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Nader on Cotton Dust Standards

You may recall that my story on What Does A President Do quoted a Harvard professor saying that Jimmy Carter got entangled in such minutia as approving the use of the White House tennis court: "Roger Porter, who teaches about the American presidency at Harvard, says that Carter also got enmeshed in the parking assignments at the Department of Interior, as well as the crucial issue of federal cotton-dust standards."

Ralph Nader called me on that. True fact. He left a voice message on my machine at work:

"Hey Joel. Ralph Nader. Nice article in the Post. Very few people pay attention to what a president does every day."

Then: "I hope you didn't mean that the crucial issue of cotton dust standards is trivial like parking assignments. That dealt with byssinonis that affected you know, in the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of textile workers." [Nader worked on the issue decades ago. Some web sites cite him as coining the term "brown lung disease." See this.]

Nader had one more quibble:

"Also, you said, consider how little most of us know about the decision make skills of the three people running for president. I beg your pardon Joel? Thanks for your article."

Fair enough. "The three major-party candidates" would have been more precise.

Here, for those wanting more on this, is Carter mentioning his work on cotton dust standards. The question remains, I think, whether Carter got too deep into the details of that issue, which is what Porter was saying. And here's the famous James Fallows piece in the Atlantic in which he insists that, despite Carter's denials, he really did sign off on the tennis court requests.


Next week: I'm off to Australia to do a freelance paleontology story. I'll post photos when I can. Subbing here at the blog for a few days will be Caitlin Gibson and Rachel Manteuffel, who most recently produced the rebuttal to Charlotte Allen's Outlook essay. I've told them they can't write about making big pots of beans, sitting on the porch, fighting crab grass, planting tomatoes or any of that middle-aged guy stuff. But maybe there's not much danger of that.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 2, 2008; 8:07 AM ET
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Next: Off to Exile Island


I had always imagined that Carter's involvement in the tennis court rota was an exasperated attempt to settle a dispute between staffers, slugging it out over who should have this role.

Possibly Hamilton Jerdon (a man who couldn't spell his own name) and Zvig Brksjfiauvbi;af (a man who's name no-one could spell).

Maybe Carter was the only one on the team who could spell the players' names.

DC (in UK)

Posted by: strum | May 2, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Glad Nader is on top of the detail. I admire the fact that as a kid he used to read the Congressional Record and stopped by Our Lady of the Lake University to talk to San Antonians several years ago about all sorts of national issues.

Porter, on the other hand, graduated from BYU--don't expect Porter to know too much about growing cotton in Utah, but I could be wrong. I don't think there are too many cotton fields near present-day Cambridge, either.

Now it'll be up to Joel to determine what constitutes "too deep into the details of the issue." What defines "too deep?"

If our former peanut farmer president knows his cotton and it's grown heavily in the area of the country from which he comes, then we should welcome the involvement, I say.

Posted by: Loomis | May 2, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Joel... look forward to your photos and travel adventure kits!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 2, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

From the link that Joel provided:

I did my part in World War Two
Got wounded for the nation.
Now my lungs are all shot down,
There ain't no compensation.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.

I'm gonna go to work on Monday
One more time, one more time,
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
One more time. The doctor says I smoke too much.
He says that I'm not trying.
He says he don't know what I've got,
But we both know he's lying.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.

I'm gonna go to work on Monday. . .
The last time I went near my job
I thought my lungs were broken.
Chest bound down like iron bands,
I couldn't breathe for choking.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.
The politicians in this state,
They're nothing short of rotten.
They buy us off with fancy words
And sell us out to cotton.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.

The doctor says both lungs are gone,
There ain't no way to shake it.
But I can't live without the job,
Somehow I've got to take it.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.
They tell me I can't work at all,
There ain't no need of trying.
But living like some used up thing
Is just this short of dying.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.

Sitting on my front porch swing,
I'm like someone forgotten.
Head all filled with angry thoughts
And lungs filled up with cotton.
I'm gonna go to work on Monday
one more time.

Posted by: Loomis | May 2, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

*sneezin' from all the dust*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Make sure to tell Caitlin Gibson and Rachel Manteuffel they can publish all the pictures of themselves they want. Preferably without Weingarten in them.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

for yello:

RME: Rolling My Eyes
SMH: Shaking My Head
LOL: sorry, if you don't know this one we may to confiscate your 'puter.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

for Loomis

Queen Latifah is the stage name of Dana Elaine Owens

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Flag Day:

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Whoa, Slovenia and Serbia have a second day of Labour Day

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Those two corrections by Ralph Nader show both his meticulous attention to detail, which is a blessing, and his difficulty capturing the bigger picture, which is not.
Carter was the same way.

There is always a tradeoff between large-scale and small-scale thinking. Too much small-scale and you immobilize yourself in study and indecision. Too much large-scale and you make lazy, bad decisions. We have seen both in recent Presidents.

Of course, with very smart cantankerous people like Ralph Nader (and, rumor has it, Carter) there is always the "gotcha" impulse. This is where an exception to every statement, no matter how trivial that exception might be, is invariably raised to demonstrate one's intelligence.

My teenaged son does this all the time.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 2, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I hope to make it "down under" one day; though with the way air travel costs are going, that may not happen for quite a while. Will be interesting to see how our two new hosts will mesh in with our little boodle crowd. Maybe we can invite them to a BPH?

Posted by: ebtnut | May 2, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I think we have a perfect example of two extremes in the presidential leadership styles of Carter and Dubya. One was hand-wringing and doomsaying in the midst of a recession we worked our way out of very neatly, thank you. The other chuckles and happy talks us into the economic mess we are in now.

I keep walking the cat back to figure out who is really responsible for the Iraq war. In the past I have fingered either Monica Lewinsky or Ralph Nader (another infamous confuser of forests and trees).

Perhaps it goes all the way back to Carter's micro-management of the aborted hostage rescue mission that emboldened the current crop of terrorists we are facing. Who knows?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'll stop now and go read the Kit...

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

So, how did it turn out--the conflict between the National Cotton Council (Cotton--the fabric of our lives) and OSHA? Perhaps Nader knows, and would be willing to share? Joel?

Use Joel's link to see the transcript that shows Carter handling questions from the press about a myriad of issues, including the cotton standard. Then just dwell on this phrase from opur current president for a moment, "We're gonna smoke 'em out."

Farmers grew a lot of cotton around Bakersfield when I was a kid. I called all the cousins around 2000-2001 to see who might be displaying symptoms of our nuclear family's shared genetic disorder. I remember one cousin speaking fondly of how when she was a child, when they visited our humble Bakersfield bungalow, my father drove them out to a field so that they could touch an actual cotton boll. I was so surprised that she was touched by this and had stored this memory for decades.

Posted by: Loomis | May 2, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

May 4-10 is Emergency Preparedness week. The week that makes all English language editors cringe.

"You're on your own for the first 72 hours buddy."

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 2, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I was inspired by Joel's upcoming trip (does the other photographer in the family get to go on this one? Probably not. Darn it all). Having nothing of yarny interest to talk about today, I blogged about rocks. The boodle may find the photos interesting.

Cotton dust is like grain dust, and it can and did kill.

Grain dust has been known to blow things up. Does anybody know if cotton dust had the explosive potential of grain dust?

Posted by: dr | May 2, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone - as I have mentioned, I am going on a "mini rotation" to another facility until late June. This is a great opportunity for me, but will require a lot more time dealing with other people and attending meetings. Fewer opportunities to do multitasking, I fear. So my presence here will probably be sporadic at best, although I will be sure to keep up in the PM hours if nothing else.

Yes, it is the highest form of egotism that anyone would care, but I wanted everyone to know lest it was suspected that I had been abducted by Space Aliens again.

So have a good weekend. And I hope everyone shows Ms. Gibson and Ms. Manteuffel all that is good about the Achenblog.


Posted by: RD Padouk | May 2, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The best summary of that rather long Fallows article is this:

"I came to think that Carter believes fifty things, but no one thing. He holds explicit, thorough positions on every issue under the sun, but he has no large view of the relations between them, no line indicating which goals (reducing unemployment? human rights?) will take precedence over which (inflation control? a SALT treaty?) when the goals conflict."

And RD, I missed noticing the first time you were abducted by aliens. I just thought that was a cover story the guys with black helicopters put out.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan."

Thank goodness I'm exempt.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hello Everyone! It's been a long time. 4 months of work with out a computer long. The horror, the shame. But now that I have internet at work again I can finally do more than lurk in the late evenings. Yay.

JA don't pet the Koala bears. They have a mean bite.

Posted by: Kerric | May 2, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

dr, it is my understanding that almost any organic dust in air suspension can be explosive.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Popcorn butter flavoring dust is also a serious workplace health issue.

Perhaps some ambitious White House press correspondent can quiz Dubya on this issue at the next press conference.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"You're on your own for the first 72 hours buddy."]

You know, I think that's also the standard motto for dealing with a zombie invasion. :)

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | May 2, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

RD padouk, keep on the good fight against the forces of Evil, internal or external to your shop...

dr, yes cotton dust is a readily combustible material. Like powdered sugar, flour or grain dust it burns quickly generating a quickly expanding volume of gas. When the gas mixture is confined in a building the building has to expand quickly as well or else.
Hence the buildings blowing up, silos rocketing in the sky...
An idiot making a flour burning demonstration:

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 2, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

And it very thoughtful of Nader to make sure that the candidacy of Chuck Baldwin does not go forgotten.

A healthy seven-party system is vital to the health of our political system.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

SCC better untangle that one

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Very cool video, shrieking.. thanks! Flour power!

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If anyone is interested, has an interesting story this morning on royal chief head of the Moonies, quite intimate apparently with the Bush family, who seems to have claimed more than once: "God D a m n America". Well, folks, I don't know about you, but I haven't yet seen that in the Post or any other MSM organization. Cool, eh? It's okay for white repubs to denounce this country, and even an Asian, but not a black guy. McCain certainly went out of his way to cozy up to Falwell and Robertson and *he's* running for President -- at least Dionne has an op-ed piece on that today.

Feeling onerously cranky today. And with good reason, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 2, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Nevertheless, I am *thrilled* to pieces that my beloved Red Wings demolished the Colorado Avalanche in 4 straight games. And, *finally* my Pistons got their act together and finished off the 76ers. Next is Orlando -- hey, Snukkie, can I cross my fingers and do Grover-waves at the same time? Just askin'.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 2, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

That is what I thought, too omni.

Everyone here knows how greatly I admire Mr. Carter. Sometimes, you need someone who sees the trees. If all a leader ever sees is the forest, it is easy to forget that without each individual tree, there would be no forest.

Carter saw the big picture, but understood that you cannot fix the big picture without making all the little pictures work.

Posted by: dr | May 2, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Old Boodle business - Pat, I didn't figure out that you are DandyLion. Someone a few Boodles ago mentioned it. I was amazed.

Boko, you out there?

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 2, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning again, Boodle. Just rolled into the office after my doctor appointment-- and by a not-very-pleasant coincidence, Cassandra, I have a MRSA infection in my left leg even as I write this. It kicked in about 10 days ago, and I had my leg check-up Monday, when they took a culture of it and put me on Augmenten, a jacked-up version of amoxicillin (amoxicillin on steroids, as it were). The pills had no effect, and my leg hurts (burns and stings) likecrazy. When I went back this morning they re-wrapped it and switched me to an antibiotic called bactrin, which works better on MRSA. Two things you immediately need to know: hand-washing is vitally important to prevent the spread. Use surgical gloves when touching the patient, etc. Treat it as being very contagious upon contact (but it is not airborne with a very few minor exceptions such as burn wards of hospitals).

In my case, the MRSA has also given me a little bit of cellulitis in my leg, which hurts like crazy. I've already had three doses of cellulitis in my right leg in the last four years, and three or four staph infections. This is my second bout of MRSA. So be careful with it and wash your hands a lot, and maybe use some hand sanitizer, too. And instead of having one leg bandaged from toes to knee, I now have both legs bandaged from toes to knee: I am King Tut from the patellas southward.

Also, you raised the question of why do we seem to think only white women are beautiful. I don't think most of us on the boodle remotely think that; I know I sure as heck don't. Although Halle Berry does indeed knock my socks off, the black woman for whom I would crawl on my stomach over broken glass for is Sanaa Lathan. I loved her in "Something New" (with Simon Baker), saw it back-to-back on TV recently. She's a terrific actress, in part because her face is so expressive; she can show things just with her expressions most actresses can't come close to. So, yeah, I feel about Sanaa Lathan the way Padouk does over his redheads. I might even rank her right next Evangeline Lilly, and you *know* how I feel about EL. And I think Latifah has a terrific face, too (and I like her personality).

I've always thought Angela Bassett, Gloria Reuben and Rosario Dawson are terrific, and going back a ways, I always liked Earth Kitt, Diahan Carroll, and Ruby Dee a lot. I think Whitney Houston is dynamit-looking (althoguh she carries a bit too much baggage around with her). I've even harbored a few impure thoughts about Tina Turner (Have you ever seen "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome"?) from time to time.

