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Funny Money

[Unbelievable: On Romenesko we see this letter about HuffPo's "Unearthed: News Of the Week the Mainstream Media Forgot to Report." Once again this column is filled -- saturated! -- with stories that were, in fact, reported by the mainstream media, as anyone could see by clicking on the links. As I was saying.]

[Later this week we'll be shuttering the blog for 10 days while I go on summer break. My current plan is to let the whole thing go dark. No guest kits, no guest bloggers, no nuthin' -- to just lock up everything, board the animals, turn off the power, turn off the water, and let the blog gradually revert to wilderness. By the time I return the blog will be indistinguishable from a pile of mulch.]

Today the Post reports on executives making $14 million a year, or maybe $27 million. Some of them work for places like Freddie Mae [and Fannie Mac]. I find myself on the verge of taking umbrage.

But mostly I regret that I didn't go to business school. Money has always bored me. To this day, with the economy tanking, I still don't understand anything in the Business section. My strategy has always been to take all my money and put it someplace safe -- newspaper stocks -- and then let the chips fall where they may.

What's clear, it seems from today's headlines, is that people who wheel and deal need the discipline imposed by the knowledge that they are liable for their losses. That hasn't always been the case in the housing market. Lack of discipline also defines the federal government, with both the White House and Congress being so willing to spend money they don't have. Didn't I just say that this deficit would hit nearly half a trillion?

See this piece by Larry Summers :

'To see the temptation and danger inherent in such a situation, one need only look back to the mismanagement of the savings-and-loan crisis. Policymakers protected depositors, allowed institutions to operate even when their fundraising depended on government support and suspended regular standards in order to attract private capital. With gains privatized and losses socialized, taxpayers ultimately ended up with a $300 billion-plus bill (measured in today's dollars).'

Here's Paul Krugman in the Times:

"Lenders ignored the warning signs because they were part of a system built around the principle of heads I win, tails someone else loses. Mortgage originators didn't worry about the solvency of borrowers, because they quickly sold off the loans they made, generally to investors who had no idea what they were buying. Throughout the financial industry, executives received huge bonuses when they seemed to be earning big profits, but didn't have to give the money back when those profits turned into even bigger losses."

--

Check out these two excellent pieces on the Umbrage Epidemic.

First there's this piece by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek. Excerpt:

' One would have hoped that the presence of millions of little press lords on the Web would mean a much greater range of stories. Instead, Web traffic closely tracks the latest cable obsession. Even last week's specter of bank runs for the first time since the 1930s couldn't shift the focus from umbrage to substance. For two days, the Obama-New Yorker flap (and yes, I covered it, too) obliterated everything else in the media universe.

'The good news for Obama (or for John McCain when he makes a gaffe) is that all these weekly flaps quickly pass. When flaps came monthly or quarterly in a campaign, they lingered in the system. Today's media feeding frenzies are the equivalent of junk food, leaving everyone immediately hungry again. The immediacy and ubiquity of the Web intensifies the binge-and-purge cycle, but it also makes it commonplace. Most voters don't notice or remember for long.

'The umbrage and venom and brilliant crowd-sourced insights are all preserved forever in archives, but there's too much of it for anyone to track. By the end of this first Internet campaign, we'll know everything. And nothing.'

Meanwhile, John Dickerson at Slate has been tracking the rise of umbrage as a political weapon. See also Jack Shafer's column on the New Yorker cover.

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 28, 2008; 10:22 AM ET
 
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Comments

Talk about umbrage. The boss is shuting down? What does he expect me to do, work? Of all the nerve .......

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 28, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

What are our fellow fallowers to do in the meantime, Joel? I mean, what are we? Chopped liver (w/ mayonnaise)????

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Oy. We must be really bad if they can't even find a babysitter. Usually when this happened, I'd find myself making woven potholders and popsicle-stick birdhouses. If I behaved, there might be a game of kickball.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 28, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Here is more info where your money is going before I start moaning about the blog mulch.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/28/us/politics/28IRI.html?pagewanted=1&hp&adxnnlx=1217257447-8JAxEBp1mUfVQRm5WKrgOg

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 28, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Loud whisper, off stage left:

Fannie Mae, Freddie MAC!

Posted by: dbG | July 28, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I say we take a vote and take over a different WaPo blog for a week. Shame that MommyBlog isn't still in business.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh... Joel, ask Loomis what happens when you leave a mulch pile to its own devices.

I think if you just recycle some oldies but goodies from the early part of this century, the blog'll still get the rest it deserves. But the rest of us will be able to still drag ourselves out of bed each day.

You'll be able to entertain us with old-fashioned language... little gems that'll make us titter with laughter over those simpler times... you know.. things like "hanging chad" and "Y2K."

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I think it would have worked if Obama's campaign staff maybe expressed some minor annoyance the New Yorker pic but Obama himself got an admitted and public guffaw out of it.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I've already picked about 10 lbs of green beans with more to pick,just taking a short break.I hope my neighbors are ready for some beans.

I will be taking any green bean recipes anyone has.

10 days? I will be walking around aimlessly in the woods with nothin to do. Oh,I already do that much of the time.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 28, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Just backboodled, I'll post my mustard recipe later today. Superior, hot, well worth the trouble. I'll bring some in October.

rainforest, I'll find and post it.

Jumper, you may love *some* kind of cheese and steak sandwich with mustard and mayo, but that's not a cheesesteak. Sorry. When you visit Philadelphia, let me know, and I'll take you out for one.

Posted by: dbG | July 28, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

10 days without Joel?

For certain, we'll end up discussing the best mustard that goes with spatcocked rabbit.

Posted by: DandyLion | July 28, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

We just steam our green beans in a pot with a perforated bottom steamer insert and a glass a lid. I steam them for about 8-10 minutes until they are al dente. Crunchy but not raw. If they were beef, they would be very rare. No butter, no sauces, no extra fat of any kind.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm hungry for a Tony Luke's Italian with rabe. Thanks a lot.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I am reminded of the Far Side cartoon in which Mrs. Chimpanzee pulls a long (evidently blonde) hair from Mr. Chimpanzee's shoulder and asks him "Conducting a little more 'research' with that Jane Goodall tramp?" The Jane Goodall Institute freaked out and prepared to take legal action, until Goodall herself was shown the offending cartoon, laughed her backside off, fired the executive director, and invited Gary Larson to come visit her in Gombe any time.

Checking Gary Larson's Wikipedia entry just now, I verified some of this and also found that Thagomizer is more-or-less an accepted term for a stegosaur's tail spikes, "after the late Thag Simmons." I had seen the Far Side cartoon and the label on a displayed tail spike at Dinosaur National Monument, but I was unaware of the widespread acceptance of the joke.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

When I started my 12:11 post, it was obvious that it referred to Jumper's 11:39 about the New Yorker cover, but that was no longer clear by the time I posted it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 28, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Ten whole days without Achenblog? NOOOOO

I remember when the blog went blank during Christmas a couple of years ago. It was...just ugly.

