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The House Cure

Like most normal people, my overriding goal in life is to become a completely different person. The new me will be unrecognizable, and better (much, much better) on so many levels, both mentally and corporeally, that it will seem unfair to those who remain trapped in their sad but authentic selves.

Just to take one example: No longer will I be the type of person whose innate optimism causes a distortion in spacetime estimation, resulting in tardiness. I'll be on time. When I say I'll be someplace at a certain time, that's when I'll actually be there.

Just once I want to know what that feels like.

One possible transformative agent would be a new house. Sell this one, buy a new one, move in, and feel different. When on the road I look at other people's houses. Here are some from my road trip this week.

IMG_2920.jpg

A weird angle on this, as it was shot from a moving car. This was just one of several nice Victorians in Franklin, Pa. I could get used to hanging on that porch. Only drawback: House would probably require massive use of doilies and, worse, antimacassars. I'd prefer to live in an Antimacassar Free Zone. I feel bad even knowing what an antimacassar IS.


IMG_2959.jpg

Ah, the smell of manure. That's livin'. Except when the cows need milking at 5 in the morning in January when it's blizzarding. So never mind.


IMG_2875.jpg


My life needs to be more rustic. Need more stone and wood and basic stuff like that. Slate, bricks, slabs of stuff. Peat moss. Corn stover. Tar.


IMG_2960.jpg


This place next to the highway never quite gets finished. Noah worked with greater alacrity, I'll note gently.

--

This cat linked to me so I'm definitely adding his blog to the upcoming Achenblogroll.

--

This is nonsense: Publishing a paper by a climate change skeptic is hardly a reversal of any stance by the American Physical Society. Science invites robust debate and rarely finds a perfect consensus on anything. [This was the lead item today on Memeorandum.]

Revkin at the Times has an annotation of the Gore energy speech. Here's the text.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 18, 2008; 8:38 AM ET
 
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Comments

Virtuous (went back and told everyone), bragging and first.

After a while, though, you'll find new house, same old life.

Posted by: dbG | July 18, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Morn'in, ya'll. Happy Friday

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 18, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

My father-in-law has been known to refer to the smell of manure as "country fresh air."

We're considering medication.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Hope Noah's estate signed off on the patent waiver for the Ark design...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 18, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

That Victorian up in Franklin sure is nice, Joel. But in addition to massive doses of doilies and antimacassars I think it would take prety massive doses of money and maintenance, too. You'll need to double-dip, methinks.

Good luck with that All-New You makeover. The rap against us men (deserved) is that we don't change. So let the rest of us guys know if you manage to pull that trick off--you'll be a pioneer among your gender. (I'm not talking about you-know-what surgery or anything like that; it's been done.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Now we know why Joel never visits the bunker: Doilies and Antimacassars.

Posted by: omni | July 18, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm incurably tardy myself ... as are some of my favorite people. Many view tardiness as a Sign of Disrespect and get all bent out of shape, but JA's right on ... it's optimism. Well, maybe optimism sprinkled with delusions of efficiency. "I can get the fence fixed before my 8 a.m. flight to Dallas for the big meeting with the big bosses. I'm just sure I can."

Posted by: KPage | July 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Antimassacars are new to me. And I don't want to know more. For all I know I already own some and don't realize it.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

But just think of it. If Joel lived in a lovely Victorian, surrounded by doilies and antimacasars, he could solve the problem of the fly-away hair with macassar. His sofas would be prepared!

Posted by: dr | July 18, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Me, I'm an anachronism. One the world's biggest procrastinators, yet I'm always on time or early.

Posted by: omni | July 18, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

That Victorian is a painter's nightmare. All that wood detailing looks darn good until the paint starts to flake off. Pensylvania's countryside looks pretty, I should try that some day. I've been to Pittsburgh (bleh!) and to the area bordering the finger lakes area of NY state in the north but I haven't been in the heartland.
I usually don't get lost at all, but in Pittsburgh I was lost all-the-time. There ain't any logic in their road system and the rivers going East, West, North, South, Up and Down don't help whatsoever.

I don't know how I'm going stay awake the whole day after being woken up at 04:00 by a major thunderstorm. One more centimeter of rain on this already soaked land...

I had to laugh at Krugman's comment over at the NYT this morning, the guy a has a PhD in economics and quotes the Onion:
"The Onion, as usual, hit the nail on the head with its recent headline: "Recession-plagued nation demands new bubble to invest in.""

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 18, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Good thing that replication of Noah's Ark is next to this Pennsylvania freeway. Because when the Great Pennsylvania Flood of 2022 takes place, it can easily be lifted by the rising tide of seas and rainwater, thanks to global warming, and deposited, one waters recede in 5 years after temperatures become hot enough to evaporate the Pennsylvania flood waters, on Pennsylvania's highest peak, Mt. Davis. Of course, a very bearded Ed Rendel would have loaded the 39 endangered species, and nearly 4,000 animals from the Pittsburgh Zoo onto the structure.

Centuries later, Bavarian climbers would want to scale Mt. Davis because of its historical significance, with three of these civilian climbers kidnapped by a terrorist group, the outlawed and tribal Pennsylvania Workers Party of eastern PA, that then-German Prime Minister Freida Schlitz wouldn't recognize or acknowledge, and it would get messy fast.

http://www.zaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=147663

Posted by: Loomis | July 18, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, have high seas on the brain. Husband attended a town hall meeting at work yesterday where the discussion was entirely couched in metaphor: roiling seas, 40-foot waves, workers wondering if they needed to grab lifejackets, and all advised to keep afloat by updating their resumes.

Posted by: Loomis | July 18, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I have been up Mt Davis.But to tell you thruth,it was one of the hardest places to find. I had to stop and ask a amish farmer where it was. No signs,directions, nothing.I guess Penciltucky isn't proud of it's highest peak. I did find a great country store when searching for it.Yoders country store was such a nice place.They still had and sold penny candy. You know candy that actually cost a penny!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 18, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

What, no women and children first? No "Abandon ship"? No keel-hauling of management? No mutinies? Did they take in the spinnaker of unnecessary travel expenses and raise the storm jib of layoffs? Double up the mainbraces of inventory control? Flemish up the assignment of parking spaces in the executive parking lot?

More important, was there rum?

Yes, in 40-foot seas, one would do well to put one's life jacket on. Also, much up-chucking of stomachs may be reasonably expected. I'd rig up the lifelines of bonine and soda crackers, t'were I they.

They don't seem to be running a very tight ship there. Lubbers.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

We had a peak in Pennsylvania? I never knew.

Wonder where they put it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Hot and muggy here, that porch looks like a wonderful place to spend the day - much nicer than an office.

For the guerilla gardeners out there,

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080717/guerilla_gardening_AM_080717/20080718?hub=TopStories

Posted by: dmd | July 18, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Out by Yoder's place, I guess. Which makes sense when you see how much open ground Old Man Yoder has out that way. Good place for a peak.

Was there a distelfink painted on it?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The lust for reinvention seems to be a dominant feature of our cultural zeitgeist. It is about the endless desire to somehow achieve transcendental greatness. Or at least figure out how to sort laundry properly. And this passion for metamorphosis is made far more acute by the passage of time. One begins to realize that the infinite possibilities of youth have been necked down to the harsh realities of the present. Or so I have heard.

So I can see why a new house might make one wistful. And this fantasy seems quite benign compared to the many other crazy ideas that have been known to percolate through the middle-aged brain in a desperate quest for existential reinvigoration.

Or so I have heard.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

That porch looks like a good place for the first meeting and launching of the Antimacassar Movement. We will macassar everyone who is not antimacassar.
If we can find Mount Davis, we will proclaim our antimacassar views and warn the promacassars that we will stick them into that airy ark discovered by J.A. and shove it into forty foot seas without lifejackets. But first we must sit on that porch so that we can be fashionably late for the first macassar--Doily who?

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 18, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Antimacassar an island off Africa? Or maybe South America.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Such a day. Husband called from work with rsults from doc's office. The mole biopsy came back malignant melanoma level 3. Further tests will check for metastasis in the lymph nodes. Keeping fingers crossed.
Small mole on his left forearm. D@mn Texas sun.

Posted by: Loomis | July 18, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Yes (off South America). It's how the antimacassar got is name.

However, for some strange reason, I can't seem to find the Wikipedia entry on it. Oh, well. Maybe the site is down or something.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I beg the gentlemen not to use maccasar! It leaves an indelible impression of fopishness, dandyism and personal vanity most unbecoming in an otherwise sensible person of good character.

Posted by: Toki | July 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Loomis
Keeping fingers crossed, too.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 18, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

hahaha, SCC on my name. But I like it!

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Lemurs are indigenous to Antimacassar, and none of them have flyaway hair.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 18, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Fingers crossed Loomis. I had a malignant level 1 on my left arm above the elbow a couple years ago. Biopsy took out 5 lymph nodes under my arm (they were all lumped together, so the doc said what the he11 and took the whole cluster). Negative, thankfully.

What was freaky was I watched the whole thing on a closed-circuit TV.

Turns out I'm as boring on TV as I am in person.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I am one of those people who has difficulty with that whole time-space coordinate bit. I am sometimes on time. I am sometimes at the right place. It is seldom that I can pull both tricks off simultaneously.

Because I am keenly aware of this I sometimes overcompensate. Especially when air travel is involved. I live in Fairfax and routinely drive to the Chantilly region. I understand how long it takes to get to Dulles Airport.

Yet whenever I need to fly the distances involved seem to stretch in my imagination. It is like a relativistic dilation brought on by paranoia. I have been known to leave the house at 5:30 AM for an 9:00 AM flight. Usually after having waken up several times during the night to double check that the alarm clock is working.

There are so many things that could go wrong. My car might not start. Or there might be a unprecedented surge of pre-dawn traffic. It is always possible a cop might pull me over for driving while confused. I might need to park in the far-off mauve lot. Maybe the transport shuttle will break down. Perhaps there will be a freakishly long line at security.

Of course, none of this ever happens. I typically end up at the gate about two hours early. Even so I once almost missed the boarding call because I fell asleep.

There's a lesson there somewhere.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Lucky you Mudge, I wish the had a camera when the dermato took out 5 spots on by back. He took out round patches so now I look like I've been shot 5 times in the back...
Ah the joy of being so frikking white I glow in the dark.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 18, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice RD's ominous comment at 7:46 this morning?

RD.. should we be grabbing for our "lifejackets" right now?

I had an Auntie Macassar once... she was from Grease.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

As a sentimental fool who weeps when he's sad, and even when he laughs, I am definitely antimascara.

Posted by: omni | July 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I am not, unfortunately, antimacaroon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

TBG - I was really just echoing Brag's comments. As has been reported, there are some changes in the relationship going on that are not entirely unilateral.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This is why it is always important to wear a really cool hat.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to be off-topic, but, Mudge, shipmate, the Navy Yard has just set Black Flag Conditions (prohibition against unnecessary physical activity, for the lubbers) here. I regret to inform you that you must cancel your lunchtime 5 mile run.

I know this breaks your heart, as you missed it yesterday.

Carry on.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 18, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What, no skits prepared for the occasion? You just can't wing a melanoma biopsy without a softshoe routine planned, Mudge.

How small a mole are we talking about here? less than 1 cm wide?
Melanoma can occur even where the sun doesn't shine, oddly enough.

Yello, a lappet-like flap on a lazyboy might be considered an antimassacar.

Of course, if you ARE a lazyboy lappet, I can't help you.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikao/402528957/

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ca Bhfuil Na Gaeilg eoiri? (Tibor Szegy-Legy needed to provide the diacriticals.)

Seeing the NY cover on a Gaelic site reminded me that a computer printout copy has appeared on the wall of a local redneck watering hole. The cover has long legs.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 18, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod

Very nice pitchahs. Made me feel homesick for Africa

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Shiloh, which is why the lack of context is a shame humor-wise.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The context is in the blog, Wilbrod, although the "This cat" reference may have been offputting. And the humor in the linked blog, after translation, seems to be tongue in cheek, as in stifled guffaw.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Arg!!!!!!!!!!!! Ye Black Flag flies o'er the red-brick ramparts a couple hundred fathoms east of here! Avast! Another jogging opportunity shattered. Just my luck. Thanks for the head's up, Don.

Mine was a little bigger than a pea or a caper, Wilbrod. I don't know how many microfarads that is. .38-caliber diameter? Something like that. I'd had it removed 9 years earlier, and the biopsy on it came back negative. Over 9 years it grew back. When they looked at the old biopsy, they discovered it had been mis-read. It had been positive 9 years earlier, too. Ooops.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, I was referring to the cover being copied and posted in a redneck watering hole.

Mudge, that's around 3/4 to nearly 1 cm wide (1/4-1/3 inch?).

You'd have to ask RD about the microfarads, maybe he can tell you how to measure capacitance of melanomas. Get the jumper cables and car battery out, and prepare to get a real buzz.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Boodlers now use Jumper cables as belts to keep their trousers up.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 18, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Aaak!

Too busy for much Boodling at the moment, but I will try to catch up later.

Would note that I don't know how steel beams comapre to gopher wood (or even sh!ttim wood), but I'm no expert on Ark construction.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Somebody else without a sense of humor for being misrespresented in religious slurs:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080718/en_nm/stevens_court_dc;_ylt=AijHP_EVT1Sf7fOUJlYIczes0NUE

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just goes to show that no one on this comment board drives through Western MD.

I recognized that Noah's Arc instantly. It's off HW 68 between Cumberland and Frostburg. That would be a long trip to get up to Mount Davis.

