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Let Go My Tomato

A guest post by Rachel Manteuffel:

Last year, my tomatoes were freaks. They were not particularly interested in tomato fruits. They just wanted to be tall. By the end of summer, they dwarfed my brother, who is six-foot-five. I mused that, should they ever decide that producing fruit would be fun, I wouldn't be able to reach it. You could climb these plants and reach the realm of giants.

Still, I was highly protective of my feakmatoes. They were threatened by three varieties of foe: Something that snapped off and ate whole branches (deer, probably), worms that looked like snot and ate only the leaves, and a creature of pure evil.

To frustrate the deer, I made individual cages for the plants out of five-foot-tall chicken wire. When they outgrew that, I added a second floor to the cage, this time about three feet high. And when they outgrew that, I shook my fist. Deer stymied.

The worms were covered in little white things like sesame seeds, which came off if you touched them. These, the internet said, were wasp eggs that would hatch and feed on the worms. The eggs made it easier to see the worms, but I didn't relish the thought of Wasp Birthing Day. So I denuded the worms of their wasp babies and put them in the grass, which I decided was not at all like killing them. And that was the end of the worm menace.

Which left only the pure evil. Whatever it is could get past the cages -- sometimes knocking them over entirely, even though they had been staked into the ground. Whatever it is has paw dexterity that enables it to grab tomatoes and pull them from the branch. Rats? Raccoons? Satan?

My tomato plants are normal-size this year, but they are still menaced by the evil that is picking the fruit before it's really ripe. I tried to scare it with a bottle of dried coyote urine, which I purchased at a plant store, and which of course did nothing. Now I just have a bottle of dried coyote urine, to remind myself that I once paid money for a bottle of dried coyote urine.

I'm gonna try mosquito nets and exorcism, I think. But mostly I will remind the tomatoes that they are awesome. They are the toughest around, and have their own bottle of urine, and are much, much more interesting than Joel's tomatoes.

By Marisa Katz  |  August 7, 2008; 1:40 PM ET
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Now this is a KIT!

Posted by: Kim | August 7, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It just doesn't get any better than a kit with both snot worms and dried coyote urine.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

And wasp eggs, Yoki! Don't forget the wasp eggs!

Rachel... may I remind you about the Boodle tomato contest? You are instructed to put several ripe tomatoes in a bag, along with a red onion, a cucumber, some feta cheese and a little oil and vinegar, and clearly mark the bag: For TBG.

Also fill another similar bag marked: For Ivansmom.

Glad I could be of help! Thanks for the great kit.

Posted by: TBG | August 7, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.... Mosquito nets and exorcism. Sounds like a Jeopardy answer.

What are two things you hope your hair stylist never recommends?

Posted by: Raysmom | August 7, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, Raysmom... *our* hairstylist might very well recommend it!

Posted by: TBG | August 7, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a 'mater gardener; I don't even play one on TV. I have found "Deer Away" brand animal repellant very effective for all of kinds of creatures. Except bugs and humans. Seven dust works on most bugs. 9mm works on most humans.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 7, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Coyote urine? How the hell does someone get a coyote to pee in a bottle?

Posted by: DandyLion | August 7, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm so verklempt: I'm gonna meet for the first time all these Boodlers who will be attending the Mega-BPH! The attendence list is already up to 27 confirmed (21 Boodlers plus four spouses plus two kids), plus a handful of "maybes" as well as a few more maybes for additional spouses and or kids, as well as one or two "maybe" Boodlers.

Later on I'll post an interim list of who is coming (I wanna wait a while; there's still a few people I expect to hear from who I'm pretty sure haven't checked in to the Boodle or their e-mail today: mo, Maggie O'D, omni, some others).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Count me in for the megaBPH. I don't think the hubby will be coming because of the whole "worlds colliding" feeling mentioned by Raysmom.

Since we're talking about tomatoes, I have to tell you that we are in the middle of the best tomato season we have ever had...delicious, so far critter free (that may have something to do with the pie pans strung everywhere and the humongous wooden owl the hubby bought which we move to a different place each night) no blossom rot and plentiful. It's a banner year here in Tidewater.

Sorry about the bragging, I can't help myself. Carry on.

Posted by: Kim | August 7, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Our tomatoes are exhibiting bizarre ripening behavior. One week, 5 ripe ones; next week none. And the cherry tomatoes are miserly. Instead of the lush juicy babies we've had in years past, this year's are thick-skinned sour little turds.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 7, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

DandyLion - excellent question. I hope we get an answer.

Posted by: Kim | August 7, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Rachel, for the chance to glory in tomatoes once again. TBG is correct, the tomato contest continues and I await the opportunity to judge Boodlers' produce with eager impatience. I'm available any day, you know.

Several of my tomato plants looked sick early on and failed to thrive. Two thriv, but put forth one puny fruit between them. All over the area tomatoes are going brown and withering from the bottom up, so I don't feel completely incompetent. Just mostly so.

Fortunately my aunt, who is a garden maven, has lots of healthy and fruitful plants this year. I had a Cherokee Purple for lunch today and will have more for supper. The farmer's market is also full of people who know how to grow food from plants, and are willing to part with the results for a pittance of what it must cost to get the things to market. Please, nobody tell them to do the math. I won't have anything to eat.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 7, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Dandy, they give him lots of Heiniken.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 7, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Make that 5 spouses.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I didn't realize that you were in an all fired hurry for a head count. Granted, we've only been talking about it for, what, six months. I hope to go, but must schmooze the Mrs. tonight. You understand, I'm sure.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 7, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Since the complete failure of my crop, I am dependent on the kindness of neighbors. Yesterday a kind soul up the street dropped off four beayootiful tomatoes. I had my first BLT of the season for lunch today. It was fabulous.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the plural of "spouse" supposed to be "spice?"

Oh wait, that was the Heinlein I was reading earlier...


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom has "thick-skinned, sour little turds". Sheese, I thought I was the only one with those kind of kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Don, if horse pee worked as well as coyote urine to keep the critters out of my tomato patch, I would buy a six-pack of Heiniken and use that. Kinda like cutting out the middle man.

Posted by: DandyLion | August 7, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I was going to suggest you fly to TO and we could drive down - don't have a convertible but perhaps we could have our scarves flying from the sun roof :-).

I want to go but have to make family arrangements before I can commit

Posted by: dmd | August 7, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Not trying to rush you, Don. I know full well the tally is gonna fluctuate like my heartbeat during a Sanaa Lathan film festival. At this point, we just wanna be in the ballpark. (And the estimate is right about where we figured it would be. I'm thinking what with kids, etc., we'll hit 40 by the time we're done.) (No, Evangeline Lilly has NOT responded to my personal invitation. But I haven't given up hope. She hasn't been real good about returning my e-mails.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse sells urine from coyotes, lions, fox, wolves, and bobcats. How were all these critters trained to pee in bottles? My want to check cutomer feedback on sites like amazon before plopping down good bucks for wild animal drippings.