Just leave it up, Boss. We'll take care of ourselves.

Hey, did anyone else catch Rachael Manteuffel's story in the Post Mag yesterday? I loved it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/22/AR2008072202015.html

We can riff on this for ten days, if we have to.

Posted by: slyness | July 28, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Green beans: steam, toss in a beurre noisette, dust lightly with a fresh grating of nutmeg.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 28, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, taking over someone else's blog. I'm sure that would be greatly appreciated. We could pose as McCain fans or vociferous Bushies at the barricades, or Nigerian mayonnaise lobbyists.

Of course, everyone could take some time off and read my book.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 28, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Fallow blog" -- I will be amused to see us try it. Go ahead, Achenbach. Shut it down, and make sure all the kits for the last six months are in "Comments closed" mode. (Have an intern do it or something). See what happens. I bet I will read more books in August, if we are blogless. (I finally moved to the front of the library hold line for A Journey Long and Strange--it's very good, I'm about 25% through it)

(I recognize this tone of bravado; I've been here before: "I can quit anytime!" Really, there's nothing more pathetic than an addict in denial.)

Posted by: kbertocci | July 28, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead and shutter the blog if you want, Joel -- and if you think that'll work. *maniacal cackle as he begins to institute backyup emergency Plan B rendering Joel's entire pklan moot, moot, moot*

Scotty, don't scratch the wasabi. I have learned to eat it on seared ahi tuna. It makes me cry -- but a man shouldn't be afraid to shed a few tears for a good piece of ahi.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt: //Now I'm hungry for a Tony Luke's Italian with rabe. Thanks a lot.//

Yello, at least you're fortunate enough to know what a Tony Luke's Italian with rabe is! Think of the millions who have been fooled by inferior imitations, mayo and all.

Posted by: dbG | July 28, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Were there any WaPoMag articles this week that weren't about underpants?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Ahi and wasabi, pure gastrohoochian magic!

On my way to Cabo (not on the Fluffilado)we trailed a fishing line. Zwwaaack! An ahi got hooked. Out came ne knives and the wasabi. Like true hunter-gatherers we immediately went into the noshing mode. Less than five minutes from sea to belly. Fresh-fresh! Aaaaah.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 28, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

GWE, you want a green bean recipe? Hold on to your hat:

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 pats of butter, canola butter or margarine
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (creminis or chopped portobellos preferred)
2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup brandy or cognac
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup chicken broth/stock
Crunchy topping (recipe below)

Crunchy topping
It's usually best to make up the crunchy topping before the rest of the dish.
3-4 strips bacon (not turkey bacon; thick-sliced is best), approx. 1/3 lb.
4-5 large shallots
3 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons EVOO

Peel and dice the shallots into smallest possible dice (but don't chop in an electric chopper--that's too small). In a large skillet or electric buffet pan, heat the olive oil and add the shallots and capers (capers come packed in vinegar; it's okay to add the vinegar with the capers; they don't have to be well-drained or dried off). Stir frequently and cook until very well down; the shallots will be very dark brown. Remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl. In the same pan, cook the bacon until well done, so it is entirely crispy. Put bacon on paper towel to drain; when dry and cool, crumble as small as possible into the bowl of shallots and capers; stir to mix, and hold aside.

Blanche green beans in boiling salted water until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain, shock with cold water, drain. Set aside.

In the same skillet or pan used for the shallots and bacon, wipe out the pan with paper towel to remove bacon fat, but don't wash the pan. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and two pats of butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add brandy/cognac, red wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Simmer to blend flavors and reduce sauce, about 5 minutes. Add green beans to mushroom sauce and toss thoroughly to coat. Sprinkle crunchy topping on beans; heat until beans are hot, about 2 minutes. Serve beans from pan or serve in large dish or bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, or allow guests to season.


Gotta run out to a doctor appt. Back later.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Manteuffel's story suggests something to do during the Time of the Fallow Blog: "...religion...people who die for their faith and care for the sick and massacre people who disagree with them."

Consider selecting one or more other blogs for massacre. Boodlers en masse, umbragers and umbragettes alike, turning troll on an unsuspecting blog, decimating the denizens of the preselected blogs with contrarian views, slinging gobs of mayonnaise on unsuspecting bloggers, throwing flowers and spoiled 'maters on them, taking disproportionate umbrage - and then, suddenly disappearing into the ethernet; skulking off to the next blog to be victimized, leaving them wondering 'what happened?'

Posted by: Shiloh | July 28, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Greenwithenvy: Here's a stir-fry greenbean dish you might like.
It's based on a Thai dish.
You can make this with any kinda meat, but chicken, or pork, or shrimp, or scallops work the best. 'Course, you can make it w/tofu and blow off the meat all together.
Cut up a bunch of greenbeans into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
Heat peanut oil in a wok, to the hot oil add 1 tablespoon (or more if you want it spicier) Thai red curry paste. Blend the curry paste and oil; add greenbeans and stir for a couple of minutes, then add the meat and stir for a couple of minutes more, then cover and steam on medium to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
You can eat it as is or serve it with rice. It's a good entree and it's a different way of preparing greenbeans. Hope you try it and like it.
Dmon

Posted by: Dmon | July 28, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

gwe, for an easy twist on green beans, steam them, then saute them with a bit of olive oil and as much minced garlic as you like.

yello, I don't think the Olympic athletes discussed their underpants ("Dorothy Hamill's underpants" is a Googlenope). Date Lab alluded to "hanging out" in a car, but no mention if underpants came into play. And Mr. Danders was not wearing underpants.

Posted by: Raysmom | July 28, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim, you'd be interested to know that Gary Larson became so popular among the scientific community that in the late 1980's someone organized a cross-country art exhibition - all at local Nature & Science museums. I forget the name of the person who organized it, but it was a scientist who noticed that all of his colleagues had a Larson cartoon somewhere in their cubicle, office, or classroom.

Posted by: CowTown | July 28, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I bow to the Philly cheese steak expert, dbG. I admit it. Wikipedia is in a bit of conflict, (some competing articles) but one calls Cheez Whiz the "sine qua non."

Now I am getting hungry.