Posted by: belcharlie | July 18, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The unit (one more than 40 units) of the APS responsible for the skeptical article on global warming represents less than 12% of APS membership, so it is decidedly a minority opinion and not reflective of the APS general membership.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

nice shots. although before you invest in a new country house, you might want to read a bit of SJ Perelman. still, sounds like your innate male conservatism (what my wife likes to humorously call, in her humorous way, my "laziness" (ha! as if!)) will keep you from taking that dangerous step.

Posted by: MrToad | July 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I guess architecture (or perhaps ark-itecture?) brings out the lurkers...

Although I think MrToad's been around awhile.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 18, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he was just off on a wild ride for a while. :).

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

//Somebody else without a sense of humor for being misrespresented in religious slurs://

I'd say the circumstances are different, although I'd note he didn't deny the comment's validity.

Posted by: dbG | July 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

//My father-in-law has been known to refer to the smell of manure as "country fresh air."

We're considering medication.//

Careful. My mother also referred to the smell of manure as "fresh country air" (just slightly different from your f-i-l's usage). The medication eventually killed her.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | July 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Who's up for an early out? I'm ready to get the weekend started.

I've been pondering Joel's fantasy of becoming a completely different person, and all I can come up with is a question. Isn't that what the Internet is for?

Though of course those of you who've met me know that I am in fact exactly the same person on the Web as I am at home.

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of that fanasty, I'd put in for some additional energy and focus on the proper goals, and then see whether I need any additional upgrades.

However, getting out of the rat race can make you a different person, though... more relaxed. Whether that makes you more nice and social, or just more likely to sleep in your chair all day depends on the your nature.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Umm...Yoki, aren't you, like, six time zones behind us EastCoasties? I thought Calgary was in the Canuckistani Central Mountain Plains Tundra Time Zone (CCMPTTZ) or something like that? So if it's oh, about 3:11 here, it must be....

...carry the four..

about 9:45 out there?

Well, anyway, if it's an early out you want, you know I'm your guy.

I already look like Robert Redford, am over 900 years old, and have 17 diseases, of which three or four are trying to kill me. Why would I want to change any of that and become a different person? (Though I think I'd willingly become Simon Baker in a New York heartbeat [mixed metaphor] if that was on the menu.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

My wife got up early today specifically to see the first showing of 'Mamma Mia'. She called me when she got out to determine what showing for us to go back and see it together. I've got to parlay into something.

My son disappeared at 9 pm last night to head out for the midnight show of Dark Knight. He told us he wouldn't be home before dawn. He wasn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

You're right 'Mudge. It is now just going on 2:00 pm, and I think that is a respectable early out. Our office usually closes at 4:00 on Friday's, so any later and it isn't really early, you know?

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Then let's make it official, Yoki. You may tell them I said you can go home.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

yello - I forced my husband into a movie date tonight for Mama Mia...I can't say he's thrilled about it, but he's being a good sport! I usually don't like musicals, but for some reason I've been looking forward to this movie.

My son went to see The Dark Knight at an imax theater last night. He said it was great and that Heath Ledger was seriously scary in it...

So, I guess Mama Mia and Dark Knight might have big weekends!

Posted by: Kim | July 18, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Shriek... Pittsburgh ain't all that bad to get around in once you get the "triangle" concept down and realize that every other street goes left-only or right-only, but rarely both ways. It's the only city I know of where it only takes three lefts (or rights) to get you back to square one (assuming the one-way streets work out in your favor and you don't drive into one of the three rivers).

Absolutely stinkin' hot and humid here and it's late enough in the day for me to grab a cold one from the fridge. The big question will be whether to open it and drink it, or stick it down my... sorry... probably too much info there.

I do have extra bottles of mind bleach I can fax if anyone ended up with an unwanted mental image.

Posted by: martooni | July 18, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

There is no way I could get J to a showing of Mamma Mia. I'm not going to strain the new marriage by trying. I might have been able to sell him on Sex and the City -- we watch the reruns on TV together, and he has very definite opinions on all the relationships -- but that ended up part of my bachelorette afternoon with my girlfriends, and great fun, too.

Posted by: bia | July 18, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The Mrs. and I are going to see Mama Mia tomorrow.

I just give and give and give.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

martooni, I don't know Pittsburgh, but I've had adventures driving around Boston. What confused me there was getting to intersections and not being able to figure out how to go straight and just stay on the same street.

Posted by: bia | July 18, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

bia... try Atlanta. Almost every street has "Peachtree" in its name and not a single one of them goes straight. They just wind around each other like writhing snakes.

Typical Atlanta directions: Just follow Peachtree Drive to Peachtree Avenue, then take Peachtree Street to Peachtree Boulevard, make a left on Peachtree Way and ask somebody else.

Pittsburgh, I could handle. But driving in Atlanta was just insanity -- even more so if your air-conditioning was on the blink.

Posted by: martooni | July 18, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Ann Hornaday's review for "Momma Mia" is mixed. I think I'll wait for the DVD.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?node=cityguide/profile&id=1145219&categories=Movies&nm=1#editorialReview

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually, dbG, Yusuf Islam (The Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens (TAFKaCS, pronounce it as you wish)) did deny the truth of the allegations. His lawyer is quoted within the article as averring that TAFKaCS has no concerns about interacting with unveiled women, and the agreement apparently required a statement from the paper that the claims it had made were totally false and without foundation. That sure sounds like a denial, to me.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Nice pics of western PA, MD, wherever. I grew up near Pittsburgh, but never drove in the city much. I have managed to navigate from the airport to my sister's place. The most terrifying part is going over the Fort Pitt bridge without winding up in downtown Pittsburgh. So far, I've done ok, but there have been some close calls (last minute lane changes). There are tons of signs to comprehend, lots of traffic. I find it amusing to go through the Squirrel Hill tunnel - such a funny name. Not fun to be stuck IN the tunnel a long time, though.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 18, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Even my not so secret crush Colin Firth could not entice me to listen to Abba tunes.

Like Yoki I am in real life just like I am here, that is something to celebrate in Yoki's case in mine - not so much :-).

Posted by: dmd | July 18, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, Squirrel Hill is fairly La-d-Da. Lots of squirrels and nuts there, too. :-)

Posted by: eidrib | July 18, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

dmd.. I would have been very disappointed if you hadn't turned out to be just like you are here... you're wonderful! And very "normal," too I must add. Tee hee.

I'll wait for Mama Mia to come to the small screen. Maybe even the very small (iPhone) screen. I'd like to see it, but not sure I want to invest in a theater viewing. I saw it on Broadway, but of course by the time I saw it, the cast may have well been the Arlington Players (nothing against the AP... the broadway version was just on the umpteenth cast by that time).

So.. besides Mama Mia.. what else is going on this weekend?

Those of you who haven't been to Pittsburgh in several years will be pleasantly surprised... I found it a delightful, beautiful and friendly city when we visited about 3 or 4 years ago.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Here's a beauty from Simon Jenkins over at The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/18/margaretthatcher.past

On Monday evening the former prime minister Margaret Thatcher attended a private concert in London at St John's, Smith Square. She was a magnificent apparition, arriving in dying sunlight and guided to her seat like Turner's Fighting Temeraire, masts and spars still ghostly proud and with attendant tugs fussing round her....

Posted by: DNA Girl | July 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

If I could change myself I'd become a person who went to clubs and danced to ABBA tunes.

YOU CAN DANCE! YOU CAN JIVE! YOU'RE HAVING THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!

Ach! Quiet, my galloping, 50 y/o heart!

:-)

Posted by: KPage | July 18, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

dmd, and Yoki, the only thing is your laughs are much nicer in person, than here. TBG and dbg too.

I debating seeing Mama Mia in a theatre, but I don't know if I want to pay that much, when I am pretty sure I will watch it more than once. I listen to ABBA only when we travel. We have a cassette player in the van, and its either ABBA or The Rankin Family. mrdr prefers ABBA.

I have an early out too. Off to see a new cottage by a pond. there will be boating, there will be seriously fine food (I won't be cooking) and there will be great company and much laughter. Have a great weekend.

Posted by: dr | July 18, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

PlainTim, not to belabor a small point and maybe I've just had a long day, but did we read the same article? :-)

Posted by: dbG | July 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Can I come with you dr? It sounds so lovely!

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

This is really embarrassing. But when I was a teenager. God this is hard. Well. I listened to ABBA.

Look, it was the 70s. All the kids were doing it.

And to this day I can't think about Napoleon without humming "Waterloo."

I'm not proud of this.

Just don't ask me about Manilow. Some things are just too traumatic to relive.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Movies do have to meet certain criteria for me to see them in the theaters...it's gotten so expensive! It helps that Costco has discount tickets for the Regal chain here and it's significantly cheaper when I buy the tickets there.

I am not an ABBA fan, but the trailer for Mama Mia just looks fun, so I hope I'm not sadly disappointed! I'm pretty sure the hubby has no idea that this is a movie with ABBA songs, hehheheheheh. I just told him that Meryl Streep was in it.

DNA girl, great piece.

Posted by: Kim | July 18, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think any less of you, RD. You're right, the '70's can't be explained rationally by those of us who experienced them as teenagers and young adults.

Oh and TBG, Obama is opening an office here in RED southeastern VA, right in Va. Beach. I'm going to the opener tomorrow, so that's another exciting adventure for this weekend.

Posted by: Kim | July 18, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Kim.. I know! He's opening offices ALL OVER Virginia.. in pretty much any decently sized city. I may go to the Fairfax opening tomorrow, too.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

When I get tune cooties, I erase them with Neil Young songs. Which reminds me, Mr Young was interviewed by Charlie Rose last night. You can see it here:
http://www.charlierose.com/home/
I thought it was fine, although there are disparaging comments on the website. I have a soft spot for Charlie (I used to watch his lunchtime show in DC years ago - Charlie, Charlie Rose!) And Neil is so cool. I've got to get to one of his shows sometime. He has a couple documentaries coming out, one about the last (most recent) CSNY tour, and one about the car he's refitting so he doesn't have to do "roadside refueling", as he calls it.

Jim Webb is on Charlie's show Monday.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 18, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking... emerging from the Fort Pitt Tunnel is the most amazing way to view Pittsburgh -- whether a first-time visitor or seasoned commuter. Especially at night.

New York may have a lot more skyline, but Pittsburgh's is compact and just as spectacular. Every time I drive out of that tunnel it just takes my breath away and I intentionally use the tunnel even though there are faster routes.

Posted by: martooni | July 18, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm on a short lease this weekend, work-wise, so I'm safe from "Mamma Mia"...

For now. *shudder*

'Course, that also means no "Dark Knight" either.

C'est la guerre, non?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 18, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, DNA girl, that Jenkins guy writes a nice lede: "arriving in dying sunlight and guided to her seat like Turner's Fighting Temeraire, masts and spars still ghostly proud and with attendant tugs fussing round her...." (see painting here: it was once voted as "England's greatest painting, for what that's worth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Turner%2C_J._M._W._-_The_Fighting_T%C3%A9m%C3%A9raire_tugged_to_her_last_Berth_to_be_broken.jpg)

Wish I'd written that.

I know a certain Boodler, who gets weak in the knees for Neil Young. Not mentioning any names, though.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought that would set your sails aflutter :-)

Here's an unbroken link to the painting

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/work?workNumber=NG524

Posted by: DNA Girl | July 18, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Kim - yep, the 70s are hard to explain to the young 'uns. Basically, I always tell them that in the 70s if it was new it was considered good. No matter what. Which is about the only way one could explain the clothing.

I am actually looking forward to "Momma Mia." It will be the first movie my wife and I have seen un-escorted since "Chicago." She likes musicals. But she has many other excellent qualities.

And it isn't like I haven't acclimated myself.

Last month we rented "Muriel's Wedding."

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 18, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how to break this to you guys; there's no simple, easy way to say it. But on "Hardball" a moment ago, it was announced that Sen. McCain is a big Abba fan.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

When I had my first VW Bus (Priscilla, Queen of the Western Reserve, a '75 with 1800 cc's of fuel-injected air-cooled goodness), Abba was on my sound system's permanent playlist. Along with Iggy Pop, of course. The nine inch disco ball mounted between the front seats (which were covered in faux leopard skin) may have had something to do with it, but "Dancing Queen" just sounded so right blasting from the old girl's speakers.

Posted by: martooni | July 18, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

howdy from lovely ABQ. Lurking during conference downtime,defined loosely. Nice kit, great pictures. Please fill in the witty comments you know I'd make. Or perhaps I'll adopt RD's. Respectfully and with attribution of course.

Loomis my fingers are crossed for LSpouse.

Posted by: ivansmom | July 18, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Loco mosquito v/s Dancing queen
Smackdown!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I have my fingers crossed for your husband, too.

ABBA I can understand, but I never was a big fan, even after "Muriel's Wedding."

My oldest asked me about the 70s a few times after watching "That 70s Show." I replied that it was nothing like that, you're just watching a TV show... Didn't have the heart to tell her what the pivoting POV shot from the center of the smoky table represented, either.

For all that, my kids love musicals (they recognized the song from "Hello Dolly" in "wall*e" before I did), and I expect I'll give in and take them to see it at some point over the next week.

Scottynuke, if you need someone to go with you to see "Dark Knight," let me know.