Now, for my lists of fav Asian and Hispanic women... (I have three kids adopted from Korean in part because a good many Asian women knock my socks off, too.)

Let's see: Ming-Na, Lucy Liu, Bingbing Li, France Nuyen (she played "Liat" in the first "South Pacific" movie, now there was a girl/woman who buckled my knees), Miyoski Umeki ("Flower Drum Song and "Sayonara") and of course Kristi Yamaguchi.

So yeah, I'm definitely an equal opportunity dirty old man, and I suspect I am not alone on this Boodle.

Now, back to Sanaa Lathan...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Just be careful no ships are nearby, firsttimeblogger.

Don't want anyone mistakenly seeing semaphore or anything.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

OK, having been outed I'll comment on Cassandra's backboodle question on why we think only white women are beautiful. Having not seen a woman for almost 18 years, I've reached the conclusion that ALL women are beautiful, or at least the ones I've met in the past 2 decades. Maybe the question should be, Why is it primarily white women who are marketed for sex appeal? Don't know, but I do know that Brook White got drummed off AI on Wednesday, and rightfully so.

Posted by: DandyLion | May 2, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, Mudge. I first became aware of Sanaa when I saw AVP. Very strong intelligent character. Knocked my socks off.

Then she did a stint on Nip/Tuck. Not as likable a character there, but still strong and smart.

Hot hot hot.

And yeah, my list of women of color who rock my boat is easily as long as my list of whities.

But tell me, what do you think of Bai Ling...teehee...just kidding...but she does make laugh a lot without trying to.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget RuPaul. Oh wait. Never mind.

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

And Sanaa is in the 2008 version of 'Raisin in the Sun'. Which I intend to see as soon as it comes out on DVD. She has another three movies coming out soon, so we're in for a treat.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I like the way you think, er, um, wait, "never mind" it is.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

All women are the same color on the inside.

And it's a lovely color, IMHO.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

DandyLion, I agree that you've got the question framed right. But then there's also the issue of the exoticization of women of color, maybe not so much African American women, but certainly Asian, Latin American, African. Ooh, foreign, different, mysterious... I suppose if the goal is to be marketed for sex appeal, that could be seen as a plus, but it's still a narrow little box to be put into.

Posted by: bia | May 2, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Extinct Australian megafauna?

While Joel's gone, we'll have to redesign his household's kitchen.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 2, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Queen Latifah has much more than a beautiful face, Mudge!

Am I wrong in believing all the other beautiful black women mentioned here fall into the skinnier white-is-beautiful paradigm? How about all the underaged young women (which does get ickier than many men here seem to realize).

Posted by: CC | May 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul has a new book out and he looks pretty hot. Wrong Paul? Never mind.

Posted by: Pop Socket | May 2, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Never saw Bai Ling in anything, omni, but I Goggled her and saw her wiki phot. Doesn't do much for me. But it reminded me of another Asian I like a lot, but I can't think of her name: she was one of the five women on "The View" in its early days. Tended to be quieter than the rest, and also a bit of a semi-hippy/different drummer type, IIRC.

And I never saw AvsP, so I missed Sanaa in that; never watched "Nip/Tuck" either. I saw her in "Love & Basketball" with Omar Epps, and liked her, but just didn't buy their chemistry; and his character was a jerk anyway. Saw her in "Brown Sugar" with Taye Diggs, whom I liked, but didn't think there was much chemistry there either. The one where the chemistry was smokin' was "Something New." And I liked the irony of that one where *she* was the one who wouldn't date a white guy, while it was the white guy (Simon Baker), who didn't care a wiff about race. And she played the semi-spoiled debutante-type very well, I thought (considering she was a jock in L & B).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Mudge; Goggled her?

Posted by: DandyLion | May 2, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

There's Halle Berry--as you have been discussing, then there's Harriet Berry. Excerpts from am oral history program, presented as an exhibit at the Oldham Art Gallery in Lancashire, England (article written by Alison Marchant, published by University of Nebraska Press)--you do know about how England thrived on cotton imports from the South... :

Harriet Berry is one of many elderly women I interviewed in Oldham who still suffers from the poor working conditions after retirement. Berry worked in the cotton mills from 1923-1937, and, like many mill workers who suffered ill health resulting from industry conditions, she received no compensation: My job was putting raw cotton in the back of the roller so that it comes out as a coil. It was called "feeding the devil," and I got bysinnosis. The damage was already done. I had chronic bronchitis at seventeen, and I had to go into the hospital because they thought I had consumption.

The union just brought me small food parcels when I had this poisoning. (I don't have much faith in unions.) It's the dust that did it. I could feel the dust going up my nose and in my throat. There were big lumps of dust always flying about. Breathing problems were common; a lot of people I worked with, early on, got bysinnosis. I didn't get compensation because my doctor first identified it as bronchitis. But apart from anything else, it gives you a bad heart. I collapsed last Wednesday, and the nurse said I could collapse anytime because my heart is under strain and is not strong enough to help my circulation. I had to be tested in Manchester, and they asked me to blow [into a measure]. But I couldn't blow into it at all!"

Maria Maksymowych was born in the Ukraine in 1930. She has worked in the cotton industry since 1955:

I'm a ring spinner. I've been doing my job for thirty-six years, ring spinning. Some people get bysinnosis. When you work for a long time in the mill you have to watch yourself. You always have to wash your hands before you have your meals, wash your mouth out, you have to look after yourself. You have an x-ray every five years, I think. They used to come to the mill in the yard, a special mobile x-ray we used to have so you knew whether you got it or not.

The machinery makes a lot of noise and you have to wear earplugs, because it does affect your hearing if you don't wear them. It's five years since they asked me to wear them. Before we didn't know, nobody was bothering about hearing aid, but now they do.

Bysinnosis and deafness are two common conditions for women who worked in the cotton industry. In addition, "kissing the shuttle," or threading the shuttle, often caused mill workers to lose their teeth from sucking in the dirt, dust, and oil along with the thread. Ingrid Wilson explained that the oil used in the cotton industry caused skin cancer.

Posted by: Loomis | May 2, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, I also *did* say I liked Latifah's personality, CC. And I think she's a good actress. And I like her singing when she'
s Dana Owens.

I don't think I agree about the "white paradigm," nor do I quite understand the reference to the younger ones. But I've gone on record here before about my (equal) admiration for "older" women: Sela Ward has always knocked my socks off, as has Kate Nelligan, Kristin Scott-Thomas, and some others. In college in the late 60s I read Stephen Vizinczey's novel "In Praise of Older Women," which changed my outlook considerably ever since.

Oh, and yes, SL was very good in "Raisin in the Sun."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Goggled": the combination of Googled and ogled.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I can touch the width or breadth of mudge's, for lack of a better phrase, spank bank, but I will concur that Rosario Dawson turns my crank. And Eartha Kitt was my favorite Catwoman. Robin Givans rocked 'Head of the Class' at about the same time that Holly Robinson was the eye candy for the guys on the rather hunk heavy '21 Jump Street.'

In the world of music, the bootylicious Beyonce is getting a run for her money from Mya and others. I don't follow the hip-hop world, but they seem to just crank out girls that can hit high-C and shake their (often quite round) rumps.

I'm too young to remember many of the women mentioned in the Asian category, but since I married the only Vietnamese girl in my school I think I can get a pass. While many Asian women in the movies seem to be Taiwanese or Hong Kong transplants, we have plenty of home grown talent as well. I once saw an ice show that featured both Kristi Yamaguchi and Debbie Thomas. It was almost enough to make me forget Katarina Witt's red catsuit. Almost. Grace Park from BSG has done Playboy. However, I draw the line at Sandra Oh. She looks like she ran into a truck.

Don't forget the South Asians. Bollywood has many beauties. There used to be a farmer's market in Dekalb County Georgia where most of the clerks were beautiful young Indian women. It was enough to give me a sari fetish.

And BBW girls are a growth market, so to speak. Has anyone mentioned Camryn Manheim yet? While not quite a Lady Bryant spokesmodel, I like Janeane Garofalo when she has a little more meat on her bones. I wish there were more women built for comfort on the big screen.

And while I joke a lot about tweener stars, I am able to mentally separate the difference between a cute child star an a real woman. That said, the first time I found out how young Scarlett Johansson was, I felt a bit skeevy. And that takes some doing.

See what you started, Cassandra?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks for making my point.

Underage young women are sighed over frequently here. Here, ogle this picture! What a hottie! As someone who was offered jobs, apartments, money, all by older men, it's really creepy and there's plenty of it around here. They're not even laughing with you, they're thinking "ew."

Are any of the older women you mentioned built like Queen Latifah? How does is calling her face as beautiful different from calling the other women "just" beautiful, no differentiation?

Posted by: CC | May 2, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're thinking of Lisa Ling. She was also my favorite co-host on 'The View'.

The comment about Bai Ling was a joke of course. I think she mostly plays minor roles on forgetable movies that go straight to cable or DVD. I can't remember anything I might have seen her in. She's sort of famous for being famous, so unless you frequent the Fugly blog or clebritology you wouldn't have heard of her. The thing about her I like is she's so wacky, with an outrageous fashion sense.

In other news, I just found out they made a movie out of "Shanghai Baby". The book I was insanely crazy about last year.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

oops, didn't finish...

Bai Ling plays the lead. I'll probably remember her in this one if I can rent it from the video store.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

One more note: You have seen her before I'm sure. She plays a local on "Lost", named Achara in the episode "Stranger in a Strange Land".

Enough boodle hogging...time for a litlle walk.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

This is all danger territory. I'm not going there. I'm not saying anything about it. We each have our own standards of interest (or should I say 'interest'?), and this doesn't seem like a terribly appropriate forum to present and discuss them. There is another published Forum that addresses such topics...

I am looking forward to hearing about Australian paleontology. What will it be? Giant carnivorous kangaroos? Obscure extinct crocodiles? Stromatolites? Evidence of the earliest microbes? All these things, and more, have come out of Australian paleontology.

As to the guest bloggers: I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say. I have now read three pieces by Rachel Manteuffel, and she's funny and perceptive. The work of Cailin Gibson, I'm not very familiar with.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 2, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Cailin"? Obviously, I meant Caitlin.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 2, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse


I think you're barking up the wrong tree concerning this forum in particular. A lot of cultural standards of beauty and attractiveness are hardwired to favor the young and firm. However, just yesterday we were getting into an eye-gouging match over Renee Russo and Julianne Moore, neither of whom (did I get that right mudge) are spring chickens. And don't even get me started on the allures of Helen Mirren. Since many of us here are men of certain age, we qualify as age indifferent lechers.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of politics...

Some folks take exception to McCain even running for president, since they think he wasn't born in this country.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 2, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I want to hear from the ladies. I'm tired of hearing my wife heaving sighs every time she sees a picture of George Clooney or Sting. Her standard reflex is "He just gets better with age." A hard-wired age-related prejudice that swing the other way in women.

I will take WetBlanketTim's suggestion and go no further with this topic.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Since McCain was born in a US possession to US citizens, I think they don't have much of an argument. You would otherwise be ruling ineligible for highest office thousands of citizens born to parents in the military serving overseas.

Another argument is that Hillary can't run because even though women have suffrage, the Constitution uses the masculine pronoun exclusively when describing the presidency.

Put these cranks in the "I don't have to pay taxes" bin of people who misread loopholes.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I didn't thnik it was that bad of a topic and I also didn't think that you gentlemen were being too lecherous about it. I don't really believe that our esteemed boodlers are prowling internet chat rooms for underage flesh. They post comments here at all hours, when would they prowl? And if they did, I feel confident in Chris Hansen's ability to catch them ("What are you doing here? Did you bring the condoms and the Mike's Hard Lemonade?")

Kudos to CC for making some upstanding men feel like perverts for expressing their opinions. If it offends you, nobody's making you read it, and all computers have an "off" switch.

Posted by: Gomer | May 2, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I have long thought men getter better with age, I think my husband is a good example of this.

I am still struggling with Rene Russo being a woman of age - I think she is about my age - I AM NOT A WOMAN OF AGE.

Stomping my foot and walking away :-)

Posted by: dmd | May 2, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you are...(staring and leering as she walks away) ;)

Posted by: Gomer | May 2, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree the ogling reaches all ages, but ogling *is* kind of skeevy if done too much. By anyone.

And yello... you got the "neither of whom" right, but it should have been "is" instead of "are."

"...Renee Russo and Julianne Moore, neither of whom is a spring chicken."

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Gomer... I do love your 2:50 post.

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the welcome, Gomer! I'm still not getting the impression that the men here are getting it.

Again, are any of the older women you mentioned built like Queen Latifah? How does is calling her face as beautiful different from calling the other women "just" beautiful, no differentiation?

Can someone do a poll on whether the women of the Boodle roll their eyes when the ogling begins?

