Saturn Yellow and Apollo White...)
Let me guess, *Tim - a Honda Fit?

Mudge, I agree that Arbusto's FP was not anywhere near a strike zone, but it's a *ceremonial* pitch, and a) he did it from the mound, and b) it didn't hit the ground on the way to the catcher.

Ah, you're an umpire, what do you know?

And that Zimmerman HR in the bottom of the 9th was wonderful and carried 300+ ft of good Karma, IMO.

As a note about the loss of hyperlinks - we *all* lose features as we get older, don't we? We just make up for it with more text...


Posted by: bc | March 31, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't post a link to the boodle at "The Fix" and there are no links posted in any of the comments over there so this catastrophe is WaPo wide.
If we knew this already we still do.

That is all.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 31, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Painting tree trunks is popular in, I guess, parts of the midwest, Central America, etc. I wouldn't recommend it, but for most trees it shouldn't be a big issue.

I didn't get a really good look at evolution until grad school, and the field has sort of exploded in popularity since then. In particular, there's been a resurgence of interest in speciation.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 31, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle!

I wonder if recordings of animal noises might keep the taggers out of the woods, CP. In my past life as teacher of gang involved kids it always amazed me how fearful most were of wildlife in its natural habitat. Some were just generally afraid of all animals.

We had a partnership with a therapeutic riding stable in which our kids would muck stalls and otherwise make themselves useful in exchange for an opportunity to ride. One boy practically melted at the sight of "his" horse, but could never bring himself to ride. He would spend his entire riding time brushing and talking to the gentle gelding.

As much as 6 inches of snow predicted for points south of here. We'll see, same forecast last week was a complete bust. High in the mid 30s today, but windy. Still no open water on the river. We need some soon, trumpeter swans are already here and they need to fuel up on their way to Canada.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 31, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.

bc, Max Mosley (good son of Oswald, formerly head of the UK's nazi Party and personal friend of a certain Adolph H.) just Spitzered himself. Getting caught in a re-enacment of a concentration camp orgy with 5 prostitutes should ensure him the next Upper Class Twit of the Year award.
www "dot" timesonline "dot"

I want to report a minor miracle that happened some time last week in Atlanta GA. The Fungi carefully put together the list of items packed in the bag the greek-letter airline lost last January, with links to online catalogs and the like. The total "as new" value came to $1295. Last week, he got a check for $1295. I'm telling you, someone will get fired over that in Atlanta. Aren't ailrlines supposed to fight tooth and nail over lost luggage?
A colleague of mine has been in dispute with Air Canuckstani for months over $300-400 for damages that were obviously the ailrline's fault. His bag got caught in a conveyor belt, half the bag's content was shredded by the rollers. Even his shoes were torned to pieces. That was a good strt to a week in china.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 31, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

bc is correct -- we got the Honda Fit. It is fun to drive, plenty roomy inside (relatively speaking) and fun. Also, very practical. And fun. Did I mention fun?

Tonight, I will design and order some magnetic signs and start acquiring exterior decorations, so I can distinguish it from all the other silver-gray Honda Fits on the road. The StorytellerTim signs will have to come first, I think. Guess I'll need to resurrect my website.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | March 31, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

SCC airline's, torn, start and China. Not a good start to my week.
And it's snowing heavily. *sigh*

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 31, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

From Andy Borowitz, this made me laugh this morning:

"Elsewhere, to inaugurate the 2008 Major League Baseball season, former pitching great Roger Clemens threw out the first syringe."

Posted by: kbertocci | March 31, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Ralph Rapson, architect of the original Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has died. At 93 he was the world's oldest practicing architect, and probably the most well known one armed architect (right arm amputated at birth). His Guthrie was demolished in '06, after just 43 years of use, to make way for the much larger new Guthrie.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 31, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

A pome for Monday that is so boodlish. Jim Culleny is the poetry editor at 3quarksdaily.

Cat Dance Music
Jim Culleny


Delphiniums winddance
with phlox in Pat's garden.
They sway in quiet concord,
rooted in motion.

Dancing's a vital sign of endless youth;
even my grandmothers danced:
one danced to accordianed polkas;
corseted cantileverd bosom bouncing.
The other jigged across her chicken yard
with handfuls of eggs --having just left her hens
without yield-- acting goofy for a camera.