Now, I need to check my DVR for Rush's appearance on the Colbert Report...

bc

Posted by: bc | July 18, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Guk= people in Korean language, incidentally, which dates this term right to the Korean war and onwards.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/hongop.shtml

Incidentally, I never heard my uncle, a Korean vet, use any kind of derogatory or racist term towards people, although he never wanted to see nor remember Korea ever again. I can poll my friends with parents who served in 'Nam and see if they used the terms publicly.

McCain is also on record as making the same old unfunny joke about r*pe by gorilla, and telling it badly as well.

What's next, Archie Bunker for president?

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

TBG and Martooni, agree that Pittsburgh is a beautiful, friendly city. The Fort Pitt Tunnel exit view of the city IS unsurpassed. But the weather could be better.

Posted by: eidrib | July 18, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Unlike Joel who usually poo-poos the 70's I loved them and had a great time.

Posted by: eidrib | July 18, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Me too, eidrib... The '70s were my "coming of age," so to speak. Graduated from high school right in the middle of the decade. The only difference between That '70s Show and my life was that the washing machines were usually in a different room than we were.

The opening image of them all in the car, three across, singing along to the tape deck is so perfect.

Wilbrod... that McCain racial epithet story was from March 2000.. is that resurfacing big time now? Because it should, if you ask me.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Not to beat a point into the ground, but yes, eidrib, PGH is probably one of the friendliest cities in the world and having a whole city skyline come at you after emerging from a tunnel is really something. Philly gets all the credit for love, but Pittsburgh is the biggest assembly of neighborhoods ever assembled. And if things keep going the way they've been, the M household may be moving there. Mt. Lebanon area, if I can afford it, but I'll settle for the South Side or even the Mexican War District on the North Side.

I think I just want to be able to say "yinz" and not have people look at me funny.

Posted by: martooni | July 18, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Yinz? (Sorry, can't help it).

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 18, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

As Gene Weingarten would say, this is generational.

I still love (but haven't listened to on the radio since 1975)(and never bought an LP of) ABBA (I was so very poor that I was saving to invest in some longevital British and NY Punk shortly afterward).

ABBA was great dancing and driving music when I was young and green and a wagon and under the apple-tree, and was moving frequently between Edmonton and Calgary and Claresholm (there was a young man involved - duh!).

Also listened to that fellow who played "Music Box Dancer" on a sort of honkytonk yet tinkling piano and it was a huge hit.

Just a bunch of great tunes to get into a driving groove late on a Friday night, and early on a Sunday morning (in the other direction) on a long, straight, simple highway. We didn't even have espresso! Just gas-station coffee and music on the AM-band late at night in the fading light of a Northern summer.

I'm not sorry about the relationship with the young man since I learned a lot about how to be and how I am, but I am without reservation glad about driving down a long straight highway to ABBA on the radio in the long light-beams of a prairie summer night to see my beloved-at-the-time.

And thus, us oldsters justify our bad taste by nostalgia. Ah, nostalgia!

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Back from Mamma Mia! (two m's, people) and it was just okay. Pierce Brosnan definitely did not get hired for his singing voice.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

But our common love of those Swedish popsters is part of what brought my wife and I together, so you can't kill the music.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

You sure the singing voice was his, yello?

Just back from the first of two birthday parties scheduled for this weekend. This was the pool party for the eight-year-old twins, my brother's kids. It was in a water park and lots of wet fun.

Second party will be for elder dottir's SO, here at my house Sunday evening. Good thing I have tomorrow to rest and get ready.

No finger-crossing for me, Linda. I will remember your husband in my prayers.

G'night, all, sleep well.

Posted by: slyness | July 18, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Girl, Driving

Late on a Friday,
Wired on gas station coffee
And the prairie summer night,
Driving the long, straight highway
To Claresholm and this guy
I knew. Just enough money for gas,
Coffee, and maybe a gumball,
Not much more.
Abba on the radio, AM band,
Somewhere out of Edmonton or Calgary,
Maybe, bouncing off the night skies
Where the Northern Lights hung out.
And then after Abba Frank Mills
And his honkytonk piano
Playing *Music Box Dancer.*
Learning how to be, learning
How I am. And the long, long ride
Back the other way
On Sunday morning. Me and the radio,
And the prairie summer nights,
Long beams of the headlights
Illuminating the world.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

How friendly are the folks in Pittsburgh?

My family and I had just finished breakfast and were leaving a diner near the old Heinz factory (which was being converted into condos, BTW, at the time) one Saturday morning on a long weekend trip to Pittsburgh. We asked a couple of locals sitting outside the diner what we should see while we were there.

They started telling us some stuff to see and one of the guys said, "Wait.. lemme get my car.. you guys (maybe he said "yinz") follow me to the best view in Pittsburgh. He proceeded to take us on a while ride across a river and through some winding neighborhood streets.

But we ended up at the West End Overlook, with the best view of Pittsburgh you could imagine. We got out of our respective cars, and the guy proceeded to give us a history lesson of the city and point out landmarks.

Then, on the way back into the city, he took us by the then-new Korean War Memorial right on the refurbished waterfront.

It was just amazing that a total stranger would take time out of his Saturday morning to show some visitors around town. We met some great people on that short trip, but of course, he will always be part of our memories of Pittsburgh.

Here are a couple of pictures from that trip...

http://picasaweb.google.com/TBG.Boodler/Pittsburgh

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

You were not kidding about Yoki being a Muse Mudge - that was wonderful. By the way the movie The Muse is on tonight - laughed when I saw that.

I watched We Are Marshall tonight - love it and it had some good 70's tunes.

Loomis sending good thoughts in your direction.

Posted by: dmd | July 18, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... you are a gem.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I didn't write it; Yoki did. I just...channeled it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 18, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Those are nice pics, TBG. Beautiful autumn leaves too. I've got to time my next visit so I can see the leaves again, instead of heat and humidity. Oh wait, I said I wouldn't complain about heat or even humidity this year. (I've been freezing all day, wearing shorts and socks - it only reached about 65 degrees here. As Mr Ml said, winter's coming. NOOOOOOOO!!!!)

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 18, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, mostly... it was kind of a magical trip. We took the train, which is incredibly cheap from DC, but arrives and departs Pittsburgh at odd times.

The train ride there was mostly in the dark, but the ride home was spectacular... going through Harpers Ferry and other beautiful mountain views. The fall colors were fabulous.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Back from Mama Mia, you heard it here first, folks...Pierce Brosnan can't sing. Ooo, painful. But other than that, it was fun. I was right, the hubby didn't know that the movie was written around ABBA songs. We were leaving and he said something like "well, it was kind of fun, but those were some "expletive deleted" songs." I burst out laughing and confessed that I knew ahead of time it was all ABBA, all the time.

Goodness only knows what dreck I'm going to have to watch to settle my Mama Mia debt.

Posted by: Kim | July 18, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

oops, hadn't backboodled, didn't realize that yello had already spilled the beans about Pierce Brosnan. It had to be him singing, because there is no earthly reason that they would dub in that voice. Oooh, really bad. But I'm with TBG - I thoroughly enjoyed the '70's. But there is no justifying most of the fashion and lots of the music, IMHO.

TBG, great pics. I think I must have stayed in the same hotel a couple of years ago when we went to watch the Cards play in Pittsburgh. It's the same view except we didn't see the lovely fall colors on the hillside. I love Pittsburgh, always fun to visit, but it really is the most difficult city to navigate that I've ever been through, even more difficult than Boston.

Posted by: Kim | July 18, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I do remember worrying about crossing bridges you don't mean to cross in Pittsburgh, but Charlotte has got to be the hardest city to navigate. Slyness' Mr T likes to point it's the only city where 10th St, 11th St and 12th street all meet. I remember

The roads in Charlotte all change names every few blocks or so. You have to remember that, for example, West Queens Rd becomes South Kings Dr and any main road that stretches across the whole area might have four names before you get to where you're going.

Posted by: TBG | July 18, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Now I have tears in my eyes and ears. Thank you Curmudgeon. Poet. Friend.

Posted by: Yoki | July 18, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to say that I thought your pome was lovely, Mudge.

Posted by: Kim | July 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful poem, mudge and great pictures, TBG.

My Mamma Mia! trivia and memories go live at 12:04, but I'm going to bed. You can find it at the same bat channel my drivel usually is.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 18, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I think I misunderstood, Sir Mudge. I apologize, and I forgive.

Posted by: Yoki | July 19, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of lovely poems, the new poet laureate will be at the Mall on Sept 27 during the National Book Festival
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/17/books/17poet.html

Posted by: DNA Girl | July 19, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Looking for something to do on Saturday afternoon? Come to "Look Up! The Starrytelling Festival" in Kensington, MD, 2-10 PM. I will be making comets and talking about Shoemaker-Levy 9, 4-4:45 PM.

http://www.starrytelling.com/

Posted by: StorytellerTim | July 19, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Goodnight, Boodle.

The only TV karma I had today was flipping on Comedy Central and "Sean of the Dead" was on, with the bit (or is that "bite"?) in the bar, to the tune of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."

One of my favorite songs, FWIW.

Hope this link works...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjbbTDMZ0-I&feature=related

bc

Posted by: bc | July 19, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Just enjoyed the sounds of the night. I have been watering the garden when I get home from work. Just too hot during the day,and with the moonlight,it is oh so pretty. Tonight seranade was a whipperwill.Not too far away either.Lasy night was owls,hooting back and forth. I also disturbed some deer in the tall grass around the garden.

Can't wait to hear what I hear tomorrow.

Working this weekend and maybe the next few
boooo.....

I hope you recieve some good news Loomis.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 19, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Dag, *Tim, if I'd have known about the Starrytelling sooner, I'd have made arrangements to bring my youngest down.

That looks like fun.

Continuing along my Zeligesque existence, I'm really happy that people are still talking about Shoemaker-Levy. Dr. Shoemaker was a friend of my grandfather's (they worked together at the USGS on the lunar and planetary programs), it was a big deal when "Gene" was in town and came over for dinner, because we knew the laughter was going to get *loud* after we kids were sent off to bed. I always remembered that moustache, too.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 19, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

TBG--beautiful pics of Pittsburgh. I still have relatives there. I'm sure you took a ride on the incline at some point. The Point where the Ohio River starts is so impressive.

Martooni--certainly wouldn't be a bad move to PGH. I always lived in the burbs (Fox Chapel/Aspinwall area) or even farther out in the countryside to the north. But my grandparents, greats, great-greats, etc. lived in the city. Not sure how the accent and funny sayings got started but it's a classic 'donton Pittsboig' language for many.

Wish I could see/hear ScienceTim's talk!

Posted by: eidrib | July 19, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I think that in Atlanta, as in Athens, the older roads/streets follow the ridgetops. So did railroads:

http://www.libs.uga.edu/darchive/hargrett/maps/1864g4.jpg

I was never told why Atlanta has so many Peachtrees. Come to think of it, Japanese persimmons would seem well suited for the Atlanta climate. Maybe they weren't introduced early enough to get on the favorite-fruit list.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 19, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

So THIS is what it feels like to be a one-car household...

:-)

The significant drop in insurance rates sure helps, I tellya. OTOH, it's time for Driving Miss NukeSpouse to work so that I can then go get some maintenance done on the now-singular NukeMobile. Hope they have WiFi (and A/C!!) at the garage...

Delightful imagery, Yoki, and most excellent channeling, 'Mudge. Reminds me of more than a few similar escapades on my part, not so very long ago.

*cool-breezes-and-weekend-umbrella-drinks-for-all Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2008 5:52 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. The trouble with getting up at 5 a.m. every morning for several decades is that, when you get old, it is difficult (impossible) NOT to get up at 5 a.m. on days you don't have to. Plus, I slept lousy, for reasons I'll get to in a moment.

Yoki, I didn't understand your 12:17, but you're right: I do owe you an apology. I went to bed almost immediately after posting the poem, but couldn't sleep. It had occurred to me that I had done to you what Boko had done to me a few days ago: taken somebody else's words, and, without that person's permission, did something with them that person might not have wanted. I can't apologize for *writing* the poem; when the Muse shows up and starts tapping her foot and looking at her watch, you pretty much have to sit your a$$ down in the chair and do the work (Muses never cut you any slack). But I didn't have to post it, and for that I do apologize.

Pretty annoying WaPo front page this morning, on two counts. First, I sure don't like the editorial page hed "A Bundle of Hypocrisy" to describe Obama. I haven't even read the d@mn thing yet and already I'm muttering about who is the hypocrite in this race.

And then further down, in the "On Faith" box, I see Sally Quinn is having a dialogue with an astrologer about presidential politics, and first thought, "*%#@*$%#@!&^%*." It just summed up for me how far down the road toward toward mindless know-nothingism that entire WaPo "On Faith" religious section has become (it was lousy to start with IMHO). To me astrology is virtually the same as creationism, a pile of nonsense that ought to be reviled and derided and dismissed for the crap it is. Instead, Sally Quinn legitimizes it by having a serious discussion with that woman about presidential politics, of all things. Next up: Sally will next interview a shaman who dissects the entrails of birds to determine whether Obama's foreign policy initiative leans more toward the left drumstick or the right. Gimme an effing break.

The only good news on the front page was William Booth's well-written interview with Michael Caine.

'Morning, Scotty. Glad you're up and about; sorry I'm not good company this morning; give my regards to the missus. Cassandra, I hope you're sleeping in and getting some rest.

