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Spring Break Road Trip

We're taking a family trip northeastwardly to look at colleges and, apparently, shop. I'll post some pictures as we go.


Guess where we are. Guess. Guess. Clue: City is named after Philbert Adelphia.


Another visual clue to help you out.


Foreclosure on Betsy Ross home a national tragedy; flag business killed by foreign imports.


The $100 chocolate bunny [shown with trade paperback as size comparison]. Eat with spinach for a balanced meal.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 24, 2008; 8:39 AM ET
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Nice pics Joel. The family and I visited that mystery city last year, and really enjoyed it. The Betsy Ross house is fun - what with the high-tech audio tour and all - although those skinny staircases can be brutal.

Hope the college search goes well. As I am sure you are keenly aware (although it might not apply to your daughter's choices) the DC Tuition Assistance Grant is your friend.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Beware. The condos-on-wheels are busy migrating north. They should be in Washington tomorrow and Philly on Wednesday, provided they don't get waylaid in Myrtle Beach.

I haven't been to Philly since a trip to check out grad schools, specifically a distinctly blue one in N.C. I was born at the Penn hospital, the closest I've gotten to Ivy League.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 24, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Joel, that chocolate bunny would be balanced out just as well with a soft pretzel, water ice, hoagie or cheesesteak.

So where you gonna shop?

Posted by: dbG | March 24, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a nice day in Mystery City! Hope the kid finds a college she likes and can get into. Oh, and that she gets scholarships so Mom and Dad don't have to go through bankruptcy.

Posted by: slyness | March 24, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

As a treat for those of you still fighting snow and winter's chill, I give you Middleton Place Plantation on Easter Sunday, one of the oldest and largest gardens in the U.S. For those of you still on dial-up, the pictures behind the thumbnails are large, about 2.5MB each.

Garden is about a week from full bloom, when the color will more than triple what is seen in these photos.

Beware of the 'gator and the swan defending his mate's nest and his pond from all who dare approach.

Sorry, no kittens, but the photos may be used for any non-commercial purpose.


Posted by: DLD | March 24, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Good luck with the college search, Joel.

I highly recommend the book used as size comparison, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 24, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

DLD, thank you for the post, flower pictures are greatly needed right now, it snowed last night - I have given up I do not believe winter is going away this year.

Great pictures Joel, we have some similar ones from the mystery city, just not as in focus, or centred :-).

Hope everyone had a great holiday/pagan festival/weekend.

Posted by: dmd | March 24, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Nice pics DLD. Will help keep hope of Spring alive.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Joel - Your first photo has a large sign that reads "Philadelphia Daily News". So, you're in Boston?

Nice photos. Did this last year with my daughter who's real ambition was to get back to Virgina.


Posted by: DLD | March 24, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Since colleges are oficailly on-topic:

My son got the skinny envelope from Beaver Trade School last week which he took well. In the same batch of mail he got a scholarship offer from Latin Bear College that would put the net cost just under the other out-of-state colleges he is looking at. He hasn't heard from Hippie U yet but their expected notification schedule is this week. That Other College In Cambridge waits until early April to drag out the tension as long as possible, but that is a longshot as well.

Right now he says he is leanings towards the Alma Mater, which pleases me but I feel bad that it is a consolation prize. I tell him that it is tough to have so many good choices.

I want to officially start the random speculation on what colleges the AchenClan is visiting. Philly is too chock full of good schools to really come up with a short list from. It could be Penn, Bryn Mawr, Temple, Drexel, or Villanova. I think even University of Phoenix has a branch there.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Minnesota and Iowa are working hard to make sure that the Betsy's of the US are not undercut by foreign imports-

A few of the comments are entertaining too.

Good morning all!

Posted by: frostbitten | March 24, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Nice pictures, and I'm assuming the city is in Pennsylvania(?)?

This is the city that my daughter-in-law is from. I don't think I've been there for a visit, but have been through it on the way to somewhere else.

We were not servants, but domestic workers, and I don't know if that's a big distinction, but I see it in terms of one lives with the master the other comes in for hire. And all that lived during that time are familiar with my conversation, even if they themselves did not participate.

As for the sun screen, I have so much oil on my face, it would probably inhibit the sun screen and make it null and void, if there is such a thing.

The Easter egg hunt is on, but I'm still here. It's cold out this morning. And alas, the sun has gone in.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 24, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

As part of the England trip, we went to the Roman Baths in, duh, Bath. They have the ubiquitous audio guides where everybody walks around holding a large plastic cudgel to their ear to listen to the narrator.

Several of the listening items were narrated by Bill Bryson and were prominently noted so. It seems that to have Bill associated with your tourist attraction is a badge of honor.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Discussing some of those college road trips with Oldest Daughter myself. Once she recovers from her surgery and sees the results of her SATs, I think she's going to be ready to think seriously about where to go for her Bachelor's. Oy.

On a side note, Joel, I'd recommend checking out the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelpha Museum of Art. She's one of my daughter's favorites (I dig Kahlo's art too, though I know she's not everyone's cup of tea), and we're definitely going to check it out when we're up there soon.

And yes, that's the same "Frida" from the Salma Hayek movie a few years back...


Posted by: bc | March 24, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

That chocolate bunny is $50 today, no?

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Adding to speculation, Moore College of Art, University of the Arts, Tyler. Major in Photography?