Posted by: CC | May 2, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't knock yello's hard lemonade. You don't need to be an underage female drinker to appreciate a sweeter malt beverage:

I'm going to a drink real soon here.

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

SCC: I'm going to NEED a drink real soon here.

Thus proving my point.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

What can I say? I'm a prude.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 2, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, I have gotten carried away with myself and walked down this road before, and nearly lost a good job as a result of it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 2, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Rene Russo: 54
Julianne Moore: 47

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Both older than me and younger that Maureen Dowd.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | May 2, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

You're still not getting it all, omni. Read further back.

Posted by: CC | May 2, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

CC, I can't seem to remember any men here ogling underaged women. Unless you count my ogling of Nancy Drew, who isn't even real. If that's one you're refering to then remember this: in that fantasy world I was the same age as she. Also I never made any comment about her hotness.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to say it depends on my mood whether the eyes roll or not. Usually it just means faster scrolling... I'll give the guys their little bit of ogling if they remember that ogling shouldn't be obvious. For example... I know my husband looks, but I've never actually seen him do it in the 25 years we've been together.

I agree with CC that the mention of Queen Latifah's face was a bit puzzling. I was glad to see that my son looked at those pictures that Gene W linked to of the "ideal" movie star body and said "Ew... too thin."

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is it I don't get. My 3:12 post was simply in response to yello's 2:15. On this boodle I only mention the hotness of one women. Thiry-six is not underaged.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

cc-So is it weight prejudice or sexism you see? I'd probably rise in defense of my brother boodlers either way, just need to know what for.

Don't want to go on and on about mayoral stuff, but Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybek is hot-but unfortunately we talked long enough yesterday that I saw how smart he is. This skews my hotness meter, not to the point where sitcom pairings of unattractive men with hot women make sense, but brains, wit, and charm can turn an 8 into a 10.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 2, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Way too many people seem to occasionally forget that this blog started life as the humor blog too full of itself to bother being funny. A certain amount of licentiousness can be dismissed as comic exaggeration. Think of Weingarten's dirty old man schtick.

I think two things might have pushed this too far: As a defense of not being pan-cultural enough in our standards of beauty some of us (and by 'us' I mean myself exclusively) may have tried to defend ourselves by being overly comprehensive so as to avoid accusations of tokenism.

I also used a vulgar expression that I first heard while watching the PG-13 rated movie "Ten Things I Hate About You" starring the very talented and then underage Julia Stiles. The phrase was in reference to her character by another teenage character as to to her unavailability as a romantic partner. A google of the phrase and the movie title should take you to the exact quote.

I hope my description has been demure enough to not offen anyone.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

It was neither my responsibility nor my intent to welcome you, CC. We are all free to come to or to leave this imaginary place. My intent was to give sarcastic props for your post making the men in this boodle feel like pervs for expressing their love for the many and varied shapes and colors of the better half of the human species. I'm pretty sure the guys "get" your point, just as I'm pretty sure you "got" mine without the use of this little primer I just penned.

Posted by: Gomer | May 2, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

SCC: offend

And if we are talking hot politicians, Governor Martin O'Malley is conspicuously prone to wearing black shirts that are a little too small and distinctly lacking sleeves so as to show off the benefits of his rigorous weight training regimen when he performs with his faux-Celtic rock band. Some may even say that he is getting better with age.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

If any of us guys here were truly sexist or truly offensive to ladies, two things would have happened: (1) they'd have called us on it in a New York second (you think LL, CP, TBG, Yoki, DMD, dr, PLS, Mo, Maggie O, Raysmom, Ivansmom, or LA Lurker would have sat still or put up with that kinda behavior from us for one minute? You sure don't them very well, I'll tell you that much); (2) the ladies wouldn't have hung around with us if we were like that; they'd have been outta here months ago.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Whenever I see a particularly mismatched or aesthetically unique couple, I say that "Love comes in all sizes, shapes, and colors."

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I say "everyone's the same height when they're horizontal."

Posted by: frostbitten | May 2, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I will also defend the guys here because we were all specifically asked about our standards of beauty. We can't blame the guys because the enthusiastically responded.

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Cassandra was thinking the same thing I did the other day when looking at the Mo MoDo blog with all those pictures...

"Who is that foxy black lady with the striking grey hair, and why didn't Yello even think to label who those people were?"

I saw her on the Colbert show on Wednesday and she's Donna Brazile, a superdelegate, who had a humorous line... "I'm a woman so I like Hillary, I'm black so I like Obama, I'm grumpy so I like McCain."

So, Yello-- label all the ladies you snap pictures of, and Cassandra'll never have to wonder how you could possibly overlook such a babe again.

Thank god for Colbert for NOT overlooking her by any means.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

To digress slightly. The phrase I mentioned from "Ten Things..." was made in reference to Julia Stiles's character's YOUNGER sister, upping the ewwww factor. Here is the line leading up to it in context. A young teenage male has been badly brushed off by the snobby campus queen bee:

"What's there, is a snotty little princess wearing a strategically planned sun dress to make guys like us realize that we can never touch her and guys like Joey realize that they want to.
She, my friend, is what we will spend the rest of our lives not having."

The plot is a loosely updated version of 'The Taming of the Shrew' to the point of naming the female leads Kat and Bianca. In addition to Julia Stiles, it launched the career of the late Heath Ledger.

That movie is a classic on the mores and pitfalls of teenage romance worthy of being an heir to the John Hughes film tradition. Do not rashly dismiss the universality of a good teen romantic comedy. Let me someday explain the father/son bonding potential of watching "Bring It On" together.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Five hours later, but who's counting --

Welcome back, Kerric! I'm not sure how you survived your computer-less existence, but I'm glad you did.

Posted by: bia | May 2, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

My blog entry at Dowd Report only discussed the on-air comments of Maureen Dowd and as such didn't merit the mention of Donna Brazile.

If you were to read the behind the scenes report by Dowd Report contributor yellojkt, you will note that Ms. Brazile gets mentioned three times:

"A couple of minutes before the end of the segment, out walked the full Roundtable Panel which included George Will, Donna Brazile, Maureen Dowd, and Matthew Dowd (no relation as far as I know)."

"While I expected [Dowd] to be short, she seemed just a little more full-figured than I expected, not that she was anywhere close to Donna Brazile territory."

"Donna Brazile was still animatedly discussing Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy."

I must say that Donna Brazile's make-up was far more flattering under the scrutiny of the high definition cameras than that of the rather pale Dowd.

None of the group pictures on the Flickr group identify the individual members of "The Panel." I will correct that.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | May 2, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

tonight's triple feature:

'Sweeney Todd' (Have serious man crush on Johnny Depp, he's so HOT)

'And, There You Are' (about a gay man who dates straight men)

'27 Dresses' (lotta Snark on the CBlog for Katherine Heigl, but I love KH)

Plus she's hot, so there, I said it again. Though she is too young for me, I'm pretty sure twenty-nine is not underaged.

OK, now I'm just being childish. Maybe she's not too young for me on an emotional level though. Yep, I'm actually to young for her.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Discussing who's hot and who's not is one of those things that can get offensive if it goes too far or too long. You know, it starts out being fun, and then isn't anymore. I was kind of taken aback by Mudge's comment about Queen Latifah, too. But it is true he and others were responding to Cassandra's question, so...I was thinking about throwing out my list of guys, but decided not to prolong it. I tend to skip over these discussions pretty quickly. CC, don't get offended, stick around. Ya gotta have a thick skin to Boodle (no judgement on whether that's hot or not).

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 2, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, alright, I'll, um, "bite" -- Yeah, Clooney is a hottie alright, and he's even more so as he's put some age on him.

I was always swooning in yesteryear over Yul Brynner -- he had the absolutely perfect head for being bald. And there was something knee-tingling (and other places, too, btw) about his gaze.

I will admit that I am incredibly attracted to black men (which I did not, btw, admit to my father while he was alive, as he would have killed me). But I find that I am completely captured by their ears and eyebrows -- sounds very funny in a fetishy kind of way, but there we are. This is all generally speaking, mind you, but there are a number of incredibly gorgeous men out there and I have to watch out for the whiplash coefficient as I encounter them.

Well, I'm essentially too old now for anything but the fantasy, so I shall continue to cling to that for dear life. Ah, but, . . . . . .

As a previous boodler directed to Cassandra -- see what you did???? Kinda funny, really.

Enjoy the weekend, all.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 2, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

What it really is (today's boodling, I mean) is an indication of the Boodle's collective lack of interest in Ralph Nader. Not that we ever hesitate to go off-kit, but dust of various kinds got more discussion than Nader did. And yes, Cassandra asked, but only in passing, and on the last kit; interesting that the topic stuck around all day. I say it was all just an exercise in Nader-avoidance.

Posted by: bia | May 2, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I think "attractive" covers a lot of diversity, based on my conversations with guys who they really find hot.

Some people I wouldn't have given a second look at as "hot", they found hot.

Chaçun à son goût.

And I'm not too surprised by Mudge's polite comment. Some adore Valkyries, others don't... and Queen Latifah is 5 feet 10. She'd unmask my gnomedom in no time flat just by standing next to me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

CC, I second mostlylurking's motion that you stick around. After all, you are on the elite SSAo15 list. Plus, the more the merrier, everyone here will agree. There are a few boodlers who have left for good that we all miss terribly, just as we would you.

And if I ever do offend, please do call me on it.

But just please bare in mind, I am one of the resident smart alecks. Many of my posts are supposed to be humorous.

The rest informative.

Back when I had three handles and could keep them straight for the nature of the post, I was:

omnigood: informative and talkative (typeative?)
omnigoof: humorous (or at least trying)
omnibad: pretending to be mean or snarky

Then for some reason I kept mixing 'em up, and so just switched to omni for good (hehe).

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Running (limping) for the bus. Everybody have a good weekend.

Cassandra, be careful around that MRSA.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I remember that omni.

If we are still talking hawtness, I'm going to posit that any scale of same, must include voice and curling. Then I can include David McCullough, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Pete Fenson and Thomas Ulsrud.

Posted by: dr | May 2, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon , you too.

Posted by: dr | May 2, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, never take the boodle seriously. Egads, go to Superfrenchie's blog for serious discussion. It's actually rather excellent for what it is.

Personally (no offense, Mudge) but I don't really want to waste the energy worrying if any boodlers' personal turn-ons are PC as long as they don't fondle Wilbrodog inappropriately.

Although I suspect Wilbrodog has commited more sexual harrassment than any of the people at the BPH have.

(Sorry Scottynuke, I really never knew his nose was over there.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Queen Latifah is a little sassier than I like my women. Don't ask me the distinction between her and Tina Fey who I adore. I can't put my finger on it. Doesn't make me racist, sexist, heightist, or anti-royalty. Sue me.

Someone earlier mentioned the movie "Brown Sugar" which I saw in the theaters. It's a very sweet movie with a moving realistic if idealized plotline. Much better than many Julia Roberts movies I have had to endure.

In addition to Queen Latifah, it has a way too good looking cast. But then don't most movies? That's why it's Hollywood. The people that play the "ugly duckling" characters in movies would be in the top decile of attractiveness in any realistic scenario.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "The people WHO play..."

And I had been doing so well lately.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess that means Joan Rivers and Roseanne Barr aren't on your crush list, yello. Nor Janeane Garofalo, either?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Grace Jones.

What, me worry?

Posted by: Jumper | May 2, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Oops, almost forgot:

Posted by: Jumper | May 2, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I already covered Garafalo:

"I like Janeane Garofalo when she has a little more meat on her bones."

Keep up. Joan Rivers, no. Roseanne is complicated.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

speaking of hawt men, NOT:

You might want to close your eyes before clicking on that link. I have no idea if it is SFW (Safe For Work).

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, huge aureoles on that fella...

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Janeane is hot cause she's a smart funny liberal. Plus, she's really cute, and so yes, she's hot. One the few I would put on I my list of 'who would you most like to have lunch with'. Or if I got lucky, brunch.

Joan has a grating voice and is plastic looking. Her daughter shares almost all the pre plastic features and I find her attractive, and her boobs were just fine pre-implants (OK that's TMI)

For me, Roseanne isn't complicated, so much as it is a list.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I told you to close your eyes.

Boodle faxing some eye bleach, STAT.

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I happen to like redheads. Yet, I am married to a Germanic brunette with big brown eyes. Do I feel short-changed? Not for a second. We do not pick our mates out of a face book. Other things, like personality, values, and simple proximity matter much, much more.

Likewise, my wife grew up lusting over tall rugged men. So, you know, she got exactly what she wanted. (If only.) No, she ended up with a man of average height with a questionable jawline and a permanent 5 o'clock shadow. And does she feel cheated? Well, it depends if I forget to do the dishes or not.

The point is, both men and women have certain innate ideals for physical attractiveness. But they are invariably swamped by other more important and relevant factors. So what does it matter unless you have nothing else to offer but your looks?