Joel, no going on vacation until the spring cleaning is done. Looking for possible bunker space if needed, I found trash in an old boodle. Apparently, bears moved in for a while, long after regular Boodlers had left.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The closest to discussing underpants the Olympics article come is talking about looking at East German women in the locker room. And for an article pegged to the Summer Games, why are two ice skaters included? Did they run out of track and field or synchronized swimming athletes to interview?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I first became aware of The Far Side when I visited my Dad's lab after my freshman year of college (yep, I'm a son-of-a-scientist) and he had posted one with a chef throwing baseballs at a target to dunk a lobster in a pot of boiling water. My Dad's long-time experimental animal was the lobster. Other Far Side cartoons quickly went up. We scientists do love our Far Side. ScienceKid#1 received just one birthday present from the ScienceParents this year -- the complete Far Side collection. ScienceKid #2 got the complete Calvin & Hobbes. Giants once strode the comics pages. At least we still have Garry Trudeau. We are busy awakening the ScienceKids to the glories of Will Eisner. Alas, they never got Pogo. Is there anyone drawing today who can come close to these Titans (other than Trudeau, obviously)? Frazz is good -- but is it Calvin & Hobbes good? Is it Pogo good? Is it Little Nemo good? Is it Krazy Kat good? It's an awfully high standard, but that's the standard you have to make in order to qualify as a classic.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 28, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Date Lab did include some heavy condiment talk:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/22/AR2008072202013.html

And while Cheez Whiz is more authentic, I prefer the equally acceptable provolone. Asking for Swiss will lose you an election.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

My favorite comics writer is subbing for 'Bizarro' this week. That strip has consistently quality artwork.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/bizarro.asp
http://www.bizarro.com/

And if anything it is a little more off kilter than Larson's work.

'Mutts' has a deliberately retro style, but the quality of the humor can't match the pictures.

The webcomics are where you have to go for real attention to detail. Someday people will be lamenting that nothing stacks up to vintage 'Penny Arcade'.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The link to "Post reports on executives making $14 million" is not working for me, although my machine is ditzy lately anyway. When the executives' salaries are determined by compensation boards chosen by the executives, no wonder things are screwy. When I complain, comfortable people soothingly begin speaking of the free market. In the meantime, I "own" stock via a 401K, but conveniently for some, I don't get to vote any of the shares.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

to be on topic from an earlier boodle,

this might explain Novak's hit and run escapade-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/28/robert-novak-brain-tumor_n_115378.html

Poor guy.

Posted by: Kim | July 28, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Dear Joel,

Perhaps you don't realize that a pile of mulch the size of the boodle membership could very easily result in spontaneous conbustion ie, flame warriors:

http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/

Yello & Shiloh are already considering the "take over" of some poor WaPo blog for the duration. Heaven only knows what Mudge has in mind.

Now, if that's what you really want, I can always check into the Virginia Politics blog, the good Lord knows they could use some umbarge there. I have dibs on Toxic Granny http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/toxicgranny.htm.

All in good fun, of course, have yourself and your family a great vacation!

ps Your take on little flaps having a short shelf life for the Obama & McCain campaigns didn't work for George Allen, LOL!

Posted by: VintageLady | July 28, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

From what I've seen, SinFest could eventually make the classic cut, except... its affection for transgressive language, drug use, and unrestrained sexuality inherently limits the audience and limits its artistic development. An artist has gotta do what he's gotta do -- but my personal feeling is that somewhat-arbitrary restraints on communication style (like, no naughty language, no promiscuous vixens, and no bong-smoking pigs on the comics page) actually encourage artistic success by demanding creativity in order to obey the rule while subverting it. I would not let my pre-teen read SinFest, but I have no problem with my teen- and post-teen offspring reading it. However, it's not going to make it to the comics pages and general distribution unless it becomes safe for all audiences. And it's not going to develop a strong creative voice until it is deprived of the lazy prop of using the F-bomb.

Posted by: CartoonTim | July 28, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Condiment humor from Piraro:

http://bizarrocomic.blogspot.com/2008/07/fruity-fun-for-free.html

Follow the links on the post. They're worth it.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

By 'voice' in this case, I meant the actual writing of language used in SinFest. I like the strip pretty well, and its metaphoric imagery is darned good. The written use of language is less subtle and clever than I suspect that it could become.

Posted by: CartoonTim | July 28, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

SCC combustion

http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/toxicgranny.htm

Posted by: Vintage Lady | July 28, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like language and unrestrained sexuality, you won't like the favorite webcomic of mine and my son (pronoun police, please feel free to edit). It's about twenty-something indie hipsters. The title says it all, and it's usually nearly work safe (just not today which is a guest artist).

http://questionablecontent.net/

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the green bean dishes everyone.I got so many I may be able to try all of them.

Off to the river for a dip.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 28, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

yello... there is photographic evidence of me cavorting around the OC boardwalk in an M-PP-22.

:-)

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

In 1987, I was sent to Washington to visit one of its distinguished biologists. At the time, the Larson show was up and running, with a huge Bear #8 among the big cutouts in the Rotunda.

In terms of present-day cartoons, think of last week's New Yorker cover of lobsters sneaking away from the beach house kitchen of their impending doom.

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

Now, the wonderful summer tune ear worm of Rock Lobster by the Bee-fifty-twoooooosssssssss is playing. Danke.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

And in the "Thanks for Letting Us Know" department:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/28/AR2008072801007.html?hpid=topnews

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 28, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If you liked that one, Scotty, take a look at this one:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/28/AR2008072801198.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: pj | July 28, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in Harrisonburg, part of my daily routine was to read the dead tree edition of the WaPo cover to cover. The comics section was always last. At the time, it was the best comics section in print. I really miss Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. My favourite BC strips were the celebrity hair ball contest and the series where Bill the Cat had to be cloned back by Oliver Wendell Holmes from fragments of his tongue. Favourite Far Side panels are too numerous to mention, but the goat in the cloud bank and "You have a call waiting from Mr. Ahhhhhhghhhhh." are two that come springing to mind.

Posted by: jack | July 28, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey CP! Are you back in the land of the living now? I hope the ribs are well.

Posted by: slyness | July 28, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 28, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

dBG, re. your 11:38-
Loud whisper, off stage right:

That was an intentional joke.
He's been doing that for awhile now.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 28, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

My favorite cartoons are Chas. Addams, The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes, Doonesbury and Pogo. In a way, I was too young to recognize and appreciate the mastery that was Pogo. I'd love to get a collection. I do remember being amazed that the bulldog looked so much like J. Edgar ("Mary") Hoover. It was long after that I "got" the connection. Very, very cool strip.

Alas, work (of the singularly unfunny variety) awaits.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | July 28, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

One more very easy green bean recipe. Drop 1 lb. fresh beans into boiling water for three minutes. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking; allow to drain on paper towels. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil and stir-fry beans until as tender as you like them; stir in 2 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard.

Quick and tasty!

Posted by: NDGirl | July 28, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

And one more because, really, this one is delicious.

Crisp Haricots Verts with Pine Nuts

Ingredients
2 pounds haricots verts, trimmed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
Have ready large bowl ice water. In large pot boiling salted water, blanch haricots verts until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, then plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry. (Haricots verts can be blanched 1 day ahead, drained and patted dry, and refrigerated until ready to use.)

In large skillet over moderately high heat, melt butter. Cook, uncovered, until dark golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and toast, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds. Add haricots verts, oregano, salt, and pepper; toss until heated through. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Posted by: NDGirl | July 28, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

My efforts as a comics agent provocateur having been unsuccessful, Scottynuke and pj hit us with a mighty one-two punch of Bush Administration malfeasance -- past and current. Oy.