Posted by: dbG | March 24, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The Philly Art Museum always has good traveling shows. We went to the Dali one a few years back and it was a very comprehensive exhibit. Long lines and crowded, but comprehensive.

Plus you get to do the Rocky Run up the steps every time you visit.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Lawn madness.

Full disclosure: most of my front yard is immaculate, thanks to the grass liking its situation under an oak. No sprinkler system. And a chunk of lawn is being ripped out to enlarge the patio and to accomodate the coonties that are migrating like Birnam Wood in their pots from shade to full sun.

My own undergrad admissions experience was dominated by the question of whether to apply to Penn, where my dad was an alum. Prestigious as the place was, I couldn't get enthused. So I applied to other places that of course sent back thin envelopes.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 24, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

So far the Philly college list has omitted St. Joe's and LaSalle, as well as Arcadia University (about which I will NOT make the obvious comment known to us locals), as well as some regional outlyers: Haverford and Ursinus. There is also (believe it or not) Philadelphia University, which back in my day (when I went to Temple U.) was known as "Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science," not a bad school by any means but somewhat specialized. It was a great place to go if in fact you were interested in the namesake textile industry, and it was also well known for turning out pharmacists. As a "trade" school it had a low profile, but was/is a pretty good school in its specialized areas.

LaSalle, St. Joe's and Villaneuva are all Catholic-related schools, and all pretty good (and VERY formidable basketball schools when it came to playing Temple and Penn in the NIT tournament every year--especailly our arch-rivals at St. Joe's).

Bryn Mawr and Haverford are/were very "tony" upscale schools out in Philly's "Main Line," a term that has probably fallen into dis-use nowadays (q.v. Paul Newman and the delectable Barbara Rush in "The Young Philadelphians," not a bad movie at all).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

My neighborhood includes single-family homes and townhouses, so there is a lot of common area the homeowners' association hires a landscaping company to maintain.

I approached this company several years ago and made my own deal with them, so when they do the common areas, they stop by my house and do my yard, too. It's made life so much easier.

Plus, if the HOA thinks my grass is too tall they can't complain because the community's grass is exactly the same height.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse


We have a biweekly housecleaning service where the tasks are very strictly defined. They include: vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, and mopping the kitchen. Not included is emptying the sink of dishes, picking up clothes off the floor, or, of course, windows.

I assume the duties of domestic help when you were a kid were much more broadly defined. When I lived in the Philippines, we (as did all our peers)had a full-time live-in maid. Clothes thrown on the floor were washed, folded, and put back in the dresser by the time I got home from school when she cooked me a made-to-order hamburger as an afternoon snack.

The phrase "'s the maid's day off" was used entirely unironically for three years. I still blame many of my current bad habits on my pampering during those formative middle school years.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The only time we ever had a "servant" was when we lived in the Philippines. My Dad got transferred there from Japan in 1952 and we were then able to join him. We lived in quarters on base and had a live-in maid, a young Philipina named Susannah. She had her own room with bath, which were a pair of firsts for her. Susannah had been orphaned by the war. Her mother was killed in an air raid and her father was killed by the Japanese army in reprisal for resistance activity in their area. They stopped a train and took all the men off and executed them then and there. Susannah lived with her godparents until she came to work for us. i think there were over a dozen people in their house with lots of kids in more or less the same situation as Susannah.

She had little experience of Americans and I know living with us transformed her life. Susannah read and wrote English quite well although she spoke with a strong accent. She read stories to my brother and I (aged 6 and 4) for hours and we constantly corrected her pronunciation and teased her when my mom wasn't around. We loved her and she doted on us. My East Texas dirt farmer's daughter mother was a mystery to Susannah. On Ironing day Mother would insist on taking turns doing the ironing and they always worked together doing the heavy cleaning jobs. Susannah had been led to believe that all American women laid around and did nothing all day. Mother had never had any domestic help and couldn't quite get used to having someone live in our home and do all the washing and cleaning. Susannah traveled with us when we toured the country and saw much of her homeland that she had never known before. We gave her a cake and had a party for her 18th birthday, again firsts.

After we were transferred back to the states, Susannah kept in touch with us, She never worked as a maid again, but became a teacher. She never married, claiming that she could never find a man as good as my dad. Over twenty years after we left my father helped Susannah win a Rotary International scholarship to attend graduate school in this country and she went on to become the first special education teacher in her province. Vision problems eventually forced her to retire, but she still corresponds with my mom once or twice a year.

I guess all this is just my long winded way of saying that the work one does can not and should not define them as a person.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

One of my infrequent daytrip activities is to go up to the Philly area and peruse the Mainline towns. They are still quite quaint. I'm particularly fond of Wayne.

Latin Bear College in aptly named Collegeville is not so much an outlier anymore. That area is undergoing massive suburbanization. A Wegmans is going in down the road and it's less than a half hour from King of Prussia Mall which has a commercial Imax theater, more than I can say for any of the DC/Baltimore 'burbs.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

My largest client moved from the DC area to the Philippines. Thank goodness for eMail.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | March 24, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a nice weekend full of driving and anxious teenager voices going "But Daddy..." Friday's kit was very nice; I loved the title.

Um, if you could remember to make Friday "Absolutely Non-Political Fluff" Friday henceforth? 'Twas very difficult to get a good pie-and-rhubarb conversation done in style with all the pundit hunters coming by.