Did I tell you the solution to eliminating my squirrels didn't come from True Value Hardware? They wanted to sell me CritterRidder for about $8 for a small container. I went home and Googled CritterRidder, and saw at nothing but negative reviews from the folks who purchased it.

Not many days later, I talked to a wise old man at the nursery next door, the same nursery that tried to sell me an even bigger bottle of Critter Ridder before I stepped next door to True Value. This old-time gardner recommended red pepper. We bought three containers for less than $2 at Target, bypassing the expensive Archer Foods label with the rooster. The red pepper, sprinkled on in great quantity, worked for about three days, until I watered my plants or the scent lost its punch.

Of all the solutions, the air rifle pellets worked the best for eliminating the squirrels.

As far as tomatoes, they practically grow themselves down here in Texas. Big, red, ripe, succulent, juicy, flavorful tomatoes.

Posted by: Loomis | August 7, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Rachel, despite occasionally running with a questionable crowd, you seem like a sensitive young woman, so I will not mention the shocking efficacy of chicken wire when attached to an easily-obtained high-voltage transformer.

No. Forget I even said that. What was I thinking? You would never get rid of the smell of singed flesh. It would hang about like a miasma of morbidity until the guilt builds to the point where you find yourself standing naked in the back yard at three in the morning in the middle of a rainstorm screaming out for absolution.

Or, like, so I’ve heard,

Far better to attempt one of the many clever techniques available to discourage tomato-thievin’ varmints. Many of which do not involve dehydrated bodily fluids. (By the way, there are several quite fascinating chemical compounds that can be created from dehydrated urine. Some of which are still considered technically legal in most states. But I digress.)

Probably the best chance you have at success is to create a more robust defensive barrier with an offset from the plants sufficient to discourage whatever varmints you are dealing with. And I assume from your description that you are probably dealing with raccoons. Either that or feral Golden Lion Tamarins. But most likely ‘coons.

Ideally, this barrier should be several feet high and lean outwards at the top. Think restricted access government facilities, but with less razor wire. (Remember. You want to minimize the guilt.)

You could also considered attaching wind chimes to some kind of mock predator made of extruded plastic. Perhaps with brightly colored mylar balloons. Although this probably won’t work, it certainly would spice up an otherwise dreary garden.

At the very least you could simply disguise yourself as a harmless denizen of the woods and hang around the garden until something interesting shows up.

Of course, that approach assumes you would happen to know someone with, say, a buck costume.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 7, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I've no recollection of any e-mail, and can't one either. But yeah, add me to the list of attendees.

Posted by: omni | August 7, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

dmd, this is what I replied to you in the former Boodle:

Uh uh. I'd love to dmd, you know that, but I just can't. I've seen you in Thelma mode and it is freakin' *terrifying.*

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 2:45 PM

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I think I've already RSVPed (not to be confused with coyote P) for the mega-BPH, so don't count me twice if you have me on the list, Mudge. It's still October 4th, right?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 7, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What was that Joel said about growing corn at home?

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" was a tasty little movie, but I'm not sure I'd watch it with my Mom.

She'd get upset over the fact that they weren't making sauce or gravy, but a bad gazpacho.


Posted by: bc | August 7, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Yup. Gotcha, FTB.

We've hit 30.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Say, I followed the link back to Joel's 'mater kit and found it amusing and archive-worthy, but with no accompanying comments. Further investigation reveals that only the last 2 or 3 boodles are archived; beyond that, boodle oblivion. Has this been noted already, if so, I apologize.

I feel no umbrage because I don't really believe that our meandering comments merit permanent storage on the WaPo servers. However, I am glad that I have most of them on my hard drive: thanks again, Dandylion, for the boodlepop software.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 7, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I think RD has something with the high-voltage solution. I'm not suggesting that Rachel actually fry any critters. However, rigging up something to temporarily stun any tomato intruders might reveal the physical nature of the creature of pure evil (obviously, its character is pure evil). I confess I am mightily curious about this ravager of gardens. So far "Satan" sounds like the best description to me, but then we're talking tomatoes here.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 7, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I have never watched Thelma and Louise - should I be insulted? :-)

Posted by: dmd | August 7, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"It would hang about like a miasma of morbidity until the guilt builds to the point where you find yourself standing naked in the back yard at three in the morning in the middle of a rainstorm screaming out for absolution."

*breaking out my rain slicker and binoculars, in case Rachel gives her 'maters the Sing Sing Security approach*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping to flatter you with a vision of yourself as a tough cookie who knows her way around but still, is vulnerable and in the end becomes a tragic figure.

Also, in my world it is the highest compliment to be considered terrifying. My kids often tell me I am, and I like it very much.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

No, don't worry about it, dmd. It's just a story about two lovable, attractive women who take a nice drive in the country.

And one of them picks up Brad Pitt.

But don't trouble your mind over it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

And here I was thinking I was more like Blutto in Animal House - Road Trip!

Posted by: dmd | August 7, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

That's actually a shocking development. Part of the jane say kwaw of the Achenblog is the Boodle. That is why I started archiving some of mudge's finer writing to the AchenWiki, but I never got very far.

If you can get a good Google search result, they often have good caches of the files. A blogger I read lost their joint blog in the divorce and many of his posts were deleted. They live on in the Google archives, but you have to have the right mojo to access them.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Me too, Yoki! Being scary is a professional (and, occasionally) parental advantage.

Scary in a nice way, of course.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 7, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

kbert, that is distressing news! Yesterday during the boodle blackout I went back to read some old kits and was really enjoying some of the old comments, too. Now they're gone. Sigh!

In exchange, we should at least get some freakin' italics!

Posted by: Raysmom | August 7, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

My solution to tomato raiding critters is 2 cats, complete with claws. Their trophies usually get placed on display right outside the backdoor ready for bagging and pitching.

kb; Oh no! I haven't done a data grab for several months, so I'm going to have an significantly abridged version of Boodlepop. Oh well, live and learn, software upgrade, I should have expected it.

Posted by: DandyLion | August 7, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Dangit,'s Wayback machine is no help. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

A license to kill
evil with a view to kill
world is not enough
shock the living daylights, still
'maters die another day

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Tomatoes don't set fruit for about a 3-month period in the summer. Eggplants supposedly thrive, but I've been too busy with palms, cycads, even begonias to mess with veggies. Then again, a huge home furnishings store was selling substantial modular trellis kits for $1. I have enough to make a substantial fence.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 7, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Being scary is also an asset for baseball umpires as well as (some kinds of) newspaper editors. I had no trouble whatsoever playing the role.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Good, we're agreed that being scary is a fine attribute.

I'm so jealous of anybody with tomatoes. We can't really grow them here, and the ones available commercially, even at farmers' markets, aren't what one would hope, flavour-wise.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a garden nor have I illegal tomatoes under my bed. Honest!