I once danced with abandon
to big-holed 45s
spun by a DJ named Jocko
who sent four-part doowop through my radio:
the Prisonaires, the Cadillacs, the Moonglows...

When was the last time I danced with abandon?
How did I do that beautiful thing?

It's best to dance with others, real gurus say.
It's lonely dancing with a mirror,
leading and following in one motion,
thinking breaking it would be bad luck.

Our cats dance to deep cat vibrations always.
Alert as ...cats to music far beyond our ears:
cat dance music.

Zorba knew. Have you seen
Quinn, the Greek, dance?
Felt life spring in rhythms?
Watched it prance on toes to a bouzouki
even in the embrace of despair?

Never. Never forget how to dance.
All innocents dance.
Only the troubled are still.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 31, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Er, shrieking denizen, re. that Max Mosley bit, I'm going to reserve comment until after tomorrow, it being (ahem) April 1st and all...

I did not find any corroborating stories on the allegations in any of my usual Motorsports press release feeds...

*Tim, glad to know that you're a shoe for a Fit...

["Shoe" is short for "hot shoe," which is slang for a fast race car driver. Don't thank me now for this bit of near-useless information, please just send money.]


Posted by: bc | March 31, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I guess vacation is over and I have to go back to work....sigh....

I'll post a new kit around 10:30.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 31, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

What kind of car would a poet drive? Guess it'd have to be a Versa.
And if the poet was into drugs, gambling, drinking, and sex? Well then it would be a Vice Versa!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 31, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back--I feel your pain. I spent the past week readjusting to my windowless cubicle. At least you have your adoring public awaiting your every utterance. [*sound of the crowd going wild...*]

Posted by: kbertocci | March 31, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Even with the time zone changes, it's not April Fools Day in Europe yet. Not unless they're on Leap Day Savings Time. but it is a good warning for the especially gullible to be on alert.

That said, to Cassandra, the pregnant man story is true if by "man" you mean "female to male transsexual with a working uterus". Even making babies is more complicated than it used to be.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 31, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Good Mornin All
I was wondering why my post from yesterday morning was not taken,it had a link from a neighboring paper.I was happy to see that UM beat #1 Va in Lacrosse.I mentioned the fact that it would be nice if the powers that be in Annapolis would finally make Lacrosse Marylands offical State sport. I have been to hundreds of Lacrosse games throughout the state but have never been to a Jousting(MD state sport) match/tournament except maybe at Medival Times.

Opening day,the day when everyone still has a chance.My hope for my beloved Orioles is that they finish higher then last place in the American leauge East.

My predictions for the season are Boston,Detroit and Annaheim as division winners,Cleveland as the wild card.

On the senior circuit. New York,Chicagoand LA with Philly being the wild card.

Note: No Yankees,I think firing Joe Torre will come back to haunt them which is fine by me.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 31, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Link to original Mosley story.

If that wasn't bad enough Mosley called Jackie Stewart a half-wit.
Did I ever tell you guys I saw Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, and Emerson Fitapali race. Jackie won. Surprise!

Posted by: Boko999 | March 31, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

oh boy, I saw the story in the Times but the original Mosley piece is from "News of the World", the magazine that makes the National Enquirer look like a trustworthy source of information.

The 'spos II won their opener? Cool.

*still snowing heavily*

Posted by: shrieking denizen | March 31, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. A much-too-busy weekend has ended and I'm finally at work where perhaps I can get some rest.

Kidding. Just kidding, all you OK taxpayers.

I'm waiting for the new kit before I post anything substantive, but howdy Lyssa lurker! And congratulations Tim on your new car.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 31, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of half-wits:

w w w .

Posted by: kbertocci | March 31, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Those F1 Nazi sex pictures are pretty work unsafe. I do like that they used a checkered flag to cover some of the naughty bits.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 31, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Is this it STim?