'They hunted till Monday came on, but they found
Not a soundbite, or tenet, or bark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where Achenbach had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the rants they were trying to weigh,
In the midst of their anger on brie,
They had softly and suddenly vanished away--
From the Snark of the Boodle, you see.'

Cough cough.

'The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown:
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of town.'

Seriously, I felt like I fell down the rabbit hole on Caucus day anyway.

'...What I was going to say," said the Dodo in an offended tone, "is that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race."

"What is a Caucus-race?" said Alice.

"Why," said the Dodo, "the best way to explain it is to do it." First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no "One, two, three and away!" but they began running when they liked and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out, "The race is over!" and they all crowded 'round it, panting and asking, "But who has won?" '

Now I MUST turn to verse, just to get those rhyme cooties out of my head.

"SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast...."

Frost is not helping. Ezra Pound? His first poem I see....


FOR three years, out of key with his time,
He strove to resuscitate the dead art
Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime"
In the old sense. Wrong from the start--

No hardly, but, seeing he had been born
In a half savage country, out of date;
Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;
Capaneus; trout for factitious bait...


*Sobs* William Blake, maybe-- damn, out pops a new cootie:
"Truth told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent."

Kipl- no. Just no. Tennyson must save me now.

See what a lovely shell,
Small and pure as a pearl,
Lying close to my foot,
Frail, but a work divine,
Made so fairily well
With delicate spire and whorl,
How exquisitely minute,
A miracle of design!

Ahhhh.... Good ol' Alfred. You can count on him.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 24, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

My nephew just got accepted to the Air Force academy in Colorado Springs CO. My brother is taking him out in a week or 2 to check out the campus.

I may be away from the boodle for a little bit.My Mom is having breast cancer surgery today and i will be in Baltimore for this week. This will be her second surgery in the last 10 years.They recommend a Mastectomy this time around since it is in the same breast. I must tell you she is in great spirits considering. Please send good thoughts/vibes our way.

I will keep everyone posted.

On a personal note.Thanks BC!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 24, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

We too were inordinately fond of our Filipina "housegirl". There were many tears shed by all parties when we left. She was a profession maid in her early thirties that was supporting her family back in Cebu. Our rather meager salary with generous bonuses and Christmas gifts was a major source of income to them.

Our household staff included a weekly yardboy (who mowed the lawn with a reel mower), a weekly seamstress and a nightly aboriginal guard that we shared with three other houses.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Breathed's been reading Edward Abbey-

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I am so sorry to hear about your mother. If there is anything I can do for you while you are in Baltimore, let me know.

Congrats to your nephew.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes are indeed headed your way, GWE.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of places where there aren't HOA's yet, here's some ruminations I have on Extrasolar planets and the Housing Market.

Enjoy, ya'll.


Posted by: bc | March 24, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

GWE--congrats to your nephew. The AFA has a beautiful campus up against the Front Range and is a top-notch school. I also love the Peregrine Falcons thay use as mascots for football games, too. And the fighter jet flyovers. You must visit him if he attends.

Sending healing thoughts to your mom.

Posted by: eidrib | March 24, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'll pray for your mother, GWE.

Posted by: daiwanlan | March 24, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I too will have your mother in my prayers, GWE.

Colorado Springs is a wonderful place, you will enjoy visiting it and the Air Force Academy.

Posted by: slyness | March 24, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I spatchcocked my first chicken yesterday. It was easier than I thought, and I am convinced it is *the* way to go for a whole roasted chicken (exception: beer butt chicken on a grill). It is probably also the way to go for a turkey, too, except for a Thanksgiving Day turkey, and that only because I am such a traditionalist on T-Day that I need to see the entire turkey the "usual" way on that day.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Happy noon all...

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Walden College. ;-)

Just a quick drive-by... back to work.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | March 24, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sending best thoughts for your mother, gwe.

Mudge, did you pull out the keel bone on the chicken, or leave it in?

Posted by: Yoki | March 24, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I enjoyed Kurosawaguy's story. One of my own regrets, as an Air Force brat, was that we didn't get to follow Dad to east Asia. On the other hand, Puerto Rico was enough to make me want to be a biologist, even if the Areceibo telescope was a marvel.

Oliphant, the editorial cartoonist, once had a strip called Sunday Punk featuring his little penguin. One morning, penguin's settling down for breakfast with coffee and a huge bagel when a monster penguin shows up at the door. Little penguin runs to the phone. "Police? Imposter squad, please". I have a feeling Oliphant didn't think much of Breathed.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 24, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you're welcome, greenie.
I'm thinking good thoughts for your Mom today, and like everyone else Boodling near Charm City, if there's anything at all we can do, please let us know.

And congrats to your nephew on getting in to the Air Force Academy, that's great news.


Posted by: bc | March 24, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Exoplanet discussion going on right now:

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 24, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 24, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Planet X?

Isn't that the universe's only source of Unobtanium?


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

gwe my best wishes to your mom, sending the healing rays of our sunshine today. We may still have snow but at least we have blue skies!

Posted by: dmd | March 24, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten chat over his PostMag article just ended.

Any boolders make the cut?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about XO biology. Doesn't anybody care about the commanding officer?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Spring break is broke and we are back to normal, such as it is. I had no idea there was so much higher education creeping around the Philly area. Joel and family could do a whole college tour right there, leaving the rest of the time for shopping. I'm so glad we have a few years before serious college shopping. Things have changed so much since I applied, and it all seems so much more complicated.