The CIA investigated. They failed to find tomatoes.

Former CIA Spokesman &Chief Liaison Officer to the U.S. Senate spoke about Brag's book

I’ve known Alexey for many years and am well aware that he knows his way around many of the more remote and exotic locales. I found his Kingmaker an extraordinarily fast-paced and suspenseful read especially when you realize this is his first time out. Trager establishes a strong enough presence to merit a sequel ideally with a few of the truly exotic characters Alexey introduces in this story. Alexey has a good feel for the telling one-liner and Trager’s out-of-the-box getaways put Indiana Jones to shame. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Peter Earnest

Posted by: Braguine | August 7, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm back home - yay! Still on vacation - yay!

I must regretfully decline the invite to the Mega BPH. I will be there in spirit only. Maybe someone can live blog or something - that would be kewl.

TBG, I had a Greek salad in the Salt Lake City airport last night - had the ingredients you mentioned, as well as black olives and some kind of peppers (which I tasted but didn't eat much of because they were hot; I picked off the onions too.) Salt water taffy made from the Great Salt Lake is also available there - tempting, but I didn't buy any.

Speaking of hot, I love the Paris Hilton response to the McCain ad - good for her. First time I've ever reacted that way to anything she's done. (I got an unhealthy kick out of watching her response to her jail sentence - "It's not right!").

Now I must unpack.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 7, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Alexey, have you signed a movie contract yet?

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 7, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Our tomatoes are coming along. A few of the yellow and red cherry tomatoes are ready, and we've picked one beefsteak. There's a bunch of nice sized green tomatoes on, I think, the Early Girl plant. One pleasant surprise: we planted seven plants and have eight - one grew from seed from last year.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 7, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

But Brag - is your hero assisted by tomatoes? For the next book consider (a) a luscious tomato ripe for mischief (call her Early Girl); (b) a suave but heroic action tomato helping out with interrogation and rescue (see archived Mr. Stripey); (c) the Big Boy,the ultimate tomato weapon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 7, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I have a couple of tomatoes turning red! One is really misshapen - heaven knows what it will taste like. As Yoki said, the tomatoes here are not like the ones y'all grow in more southern climes. But they're still better than the ones in the store.

dmd, you must watch Thelma and Louise! Not with the little kids, though. Brad Pitt is wonderfully young and sleazy. The funniest part for me is when Susan Sarandon (Louise?) declares they have to go from Oklahoma to Mexico without going through Texas...

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 7, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse


I'm waiting for you to inform Holliwood!
Matter of fact, radio, TV, the daily rags tend to ignore me. You have to be already famous to become famous--0r be TBGs cousin.

Posted by: Brag | August 7, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Easy. You have homeless people raiding the 'maters at 2 a.m. This is sad. Or else it could be, as Mudge hinted, him.

Dave of Coonties has uncovered the soil temperature problem. Tomatoes don't like soil temperatures too high. They will quit producing. Liberal doses of chilly well-water are better than municipal sources that travel in water mains for miles just beneath the hot asphalt. In fact, many municipal water sources in certain city areas in Texas assure some consumers that "cold" water is simply unavailable in the summer. Which is why I so enjoyed my first domicile in North Carolina, where the water came out of the well at about 60° F. And I had tomatoes all summer long.

Posted by: Jumper | August 7, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Just guessing here, but probably the name of the movie would be Kingmaker and Brag would let us know exactly when it was opening in which cinemas at what time, and when the dvd would be released.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

One more note on 'maters: it's become common knowledge that the evil Mass Market tomato people treat the unripe green cardboard-tasting tomatoes with ethylene gas to turn them artificially red. And no one is satisfied.

Yet various people posing as wise, tell you to place your tomatoes in a paper bag, to hold in the (natural) ethylene, and "ripen" them. Ahem! We have just seen that this does not help! No, the best way is just to place them in a cool and undisturbed place until they peak naturally in flavor (and redness, too).

Posted by: Jumper | August 7, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, are you really getting tomatoes in Texas? Dang! I got maybe 7 this year before the heat hit. The watermelons are goin' like gangbusters, though. Pulled one out this a.m. that weighs 35 lbs. Sa-weet!

Mudge ... thanks for the info re: spittin'. I figured as much, but could not rouse myself from my vegetable torpor (ho ho) to look it up. Am jealous of those attending the Mega-BPH!

Posted by: KPage | August 7, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

After a slow start my Golden Yellow tomatoes are yielding well, but my Romas are still doing poorly.

I have heard both sides of the "pick 'em green" tomato debate. Adrian Higgins, gardening guru for the Washington Post, is on record as saying that it won't hurt the flavor much to pick them before they are completely ripe - and might be a good way to discourage thievin' varmints. (I'm paraphrasing.)

My dad, who knew 'maters, used to often pick them green. He would cover nearly every horizontal surface in our home with them, and they did very well indeed.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 7, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

BPH attendees confirming so far:

CP and son (Telemachus)
Curmudgeon and spouse
SciTim and Spouse confirmed, maybe 2 kids
bc plus maybe some kids
Alexey Braguine
Bad Sneakers and spouse
TBG and (?) (assume spouse, maybe son)
Scotty and NukeSpouse
DandyLion, maybe a kid too
Raysmom (Raysdad a maybe)
Don from I-270 (spouse pending negotiations)

In maybe/tentative/hopeful category:
DMD, maybe family, too

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if EL won't return your messages, how about Scarlett or Natalie? I hear Anne Hathaway is newly unattached and may be looking for something new and, uh, different!

Just take lots'a pitchures for everyone.


Posted by: DLD | August 7, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, didja see this??

Some kids... *SIGHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

No worries, DLD, I'll have an extra card for the digital camera. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 7, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Scarlett, Natalie and Anne are all OK, DLD, but I am the forever true and loyal sort. I would rather pine away tragically for EL for a while befor resorting to Plan B. (Who would probably be Sanaa Lathan.)

I figure another 48 hours oughta do it.

Running for the bus.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Mudge! Don't forget Frosti (and probably Frostspouse). Her trip to DC for the Army Ten-Miler is the impetus for the gathering in the first place!

Posted by: TBG | August 7, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

A tomato talk kit, yea! Rachel, instead of buying the urine, just have any available male pee in your garden, the deer really don't like that.

We don't have a garden b/c of the deer and racoons and neighbors' dogs and cats, but I do have Cox's farm market and the farmer's markert, so am enjoying good tomatoes and sweet white corn, plus cantalope and watermelon.

Count me in for the mega bph, Mudge, dunno if my husband will be able to come or not.


Posted by: VintageLady | August 7, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I finally have a chance to ask Tomato questions. I purchased a small, dwarf tomato plant for the patio. We have only one fresh tomato eater in the family and didn't want a large plant.

I have picked two red tomatoes, slightly larger than golf balls, but everything that ripens seems to have some sort of black, thick scale on the bottom of the tomato. The variety or victim of so much rain.