I can hardly wait 'til January 20, 2009!

Posted by: PlainTim | July 28, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorta the land of the living. Making up for lost time because I can bend over now. Sitting is still hard.

Do you know what happens when you do not weed each day for fifteen minutes? Sheesh, the weeds here.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke and jack, I had to backboodle to catch up - my best to both of you and your families.

I think that the Bush Administration may be earning its name on more than one front:

Other than keeping the phrase "Bush League" in the vernacular, I'm starting to see that folks in the Administration and Cabinet have been hiding all kinds of things in the Bushes, such as those DOJ hiring policies (kinda naive to believe that wasn't the case, though) and statments by the EPA. Hansen and NASA and Global Warming. Iraqi WMDs. Iranian nuke programs.

Sounds like the Arbusto Administracion would prefer to operate under the Cone of Silence.

Speaking of which -
Joel, will the comments function be left on while you're gone?

I'm thinking the last Kit will be called "Blog of the Flies," or something like that.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 28, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Watching CNN during the last part of the noon hour to see that Obama is holding an economic roundtable.

I'm reminded of Bill Clinton's first Renaissance Weekend in Hilton Head as president--these RW wonkfests started in '82, IIRC. Two of his guests at this particular RW were Herbert and Marion Sandler, CEOs of World Savings (Golden West Financial), which Wachovia bought out last year. How times change.

The numbers I gave this weekend don't tell the whole story. My husband's local workplace campus had 500 layoffs since the start of the year, 300 occurring on Thursday, as I mentioned. As far as national press, some stories last week reported that my husband's employer will shed some 6,360 jobs. Other coverage said some 10,350 jobs would be lost. The latter is a tad more accurate--since there are 4,000 job openings that won't be filled, plus the 6,350 layoffs.

But I don't know how the numbers within the company are calculated. It was a sad day on June 30, which was the end date of employment for several of my husband's very closest coworkers. Take the stories of three long-time employees, including my spouse.

My husband wanted to be mapped to a new position with Wachovia, but wasn't. He applied for openings as they became available and eventually was hired.

A fellow who had come from California to Texas with World Savings back in '94, and who had worked longer for WS than my husband, wasn't mapped and decided to take the severance package. They are in the same neigborhood as we, they are empty-nesters, they want to sell their home and downsize. He wanted time off to do some boating, play golf. It was his wife who hosted the small Christmas party for the work group last December, knowing that this was going to be the last Christmas when all of us would be around. He thought he could be hired back into the contracting arm of Wachovia at the time of his choosing--a possible options that was put on the table, but that looks less and less likely with the very recent belt-tightening and job cuts, although I admit I don't know all the details.

The last friend didn't come from California, but joined the company in '94, as the new work campus in San Antonio was being opened. He was mapped to a position after the takeover, but didn't want to be. He looked at what skills were for his new job at Wachovia, claimed that they weren't the same as World Savings responsibilities, and asked for the severance package. Providing him the out ws the right thing to do (and you will know what I mean): his wife has had a series of increasing debilitating strokes during the last two or so years, even though she is several years younger than I am. They wanted to move back to Iowa where she can be closer to family.

Don't know if these last two job losses figure into the 6,300 total provided to the press corps last week. This I can tell you: breaking up is really, really hard to do.

On another note: Cue the Time Zone theme song.

Took my car into be serviced late this morning. Caught the noon service shuttle--the last of the day. Inside the van was a young woman with a small child. As the driver was taking us to our respective homes, we began talking. Turns out our home was her home, the home she grew up in. What are the odds--given the millions of people in the Alamo City: that, on the same day, we would go to the same car dealership, catch the same ride on the day's last shuttle, and have both lived in the same house?

Posted by: Loomis | July 28, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know about weeds, CP. After 15 years, I'm still hoping that if I get them all pulled ONE time, there won't be any more. Ain't happened yet. But I will say that they are fewer than they were several years ago.

Posted by: slyness | July 28, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

My favorite green bean recipe goes like this:

Wash.
Snip off ends.
Rinse in cold water.
Eat.

I agree with Mudge 95% on all things mayo and condi. I put just a little bit of mayo and a pinch of salt with my turkey on white bread.

I also had a horrible experience first time ordering a cheese steak in MD. I tried a few bites, but ew, gross. Then I took the lettuce, tomatoes, and scraped as much mayo off as I could. When I first ordered I got a blank stare as down here they call it a steak and cheese, not a cheese steak.

Then I discovered Philadelphia Mike's. Best cheese steak south of the Mason-Dixon line. Got one right here in Bethesda a few blocks from work.

There's also a Chinese takeout place around the corner where I live that makes a really good cheese steak. Crazy huh?

For my money the only thing I'll ever get with a good cheese steak are mushrooms.

Posted by: omni | July 28, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Guys, please go eat already and come back with a new off-topic.

I'm getting wonky blood sugar levels just reading today's boodle.

No wonder Joel wants to shut down the blog on vacation, he'll be tempted to overeat enough gain 40 lbs in one day, although if he uses all those bean recipes, he might LOSE 40 pounds on account of being blown up like a huge balloon with gas.

Heck, maybe he'll be the second rocket guy jetting over the alps.
http://wilbrodthegnome.blogspot.com/2007/03/jet-man.html

Before he goes, I hope in his last post he'll hang a shingle out that says "Gone Fishin'", a few piles of book titles, and a mysterious halibut on a pirate's map.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

TBG - Longwood was daughter's first choice. In spite of the fact that I will be up to my eyeballs in debt before this it through. Out-of-state tuition does not help either.

We did the college road trip thing for over two years. SC, NC, and VA. We had a number of old friends in VA who were/are teachers and they all said "... if you want to be a teacher, go to Longwood." That pretty much sealed it. (Lots more going on there besides making new teachers, but that is what she is interested in.)

Very nice campus, lots of building, updating, and modernizing going on. All the on campus dorm rooms will have A/C long before your daughter is ready. Instructors appear to be top-notch and daughter has loved every one she has had. (But, of course, she is a sweetheart.)

Downsides: It is a 350mi/7hr trip from here. Did I mention the out-of-state tuition?

My biggest problem so far has been the office types. They are all nice enough but competency and follow-thru don't seem to be in their vocabulary. They have requested daughter's high-school transcripts and SAT scores on 4 different occasions, twice before she was admitted, and twice afterward. This does not include the documents that were "shot-gunned" early in the process. The last set was sent Certified and return receipt, attention to:. None of these are (apparently) in her Longwood records and no receipt was returned. What are they doing with this stuff?

Have been able to work around the negative, don't we all do that everyday? All-in-all wouldn't have her attending anywhere else.

DLD

Posted by: DLD | July 28, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

VL,
That blog-warrior site was hilarious. I think I've been at least a half dozen of them in all. I wouldn't want to be told which ones though.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

JA

I hope you enjoy your vacation, and get some rest too. I like the word "fallow", and using it to describe action or rather non-action for the boodle is pretty cool.

