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The Wiki Fame-o-Meter

For a period of years soon after Al Gore invented the Internet, counting Google hits seemed to be an easy, powerful way of measuring a person's standing in the world. Sadly, this era of peace and amity is over. Google is so ubiquitous these days that this vital currency of fame has been losing value like a U.S. dollar on the streets of Paris.

Just try this experiment. Type "George Washington" into your Google machine. Quotes or no quotes, take your pick. That's a lot of hits, huh? Now punch in "Britney Spears" and have a look at the


Something has to be done. When archaeologists pick through the remains of early-21st-century America, do we want to be remembered for our reverence for the Father of Our Country -- or for our worship of the singer of "Toxic"?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Wiki-Fame-o-Meter.

While measuring the length of the Wikipedia entries for Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk in yesterday's post, the solution presented itself. If Google captures the collective folly of mankind, then Wikipedia is its condensed genius, or at least its obsession with trying to get it right. People gripe about Wikipedia's accuracy, especially compared to an institution like Encyclopedia Britannica. But on the whole it's quite reliable. Selfless Wikipedians are staying up into the wee hours reading each individual article for the characters of the old G.I. Joe cartoon, ensuring the entry about Cobra Commander is neutral and unbiased.

It stands to reason that if an obscure cartoon villain can get a fair shake, then our first president will, too. The test is simple, if a little imprecise. Cut and paste the words from an article's entry into a document. (No need to include the bibliographies or footnotes at the end.) Do a word count, and you have a rough sense of your subject's importance in human affairs.

What are the results?

George Washington: 6,006 words
Britney Spears: 5,538 words

Sanity is restored to the universe! Not only did George W. beat out Iron Man and the Hulk (who got a bit less than 5,000 words each), but Washington beats Spears just like he whupped General Cornwallis at Yorktown.

For science's sake, let's test him against some other celebrities:

Lindsay Lohan: 4,772 words
Paris Hilton: 2,944 words

Awesome. (If you have visited this blog by following a link to one of these pop stars, surely you realize by now this is a trap.) Now, some might say that Wikipedia is biased toward American history and culture, so let's run somebody other than GW through here.

Christopher Columbus: 7,181 words
Julius Caesar: 8,766 words
Albert Einstein: 7,135 words

So far this has been pleasantly surprising. Do these guys stand a chance against the titans of the comic book world?

Superman: 7,945 words
Batman: 8,953 words

Uh-oh. Maybe this is a good time to stop the experiment. Here's some more random data. Contribute your own entries, so we can work toward building a better world.

Winston Churchill: 10,808
Abraham Lincoln: 10,595
Napoleon Bonaparte: 10,414
Moses: 9,443
Jesus: 9,310
Muhammad: 9,194
Batman: 8,953
Julius Caesar: 8,766
Superman: 7,945
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer": 7,371
Christopher Columbus: 7,181
Albert Einstein: 7,135
Romulans, race in "Star Trek": 6,176
Buffy Summers, main character in "Buffy": 6,034
Battle of Gettysburg: 5,581
Klingons, race in "Star Trek": 4,895
Incredible Hulk: 4,892
Iron Man: 4,807
Buddha: 4,775
Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, aka The Fonz: 3,659
Spider-Man: 3,607
James Buchanan, Lincoln's predecessor: 3,247

The Dark Knight over Julius Caesar? De gustibus non est disputandum.

-- Nelson Hernandez

By Editor  |  May 21, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Iron Man vs. the Hulk
Next: The Wikipedian Superheroes


Funny and true! Thanks for the good rooster of a post . Let the fun begin.

Need more coffee.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 21, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

No way the Romulans are more important than the Klingons. I'm not qualified to comment on the relative merits of any other face-off.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Merci for your patience, you all for a continuation from the previous kit.

Old links I found with a quick google search:

Daughter of pilot contacted, she will attend the event.,2933,312320,00.htm

Abandoned WWII airplane to be sent to Normandy

This is the official site of the volunteer organization. great pictures, french language

Sometimes to FOX link works, sometimes it doesn't, must be a joke in there, somewhere.

Posted by: VintageLady | May 21, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Greater than all of these: Optimus Prime - 13,629 words.

A WikiWarning states that this article may be too long. Ya think?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Final post, then on to read the new kit....

When I had time, I sent this story to the generic NBC email, specifically to Brian Williams/Tom Brokaw. So far, the auto response is all that I have received. Surely, within this great boodle of folks/Joel/Wash Po/knowledgeable lurkers, there is interest in pursuing this little story. We are so caught up in our politics, the terrible cyclone in China and other stories, I believe a little reminder of what this country has done well should be publicized.

Francis, our guide, turns out to be a Mayor's son, although he did not tell us that as we all sat around after dinner one night, talking about the day's tour and he finally told us of his organization. Link to his daddy:

Our guide also told me his french grandfather was a POW, sent along 1.5 million to Germany during the occupation. I didn't ask if he made it home, I think if he had, Francis would have said.

We had very good historians who traveled with us to the various regions we visited. The WWII guy was William Jourdan, historian, author and must also have a bit of Robin Williams somewhere in his brain. His impersonation of Churchill was hysterical, did quite a few others as well.

Many thanks for your patience, dear readers, wonderful Americans. BTW, Europeans are very, very interested in our elections, the primaries, everywhere we went there were questions. Seems we of "the colonies" are still respected as a people, quite an eye opener for this ole' southern belle/broad!

Posted by: VintageLady | May 21, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Great links, VL. That sounds like a very cool event. Having a lady in the boodle that is not only vintage, but can talk military aircraft is going to make the rest of the male boodlers swoon. Or take up knitting. I forgot, one already has.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

I googled NH and found this Nelsonator whose drawings FIT THE LAST KIT.

Nelson! You have a very cool webble-ganger.

And Nelson, you are typing nicely here. May I call your attention to a typical A-blog thread-detour of yesterday? Mudge, who is the Shakespeare-bosun of Waldorf, makes me weep with joy at the explication of "full fathoms five". Wil S, from upon high, is looking down upon his spiritual, nautical son kindly.

Pearls appear often on the A-blog. Sometimes, swinish swipes appear, too. But notice, we make silk purses out of the creature.

Ahh, such is the way of motley. Special salutes to the crew of yesterday for lifting the jib higher: LiT, RD, Yoki, Mudge, YJ, gwe, and omni of the fierce stiletto. If I missed you, come and see me and I shall enter your feat into the Doomesday Book.