*faxing CP every kind of analgesic I have in my medicine cabinet*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 19, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh, one other *good* thing about the Post front page: they posted the magazine cover story about DC crime novelist George Pelecanos, a nice Greek boy who is cousin to a certain Boodler who may or may not want to self-identify (yeah, right). Here's the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071502119.html?hpid=features1&hpv=national

Haven't even read it myself yet, but it's problematic whether I'll be allowed to continue lollygagging here in front of the computer much longer, since She Who Must Be Obeyed is up and about, and itching to get me started since There Is Work To Be Done.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 19, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning you all or yinz as the case maybe, or maybe even you-uns.

Mudge and Yoki, you are so sympatico, lovely muse you share, just lovely.

TBG I have never been to Pittsburgh, you photos, the kindness of strangers makes me want to go.

Loomis, I've never written to you, but you and your husband are in my thoughts this morning. Several years ago, because of so many "things" all over my body, I had the mole mapping done at Washington Hospital Center. I am there on a laptop in all my glory as a benchmark for my semiannual exam in the Mole Mapping Room. I have had about a dozen biopsies but the results have never been so serious as your husband's. Prayers go out for you both.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 19, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "as the case may be" (sorry martooni)

Posted by: VintageLady | July 19, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Will backboodle later but I left three fresh doilies on the big E-Z Recliner: hand, hand, head. The chair is for JA. NO-one, I repeat NO-ONE is to veg out in that chair until the Master has lain recumbent upon the doilies.

Off to swim meet. Thanks Mudge on the meds. An earnest but woefully wide swimmer KICKED. ME.In.the Ribs last night. I am back three stages in the recovery. Please fax me a deluxe floating inner tube with umbrella and drink holder. And, I would appreciate poolside service for my barley water and mint-infused ice cubes. Can I keep the plastic pirate swords and the darling paper umbrellas? Thanks.


Posted by: College Parkian | July 19, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

bc,
That Queen video was from the Concert For The People of Kampuchea which was one great album. I love the Rockestra Theme.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQrLZFXTl58

Posted by: yellojkt | July 19, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

CP, ouch. Take care of yourself old fool, don't dip in pools infused with wide stance idiots.
I see my view of Pistboig is dated, I was there last in 94-95, something like that. Mold, not love, is in the air. Another half inch or so of rain last night. Everything is green. At this time of year I expect the grass to be of a lovely golden colour but no such luck this year. *sigh* It needs cutting, again. And you'll pry my ride-on mower from my cold dead hand if you want it.
"Deere John, it's been a good ride" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/18/AR2008071802886.html?hpid=topnews

Off to a walk\swim in warm soup with the Very Large Puppy.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 19, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Yay! WiFied service lounges are great! :-)

'Mudge, I was thinking they should put a big red warning label on that "On Faith" item:

WARNNING: FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

*faxin' CP a sensory deprivation tank so she can focus on proper pharmaceutical application*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

TBG... was that second shot from the Hilton down near Point Park? Looks awfully familiar.

When I lived in the Burgh, I had an apartment on the top floor of a high-rise on the bluff where Duquesne University sits. Had a view of all of dahntahn an'at and Station Square, to boot. Ugly apartment, but the view was incredible and parking was included in the rent (the parking wars of Pittsburgh are legendary and on-going).

Scotty... a one car household isn't so bad as long as you don't need to go anywhere. Mrs. M does most of the driving here and since my commute is ten feet from the kitchen to the workshop it usually works out well. But it never fails, when I need something from someplace out of walking distance, I find myself looking at an empty driveway and pining for my dear old Bus. Or my old Schwinn.

Posted by: martooni | July 19, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Hallo Boodle!
Modem started overheating. So now it gets blasted by a fan. Deciding wether to take a day off or be a slave to the muse. Yeah, the harpie won't cut me any slack either.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 19, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Interesting NYT piece on the latest collision of religious freedom and secular society in France...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/19/world/europe/19france.html?hp

I fall somewhat short of the government's position here...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 19, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Loomis, prayer and good thoughts your way, for you and your husband.

Mudge, I tried to stay in bed, but like you, when you've been getting up early for some time, it is a hard habit to break. I so wanted to sleep late, but, alas, it was not to be. Just laid there, and said prayers.

CP, hope you get to feeling better. That sounds painful.

Concerning the kit, I don't know about getting a new you, JA. Talk of a new you sounds like perhaps the "you" we're experiencing now needs some improvement. I know we all could do better at so many things, but do we really want to change into someone no one recognizes? I mean our friends would say, isn't that Joel, but I'm not sure. As to moving in a new house, don't we somehow take the same baggage in the new house? And the new house ends up looking like the old house. I don't know. I think many of my friends that know me would say I've changed in some ways, especially now that I'm sober, but perhaps have I retained some traits that needed to go away along with the drink. I think over time, we all change, and when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we become more like Him, which isn't a bad trade-off at all. It does require His grace and lots of work. But it is all good.

Have a great weekend, folks. I'm just going to hang around here, and try to rest this tired body. The family went out of town to a family reunion, so no kids today.

The weather is looking like rain, and more rain. There's a rain maker near the Grand Strand that's affecting our weather here. We need the rain, of course, the folks at the beach may not care for it.

Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, it good to see you, and all here. Prayers have been said and blessings asked, know that you are loved, and loved much.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 19, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

" I have retained"

Did anyone read Al Gore's speech? Is that something we can do in the time frame he's talking about? And is it possible? It sounds almost like science fiction. The overall point is that we need to take oil out the picture, and I believe we all know that to be true. The young woman leaving the note on his car was a nice touch. When you talk about this stuff, people are going to notice if you're doing your part.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 19, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Mr. T and I did sleep in, till almost 8 o'clock. I love Saturdays.

I hope you get rain, Cassandra, none projected here. It seems that the depression on the coast is sending dry air our way. Oh well. Like SD, our grass is lush and green right now, which is an un-heard of event in mid-July. Rain and a new, organic fertilizing regimen, what a concept.

Yeouch! CP, I'm sorry to hear about that accident. Idiot, indeed! I hope you feel better today.

I'm laughing, TBG. The secret to getting around in Charlotte is to follow the numbered routes and ignore the street signs.

I'm off to the farmer's market. I'll make a right turn and follow Providence Road, Queens Road, and East Morehead Street, and then make another right turn into the market. See? Not so hard!

Posted by: slyness | July 19, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I knew that Queen vid was from the Kampuchea album, thanks for the clarification.

Freddy Mercury wasn't just an amazing performer, he was (and remains) my personal fashion guru.

I'm looking forward to reading the Pelecanos feature -- I was reading his work before I became friends with his cousin here in the Boodle (And I don't hold that against either of them).

CP, I hope you're feeling better soon, I know rib injuries heal aggrivatingly slowly.

And Mudge, buddy, I hope you don't have to give up swimming in order to avoid repeated applciations of crab dip and iv antibiotics.

Personally, I don't think I could be a one-car household even by myself. One of them will always be a beater that requires care and maintenance similar to an antique riding lawnmower, and probably equivalent in monetary value.

It's very liberating to have a car you don't care that much about.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 19, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"S" is in NY visiting his daughter, she lives about an hour north of the city. He called a while ago to tell me that he had been in her backyard this morning picking up toys when he saw out of the corner of his eye what he thought was a dog. It was a bear and was about 25 feet away from him just loping thru' the yard. "S" was very excited. There are lots of deer up there and an occasional moose, but seeing that bear made his day.

We had an excellent thunderstorm here last night. It came on very slowly, rumbling and flash in the distance for about 30 minutes. It seemed almost theatrical in the way it built slowly with much more lightning than is usual and rumblings that increased in volume until it was upon us with torrential rain and deafening thunder. Then it went on its way over the water with lightning flashing and thunder echoing for about another half hour. Not as good as a bear, but fun nonetheless.

CP, you cannot catch a break with those ribs! - Oops, unfortunate choice of words. I forget if you've seen a doctor but maybe there is something else that can be done to help you heal? Off to a busy day of doing the dump run, hair appointment and then down to the Cape to clean #2's house and hang out with her. Her fiance is in the Shark Tournament this weekend.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

bc,
That was an elaboration, not a clarification. The Kampuchea album was the first time I had ever been exposed to Ian Drury and the Blockheads. I did some Wiki-ing on it and those concerts would have been great to see. the Live Aid three-song set monster festival kind of ruined the multi-night benefit format.

To have seen full shows by Queen, The Clash, The Who, Elvis Costello and Wings would have been amazing.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 19, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

bc... is it possible to have a vehicle you don't care about? And to hear that coming from you, no less!

For shame, for shame...

Every car deserves a little love and a name.

Even my ugliest beaters had names (because they all had personalities). And though they would often elicit language that would make 'Mudge and his sailor buddies blush, their dashboards always got a pat and a thank you after arriving in one piece at our intended destination.

Heck, I still do that with our minivan "Greenie", but then I'm weird.

Posted by: martooni | July 19, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Also, oddly, that Queen performance bc linked to doesn't seem to be from the official film but must be from some other bootleg source.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 19, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I am really blown away by the excellence of the Pelecanos piece. The author, Carlo Rotella, described as director of American studies at Boston College, did a bang-up job.

I suspect Pelecanos' cousin is just beside himself/herself with this article.

martooni, my little pickup is named Bluebelle. But you are right: every car needs a name and a bit of affection from time to time. All except my old GMC Sierra wreck, which (whom) I routinely referred to as "this *&^%$# piece of *^%$#@^%."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 19, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

My cars have always very utilitarian names such as My Car and Your Car and The White Camry (as opposed to The Black Camry, which once sold, The White Camry went back to being just The Camry (and now all our cars are white, so color isn't a very good discriminator at the moment)).

The one exception was the orange VW (which was technically my dad's (and all my current cars are technically my wife's, but that is a different story)) which was called The Pumpkin.

I have given my bicycles names. The Road Warrior is my workout bike and Urban Assault Bike is my trail bike.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 19, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

mudge, concerning your yoki poem, it was lovely and clear that you meant well. it was not at all the scenario of boko doing something that he knew or should have known was against your wishes. my 2 cents fwiw.

as for opinions on things that haven't been read, well...

the editorial on obama points out that he's not following the practices he proposed in legislation next year. obama set himself up as the transcendent change candidate, so when he's not, it's fair game to point it out.

as for "on faith," i look at the articles regularly and find a lot of them to be annoying. and the comments are the worst. however, quinn's video interviews tend to be interesting. her discussions with jacques berlinblau on religion and politics are excellent. (berlinerblau has two doctorates, one in sociology, one in near eastern languages and cultures. his articles are also very good.)

i happen to watch the astrologer interview last night just because it was novel and thought it was interesting. the interviewee was a serious person, and astrology is a serious part of religions like hinduism. this particular astrologer has major clientele on capitol hill, so even from that angle, was worth an interview. (the clients were not named, but quinn acknowledged how many people told her they were clients of this woman.)

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 19, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

scc: "legislation last year"

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

cp, sorry to hear about your ribs. i think i cracked a rib coughing several years back, and it took a long time to heal.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else following the Chandra Levy serial in WaPo? It makes my hat tingle all over again.

Posted by: Jumper | July 19, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Those who do not want their blog comments quoted or transported to another blog, kit or medium should so indicate at each posting.

(c) No part of this comment may be reproduced electronically or otherwise without the express consent of the author.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 19, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm with ya, Mudge. I had an old F-100 (three on the tree) that was barely street legal (it was a "farm truck" as they say). Ran like a champ, but the frame was bent and cracked and the body had more holes in it than a stop sign in rural Western PA. (shotgunning stop signs is a local pastime, for those not in the know).

But the tranny was dodgy and the clutch not so good, so it often left you in remote places without motion (this was before cellphones, so footwork was required). It was called many names on days like that, including much punctuation, but we had Christened her "Plank". A flat wooden bed with holes for stake sides provided the inspiration.

I miss that old truck. The frame finally gave in somewhere around 1983 (my bad, long story) and there wasn't much we could do. But her 300 Cleveland engine lives on in pieces and parts. Those old straight sixes rocked and rolled like nobody's business.

Posted by: martooni | July 19, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I hope we didn't lose Boko over that kerfluffle.

Both kids are still in bed. Son of G woke me up at 3:00 this morning to tell me that his friend was stuck at Foggy Bottom, having missed the last train home, and he was going to get him. I don't know if that's true friendship or utter recklessness, since we live a good 20 miles away.

I guess it's just being 19, isn't it?

He woke me again to tell me he was home, but I have no idea what time that was. (You know.. one major difference between now and when I was a teenager is that you can call your friend at 2:30 am and not wake up the entire house.)

Posted by: TBG | July 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Good points, yellojkt.
I hadn't had enough coffee when I posted this AM, I guess.

martooni, I didn't say I didn't care about the car at all, I just pay more attention to the mechanicals than the appearance. The paint's peeling off of it, and it's rusty in spots (hello, POR-15), and it has door dings and at the moment I don't have $1500+ to spend on a nice paint job for it (though I'd like to). It runs well, everything works (the radio goes in and out, but for this car, that's not a big deal), gets great gas mileage, is cheap to fix, gets just about anywhere in the snow with the right tires, and I'm fine with teaching people to drive with it. Even if someone fries the clutch, it's going to be a lot less expensive to deal with than the German sedan.

Quite liberating, actually.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all, another hot one here. Just walked out to find about 20 bumble bees buzzing about my green bean plants. God bless their little hearts. Nothing on the mystery plants,but 1 pumpkin plant has sproutted.

Most of my cars have had the name Baby,like c'mon Baby make it up the hill.

Wish I could jump in the river,but the shower will have to do.Enjoy your Saturday everyone.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 19, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for well wishes. Very nice, y'll are to me. Mostly, I told as a reason for nearly no postings. Sitting now, is not my friends. Walking and standing, I feel pretty darn fine.

