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Fuzzy, Terrifying Animals

So many of the animals here are fuzzy. I need a tripod. Also I should take fewer pictures out the window of the car, or at night, or when chasing after a bear, excitedly. Here are some of my pictures of fuzzy animals.


Look closely and you'll see a grizzly bear. She had a cub with her, cruising through the trees parallel to the road just south of the Hayden Valley. I got back in my car fairly quickly.


This may be the better picture of the beast that attempted to collide with my car head on the other night. They really ought to have ticketed this guy.


The elk all but walked into the dining room at Mammoth.


Dat's a bat. It's sleeping, but any second it might go for your neck.


Don't let the looks fool you -- this little fella is a stone cold killer.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 9, 2008; 9:03 AM ET
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Next: Hills Not Alive With Sound of Music


The boss ought to have his own TV show! "Joel's Wild Kingdom", or some such.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 9, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

That is, so long as he is not the director of photography.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 9, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Don't you wish you'd had Sarah Palin with you, so you could bring home all these trophies?

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | September 9, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Before I head into a conference call, I just wanted to remark on the incongruence of the nastiness of rodents and their sweet faces. When I was in Africa, I was struck by how cute (mostly) the faces of the hyenas were -- and they're really nasty scavengers (been known to kill lions).

Great pictures, though. The bat was pretty furry (gotta get through those cold winters somehow).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 9, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I see they have a nice all-you-can-eat buffet for the elk there. That's nice.

Posted by: TBG | September 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe the boss needs Palin. He's all man, and nothing lacking. Hey, I think it's exciting you captured a picture of a bear, JA. Nice pictures, as always.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

A "grizzly," sure...

I can see the opposable thumbs. We KNOW what you're really looking for there, Joel.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Hope things are going well geology-wise, Joel!

I can't help but notice that in those first two pics you have perfected the vaguely indistinct school of wildlife photography characteristic of that classic television show "In Search Of..."

Cool bat pic. I always thought bats slept in an upside down position in a bat cave. So much to learn.

And that rodent clearly makes up in attitude what it lacks in size. I could say something about "nasty sharp pointy teeth," but that would be wrong.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 9, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Cap'n Chucky suggests a new commercial for Obama- Photo montage of Palin and kids with various large animals they've shot- voice over- "Subsistence hunting is not the answer to high food prices."

From tail end of last boodle-
Morning boodle, nice to have a refresher on the boodle bios. Byoolin got me going with his right wing tendencies.

I did not see the Stephanopoulus interview, but after reading Cohen I think yello has it right. I think in the blinding light of Palin's celebrity the reps are missing the "you can't make stuff up" line. Two things I've learned in my brief, and micro level, experience in politics is that people don't like to hear the word "lie" or "stupid" even when applied to someone else and true. "You can't make stuff up" will go down quite pleasantly and believably. It's like Obama is using the A-11 football offense
Palin and McCain stick with the same plays to the usual receivers, while Obama makes them spread out the defense with every voter in play all the time.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Brag is green with envy and salivating at all the fuzzy-furry things to eat. Have some cats, squirls and chipmunks in my neighborhood. Been unable to catch any.

Posted by: Brag | September 9, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Elk - the ultimate lawn ornament.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 9, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Great crisp pictures of rather fuzzy animals. They seem so much sharper in the zoos.

We were waiting for dinner at the Grand Canyon lodge and an elk wandered up and started to graze. He soon gathered a large crowd of onlookers. It was so dark that the autofocus on the camera wouldn't work. This is the best picture I got of him:

He also turned rather fuzzy if I gave him a chance.

I still haven't seen any bison or any bears in the wild, so Joel is two species up on me.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Bumped this from last Boodle as new Kit came up while composing.

Lots of book talk this morning!