Jack and Scotty, I hope things work out for your families. Sometimes it just seems everything wants to go wrong. And that's where prayers should abound.

So sleepy, but need to study a little. I'm afraid if I try to read, I'm going to fall soundly asleep.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Cassandra. Stay out of the heat. I know that I will, as long as it's possible. Our weeds, however, are bolting on account of the rain and need to be trimmed back, otherwise our home will look more like the Addams estate than our neighbours would like.

Posted by: jack | July 28, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

bc, I'll leave the comments function on -- it'll be like a very, very long weekend.

fyi added a few links at the top.

I just found out from Dan Steinberg that he blogs EIGHT TIMES A DAY. Apparently that is the industry average in blogworld. Yikes!

Posted by: Achenbach | July 28, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Joel, but you are a part-time blogger. There are many who do it full-time. We are okay with your current status, as it gives us the best of all worlds. We have kits on a semi-regular basis, and we are treated to your stories as they are published/posted. What's not to like?

Posted by: slyness | July 28, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan posts about 20 times a day, but he doesn't allow comments.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I often wonder how any human being can productively spend 14 mil a year. (Not that it isn't fun to imagine.) I mean, really, there is just so much Brie that one person can safely consume. (Won't make that mistake again.)

The simple answer is that people get paid that much because the market rewards their unique skills. Clearly, there is something to this, but I know some really powerful scary-importantt people who are, and please keep this to yourselves, not really that much more clever than the average boodler. So something is clearly out of whack. I just don't know what to do about it without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. (Won't make that mistake again.)

As for the government, a quick glance at the budget shows that entitlement programs and the military dominate. Everything else, like, say, DNA testing for bears, is noise. But what politician wants to go on record for reducing either entitlements or the military?


Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to comment on lodgings in Farmville. Wife and daughter have stayed in the Comfort Inn in Farmville and found it adequate. There is another Comfort Inn in Burkesville about 14 miles out. It is only so-so but will do in a pinch.

If it ever comes down to a choice between the Farmville Days Inn and sleeping in your car, stay with the car. Absolutely awful.

Hampton Inn is only $30 more (with discount) and the breakfast for 3 will just about make up for it. No contest, even considering my dwindling funds.

DLD

Posted by: DLD | July 28, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who will look after the antimacassars while JA is vacationing.

Maybe I can steal them in his absence and add them to my line of fashionable suicide bomber vests and foil-lined tea cozies I plan to show in Sharzha.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 28, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Eight times a day? I'm busy if I do my own blog eight times a year.

He's just pimping himself out for traffic and eyeballs and ad revenuoo.

Don't forget you originally set out to be the best blogger that nobody reads.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that many confuse the MSN with the MSNBC. I've pointed out before the difference between the print media (okay to good) and the TV people (retchingly, horribly evil to okay).

I expect the complainers are thinking about TV. I bet the literate bloggers read all the papers on the net but also have the TV on all the time, wherefrom much of their umbrage arises. Shark attacks blonde, or Justice Department Bush evil? They go for the shark.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

How does one productively spend tens of million$ per year? Here you go: http://www.space.com/news/080728-whiteknight2-rollout.html

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 28, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful screensaver:
http://www.broadcasting101.ws/lgindhead.jpg

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Made me flash on Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, ScienceTim.

DLD

Posted by: DLD | July 28, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Spacecraft. That would work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I like your green bean idea Omni and Yes I have been indulging already.

The river was nice,up a little bit.There might be a paddling adventure tomorrow.12 fish on 7 worms,I guess I'm losing my touch.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 28, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Putting up some traverse rods for my new energy efficient drapes, and I kid you not, this is the direction after installing the brackets:

Slide the unit down onto the shaft of the screw for a snug fit between wall and screw head.

Is my mind in the gutter, or is it the person who wrote these directions? Or a really bad translation job? I showed it to a (male) friend, who immediately laughed, so I'm thinking it's not me....

One other thing...why do they call it Happy Hour when it tends to go on about 90 minutes?


Posted by: LostInThought | July 28, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Alexey, step away from the antimacassars!

While Joel is away, I am planning to take the doilies and antimacassars home to give them a nice wash and press. I'm having the bunker carpets steam-cleaned, and clearing out the fridge. Old onion dip is just too foul for words.

Anybody volunteer to dust the Kinkaids?

Posted by: Yoki | July 28, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Princeton. The Gators. Parties. I mean, this works on so many levels.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080728/ap_on_re_us/top_party_schools

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 28, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Since Joel is signing off, and also for the spacecraft item:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJeVePBjm78&feature=related

The first narration is the best I could come up with so far.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

If the directions had said: "...snug fit between mounting surface and screw head." it would have been perfect. ☺

DLD

Posted by: DLD | July 28, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I always thought Gatorville was ineligible because the competition was only open to amateurs. My alma mater missed both this list and the Stone Cold Sober list. Although Agnes Scott did make the no-fun list. Poor Scotties.

I'm not sure what's so great about Loyola's dorms. IIRC, they are mostly repurposed apartment highrises.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

LIT, those are *wonderful* directions.

Personally, it'd take me good long while to finish that job, though.

Work, work, work, work, work.

[Leaving obvious jokes about drapes and a traverse rod alone. For the moment.]

I've been looking forward to that rollout today, *Tim & RD.

I think I'm going to write something up about that...

And Joel, thanks for leaving the Boodle's porch light on. We appreciate it.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 28, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

DLD, I dunno.

Sometimes a wall mount is what's required.

bc

Posted by: bc | July 28, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Kinkaids? KINKAIDS?

Aaaaarrrrgghhh.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 28, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

At this point a 3 bean salad discussion would be an anticlimax.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess that's why you need the drapes, eh, LiT? Wouldn't want the neighbors watching wouldja?

(I lived in an apartment once that included Travis rods on the checklist for move-in; then again, maybe Travis rods are made from the rod iron that is so popular on Craigslist).

DLD... with the exception of the one in Savannah, Georgia, I'd say that sleeping in your car is ALWAYS better than staying in a Days Inn.

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Always avoid motels where the carpets make noise when you step on it...

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

This one is... GENIUS!

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/Bizarro.asp?date=20080629

Posted by: Wilbrodog | July 28, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I will raise the ante on the Kincaidian WoA (Works of ART!):
I shall take them to the National Gallery Restoration and Conservation Laboratory where M.G. will work on them for us. I think her ablutions of linseed oil and potent elixer will reveal wonders such as fairies painted within the flowers, etc.

Good luck to Boko; you can appraise my house anytime.

Take care to boodlers still muddling through hard times. Here are few versions of the Stephen Foster (YES, him!) tune that I use to help myself to better.