The George Pelecanos piece is fab. You may want to break the rule of reading Sunday stuff today; otherwise, you Sunday-only WaPo mag readers are in for a treat.

TBG -- I see the great Grecian fingerprints over all the fine cousins. Wow. Glad to know you, meaning I now have such a worthy Bacon number of 1 to GP. As in

CP knows TBG,
TBG knows GP.

Hope I got that right.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 19, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I swear, if it ain't one thing it's six others.

My trusty Craftsman mower with the Briggs & Stratton 4.5 horse engine just died today. Made one lap around my mother-in-law's place and it just pooped out. Pulled the air filter. Made sure the spark plug wire was firmly attached. Kicked it a few times. Nada.

I have a feeling I'm going to have to drain and flush the gas tank. I store it in the shop (where there's lots of sawdust, obviously) so I'm thinking it may have sucked up some and the gas line or the carb has some blockage. Just what I needed when I'm already short three or four hours every day.

I'm going to wait, though, before I start messing with it. Hot weather and an even hotter temper are not a good mix when it comes to fixing mechanical things. I have enough wrench-shaped holes in my garage door as it is.

And bc... I wasn't trying to say you don't care about *all* your cars. Just pokin' at ya. Beaters serve their purpose and if properly oiled will provide many years of service to their owners well past their intended life expectancy (as if I'm telling you anything). Though they do have a tendency to break down at very inopportune moments, they're like "mutts" -- the best dogs one could ever have (no offense, Wilbrodog). Loyal, reliable (mostly), aggravating and lovable.

Kinda like overfed long-haired leaping gnomes. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | July 19, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Everybody napping?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 19, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I had a nap, cleaned the pool today, so muggy my eyelids were sweating. After an hour of meticulously vacuuming the pool realized I had put a gadget on backwards and I will probably have to clean it again tomorrow.

Posted by: dmd | July 19, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ok.. you got me.. between boodlers' reviews and this one on Slate, I've decided to see Mamma Mia tonight (possible spoiler following)...

"...What's great about Mamma Mia! is its complete disconnect from cool, its conviction that middle-aged women in overalls (or spangled bell-bottoms) are the hottest thing going. The movie's spirit is somewhere between High School Musical and Hedwig and the Angry Inch; it's at once dorkily wholesome and proudly slu††y. It posits a transgenerational, pansexual paradise that's so deeply queer that when one of the characters comes out of the closet late in the movie, the revelation seems superfluous. We've just spent the last 90 minutes singing ABBA while line-dancing on docks in snorkeling flippers, and you're telling us you're gay? Big whoop."

http://www.slate.com/id/2195527/

Posted by: TBG | July 19, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Have fun, TBG. A friend of mine and I have a standard regimen of celebrating our birthdays (4 days apart, although she's two years older than I am (but who's counting?)) by enjoying a magnificent dinner at one of the bazillion local restaurants. We haven't picked the restaurant yet, and we figured out that because of (mainly) her travel schedule, it's gonna have to wait until around Labor Day. And. . . we want to go see Mamma Mia. It has occurred to me that by that time, it will be out of the theaters and onto DVD. Alas. . . .

The movie should be fun, although I suspect that you will have, um, toon cooties coming out of your ears for the foreseeable future after you subject yourself to the music.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 19, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Why should I be offended, Martooni? I'm a mutt. I just look like I should be purebred, I look that good.

As an unpolished poem of mine starts...

"Mama once found a junkyard
Where my papa barked
And here I am, here I am
...
As a wee scrap of black fur
I was sold as a lab ever so pure
Then my tongue went blue
And my tail curled with a sproing!

Quite clear I was no blueblood
Nope, not a blueblood
Not with a junkyard dog daddy...."


Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 19, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The Mrs. and I saw Mamma Mia this afternoon.

Any movie adaption of a Broadway musical has to walk a fine line between the inherent camp of live theater and the intimate realism of film. Play it too big and you have "The Producers" where all that flop sweat gets annoying. Play it too small and you have "Rent" where the energy of the thing is submerged.

I think Mamma Mia got it about right. Sometimes the silliness gets a bit much (Watch the elderly Greek ladies decide to get all funky with the music!) but it usually manages to pull back before it gets too embarrassing.

The only downside for me is that I found it frustrating to hear classic songs from my youth pretty much mangled by mediocre singers. Many have mentioned Pierce Brosnan, who clearly has no future in musical theater, and the otherwise-charming Julie Walters kinda sucked the energy out of "Take a Chance on Me."

Also, there were a few points in the film (like that scene where you initially thought Christine Baranski was doing something very naughty with the young bar tender) that seemed a bit too bawdy for the rating.

Overall, a lot of fun as long as you don't go in expecting West Side Story.



Posted by: RD Padouk | July 19, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I love mutts, Wilbrodog, being one myself. Whether they look pure-bred or not, pure-breds to me, anyway, involve high maintenance and constant yipping and yapping. Like trying to keep Paris Hilton as a companion (notice I didn't say "pet").

Posted by: martooni | July 19, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Wilbrodog, fess up: that pome fragment was part of your magnum opus, "Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening to Tinkle on a Tree and Mark My Territory" by Wilbrodog Cur-loose Wilbrodog. (See http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2007/08/can_you_hear_me_now.html and look for the movie script post at 1:11 PM).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 19, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

If you have a few minutes I recommend this interview of Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister (and synchronized swimmer and some American law firm head honcho) with BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/mobile/interview/

I'm in love.

Posted by: DNA Girl | July 19, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

My wife reminds me that "Mamma Mia" *is* PG-13, so I guess some bawdiness is expected. Another weird thing about the movie is that, based upon the cultural references, it is set in something like 1994.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 19, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Actually it's called "The Pauper", wherein I tell the tragic tale of Wilbrodog Twist.

My current "Stopping by the Woods" draft reads completely differently:

"Whose woods these are I think I know
His dogs are in the village though;
They will not see me stopping here
To help yellow his woods with snow.
My skittish gnome must think it queer
To stop a ways from our log pier
Between the woods, midst frozen flakes
Through fading fall's twilight yet to steer
Where deer in fear to hills do break
From drivers crossing icy lakes.
Beneath our feet, the ground's a heap
Of wind-strewn leaves and downy flakes.
The woods still require markings deep,
But I have poplars to steep,
And miles of snow outdoors to leap,
And miles of snow outdoors to leap.


Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 19, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC: improper comma between "feet" and "the ground".

Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 19, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of nothing, here's a gorgeous photo of the full moon from the other day:
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/143877.asp

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 19, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice, mostly, very nice. Did they get one with Jupiter close by? I wish I had taken a photo the other night when Mr. T and I were looking.

Posted by: slyness | July 19, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Um... wouldn't that be "The Pawper"?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 19, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to check in and say...

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 19, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I cheated the muse today. Played a WWII U-boat game (I'm in July 1940 right now)Tried tro attack a convoy twice. Bloody escorts caught me both times and knocked the barnacles off with depth charges--I managed to slip away.

Posted by: Brag | July 19, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

That is a great moonshot, ml. Not as good as my pictures of Mianus, but quite nice. I posted some ABBA-Batman trivia last night, but got the timestamps all messed up. Here it is:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2008/07/educating-mamma-knight.html

My wife and I listened to ABBA Gold in the car today while discussing the films minor flaws, which many critics have picked up on: poor lighting and cinematography, lazy choreography, mouth-foaming scenery chewing. But when all is said and done you have to just say: Give it a break; It's a movie full of ABBA songs.

I'm off to see The Dark Knight now. TTFN.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 19, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I LOVED Mamma Mia... like the critic in Slate said, I could have stayed through a second showing.

RD.. it HAD to be set in 1994, otherwise 20 years ago wouldn't have been the 70s. BUT.. why did they choose a mom who is nearing 60 years old? She should have been much, much younger. And Christine Baranski... she's hilarious... but those young studs wouldn't have had the hots for her, that's for sure.

I did love the Greek chorus and the first Dancing Queen scene was worth the price of admission alone.

I was amazed at the quality of Meryl Streep's voice; too bad Brosnan's will keep sales of the soundtrack low.

Posted by: TBG | July 19, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

According to my stepson (who just returned from Dark Knight), you may find it a bit better and more exciting than Mama Mia. In fact, he said it "rocked" and was "cool as hell". Terms not usually associated with Abba.

Posted by: martooni | July 19, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Didn't go to the movies today, but did an oil change on the German sedan and took the girls out for tapas (we *do* like a good $5.00 ceviche) and some Italian ices for the leak check/shakedown, then back home to watch "Juno" (I'd not seen it before).

I enjoyed evening quite a bit, and all the better for sharing LOL moments with my daughters.

The full moon this week has been quite enjoyable for me, especially for conjunctions with other celestial bodies.

On a related note, I see an interesting article in today's Post from Marc Kaufman about renewed scientific focus on the search for extraterrestrial life.

From Kaufman's article:
"There's been a fundamental shift in the thinking of the scientific community on the question of life-forms beyond Earth," [Lisa] Pratt said.

Edward J. Weiler, one of the founders of NASA's astrobiology program and now chief of the agency's science division, goes even further.

"We now know the number of stars in the universe is something like 1 followed by 23 zeros," he said. "Given that number, how arrogant to think ours is the only sun with a planet that supports life, and that it's in the only solar system with intelligent life."

Although humans have speculated for centuries about the possibility of extraterrestrial life, astrobiology began as a formal NASA program only in the mid-1990s, created in the excitement that followed the discovery of a meteorite from Mars that was initially thought to contain fossils or other evidence of microscopic organisms (a conclusion now generally rejected."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/19/AR2008071901657.html

I'm probably not the only one to read the article and think of Joel's great book, "Captured by Aliens."

G'night, everybody.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm.

Kaufman has an interesting sidebar piece concerning the implications of a discovery of extraterrestrial life on Christianity:

"Any discovery of extraterrestrial life would raise some challenging questions -- about the origin of life on Earth as well as elsewhere, about the centrality of humankind in the universe, and about the creation story in the Bible," said Connie Bertka, a Unitarian minister with a background in Martian geology who ran the workshops for the AAAS.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/19/AR2008071901642.html

An interesting article - I may have to read that AAAS paper Kaufman mentions...

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

"Unitarian minister with a background in Martian geology" sounds... odd, bc.

Was it a mail-order degree, astral projection a la C.S. Lewis, or what?

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 20, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

I think Percival Lowell conferred the degree, Wilbrod...

:-)

And I've got my fingers crossed for Greg Norman today. Heckuva story. And back on Friday, it was very cute as he was being interviewed on ESPN, he said his new wife Chris Evert was more familiar with the grass at Wimbledon than the grass at Royal Birkdale. Then she snuck in from off-camera and gave him a big smooch! :-)

And let me say, Erin Burnett is doing a fine job but could perhaps use some better support folks...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/business/media/20erin.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1216544716-ubtLHW1gcwcIX1mF6ymqgw

*looking-to-hide-in-the-icebox-today Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 20, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Alert 'Mudge and bc:

We've found another methane source!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/science/space/20plutoid.html

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 20, 2008 5:29 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. I'm up and running late. I want to go to Sunday school and service, so have to put the move on.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, and all, good morning, and happy Sunday.*waving*

I read the front page story here about the lady in West Africa trying to feed her family. It is bad. I guess high food prices are touching a lot of people. I've given up on the food banks. I can't afford the gas to go. In the story, the woman is the last to eat, and she eats least. Ugly story, but true for so many.

I also read part of news feature about pastors offering counseling in debt management. Many churches are responding to the pain that people are going through in the mortage crisis and rent, as well as food. The churches in the Post feature are going further, which is good.

I don't think some people are aware that it is bad for people world wide. They only see in their personal situation, and go no further. They may even believe it to be their fault, and sometimes it is, but not always. Greed.

It is suppose to be very hot here today. We've had plenty of rain. Perhaps the drought numbers will ease off.

I want to eat a tomato, it is a craving. I have not had one the whole summer. Afraid to eat them. Oh, well.

Have a great day, folks. Time to get started. I hope you can get to church today. Mudge, are those legs getting better?

Posted by: cassandra s | July 20, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckzz Boodle!

While having my eye-opener coffee and ciggie outside, was herded off my coffee and ciggie spot. YES! Herded away by a giant wasp. It was big. Huge, enormous. I think it was armed with a bazooka.

Posted by: Brag | July 20, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday morning while on my morning walk I noticed throngs of bees busy flitting about the flowering hedges that landscape my neighborhood. I tried to to give them Joel's address, but they needed something better than "where all the smart people live in The District."

I tried.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 20, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

We are not amused by link to "cat" which doesn't refer to a real feline. Feeling much better now, frostbitten may get her money's worth out of our last vet visit.

Posted by: frostcat#1 | July 20, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I was off line yesterday.

Mudge, I was in no way offended, angry, imposed upon, defensive or anything else negative about your poem riffing off my post. It is a lovely poem, and seeing it here was and is one of the greatest privileges and honours and downright delights of my year.

Rather, I owe you an apology for giving that impression; I don't know how and I would like to learn, since it went against every intention I had.

Thank you for transforming my mundane post into art, and thank you for sharing it.

You have my explicit permission in perpetuity and in any medium now known or to be discovered to use my words in any way you see fit.

Posted by: Yoki | July 20, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I saw that article about the hungry women in Africa as well. It really broke my heart to think of such suffering.

And I certainly have, and will, donate to help this. But I realize that what I give is really just a token. I am doing little but buying off my own guilt.