Glad to have you, Lord Admiral Nelson. Come back often.

Hey boss, we like the interim kit-makers. But your throne has been roped off with silken cords. No mutiny here, sir.

Posted by: College parkian | May 21, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

DbG -- here is a little something i faked up for you on the QoftheDay: what is the marginal utility of superheroes.

By taking the total differential of the utility function equation, we obtain the following results:
Mu(heros) = Summation of reader pleasure over an interval x ->infinity; , or, without loss of generality, the total derivative of the utility function with respect to good x, which is the unit of comic hero delivery, that is,

x is a real number without limits, theoretically, but see Hernandez's treatise on the utility of comic heros toward a new world order.
Moving now to the proof:
Through any point on the indifference curve, dU/dx = 0, because U = c, where c is a constant. It follows from the above equation that:
, or rearranging

(scratchings....believe them, ok)

The marginal rate of substitution of one hero for another is defined by minus the slope of the indifference curve at whichever commodity bundle quantities are of interest. That turns out to equal the ratio of the marginal utilities:

THEREFORE, the marginal utility of one hero is proportional to the marginal utility of another hero.

ta DAH.

(Where are my subscripts?)

Posted by: College Fakian | May 21, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I admit it. I've Googled myself. Look, I'm only human. If I leave out my middle initial I get 5. If I put my middle initial in I get 18 - of which most refer to a single book review I once wrote for Amazon.

Beside the significant lack of notoriety this suggests, I am a little surprised that the number of references is actually dropping. My full name used to bring up more - including some references to the The Style Invitational. Now those references have been removed. I have been disappeared.

The question is, though, by whom.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

RD -- I am no longer in the google-sphere for Bob Levey's word thingie. Banishment hurts, don't it. I feel your pain.

Posted by: College Consolian | May 21, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

So here are some interesting Google Hit results.

"Nelson Hernandez" - 32,500
"Rachel Manteuffel" - 1,840
"Caitlin Gibson" - 3,270
"Joel Achenbach" - 51,800
"Gene Weingarten" - 75,200

And finally,

"Dave Barry" - 2,080,000

Of course, Dave Barry is probably a really common name.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

CP - yeah it's kinda weird. There used to be a bunch of mentions and they have all vanished. Which, on one level, is really, really nice for me. (Long story.) But still, there is something a bit creepy about it.

On the other hand, "RD Padouk" gets 1,440 hits. That dude's on fire.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I really like the Wiki-meter idea. The only problem I see is that it lacks dynamic range. By which I mean there are lots and lots of people who simply never make the cut. So the opportunities for obsessive compulsive behavior are sorely lacking.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Mornin RD. Here something:

Posted by: omni | May 21, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

My real first and last name in quotes has 35,000 hits and none of the ones in the top 100 are me. Plenty of attorneys, professors and drug advocates, but not me. Adding my middle name into the quotes gets zero direct hits suggesting that my full name is unique but inconsequential.

Yellojkt, on the other hand, has 11,000 hits, all of them me. Astoundingly, none of my contributions to the Boodle appear before the ninth page. After links to Celebritology and TBG's blog. Joel needs to invest in some SEO technology.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

On page two of my google webhits is a YouTube video a student made of me -- two other instructors also. In the background at my home, you hear a crazy quaker parrot and on my lap is Poodle Parkian. Because BParkian is dark and I have a dark shirt on,you cannot tell exactly what is going on.

A distant cousin asked me if I had a puppet and why on earth would I appear in a college student's research project with a puppet!???

Posted by: College Parkian | May 21, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to be late getting into last night's "enough already" discussion, but here's my take.

I can only discern one reason for her remaining on the Boodle -- to be a shining example of quite a few repugnant personality traits. I'm not perfect, but I prefer my role models to be positive, so I'll continue to ignore her.

SoC, OF COURSE I read the "Haunted Tank," that's where I was introduced to J.E.B. Stuart! :-)

*middle-of-the-week-but-feeling-like-Monday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 21, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

A warm hearth
like gold
A warm heart
of gold

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

If you are interested in sweetiegate but are looking for a more enlightened point of view of than our Linda's, you may want to read today's column by Ruth Marcus. It looks like the clever reporter got her pound of flesh from Obama right back. Good for her and the lad will learn.

Mudge thanks for the nautical discussion. Back in the day some guys in my sections were buying cable and anchors for the RCN. It baffled me at the time but I think I know now why cables for anchors were called cables even if they were made of chain while the braided steel ropes for the sonar towed bodies were called ropes... I also remember that the cables were rather fancy things with prices to match. They were not you're average hardware store chain, that's for sure.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 21, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I've always wondered if the famous feel famous. That is, does someone with a lot of Wiki text wake up feeling infused with the essence of celebrity? Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I prefer the Google method of fame-evaluation, because at least I exist by that standard. My own name, combined with all reasonable variations thereof, draws 1290 Google hits. The majority are me, but there are a few others. When I include ScienceTim and StorytellerTim as options for the search, I get 2580 hits. Weirdly, since I've only been using it for a month or two, adding PlainTim to the list gets me 5200 hits. I assume there are a lot of alternative uses of this character sequence.

Searching on PlainTim alone, I found a batch of sites in Kanji, and several in which the intended word clearly was "plaintiff". Maybe it was bad OCR software.

My wife can comfortably note that absolutely every Google hit drawn by her name is her. On the web, at least, her name is unique among humans.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 21, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

8:56, what part of *we don't wish to entice* don't you understand? :-)

Posted by: dbG | May 21, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, CP! Takes me back to the old days, sniff!

My Adv. Linear Algebra prof used to call me "Queen of the Obvious Proof."

On the basis of "THEREFORE, the marginal utility of one hero is proportional to the marginal utility of another hero." I am handing the tiara over to you.

I don't think you'll have a problem fitting your bike helmet over it, but henceforth you will need to wave in a dignified manner.

Posted by: dbG | May 21, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

aaarrg Science Tim, you made me google my name. I appear 3 times in the first 60 hits (of 970), but I knew of at least two other more famous SDs. One is a radio host and the other a science&technology commentator on radio and television. I went, shortly, to the same school as the latter although he is four years younger, the b@stard. The gunmint insists on putting our names and e-mail addresses on the department's website, that explains most of the hits. (and the huge quantity of spam our IT department is reportedly intercepting)

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 21, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm really bummed out. My wife called a few minutes ago to tell me that a very good friend of mine died 11 days ago, and I didn't know about it (nobody called and told me, which just compounds my misery). So I missed his funeral, and there's no question I would have been one of the speakers (or maybe not; I'd probably have "lost it" about five words into it.