Hard Times Come Again No More (Chorus)
There's a song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

Nanci Griffith with her voice aging into something with alto overtones.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMTv44FHG3Y

Rufus Wainright's plaintive a capella version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI_5ZuZqKx4&feature=related

Da Dannan (Irish band) with Mary Black and Doris Keene:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYBl_eTCfTs&feature=related

--
Admit it! The keening almost hurts. BUT, will make you feel better. I first heard the song on a Johnny Cash album. I cannot find that version on YouTube but in some ways, might be the best.

Off to swim. Ribbies better. Shall I feel them the entire summer? Perhaps yes. But, we can boodle through the week and aim for a comment string of 1,000.


Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

For a local connection, the Smith Sisters also did a fine version of that Stephen Foster song.

Posted by: pj | July 28, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, PJ! Covers of great songs are important to keep track of. I heard it done in gospel-style at a funeral. Worked amazingly well. Now I am really off to swim.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Caught the new Pakistani prime minister Gilani today on TV with Bush.

For some reason, with his neat dress, and moustache, and fluent imperfectly grammatical English he reminded me of a Pakistani Poirot, particularly when he was talking of Bhutto and how the war on terror is also Pakistan's war.

Even with his inability to grasp the proper use of "the" and other flaws, Gilani's was still much clearer than our fine president's English.

I had fun watching him speak, and the information indicates he has a master's in Journalism and he was in Bhutto's administration and was jailed for 5 years-- 2001 to 2006, on corruption charges by Musharraf (true or not, unknown, but would be unsurprising either way).

http://www.infopak.gov.pk/primeminister.aspx

He will also be meeting Obama and McCain during his 4-day visit to the U.S.

Definitely a chap to watch if you like politics; Indian and Pakistani politics are a continual soap opera.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syed_Yousaf_Raza_Gillani

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod --So far, Gilani has been doing a superb balancing act. He has to play to a number of audiences who are at each other's throats.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 28, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

http://action.credomobile.com/comics/

No Walt Kelly, but okay.

Posted by: Jumper | July 28, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Since Ivansmom proposes to send me to work in the fields, and I had my fill of that by picking beans in the summer bugs and heat some few years ago, I will hanceforth participate through the agency of another avatar, The Blogger Formerly Known as Ivan.

Did anyone mention Green Bean Casserole? No? Good.

The Farside took on social sciences, too, if only rarely. My favorite is the panel of natives inside their grass hut, a man in "explorer" clothes visible through an opening, and a man inside shouting, "Here come the anthropologists! Hide the VCR!

Posted by: The Blogger Formerly Known as Ivan | July 28, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Never fear, CP, I'll take care of dusting the Kincaids...

*trying to muffle the sound of the WeedEater*

:-)

I'm happy NukeSpouse has safely arrived and is with her family, but lack of progress with FIL is very disquieting. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 28, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about the Kincaids, Yoki, I'll take care of them. (heh heh heh...) *gleefully rubbing hands together in evil manner*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, folks; I've sneaked into the bunker, grabbed the Kincades and have them stored safely in an undisclosed location. Though I may disclose the location if someone buys me a drink at tomorrow's BPH!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | July 28, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh thank God, Maggie, I was starting to worry. Here I stray for a little while to give a 3-month-old his first taste of a Trefoil, and the Kinkades are in mortal danger. I'll volunteer to take the curtains down and get them washed and pressed, Yoki. And I'll vacuum behind the sofa and under the recliners. What with the popcorn and cracker crumbs, that's probably the worst job of all in the bunker.

Fortunately, the baby didn't choke. But he made the piece of cookie into a soft mess in a hurry.

Posted by: slyness | July 28, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see my alma mater among such select company... :-)

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/green/greenblog/2008/07/the_greenest_colleges_harvard.html

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 28, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Very cool, Scotty. Our office building has recently "gone green." So far that means a trickling spray of cold water comes out of the faucet so you need to wash your hands about five times longer than before.

It also includes ultra-thin recycled-paper towels; when you pull one out of the dispenser, about six or seven come flying out as well and cascade all over the floor.

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

When I was in college the inside of my apartment refrigerator went green one year. Finally my roommate and I cleaned it out (we were planning a party). You wouldn't believe some of the colors 5-week-old leftover spaghetti sauce can produce. I didn't know some of those colors existed in nature.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

good evening boodle, green greetings to all as I made it through another 81 degree day with no AC. Yes folks, this is what passes for a scorcher up here.

TBG-I am still picking fried rice out of my keyboard over your "Travis rods" and "rod iron" comment.

The prospect of 10 days with no new kit does give one pause. I propose we just move the boodle to some other worthy blog, perhaps one we'd like to favor with a jump in page views, and behave as if we've just moved out temporarily while the bunker reno is being done. No need to run amok, just behave as we always do with occasional nods to the blog's author and usual commenters. Just need to let JA know that this is not one of those "we might as well" and "while we're at it" types of projects where delays and unexpected expense will be tolerated.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 28, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I sure do hope we get some sort of fresh Kit (here or elsewhere) during Joel's vacation. You know how testy we can get when the kit gets stale.

(Reminds me of a line in Dr G's diary of our recent family vacation... "Tired by all the walking, we had a brief scuffle and then were off to lunch..." It perfectly describes the moment.)

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Sending any positive energy I have off to Scotty and Jack.

Boko good luck.

I think this group could survive 10 days wit one kit - who would ever imagined that a mayo conversation could be sustained for so long - made for amuzing reading when I had a chance to backboodle today.

In one of those weird boodle coincidences I am watching Canadian Idol at the moment the phrase "Jump the Shark" was just used, a phrase I had never heard until the other day.

Hopefully going away for a fews days but it might get cancelled so my husband can attend an Aunts funeral out east.

Posted by: dmd | July 28, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I see that Johm McCain was in Bakerspatch this afternoon. This afternoon I had seen television coverage about McCain having a small smount of skin excised from his face, the most recent check by his Phoenix dermatologist for skin cancer, but didn't realize that McCain, sporting a small bandage, was making his remarks about the procedure from my sun-drenched hometown.

Early this evening, I saw a still photo of both John and Cindy McCain in front of nodding donkey head oil rigs, and thought to myself, "Hmmm, that sure looks like the wells off Rosedale Highway." Then this Bakersfield news site posted the McCain visit to the web about five minutes ago--and it WAS those donkey wells off Rosedale Highway.

After the McCain's remarks to the press, it was a few more miles and minutes to the fundraising lunch at Seven Oaks Country Club, just behind Cal State Bakersfield, one of my old alma maters. Four hundred guests chowed down, at $1,000 a pop.

http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/26009969.html

I saw some earlier news footage calling my hometown "the oil center of America."
McCain was in my town to push his proposal for off-shore drilling, but it'll never fly under Arnold's watch. Florida's Crist is an altogether different chapter and verse.

California's big undersea oil field, Wilmington, is just too close to Long Beach and may other Southern California beaches to think that California's environmentalists and concerned citizens would allow drilling there. California's coastal tourist industry is too vital to the state's economy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmington_Oil_Field

Kern County (Bakersfield) still has oil to drill at the Midway-Sunset, Kern River, and South Belridge oil fields.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Belridge_Oil_Field

Wonder what McCain is talking about in San Fran tonight?