To really help, I would have to massively cut into my savings. And if I were a single person who only had to worry about myself, my tendency might be to do just that.

The thing is, and I don't think this is at all unusual, I have other people close to me to worry about.

On some level I am making the moral calculus that it is better to provide my son with a college education and make sure my daughter doesn't end up homeless at 50 than it is to make anything more than a token stab at reducing distant poverty today.

Perhaps this isn't strictly defensible from a logical standpoint. But when it comes to our loved ones, most of us are not logical.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

RD, in moral theory, most thinkers acknowledge proximity and relatedness as very reasonable --- and human -- ways to triage our resources against many needs.

But, I understand what you speak of. Our inner humanity should mean that when we look at the world's suffering faces, we should fall to our knees in pain at what another endures and even gratitude, for it not being us. The reality of it all should hurt us.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 20, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle. Have been in meetings, driving, or visiting with the Frostrents so had an unplanned 4 day break from e-mail and all other things computer related. Back boodling and back kitting but will probably miss many gems...

S'nuke-please report regularly on the one vehicle life. It is a big goal of mine which I have turned into a campaign to make a big goal of Mr. F's. (As long as Bess, the seldom driven car o' my dreams, doesn't count.)

I'm with Yello on dooce. Makes me laugh cetainly, but it comes with a cringe chaser that keeps me away.

Loved the pome, missed the mistaken offense. However, I feel compelled to note that even Yoki's lawyerly talk sounds poetical.

Oh, so if some famous pointy head science type likes 3 Quarks Daily it gets a mention as a potential blogroll link. My miffedness knows no bounds.

It is the boodle, not a new house, that I am using to become a better person. I told Mr. F that I am have developed a self-improvement plan based on becoming more fully frostbitten-who is me, but a more thoughtful, nicer, taller and thinner version of the real life me. He approves, but I think it has less to do wth understanding the way of the boodle than it does with appreciating the "do spontaneous nice things for Mr. F" part of the plan.

Cassandra-it's supposedly peppers, not tomatoes, at the root of the salmonella outbreak.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 20, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Taller!? Frosti, as in add two inches? As in what Tom Cruise might want to do? Tell more. And, sign me up. Fax the elixer, etc.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 20, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The story on Pelecanos in the Mag is pretty good. It shows the importance of moving a story forward based more on character and setting rather than plot. I was pleased to hear Pelecanos does not outline.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 20, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

hi frosti... I was wondering where you'd been, but having been gone myself I figured I'd missed a crucial notification. Glad you're back.

I'm sure Billy Joel won't mind if I borrow his sappy words... "We love you just the way you are..."

Off this morning to return Daughter to camp for another two weeks. She came home after being there Weeks 1 and 2 in time for the family vacation and a week hanging out at the pool (which is across the street from our house). Now she's going back to the mountains for Weeks 5 and 6.

Posted by: TBG | July 20, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

TBG - I also wondered why they cast a woman pushing 60 for that role in "Mamma Mia," even if it is Meryl Streep. Perhaps we are looking at some kind of cultural delusion among the Female Baby Boomer population? A collective fantasy that their wild youth is but the lifespan of a snip of a girl in the past?

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20080720/OBITUARIES/581650517/OBITUARIES/J_Lawrence_Hauser_85

This is apparently
serious.

Posted by: Jumper | July 20, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The Rick Bass interview that I thought would be in our Sunday paper was not an interview (should have known better)--just a reprint of a review of Bass's latest book, "Why I Came West," by the Los Angeles Times. Bass's roots in Texas as well as his move to Montana's Yaak Valley are discussed:

http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/books/la-bk-bass29-2008jun29,0,6513529.story

I'm not understanding the Boodle hoopla regarding the latest Batman flick or musical-turned movie "Mama Mia." If hunk Colin Firth is the reason for this weekend's escape to the cineplex to see "Mama Mia," why not invest your movie-going dollars in the far more critically acclaimed with Colin, "When Did You Last See Your Father?"

Hollywood disappoints us greatly this summer. Our summer moviegoing has been richly rewarding thanks to the following foreign films: "Sangre di mi Sangre" in early June; the funny and quirky French film "Roman de Gare," in late June, a movie about love and deceit and assumed identities; and at the start of July, the visual spectacle about Temudgin (not yet Genghis Khan), "Mongols," the first installment in what will be a three-part effort. It was Roger Ebert's review, reprinted in our paper, that delivered us to the latter.


http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080619/REVIEWS/944262138

We did go to see "The Hulk" earlier this summer--I went along because it was a Friday night and I didn't feel like fixing dinner, so we let a bag of popcorn stand in for the Friday evening meal. When we left our nearby Santikos theater, my ears truly ached and throbbed because of the sound level in the small auditorium. I came to understand that the sound level is established by the studio--I asked what it was and if the theater were exceeding it, and exceeding OSHA levels for safe noise. The young theater manager Lauren Baggett was quick to dispense free movie passes because of my painful experience, but she never gave me a return phone call to answer my question about what the sound level for the film was while we were viewing it--as I had specifically and firmly requested.

Thanks for all the well-wishes for my husband--from Alexy, Vintage Lady, Cassandra. From my cursory searching of the web, I understand that there are stages of cancer as well as Clark's levels that indicate skin depth of skin cancers or melanomas. My husband's level three indicates the depth in the layers of skin. I understand levels four and five can be quite serious. My husband is tall, and presently strong and strapping. We are at the early stages of the diagnosis and are not yet panicked. We hope the outcome will be much like Curmudgeon's (thanks for the post because this is all new to us)--no spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes. More doctors' visits, more tests--but your kindness, thoughtfulness, and well wishes are appreciated.

Posted by: Loomis | July 20, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

SCC: I see now that it is Alexey--with two e's.

Posted by: Loomis | July 20, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, that was the strangest obituary I have ever read!

Posted by: nellie | July 20, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

frosti, if you figure out the tallness thing, without resorting to 5-inch heels or platform soles, let me know. Which reminds me, I need to find comfortable shoes.

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 20, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Or the thinness thing. I have failed utterly in my attempts to become svelte before summertime. Again.

I'm also having major problems with compound words/phrases. As in, should "summertime" be two words, or one? I'm sure TBG could tell me (I think I understand the difference between "everyday" and "every day", though!).

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This article about Jim Zorn may be of interest to the football fans:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/19/AR2008071901606.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008071902024&pos=
I thought he had something to do with the Seahawks (that's how much I follow football - I had to read the article to find out if he did).

Posted by: mostlylurking | July 20, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I'd heard about Makemake last week, didn't have time to link to it.

Y'know, I think it's worth considering development of methane-based interplanetary spacecraft propulsion systems and refueling systems capable of converting frozen or liquid methane (as found on Titan, Makemake, etc.) into fuel-grade methane.

I find the idea of humanity ascending to the stars on a cloud of methane highly amusing.

You might say it's Heavens Scent.

I'm settling in to read the WaPo for a little while while the kids eat lunch, then we're off to run some errands and perhaps a little shopping.

Jumper, read that obit and strongly suspect that it was an autobituary, if you know what I mean.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate to let down the vertically challenged portion of the boodle, but so far all I have to offer in the tallness portion of my way-of-the-boodle self improvement effort is not slouching and hanging out with shorter people.

Loomis-missed your news in my boodle skimming. Good thoughts to you and spouse.

RD-I see no moral quandary in first taking care of close ones as long as it doesn't paralyze the desire to also help those we'll never meet.

Just spent half an hour mowing and despite using deet, a hat, long sleeves, and long pants, I am a mass of deer fly bites. Next year, when Mr. F has promised a lawn tractor, speed will be the #1 consideration. I want to be able to outrun the suckers.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

*&^%$#*^ I tried to post a morning hello this morning and my computer ate it, and before I could get things straightened out I had stuff to do, so...

Anyway, good morning. And good afternoon. It is hot. very hot. We're going next door in a minute to swim in our neighbor's pool. We may take a bottle of wine. And some shrimp (a Giada recipe she sid just yesterday). And a blender of margueritas.

Yoki, no harm done anywhere. The only clue I had there might have been something wrong was your 12:17 post, which said in it's entirety: "I think I misunderstood, Sir Mudge. I apologize, and I forgive." I mentioned I didn't understand it, but you said you forgave me, so I figured I musta dun somethin'.' Don't know what it was you were apologizing about, but if you dun somethin', then I forgive you too. But what I think the REAL story is, we both need a large, industrial-size marguerita. Leastways, I know I do.

I also had a number of cute remarks to make about plutoids in general and mahi mahi, or whatever they're calling that new one, but the moment seems to have passed.

Look, I'd really love to stay here and chat but pool, shrimp and drink await.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Is everyone out having summer fun, or am I having refresh troubles again? Didn't mean to kill the boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking, thanks for that link. I'm a Washington NFL franchise fan, I'm hoping for good things from Zorn as a head coach (I remember him as the 'hawks QB back in the day, throwing those passes to Steve Largent).

Going even further off-kit, I see that Buffy/Firefly creator Joss Whedon will have a chat tomorrow on WaPo, hawking his new "Dollhouse" project as well as his "Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog" featuring Neal Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. I think today's the last day it's available online, but it's good stuff IMO.

http://www.drhorrible.com/

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The trouble is Frosti, that it's too hot to type. My fingers are sticking to the keys. We only have one air conditioner installed (in the bedroom) but I'm thinking it might be time to drag at least one of the others from the cellar and put it in the window by the computer. Of course "S" isn't here, he's still in NY with his daughter and by the time he gets back tonight, the last thing he'd want to do, or that I'd even ask him to do, would be to lug a heavy ac unit up and stick it in a window. Guess I'll just have to cope somehow. I don't have any neighbors with a pool. ;-(

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 20, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Yep, it be pretty brutal out there. I replaced another one of our rotted fence posts today and experienced a delightful sense of vertigo.

We used to have a pool, as was documented in this very blog, but haven't put it up this year because my daughter feels she is too mature for it.

I forget to ask TBG if she saw "Mamma Mia" at the elite theater. (She knows the one I mean.) It specializes in high-class foreign films. Like the French one advertised before "Mamma Mia." The preview proudly declared, and I kid you not, that this film has the most "explicit sex scenes of any historical drama."

Viva La France.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Would be glad to send some cool air eastward. Wore flannel pants and a long sleeve t-shirt as nightclothes last night and had to dig out some fuzzy socks for wearing about the house this morning. A toasty 70 right now, with thunder boomers headed our way to drive that down. Another July day with no summer in sight. Was it SD who was freezing lately? In the same boat here, don't know if my maters will ever ripen.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 20, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd gladly trade you Frosti. I usually love this stuff but we haven't had any break in the humidity in so long. Way back when we had an inground pool. It was wonderful on days like this but the season is so short here that I don't miss the hassle of it. Both girls learned to swim like fish in that pool. Of course, when we'd go to the ocean, they'd freak out 'cause there were 'things' in the water!

I just picked some cukes and scared the baby bunny out of the garden (I'm sure he's back in there by now happily munching on what's left of the bean blossoms). I am tempted to go run under the sprinkler I put out for the hydrangeas.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | July 20, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

My attitude would be that even a token is better than nothing, RD.

One financial guy's blog included giving to charity as part of his financial planning. He hasn't posted for months, so it's not a blogroll recommend.

http://orthros.blogspot.com/2008/01/2007-goal-setting-redux-howd-i-do.html

However "setting a finish line for your wealth" is interesting.
http://orthros.blogspot.com/2008/01/setting-finish-line-for-your-wealth.html

He makes more money than most do on this boodle, though... and keeps track of it.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 20, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Knock on wood, Frostbitten. We have cherry tomatoes this year already bearing green fruit. It's the bigger 'maters that may not ripen until well into August; no hint of fruit (or flowers?)

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 20, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, hope everybody is keeping cool. Frosti, send some of that cold air this way, please!

This morning's Sunday School hour was a presentation by a group of young men from the Sudan who are trying to help their people at home. These guys were among the Lost Boys who spent a decade in refugee camps and then were settled in the US. Forty were sent to Charlotte. One of our ministers came upon them in the grocery store and chatted; a ministry resulted. Now they are ready to give back and have established a 501(c) 3 organization to establish schools in their home villages. Their goal is to teach skills that will enable the people to support themselves.

One young man went home to visit a few weeks ago. He saw his parents for the first time in 21 years. They had grown old, he said. The villagers were getting food from the UN but that support has gone away and now they live hand to mouth. These young men are from south Sudan, and the government in north Sudan is trying to destabilize the region.

I look forward to the opportunity to support them, as little as my contribution can be. Last year, the bit I have control of from my mother's foundation went to support children's ministry in the Ukraine, this year to support children's ministry here at home. Like RD, I wish I had more to give.

Posted by: slyness | July 20, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

RD... I like to call it the locally owned/independent theater, rather than the "elite" theater. (Or even "art house," which makes Fairfax sound so cool.) And of course that's where I saw Mamma Mia. In fact, if a movie's not there or at his other theater (the one inarguably known as the "cheap" theater) I wait until it's on DVD or TV. I really hate going to chain theaters.

The gregarious owner of the "art house" theater, for those of you not familiar with the place, often visits the auditorium, bringing popcorn to freshen up folks' containers and likes to get feedback on the previews he shows. He usually asks "What do you think? Should we show that?" after each preview, but I notice he did not ask after the French movie's trailer.

(Did you know he also owns the Saxby's coffee shop in the shopping center that houses his cheap theater?)