Apparently he was driving down the road and had a heart attack, and swerved into a tree.

I've been friends with him for nearly 25 years; I'd umpired easily over a hundred or maybe 200 of his baseball or softball games. He was president of our Little League, and I served with him as kind of his "right-hand man" on the board of directors for, I think, 12 years. He and I went through two major "takeover" wars similar to the one Ivansmom was describing a week ago.

I can't recall how many times after a board meeting he and I would go to our local Denny's and sit and talk baseball/softball for hours on end. He was the finest baseball/softball tactician and coach I ever knew. He took our 13-year-old boys to a World Series championship in 1986, and took opur 16-to-18-year-old girls to no less than FIVE appearances in their level World Series, and won four of them consecutively (his obit is wrong on that point). That is a record unmatched by ANY Little League team anywhere in the world, ever. No coach has EVER won both a boys baseball World Series AND a girls softball World Series (much less four of them.

He and I had a running joke that must have lasted fifteen years: whenever he saw me coming toward a field, he'd shout, "You sorry ump!" and I would always reply, "You're right, Tommy; I'm sorry I'm an ump." We'd both laugh. (And no one else would ever dare say something like that to me, but only Tommy could, and he knew I loved it; I ate it up.)

Our league very often was the site for many district-wide, statewide or regional tournaments, and very often if I wasn't umpiring, Tommy and I would be the scorekeeper and game announcer team behind the backstop, administratively running the game. He liked to announce, and I'd keep score, though sometimes we'd trade off. (And if he got called away to another field to handle some problem, I'd do both until he got back.)

Although he was tough, his sense of sportsmanship and fair play was unparalleled. Once when he was coaching a 14-15 yr old boys team and I was standing next to him not umpiring but watching, a kid on the other side hit a long shot to left. It wasn't a home run, but the field ump ruled (incorrectly) that it was. Tommy stood and did nothing. I said to him, "Don't you want to appeal that?" He said, "Nah. The kid thinks he hit a home run. I'm not gonna take that away from him." I had tears in my eyes.

His daughter Sherry (mentioned in the obit) coached my middle daughter's team for a couple of years.

So I'm sitting here trying to hold it together, and I'd appreciate it if you guys skip the usual condolences. I just found his obit in the Post; I'm indulging myself and the patience of the Boodle by posting it here.

Inspiration to Teams Big and Little

College of S.Md. Coach Was Killed in Car Crash

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 11, 2008; Page SM03

Thomas L. Morrison was a man who answered to many names: Tommy, Dad, Grandpa. Any of the three could cause the 66-year-old La Plata man to turn his head.
But to most people, family members and friends say, he answered to a different title: Coach.
Morrison, who coached softball for more than 20 years at the College of Southern Maryland and was active in the Waldorf American Little League for nearly 35 years, was killed Wednesday when his vehicle swerved off Oaks Road in Charlotte Hall and crashed into a tree.
Police think that Morrison experienced a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the car, said Kristen Timko, a spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff's Office. Family members, who have not seen the medical examiner's final report, said they suspected the emergency was a heart attack or a problem related to Morrison's diabetes.
Morrison had a storied coaching career at the college and Little League levels. He led the College of Southern Maryland's softball team to six NJCAA tournament appearances and was inducted into the college's Hall of Fame last year. His 16-to-18-year-old girls' softball teams went to the Little League World Series four times, winning at least twice, his daughter Sheri Morrison said. And he led his Little League boys baseball team to the World Series twice, winning in the 13-year-old division in 1986, she said.
"He'd go from one field to the next," said Sheri Morrison, 42, who lived with her father in La Plata. "He's just coached so many people."
Thomas Morrison grew up in Lowell, Mass. He moved to Southern Maryland in 1969 because of his work in the Air Force, his daughter said. He quickly got involved in Little League, she said, even helping to start a girls' softball program when she turned 13. Morrison coached his daughter through her college years.
"He was hard on me, but I learned a lot from him, and he made me a better player," his daughter said. "What he taught was more than a game; he taught that you win gracefully, and you lose gracefully."
John Creaturo, 65, who coached with Morrison at the College of Southern Maryland, said he was "a great tactician" whose incredible memory was surpassed only by his love of children. But Creaturo also said that Morrison was a hard-nosed coach who knew how to win.
Creaturo recalled an instance when Morrison's team was facing Hagerstown Community College in a regional game, and a reporter from a Hagerstown newspaper said he was ready to go to the national tournament with the Hagerstown team. The comment implied Hagerstown would beat the College of Southern Maryland.
"Tommy said, 'I don't think you're going anywhere but home,' " Creaturo recalled. He was right: The Southern Maryland team won and eventually went to the national tournament.
Morrison is survived by two daughters, Sheri and Susie; a son Tommy; and four grandchildren. A viewing is scheduled from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday at Regency Furniture Stadium, with the funeral beginning at 7.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 21, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Ahh d&^5$ it, Mudge. So sad. Knocks the wind right out, doesn't it. Yet, this story is also bracing and hopeful..

Tommy Morrison, Coach, enters in, and is at play in some great green field fronted by the most perfect of diamonds.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 21, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

*placing my cap over my heart for Mr. Morrison*

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 21, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

That's so sad Mudge. Thank you for sharing.

I think entirely too many people associated with the Boodle have been passing away. We need more births. Or at least new pets.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I want to take a moment here to thank Mr. Hernandez for writing Kits that are clearly taylored to the majority of Joel's audience (he's done some research, that's for sure) and has produced some lively Boodling.

Granted, not everyone appreciates the effort, but I sure do. Thanks, Nelson.

The Man in the Basement
is only worth 6006 words? Heck, The Boss wrote 98,850 (according to Amazon - I didn't just count them during a bathroom break) just on Washington's Grand Idea to use the Potomac as a gateway to the West:

I haven't even bothered to look to see if there's anything at all about me on Wikipedia. When I google various iterations of my name in quotes I get a little over 70 good hits pertaining to the Real Me (please save your bc Real Doll jokes for a non-family oriented blog, please), though when I google "bc" I get over 21,700,000,000...

And frankly, I don't want to know.