Cassandra, I was really startled by your description of the cleaning services you were expected to provide. I don't know why I was startled, since I know perfectly well that people can and will demand almost anything, but still. One luxury I rejoice in is two (white) women who come in every two weeks and do a whirlwind housecleaning. Before they get there, the beds are made, the laundry is picked up, the table surfaces are neat - my family wonders why we have to clean for the cleaning ladies. Ha ha. Of course, they make my life easier by doing the real work - dusting, mopping etc. - and I don't want to waste their time with clutter. Also, the house is much tidier. I make sure they know that I respect their work and am grateful they are there!

I had a black friend who spent a day on the beach. He asked me the next day why he felt so bad; after hearing his symptoms I told him he was sunburned. He was from New York, new to California and the outdoors, and it never occurred to him that he could get sunburned. Hey, skin is skin.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 24, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I left the keel bone in, Yoki. As an old salt, I couldn't bear to remove anything with the name of "keel" on it. It ain't natural for a seaman.

FYI, I also used a technique I learned from the last issue of "Cook's Illustrated," on the secret to getting good, crisp skin. The night before cooking, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Make up a mixture of 1 tablespoon Kosher salt and one teaspoon baking powder (not soda). (You can throw in other spices and seasonings, if you want, which I did, but the secret is the salt and baking powder.) Thoroughly dust the outside skin of the chicken with the mixture, and refrigerate overnight. Cook at about 450 degrees for 25 minutes. (If it isn't spatchcocked, start breast side down and then turn it breast side up after the 25 minutes.) Then turn the heat up to 500 and cook until internal temp. is 135 or higher (about 20-25 minutes).

Also, if it isn't spatchcocked, get an inverted tablespoon and gently insert it under the skin in a couple places, to loosen the skin from the meat. Cut 10 to 20 small drain holes along the backbone (not the keel bone) of the chicken so that that when it is cooking breast-side up, all the fat inside can drain out (otherwise the skin won't brown and crisp up).

I went off-recipe and mixed in some herbs d'Provence, which was quite successful.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to your mother, greenwithenvy.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 24, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I see SciTim linked to the discussion, but what about the article...

Posted by: omni | March 24, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom just described our housecleaning service as well. The night before is a whirlwind of picking up. When I come home to my clean house I feel so incredibly pampered.

When I was a kid it was "get up!" early on Saturday to do the housecleaning. That didn't count keeping the bedroom clean and the beds made every morning. I swore I would never make my kids keep their rooms clean. It's their own fault if they can't take their friends in there.

Of course, I grew up in a "rambler" where the rooms were on display every time you walked down the hall. Not the same as closing doors upstairs like we have now.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to your mother, gwe.

Welcome to the spatchcocking side of bird cooking, Mudge. It's most definitely the way to go. (Although we had Turkey Parmesan yesterday.)

I may have to look for lawn help this spring. Raysdad has been having shoulder pain that the Shoulder Doc says is most likely due to a disc in his neck. He visits Spine Doc tomorrow, but I anticipate he will order no exertion for a while. And, while I might be persuaded to do the annual Spreading O' The Mulch, lawnmowing is a different deal entirely.

Posted by: Raysmom | March 24, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh,the Boy has to keep his room clean and things picked up, TBG, and I make sure the kitchen and bathroom are clean. We keep the floors somewhat swept. But dusting, mopping, vacuum, toilets - all that time-intensive stuff - well, I know it is done every two weeks so I never look around the house and shudder.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 24, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Dr. K and I went up to New Jersey this past weekend and checked out Princeton, both the school and the town. Both seem small and nice. Reminded me of Marion Davies' quip about the Hearst castle, "It shows what God could do if He had money."

While there we took the campus tour, along with dozens of Prospective Students and Their Families. The dads looked stressed at the thought of paying for all this. The moms looked anxious\giddy trying to ask questions and take notes. The siblings looked sullen and ripe for revolt. The Prospective Students looked like ham and cream- glazed and whipped. So so very glad we never did the six schools in four days thing.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Little Bean's spring break started Friday and goes through this week. Somehow a kindergartener on spring break doesn't sound right to me. Back in my day it was called "easter vaction" or "spring vacation" -- assuming it wasn't cancelled due to using too many "snow days".

That said, the girl has definitely "gone wild", having hidden her Easter chocolate all over the house in little caches and sneaking it whenever me or Mrs. M isn't looking. Hyper doesn't even come close to describing it.

On the maid / house servant thing... my family spent six months in Hong Nong, South Korea, and I went to visit for Christmas for a couple of weeks. They hired a local woman to clean the apartment three times a week and paid her US$3 a day. When they gave her the first weekly pay she thought we had paid her for 3 weeks as the apparent going rate was $3/day. So the next week, when Mom paid her the same amount again (plus an extra $5 for doing such good work), the woman objected. It took a while to convince her that this was okay and not meant as an offence.

She would clean the place top to bottom (it was a fairly large 3-bedroom apartment), did the laundry, washed dishes and even did the insides of the windows. Heck, the woman even ironed our underwear.

gwe... hope all goes well with your Mom. And congrats to your nephew on the AF Academy.

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | March 24, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, melanoma doesn't care what color your skin is, trust me on this one....use your sun block.

Posted by: VintageLady | March 24, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

There are a dozen elephants parading around the streets in DC right now. Reminds me, I haven't been to the circus in a decade. I wunder if there is anything new since then.