Posted by: Loomis | July 28, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The open post is the only hope of survival. Mayonnaise notwithstanding.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 28, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

And nobody playing ketchup.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 28, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Look how we ran with Mayo. JA can leave a list of yarn-concepts, which we can knit, unknit, etc. with.

Here are some possibilities:

What is the best color for a car to be driven by teens (bc will monitor);

Fishing techniques for crawdad catching. Cooking techniques for crawdad cooking.

Which shoe brands are stylish AND comfy?

Pleated pants: ten steps away from such sartorial silliness.

Beach reading that is simultaneously a bit blue-ish but also redeemable in a literary sense.

And questions for the ages like can a body recover from cat phobia?

Do bears "know" that sh!tting in the woods forms the basis of a rhetorical question?

Do yellow printed summer shifts/shirts attract bees?

Etc. We will be fine. But, we will be ready for JA to return so tanned and so kit-ready.


Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

CP, the cure for cat phobia is an extreme mouse/rat infestion. I'd take a cat scratching me anyday over a mouse widdling on my face while I'm asleep.

(Yes, I should NEVER have watched that documentary on abandoned/haunted houses. Never.).


Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Azure-tinted but literary redeemable beach reading, CP? Perhaps an example (before Yello supplies us with something we'll all regret)? Are we talking some Donald Hall here, methinks?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 28, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Had a good time at Happy Two Hours, came home and put on a gallon pot of gravy (my fellow Eyetalians know what I mean by 'gravy'). All the ingredients are garden fresh except for the garlic, wine and pork (all market purchases)...the house smells flippin' great. Even though I'll be scraping the pot for the next four hours. Oh well, I'll be up anyway.

DMD...it was titled "Mounting Instruction" and has drawings for both vertical and horizontal mounting (why you would hang it vertically is beyond me...well, at least for the stated purpose). I think I might have to put this one in a file I keep of such stuff.

No new kits it one of those things that sounds like punishment even though you know it's not. Sigh. I think I can get into the idea that going to another blog would sort of be like a week at the Outer Banks. Don't we know someone or two or three who have a blog and want to host us? We can send postcards back here saying "Having a great time. Miss you lots. Send food, bug spray, and money."

Posted by: LostInThought | July 28, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Chaim Potok would be one of my major votes for the slightly blue-but-compelling-reads.

Although I admit slightly-funny-but-literary-anyway tends to be more my reading genre.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 28, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Scottie & Jack, it's tough to get through a normal day when you have gravely sick loved ones, I wish the best for you all.

Yello, it is a funny & flame site, you bet.

You all have a great BPH tomorrow, I am sure to be able to come to the one on Oct.4. Tomorrow we leave for a family reunion/family wedding near Lynchburg VA, Appomatox, actually. With picnics and boating and such at James River Park preceding the wedding which will be on Saturday.

Last word from me on the condiment continuium, there's Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard in the cupboard, but I don't think it has been opened and since the expiration date is Jan. 2008, should probably toss it, unopened.

Posted by: VintageLady | July 28, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Donald Hall is a pome-maker. At the beach, I want to read something like Lonesome Dove or the Godfather, which actually I do, every year. I have been reading these books each summer since about 1992. I think you can understand America better if you read a psychological Western and an urban story too.

I picked up Ken Follet's huge tome about cathedral building but the blue parts made me laugh out loud, as in Judith Krantz means Geoffrey Chaucer.

This year I need lots of reading because I cannot bodysurf or boogie board without re-injuring the ribs....so, need to occupy myself under the purda of an umbrella with white sheets tacked here and there.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 28, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

At a recent BPH, after most folks had left, bc, Son of G and I remained at our table laughing about stuff as we are wont to do.

A man came in dressed in an impeccable black suit and wearing a bowler hat. He stood stiffly at the bar, removed his hat and ordered a drink. Son of G was dying to ask him to please pass the Grey Poupon, but cooler (more mature? ha!) heads prevailed.

Maybe you had to be there.

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Looking for an urban story, CP? Maybe this'll do...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/27/AR2008072701577.html

Posted by: TBG | July 28, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

TBG - Can I assume that you were referring to the Days Inn down on River Street in Savannah?

I've stayed there when I didn't feel like camping out in my folks' spare bedroom. Perfectly serviceable, and pretty much the cheapest place on the river.

Posted by: Bob S. | July 28, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I was amused to see Gary E. Masters' fly-by. Interesting character, I see the handle on quite a few WaPo blogs, mostly political. Obviously pretty sharp, sometimes a little too quick too assume that others aren't. When I've tweaked him, he's generally responded pretty aggresively. Oh, well. He's not a big fan of wry humor, or he's painfully aware that I'm not funny. Probably the latter.

Posted by: Bob S. | July 28, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know. "aggressively"

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

Just getting in a little while ago,had a nice evening. Am I tempting fate by leaving the bird feeder out tonight. I guess i should close the screen doors just in case.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 28, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I see the front page has Joel's previous kit 'My Unbiased Take' on the front page. But it links to this one for comments. Hal has also left mangement to the interns? No is time to push for italics.

Posted by: bh | July 28, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm working on the Travis McGee series but the blue parts aree pretty tame by modern standards. I'm plowing through 'Omnivore's Dilemma' and that is pretty green.

Have I ever mentioned that I am certified by the Green Building Council? Or at least certifiable.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 28, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't come out until September, but 'American Wife', a roman a clef about Laura Bush, is supposed to have some pretty purple prose, not to mention a certain purple part of the fictional First Lady's husband.

http://dowdreport.blogspot.com/2008/07/sexy-librarian.html

Posted by: Mo MoDo | July 29, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

A while back, Joel mentioned that Hal no longer is the Schemer at work behind the Achenblog. I can't recall the new guy's name. Make him Scheme-boy, perhaps.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 29, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

To those of you who worry about losing/using your vacation to attend a family funeral: my family craves a Florida vacation. Very convenient, in view that my mother lies dying in a managed care facility in Titusville. I'm begging her to hold on 'til the end of tourist season.
Otherwise, we'll be in the thick of the surge created by those vacationing in "Red Season" territory.
Just don't want to squander our vacation possibilities...
Think positively!
How's that for beach reading?

Posted by: Dmon | July 29, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

How about Kim O'Donnel's Food blog? She always seems like a truly fine person, many Boodlers share her interests, it could work.

I'll go ask her.

Posted by: dbG | July 29, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Sending good thoughts your way, Scotty and Jack.

I think I'd go to the A-blog archives to get my fix while Joel's on vacation. Have a good time, Joel.

The high compensations of financial executives in the financial sector and CEOs of majority of the big companies are an exploitation of their shareholders. The high compensation also threatens the company's survival during down times because the company is not building enough reserves. All the financial executives and CEOs compare their compensation with each other and collectively they brought up the scale.