Posted by: bc | May 21, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The only thing worse than Googling oneself -and I hate to even imagine it but I've heard the tales- is when published authors who lack even a modicum of self restraint compulsively check their Amazon Rankings.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Mudge, I'm soo sorry for BOOing there, my friend (wow, I wish that refresh was working well now). Thanks for sharing.

Morrison sounds like a great guy, one of those folks you're glad you knew.

Not a condolence, but a thought.


Posted by: bc | May 21, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I have no widipedia entry. I aspire to keep it this way. My first and last name in quotes turns up something like 98 Google hits, many of which are me. Apparently there is also an obscure minor league player, I know not what sport, who shares that name. There is sure some random stuff out there. I am a little shocked to discover over 1240 Google hits for "Ivansmom", almost none of them me, including someone who has had lap band surgery and someone else who can't get their child to sleep. Eeek. Of course, this assures I remain ever more anonymous. Unless it relates to the Boodle you can just assume I ain't that person.

I strive for continued anonymity in this age of instant information. Also, I want the kind of job where I'm so important (or, as now, unimportant) that there is no need to be constantly available to superiors or employees.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

// . . . I'd appreciate it if you guys skip the usual condolences . . . . //

' ain't gonna happen, shipmate. One of the best things about the boodle is its' genuine compassion. You know that we all grieve with you. And you also know that the only thing that we can tangebly do is express that compassion.

As baby boomers, this loss of friends is yet another thing that we are going to experience over and over again in the coming years.

I'm truely sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | May 21, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, thank you for sharing Mr. Morrison's life with us. He sounds like a fine man.

I agree with RD. In the absence of new pets, let's get some of those lurkers out here. Centreville Mom, c'mon. Wheezy, I saw you on the last Boodle. We had a couple of new folk last week, stick your heads out again. Forgive me for not remembering your names. I've got a mind like a fine sieve.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 21, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, here's some good pet-related news, anyway...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 21, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

When it comes to privacy, Google isn't the problem. Google, and other search tools like it, only examine html text. The real info is buried within various databases.

For example, if you have been married, or divorced, or involved in any kind of legal action - especially with the IRS - there is a wealth of personal information about you that Google cannot unearth. But a trained individual can.

Now, this shouldn't really scare you that much. Statistics strongly suggest that the threat of ID theft from the internet is far smaller than the threat from what is left in your mailbox or dumped into your trash.

As for twisted stalkers and the like, again, people shouldn't get paranoid. Strangers aren't usually the problem. Unless you are uber-famous, the biggest threats to your privacy come from people who already know you.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

By the way, lest I incite paranoia, I have only done a full search on two Americans. The first was a woman I was kinda mean to in elementary school. She was awfully hard to track down, but I eventually did and called in 1995 to apologize. She cried in gratitude at my apology. Old hurts last. So if you have any sins in your past, it is worth the effort to correct them.

The other American I did a full-monty search on was me. I was shocked, shocked by what I discovered.

I mean, I don't even *remember* being married to Britney Spears.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

RD is certainly right about stalkers. Usually a stalker is someone with whom you've had some kind of contact, often regular contact. This is true of child abusers, too, by the way. Stranger danger in our society, however catchy the rhyme, is not as worrisome as the devil you know. Also, most sex offenders are not child molesters. They've either targeted adult women or they are the dummies who step outside the bar to pee on the wall when they're a little drunk. This is why Googling or searching a database for, say, sex offenders living near you is not a helpful predictor of your family's danger level.

Public Service Message at an end; please return to regularly scheduled Boodling.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 21, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I like this take from the Detroit Free Press on Sweetiegate far better than Washington Post's Marcus this morning. Note, too, that Maureen Dowd has fun with it in her second and third sentences in her clever op-ed today at the NYT:

As far as this Kit, I found it ...? Dull? As though all the people whose names can be found during the simplest of Google searches were (for the deceased) or are (for those in the present) living in a vacuum, absent from others, like bubble girl or bubble boy, immune from external influences or events or place.

For example, and far more interesting:

Google and (the French) Publicis
Ben Bradlee and Durie Malcolm
Blake Fleetwood and Hillary Clinton
Ben Bradlee and Lyndon Baines Johnson
Asher Karni and Marisa Ann Sketo-Kirsh
Nelson Hernandez and Danny Glover
Ben Bradlee and John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Posted by: Loomis | May 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

RD, I'm sure Britney remembers you fondly, but we know she'd never kiss and tell.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

RD -- annulments are wonderful and I guess you opted for the memory-erase version. The 19.95 cost is the best Jefferson you ever spent.

Truly, you are the good one, RD. I have someone from high school to apologize to, also, but he is either dead or missing. His family remains at sixes and sevens about this. Perhaps I can write an apology or good memory in a letter to them.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

RD, besides paranoia, there's "once stalked, always watchful".

Posted by: LostInThought | May 21, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Loomis. Kettle, pot. Pot, kettle.

I think a substantial number of people here and elsewhere find you boring too.

Posted by: CC | May 21, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I have another gardening (or actually, lawn care) question for the Boodle-font of all wisdom (and my mother isn't answering her phone). For a section of new sod that's getting dangerously dried out despite daily (and now twice-daily) watering, does it make sense to put a sheet over it to guard it from the sun during our record high temperatures? Or will that just help it cook? We put the sod out too late in the season, for reasons that were Not Our Fault. But there's still a little green in there, so I'm hoping we can still salvage it.

Posted by: bia | May 21, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

My name search when limited to Canada was fairly narrow with hits and came up with some old races. Yeeouch.

So with apologies to A.E. Housman, my Ode to the Fun Run "Athlete"

The times you thought you ran so fine
we dragged you across the finish line
Man and boy offered 9-1-1
And home we brought you, finally done

You did not gain a laurelled head
but on the Net your time is read
an enduring tribute to the race
and your sore and blistered pace

So while others have wore their honours out
your time lives on without much doubt
you may wish renown outran
but no, there's you behind that old man

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 21, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

3,530 Tina Gibson

I saw a news story on TV once about a man whose daughter had been stalked and murdered. He said that if he'd simply Googled her name once he would have found the website the murderer had created that actually detailed the stalking and the planned murder.

He warned parents to Google their kids' names often. Although my daughter's name is quite common in another country, the combination of first and last name is pretty unusual.

There seems to be one other girl, who is around her age, who lives in Canada and they have "friended" each other on Facebook (she's also joined the Facebook group "Girls with the name [Name]"). Anyway, it's easy to keep track of my daughter's public Web presence (which seems to be minimal).