Posted by: DandyLion | March 24, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The other day, I saw a note on the bulletin board down by the local gas station. A person was looking for someone to watch a 5 year old. then in smaller letters it noted that they also wanted someone to cook, do laundry and clean. This is not uncommon to see in this area on the boards, but this letter was unusual. It was handwritten and there were spelling errors. First thing I thought was that that person didn't want anyone to watch their children, they wanted a mother.

I always thought of cleaning as a very honest and noble profession. Just like teaching. Its not something I would do well at.

Posted by: dr | March 24, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Just got a call from my son; the Comcast repair guys are at our house! (O Dare I hope? O Dare I breath? Be still, my heart!)

*crossing fingers, toes, T's, swords, the line, words and looks, oceans, purposes, and anything else I have that can be crossed*

*except dressing*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The first job I ever remember wanting when I was young, was that of the woman who came every two weeks to clean our house.

We had to clean up before she came, rooms tidy, beds made and I remember mom using her special teapot for this woman as she drank tea not coffee - something rare in our house.

I clean up as well before our house is cleaned, we apologize if it is too messy.

Posted by: dmd | March 24, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

*and I only called them on January 4th!!!*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

*and I only called them on January 4th!!!*

Posted by: Currmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

*I'm verklempt*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Calm down, Mudge. They've confused you with someone else and have come to disconnect and remove their equipment.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah... but the question is... Mudge.. did you clean up before the Comcast guy came?

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

*curling up into fetal position under my desk after going Postal and murdering 12 federal employees and 9 contractors, using only my beloved red pencil*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Calm down, 'Mudge, editing marks are very rarely fatal.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Even the smaller bunny is bigger than a kangaroo!

Posted by: kbertocci | March 24, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

You've never seen me edit when I'm emotionally distraught, Scotty.

As we used to say in college, "Editing Isn't Pretty."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't do it, Mudge - don't waste a perfectly good pencil.

Posted by: byoolin | March 24, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The only days we ever make the bed are when the housecleaners are coming. Color me one of the husbands bemused at the extra effort involved in paying someone to clean your house. However, I will not begrudge myself the increase in domestic harmony the service provides.

"Cooks Illustrated", mudge? That puts you in a separate league. I bought the last issue after my brother-in-law mentioned it for about the dozenth time. I bought it on the newstand (on a per page cost basis, it compares unfavorably with Consumer Reports) just so I could learn how to use my potato ricer.

And it's only when the Comcast guy leaves that you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, sorry, I veered back to the kit for a second. Trying to catch up on the piles of paperwork after two weeks completely away from the office, just sort of came up for air and was enjoying the photos.

Mudge, you'll be okay. Deep breaths.

GWE, best thoughts for your mom.

Joel, good luck with the college tours and shopping. Hope you like it because this is just the beginning...

Posted by: kbertocci | March 24, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Bertooch, you just know Joel is eating this experience up with a spoon at this juncture. It's the day when she actually goes off to college that he's gonna get all teary-eyed and -- dare I say it? -- verklempt. Majorly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 24, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Calm down, 'Mudge, editing marks are very rarely fatal."

Haven't you ever heard an editor cry, "Kill the story!"

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Justice Dept Approves XM-Sirius Deal

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department approved Sirius Satellite Radio's $5 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio on Monday, saying the deal was unlikely to hurt competition or consumers.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"The Prospective Students looked like ham and cream- glazed and whipped."
Back circa 1967, the cost of going to Princeton wasn't all that bad. I recall the campus and town as lush and adorable, and the biology building seemed to have neat stuff going on inside. No idea why I didn't apply, since for some reason I was into hopelessly aspirational applications.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 24, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, some stories need to be put out of their misery, TBG. Writers, not so much.

And about time on that Sirius/XM merger review...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

... Joel is on the move... with Bill Bryson as a companion no less!

I've just returned from Russia and it is WARMER there than here, in the arctic circle that is Toronto! Ridiculous I say.

Nice photos Joel, hope you got that easter bunny that you are obviously pining for :) Glad to be back and catching up with Achenblog! I was having withdrawal symptoms.

Hope all of you had an enjoyable Easter holiday! Cheers.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | March 24, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Current undergrads at Princeton pay $45,700 per year. More than our first house cost. Three times what we paid to send Kurosawachick to UVA. Their financial aid is said to be very generous. It would have to be.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

....but I don't remember how other kids on the campus tours looked back then. I do recall that an event for applicants at a Distinguished College focused on football. A year or so later, from the distance of my blue-collar ag school in the Endless Mountains, you'd get the impression that the Distinguished places had only admitted aspiring Che Guevaras.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 24, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

My son picked his college based on many factors, but one was that he be neither the best-looking nor the ugliest kid he saw on campus.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, TBG. My view is that SonofG trends toward the good-looking end of the spectrum.

Posted by: slyness | March 24, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Here is a Top Ten list of colleges from a prestigious source. Guess what the criteria was-

1. Brigham Young University
2. Wheaton College
3. College of the Ozarks
4. Grove City College
5. U.S. Naval Academy
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy
7. U.S. Air Force Academy
8. Queens College
9. Wellesley College
10. Calvin College

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse


I would guess the number of students graduating with their virginity intact, but the USNA stats would require some serious qualifiers.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

My other guesses:

1. Size of LDS Student Association (descending order)
2. Size of Gay-Straight Alliance (ascending order)
3. Lowest per capita on-campus alcohol consumption
4. Shortest average male student hair length

Am I getting warm?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Those are the Princeton Review's "Stone Cold Sober" schools. One wonders where West Point went wrong, to be beat out by not only the Navy and Air Force, but even the Coasties. Here are their top party schools with (ahem) my own alma mater leading the way.