I am so sick of rain, poured this morning then cleared and now the sky is split almost in middle blue with white fluffy clouds one side, big black thundering clouds on the other half. So bad I had to leave work with a headache from the storms.

Forecast, rain everyday until next Monday - the ground is like a big wet sponge right now.

Posted by: dmd | August 7, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

So Frosty is running in the Army 10 miler. My daughter wants to run in that as well. She didn't get her registration in on time, and it filled up. She is hoping that she can buy somebody else's soon. (Usually available because of unforseen circumstances.) Anyway, now I'll have two ladies to cheer on.

Personally, I'm up to a rip-snortin' two whole miles at 4 mph. Pathetic, but at least I'm runnin' again.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 7, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm so bummed that I can't attend the mega-BPH! Too many miles, dollars and days off to spend. But, I vow to be in DC sooner rather than later and hope there will be Boodlers around to BPH with me then.

Tomatoes grow nicely here if you work hard enough. I've got a cousin who grows tomatoes hydroponically on the North Shore (and you thought there were only great waves out there). Most of his crop ends up in the restaurants and a farmer's market.

Posted by: Aloha | August 7, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Late, I know, and sorry. I will be attending the M-BPH, and depending on type of event/hours of event, may bring Dear Child.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 7, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

dmd - we had that problem with our maters a couple of years ago and a wise old neighbor advised us to crumple eggshells on top of the soil and water as usual. It worked! I have no idea why.

Posted by: Kim | August 7, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Almost no surf to speak off today; the water reminds me of the Great lakes but warmer. Incredibly blue water, for Delmarva.

Love Brandywine and Cherokee tomatoes!

Saw Dark Knight -- gritty, no release 2 hr 40 minute postmodern feling....not sure I liked it. Spiderman feels more heroic.

Posted by: Cp in OC | August 7, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Kim, maybe the tomatoes just needed a little egging on to get all better?

We have cherry tomatoes for the first time this year, so we're seeing a few tomatoes ripening already... kinda interesting because it's kind of hard to get all excited about one ripe cherry tomato at a time.

Alas, looks like the mega-BPH will remain gnomeless for now. October 4 isn't great timing for me, and Martooni doubtless will be backordered like crazy with his fine new vampric Goth Fairy doors on sale.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 7, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Thelma & Louise reminded me, somehow, of Jules et Jim. Especially, the, um, final scene. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 7, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm very sad about the loss of our Boodle past.

Posted by: TBG | August 7, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Kim, what you're describing sounds like blossom end rot, caused by lack of calcium. Hence the eggshells. I normally break up six or eight of my calcium pills (I take enough to constipate a horse) and put the powder down as I'm planting. I haven't had any problems with blossom end rot since I started doing that.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I can totally see dmd in Thelma and Louise. Especially when somebody hacks her off!

dmd, perhaps dmdspouse would like to chime in about the great time had at the Philadelphia BPH last year?

Yoki! Yoki! When are you flying in and leaving? We'll leave the grits out for you!

Was there voting for the prom committee that I missed? :-)

Posted by: dbG | August 7, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Me too, TBG, about boodle strings. BC dbG: do we know why? Server space? Or are the comment strings so vile or stupid to deserve oblivion?

(everybody else must be eating; so I secured a wifi berth momentarily)

Posted by: CP in OC | August 7, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

dbG, dmdspouse had a great time in Philly, he is always up for a road trip, thrives on meeting people and well frankly if beverages of the adult variety are involved he is tickled. He is truly a product of the East Coast Canadian (and perhaps American) culture.

Kim - thanks for the tip I will try the eggshells.

Posted by: dmd | August 7, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

dbG, I shall fly in late Friday night, and out early Sunday. I hope to be put to work on Saturday doing the necessary for the BPH, whatever that might be.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The old comments are gone? Oh my. I must admit I have mixed feelings about this. On the one had, well, there goes that whole subpoena fear. But on the other, much larger to the point of freakishness hand, so much has been lost.

The stories and poems and general silliness that is the boodle. I used to like to browse through old boodles and smile at Error Flynn and everyone.

And on a very selfish and narcissistic level I am feeling a loss. Since, as should be abundantly clear, my comments are nearly always written extemporaneously I have no record of them of my own. I never dreamed that this would all vanish without warning.

I guess I always thought that one day I would collect all my "RD Padouk" stuff into a kind of textual "album" to look at in my dotage. True, like all albums an awful lot of what I have written would make my toes curl in embarrassment. But I still wish there had been some warning.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 7, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't have mad skilz, but Google doesn't have cached pages and the Wayback Machine says that a robots.txt file keeps them from spidering and archiving the files. Now we know what "updating the comments system" means to TBTP at WaPo: "obliterating all old comments"

Hey, it's their rule seven (they seem to have snuck a new one in), we only tacitly accept it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I always thought someday somebody would collect all the songs and make a Boodle Songbook. *sigh*

We can't take this lying down.

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

I guess I feel a little like Johnny Carson must have when he learned that all the tapes of the first decade of his show had been obliterated.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 7, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I am sad about boodlelosses certainly but even more so for my colleagues who study digital communities. Matt Kirschenbaum uses text traces to look at identity, social tie formation, and the ethos and ethics of digital culture. Sock puppetry, for example, is worthy of analysis. Intimacy, despite cloaked identity is another. I told MK bout the astonishing and robust civility here. Hard to study it now, if the string are lost.

I would love to read the RDP collection and other Best of the Boodle entries. Sigh. Sad news a fire or flood. Photos lost...did not know weshould have archived in someway.

Posted by: Cp in OC on WiWi | August 7, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Our tomato plants are extremely tall this year. I put them in cages which they have broken out of and are now lolling on the ground. “S” had to stake one cage as the weight of the plant tipped it over. We have gotten a few tomatoes so far but there are lots of green ones, so it looks to be a good year. Had grilled fresh green beans for dinner, yum. Anybody want some cucumbers, we’re giving them away as fast as we can, trying to keep up.

Scotty, I saw that article about Plimoth Plantation, it makes me really angry but also I am puzzled as to why the security guard saw and heard nothing, incompetence or was he perhaps sleeping? The big news around these parts is that “Clark Rockerfeller” guy who may be connected to a murder in California and may in fact be from Germany originally. Fascinating stuff.

I loved Thelma and Louise. I suspect there is something deep inside me that would like to blow up a tanker truck driven by a ‘pig.’

I can’t believe they deleted all the old comments. There was some great and funny stuff there, drat!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 7, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I too regret the loss of Error's kindness, humour, mule-headedness, male prejudice... all the things that made Flynn our Error. That more than anything.

I'm quite glad I've dissolved into ether, given all the rot I have spoken over the last couple/three years.