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 2, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

... you are right on the mark RD... I must admit that I find certain middle aged balding men with grey hair and intelligence, EXTREMELY hot!!! really rather weird but there you have it. I find myself lusting after them like there is no tomorrow...

Okay, time to look up some photos of Zinedine Zidane to get my fix... although he's not quite middle aged... but he's on his way... yowza!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 2, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Dropping in briefly, staying off the topic of Ralph Nader (right, bia!). Howdy Kerric. Howdy CC. Howdy Wheezy from yesterday and anyone else I forgot who's recently dropped in.

I've enjoyed reading this conversation because it isn't prurient; it is a bunch of people I feel I know in an imaginary way, discussing the ways in which they view women (not all these posters were men). I'm kind of fascinated. And I think it was a healthy conversation because it was sparked by the question about standards of beauty. They appear pretty broad here (so to speak) (sorry).

CC, I understand what you mean about the creepy factor but I'm not there yet with this Boodle. That could be because I haven't had the kind of experiences you described, which would make me more sensitive to it - the same thing I often say discussing race (easy for me to be colorblind; easy for me to not take offense at giggly talk about women).

Off to the theater yet again. Six more shows.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 2, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Well said, RD. Unfortunately it does often feel that looks override everything else, that we forget that attitude and rapport and everything else in the package can strongly affect the attractiveness meter.

(As well as the effect of pheromones, if scientists are to be believed...)

Of course, as Frostbitten mentioned, sometimes conversation is a powerful turn-on.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

In terms of male beauty and hawtness, I have only one thing to say.

Sean Connery

We've had the discussion.

Posted by: slyness | May 2, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Omni, speaking of a guy who should never take his shirt off on the beach (or the sands)...;_ylt=AjyvRSJGNhrBaDjoVdNb6VwR.3QA

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Without naming names (or ages), I will also affirm that balding men can be quite hawt as well.

(But never guys with comb-overs. You have been warned.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

What RD P said.

To quote Bugs Bunny:

"Ain't I a stinker"

Posted by: omni | May 2, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

RD said : The point is, both men and women have certain innate ideals for physical attractiveness. But they are invariably swamped by other more important and relevant factors.

My Swedish friend was on a tennis scholarship studying in Louisiana in the mid '80s. We met in Florida over the Christmas holidays. The entire time she was in the US (around 10 years) she only dated guys that had middle-eastern looks. Now, she's back in Sweden, married to a typical-looking Swedish guy and has 2 children.

Posted by: rainforest | May 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-don't knock the comb-over.
(narration is in Japanese, and totally unnecessary)

Posted by: frostbitten | May 2, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Is the Kentucky Derby tomorrow?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 2, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I had a doctor with a reasonably good combover-- the tip off is the hair-part near the ear.

That makes me giggle, I once couldn't take my eyes off a Japanese guy (not this one) in a group of businessman until I figured out why he vaguely reminded me of my doctor. Then I nearly shot hot tea out of my nose when I caught sight of the low hair-part. That was painful.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

gwe, yes it is.

Somebody at work asked me if Sunday was Mother's Day. I had to google it to find out, and according to wikipedia, Mother's Day is May 11.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 2, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Mostly-it is always easy to remember Mother's Day. It is the day after fishing opener in MN; which is why our local store sells bait and gifts.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 2, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mother's Day is May 11, as is graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. Since there are no hotel rooms to be found in that end of the state for the weekend, we are getting up on Sunday morning and driving to Chapel Hill.

The person who will be graduating in the family called me at 9:20 this morning to inform me that she had finished her last exam. She is done, complete, finshed, through. Yay for her!

Posted by: slyness | May 2, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I like PYRO to Burn up the rest of the field.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

For me, it's Eight Belles, and all's welles.

However I just look at the post parade and pick then (too late to bet, but meh.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Wilbrod--combovers are not attractive... bald and shaven is best... Patrick Stewart definitely tops the list of most attractive bald men.

However, the eyes are to me the most alluring feature of a man. It's something in the eyes... when your eyes meet and their is that instant excitement and you're both riveted to the spot. I am a firm believer in love at first sight.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 2, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

... meant "there is" not "their is"...

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 2, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Alas, love at first sight can be easily confused with lust at first sight, Miss Toronto. It takes a little time to seal the deal.

Also, if you've been falling for the wrong types, then instant attraction is definitely a warning signal.

However, love at first sight does happen, or I and my siblings wouldn't be here, I suppose. I suspect the same thing happened to two of my brothers as well.

My sister tried the "at first sight" and it backfired, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

No comb over is attractive, or undetectable, but you have to admire the artistry of that Japanese version.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 2, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Dubiously weekend-safe content: Dirtiest (real) racehorse names.

Boy, the minute Joel leaves, we drag this boodle through the ghetto, don't we?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

There is a certain 62-year-old man, 6'3" with graying hair, whom I find extremely HOT.

Lucky for me he's sitting next to me on the couch right now... as he has nearly every day at some point for almost 25 years.

Posted by: TBG | May 2, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Only skimming, so I've probably missed either the boat or the broad side of the barn, but it seems to me that what CC was going for, trying to get addressed wasn't the you guys are creepy, but the second sentence...
"Am I wrong in believing all the other beautiful black women mentioned here fall into the skinnier white-is-beautiful paradigm?"
I just don't know where to start with that. I honest to goodness did not know that the image of white encompasses skinny. Some of my friends are going to howl when they here this.
About beautiful men...I find different things about men beautiful. If he makes me laugh, he's pretty darn handsome in my mind. If he's good-hearted with an open smile, he's beautiful. Barry White's voice...dear God beautiful. All the regular male boodlers here have brilliantly twisted minds (but also keep a good distance away from creepy), so they get counted as beautiful. Any man who takes out the trash *without being asked* AND puts a new trashbag in the kitchen trashcan, well, he's just gorgeous.
I saw a strikingly beautiful man one time on a train. Truly an Adonis. I almost woke him to tell him, but the train was in Spain, and my Spanish isn't all that great...I didn't want to wake someone just to tell him something stupid like your avacados are burning.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!!, LostinThought... those are all very, very true... sense of humour in particular, open smile, and thoughtful of course... I think these things are all expressed in the eyes... that twinkling happy soul shines through and you know in an instant...

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 2, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

TBG-you remind me of the time I saw a new series on Mystery! and couldn't wait to share the hotness of the male lead with a good friend and co-worker. She called me in the middle of the next week's episode to point out that he looked just like Mr. F.
Here is a good pic of hottie Robson Green,0.jpg

Posted by: frostbitten | May 2, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

But how do all those hot people smell? Sweaty?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 2, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. I REALLY shouldn't have left the gnome unattended while I was busy rolling out some verses for my blog. I smell a lot of trouble everywhere now.

Except at my blog.

I regret (not) to say that these are songs of dog-experience, not songs of hot people.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 2, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 'that you guys are creepy', and 'hear this' and anything else I didn't see.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 2, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Kerric and Wheezy and everybody. Shout out to Achenfan--*sending ESP messages that she should check in to monitor Joel's progress Down Under*

I have been too busy to read the whole boodle and I have a lot to do before I fall asleep tonight, but I have two things to say about this kit:

1) My husband is much more impressed with Mr. Achenbach in light of the Nader phone call. Mr. Bertocci was one of the Florida voters who voted for Nader in 2000. And he is unrepentant, too. I like Ralph, but would not vote for him. If I wanted to go all third-party on ya, I'd vote for


And on that note, I bid you all a good night.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 2, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | May 2, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

LiT, re: your 9:05, nobody's ever called me anything remotely close to "gorgeous" before (I've got some coupons for Lenscrafters you can have, if you're interested). But yes, every Saturday morning. Like clockwork. And on Wednesday nights: the recycling bins.

I'd tell you what I do to the dishwasher, but you'd probably start ripping your clothes off.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Li
T, but just thinking about the what you may or may not do to the dishwasher is giving me the vapors.

Yes, bald men are totally hot. Even when he wears his ball cap.

We were sitting outside this evening and it is season for crane migration. the migration path is right over our house.

We took out the video camera and took some footage, but we have not figured out how to get it off the camera yet. It's a new toy. The sound alone of many groups of cranes as they fly is amazing, and watching these maginficent birds ride the updrafts is one of the highlights of my spring.

Posted by: dr | May 2, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Ha, kb! Hadn't heard of Mr 22, or whatever he calls himself. And I love that Mr B is a proud Nader voter. I figure most of those people wouldn't have voted for anyone...although I suppose if just a few hundred of them had gone for Gore...ah well...And I was mad at Nader and Phil Donahue for saying there was no difference between Gore and Bush.

Yes, I'm all about the eyes too. Patrick Dempsey has wonderful expressive eyes on TV, not to mention great hair. I always gravitated toward blondes, too, although not consciously.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 2, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, dr, I hope you can figure out how to get the video off the camera and in a place where you can share it with us! I'd love to see the cranes.

Mr. T and I saw wild turkeys last weekend in the mountains. They are so big and so ugly! I always have wondered why Ben Franklin wanted them to be the national bird. Of course, nowadays, that would be ironic.

Posted by: slyness | May 2, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I take out the trash and replace the bags, do the dishes, vacuum, dust, etc.

And I will rip my own clothes off.
I have quik-release catches on my gladiator attire.


Posted by: bc | May 2, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

And I must admit I was quite taken with Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility - lovely eyes, gorgeous smile. Well, all those Austen men are attractive (although not very diverse, that's true).

dr, do the cranes have sort of floppy wing action like herons? They sound like a wonder to behold.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 2, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dr, you just haven't lived until you've experienced the full Curmudgeon dishwasher experience. You've probably never even heard of such techniques as the Maytag Flick, or the Reverse Whirlpool. And as for putting the dishwashing powder into the flip-out soap tray....well...I don't think I could describe it in this venue without the Wirty Dird filter blowing a gasket. And if I told you about the rinse cycle...well, that would just ruin your relationship with your hubby forever.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Easy, you just made half the female boodlers faint, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... stop, I'm crying from laughing so hard :)... and bc's "quick-release catches on my gladiator attire" ?? kooky bunch :)

Well, if you're all up for a good movie... about 'love at first sight', check the trailer on this Spanish film... I was going to watch it tonight but opted for Chicken Little instead, which has put me in a particularly happy mood...

Sweet dreams everyone :)

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 2, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

But Mudge...what kind of shoes do you wear when "doing the dishes"?

Posted by: LostInThought | May 2, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Lit, what kind of high-heeled pumps would go with his blue bottoms, do you think?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 2, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Florsheim wingtips, what else? In oxblood, of course. And I give whole new meaning to the phrase, "I'm jellin'."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 2, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

mostly-Oh my, thanks for that link! I have always been a Colin Firth fan but you might be right...Dan Stevens=adorable. Hmmm...what a conundrum....Colin Firth/Dan Stevens? I have to say that Mark Strong as Mr. Knightly was pretty dang cute as well.

Scotty - thanks so much for the *keep Kim laughing* effort with your link in the previous kit . I had to send that link about interviews to a number of people because it hit so close to home for several of us. You can't make this stuff up! Asking the interviewer to leave the room so the interviewee can take a call...criminy!

Mudge - I am sorry to hear about your mrsa problem...what a pain, in more ways than one.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Posted by: Kim | May 2, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Just to give you some insight into my twisted random mind. This was my viewing schedule for the evening:

Hardball With Chris Matthews - A clip of McCain saying we won't ever go to war over oil again. Possible gaffe.

Chasing Zoey - A 'Zoey 101' movie starring the now-pregnant Jamie Lynn Spears. It's prom night and what surprises are in store? A Karate Kid tribute and lots of kids proclaiming their undying love to each other. I started playing the "because I'm pregnant game" but lost interest.

Doctor Who - The Doctor fights lava men and sexy Sybil oracles in Pompeii on Volcano Eve.

Battlestar Galactica - More mystical mumbo jumbo as Starbuck goes slowly bonkers and Tyrell kisses and makes up with Baltar.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

This is not an official authorized video, but for you fans of bald-headed men, Christine Lavin is with you:

I'm still clinging to the "thinning" rationalization despite the the soup bowl sized spot at the back.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 2, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

For all my boodle amigos, especially dmdogz, Broc Collie, College Barkian, Yokisdogs, Yellojkt pup, etc.

(one verse was worse, but is fixed now).

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 2, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

A classic choice Mudge. Understated elegance.

If you know where the 'on' switch is on the vacuum, you're beautiful *and* hot. (Know how to sort the laundry? Smoking hot. Know where I keep the grocery store? On-fire hot.)