My son, on the other hand, has a pretty common name combination. While his shortened name brings up about 5,000 hits on Goodle, his "real" name shows 105,000 hits. There's a Wiki page and an IMDB page, neither of which is his.

In other words, he's a little harder to keep track of.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

*clap clap clap*

Posted by: Yoki | May 21, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC... my daughter's name is NOT Tina Gibson.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

bia -- I know northing of lawns say that I resist the monoculture and embrace the melange....however, a close cropped lawn does set off a perennial border nicely.

Shade might help. Water yes, but perhaps early in the AM.

Posted by: College Parkian | May 21, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

bia... covering the lawn will guarantee it's demise. Not sure what your solution is, but don't cover it up... I do know that.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Back boodling on shot and chain, I briefly worked at the only chain factory west of the Rockies in the early 70's (a division on the most famous chain company in York, PA.) I lived in the east bay and had been working in silicone valley but before 237 was improved I was spending more time in the commute than at work and one day saw an ad for a engineer at the chain factory in the same area I lived. I got the job but only stayed a few months. This factory not only had a lot of industrial accidents, it had had industrial deaths the two years preceding. Chain is heavy and lots of full strength sulfuric and hydrochloric acid is used in the manufacturing process.
We manufactured everything kind of chain from the fine brass chain used to hang flower baskets to anchor chain. Output was measured in tons per shift, 3 shifts, 7 days a week. The major product was tire chains. We made all the tire chains sold west of the Rockies. Same chains put in every brand of boxes. Chain doesn't transport economically over the Rockies.
The largest anchor chain we made had a wire diameter of 2 ½ inches. The process was almost biblical.
A long rod of the wire was heated yellow hot in a big forge and then wound when fairly ductile around a tapered mandrel in a big spiral. The spiral was cut down the middle with a torch and the rings (future links) dumped off the mandrel. The first was reheated and two guys manipulated the heated ring with manual thongs under a big hammer to shape the ring into a link and then hammered it until the ends fused (hammer forged welding.) Each subsequent ring was heated, formed into a link and the twisted enough that the ends could be passed over inside the previous link and the ends forge welded, one link at a time. This operation was way down at the end of the factory because the heat was unbearable. The links were designed so the finished welding was 87 feet long. Along one side of the factory was a trench in the floor 100 feet long. At one end was an pin and the other end a steam powered puller. The operation there was a combination strength pull test and stretching it to the final standard length of a ninety foot *shot*. The winter before was an extra long snow season over the sierras and the factory run out of tire chains. So my first task was to shut down the less profitable anchor chain operation, fill in the test trench and contract for several hundred stackable forkliftable 1000 pound capacity bins that could be lined up along that wall for tire chain assembly materials. Up until then tire chain material was stored in 55 gallon drums with a couple holes burned in the sides so a forklift could stick a blade through the holes and lift, carry and stack the barrels up six high. If a lower barrel got bumped or one side crumpled the whole stack/s fell over. Often with injuries.
There were about 100 four-slide machines to cut, form and assemble the other sizes of chain and the noise level in that place was over 100 decibels. The front gate was a long way from the factory so when the gate attendant signaled OSAH was coming, several machines were shut down so the noise level dropped below 87.
There are lots of other stories I could tell about that place and I only stayed a few months before deciding I could put up with the commute.

Posted by: bh | May 21, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Ai chihuahua... If you thought people fought to get overhead luggage space on airlines up 'til now, you ain't seen nuthin' yet:


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 21, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, and I thought I was being so clever. Thanks, TBG. CP, I'm with you on landscaping philosophy. This was about a quick fix for a long-defunct fishpond in a non-flowerbed-able position. Fill dirt plus grass seemed to be the way to go. And it worked well for the part that got its sod earlier...

Posted by: bia | May 21, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

bia - on the other hand, putting a black sheet of plastic down over wet soil on a hot day is a great way to sterilize garden in preparation for planting.

With regard to sod, years ago we put some in our old town house far later than we should have. The solution we found worked best was "trickle irrigation" via a perforated hose during the morning and early evening.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Jeez Louise, Scotty. I wish the airlines would just increase their fares, rather than nickel-and-diming us with fees.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 21, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I watched a movie on YouTube last week called "Google Me" by and about a guy named Jim Killeen. He searched out about 6 or 7 other people with his name and interviewed them. Eventually they all met in Killeen, Texas and had a kind of Killeen BPH. It was a fascinating film, if not exactly a Hollywood blockbuster. One of the people the filmmaker found, in Scotland, I think, looked almost exactly like him. That was cool.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 21, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, you maybe could FedEx a decent-sized bundle of clothes (vacuum-packed to save cubage, of course) to your destination for $15, yanno...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 21, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

So, bh, you worked for Acco, right? (Unless it was Campbell???) And your standard anchor chain was BBB type, correct? And maybe some high-test chain for the big spenders.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 21, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Cool, RD, I'm glad to know it can be done. If normal morning and evening watering doesn't show results soon, I'll try the trickle technique. Too bad I just threw out that old hose that got mowed in half.

Posted by: bia | May 21, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the check-in charge would be for three pounds of grits? That's what Yoki requested from this Virginian... slow-cooking, old-fashioned grits.

The guys at security at Dulles pondered over the boxes for a moment, but when they realized it was DRY and not liquid, they waved me through.

My luggage was a lot lighter on the way home, that's for sure.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Cool story, bh, glad you shared.

Raysmom, on our last trip (to a fire service conference), Mr. T had to move stuff into my luggage so that his wouldn't be overweight. The clerk suggested it, so that he would avoid the fee.

Posted by: slyness | May 21, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

slyness, we've had to do the repack-your-luggage-at-the counter routine as well. We've now learned to weigh the bags before leaving hom.

And I'm sure American's move will set the Post Travel crew off on another round of "you can pack everything you need for a two-week trip in a carry on."

Posted by: Raysmom | May 21, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I have sometimes been tempted to mail all luggage ahead of time and then travel wearing nothing but a Speedo. No luggage would be lost. Hassles at security would be minimized. And I would probably get a whole row to myself since I am pretty gosh darn sure nobody else would want to sit by me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 21, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My college roommate was a tiny person who couldn't eat when she was stressed. One year at the end of a stressful semester, she was packing her enormous suitcase for the international flight home, and she asked me if I thought it was too heavy. I think the limit was something like 75 lbs.