I wonder if Wapo doesn't still have the old backup tapes. Perhaps we can make them an offer they can't refuse? It could be like The Complete New Yorker on CD-ROM, only with a tiny tiny potential market that doesn't matter one whit either way.

Or maybe this is a temporary condition while they upgrade the back back-end? No, probably not.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes Dear Child just floors me.

Tonight, we went for a long quiet walk to look for deer (only saw 2, but it was still on the early side). After a long silence, she whispered "Hey Mom. Is Neverland Polaris, or is it just *on* Polaris?"

I think I'll let her use her Tink beach towel for a blanket tonight.

About the Great Boodle Disaster...some of the stuff I've written here about my kids I wish I had saved somewhere else. Probably my own fault, though, what with that "Property of WaPo" stuff.

Posted by: LostInThought | August 7, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I haven't saved anything, but oh well. I see that one piece will live on in a blog about palm trees (thanks, Dave!):

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 7, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about the lost material as well. I guess I will have to remember all the stupid stuff I have said in the past and repeat it.

On the tomatoe front,only a few on the cherry plant.I was hoping to pick them when my family comes this weekend,but it seems coons and chipmunks like them too.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | August 7, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Somehow it seems that Rachel's headline is a message for us about coming to terms with the loss of our Boodle History...

Let Go My Tomato.

Posted by: TBG | August 7, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

So that's what kids are calling it nowadays!

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

All my life I've been meaning to save notes etc, never did. Dumb, dumb, dumb

Posted by: Brag | August 7, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I did save a few of my and Wilbrodog's parodies separately, so all is not lost for me... thank goodness. I share RD's concern about subpoenae as well.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 7, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Hah, Brag, you'll love this.

I wrote a novel when I was 18-20 and sold the absolute rights to both the book and a film treatment for a pittance because I needed the money for groceries. I could not afford to have it copied, so like the innocent I was I sent in the original manuscript(because I *knew* the rights-holder would publish and then I'd be immortalized).

Well, it was never published, and I haven't a copy, and...

Yes children, this was before PCs; there was just one typed manuscript.

At least I ate for two years off the pittance.

So it worked out well for everybody. I was sustained, and my prose was not inflicted on the world.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I grew two "grape" tomato plants in a pot. Paid little attention to them at all. The interesting thing is, a whole stem of little tomatoes would ripen at the same moment. The plant was called "Sweet Olive" and they were very. very sweet. I would definitely grow them again.

Posted by: nellie | August 7, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse


All the Boodling; gone.

When I think of all of the lost thought, ideas, poetry and prophecy, speculation, argument, stories, Onservations, silliness, and truth, it's almost overwhelming. Sorta like an electronic version of the burning of the Library at Alexandria or the Library of Congress during the War of 1812.

The hours of human productivity that Boodling represented...

Oh, the Boodling.

On the other hand, the Saints are playing the Cardinals on ESPN's Thursday Night Football (pre-season, natch).

Saints QB Mark Brunell is wearing #11.
Saints TE Jeremy Shockey is on the bench recovering from injury.

Ay carrumba, it's been a weird off season.

No, those aren't tears, I just have something in my eye.

At least they haven't lost the original transmission tapes of Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the Moon.

Oh, wait...


Posted by: bc | August 7, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Surely the Fluffitado 1500 lives on a hard drive somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

The French arm of CBC, Radio Canada, got rid of most of tapes of the series of the 50's and 60's as the rehearsal's tapes were kept only if the live show couldn't get on. And live shows weren't taped. They were throwing money in the garbage as it turned out.
Brag, slow down on the sales pitch.

I've been gardening, well, as the muscle man I've been digging and shoveling for the past couple of days. It is a lot more enjoyable than regular work, even in this relative heat. Hostas and daylilies were moved around. A photo spread might be following, soon I hope.

Tomatoes are are mixed success this year. The hybrids are doing fine. The heirlooms died off to various diseases, giving a small tomato or two in the process. The undeclared (heirloom? hybrid? modern selection?) have a good season as well. I suspect the undeclared are modern hybrids.
Tomatoes are not meant for climates where it rains every flipping day. We are wet and tired of it.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 7, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, please be a dear and send the rain our way, we need it badly.

We had a 15-minute shower in the middle of the afternoon. I went out on the front porch and watched the steam rise from the street as the rain hit. Then about dark, another shower showed up just because there was so much humidity, it had to rain somewhere. Still not enough, we are over 5 inches short in 2008, on top of being 15 inches short in 2007. The rain from a hurricane would be so nice.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

What with one thing or another, we may be able to recreate a good bit of the 'boodle archive. I'll do some digging. I think that I've got a few years worth on disks somewhere as text files.

Might as well count me in for Mega-BPH.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 7, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Slyness when we were on vacation we passed one of the signs that tell you the fire risk for the forests. The sign was pointing to green - low risk - I have not seen that before in summer.

I drove home today in part in big huge raindrops the kind that ping on the car - it was simultaneously sunny.

Send a long long pipe and I will hook it up to my downspount!

Posted by: dmd | August 7, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Got it, dmd, I'll dig the piping out and fax it to you first thing in the morning!

Would that it were so easy.

At least there's been rain in the mountains so that the rivers aren't so scary low like they were a year ago.

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Psst! Shriek! Come around this corner with me.

*Shielding mouth with back of hand*

See my 4:14.

Off you go.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Slyness, water doesn't fax well as dmd pointed out.
It's not the total amount of water, we have received about the average of rain for June and July. It is the fact that it is raining every frikking day. June & July add up to 46 days with measurable rainfallout out of 61 days. That is a lot.
The grass is green in mid-August, it's one ominous sign that the end is near. And it is raining now.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 7, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Brag, Yoki had the handle on it before me, as usual. I'm the slow one. You know, the one on the short bus. I'm not licking the windows of the short bus yet, but it could happen.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 7, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Believe me, Shriek, it beats the heck out of the alternative. Been there, it's neither pretty nor pleasant.

We are still under restrictions for water usage, although they have been relaxed to allow washing vehicles and watering lawns once a week. Last year, all unnecessary activity was banned. The landscaping companies had to apply and be approved for permits to water newly installed plantings. I've never seen the rivers so low, and some of the creeks went dry. It was truly frightening, especially coming after the summer and fall of 2008, when we had four hurricanes in two months and were flooded all over the state. If we could just even out the ups and downs, it would be so nice.

G'night, all. Sleep well!

You Westcoasters and Pacific Rim folks are in charge till Mudge, Scotty, and Cassandra are up...

Posted by: slyness | August 7, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone's who's concerned about drought should keep me out of town! When I was in Sacramento, they DID have one horrendous flood, but most of the 1980's was marked by near-historic drought. Then, during my three years in England, they experienced one of THEIR hottest, driest years in the past century. Then (mid-1990's), Del Rio, TX, got so dry that towns which hadn't been seen since Nixon opened the Amistad dam started popping up in the lake. And the Washington, DC area has been in and out of severe drought conditions since shortly after I arrived in 1997.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 7, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Me, I'm gonna join the Dawn Patrol tomorrow, because I have a *very* early (or late, depending on which side of the horizon you start from) tomorrow to the East. It gets me out of bed at 03:30 EDT (yes, a mere 5 hours from now). Which means I get to greet Cassandra just about when she rises! I'm so happy.