Posted by: LostInThought | May 2, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

It seems never have been asked, so I'm wondering... Was Loomis referring to the cotton-growing that took place near Bakersfield CA, or Bakersfield TX, or some other Bakersfield entirely? So far as I can tell, there's been lot's o' cotton near both.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Idiot! "Lots", not "lot's"!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Bless your cotton pickin' heart, I just don't know, Bob.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Old news, but here's my take:

I don't think that I'd have been able to react much differently than Obama did to the "Wright problem". [Yes, I've heard that the terminal punctuation should always go inside the quotes. I disagree!] I've got friends and acquaintances with whom I disagree almost violently, and whose actions I must sometimes hold to be unforgivable. And yet, while I distance myself from them as a result of their choices, it takes a HELL of a lot for me to utterly disown them.

Perhaps it's an innate optimism that will be crushed out of me eventually, perhaps it's a pessimistic view of my own future that requires that I keep all potential lifelines open. Who knows?!? But I don't find it easy to totally demonize folks that I don't know at all, let alone them what I knows at least a little bit.

Except for Nancy Grace. She just frosts my butt something fierce! Evil woman!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Bob, I agree with you on the terminal punctuation. It doesn't really make sense to me for the full stop to be inside the quotes.

Posted by: rainforest | May 3, 2008 4:12 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, thank you for understanding the REAL point I was trying to make!


Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

I also forgot to give Wheezy & Kerric & CC their proper *Grover wave* welcome backs. My humble apologies.

Yer welcome, Kim! :-)

Mad dishwasher skilz... Check.

Sorting and doing my own laundry... Check.

Windows... Check.

Emptying trash & recycling... Check.

Vacuuming... Check.

Bald... Hmmmmmmm...

Can't have it all, it seems. :-)

*doing-lots-of-stretching-before-trying-to-do-some-pre-moving-company-arrival-stuff Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuk | May 3, 2008 5:21 AM | Report abuse

As I do periodically, I was checking out the "Discussion Guidelines", largely to remind myself to transgress less often and less egregiously.
[ ]

But I was rather struck by the fast-and-loose use of the term of "third party" in clause #1, as if this is clear-cut in this day and age of co-operative authorship. If Joel & and I (as third parties) decide that we are aggrieved by a guest Kit authored by (well, I won't name names), will the WaPo stand idly by while we savage this (unnamed) contributor in an attempt to claim some monetary salve for our psychic wounds?

And when WaPo allows maniacs like Dave Barry, or Sharon Lamb, or Chris Bell onboard to discuss whatever moves them, can WaPO REALLY get away with claiming that it has no responsibility for whatever they may hath wrought?

Why do I get the impression that this set of guidelines was drawn up by folks who've never tested it against a man determined to recover a few tens of millions of dollars for his misplaced trousers?

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

You KNOW you need more coffee when you have to SCC your name!!! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 3, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

S-nuk: Never for a moment thought that it wasn't intentional!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Bob S.

I emphatically agree. Put the punctuation outside the quote when it is not part of the original quote.

I have been defiantly doing so in acts of civil disobedience for a long time. I'm just afraid that all my other sins of grammar and punctuation keep people from realizing it was intentional.

The Wright stuff makes sense too.

And I have to call BS on the housework-as-aphrodisiac scam. I have never been molested while vacuuming no matter how many times I go over the same patch of carpet between the television and the couch.

I have been goosed a few times while preparing dinner and getting vegetables out of the crisper. But that was probably TMI.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Don't get me going on the terms of service, particularly Rule 6. Read the terms of service on any social networking site and you would be appalled by the over-reaching. They haven't laid claims to first born children, but they're close.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

My concern with cotton is not the dust since I'm not a factory worker, but the chemicals. Since cotton is not a food product, the chemicals that can be used in it's growing, harvesting, and processing is much wider. However, cottonseed oil is a common food ingredient and I want to know if any chemicals are being introduced into the food chain from this vector.

I feel so on-topic.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Of course, the nice thing about rule #6 is that you can hang whatever you wish upon some limb of the beast (as long as it's reasonable in its natal form), then (with only cursory attempts at hiding your trail) you could probably get away with reposting it in increasingly virulent forms, all the while claiming that you've no longer got responsibility, as the Washington Post has claimed "irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide..." any content hung upon it.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I was just about to point out that I've ingested a fair bit of cottonseed oil. It may not be a main course, but I've run across it in many starters!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Last night ended a little later than usual so I slept in. My day doesn't really start until Mrs Lion wakes up and tells me what I'm supposed to do.

I took the daughters out, or rather, the daughters took me out last night to see the play "Beauty and the Beast" at the local high school. Wow! The HS my daughter attends mmust have an award winning drama club or something. The acting, live music, and all the love songs performed by these kids kept my eyes saturated most of the evening. Teenagers, especially when working together, are truly some of the most beautiful of all peoples.

My oldest daughter just left to take her SATs. Before she left, she asked me to define about a dozen words, only 3 of which I've ever heard of. Wish her luck.

Posted by: DandyLion | May 3, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Wish I had known that the cool kids showed up for pre-breakfast. Wouda been here too.
Nice bone of a pome, Wilbrodog. College Barkian says thanks for the rhymes.

Big week. Feel like my brain is broken. Will remedy with yard work at the local pool.

YJ is right about cotton -- tons of inputs from water to fert. and pest. to make it grow. Check out my colleague's blog on sustainable fashion: she has some clear thinking on the silly excesses of about 400 dollar jacket made of bamboo, cruety-free silk, and green cotton....

About the conversation about beauty standards plus the noted twinch of (the possibility of?) discomfort. The emerging feeling of discomfort is a way to remind us all that we can move from good will and humor into some territory particularly complex for women. I think that what RD and I touched on last kit about the privacy of those moments when an I-Thou encounter might take place is different than the broader conversation of frank admiration of said components.

I have four brothers -- and three sisters -- I am used to overhearing such conversations. But, sometimes I blurted out to good brothers: "Hey there! Lady in the house!"

And, Gomer, your irony might have been lost in the plain text environment. I like onmi's reminder of


Glad DandyL is back.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 3, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. What discussions yesterday, and I missed it all. Lost, your comment was so nice, and Mudge your description with that dishwasher and those blood red wingtips, had me rolling. And Miss Toronto, your comments concerning the sparks flying was right on time. All of you let it rip, and I had no idea. I laughed at loud, really loud. It's good I'm here alone, although my neighbors probably think I'm crazy.

Mudge, do take care of your legs. With the other problem, that is dangerous territory.

I'm going to try and check with my doctor next week. I still don't feel that good.

Slyness, Martooni, and everyone, it is the weekend, time to move. *waving*

Scotty, read your post, but did not understand it, probably need more coffee.

I think we all know who is responsible for the war in Iraq. I assume this person had to sign some type of paper, something had to be in writing, correct? Or did he just say it, and it was?

Time to hit the shower. I have a meeting at church this morning, and I'm running late already. The weather here is cloudy and looking like rain. And it has cooled down some.

What I like in the male species has changed over the years. My first husband was tall, very tall, and that was the attraction. Most of the men in my family were short, very short. When I met my second husband, it was his eyes that attracted me. Now when I look at my daughter, I see those same beautiful eyes. And the g-girl. As I aged, I was attracted to older men that like to talk, and had the ability to talk. I'm sure you noticed the change from the physical to the mental.

Have a great weekend, folks. Give God some of your time, and enjoy your families.

Posted by: cassandra s | May 3, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh, about the cotton dust. That is some stinking stuff. As a child I picked cotton, not very good at it, but it was a job. And those of us that did this work had to smell that cotton dust. It gave me a headache every time. The scent just did not go away. It was so heavy at times. I can imagine the folks that really worked in cotton got too much of that chemical. And I mean those that baled it, and worked in those barns. Pickers were outside, so the concentration wasn't as thick. Back during this time, no one paid attention, and if they did, nothing was done about it. We had to eat, so we had to work.

Some days, I just cannot appreciate my mother enough. I'm sure others found easier ways to survive, but my mother always did it the hard way. And in truth, that was the easy way. The lessons learned are priceless.

Posted by: cassandra s | May 3, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Where're the chicks?

Posted by: Boko999 | May 3, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Too much to do and not enough of me, so I'll just say this after a *very* quick backboodling:

Dishwasher, shmishwasher.

*I* do dishes by hand and even know where the soap is. I have also perfected the art of stacking said dishes after washing (sometimes six feet high, which requires a ladder) to air dry so they come out not only spotless, but free of towel lint.

I've even been known to put them away.

(Actually, the dish stacking thing drives Mrs. M crazy -- especially when the "good" dishes are involved -- because my method of stacking resembles the Tower of Pisa, but I've never broken a single cup or dish yet.)

Peace out... gotta go make sawdust. :-)

Posted by: martooni | May 3, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... Boko... glad to see you; we noticed you were gone for a few days.

Dandylion... I agree... every time I see a middle school or high school play I am amazed... and satisfied that our future is in good hands (if we can only hand over a decent future, that is).

Off for a sisters' weekend in a couple of hours. If you see four women who are having a genuinely great time together, say "hi."

Posted by: TBG | May 3, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Do I detect some heated competition re: doing housework? ... boys will be boys :-)

Posted by: Miss Toronto | May 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Another sexy trait? A guy who takes care of his kids without calling it "babysitting."

Posted by: TBG | May 3, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - What I like about the male of the species (MY species, at any rate) has changed over the years, too!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

'morning, folks.
i've been busy and not able even to lurk much.
joel, sounds like a fun gig down under.
tbg, have a good with the sisterhood.
mudge, hope your leg heals quickly.
bia, are ya done yet? me neither.

my only observation about the latest wright controversy is the pastor put his own interests ahead of obama's. neither a practical nor a christian thing to do.

i tend to ignore ogling and such because i often don't know who the people are being discussed. as for me, colin firth is definitely a hottie. and i think i have a crush on stephen colbert. there i said it.

have a good weekend everyone!

Posted by: L.A. lurker | May 3, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Coughing-up-a-lung greetings to the boodle. The reservation's 3rd annual 100+ mile spiritual run started bright and early this morning and I ran the ceremonial first mile, then another mile back to my car. It was 25 degrees and windy, thus the post exertion cough.

Spring still doesn't appear to be here unless you look closely. Columbine, Jacob's Ladder and Sedum are thriving and the spring ephemerals are poking up out of the mulch (really unraked leaf litter). Just one 70 degree day would bring an explosion of green and dainty blooms but it2q2 has been 6 months since we've seen 70. We may be headed for a record.

On kit-Caribou coffee will take 10 cents off your purchase if you answer the daily trivia question correctly before ordering. One day last month they asked "Which crop requires the most chemical use from planting to harvest?" The answer was cotton. I often wonder about the agenda and source material for their questions, but since I think I agree with their "hidden" agenda I don't see any need to complain.

Also, I put the period inside the quotation marks but mutter in protest while typing.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 3, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

SCC-my bad on the 2q2, should be "has". (ha, ha, ha, period outside the quotation marks. Lol, we haz punctuation.)

Posted by: frostcat#1 | May 3, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Frosti... our Caribou coffee uses Trivial Pursuit cards for the daily question.

Finished watching Carrier last night. Thanks to those who pointed it out. What a great show. I have a new appreciation for the folks in the military (I already had an appreciation, but you know what I mean). I loved the production values of the show as well... beautiful photography and excellent music choices.

I wish they'd do a followup on those folks we got to know so well. It's been a couple of years since filming. (I especially wonder about the kid from Manassas.)

A good friend's son is training for a career as an officer in nuclear subs. She comes from a decidedly nonmilitary background, so watching this was a real eye-opener for her. It was especially nice to see the general "goodness" in the carrier's population. Does that make sense?

Posted by: TBG | May 3, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Rainy and raw weekend here which foils our attempts to plant a few more shrubs. When I say 'our' I mean "S" as I am reduced to supervising until the staples come out. Survived work yesterday, boy did they miss me, what a mess.

In my youth I was attracted to bad boys, which explains a lot. Before I met "S" I had the benefit of some theraphy which helped me discover what I needed and wanted in a man - honesty, humility and a sense of humor. Twenty years ago I would have looked at "S" as a friend, nothing more. I'm glad I changed enough to recognize how 'hot' those three qualities truly are. As for chores, he'll do anything but cook and that's fine with me.

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend. I think mine will involve a lot of naps.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 3, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of housework - I'm in the midst of one of those "do it yourself" handyman nightmares. I'm just changing a garbage disposal. Nothing to it, right? Except that the thirty-year-old (is that too many hyphens?) "T"-connector which connects the disposal drain line to the sink drainpipe is so worn out that it started cracking & crumbling as I pulled it back slightly from the disposal during the removal process, and I don't have a wrench large enough to grip the nuts which attach it to the drain lines, and the water supply line to the faucet is leaking at the nut, and faucet itself is leaking, and last night that was a repeated knocking sound that sounded like it was coming from inside the pipes in the basement, and...

Sigh! I can tell it's gonna be a long weekend of running back and forth to the hardware store. I'm remembering why my father always hired people to do these jobs!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I love Wilbrodog, who does not seem to realize he has already basically written a book. A wondrous sort of book that is both for kids and adults. I wish it were published.