Posted by: omni | March 31, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The office (with window and occasional view of Space Shuttle launches) was kind of welcoming this morning, after
the weekend's backyard campaign:
-removed more grass
-installed about ten 20x20" pavers
-repotted a monster bromeliad into a huge pot that had ruined my back last fall.
-planted a coontie that had been living inconspicuously in its plastic pot under a tree. Moved to a new site, it looks vastly bigger, with its feathery 2-foot palm-like leaves occupying some 20 square feet.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 31, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Morning friends. Just stopped by to ask you to wish Raysdad luck. He's having surgery this afternoon for a herniated disc in his neck.

Pins and needles here. I know people have this surgery all the time. But to me, Raysdad isn't just "people."

Posted by: Raysmom | March 31, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning, boodle! Welcome back Joel. Cool pix. I'm back after taking spring break and the entire building is in slow motion. I tried to link, but must've run afoul of something, as my first comment was held by the owner. Spring is really going here: the trees are in flower and the air is thick with male reproductive cells. They clog the sinuses and are enveloping the cars and anything else they contact. The stuff is insidious.

Posted by: jack | March 31, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom, will keep Raysdad in my prayers.

Jack, thank heavens for OTC Claredin, when the trees are having sex.

Just noticed that a pair of robins has appropriated/added to a nest in the Lady Banks rose that is trained on the side of the carport. If I take my stepstool into the sunroom, I should be able to peer into the nest without disturbing them.

Posted by: slyness | March 31, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes off to Raysdad and to Raysmom.

Posted by: dmd | March 31, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks CP. I fear that I am not scientifically inclined, so your recommendations for sources are sincerely valued. My son's apptitude for math and science does not match his enthusiasm...I don't want his passion to wane as I struggle to help him succeed in the subjects. I have to keep myself educated and enthused to keep him motivated. You guys are all so brilliant on this blog!

Posted by: Lyssa | March 31, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

See what I mean, sd?

Is it possible that Mosley did those things? Of course -- anything's possible.

He's a very smart guy, and I'd be very surprised if he actually did them, much less allowed recordings to be made.

Something seems wrong to me here...


Posted by: bc | March 31, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Good luck to Raysdad!

Hey *Tim.. you might want to test out a few magnets on your new Fit before you order some. Are you sure the body is steel and not fiberglass? Even my minivan's body isn't as magnetic as my older cars were. Magnets seem to fly right off when the car is driven. Maybe it's the paint? i don't know.

Posted by: TBG | March 31, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, my best thoughts to Raysmom and Raysdad today. I hope all goes well, as I suspect it will.


Posted by: bc | March 31, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Yes, Cassandra, the Nats' win put a smile on my face this morning. Now if they can go about 70-92 this season and I'll be content.

bc, I'm still laughing over "we *all* lose features as we get older." You have no idea. Just you wait.

Good luck, Raysdad.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 31, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Good Luck RaysDad.

Aw c'mon, bc. It's gotta be true.
Anyway neo-narzis are guilty until proven dead.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 31, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

You know we all wish the best for Raysdad. I'm sure he is in good hands.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 31, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Joel is on Central Blogging Time. Of course he didn't specify AM or PM.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 31, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

May God bless the doctor with intelligence and steady hands in the surgery of Raysdad.

Posted by: daiwanlan | March 31, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom: I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Best wishes to RAysdad for a successful surgery and a quick recovery.

Posted by: jack | March 31, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Raysdad.

As for passion and aptitude, in the sciences, it's usually the people with passion who somehow manage to develop aptitude. I'm one of those who think that (mostly) work is rewarded by competence. Although there's those who really seem blessed by particular aptitudes. My fingers seem wired in such a way that they'll permanently mix up equivalent left and right hand keys (f and j, d and k). I've seen a suggestion to the effect that this trait suggests I shouldn't try playing piano, but might get somewhere with violin, at least if I weren't somewhat tone-deaf.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 31, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Ouch, sending best thoughts to the Ray* family.

New Jersey celebrates Thomas Mundy Peterson Day:

Posted by: omni | March 31, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

What happens when Mundy Day falls on Maundy Thursday?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 31, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Multiple best wishes headed towards Raysdad & Raysmom.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 31, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Lyssa! Nice to see you this morning. What did your son think of you turning to the boodle for help?

Posted by: TBG | March 31, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

And it's official...

w w w

The reason??? *drumroll*

"Personal and family matters"...


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 31, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 31, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: tonk | April 1, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

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