Posted by: Yoki | August 7, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Pace yourself my dear Yoki. Eastern people can relax too. They don't get out of Tim's before 09:30 anyway.
Out on the right coast, Tim's is the third place.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 7, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Still half a boodle behind, but glad to see things back to abnormal around here. Just tied my tomato plants and discovered dozens of baseball sized maters I hadn't seen before. Now we must race to have ripeness before first frost.

Yes, I will attend the Oct. 4 BPH. Mr. F is a maybe.

Toodles boodle, and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten | August 7, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

bc and I both have copies of the Fluffitado sage; he's posted it, as well, so it's available online, yello.

I have saved copies of the sonic disruptor tale, how naval signal flags were invented (the grayed wide whale saga),the "Snakes on a Plane" piece, a song called Gunga Mudge, a song called "Joel's Lament" (tune: Both Sides Now), Excerpts from the Ann Coulter Jokebook, and an unfinished, unposted piece in response to a request/prompt from Wilbrod to write a Hemingway piece, which I started, called "A Farewell to Loins." But that's all.

Wish I had my very, very, very first post, a Guide to Manfood, posted in response to a Joel kit about that subject. Also would like Tyffani's letter to the Boodle from that Keno Parlor in Needles, California, and a couple other shaggy dog tales from the Medieval era.

Curiously, I can't find a single copy of "Singing in the Methane." Must have sold them all.

Oh, I do have all my recipes.


No, make that *very big sigh*

There are about ten thousand one-liners and similar you guys have all posted over the years that have cracked me up.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 7, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I have saved a few things that seemed like they might have some staying power, but I know I've missed a lot of my stuff, too. I had always relied on the idea that the old Boodles still would be there. For the first few years, all of them were there. This is a new regime. I don't care for it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 7, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the "Curmudgeon at the Bat."

Maybe we'll wake up and all this will be a dream.

Goodnight, Boodle.
Hopefully the memories will come back overnight...


Posted by: bc | August 7, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I thought I had lots of Boodle-great-stuff saved, but there is not that much -- I too, thought it would always be there.


Or are they just going to erase everything every couple of days?

I have BC's "King Joel" and Curmudgeon's Xavier Mertz. But no other "big" pieces.

Posted by: nellie | August 7, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

There is a place on the AchenWiki to post these things. so they don't get lost again.

Just click on Add page and paste it in.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 7, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

What??? No Achenarchive? Bummer. I won't be able to attend the mega BPH, but we will be in Richmond for the Havanese Nationals, if anyone cares to make the trip, late this month. My ribs are killing me, so I must rest. We have to have our middle daughter at band very early tomorrow morning, so I'll drop in during the dawn patrol.

Don: I have every reason to be optimistic regarding my brother's diagnosis. HIs MD caught the condition early, and the treatment protocol has a 98% chance of making him cancer free. In addition, the prostate is the source of the cancerous cells. Metastasis has been ruled out. Life is good.

Posted by: jack | August 7, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll make the observation that we should consider our lesson learned. I'm gonna guess that someone who's a little more regular than myself will appoint themselves (or be appointed) "AchenArchivist", since the WaPo doesn't feel up to the job. But I'm going to be making my own little back-up.

Not only are so many of the 'boodle contributors capable of tossing out material that should never be forgotten, and (of course) JA's giving us a fairly steady stream of not-published-elsewhere fun stuff, but we're getting some pretty generous helpings of Rachel & Caitlin... I somehow suspect that one or both of them are going to be at this "writing" thing for a good, long while. Might be fun to have saved some of the early, ephemeral efforts.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 8, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

CP, I was on my way to answer your archive question (could be space, could be a conscious decision, could be a mistake or could be in process, how would we know?) when I went and looked.

Links back to archives as far back as 2005 have been added. If the kits and boodles aren't there yet, the intention to restore seems to be.

I'm pretty much of 1 mind about the potential for losing Achenblog archives, and I write this as someone who doesn't contribute the best stuff!

I see the Boodle as a conversation, and conversations are mostly ephemeral. Error isn't with us because we can read archives, he's with us in our memories.

Given my job, I worry about the sheer amount of data that's out there on all of us and the tracks that might be followed were someone else to become obsessed. I've been on the internets for a long time and it's not comforting to google myself and find 25 year-old posts to a message board. Also a total waste of space--nobody will ever have the resources to use everything that's out there, although they might use computer analysis to tell us the stats on the word "frell" for the year 2007.

In general, I'm also worried about the resources it takes to build and maintain systems' storage and the energy it takes to run it. (I also wonder about all those people working 60 hour weeks to protect it).

When I was 22, I lived in a big city other than the one I'm in now, and my apartment house burned down one blizzard-y night in January. I lost almost everything I owned. You know what, it didn't matter. They were things. . . archives are things, not life and death. Even if they're gone, we'd still have each other.

Posted by: dbG | August 8, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

For the amusement of my friends, I'll specify that I escaped with the clothes on my back, a bag that held all my in-process applications to grad and law school and some . . . jewelry. Some things never change.

Posted by: dbG | August 8, 2008 2:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd certainly consider it a personal favor if you all managed to forget about most of the remarks I've ever contributed here!

Posted by: Bob S. | August 8, 2008 2:58 AM | Report abuse

dbG - (sigh... I hate it when I try to do this, I'm not very good at it)

I completely agree with you that many, probably most, things in life are best appreciated, learned from (if lessons are there to be learnt) and then "let go", to free up appreciation for the next things coming down the pike. It's that sort of thinking that has lead to my having lots of half-remembered stories of glorious times, but no photos or well-written anecdotes, and that's OK.

But there is a pretty large pile of reasons that accurate records and recollections (of all sorts of things) are sought out by all kinds of folks. And those "seekers" are definitely NOT all just creepy old farts trying to remember when they HAD a life, or creepy young investigators for potential prosecutors or litigants trying to gather evidence for some process that's gonna be a bummer.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 8, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Let it go, Bob, let it go! :-)

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

The $10 billion in daily transaction records I keep for 5 years, that's mandated by law.

Posted by: dbG | August 8, 2008 3:41 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. I'm running late this morning, so no time to chat. Glanced at the front page; nothing seemed especially noteworthy. We had a thunderstorm here last night around 9 p.m.; two people here in Charles County were struck by lightning (both lived, according to early reports), one here in Waldorf, one in Hughesville.

OK, everybody stand clear of the propellers. Let's go, Dawn Patrol.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 8, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Sea is like glass, pink and grey.
Thanks, dbG, fleeting is likely best but human to want to hold quicksilver.