And I caught a glimpse of the words "explicit sex scenes" during that preview, but it went by too fast for me to see what it had actually said. It was one of the many times I wished I had my TiVo flipper with me.

Posted by: TBG | July 20, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, TBG, "art house" is a much better term. And I have it on good authority that they serve a reasonably competent turkey sandwich.

The "cheap theater" is fun too. A great place to see those second run films that aren't really worth the regular prices. As long as you don't mind a few more streaks on the print and the occasional inverted reel. Plus there was that lobby fire once, but they took care of that pretty quickly.

Besides, although I don't think they do it anymore, I used to be able to win a free cookie by identifying obscure movie quotes.

Yep, we in Fairfax are pretty blessed cinema-wise.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

We are, indeed, blessed, cinema-wise, RD. AND that same owner is also incredibly active in the community. He was Daughter's rec dept basketball coach way back when and is active in his (and my) kids' school.

I just love supporting such a treasured member of our community. Too bad we aren't getting more and more such businesses rather than more and more chains. (Of course, there's always the local restaurants--they're certainly flourishing. I'll take Angies' Family Restaurant over Outback Steakhouse any day of the week.)

Posted by: TBG | July 20, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

RD... back when I lived in Atlanta there was a movie joint (can't remember the name), where you got to sit at a regular table in comfy chairs and smoke and drink beer or whatever. Like a mash-up of a bar and a movie theater. Probably extinct now.

I remember they had a two drink minimum and very decent wings.

Posted by: martooni | July 20, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from pool. Water temp. 89 degrees. I am pruney beyond measure. My reaction to the pool:


Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 20, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah... martooni.. there's one in Arlington, Va, called the Cinema 'N Drafthouse. We used to live around the corner and spent a lot of time there way back when.

It was amazing to have a waitress come and bring you popcorn (and beer, and nachos...). I think they still show major sports events (including the local NFL franchise games on Sundays).

Good times.

Posted by: TBG | July 20, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's a paean to The Porch. I wish I had a front porch, though, today, I wouldn't sit on it; it's too damned hot!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/home/chi-porches-cover-0720jul20,0,5839835.story

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 20, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

martooni--
i had my wedding reception at that movie joint. it was fantastic! you're right...it's extinct now(the theater, not the marriage)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

LL: I had to go back to find your earlier post about your husband. I had missed it. Good wishes to him. It's a very scary thing to hear, but you're right not to panic.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 20, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, now THAT is an obit, even for an autobit!

bc, 'Mudge, all you other local football fans -- look away, look away...

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider/?hpid=artslot

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 20, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Been working the graveyard shift security at the local fair so haven't been able to keep up with the comment trends. The wife and I are big ABBA fans since they were top 40. Saw the stage show in San Francisco years ago. Can't image the PG movie could top that.

With the smoke from the Northern Calif. Fires here in Southern Oregon the moon has been coming up like a giant orange. In the morning the sun is like a big red search light (bigger than the moon) that you can look straight in the eye.

The juxtaposition of the moon and Jupiter was the subject of discussion with my fellow night guards night before last. With the fairground lights deleting all the other stars the moon and Jupiter were quite a site. Couldn't be a UFO because it wasn't moving.

Rich in the NYT today tore McCain a new one. According to him, with McCain's comments last week (haven't seen the TV for a while), McCain doesn't need some Swift Boaters to slime Obama.

Posted by: bh | July 20, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Jayson Taylor, welcome to the Washington NFL Franchise, where overpaid former Pro-Bowlers come to cash in and ride out their reputations.

Well, maybe this one will work.

I suppose I should be relieved that we found a good replacement for Daniels, but how long will it be before Cerrato and Snyder are looing for a replacement for the oft-injured J. Taylor?

Pulled a few cukes and green peppers from a local garden, should be good.

Ah, you guys are making me think of the old Bethesda Cinema n' Drafthouse on Wisconsin Ave, a place I (mis)spent some of my younger days. I *think* it's still there, unless the car dealership next door took it over.

I used to spend time at the old Outer Circle theaters on Wisconsin as well, and some of the local estblishements such as the Round Table and the Dancing Crab. Ah, the 80s...

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle. It's very hot and sticky here in Tidewater also. The hubby and I went for a 5 mile bike ride at First Landing State Park where a large portion of the trail is shaded, thankfully. We've had so much company and so much going on with our kids that this weekend has been the first time we've just done fun stuff in a while... He had to lure me to the bike ride with a promise to stop at our favorite ocean front bar for a glass of chardonnay on our way home, though.

When the hubby and I first got married, we lived in a little condo on George Mason Drive in Arlington. I bet we watched 50 movies at the Cinema and Drafthouse. Their nachos were great!

I'm thinking that we're going to be going to the movies next weekend too! I just realized that the X-files movie is premiering next week! The series jumped the shark in it's last couple of years, but I'm looking forward to this movie. Unheard of...going to the movies 2 weeks in a row.

Posted by: Kim | July 20, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

As I know I have mentioned before, my wife and I had our first date at the Arlington Cinema and Draft House in July 1987. We saw "Beverly Hills Cop II."

At the time, they did not take credit cards.

Imagine my surprise.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Gave into peer pressure and saw Mamma Mia! yesterday. Loved it. It was all fresh to me because I didn't read anything about the stage show version, much less see it.

Boodle-related news from the trailers at that movie: "Brideshead Revisited" is coming soon! Raise your hand if you read that book for the Achenblog book club -- what was it, three years ago?

Posted by: kbertocci | July 20, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

RD

I can understand what you're saying, and I'm not disagreeing with that. If I remember correctly, isn't your daughter deaf too? There's nothing wrong with providing for our families if we're in a position to do that. Charity begins at home.

For some of us though, we're born in poverty and will live in poverty our entire lives. Our children will live in poverty also. Some will escape the situation of their birth, but not many.

The story in the Post this morning hit me pretty hard. I know in my mind that these situations exist, but somehow it is so hard to come to terms with. It seems to suck all the air out of me. And I realize that I don't even have to go to Africa to see that kind of hopelessness or hear the sigh.


Thank you, Loomis.


I'm going to buy me a hose, and just let the water run from my head to my feet. That's the closest I'm going to get to some water. It was really, really, hot here today. I stayed for a funeral at the church, and there were so many people, some of them were standing outside. I tried to leave, but my car was blocked in. I did not get home until after four o'clock.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 20, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Walk 12.5 miles a day and eat all the animal fat you want.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080718075357.htm

I'd also observe their livestock likely eat grass rather than grains, which means a somewhat healthier omega-3/omega-6 unsaturated fatty acid ratio compared to Western sources of animal fat.

Bh, I'll have to find the link to that NYT article, thanks.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 20, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

'Night, Cassandra.

I made the shrimp, and it was quite good. Here's a link to Giada's recipe in case anyone else wants to try it. When I went to Safeway this morning (peaches at 88 cents a pound!!!! couldn't walk past that one) I couldn't find the polenta, so substituted corn meal for it. Seemed to work fine. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/polenta-crusted-shrimp-with-mustard-and-herb-mayonnaise-recipe/index.html


Loomis, good news about the ymph nodes coming back clean; for the moment, that's pretty much the whole ballgame. They do an additional check to make sure they've dug the hole deep enough and wide enough, which they call "checking the margins." They may already have done it. And they'll want him to follow-up from time to time to make it's healing properly. But it sounds like he's OK. Of course, the dermatology dept. will want to check him out every three months or so for a year or two to make sure there's no other moles or bad spots. Make sure he goes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 20, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - my daughter isn't deaf, but she does have problems with her hearing.



Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

RD.. not trying to make light of your daughter's situation, but that could describe pretty much every teenager in America.

:-)

Posted by: TBG | July 20, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

These free-form Sundays can be a lot of fun.

kbertocci - We saw that preview for "Brideshead Revisited" as well. It was shown right before the preview for the kinky French movie.

Speaking of fine cinema, my son is upstairs watching "Ghostbusters," a film that contains one of my favorite all-time movie lines:

"Back off, man, I'm a scientist."

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Good point TBG! My son suffers from selective hearing loss as well. When it is convenient, that is.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 20, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Just wait until you've been married a couple of decades. Selective hearing loss is your friend.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 20, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, that explains everything about men, doesn't it, Mudge?

Younger dottir bought her sister's SO a toy helicopter for his birthday, which is today. I understand it has been a big hit. Many individuals in a gender I could name never get too old to play with the toys.

Posted by: slyness | July 20, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Can I have a turn with it, slyness?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 20, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Huh?

I'm sorry, were you saying something?

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Post of the day goes to slyness!!! Hahahahahahahaheeheeheeheegigglegigglegiggle

'nite all

Posted by: VintageLady | July 20, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

A friend gave me a toy helicopter for Christmas and I've had a great time with it.

Er, I mean the *kids* have had a great time with it.

Yeah, that's it.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 20, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I finally watched "Fight Club" after reading the novel (bought at Powells) on a cross-country house hunting trip for my present job. It was still showing at a combo theater and arcade on Belmont Street in the Sunnyside neighborhood, one of several where police officers were offered subsidies for purchasing homes.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 20, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, my husband has yet to have the lymph node test. The call Friday was from the dermatologist with the results of the scrape (he made quite a good little hole) and biopsy outcome. Husband goes to his G.P. on Tuesday and guess will be (re)directed to another doctor from there. Husband says it'll be a lymph node doctor, isn't that an oncologist?

Then another company meeting on Wednesday, with all Texas employees calling in to North Carolina to hear the new company president speak--so pins and needles (meaning the unknown) on several fronts.

Speaking of a front, you have no idea how folks in these parts on cheering on Tropical Storm Dolly to head this way. ANYTHING to relieve our drought misery. Hopefully, at minimum, a few days of soaking rains.

Curious how good L.A. Lurker's Russian is? Found what I believe to be a simple Russian ballad on YouTube--would just like the gist of the lyrics. Yes, there's a family connection to the city, about which I think the singer is crooning.

Posted by: Loomis | July 20, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Russian video on YouTube for Halicz. The sounds that start the song aren't sirens, but howling wolves. The song may have something to do with these critters for all I know.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7z2Bqdbg6pI

Posted by: Loomis | July 20, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I used to have selective hearing loss, but now it's turning into the real thing (as in general hearing loss) and really starting to tick me off, even though it's useful at times. I did learn a trick, though. If I wear my ear plugs from the shop when watching TV, they filter out the background noise of the fan and other appliances so I don't have to turn the volume up to 40. Seems counterproductive, but it works (though I do look a little silly sitting on the couch watching a movie with yellow ear buds connected by a blue nylon string stuck in my ears).

Posted by: martooni | July 20, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

In NW California, Google Maps has some very recent satellite images that show burned-over forest and are taken through grey smoky haze. Start near Hayfork CA, and pan in the direction of the ocean following Hayfork Creek. For example,

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&q=hayfork,+CA&ie=UTF8&ll=40.70475,-123.532902&spn=0.005628,0.008916&t=h&z=17

Posted by: LTL-CA | July 20, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

loomis, the video is in polish, a language i haven't studied.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 20, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I cannot hear when I read. I also can't keep my eyes from drifting to printed material so Mr. F and the Frostkids will not speak to me if I have book, magazine, or newspaper open in front of me. I never considered this to be a disability until Frostdottir started taking piano lessons. I took lessons with her so it could be a mother/daughter bonding thing, and because I always wanted to play but didn't get a chance growing up. Turns out I also can't hear when I'm reading music, which hampered my progress considerably.

Toodles boodle. Sleep well.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 20, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Damn, is no one else awake at this hour? I have a wicked leg cramp, which is keeping walking around till all hours. I was hoping for a diverting chat among boodlers, but I guess I'm way too early for the dawn patrol.

I spent a few minutes outside on the screened porch after a mild thunder and lightening storm with torrential rain hours ago, expecting a sudden drop in temperature, but I experienced tropical temperatures with fog-smothering, gasping for air, swamp-like air. It's still too damned (damp) hot! And it's two a.m. est.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 21, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all,

Bananas are good for leg cramps, Maggie jt's the potassium in them, so my bikers tell me.

Still laughing at slyness's wit. Such fun, this place, this dot of warmth in the vast internet.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 21, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Sorry the Dawn Patrol missed you, Maggie. Sometimes our Leftcoasties are still up at 2, but I suspect they know our usual habits and don't post much on Sunday nights. Wilbrod sometimes prowls the night, and much further west we have Aloha and rainforest.

Sorry to hear about the leg cramp; how are the knees otherwise? Are you getting enough calcium? If not, try my wife's health tip: eat ice cream. (Not so good for the triglycerides, but whattaya gonna do?)

Loomis, I don't think the lymph test guy will be an oncologist. If I remember, mine was done by a general surgeon (barely out of high school, by the look of him) aided by a radiologist. What they did was inject small amounts of a trace material (not sure if "radioactive" per se) into the skin adjacent to the incision. And then the radiologist tracks it on a TV screen as the trace stuff enters the lymph system and goes up your arm. Apparently there are no lymph nodes in your arm, so after it goes to the armpit it starts down the side where there are lymphs nodes all over the place. I was lying there on the gurney watching this "river" develop on the TV screen: it was kinda fascinating. (All this is done in the radiology dept.) The "river" will suddenly develop into a small "lake" where a node is (or several of them; it's hard to tell). Meanwhile, the radiologists is feeling the skin to feel for the node, and when he/she thinks they have the first one, he circles it on your skin with a magic marker: dig here. So then the general surgeon goes in and removes the node closest to the site-- i.e., the first node in line. Theoretically nodes are placed like pearls on a string, each discrete from the other, but often they are not. In my case there was a jumble of five of them all together, and the surgeon said what the he11, and took all five; there was no point in figuring out which was "first," and if one was compromised all five were, so there was no point in leaving survivors behind. The nodes go to the lab for analysis; the report probably goes to the oncologist then, the first time one actually enters the scene.