Posted by: Jumper | May 3, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Middle daughter was one of the Emcees at the local Middle School last night, a highly entertaining evening. Yes, my daughter did great. Interestingly, I Emceed the talent show at my school when I was her age as well. There must be a Host gene that runs in my family.

I've been doing some housework this AM myself; putting the dishes away from last night's dishwasher run, making the bed, putting laundry away finishing up the grocery store shopping list, getting a few things together to change the oil on the car (at some point this weekend), and finishing up the repair of the computer I'm writing this Boodle item on.

Then to spend some time relaxing with some friends, and at some point I'll do some writing.

Oh, yeah. At some point I'll take a shower. Not necessarily because I need it, but because it's a good excuse to admire myself in the mirror and say, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the sexiest gladiator of them all?"

[Mirror] "Sire, 'tis true, there's no one who looks better in nothing but olive oil than you."

Well, if the mirror *could* talk, that's what I'd hope it would say, anyway. And it would refrain from any commentary regarding blemishes on my posterior.

Mudge, I hope your condition clears up soon, and I expect that you'll be back to your usual level of irascibility in no time.

Scottynuke, back to work!
la lurker, back to ogling!
Cassandra, back to making this world a better place!

Me, I'm off to the showers.


Posted by: bc | May 3, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey everybody, I'm waving as I drive in the oven to take to Mr. T's family reunion, we're leaving in half an hour. It will be a good time...Later, folks!

Posted by: slyness | May 3, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

TBG - When I enlisted in the Air Force in 1980, I was one of VERY few in any of the extended branches of my family to have joined the military in a couple of generations, and the only one of the great-grandchildren of any of my eight great-grandparents to have done so. There was certainly support for my decision, but definitely also some consternation. In the not-so-very-post-Vietnam era, I think that there was not a lot of enthusiasm for military service amongst social/economic/political circles that 1) didn't already have ties to the military, and 2) didn't "need" to join for financial reasons.

What I found was a fascinating mix of folks, who were there for an astounding array of reasons. Many of them had plenty of other options. I won't say that it's the defining experience of my life - moving from Georgia to Japan/Okinawa/Kentucky/Colorado/back to Georgia between second and tenth grades probably qualifies - but I'll always treasure the experience.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Up early to work on a server backup switchover that's just occurring now. Hours of boredom, moments of sheer terror.

I think it'll be a fine day to make potato salad and distribute it to all my friends. I know how to make less than 7# at a time, but why bother? It's not like it's much less work to make much less. This is heart-attack stuff--hardboiled eggs, mayo, bacon and worst of all, potatoes, parsley, onions and celery--to be eaten twice a year, max, including baby and wedding showers, graduations, special occasions.

I agree with what many of the women here (and several men) have posted on yesterday's unofficial topic. As bia said, it can a narrow little box. Ivansmom, wise as usual. Today, CP, no way I could have come half as close to saying it better. And kudos to yello's post about Ms. Mannheim et al. omni, TBG, slyness, very nice.

I wonder sometimes--there are different types of animals within the same classification (don't quibble here on my wording, please), from Shetland pony to Percheron, Chihuahua to Labrador Retriever to Great Dane. Some are genetically naturally larger or smaller than others. Why would people be different?

And now, in my role as Renaissance Woman, I will multitask between the Cuisinart and (insert name of server here).

Posted by: dbG | May 3, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

bc... I'm glad my mirror doesn't talk. If it did, I'm sure it would sound like one of those stereotypical Jewish mothers that Jewish comedians always joke about (no offense to any Jewish mothers, btw). I'm not a doctor or a lawyer or even a CPA (heck, I never even finished college), my hair and beard are too long, I don't eat enough vegetables, and I make miniature doors for imaginary beings for a living. Can you imagine what that mirror would say?

I'm thinking an "Oy vay" would be the nicest thing it might mutter.

Back to the sawdust (and avoidance of mirrors)...

Posted by: martooni | May 3, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

OK, 'tooni, Mothers' Day is a week away, and I've not even thought about a gift. You got some extra doors hanging around?

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget the attractive charm of good looks, intelligent writing, original humor and fly away hair!
Safe travels and soft landings in Australia, Joel. good luck with your story.

Posted by: Lyssa | May 3, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Well, Lyssa, of course my mother appreciates those things about me, but I think she'd appreciate something a little different for Mother's Day!


Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

By the way - I've got to put my foot down about something here: I'm flipping through the channels, and I note that "An Inconvenient Truth" is given three-and-a-half stars in the "Dish Network/TV Guide" ratings.

This must stop. I like Al Gore, and am fully supportive of the decision to award him a Nobel prize because of the attention that he's brought to various global issues.

But the movie & book have said nothing that hasn't been stated more accurately and more comprehensively before. Jonathan Weiner ("Planet Earth" & "The Next One Hundred Years") comes to mind, but examples are myriad.

Mr. Gore is quite significant, but let's not go crazy praising his artistry.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, I can imagine your Kvetching Mirror.

It'd be a brief wail upon reflecting you, and then quiet sobbing hereafter and a muttered, "just leave me alone... leave me alone..."

And should you be foolish enough to ask why? Oy vey, you should live long enough to hear all the reasons.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

dbG... the sheer terror (at least for me) is when you try to *restore* the backup. I think there are still several large bits of my fingernails (and maybe a white knuckle impression or two) embedded in my old desk where I used to work. RAIDs and tape drives are wonderful, but when they mess up, they mess up big -- and *never* the client's fault. ;-)

Bob S... sorry, but nothing in stock and probably wouldn't be able to make one in time for the shipping deadline for Mom's Day -- but if that's not a problem, let me know. I can send a picture of one with a personal note from the "Head Gnome" to let her know a magical door is on the way. You might also want to try one of the retailers now carrying them... let me know how to reach you and I'll send links to their websites (you can email me at sales[at]weefolkoutfitters[dot]com).

Posted by: martooni | May 3, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Alas, Bob S.-- popularity tends to skew tv guide ratings, as well as the "significance" of the genre. But then, if a tree does a beautiful ballet in the forest and nobody sees or hears it, did it really happen?

While, Al Gore... well, everybody knew!

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

You got me, Wilbrod -- so true, so true.

(and I obviously haven't gotten back to sawdust land yet... one more thing for the mirror to kvetch about)

Posted by: martooni | May 3, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Comparsion shopping of gasoline prices:

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Martooni - You offend me, sir! Do you think that I'd be willing to show my love for my mother (whose upcoming day of appreciation I'd entirely forgotten until a couple of hours ago) with anything other than the gin-you-wine article from hands of the original hippie-gnome his ownself?!?

[I had to add "ownself" to the spell-check dictionary. Wazzup with that? Doesn't everfolk be thusspeaking?] [[Ooops, just had to add a couple more words!]]

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Morning all, struggling through a cold - yesterday I lost the ability to think clearly. It is cool and wet here today - not helping me get over this cold quickly.

On the bright side I just saw a Baltimore Oriole in my neighbours crab apple tree - it has been decades since I have seen one.

Posted by: dmd | May 3, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., that's because there's already a latin word for "his ownself" relating to gnomes-- /impse/.

I.e. "I need more Pixie dust, impse dixit"

(I need more Pixie dust, he his own gnomeself said.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

They're still gin-you-wine articles handmade by the long-haired leaping gnome of wine-spilling fame, they're just located (and in stock) in several locations around the US that don't happen to be attached to my house. :-)

btw... "ownself" would imply that I own myself and can do whatever I want, when I want, which is most definitely not the case -- at least when Mrs. M is watching and I'm not in the mood to sleep outdoors. I'd explain further, but she's told me in no uncertain terms that if I do not get my sorry gnomish butt out to the shop and *do* something today, I'll get no stuffed cabbage for dinner.

Since I like stuffed cabbage (and it's chilly and raining outside), I think I'd better do as told. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | May 3, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I seem to have lost the ability to think clearly some time ago, and I can't even blame it on a cold...Hope you feel better soon. Wonder what the oriole is doing in Canada? Maybe he's looking for curling or hockey or something.

I've been oncall, or the backup oncall, or the only one dumb enough to notice my pager at 11:30 pm, for so long that I'm twitchy. My job is support the backup (and restore) service. Couldn't sleep last night because at 1 am a datacenter was switching to their generator - which "should" be seamless. Sure enough, I got paged at 1 am - but for a backup failure somewhere else. Sigh. Restores are even worse.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 3, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Nada mucho... homemade turkey-mexicano-stuffed tamales slowly occurring.

Posted by: Jumper | May 3, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the delayed response, Bob S. (Had to drop everything and take the cat to the vet.) How did you know I was referring to you? The esp over here is freaky. have a good weekend everyone. have to tend to my sick kitty.

Posted by: Lyssa | May 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

As I look at the Guam caucus, I wonder if Joel's going to be making a pit stop in Guam en route. (I hope not!).

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

My chore today was to get the computer in the upstairs den back on the wireless network again.

I had bought an Apple Airport Express, but it doesn't work as a network range extender without additional Airport devices on the network.

I dug out my old Belkin range extender that I had never gotten to work. I found a blog with the clue of how to get into the web-interface rather than the configuration program.

Then I went down to BigBoxOfElectronics and got a D-Link 802.11n PCI card, even though the crappy Verizon modem/router is only 802.11g.

That seemed to have done it. The new card locked into the range extender.

I then went around an re-enabled the security, upgrading from 64-bit WEP to WPA since that's what all the neighbors use. Peer pressure.

At least the Airport Express doubles as an iTunes speaker extender. Now I can put some old computer speakers in the bedroom and listen to my playlist anytime I want.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 3, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... mmmm.... can you fax some of those to the tent I'll be setting up in the back yard tonight? (made my way down the street for a paper, but still not to my workshop ten feet away and Mrs. M is not lookin' very happy about it)

Mostlylurking... I feel your pain. I was more the jack-of-all-trades/master-of-some and did a lot of e-com web and database stuff. It never failed that clients would want to launch a new feature (or a completely recoded website) on a Friday, or do an upgrade/replacement of their core back-end systems first thing Monday, usually with almost no testing beforehand (testing? whyfor? gotta keep those IT costs down, dagnabbit!).

After 20 years of that carp, I learned real good that Murphy's Law is not to be toyed with. I also learned it's best to keep me away from clients when sharp things are handy.

Posted by: martooni | May 3, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Jeepers, yello, if you had clearly explained the situation, I could have had my housemate drop off the necessary items (scrounged from my "BigBoxOfElectronicCastoffs" in the basement) on his way to (or from) the BigBoxOfPlumbingStuff where he was fetching the disposal, necessary wrenches, teflon tape, plumber's putty, faucet supply lines, and his best guess at the proper "T"-junction!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Guam has cactus?!? I don't remember that!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, never mind!

Posted by: E. Litella | May 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about the campaign being too long, and it certainly has been, but isn't it cool that Guam is getting attention?

Posted by: frostbitten | May 3, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I've only spent (total) about three months on Guam, but I seem to remember that, while they appreciate a little appreciation, they're typically fairly well involved (like most of the rest of us) in their own issues.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, since no one else seems to have given us the actual link, I'll do so, and remind newbies that the Boss (as always) has already predicted the critical confluence of events in the tropics:

- * - * - * - *

"Circle the date on your calendar, book your flight. On May 3, Guam -- which increasingly looks like the New Hampshire of the Mariana Islands -- will hold its presidential primary, with nine Democratic delegates at stake.

True, that's not a lot of delegates, but every delegate counts at this point, and Guam is the first primary after the Super Tuesday III vote in Portentous Pennsylvania.

Will candidates actually go to Guam, you ask, rather than concentrate on the much larger states of Indiana and North Carolina that vote just three days later, on May 6? Obviously the answer is that they should, because the flights can stop in Hawaii for much needed R&R and big-wave surfing.

I'd also venture that the Guam contest, being located on an island, will serve as a harbinger of the too-critical-for-words mindblower of a primary on June 7 in Puerto Rico.

That will be the final showdown in this epic barnburner of a slugfest of a donnybrook. Don't scoff at Puerto Rico: It is putting 63 delegates up for grabs, which, in case you've misplaced your delegate tracker, is more than the number of delegates that were at stake in Iowa..."

- * - * - * - *

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the fair grounds at Puerto Rico as we enjoy the post parade before the match year of the year.

Breaking from Post 1, the Audacity of Hope; Breaking from post 2, Hillary Redux....

Um, I think I'm a little distracted here, Bob S.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, it's that day, ain't it?

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for "Winning Colors"! Because "Regret" & "Genuine Risk" (the only others) were setting a dismal precedent of glass-less-than-half-full names for Derby-winning fillies .

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I love this comment from the pre-race show: "It's been one of the most baffling Kentucky Derbys (Derbies?) ever!"

Huh?!? Shouldn't we wait at least 'till it's finished to make such grand pronouncements?

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Big Brown & crew, but it won't amaze you to find that I was kinda pulling for Bob Black Jack.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

NOT such a baffling Derby after all. The overwhelming favorite won the race, eh?