1. University of Texas at Austin
2. Penn State University
3. West Virginia University
4. University of Wisconsin-Madison
5. University of Mississippi
6. Ohio University
7. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
8. Louisiana State University
9. University of Iowa
10. University of California, Santa Barbara

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

So my guess number 3 was right on the money. I suspect my other guesses are strong statistical contenders as well. My parents alma mater is U-Mass. The stories are legendary.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm puzzled at the lack of Gators on the party list. Perhaps Gators migrate to their hometowns for the weekend.

UT would seem to be at an advantage. Who in their right mind would want to migrate from Austin to someplace else in Texas for the weekend?

As for my own alma mater, I suspect there's still something about being in the Endless Mountains in midwinter in a town cooler than much of the rest of the state...

UT's ranking reminds me of a colleague who had moved to near Amherst, Mass. His daughter shocked and scandalized the locals by enrolling at UT Austin!

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 24, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

We have two ladies who come to clean every two weeks as well. We tidy up like mad things beforehand, and, I confess, I clean all the toilets the morning of. I just don't think anybody gets paid enough to request that of them!

We also leave them a $20 tip each; a couple of years ago the Globe and Mail sent a reporter to work for a cleaning service and the resulting story made a strong impression on me.

Posted by: Yoki | March 24, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Snort, Yellojkt.

TBG, if he feels he fits in and isn't hopelessly outclassed by Kennedy clones and he's not better looking than most of the girls, that sounds like a happy medium indeed for a healthy social dynamic.

Slyness, there's good-looking and then there's "oh my god!"

I grew up with very attractive siblings who were thin, too. I dreaded family pictures as a result when I was a teenager. The upside, though, is that I have aged better... so far... knock on wood. Gnomish looks last longer.

As for the housekeeper discussion: I've only SEEN one when I've stayed at a hotel. My sister, being a single working mom has invested in occasional house cleaning (1-2 times a month), but she stopped after a while because.... her house was too messy for strangers to see.

Plus, it costs good money.

I'm with dr. I'd be fired overnight as a maid. I can do dishes, I can vacuum, I can rearrange a room, but one thing I can't do is put everything where they should be without feeling the need to drastically change the room just so I feel like I've done something interesting.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 24, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

yello... I once dated a nice young lady while she attended Grove City College. Not to kiss and tell (or brag), but um... not much was intact before or after our time together.

Same went for the few Westminster College girls I became acquainted with back then.

The funny thing about both schools is that they were (and I think still are) dry towns, but their frat houses held some of the wildest parties I've ever been to.

I would add Catholic School girls in there, but I have a feeling that CP and a few others would take major umbrage and beat me to death. ;-)

Tell a kid not to do something and not give a good reason why, there's a reasonably good chance they *will* -- and then some.

Posted by: martooni | March 24, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

My wife went to a college (not on the list) in a dry county where there was plenty of on-campus drinking as well. Particularly in and around the athletic dorm.

Her friends however were very prim and proper. I have this quote second hand, but one classmate had this reaction when told by her doctor that now that she was on contraceptives that there would be no problem with her having sex with her finance: "He's waited this long. He can wait two more months."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Having sex with one's finance is more of a MBA school thing, I thought.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 24, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

yello... "sex with her finance"???

My finance gets its sex from the IRS, credit card companies, oil companies and my bank.

I don't even get to look at the pictures. I just get statements mailed to me about it.

Posted by: martooni | March 24, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Fiance, finance, very funny! Quick hit and run (actually walk-waiting for "S" so we can walk to the beach before dinner). I'd rather have a Bryson book than a chocolate bunny anytime! I had house cleaners before we moved, here it's just too small to justify the expense. I do miss them tho', coming home every other Thursday to a clean house was wonderful. I used to neaten up but not really clean before they came, and through the years they managed to break a few things, nothing valuable, but they never told me, which p'd me off. My own fault for not speaking to them I suppose. Now the house gets done in fits and starts, never really dusty, never totally clean unless company is coming. Ok, he's home so we gotta go get some exercise.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 24, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Is it too late for an SCC? Guess so.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

... I had a house cleaning lady... the house always looked dirty even after she cleaned... then I renovated and got rid of the cleaning lady... and the house looks clean even when it's dirty. New materials and paint---makes all the difference.

Living in Australia got me off the 'clean house mania' that is North America... there is fine dust that blows in from the outback and drifts into the open houses in the city... it is virtually impossible to keep ahead of it... you just have to throw up your hands, and go to the beach, or grab a XXXX and watch Footie instead. That's why Aussies are so laid back :)

When I left the rental unit however, I scrubbed down every surface... the rental agency said they had never seen such a clean unit, ever. Well of course, I AM Canadian! What did they expect.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 24, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

We've got sun and blue sky here, but it's cold. Not Canadian cold, but too cold to feel like it's really spring yet. I read an article that said the trees, etc, are blooming early, but it doesn't seem like it to me.

I would probably feel compelled to straighten up/hide the valuables (ha ha, not that we have any)if I had someone to clean the house. I read where Jackie Kennedy had the sheets on the beds changed 3 times a day - that seems excessive to me, and made her seem less admirable in my eyes. Seems like a lot of extra work for someone else to do.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 24, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I need a cleaning lady. Bad. So bad I'd hire another lady to supervise the cleaning lady.