"But I don't know what 75 lbs. feels like."

"So, pick up the suitcase and then pick me up, and tell me which is heavier."

So I did. The suitcase was heavier.

Posted by: bia | May 21, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, some airlines tried to raise their basic fare but it didn't "stick". people still look at the sticker price, not the "paid" price. In addition, many organizations set out procedures that forces the traveller to pick the lowest fare, not the lowest cost.
It certainly complicates ticket shopping. I was looking recently for an ticket to Vancouver BC. One airline had two direct flights for $964 vs the other company with two one-stop flights at $875. I was tempted by the direct flights but the cheaper fare airline also had the lowest surcharges ($114 vs $233, including $9.40 for the privilege of being sniffed, probed and prodded by the CATSA drones), putting the differential cost at $208. As expected the boss didn't buy it.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 21, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Aw, RD.. you wouldn't really want to do that... those airplane seats are kind of itchy.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

shriek, here's hoping that this won't "stick" either. (Spoken as one who has several upcoming trips.)

Posted by: Raysmom | May 21, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

And the previous flight might have been one of those charters heading for nudist vacation resorts.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | May 21, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

bh: "The first was reheated and two guys manipulated the heated ring with manual thongs under a big hammer to shape the ring into a link and then hammered..."

No one was *wearing* those thongs at the time, were they? Ouch!

I think a link for thong tongs to handle those hot things while I sing a song. A sing-along hot thing thong tong link, I think.

That was an interesting tale, bh, thanks.
Certainly made the wheels in *my* mind start turning in unexpected directions (Dr. Seuss meets Jackson Pollock meets Our Man omni, of course).


Posted by: bc | May 21, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Nelsonator" -

you are doing a great job!

TC ;-)

Posted by: TC | May 21, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

bc, your 2:38 took the words right out of my mouth.

bh, great post. As one who has been the end-use customer of big anchor chain, I enjoyed hearing about how it's made. I've had my share of snotty weather, but never had an anchor drag on me. The thought of such an event is truely scary, though.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | May 21, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk's 2:16 post reminds me of a series of movies Alan Funt made in the early 70's, "What do you say to a naked lady?" It was done in his "Candid Camera" style, only the actors were nekkid. He focused on the average person's reaction to seeing somebody else in a public place with no clothes on. Interesting, but it didn't do well at the box office.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | May 21, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

RD, ix-nay on the eedo-Spay. TSA might think pick up on it as a security measure. Picture it: before going through security, everyone strips down and puts on TSA-issued robes. Clothes are packed away in the cargo hold and re-issued upon arrival. No way to hide any contraband. Hey, they're already keeping us safe from hand sanitizer and saline solution.

Posted by: Raysmom | May 21, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

My real name is as dull as ditchwater. I once got the wrong rx from my local pharmacy... and it had my name on it. I also had a mix-up at the library once.

All of this is to say that I have very low fears about being googled on the basis of my name.

However, I try and keep other identifiers off; as far as I know, there aren't many deaf people with my dull name, so the risk goes up right there within that sub-world.

Heck, you don't have to use a name in that world, all you need to do is describe a person by some rare characteristics and people will start speculating on who that person might be. Even if they're wrong, they can be completely convinced that MUST be the person, to the determinent of that person's reputation.

A friend once mentioned she had counselled a person with XYZ characteristics for sexually transmitted disease, and I said, you DO NOT GIVE OUT THAT INFORMATION. She said "But I didn't name names."

The specific characteristic mix she described is quite rare, and in the DC area maybe 5-30 individuals with that are active in the local deaf community. As she also implied an age range, the odds of pinpointing whom went up to 1 in 3-- more if the person hearing the information was really knowledgeable with the deaf community.

As a result, she had breached confidentiality to a degree worse than just naming the person (but nothing else, no disabilities, etc.).

She later went to a workshop on working with the deaf community and the speaker said the same as I had said.

As RD says, privacy is more apt to be breached by people you have had personal contact with and who know you. This doesn't comfort me much.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

We usually fly United. So far, the only fee is for each piece checked, which weighs over 50 lbs. So, I weigh the suitcase empty, 15lbs (very large), then fill it up, weigh it again, and if it's close to 50, put all my shoes in a carryon, that works for me.

'Mudge, it is a shock to hear about your friend in that way, without anyone caling you. Take care and blessings all around you.

Posted by: VintageLady | May 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Journalism pet peeve time:

Here's a headline on the home page -- "Senator's Cancer Is Highly Lethal"

The only adverbs for lethal would be variations on "possibly," IMHO. You can't use a modifier to intensify in this case, since you can't be "highly dead" unless you're the Wicked Witch of the East...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 21, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

But... but.. you can be "mostly dead, but not completely dead!"

Posted by: K:LOTD | May 21, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

DbG, if that comment on Hillary Clinton was aimed at me, you misunderstood what I meant by "many people will need to know it's over at last."

I did not refer to Sen. Clinton, who can count just fine. I'm referring to disgruntled Hillary supporters.

I'm a Blue dog democrat, but my political presidental choices have tracked the winning independent vote since Bush I (I would have voted him in 1988 because he had truckloads of experience and seemed moderate. In 1992, hell no.).

The one exception was Kerry (and honestly, I voted him just because I hated Bush worse. Turns out not enough people hated Bush that badly). Edwards on the ticket did help make that choice go down.

Here's my take on why Obama-Clinton shouldn't happen.

Senator Clinton is going to be most valuable in the Senate, if Democrats hold Congress by a stronger majority.

Else, she will vote Republican lite like she has the last 8 years. I don't see her as being an aggressive enough vetoer if she was president with a Republican congress.

Now, this year I am a yellow dog Democrat 100%. I want the mess that the Republicans landed us in to be undone and the country to go in a new direction. No arguments. They screwed up. (Clinton and Kerry too. And that's why they lost.)

I consider the Congressional races this year to be extremely important... almost more important than the presidency.

Obama has done far more for the Democratic party this year in terms of voter turn-out and registration than Clinton has. That could make the difference in Congress for the next 2 years, no matter who becomes President.

Let the contest continue, but when the DNC starts, the fat lady should sing and the curtain goes down on this stage.

Clap and cry, and get ready for the next act; there's always more to come.

Look for Hillary to continue to play a strong role in the next 2 years. She won't do that best as a vice-president.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: crickets | May 21, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Who let the bugs in here?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Jumper" gets over 6 million Google hits. But that doesn't mean much.