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, ouch, wow. Second place finisher (Eight Belles) was just euthanized. Oh, my.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I completely understand why the announcers are not dwelling on the death of Eight Belles, because it's Big Brown's moment. But I'm definitely bummed out.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., what a shock. I know next to nothing about horse racing, but I have some issues with it based on what I do know (mostly from reading the Black Stallion books when I was a kid and Seabiscuit more recently) -- jockey eating disorders and other self-harm to make the weight, along with the regular breaking down and euthanizing of horses. But the horses are so beautiful, and the racing is so fun to watch, that I generally push aside any qualms, watch and enjoy the triple crown, and then forget about it all till the next year. So it's disconcerting to be reminded of the tragedy that goes along with the sport so immediately on top of the glory of it.

Posted by: bia | May 3, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Big Brown ran a great race - a terrific race - but, jeez, that is so tragic about Eight Belles. What a sad ending to the day!

Posted by: pj | May 3, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I think that I've done a pretty good job of polishing my superficial, unaffected pose. But I'm actually prone to worrying about each and every one of you (with the possible exception of Nancy Grace, and I still worry about her husband and kids), and for reasons that aren't completely clear to me, I'm momentarily shocked out of my comfort zone by this horse's passing. I'll be back soon, but I'm off to ponder this for a while.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

A brief howdy to you all. We spent a lovely cool sunny day wandering through the Science Museum with friends - the kids were fascinated by all the hands-on stuff. It is one of the Boy's favorite places. Now we're off to the theater again. Five more shows. At least it is well-received; several shows sold out completely and it has always been at least half full. The Boy is enjoying being in a musical for a change. As our friend said last night, all these other kids have musical comedy bios and the Boy has Shakespeare. This summer it is back to bloodshed with Richard III.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 3, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Very sad about Eight Belles. This is why I don't go to the races here - I'd hate to see a horse break down right in front of me. Every year I think I should go to Emerald Downs, but I haven't been there yet. Not sure if synthetic tracks are the answer - I'd just as soon see them race over turf, which I think is easier on horses' legs (but I'm not sure if the injury rate is significantly lower).

Heard Edgar Prado on NPR this morning. He wrote a book about Barbaro, which I'd like to read.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 3, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

And I wish the Kentucky Derby would limit the amount of entries. Twenty horses are just too many. It makes me nervous how long they're held in the gate, and then when they break - ay yi yi.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 3, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse


This is an opportunity for the Boy. Make a musical of Richard III. It'll be tough but I think we can make this work!

Posted by: pj | May 3, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm majorly bummed as well. I doubt they had a camera on her when she stumbled (I saw her shadow duck and stumble nearly offcamera 10 lengths or more past the finish line on a wide shot replay).

She had a lot of Derby pedigree connections. She was an half-great-grandniece of Winning Colors, and a granddaughter of Unbrindled, and a half-cousin of Street Sense.

I'm not thrilled with her inbreeding which indicates that her ankle injury could well have been from her breeding.

She has a double dosage of Mr Prospector in her pedigree... Barbaro was also a descendant of Mr. Prospector (a sire that was very hot for breeding speedy 2 year olds for sprint distances).

But then, Big Brown is inbred even closer to the Native Dancer lines.... but he at least lacks direct descendent from Mr. Prospector.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, that was an extraordinary overhead shot NBC had of the start of the Derby watching all the horses run to the rail. It is quite a dangerous rush, which makes Big Brown's victory so impressive. He laid outside for most of the race, so he ran a longer distance than those on the rail, but with the formation of the group he was almost slip-streaming the horses in front of him and had plenty left to break for the victory.

The Derby does limit the number of entries to 20. In a couple of weeks at the Preakness there might be as many as 10 horses instead of today's 20. But the temptation to win the Triple Crown is so great that they allow lots of horses into the Derby and then it thins out for the other two races.

Posted by: pj | May 3, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Pj, that excellent trip was a very good job of jockeying by Kent Desmoreaux, who got his start in Maryland at Pimlico and Laurel racetracks over 10 years ago before he headed west.

As for the weight issues, one major problem is that people are bigger and heavier now than they used to be... the average weight has to be 115-130 lbs-- with saddle and other gear included.

Mostly, I tend to agree with you about turf. Dirt is OK but it can be very variable in quality.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"Make a musical of Richard III. It'll be tough but I think we can make this work!"
Thanks for the laugh pj, I immediately thought of Richard Dreyfuss in "The Goodbye Girl."

Unfortunately I can't find the scene where he plays Richard, but here he talks about it with the director:

Sad business with Eight Belles, glad now that I was working and missed the race.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 3, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Yoki! Hi! And thanks for the greetings to the prodigal from mostlylurking, Scottynuke, kbert, Pat, Cassandra, dmd, bc, and ivansmom. And Yoki!

I know nothing about the Derby, but hi Wilbrod!

I was glad (and relieved) to see a Boko tag pop up today.

Posted by: Wheezy | May 3, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

'Tis okay, Wheezy. Today is not the best Derby day in history.

Frostbitten, for another shakespearean reference, Richard Dreyfuss played the Player in "Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are dead." No hint of Queen Dick III as far as I recall, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Wilbrod, Desormeaux and Big Brown made a great team in today's race. I remember him from his days at the local tracks and it's great to see him be successful on the national level and win his third Derby.

Posted by: pj | May 3, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

A Lazuli Bunting came to our feeder this afternoon. I thought something was wrong with my eyes when I first saw it. Such a beautiful blue head and neck. I have never seen one before but according to the Audubon field guide they inhabit half of the US and up into Yoki country. About ten blackheaded grosbeaks are here now. Almost as many females as males.
There are some bad deer around now. They are not supposed to see color but it or they have decapited five of our fritillaria. There are lots of other colorful wlid flowers and I don't see any of them clomped off. On the plus side there are three more fritillaria that have come up and bloomed where I haven't seen them before.

What a tragic end to the horse race. Many years ago the USAF sent me to a two week school at Wright Patterson and the midweekend was the Derby. We were sitting around in a bar friday night and one guy there had a car so we decided to go. An older guy there said if we were going, "here is a hundred dollars to put across the board on Dancing Danny." A 40 to one shot. I had never been to a horse race before. WE kept betting on the horses Shoemaker was riding and won every time but we were only betting $2 at a time. We were in the infield and could ony see the horses on the back streach. Down the streach all we saw were dirt clods flying. To get out to the betting window we had to go through a tunnel under the track. They had the national guard standing abreast down the middle to keep the ingoing and outgoing separated but it was like being squeezed through a tube of tooth paste to get in and out. Then just before the derby race a corner of the grand stands caught on fire. An older gentleman with us said "you know all those people in the grandstands are going to come flooding over here and push us into the lake behind us, so let's get out of here." So we squezed out through the tunnel and back to the car lot. But then the fire was mostly just paper that had accumulated at the front edge of the grand stand and was quickly put out so we squezed back in. Well Danceing Danny finished second and the $100 bet paid $1100. Everybody said tell him you couldn't get to the betting window in time to place the bet and give him back the $100. But I gave him the $1100 and was treated royally the next week. He had a big Lincoln and toured me around the better bars in Dayton all the next week.Good thing the class was easy because I didn't get much sleep that week.

Posted by: bh | May 3, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Remember. As goes Guam, so goes America.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 3, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Great Derby story, bh. I wasn't aware that you could decide to go on Friday and actually get in.

My animal story for the day: when I made my trip to the grocery store this morning, I managed to run over a mouse in the driveway. It was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I suppose. I certainly never saw it! Anyway, Mr. T decided to leave it till we got back from the fam reunion. Sure enough, it was gone when we returned. I hope it was a good meal for the crows or whatever creature found it.

Mr. T says he had a nice birthday. I treated him to a special supper last night, we ate as people can only eat at family reunions, both his stepdaughters and his brother and family called him. He got his favorite gift, he says, from older dottir and me - a Lowe's gift card. All the boxes checked.

Posted by: slyness | May 3, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Cool story, bh. I couldn't finish reading the story about Eight Belles. So sad. :-(

You never know what may appear at your birdfeeder. I do know that the birds in my neighborhood are very well fed. But we are all tired of this cold, windy spring here at the eastern foot of the Rockies. It's May for goodness sake.

Curmudgeon...sending healing thoughts your way.

Joel, I am so jealous. Looking forward to good stories and pics. I do plan to get to Australia in this lifetime.

Posted by: eidrib | May 3, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Bob S. -- you asked which Bakersfield Loomis called home. I see she hasn't answered you -- it was in California. I remember this because I lived in the area as a child.

Posted by: nellie | May 3, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

slyness, They let anyone in with the price of admisson to the infield. It was packed solid and no place to sit. SRO with a lot of drunk college kids that had been there from the night before and were burnt bright red from sunburn. I don't think they do that anymore. I don't see the same thing now on the TV. Also they didn't have the turf course then. That was back in 1966, I think.

Posted by: bh | May 3, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Did Joel say the guest kiters could lay around and take the weekend off?

Posted by: bh | May 3, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I've been to the Preakness. So exciting for a few minutes. Otherwise, let the Black-eyed Susans flow....and with little food. I was in the grandstands, part of a group from my husband's company. One of the worst hangovers I ever had. Not to mention the laughter I created. *slinking away...but with a smile*

Posted by: eidrib | May 3, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Sally Jenkins wrote a heck of a column about Eight Belles. I gotta do a call-out on this, the second paragraph:

"There is no turning away from this fact: Eight Belles killed herself finishing second. She ran with the heart of a locomotive, on champagne-glass ankles for the pleasure of the crowd, the sheiks, oilmen, entrepreneurs, old money from the thousand-acre farms, the handicappers, men in bad sport coats with crumpled sheets full of betting hieroglyphics, the julep-swillers and the ladies in hats the size of boats, and the rest of the people who make up thoroughbred racing. There was no mistaking this fact, too, as she made her stretch run, and the apologists will use it to defend the sport in the coming days: She ran to please herself."

'Night, Boodle. Everybody sleep tight.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 3, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Good night. I like the "champagne-glass ankles" bit, and the last sentence.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 3, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Sally can turn a sentence or two!

Posted by: Bob S. | May 3, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Read the full article, and caught the mention of Chelokee... he has a similar inbreeding problem on his dam's side between Mr Prospector and Native Dancer as Eight Belles had, although the sire Cherokee run seems to have no problems there. They're giving him 50-50 chance and hope to save him for breeding.

I think Sally is correct to an extent regarding inbreeding, although my suspicion is it may be specific lines that's being inbred to cause all this problem. Over-racing alone isn't the answer. It doesn't explain Barbaro...He took a misstep, pure and simple.

However flash back 10 years ago-- Alysheba managed to save himself from a stumble during the Derby and went on to win. Luck, or his legs were stronger and he was more coordinated? I think the latter.

Maybe the hoof trim also contributes to coordination.

Also, apparently peg leg tech for horses is improving.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 4, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that inbreeding, per se, is the worst problem out there. The Japanese and Icelanders seem somehow to have muddled through mostly OK.

Posted by: Bob S. | May 4, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. I wanted to report the very long lines full of every ethnic sort, running around the block of the library, waiting to get in and early vote at the NC primaries. It takes no soothsayer to predict Charlotte, NC's largest city, is going to vote Obama, and only a slightly better soothsayer to predict Charlotte's going for Obama in the fall.

Posted by: Jumper | May 4, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. boko, we missed you, glad you're back. jumper, the interest in the voting process is good. north carolina is on a list of states that does not have a good voting record. perhaps all of this is changing with this election. hope so.

Getting ready to dive in the bath tub. I want to relax before going to church this morning. I have a Sunday school class to teach, if the regular teacher does not show up. I attended the children's choir anniversary last night, and it was wonderful. I'm still sleepy this morning.

I hope all of you get a chance to go to church this morning or sometime during the day. And I do hope your weekend is going super.

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


Posted by: cassandra s | May 4, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Great story, bh. Preakness is still same day General Admission and there is a Oklahoma Sooner land rush for good spots when the gates open. I've never been, but I've heard plenty of first and second hand accounts of the drunken debauchery that goes on. Bawlmer loves to lived down to its reputation.

I was at a Drinko De Mayo party and missed the race itself, but caught the hand wringing over Eight Belles. Is there any metaphorical value in the observation that she was Hillary Clinton's favorite since she was the only filly in the race? Running your heart out only to come in second and killing yourself in the process.

Years ago I snuck into the polo matches at Wellington, Florida. We were on the sidelines on the far end of the field when one of the horses justs crumbled and fell over. A tractor with a flat bed came along, they rolled the horse onto the trailer and I am sure that went straight to the glue factory from there.

Those horses are born to run and the winners enjoy a nice retirement if your idea of a good time is to "cover" an endless line of fillies. The Boss spent some time on that topic once:

A possible kit in abstentia.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 4, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt--I have to thank you for posting the link to the Daily Show. I've been without TV per se since I moved--that's one of the few things I've missed.