On a lighter note, someone pilfered my sledgehammer. I just can't make sense of that.

Posted by: Jumper | March 24, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt: sorry on picking up the typo and violating the SCC rules. The joke was there, there was no danger, and I had to take it.

Jumper: >someone pilfered my sledgehammer.

Lets all split up and look for it! I'll go look in that dark old shed with no flashlight.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 24, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Sheets may need to be changed that often, if somebody is bedridden or uh, is having a lot of lie-downs with somebody else.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 24, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

... well, we can maybe guess why Jackie was changing the bed sheets 3x per day... maybe she was concerned about who had been using them while her back was turned... oops! that wasn't nice but it just begs the question no?

Posted by: Miss Toronto | March 24, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

... ha, Wilbrod, you beat me to it :)... glad I'm not the only one thinking about cigars and all.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | March 24, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm rather pleasantly surprised that neither the University of Nude Hampsters nor its affiliate, Plymouth State College, missed the Top 10 Party Schools list...

Then again, there's always a certain pride in 11th and 12th places, I'm sure.

I'll go stick my head waaay up into the attic and see if the sledgehammer's up there.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 24, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

however, maybe we shouldn't be too judgemental... I read a great book by Alan Epstein "As the Romans Do"... here is a link to his site

Leaves one with the impression that a more 'laissez-faire' approach to fidelity may have it's merits. Seems to work for the Romans :)... just a thought. Get the book anyway, it's an entertaining read at the very least.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | March 24, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised they DID miss the list...

*checking the ingredients list on that mocha cake NukeSpouse provided this evening*


Posted by: SCCnuke | March 24, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jumper | March 24, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jumper! I've been working on plans for our summer robotics camp and I can't wait to show the kids that video.

Posted by: frostbitten | March 24, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Ha - no, I almost put in a snarky remark along those lines myself. But I think it had more to do with always having that wonderful clean sheet experience. And taking naps.

Miss Toronto, nice to see ya!

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 24, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

tom toles is great today:

Posted by: L.A. lurker | March 24, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

ML, me too, on the sheets, in the days of no air conditioning, nothing is more blessed than cool, smooth sheets on a hot night. But, unless you are really ill, you changed them yourself, in my house.

I did change a pillowcase often for older Dot, as she would sweat in order to sleep as a baby and toddler: head of red ringlets drenched in the way of little one with a high internal themostat.

Paging Mudge, who has no internet! I can receive but not send email. Send your phone number and I will call you about our sleuthing gig.

Posted by: College Parkian | March 24, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

This might just beat those clean sheets on a hot night. From "In the Heat of the Night," the scene where white trash Delores is accusing Sam the cop of rape-

"Well, you know how hot it's been. - Yeah. Nights, they aren't any better. My brother works nights. He leaves me all alone. This particular night, I go out on the porch. I'm thinking' how nice it'd be if I had a cool fountain drink. Sam comes down our road just like he comes every night passin' like a Lord in that fine, big, shiny car. Only, this time he stops. He's got a nice face, don't you think, Chief?
-So he stopped.-
(softly) He says...
-What? I didn't hear what you said. (louder) He says..."Hey, little girl, you know what the coolest spot in town is? And I said "No, Sam. I guess I don't." And he said..." The cemetery. That's where." "Know why?" "Cos they got all of them big, cool tombstones." "Ever stretch out on a tombstone, Delores?" "Feel all that nice, cool marble all along your body?"

So, if Delores is to be believed (she was lying about the rape), skip the sheets and head to the cemetary.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 24, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - Wow! That's miles beyond anything I've ever seen before. Mightily impressive.

Posted by: Bob S. | March 24, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Bigdog is going to make EVERY soldier with a secret spider fear wig out big time.

It's pretty good, it needs an extra joint or two, I think, because the push test was pretty good, but not impressive. I also count one less joint than most terrestial quadrapeds in fact do have. I always thought if I was going to invent a robot critter I'd add an extra joint near the top for extra spring.

I want to see that crippled robospider jump 10 feet in the air and land on a roof. Let the screaming commence.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 24, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

All the best to your mother, gwe.

House cleaning ladies are difficult to find here because that service is almost solely provided by women from neighbouring countries and they are doing it illegally. Most locals and eligible expats have live-in maids. I have neither. I'm my own maid.

If a live-in maid is lucky and lands in a nice family, she'd get Sundays off (usually a European family). In general, maids are allowed only 2 days off in a month. They wake up at 5am or earlier, work all day, and if they are lucky, their day would end at 8:30pm. If not, 10.30pm, like maids of my neighbour on my right and the neighbour at the back.

In this region, just as there are maids being treated well, there are also many maids who are being abused by their employers. Every so often you'd read about them in the papers. From the kinds of wounds the maids sustained, their employers must have been barking mad and thought they could easily get away with it. Those maids who are being abused are usually first-time maids who didn't know what they could do to get out of the situation. Quitting is usually not an option because it would mean using up the return air ticket before the end of the contract which is 2 years. With a monthly salary of a couple of hundreds local currency they won't have saved up enough for another air ticket if they quit too early. The abuse usually surfaced because the maid's friend/relative/neighbour urged her to run away and report the matter to her embassy.