Posted by: rainforest | July 29, 2008 3:52 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 moving about, and drinking the coffee. I have some work to do this morning, so I decided to start early. I don't know if this hour is considered early or late? For some it's probably called ridiculous.

Morning, Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, and all.*waving*

I did not read the editorial page, but there might be some good reading in that corner. Perhaps some of our better writers here could provide "kits" while JA is on vacation. Raise your hand if you want to volunteer?

It was so hot here yesterday, and promising to be that way again today. I went out yesterday morning with the kids, but did not stay long. Have a great day, folks, and don't forget to check on the elderly. Time to work.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 29, 2008 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Tree shrews' happy hours, unlike humans', are not restricted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/science/29obdrin.html?ref=science

Way back when, the ethnic Indians in M'sia mainly work in oil palm and rubber estates. Their living quarters were also inside the estates which were very far from town. Fermented palm nectar was their beer. Even today, those who have excess to palm nectar still brew their own beer.

Posted by: rainforest | July 29, 2008 4:23 AM | Report abuse

SCC : access

Posted by: rainforest | July 29, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Wow, cassandra beat me here! :-O

I think we could manage an extended absence with a "best of the Boodle" trip through the archives. Perhaps set a goal of 1,000 comments?

Well, no progress to report on the FIL health front. The procedure's been postponed, along with NukeSpouse's return, it seems. *SIGHHHHHHH*

*10-percent-of-normal Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Well, Cassandra and Scotty have already launched the day. Sorry to hear about the FIL, Scotty, and I know you're missing Nukespouse already.

Good Robinson column about torture this morning -- though his (and my, and our collective) outrage over the past year or two is starting to wear down. Ditto Jamie Gorelick's column about the Justice Dept. hirings.

Depressing stories about female suicide bombers, as well as the moron in Tennessee who shot all those people in that Unitarian church because they were "liberals," etc.

Well, can't dwell on that stuff. OK, on to the day. Don't know yet whether I'll be able to make the BPH. Got fingers crossed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. I have to leave shortly to drive our girls to band camp. I'd have to second everything you said about this morning's editorials and news, 'Mudge. Froomkin has been doing an excellent job of covering the issues mentioned in the pieces by Mr. Robinson and Mr. Gorelick. I'm still waiting for someone that has the backbone to call the administration on these very issues. Cnidarians, the lot of them. Best wishes to you and your family, Scotty.

Posted by: jack | July 29, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I went back and read Eugene Robinson and the editorial about prosecutors and judges. As always, Robinson's report is very good. I just hate to read that stuff. I'm like the bird that puts its head in the sand. I know this stuff goes on, is happening, but just hate to read about, as if that will make it go away, and it won't. And I also think that when we read about it, and walk away without doing anything about it, it makes us part of the mess too. Every morning we have prayer and pledge of allegiance to the flag at the Center. Little do we know what our country is up to, we still so believe in the dream forged by the textbooks.

And the editorial about the hiring of lawyers and other legal persons,based on their political persausions is out and out wrong. How many laws can one person break without any repercussions? Isn't justice suppose to be fair and honest? And I know all that sounds naive and so not with it, but isn't that what we're suppose to be reaching for? As the child trafficker said in the HBO special about China's dirty little secret concerning the selling of their children, it's easy to be a bad man, much harder to be a good man. This person job was made easier after selling his own child.

It takes an iron stomach to read some of this stuff or watch it for that matter. And a hard heart. I possess neither. Excuse me, I feel sick.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 29, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. Its not that often I am fully backboodled before 5 a.m. local time. If we are giving the bunker a good summer cleaning, maybe we should consider painting the big wall. Make it a 'feature' wall or something.

Scotty, keeping your FIL quite firmly in my prayers and Jack your family too.

Stop and smell the roses today. You all deserve it.

Posted by: dr | July 29, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle. I vented my outrage over the justice department findings in the rag up north so that I could remain polite, civil and even tempered on the Boodle.

A spy tells me, the Solares Hill (Weekly Key West newspaper) plans to recommend Kingmaker by me as good summer reading.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 29, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning!

Cassandra, I'm right with you on the Justice story. As I read it yesterday, I wondered if there would be any consequences beyond an ugly day at a Congressional hearing for Monica Goodling. She is the perfect poster-girl for what is wrong with the Bush administration.

Richard Cohen this morning on the differences between Obama and McCain is just plain silly. McCain was a legacy admission to the Naval Academy and graduated at the bottom of his class (894 out of 899, or somesuch). Obama was president of Harvard Law Review. Hello?

Maybe I value intelligence too much. But it beats the heck out of stupidity.

Posted by: slyness | July 29, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Ahem, some of us blog even while Joel is away. i don't have the fly away hair or the critical mass of commenters, but not all of us can be a rock star like Joel.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 29, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Scotty

I hope things work out for your FIL. You know you have my good thoughts and every ounce of prayer I can send. You too, Jack.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 29, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Hank's right, but not quite...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/28/AR2008072802587.html

We've been watching "Extreme Failure" on most new channels for awhile now.

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

And what took the NY Times so long to figure this out?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/us/29boom.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

NukeSpouse and I have seen the rigs going up the past three years! *shaking my head*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

And I'm not so proud of my alma mater now, but not terribly surprised:

DURHAM (AP) -- The University of New Hampshire just missed the top 10 in this year's ranking of party schools by The Princeton Review.
UNH came in at No. 11. Last year, it was ranked seventh.
The annual survey looks at the opinions of 120,000 students.
The University of Florida came in first place.

*shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Interesting article Scotty (NYT) although it seemed a little condescending - but perhaps I am just cranky this morning.

This part of the article worried me - you have people wanting to help the entire community and who steps in to prevent that voicing a better way to invest (love the irony there). Bankers!

The parish, meanwhile, overwhelmed with its windfall, is unsure what to do with it. "Let's get the people out of the mud and the dust, in the entire parish," said J. O. Burch, a parish leader, pleading with his colleagues for road spending. "The public has asked, all these years, for things we couldn't afford."

But caution prevailed. The people's representatives listened to a few bankers preach investments and then held off on making a decision

Posted by: dmd | July 29, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

New Kit, although I'm probably late in noticing...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 29, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Appears to be a new kit.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 29, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: dmd | July 29, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning folks! Looking forward to the BPH tonight. I'll be picking up mostlylurking and her sister from their hotel and whisking them into DC this evening. Mudge... hope you can make it. Scotty? Will you be there? Looking forward to reports of your FIL's progress.

Dmon... sorry to hear about your mom, but glad to know you're looking at the upside. If the outcome is inevitable, I hope your family gets that much-needed vacation at the right time for all of you.

Posted by: TBG | July 29, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

arghhfpblblbltt. Does this link work: http://pictures.aol.com/galleries/davifeon/c5e0NHKaDkfBBiyHkfjtOan6EYlIqdqY-1Fev4xQp5Fd3Ig=

Posted by: omni | July 29, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

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