Me: Older than Mudge
Monarchist when not in anarchist mode.
Profession: ex this, ex that.
Present occupation: scribbler.
Part of my secret life revealed on the back cover of my book KINGMAKER, you can look it up by visiting Amazon --key words: Kingmaker Braguine

Posted by: Brag | September 9, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

yello-I would be remiss in my duties if I did not invite you to our fair city for a vacation. I could guarantee bear viewing galore, and not marauding bears who have become accustomed to the suburban garbage can buffets either. I'm talking about the sing and make a lot of noise while berry picking kind of bear. Saw a cub up a tree near the highway on my way home from town last week. Didn't seem to be in distress, just playing around like young animals do.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Joel if you need any more fuzzy pictures let me know - I have hundred - I have really perfected the technique.

Posted by: dmd | September 9, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Joel, those aren't fuzzy animals. It was your hand shaking when you snapped the picture. Try the decaf.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Yellow-bellied marmot?

Or in the immortal words of Don Cherry, the Swedish marmot.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 9, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

This is my favorite elk picture. From about 12,000 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park:

And what is the plural of elk?

Elkses? Elki?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I believe I shall remain a mystery, wrapped inside an enigma, neatly packaged within wax paper, leaping from persona to persona as the mood strikes and the moment suits. I shall not tell you that I am 46, going on 14, nor that I have two offspring but just one spouse, of (almost) 19 years' standing. Our wedding ceremony, delayed by two hours, held in a drizzle next to a flowering dogwood that smelled like urine, across the street from the local landfill, attended by a baby making loud raspberries, shall receive no mention here. Not a word shall I offer concerning our four cats, one dog, one snake, and a fish lurking somewhere in the house (those bettas can roam!). If you heard that I am a scientist, storyteller, science educator, and incurable chatterbox, I can only say that you didn't hear it from me. I am not Jewish, yet I am a reasonably prominent member of our synagogue -- go figure. If your goal is world domination, I would be willing to consider a mid-level staff position in your organization. Make me an offer, but please -- make it one that I can refuse if the retirement plan does not meet my standards.

If you have money, but no place to live, come talk to me -- I have one house too many, and not enough money.

Posted by: The *Tims | September 9, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Don't make idle invitations. I will take you up on them. Once I explain to my wife how many intelligent women I cavort with on the internet all day.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Me too dmd,but that is the beauty of a digital camera. I think I would have taken the pic of the griz while in the car,especially one with a cub or with the car door open and running.

I was once hiking in patapsco park and a large fuzzy creature ran across the path,it looked like a bear and I said to myself wtf was that.But when I got closer it was a bull that got out from a nearby farm.I had to scramble up some rocks to safety.I hurried my pace back to the car,looking back every 5 seconds and called DNR.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 9, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Home improvement question for the boodle-
We thought we could live with the ugly, and cheap, textured brown laminate counter tops in the hip urban loft but we were wrong. We have the new counter selected but have hit a snag on choosing a sink-namely prices have more than doubled since the last time we did this ('05). So, we are looking at "granite" sinks. They are a made of a composite material, with granite as one of the components, and have a matte black finish we like. Any experience with these? Installation ease, and durability are our main concerns.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Silestone? Frosti - I would be very envious.

Growing up we had a composite of marble - similar to what you are suggest in my parents bathroom - stood up very well.

Posted by: dmd | September 9, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

This vicious denizen of RMNP was also pretty fuzzy:

Maybe it was just camera jitters from the mortal fear I was feeling. He could have attacked at any moment.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

John Kelly is mocking Joel in today's column.

"you porch-dwelling hyenas" he says.

Posted by: Wm Yeats | September 9, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse


We did our counters in granite a few years ago:

Our neighbors just did there's in silestone. I gave it a close look while still on the truck in their driveway and could not tell the difference.