Posted by: CP in OC | August 8, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Jack, take care of those ribs.

Posted by: CP in OC | August 8, 2008 6:08 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, all, and happy Friday.

You're up early for somebody on vacation, CP. But it's nice to be able to get bandwidth, isn't it?

dbG, you are right about keeping and not keeping stuff. The trick is to know what's worth keeping and what needs to be discarded. I'm getting better but I'm not completely there yet.

Jack, rest up! When do you have to go back to school? It started yesterday in the mountains, will start two weeks from this coming Monday here. Summer's fleeting.

Posted by: slyness | August 8, 2008 7:11 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, too, am running late this morning, Mudge. I've been up for awhile but just getting to the Post. Not feeling my best this morning so will keep this short.

Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, time to roll. Morning to all.*waving*

The news from yesterday was not good. Here in my county a woman was found dead in her home, and apparently she had been that way for some time. With the extreme heat, this was bad. I know this woman, but she lives out in the country, almost in SC. I only met her once when I went to visit her brother in the nursing home. He has since died. She had gotten quite mean in her old age, and people were afraid to visit. She would threaten folks with violence if they showed up. Evidently her neighbor sent the Sheriff's department to the house, and they found her.

I have to learn I cannot cover all the bases, but it does hurt.

Have a good day, folks. Still pretty warm here, but we have some rain yesterday, so it wasn't so bad for a little while. Today is the last day at the Center. I hope everyone plays nice.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | August 8, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

We'll get the comments back, somehow. This will not stand. It is surely a temporary glitch involving the new software. I have sent messages to the folks in charge. We may have to march on Arlington to let wpni understand that you don't just delete the Boodle!

This is why I should never leave town or go offline.

Posted by: Achenbach | August 8, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I would hope that the lost BoodleArchive is only a temporary phenomenon.

But then again, I know a little about data storage, so... *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Sneaks, yeah, I've been following the "Rockefeller" saga as well. If nothing else, everyone now knows he's a con artiste.

*yeah-its-TGIF-but-I'm-still-doing-the-job-of-three-today-as-long-as-no-one-else-calls-in-sick-and-where's-my-Diet-Pepsi-already-dangit Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

The AchenBLOG archive appears to be complete. It's the AchenBOODLE that has been scrubbed from the blogosphere. If they would allow comments on the old posts, we could all go back and recreate all those witty spontaneous things we said each day.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. Looks like we are heading for one more rainy day here. *sigh* The June&July combo was the worst ever for the number of days with rain and August is off to a good start to make it a triple crown as we had rain 6 out of 7 days...
Good news though, the chickadee that knocked itself out colliding with the dining room windows yesterday seems to have fully recovered. I let it fly off the box I put it in yesterday. It flew off easily. It was a chick chickadee, so it was a VERY small bird to hold in my hand.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | August 8, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

Turning, ignition on, mixture rich--Vroom.

Following the heroes of the dawn patrol.

Posted by: Brag | August 8, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Having looked out from the 16th floor at a lovely post-sunrise panorama, I feel a little better.

Joel's umbrage helps too.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Rag up north has interesting editorial on Iraq surplus. I posted my view on same there.

Jim Hoagland has a good column this morning.

Posted by: Brag | August 8, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

We had some big thunderboomers blow through here last night as well -- pretty spectacular light show with lots of those long drawn out rumbles that seem to go on forever. I love a good thunderstorm.

I'm bummed too about the loss of the old comments. Like others have said, I'm especially bummed we've lost the ones from Error. I still have a copy of the pome I wrote when we sent him his "Eternity Door", but none of his words. He's been on my mind quite a bit lately, what with the chipmunk invasion of my shop.

So it goes, eh?

Anyway... I'm off to be productive. I actually cleaned the shop last night (three very large garbage cans filled with sawdust and small pine scraps) so I have no excuse to sit on my dupa this morning. Time to grab another cup of mud and give everything out there a fresh coat of sawdust.

Peace out... :-)

(oh... and Happy Friday, everybody!)

Posted by: martooni | August 8, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse


Chipmunks loooove little doors.

Posted by: Brag | August 8, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Scotty, looks like authorities have identified the Rockerfeller guy as a German who has been here since he was 17 or so. Amazing how many people he conned through the years.

I hope Joel can restore our lost history. It has taught me a lesson about saving things I see here. I’m glad Mudge kept the whale saga, that’s my favorite piece.

So glad it’s Friday, especially since we took next Monday off for a day trip to Mystic, CT. Maybe I can catch up on all the chores that never got done last weekend because we were away. It’s been a rainy summer here too, but not as bad as our neighbors to the north. Sun is out weakly now but they are promising more t-storms later in the day. “S” mowed the lawn (diagonally) on Monday night and it’s ready to be mowed again, very unusual for August.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 8, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy the pizza on your day trip, Sneaks... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday all. I'm off for 6 days, woohoo.
Taking a little trip to Murrland for a wedding and lollygagging about at my sisters house.

I'll be checking in to see what's shakin' in the boodle.


Posted by: Kim | August 8, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

So glad there will be so many can come to the mega-BPH.

*crossing fingers that Joel can convince TPTB to find the backup tapes*

I had a bit of a shock this morning as The Wonder Dog and I sleepily dragged ourselves back from our morning walk. As we made our turn into the garage, Ray suddenly lunged forward, engaging contact with a tiger-striped cat. Much snarling from cat. I quickly pulled Ray back and decided to enter through the front door to ensure Ray didn't re-engage. I then went back to the garage, wrestling Ray out of the way ("Hey! I want to see the kitty again!") to shoo the cat out and close the garage door. Cat skittered out and up a nearby tree. I looked up and realized the "cat" was actually a young raccoon. Now my imagination latched onto the word "rabies." Raysdad and I checked TWD all over and found no scratches or bites (and his vaccination is up to date), so things seem to be OK. But getting that much adrenaline going at 6 a.m. has me worn out already.

Posted by: Raysmom | August 8, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

SCC: So glad so many can come to the mega-BPH

And I previewed. Sheesh! I blame it on the early-morning adrenaline rush.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Martooni uses the word "dupa" for the place upon which one sits. snort. My stepmother used to use that word. You brought back a flood of memories, shipmate. The good ones.

Glad to hear the good news about Jack's brother. Your brother may not give a spit for the ramblings of some imaginary bozo halfway across the country, but I am more than willing to share whatever I can with him. we could connect through bc's or TBG's (or anybody else's) blog.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 8, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Did anybody hear that Paul McCartney is driving across America with his girlfriend? I had to read it in the Tulsa World:

I checked my files at home and found that the last time I saved comments was 6/8/08. So I have everything except the last two months, in a searchable database, thanks to Dandylion. That can be put on CD or DVD but let's see how the restoration efforts go at

Joel, don't think about this on your vacation. Have fun!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 8, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Joel - I really do hope you can get them to recover the boodle somehow. It's like a family scrapbook.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Don... I learned "dupa" from my very Polish grandma (rest her soul). I also learned that if you didn't heed her command to "chee-hah" (sp?) -- which roughly means "shut your yap" -- your dupa got a swift whack with a wooden spoon.