I was theoretically "awake" for this procedure, but my wife says I was under something that put me in a "twilight"; and in any event, I have the ability, like a dog (no offense, Wilbrodog), to fall asleep the moment I close my eyes, so I probably did sleep through the cut, but it was my choice, not a general anaesthetic that did it. Whole thing was basically painless.

One long-term consequence is that whether or not the lab result comes back clean, from here on out, med people will strongly prefer NOT to give shots, draw blood, or insert IVs into the arm under which the nodes were drawn, and your spouse should always direct techs and nurses NOT to use that arm except as a last resort (I think they're all over-reacting to be on the safe side).

Hope it comes back clear. Fingers crossed.

Carry on. Patrol.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Maggie, I feel your pain. I have leg cramps all the time, and needless to say, it is not a good feeling. The Dawn Patrol is here about five o'clock, sometimes earlier. Scotty, usually leads the parade.

Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, get cracking guys, it is Monday, and good morning to all.*waving*

I'm trying to get ready for the Center. I'm going to attempt the project I talked about here, with some minor changes. I'm a little worried about my dad. He's seeing a heart specialist, and needs to wear a moniter for twenty-four hours. Anyone here know anything about that, the heart monitors? He won't allow me to go with him, and is sparse with the details. In fact, he gets angry if I ask, plus it's a good drive from here.

I read this morning the situation in Haiti. It is not good. The people there, especially the children are starving, as many are around the world. The US promise help, but hasn't made good on the promise. The article does state that food is held up in the docks because of regulations in place to thwart drug trafficking, and gas is also a problem. In Haiti, gas is six dollars a gallon.

You know in Scripture, it was against the Mosaic law to overcharge for stuff that people really needed, like food. And I guess, gas just might be included in that. Someone here that knows better than me can address that issue.

Time to swim. Have a great day, folks. It is suppose to be mighty hot here today. Stay cool if that is the case where you are, and check on your elderly neighbors.

Hopefully good news for you, Loomis, and the husband, and many blessings from God and the Lord Jesus.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 21, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Boodle!
Here is something rousing to wake you up and send you off to conquer Monday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EbwMCxqxCw&feature=related

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 21, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and happy Monday, Achenworld!

I get up early and everybody already here. The dawn patrol is in fine fettle this morning.

VintageLady, I'm glad you enjoyed my wit. I wish I could share the helicopter around but alas, it's going to Maryland today. The dottir bought it on W00t, does anyone frequent that site? She loves it and often buys stuff there.

Not much going on for a Monday. I passed on an opportunity to go with Mr. T to NC State and see the latest in equipment to test fire turnout gear. I'll just have to amuse myself at home.

Cassandra, stay cool.

Posted by: slyness | July 21, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Wonder what happened to my before 6 am post? What happened to others?

Posted by: VintageLady | July 21, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Hop the leg gets better, Maggie.

Novak Summary: McCain will win because Obama isn't tough enough on Iraq. Yikes!

Posted by: yellojkt | July 21, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh!, they're all here now, my computer must have the heebie-jeebies, or something.
Carry on...

Posted by: VintageLady | July 21, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

A busy one for me and the kids; more later.

My oldest saw "Batman" and is now nearly demanding that I do so.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 21, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Maggie O'D,
It must be the heat--I'm getting nighttime cramps, too. Fortunately, restless legs seem to be in abeyance.

Thinking of heat, Orlando was relatively non-humid yesterday, so Leu Gardens was pleasant to wander around, if you made some effort to stay in the shade. It was really nice to see their pair of huge "Muskogee" crape mytles again. It's amazing how much better these trees look if they aren't mutilated by chainsaw-bearing landscapers.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 21, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Morning all...

slyness, they WOULD have to schedule the turnout gear test for late July, hm? *L*

The "one-car family" lifestyle continues apace; in the irony department, my commute in was delayed by a freight train.

A train full of car carriers, in fact. *SIGH*

*where's-my-Diet-Pepsi-cuz-it's-too-dang-hot-for-coffee Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 21, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

DofC -- let's start the non profit to work against the maniacal trimmers....Frost will join too. Mutilated myrtles are nearly as bad as forsythia treated similarly. But the wacking of winter jasmine sends me over the edge.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 21, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

On Crape Mytles: Growing up in Norfolk, I really did not appreciate the fact that the City planted the smooth barked trees all along public thoroughfares and even in the neighborhoods. Those watermelon blossoms bloom from about Memorial Day until Labor Day there, and they were great for climbing as a kid.

The Chestnut trees were blooming in early May when we were in France. The blooms reminded me of Crape Myrtles, but not the leaves. The trees were very tall and lovely.

We recently planted a Crape Myrtle, facing South, in our front yard, but it only gets dappled sunshine in the Summer months, so probably won't be robust with it's blooms. Funny thing, watermelon color is no longer popular with the nurseries, so we settled on a pretty deep peach color. It will grow to a height of 15 to 20 feet, which is fine for the space alloted.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 21, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

A funny thing at the office: I was the very first one in. No John, no Trish, No Sunny, No Lynn. Nobody. The door was closed and lights still off. This has NEVER happened before. My first thought was, "Oh, sh--, I came in on Sunday!"

Turned out to be a false alarm. Trish is on vacation, John's train was late, and Lynn arrived five minutes later.

I made the coffee. Not *that* unusual.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

We're too far south for full-blown crape myrtle madness, but they, palms, and Callistemons (Australian bottle brush) suffer terribly from the chainsaw variety of pruning.

http://www.plantamnesty.org/ (Seattle, with some info specific to central Florida).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | July 21, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link to a recent Bill Moyers chat with the Nation's William Greider, for the most intelligent, most understandable/accessible explanation of what's happened to the economy, why (it started in 1980), and what to do about it. It's nearly half an hour long, but well worth your time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

SCC, sort of:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07182008/watch2.html

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

the kuban cossack video, now that's in russian.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | July 21, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

*shaking my head*

________________________
The Tampa Tribune

Published: July 18, 2008

An innocent reference to an astronomical feature was misconstrued as a racial insult in Dallas last week, which is funny, except that an offended official's continued indignity has created humorless ill will.

The incident began when a white commissioner described an inefficient county department as a black hole. Two black officials took offense. One suggested it instead be called a white hole.

A black hole, as most schoolchildren know, is a concentration of matter so dense its gravity allows nothing to escape, not even light. When seen from afar, it appears to be a black spot in the heavens.

Even after he understood that, one of the rankled officials defended his outrage. He said too many things that are black or dark are assumed to be bad, such as black sheep.
_________________________

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 21, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm laughing, Scotty. I particularly like the subtlety of the subtext, which says "even *after* he understood...," meaning somebody had to explain it to him first -- just further showing he didn't even know "what most school children know," just adding yet further proof that the department was, in fact, a black hole of ignorance, etc. The irony just circles its own drain. Or something like that.

Maybe he just woke up in a black mood.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Wait until the umbrage starts over white dwarfs.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 21, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Prior to my backboodling, here's my Gulf of Mexico weather geek link I'm finding pertinent:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/loop-avn.html

Posted by: Jumper | July 21, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Ooooooooooooh, Wilbrod and I are gonna get you for that, yello.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Disney's 'The Black Hole' needs to go into the vault next to 'Song of the South'?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Further irony: The Tampa Trib article mentions the official's "indignity" when it means his "indignation." The county departments are not the only place where a little learnin' might help 'em along. Or a decent human/non-computer copy editor.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 21, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that Tropical Storm Molly's looking meaner and meaner and looks like she's heading for Texas. Loomis, you better take in the laundry from the clothes line. They say that thing could be a hurricane tomorrow.

Jumper, where do you live? (Approximately.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Brag... I may just have to watch that Cossack Chorus video every morning to get me going. Yee haw!

Slyness... I LOVE w00t.com. I purchased a camera recently there and some other various smaller things (I especially love the w00t offs, when items appear and then disappear only when they are sold out). In fact.. Son of G goes to bed only after the new w00t has appeared at 1 am. I do remember the helicopter and wondered who would buy it! A present for an "S.O.-in-law" makes perfect sense.

I also LOVE crape myrtles. I'm sure I've told this story, but we planted a hot pink one in honor of Mom in the garden at the hospice where she died. When the development officer went over the gift with us, I asked for them to please make sure they spelled the name of the tree correctly on the plaque; the other similar trees were identified incorrectly as crepe myrtles.

When we arrived to see the tree after it was planted, the plaque had the incorrect spelling. The woman told us that they didn't want to change all the plaques and that they found a source that said "crepe" was an acceptable alternative. Sigh. Poor mom.

Kim.. y'all down in Tidewater are blessed with an abundance of crape myrtles. They just grow everywhere and are wild on the side of the highway on Virginia's Eastern Shore.


Posted by: TBG | July 21, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Tim, we have reached the incredible era when people need to start taking some insenitivity training.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Scottnuke, that's an interesting story.

Black holes seem to be a whole United Nations, as originally concieved by Michell and Laplace, euclidated by Einstein (ahem), with Schwarzschild radii, Chandrasekhar limits, Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates, Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff limits, and full of Hawking radiation, which is essentially a valving off of broken-down matter that has been drawn past the object's event horizon. Essentially, Hawking radiation is an information leak.

It just occurred to me: perhaps the White House is a black hole (just try not to picture Dick Cheney as a naked singularity).

Language and communication is wonderful and has made us humans what we are (for better and worse), but sometimes we wield it with the subtlety and precision of a sledgehammer, even when scalpel-like precision is required. Heck, even when used with precision, sometimes language and words *hurt*. For that matter, how much collateral damage have all of us caused over the course of our lifetimes?

This is why I enjoy my position as the Jackson Pollock of the English Language. I just can't seem to keep my paint in the numbers. But hopefully, I can bring a smile or a laugh along the way, writing like a dictionary bull in a china shop.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 21, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Tim... what are you inferring?

[tee hee... couldn't resist]

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

Mudge, I think all white male should take umbrage at this "white dwarf" thing.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

New kit coming soon to a blog near you! Like within 30 mints.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 21, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't like what you are implying, shrieking denizen.

I live in North Cackalacky, Mudge, so I've met Slyness and the globetrotting TBG at a BPH event a while back. I'm about 75 miles or so from Cassandra's stomping grounds or closer, but we haven't run into each other, at least while wearing our Boodler buttons. I think some others are nearby but am not sure.

Actually black holes are invisible except that they would appear like perfect lenses, bending the surrounding starlight. In practice one needs careful observations to infer their existence, and one would need a VERY fast spaceship to view an obvious lensing effect near them.

Posted by: Jumper | July 21, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads-up, Joel. It never fails that when I get around to posting (at any time of the day), you post a new kit.

{* impatiently sitting on hands now *}

Posted by: martooni | July 21, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

About the Cossack video.

The refrain goes something like this:

For the Czar, the motherland, the faith
We'll thunder a loud hoorrah.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Alexey, I'm now ready to march off and conquer Monday. Had L.A. Lurker not called out the title of Alexey's video link, the chorus line of the Kuban Cossacks, I may been puzzled and missed it. Thanks so much, L.A. Lurker for taking a look at the Halicz YouTube video/song that I linked to. Polish? Who knew? Haunting folk melody, absolutely.

My father's favorite running joke to my Swedish mother was that there must have been a Chinaman in the Swanson family woodpile, thanks to my mother's lovely high cheekbones. My father must have kidded my mother about this once a year--*every* year.

Now I know my father should have checked his own woodpile. My sister had a very Asian cast to her eyes (no epicathic folds, though) when she was a toodler, but by the time she reached kindergarten she had outgrown the facial features.

I loved the movie "Mongols" that we saw two weekends ago and that I mentioned last night. The foreigness, the stunning scenery mezmerized me, can't mentally shake the images and story. We never paid much if any attention to this part of the world before.

Seeing this film has started something in our household. My husband ordered an older, inexpensive book about Genghis Khan online. I have found several used books, and read part of one, "The Devil's Horsemen," to unearth the story of my Turko-Mongol ancestor Kotian, Khan of the Kumans (Cuman, Kipchak, Qipchaks and all the other variants of the spelling of this nomadic band of the western steppes). Kotian's wife hailed from Halicz. This line descends to Phillipa of Hainault, mother to John of Gaunt.

Gotta love the repetition of the K sound--puts me in mind of Krispy Kreme, Ku Klux Klan (hardly a positive association), or the Kwik Kleen Kar Wash. I'm starting to love the thought of an ancestor whose title was Khan (King is getting boring now), and although Kothian's (also spelled Kuthyen) end was truly tragic, his prolonged efforts centuries ago to stop the western march of the Mongols may have a good bit to do with why you and I aren't speaking Mongolian today.

I wonder how to say "Have a nice day" in Mongolian. "Uuuuuuggghhhhhh." (See movie.)

And Curmudgeon, thanks for all the info about all thing lymph. We now know fully what to expect. And as a head's up, it's Hurricane Dolly (as in "Hello") not Molly. This bowling ball of convective activity IS gaining strength now that it's emerging in the Gulf. Expected to be a big blow over the Rio Grande Valley. Am watching it closely, since we're at the bottom of empty rain barrels looking up.

Posted by: Loomis | July 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

New Kit is up.

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