Anything will be better than laminate.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of animals, this surprised me because it goes against conventional wisdom:

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 9, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Frosti: Unemployed plumber nephew and smoker (tobacco+) advises granite sinks have high heat resistance, but will scar/burn from a cigarette. Advises against them if there are smokers about, especially those who use sink as temporary resting place while doing other things, such as installing sink. His experience sometimes astounds me.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Morning All.
I was thinking along the same lines as frosti when I heard Sen Obama say, "You just can't make stuff up."
Maybe the 'boodle can help the Obama campaign by coming up with cutsie ways of saying lying.

I submit:
Having another Pinocchio moment.

Oh yeah. Avoid sighing.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 9, 2008 9:51 AM

Posted by: Boko999 | September 9, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Since we're on the topic of fuzzy animals...

Ferocious Chipmunk Update:

I've mentioned before that I have a pair of chipmunks that have been trying to turn my workshop into a winter home (Error probably sent them as some sort of Cosmic Practical Joke from the Great Beyond).

Apparently, these two little furballs (or should I say "streaks of furry lightning") don't get along with each other very well. I'm not sure which one starts it (or if they take turns), but they're constantly bickering and sometimes even resort to tussling or wrestling or whatever you call it when two chipmunks have at it.

Did you know chipmunks can hiss like an angry cat?

I really don't care if they move in -- the more, the merrier, I say -- but they need to learn shop etiquette if they plan on staying (alive). For one, their tendency to shoot in and out under the garage door while my fingers are very close to a very sharp saw blade reciprocating at high speeds has caused many "near amputations", several heart attacks and a great deal of swearing.

Another problem is their lack of, um... "potty training". If *I* have to leave the shop to do my business, they should have to as well. Or at least confine it to a single corner. Just because the entire shop is covered in sawdust and resembles a very large litter box, that doesn't mean they can just go around pooping willy-nilly.

Mrs. M may have dethroned me as "master" of the house, but the workshop is still my domain, dangit. Those critters better show me some respect -- or risk being turned into a pair of fuzzy earmuffs.

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Fuzzy? Where's Paris when you need her?

Posted by: omni | September 9, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Yeah. This is pretty much a shot over the bow (or porch as the case may be):

"I know it would be better for my soul if it could be satisfied with the taste of a fresh homegrown tomato or the sound of my children's laughter or the simple pleasures of sitting on my porch. But I don't have a porch, our yard's too dark to grow vegetables, and these days my children's laughter is usually directed at me."

Tomato growers should take umbrage and put this Kelly hack in his place.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Here you go:


• noun (pl. same or elks) 1 a large northern deer with palmate antlers and a growth of skin hanging from the neck. 2 North American term for WAPITI.

— ORIGIN probably Old English.

Sorry I'm late with it, yello, I'm defrosting the freezer in anticipation of barbeque to be stored in it this weekend.

Posted by: slyness | September 9, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I love your picture, yello. That's really cool.

Posted by: slyness | September 9, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Does one chipmunk have a red nose and one a black nose? Do either answer to Dale? Do you work while wearing nothing but the top half of a sailor suit?

If all these answers are yes, I may have a very simple illogical explanation.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

btw... sorry for posting on-topic.

To salvage my Boodle cred, here's a good off-topic piece by Bob Herbert on why liberals should be proud (and he mentions quite a few good reasons):

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Unlike some, I think Obama should refrain from personal attacks, or be very careful. Implicit is that he have someone else on his team call the opponents liars when they lie. I just think Obama should keep pounding in his message and vision. And it's about time he began talking about his administration. Get people to visualize its simple routine effectiveness in contrast to the Rep one, and visualize its nonthreateningness compared to the Rep one. The huge advantages of simple competence.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, slyness, but I have to be an ingrate and ask which one. So far today I've linked to an elk on a mountain, an elk in the dark, and a chipmunk about to attack. I need to know which are the crowd pleasers for when I actually start uploading to my iStockPhoto account.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

yello... from what I can tell, they both have noses but they move so darn fast it's impossible to determine colors. As for names, the only ones I've tried are "Son-of-a-b!tch", "Jesus Christ!", "Goddammmit" and "rassermutherfrazzinstinkinbastages" (which I think is German for "happy boy").