And yes, she wore a babushka.

Now I'm hungry for her famous gołąbki (stuffed cabbage, pronounced "gawoomki" for the Polish-challenged).

Oh well... back to work...

Posted by: martooni | August 8, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I tried a little experiment.

I posted something to an old boodle that showed zero comments. After my submission posted all the other submissions appeared.

Somebody else try this and confirm...

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Omni, that's good. Still, I think that'll only work for the Kits that still allow comments, back to July 17 or so.

Further back in time than that, the comments appear to have been turned off.

On a related note, I'm writing something now about reality and time (something I started before the Boodle entered the Upgrade Bermuda Triangle portal to the Dimension of Lost Socks), and if I get a chance, I'll get it posted over the weekend.

If a spaceship near Devil's Tower and disgorges all of those comments back into the Boodle, I won't bother saying I told you so because I'll be looking for all of my old single socks.


Posted by: bc | August 8, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

What bc said.

Except I know where my socks went. *casting aspersions at the NukeFelines*


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

But I think that my little experiment shows that they are probably very likely retrievable...

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

So do I, Scottynuke.

So do I.

No cats involved, except maybe Schrodinger's.


Posted by: bc | August 8, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I know where my socks go, too. My son steals them after they come out of the dryer. Perhaps "steals" is the wrong word. How about "is blissfully unaware of ownership issues." Since a lot of his other clothes over the past two decades seem to have just magically appeared whenever he needed them, he may just believe the Good Sock Fairy mysteriously appears during the night and throws a couple pair into the laundry, just for him.

He probably also believes in the Good Beer Fairy, the Good Leftover Fried Chicken Fairy, the Good Aftershave Fairy, the Good Spare Unused 20-Dollar Bill Fairy, and other mystical and mythic creatures. I KNOW he swears by the Good CD and Good DVD Fairies.

My yougest daughter you already know about: she's the one who believes in the Good Tampon Fairy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 8, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, omni. Once more I bow before your superior geekitudinousness.

Now we have the comments back on everything back to July 17. And I have a pretty complete archive just excepting 6/8/08 - 7/17/08.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 8, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

What I wanna know is: Does the Good Tampon Fairy wear Boots?

Ha, made me laugh Mudge.

kb, I know I didn't post anything interesting during that time frame, so we're all good (Just kidding).

Posted by: omni | August 8, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Watching Olympics opening on Upstream TV, lots of lag, but the accompanying chat has BOLD, *ITALICS,* underline, and COLOR. Very 21st century, unlike WaPo.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 8, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Because I am fortunate enough to live close to a high-quality farmer's market, growing tomatoes is basically a form of performance art. Not to mention a way to keep the ghost of my Italian grandfather from keeping me up at night what with all that wailing.

Actual production of anything edible is almost secondary. Especially since I am pretty much the only one in the house who much cares for fresh tomatoes anyway. I typically give the surplus fruit away to neighbors. Often while they are out of town.

So to me the important thing is to take solace in the activity itself. The digging, the planting, the watering, the fertilizing, and, of course, the carefully tying of the restraints. It's like raising offspring, except, one hopes, with more restraints than is typical in childrearing.

The point is, the joys of gardening cannot be ceded simply because you end up with nothing but frustration. The risk of abject failure is all part of the joyful process.

Did I mention the resemblance to childrearing?

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Just switched to Justin TV for Olympics coverage. Better than Upstream TV.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 8, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Also, I have known some tomato gardeners who only grow rare exotic Heritage Varieties as a way of keeping these endangered seedlines (is that even a real word?) intact. You know varieties like Russian Black, General Tso's, and Jamaican Gunga. So even if only a few seeds are preserved, the activity is considered worthwhile.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Those who have too many tomatoes should check out some gazpacho recipes, which use up many tomatoes per batch.

The above is commenting on some Russian hacking. While examining some old Achenblog kits a few months old, I saw that some bad people, months after the kits appeared, were trading links in the boodle. One assumes that now it has all rightfully been made to disappear.

Here's a story about the "cyrillicization" to come in Russia, to some perceived ill effect:

Posted by: Jumper | August 8, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Holy moly, right when I was thinking about Russia, they invade Georgia

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

My good news story of the day (in a very sad situation).

Posted by: dmd | August 8, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I have often thought of the kits and boodles as a sort of modern Pepys diaries (which I have not read, but feel sure I must at some point). Their loss would be tantamount to the loss of...well other good data. If they are gone, I will mourn, but as dbg says, let it go.

Rachel, a gloriously excellent kit.

Posted by: dr | August 8, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Good news about your brother.

For those of you whose blood pressure gets too high on Krauthammer/Gergen Day, here is my timesaving take.

Chuckie K has taken Neo-Con Non-Sequitur Solutions a new direction. If your recall the NCNSS for Saudis hijacking planes was to invade Iraq. The solution for high oil prices that resulted from the poor implementation of that non-solution is to drill for oil anywhere we can.

The key to a NCNSS is that the proposed solution has to have nothing to do with the problem at hand, but should be some ridiculous scheme that would have no chance of popular support unless linked to said problem.

There are also some serious funny numbers in his refutation of the Obama Tire Gauge Policy (Obama needs to shut-down that needling before it metastasizes) kerfuffle.

Abridged Gergen: Obama is a L-I-B-E-R-A-L. Gasp!

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yikes! I'm headed off to Atlanta tonight. I hope I don't encounter any T-72s on I-85.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I would be happy to design a special door for the Good Beer Fairy or the Good Spare Unused 20-Dollar Bill Fairy, but I ain't touchin' the Good Tampon Fairy. Or the Good Pad Fairy for that matter.

I know... I know... get yer dupa back to work, Martooni...

Posted by: martooni | August 8, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

A month ago I unveiled an internet hoax claiming that Obama was getting campaign contributions from shady non-citizens. Looks like the McCain campaign is the one with that trouble for real:

Sweet, sweet, irony.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | August 8, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Look at all the spam that showed up at the bottom of this recent boodle:

Looks like they need an industrial strength zapper. I'm just kinda p-o'ed over the lack of lack of transparency on this "upgrade". I wish TPTB would open the kimono or lets us look at the man behind the curtain or some other inappropriate random metaphor.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The door for the Good Tampon Fairy would need to much bigger than your usual line.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 8, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Ai chihuahua, yello... :-O

Dare I say it, looks like comments might need to be closed more quickly once a new Kit is up? :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 8, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Another new kit from Caitlin!

Posted by: Raysmom | August 8, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow, yello... we can't even write Rob Petrie's real name but those things got past the Halbot filter. Yikes.

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