I feel like an abused wife who wants to vote for Nader.

I was driving back from Abbeville, Louisiana, last night with a belly full of oysters. It's hard to escape the Cajun music down here. It's hard not to like it. It was hard not to grin and sway to the tune, "Let's go to Lafayette and do the Cajun twist."

Posted by: Dave | May 4, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everybody--
I'm way behind, skimming like crazy so probably missed a lot of good stuff, but wanted to post this for martooni and anybody else who can relate

The Man Song, by Rodney Carrington

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Man Song!
(He's the man!)
(He's the man!)
I don't take no crap from anybody
[else but you]
I wear the pants around here
[when I finish with your laundry]
Coz I'm a guy you don't wanna fight
[When I say "Jump", you say "Yeah right!"]
I'm the man of this house
[until you get home]
(He's the man!)
(He's the man!)
What I say goes around here
[right out the window]
and I don't wanna hear a lot of whining
[so I'll shut up]
The sooner you learn who's Boss around here
[The sooner you can give me my orders, dear]
Coz I'm Head-Honcho around here
[but it's all in my head]
(He's the man!)
(He's the man!)
And I can have sex anytime
[that you want it]
Coz I'm a man who has needs
[but they're not that important]
And don't expect any flowers from me
[Coz if I'm not mistaken you prefer jewelry]
I'm the King of my castle
[when you're not around]
(He's the man!)
(He's the man!)
And I'll drink and watch sports whenever I wanna
[get in trouble]
And I'll come home when I'm good and ready
[to sleep on the couch]
Coz a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do
[And I'm gonna do what you tell me to]
Because I'm Top dog around here
[but I've been neutered]
(He's the man!)
(He's the man!)
(You the man!)

Audio here:

Posted by: kbertocci | May 4, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

SCC: It looks like the hangover from my attempt at Drunken Blogging (don't look, I haven't) last night is still there. I counted at least three painful misteaks in my 7:43. But y'all are probably used to them by now. My illiteracy is part of my charm.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 4, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The answer is "Purveyor."

This concludes your obscure comment of the day.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 4, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning, everybody! Hope it's a lovely day for all.

I'm glad to read Jumper's take on voting in the Queen City. I didn't bother to vote early; my polling place is the school behind the house so I'll just stop in Tuesday morning on the way back from my walk.

Posted by: slyness | May 4, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Looks like its gonna be a nice day here in Suthin' Merlin. Today I'm finishing the framing-out of a large closet in our master bedroom making, and hanging two sliding doors. Then--got some t'maters to plant.

Everybody have a good one.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 4, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Pouring rain here. Very sad about Eight Belles. Strange how far they've come with breeding horses and yet there hasn't been a triple crown winner in 30 years. Maybe they should stop trying so hard at the expense of the horses' health.

Another lazy day. The sun will be back tomorrow, just in time for the work week. Hope those of you with better weather are taking advantage of it.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 4, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A busy and wonderful day yesterday, and today looks to be busy and enjoyable as well. Other than some strong rains last night, it's been a great weekend to be outdoors.

The situation with Eight Belles was tragic and a sad conclusion to the Derby, and I don't know enough about thoroughbreds to have any sound basis for having an opinion about its phisique, its bloodlines, or its suitability as a working racehorse.

Now, to do an oil change and some other maintenance on my car...

Have a good day, all. And for those of us fortunate enough to enjoy the fabulous weather in the DC area, I say, it's a beautiful day for work and play.


Posted by: bc | May 4, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse


You would not believe the rabbit hole that YouTube link sent me down today.

Rodney Carrington, whom I've never heard of before, seems to be a pitch perfect satirist of the country-western (both kinds of music) idiom. I watched several of these rather risque numbers including one where he encourages both women and men in the audience to expose their upper chests.

Another of his song's is titled after a portion of the female anatomy and a type of alcoholic beverage favored by the working classes. This song has inspired amateur videographers to create fan tributes that consist entirely of alternating images of the titular items.

This led to links of a rather prurient nature that required me to enter my birthdate to view. I'm not proud, but we all have weaknesses.

But the reward was this video of a Polish pop singer that has been endowed with some awesome talent.

Don't blame me. It's all kbertocci's fault.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 4, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Here is another video from Ewa Sonnet's official webpage.

Enjoy. Or not.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 4, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Follow-up questions Loomispouse and I wish Tim Russert had asked Obama during Russert's interview with Obama this morning on NBC:


How involved were you in Rev. Wright's church?

There was a back and forth between Russert and Obama about Wright. Obama, in his answers, made it seem as though he really wasn't acquainted with Wright and his sermons. The American public will have to wait for Russert's show transcript, so that Obama's responses are presented accurately. My husband also wanted to know how often or not Obama attended, and whether he was in the congregtion (or had other church duties behind the scenes) and whether or not he was listening to Wright's addresses, or perhaps dozing or letting his mind wander?

My question:

If you plan to undertake a military surge in Afghanistan, as you just said you wanted to do, how long would the Afghanistan surge last? How much do you plan to spend, given that the Soviet war in Afghanistan significantly depleted the Soviet treasury? Would you encourage the continuing involvement of NATO forces in Afghanistan? Would you try to recruit new coalition partners? Most importantly, what would be your metrics or benchmarks for success be in Afghanistan? Would the benchmarks be different for al Qaeda than the Taliban? Would your military operations also involve moving into the Northwest Territories of Pakistan in our pursuit of these two groups?

LL: These questions could as easily be asked of Hilary Clinton were she to propose a surge into Afghanistan.

Spent most of yesterday at a bead show--the big one here in the city and the first time I attended. I am still thinking about the snake skeletons offered as beads by an African (-American?) vendor for $60 each. They would make interesting hatbands a la Crocodile Dundee. I don't know if I had ever spent time examing how beautifully the vertebrae interlocked and fit together, and each of the three skeletons offered yesterday by this vendor obviously coming from a different type of snake.

Loomispouse was still trying to recover, restwise, from a 30-hour work stint. He was at work at 8 a.m. on Thursday, came home to shower at 10 p.m. and we had burgers out at 11 p.m, a late fast food dinner. He was back on the phone from home at midnight and as soon as he hung up, returned to work and didn't arrive home until about 2:30 p.m. Friday. Is Wachovia trying to do him in?

This is a long way of saying that we met at 2 p.m. yesterday at Tom's Ribs, since we had a coupon, for a late lunch yesterday, Tom's Ribs immediately adjacent to Rev. John Hagee's Cornerstone Church. For those of you who haven't read Frank Rich's column at the NYT, Rich provides a lot more detail about Hagee than I did just several days ago. I even crossed Hagee's parking lot so that I might return to the bead show, in our town's northest qyadrant at Live Oak, for another hour or two.

Unfortunately, I hit the Saturday traffic jam from Hades. I hope Gov. Rick Perry has a direct, nonstop ticket there upon his demise for the lousy freeway system in these parts. One exit lane for Austin, unfortunately the same lane that branches just feet later to where I needed to head. So infuriated was I by oodles of motorists cutting in from both the left and right at the last possible moments, that I was tempted to stop my car, jump out and up and down and have a major temper tantrum right then and there on the asphalt.

Speaking of religion, our op-ed editor and my Bakersfield buddy Robert Seltzer takes on a recent Robert Novak column about Rudy Giuliani and the brouhaha over whether Rudy should have received communion from Pope Benedict during Benedict's recent visit to New York. Seltzer maintains that a person's religious life should be private.

Seltzer should have looked no further than our own doorstep. During the Mariachi Mass that preceded the dedication of Main Plaza, former mayor and former Clinton cabinet member Henry Cisneros entered the mass from a side door very shortly before the mass was to begin. He shot me a sidways glance as he passed immediately in front of me. He and I had met briefly during John Edwards' campaign stop at a Black church on the East Side.

Cisneros could hardly have avoided the event since his wife Mary Alice now sits on the city council. But between Cisneros' affair with Linda Medlar, his payments to her under the table for years, his absconding very recently with a significant payout, as a board member, just before Countrywide Mortgage collapsed, it's a wonder how he can show his face in church. Luckily, Benedict's reach doesn't extend here, politically, although San Fernando Cathedral is the site where Pope John Paul worshipped during one of his vists to the States. Sinners keep on sinning, but who are we to judge?

My husband pointed out that Mayor Hardberger took communion--one has to wonder why the Main Plaza redo was his pet project? Don't know if Cisneros and his wife did, nor do I much care.

Should a politician's religious life remain private? All I can say is blessed be (*l*) the Fourth Estate for keeping us informed about the rest of their activities, outlooks, opinions and world views.

I keep waiting for Hillary to give the great speech about gender, as Obama did for race in Philadelphia.

nellie, thanks for answering Bob S.'s question.

Posted by: Loomis | May 4, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Testing-to see if I'm having refresh problems

Posted by: frostbitten | May 4, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse


I beg your pardon!

I had never heard of Rodney Carrington until one of my Key West friends sent me a link to "Show Them to Me." (Definitely not safe for work!!) That video sent me on a Youtube journey but it WASN'T the one you took! I looked up as many other RCarrington videos as I could find, that's how I found The Man Song. I also liked "Today's the Day My Wife Met My Girlfriend" and I also found out that he lives in Tulsa. (Which is where I am, right now, by the way, and where Dick Cheney was on Friday--headline in the Tulsa World yesterday: "Cheney Praises Bush in Tulsa" (that's news?))

Anyway, I think Carrington is really funny and talented, but a little too crude for me to recommend generally.

I disavow any responsibility for YOUR licentiousness. Behave yourself; you're supposed to be a role model for your teenage son, not the other way around!

Posted by: kbertocci | May 4, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

No, it's the Great Sunday Boodle Death, Frostbitten.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 4, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse


A man from Tulsa was tooling down a country road when his car sputtered to a complete stop near a field filled with cows. The driver, getting out to see what was the matter, noticed one of the cows looking at him. "I believe it's your radiator," said the cow. The man nearly jumped right out of his city slicker britches!

He ran to the nearest farmhouse and knocked on the door. "A cow just gave me advice about my car!" he shouted, waving his arms franticly back toward the field. The farmer nonchalantly leaned out beyond the door frame to glance down the field.

"The cow with two big black spots on it?" the farmer asked slowly. "Yes! Yes! That's the one!" the excited man replied. "Oh. Well, that's Ethel," the farmer said, turning back to the man. "Don't pay any attention to her. She doesn't know a thing about cars."

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

Doing some research on fineness of flour. If I had some scientific sieves, I could perform my own experiments with cake flour, etc. My hypothesis is we don't know enough about the varying fineness of different flour. We tend to accept blindly what's in the stores. I say we need access to both fine-ground and coarse graham whole wheat flour.

This quote explains why, I believe, grocers are reluctant to stock fine whole wheat flour. One company used to, and I tried it with good success. Finer stuff than the coarse "graham" flours. Not marketed anymore here. I find bragging about "stone ground" ridiculous. Steel rollers rule. Here's some of my research from a govmt. publication:

"By definition, whole wheat flour is made by milling 100 percent of the wheat kernel. Because no component is discarded, all vitamins, minerals, fibers, and other important nutrients are retained in the finished product. When using whole wheat flour, the baker must consider the high fat content in the germ. These fats can, over time, oxidize and turn rancid, creating unpleasant flavors. Due to its limited shelf life of two to three weeks after milling, whole wheat flour should be used as quickly as possible, and should be kept in the freezer in hot climates to limit oxidation.

The different granulations (or particle sizes) of whole wheat flour available to the baker are extra fine, fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse. Each has a direct effect on the texture of the finished product. Products made with coarse granulation have a tendency to be denser, with an earthier, unrefined crumb texture, whereas fine granulation produces more refined crumb texture with a smoother mouthfeel. Occasionally, a small percentage of extra-fine whole wheat flour is used in a formula to give a slightly darker, more traditional crumb color to the finished product."

Posted by: Jumper | May 4, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-I think it was more than the usual Sunday coma that slowed things down. My test comment appeared to have been eaten for a full 30 minutes and it was only a phone call from Mr. F that saved me from double or triple posting.

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

New Kit from Joel with pictures.

Posted by: dmd | May 4, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Great Sundays, 'tis time to bake more dog biscuits. Wilbrodog enjoyed supervising the kneading (more kneading=harder biscuits).

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 4, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info on freezing whole wheat flour, Jumper.

I really didn't know that (I have some I use for dog biscuits-- as far as I am concerned, harder is better).

It is snowing again. SNOWING!!! At least it's not sticking at all.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 4, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Rodney Carrington, yikes! I just viewed his video of "Dear [Male Member]" and had to change my underwear. Not recommended for work.

You can also check out a couple of Brad Paisley videos for country music with a cleaner sense of humor than Carrington.

Here the video for "Alcohol"

And here's the video for "Ticks"

Posted by: pj | May 4, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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