My real name, about 70, using both nickname-last name and entire firstname-lastname. There is a linebacker, and some guy in Texas, that are not me. And some dead people in the geneology sites. Google cheats nowadays, as by now everyone should realize. They short-cut a lot of their searches; they often are not complete.

I like the chain story, bh.

Posted by: Jumper | May 21, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy, free protein on the hop!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 21, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey I've dibs on that free protein for my experiments! Grrr...

But, here's a consolation prize series for you:

Posted by: DNA Girl | May 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I'm sorry I misunderstood you, but who here has mentioned Hillary for VP in the past few months? I'm kind of confused.

Like anyone else, disgruntled Hillary supporters are entitled to . . . be disgruntled. It's in the Constitution! :-)

Posted by: dbG | May 21, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

apparently i have a pretty common name - mostly overseas tho... i don't look at all like my name would imply that i look...

mudge - all i'm gonna do is send you a great big bear hug! (you know i'm good at bear hugs!)

and onto the BIG news of the day... which david will win american idol? imho cook kicked archuleta's butt all over the stage but the judges think the sun shines outta archuleta's backside... is it just me or did it look like someone had slipped archuleta a valium? i thought he was going to fall asleep on the stage! quick, someone give that kid a no-doze!

Posted by: mo | May 21, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Dbg, just pointing out that Hillary can have a strong role to play, win or lose.

The last time a democratic senator won the presidental nomination, he wound up having to put his opponent on as vice president. That was Kennedy and LBJ. This author indeeds raises the spectre of a Obama-Clinton ticket.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought the last time a Democratic senator won the presidential nomination was four years ago.

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey... where's Cassandra today? You out there, friend? Drop in and say "hey."

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Mo I am with you concerning David Cook - way more talent artistically BUT I think he tanked last night on purpose knowing if he won he would have to sing the Idol Pop crap rather than real music.

Well my theory anyways. :-) and Hi!!!

My name is quite common but in two different cultures so far I have found only a couple of matches.

Posted by: dmd | May 21, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Should have been "won the presidency", TBG. Thanks for the catch.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, my head is still full of word salad. I'd better go walk Wilbrodog and digest dinner some more.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Watching "P.S I Love You"

What a great Romantic Comedy"

I've laughed\I've cried...

There is one scene where the goofy socially awkward guy is asking what do women want: this, that, the other thing, or something else (not even attempting a paraphrase here, watch the movie)

And then Holly leans in to say "something, something...Sacred Secret... something, something." and other stuff... (but then tells him..." .... " (watch the movie)

And now I totally, in more ways than ever before... 'It's a Woman's prerogative to change her mind'

I understand. HaHa

Posted by: omni | May 21, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Campbell. Campbell built most of the 4 slide machines. Lots of the cast iron frames had 'Canmpbell 1904' moulded into the legs. They were still re-manufacturing them when I was there. Every two weeks an eighteen wheeler came with refurbished machines and took back those needing repairs or tuneups.
bc, So I can't spell. Why do you think I was working in a chain factory?

Supposibly, Campbell made a fortune during WW11 using the 4 slide machines just making those two square wire clips that attached the handles to GI ammo cans.

Posted by: bh | May 21, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

bh wrote "a fortune during WW11 using the 4 slide"

I am devastated! I slept thru WWs 3 thru 10?

Posted by: nellie | May 21, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Oy. Didja ever have one of those days? Mo, I'm gonna need you to fax me at least two more hugs. Maybe three.

This morning I found out my friend had died in a car crash, as I mentioned this morning. When I got home this evening, there was a message on my answering machine I'd been expecting: my cousin, who'd gone into a coma on Friday, died yesterday, from pancreatic cancer. He was 56. I talked to his wife; the funeral is Friday morning. So I'm gonna leave work early tomorrow. and my wife and I are gonna drive to upstate Pennsylvania (near Lehighton) for the funeral. My cousin's mother (my aunt) is 92, and she's still pretty coherent. She's not going to take this well; you aren't supposed to outlive your kids. Her husband, my uncle, died about 8 months ago.

A little while ago, I called my brother to tell him the news (he's 16 months younger than me, and not nearly as handsome or debonaire; I got all the good genes, and I still have all my hair, while his cranium is as sparsely decorated as Ben Franklin's, whom he closely resembles, though without the wisdom, charm or wit). During the conversation he revealed he came down with kidney failure in January, is on home dialysis four times a day, and is on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. (As you can tell, we don't talk much.) So he's not coming to the funeral.

But there's also good news: I had about an inch and a half of gin left in my big bottle of Bombay Sapphire I got for Christmas, so I made myself a tall gin and tonic. I feel I have earned it today.

Some days it just don't pay to answer the phone, know what I mean, Earl?

So I'm not gonna Boodle much between now and tomorrow afternoon, though I'll be lurking, and then I'll be off the Boodle until sometime on Saturday. On Friday night we're staying at my best friends' place in Elkins Park in the Philly suburbs, where there will be a Philly cheesesteak orgy. Also possibly some liquor, I dunno.

Cassandra, I could probably use a hug from you, too.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 21, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Sending you a big hug from me as well Mudge.

Posted by: dmd | May 21, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Will I do, Mudge?


Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, friends. I am here, TBG,but just getting in from all the work. It has been a long day, and a busy one. My daughter spent most of the day with me, and the g-girl, of course.

Slyness, good thoughts your way. And we had lots of rain too, but it is so needed.

Loomis, you know if Error were here, he would rip you a new one. Some of that stuff you say is so hurtful. And I know I'm not helping here, but it bothered me so bad what you said last night in your post. It was just pure mean. Just mean. God loves you. I love you. Take a deep breath.

For all of you that are suffering because of death, sickness, and plain just feeling bad, I will pray for you as always. It does help, it really does. And please pray for me.

Mudge, from your post, your friend seem like he lived life in a big way, a good way. I am sorry you're just finding out, and for the loss.

I have been quite busy, but I can't seem to shake this weepy feeling I have. This dark cloud seems to want to hang around. I am keeping busy, and staying in prayer. And you know, you guys help a lot. Plus I walk a little now.

Welcome back, Vingtage Lady.

Time for bed. Have a good evening. Nelson, good job. You forgot Martin Luther King.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | May 21, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Mudge, I just read your post, and you know, you have a great big *hug* from me, and many words of prayer. I always pray for you, Mudge, and not because I think there is a lack in you but because I want God to bless and keep you, and all of you here, my friends.