As for my workshop uniform: no top, no bottom... just a pointy red gnome hat.

btw... I'm selling mind bleach for $199/gallon (plus shipping and handling, of course).

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Are you sure dat bat's really sleeping? On the ground like that? Wings unfurled?

Maybe you should nudge him with your free hand.


COUNT DRACULA: I'm a bat! [changes into a bat]

BUGS BUNNY: *I'm* a bat! [changes into a baseball bat, clobbers Dracula]

Posted by: byoolin | September 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse


I know ya gotta make a profit, but dincha forget a decimal point or something??


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"...sometimes even resort to tussling or wrestling or whatever you call it when two chipmunks have at it."

Martooni, I believe that's called "foreplay."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everybody. It is a lovely cool overcast autumn day here. I have the windows open. I'm working at home this morning because the Boy is sick. He'll get better, though. It could be worse - several things are going around, including a virus that makes your tongue black. I got home and made him stick out his tongue. Still pink.

I like those fuzzy animal pictures, particularly the bat. There's just something about bats. Partly, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, it is the satisfying sound of the word "bat" itself, especially when associated with a small improbable flying creature. Bat. Bat. Bat.

I'd watch out for those rodents, though. Vicious, untrustworthy creatures every one.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 9, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I press my camera against a stationary object without eye-sighting the shot, point it and snap. Such as the car door. You gotta be good at pointing the camera but the object will damp down hand motion. Most of the time there's no time for tripods.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

martooni, why don't ya just get a cat,mine loves to feast on those little devils,often bringing me the uneaten half. Plus with your shop outfit or lack of outfit,you could drape him around your neck to keep warm in the upcoming months. or not

and maybe Mudge is right,those 2 chipmunks could be 22 before you know it.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 9, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

byoolin & RD, I had the same question about the bat. After all, in Austin they tell you not to touch a bat on the ground, because it's probably sick or dead, often rabid.

yello, frightening to hear about that carjacking. Makes me happy to be living in Little Southern College Town (LSCT?). I took a look at the campus police blotter this morning. Over the last three days, the worst crime is a single stolen bike. Also, a student was caught with a cooler of beer. A visitor at the football game was drunk and vomited. And a few people bumped their vehicles into parked cars. Seems livable.

J read the elk question over my shoulder -- his suggestion is "elken."

Posted by: bia | September 9, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

scotty... no misplaced decimal. Trust me, it's worth every penny. ;-)

mudge... I thought of that. All I know is the little buggers better *not* be doing that out there. If they think I'm mad because of their willy-nilly pooping, they have no idea what'll happen to'em if I catch'em fornicatin' in my wood pile (unless they start paying rent).

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Autumn day, Ivansmom? Where did you get that time machine. If you could be so kind as to set it for November and come back and report the election results, I sure would appreciate it.

On second thought, forget it, I don't want to miss a good game. :)

Posted by: moderate alien | September 9, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

gwe... we have a cat, but it's still in the kitten stage and would probably get eaten if he tried to take them on.

Give him a few more months, though... He's already destroyed a scratching post and the living room curtains.

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: Ivansmom | September 9, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Waugh waugh waugh waugh waugh!

Posted by: Doanld999 | September 9, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everybody. I enjoyed the re-introductions in the last kit and will add mine.

age: fixed
married: yes
kids: 3 sons, fully growed, 1 failure to launch
job skills: recovering accounting type, now deeply into yarns
things I enjoy: yarns, doilies, curling and books.
Full Achenexposure since the beginning of time. Deep Achenaddiction, no intervention required.
SCC exemption card has been used abused and extended beyond intended lifespan.

Posted by: dr | September 9, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Locational seasons vary, mod alien. The 4th of July in Maine, for example, is sometimes referred to as "summer."

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Alex or Evelyn?