Posted by: rainforest | March 25, 2008 4:43 AM | Report abuse


The Boodle wouldn't load for awhile... *shudder*

I know plenty of grunts who'd gladly put aside spider fears to have BigDog carry gear for them.

*back-to-the-salt-mines Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 25, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Is the Boodle on vacation this morning? Where is everybody?

Hey, Scotty, looks like you and I are the only ones up.

Posted by: slyness | March 25, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

*yawn* I'm here.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 25, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I watched most of the Frontline program last night on Bush's war. Gave me nightmares of Cheney. I hope I can stay awake for the second half tonight, it was very disturbing and although most of the information wasn't new, it was presented in a way that made me even more frustrated. The clash of egos and politics and the total failure of Powell or Rice to stand up to Cheney/Rumsfeld et al, that resulted in such a tragic mess of a war leaves me beyond angry and sad. It also reaffirms my belief that we need a complete housecleaning in government. None of those people, or anyone associated with them, should ever be allowed near our government again.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | March 25, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Morning boodle,

rainforest brings up some very good points. in Asian and Middle-Eastern countries where the rights of women and/or foreigners are restricted, domestic employees have very few options when they are abused or mistreated. In my childhood environment, middle class Americans living out the last vestiges of colonialism, there was a certain sense of noblesse oblige that prevented the worst abuse.

I caught my Scoutmaster having an affair with his housegirl between the time his wife went back to the States and he did. I have no idea how consensual the relationship was, but there is always a bad element in employer/employee relationships, particularly when you are sharing living quarters.

Maids in the Philippines were technically on duty full-time six days a week. She left Saturday night and returned Monday morning. There was also a lot of down time during the day when everyone was at work or school. Dogs were always well walked because that was an opportunity for the maids to socialize amongst themselves.

My boss, a divorced mother, has an au pair which is working out great for her. The au pair has use of a car and gets days off and vacation. The agencies of au pairs have strict rules about what duties they can and can't do, but some of them seem to be honored more in the breech.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

While I was in England, the BBC was airing a series of 10-minute dramatized clips called "Ten Days To War" with each show emphasizing one aspect of the run-up to the Iraq war. I caught the episode where Tom Conti played the Mexican ambassador that stopped a second UN authorization resolution. Unfortunately, I don't think the episodes are available in the US, but British boodlers (if we have any) could watch them here:

We are finally in the broader media exploring how and why we got where we are. The much more difficult picture is what do we do now, given that we have already screwed the pooch on this one?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse


The BBC link has a lot of other great resources even if us folk across the pond can't watch the actual episodes.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Morning, morning, friends. I overslept this morning. I needed the rest. Mudge, I do hope everything worked out with you and the cable folks. I miss you so much during the weekend.
Vintage Lady, and all.
Thanks for the information about the sun screen, and I know you folks are right. My skin is very bad, and I generally don't put anything on it but soap and water. Anything else seems to break it out. Perhaps I can find something for me.

Ivansmom, during the time I did that, we're were still drinking at different fountains and going to the back door of resturants for food, even sitting in different waiting rooms. And my mom probably took me along to provide some safety for her too, not that I could do anything, but just having me with her might give someone pause.

k-guy, yello, and all, the cleaning stories are appreciated by me because sometimes when mentioning certain situations people go mum, as if, what is she talking about. And the job should not make the person, yet sometimes it does.

And yes, I did toliets, and old habits die hard, I sometimes clean the one at the laundry room. Just to keep my hands in it, if you know what I mean (smile).

greeenwithenvy, prayers for your mom and congrats on the other news. And prayers for you too.

It was so cold here yesterday. I have a class today, so I studied yesterday, and have to finish today. It is suppose to warm up. The peaches are in danger.

Slyness, did they find out what happened with the four people found dead in the apartment? The news yesterday morning was not good.

Scotty and martooni, glad to hear from you. And martooni, the g-girl is on Easter break too, and driving mom crazy, not me.

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

Posted by: cassandra s | March 25, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Just posted a few fotos -- now on the road again, heading to Massachusetts, where I hear they have a few colleges.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 25, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse


Tell son of g, I think he's the cat's meow, and mostly because of that good heart that shines through.

Posted by: cassandra s | March 25, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The journal Bioscience just published an analysis of last year's disastrous "Easter freeze" that wiped out peaches and wreaked havoc on natural vegetation. The authors' concern is that with warming climate, occasional late-season outbursts of Arctic air may be more damaging than in the past.

Here, it was 45 this morning. Must be nasty to the north.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | March 25, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, words like that make a mother's heart sing. Thanks.


Posted by: TBG | March 25, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!! See yopu all over there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 25, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Dave, 31 here in the Carolinas this morning. I did the walk in full winter regalia: earmuffs, fleece-lined gloves, Cuddleduds, heavy jacket. I sure HOPE we don't have a repeat of last year's Easter freeze; it was catastrophic.

Cassandra, I'm with you on toilets. Gotta keep them presentable and smelling okay. Mr. T gave me cleaning service for a wedding present (my housekeeping wasn't up to his standards). It was delightful, although we did have some funny episodes. One week the person cleaned the hardwood floors with my mop and an oil-based cleaner; the next person used the mop on the kitchen floor and it was a mess! I gave the service up when he had to buy the truck, after the fire department moved him to a new position and took his vehicle away. One thing about retirement, now that I'm home and looking at it, I do keep the place cleaner.

Posted by: slyness | March 25, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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