I can tell that some are feeling bad, and some are dealing with stuff, as I am, so much of the time. But if prayer will help, and it does, you folks are truly prayed for and loved by this old woman in North Carolina.

Posted by: cassandra s | May 21, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Hugs, Mudge, Cassandra, everyone who needs them - which is probably all of us.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 21, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge, families are always the source of stress and sorrow, aren't they? My prayers are with you.

I hope your brother gets the transplant he needs. Such a miraculous technology. My exhusband's mother had Bright's disease and had one. I remember her telling me, the morning after the surgery, that she felt so much better, in spite of the pain from the operation.

Posted by: slyness | May 21, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, mostly.

When is Joel coming back to the Boodle?

Posted by: TBG | May 21, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you've certainly had much more than your share of sadness today. I am sorry. Cassandra, I feel for you too. I know that feeling your having, it's hard to shake. Keep walking, any exercise is good therapy. Big hugs to both of you.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | May 21, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Faxing you some hugs, Mudge. And Wilbrodog offers his fur therapy services as usual.

Today he was all nuts barking, brought him in and he goes galloping around the house, Lab-style (DbG knows what I mean), he's alerting me and running in circles and I figure, he has something to tell me. I check, all present in the house, so I take Wilbrodog out as he wants.

He does his sheepdog circle-sprint around the house and then leads me to the driveway, where I spot 2 little girls, he goes and sits (we have a sit-to-greet rule for dogs, kids, anything). I go up, and he lies down as I approach, and practically invites the little girls over to pet. They do, and I notice the little girl is the same one he had been getting excited about earlier that morning.

She looks 2-3 year old, on a really tiny bicycle, but no training wheels.

So Wilbrodog made some new friends today, and then schmoozed the neighbor's permission to water his yard, then did some more crazy running and fetching.

Sometimes that's what I need for a gloom-breaker.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 21, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope Wilbrodog and the little girls are good buddies for a long time. He would take good care of them, I'm sure.

Posted by: slyness | May 21, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, my boodle friends, I've been lurking a bit today, in between intensive billable work and suffering from allergy-eyes.

But I do want to send some of my own hugs to Mudge. Sometimes it truly feels like it never ends, all this pain and all this sorrow attendant to loss. You do have my best wishes that you will indeed come out on the other side of this.

Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of my mother's death. I still remember the phone call (I was not there, which I very much regret), and I will light a candle in her memory, as I do every year. I miss her still, and perhaps more intensely as the years pass. Looking at pictures of her makes it all a bit surreal, and it makes me want to phone her. When I was last in Michigan, I went to visit the folks in the cemetery. Since they took down the gnarled stump by the side of the inside road, I've had a hard time finding them ("Hmmm. Let's see. Under a tree.). When I found them, I was able to choke out: "Hi Mom, Hi Dad -- Don't get up. . . ." And they didn't. Afterwards, I went to a different cemetery, closer to Detroit, where Rosa Parks is resting. I didn't joke with her. But I did put my hand on my heart. For them all.

Mudge, I do wish you well during this very difficult time.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | May 21, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hugs to Mudge and all who need them.

Too bushed to boodle but I wanted to say how much I like the Nelsonator. Chuckling loud enough to startle the frostcats is always the sign of a good kit.

Posted by: frostbitten | May 21, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I hope you made that g&t a tall cool double. You definitely need it.

bh, no worries, mate.

TBG, I don't think we're going to see JA blogging regularly again until after Memorial Day. I think we're in good hands with until then, don't you?

cassandra, you made my evening, and several others' as well, I think.


Posted by: bc | May 21, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Mudge: I send along my condolences. I'll keep you, your family, and your friends in my thoughts and meditations. Tomorrow promises to be a better day.

Tomorrow is a long long time
if you're a memory
Trying to find peace of mind
Spirit come back to me,
Give me strength and set me free
Let me hear the magic in my heart.

"Love and Only Love"

Neil Young

Posted by: jack | May 21, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse


Rough week. Have a hug. In the most manly guy-bonding way. You have been double whammied. Have a drink in the dark and then think of the friends you have. We are only here a short while and need to help each other through.

Hang in there.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 21, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

mudge, what yellowjkt said, sincerely, but with a feminine touch. Life is so hard at times. This too shall pass.

Posted by: eidrib | May 21, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Also think of the fur therapist on staff here!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | May 21, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I just have to mention the story circulating about the parrot from Japan who got loose and was captured by the cops. He wouldn't divulge anything and finally was taken to a vet. Whereupon he finally cracked and gave up his name and address and even sang some songs. He was eventually reunited with his human family.

I love a good ending. :-)

Posted by: eidrib | May 21, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I've never really spoken on days when we've lost someone dear to a fellow boodler before. I've always felt that anything I could say would only demean the grief felt, even as I felt it too.

But today for 'Mudge, a great big one arm man hug. And I'm not letting go 'till you tap out.

Posted by: Kerric | May 22, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the comments to this YouTube video at all...

Also, how did

Posted by: omni | May 22, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Joel's body must be telling him it's lunch time. A bit like mine seems to be.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | May 22, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, so sorry to hear that you have being receiving one bad news after another. You are in my thoughts. Travel safely.

Posted by: rainforest | May 22, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, sending you a hug from me too. I'm not so great at coming up with comforting things to say but want to send my support to you as well. With much aloha...

Posted by: Aloha | May 22, 2008 2:32 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge knows he's got *HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSS* over here, too.

Have to say, it's been remarkably easy to get back into the commuter rail kind of routine. Just wish more people (not to mention the governments that create the service) came to that realization.

Hi Sneaks, Cassandra, Aloha, et al! :-)

*back-to-the-grind-but-not-before-havin'-another-cuppa-cawfee-and-very-thankful-for-all-my-friends-here-and-elsewhere Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 22, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

up an atom

Posted by: omni | May 22, 2008 5:10 AM | Report abuse

A sleepy hug, with stifled yawn over shoulder...

That's not a Dis', I'm just so darn tiered

Posted by: omni | May 22, 2008 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning to you all and thanks to Cassandra and yellojkt for your warm, kind selves. Double blessings for 'Mudge. Bia, will bore you with trip details on another day.

Looks to me like there is a new kit.....

Posted by: VintageLady | May 22, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

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