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

You probably know already, but we are having an election up here. So far, all I hear and see is mudslinging. Negative, negative. Nobody wins when the talk is negatives.

I don't care what the other guy said, I heard him. I don't care what your opinion of him or his party is, I can form one of my own. Tell me what you are planning to do if you form the next government.


I am sick of this election and it has only been 1 day.

Posted by: dr | September 9, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

After looking at Joel's pics, I'm wondering if anyone knows any good online references for reattaching retinas.


Posted by: bc | September 9, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

To highlight the start-up of the large Hadron Collider tomorrow and before our galaxy collapses into a medium sized black hole (Oooops!), here's a song by some of CERN's more talented geeks.

Who would have thunk the physicist were such a musical bunch?

Of course CERN is famous for its other music band, Les Horribles Cernettes (LHC).

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 9, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"We had a beautiful in Natashquan that year. Or so I'm told as I missed it. I had just gone inside to answer my mother's call and it was gone when I got back out again."

Gilles Vigneault, poet and song writer from Natashquan, a hamlet on Quebec's Lower North Shore.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 9, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

SCC beautiful SUMMER *ahrrg*

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 9, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Having already spoken of my abhorrence of rap music and after watching the dancing physicists, I am thinking about donning a sandwich board announcing that the Last Days begin tomorrow. My neighbors, including several already waiting for the Rapture, will think nothing is unusual about my attire. They don't expect me to be "raptured" anyway, I'm too liberal.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

In the I feel dumb department, when logging on to someone's blog to comment, often there is a space that says "URL." What exactly are they asking for? (I know what an Url IS, I'm just not sure which one if any to put in there. It's unclear what they are offering or requesting)

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

So good to read the re-introductions. And yello, I'm so glad you listened to your gut about those shady characters this morning.

Married; no children

One 55 lb, extremely hairy dog. He sheds a lot, but doesn’t bark or poop in the house, so I forgive him.

From Western New York, which explains everything you need to know about the way I pronounce words and my aversion to hills. Moved temporarily to NoVA in 1993.

Occupations have included administrative assistant, personnel specialist, financial analyst, systems analyst, consultant, project manager, and, currently, government hack (combining all of the above).

In spite of having done well academically, my ability to retain anything I have read is abysmal. I will read something, think about it, formulate an opinion, then promptly forget all the facts that led me to that opinion. Thus explaining why I do not engage in discussions of politics.

Last book read: “Tales from Q School” by John Feinstein and “Kingmaker” by some guy whose name I can’t remember.

Greatest weaknesses: Wine, Reality TV

And to quote dmd: “Goal in life - to figure out a goal in life.”

Posted by: Raysmom | September 9, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain why several of the dancing physicists in the CERN musical were wearing tinfoil hats?

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

If your thoughts turn today to your soul
On today, the last day pre-black hole
As an end, Ice-9 is fine
But a black hole, sublime
If togetherness is really our goal

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 9, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, apparently, the inevitable trickle of matter that does reach the black hole is whipped into such a frenzy that some escapes, emitting radio jets or wispy, supersonic wind outflows.

Tinfoil hats explained. Thanks for the link, Jumper.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, when they ask for a URL, it's for your own site, if you've got one. Then usually your signature will be a link to that site.

I have a web site that has one picture of a bug on it, but I don't link to it.

Posted by: Fifty | September 9, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
E. Dickinson

Posted by: I'm Nobody | September 9, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we have our own singing astronomer. complete with viral video of his own:

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Fifty is right. It's for blog[sexist euphemism for sex-workers]s like me that want people to visit their sites. It rarely works. Feel free to use your own blog's url or the Achenblog. Just don't link to any pictures of goatse or Rick Astley videos. That's considered bad form.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to see Joel cavorting with nature. I also noticed that Joel did see the front and back of the hairy bison butt. Those are some decent sized horns, too.

The previous mountain pic was beautiful.

OK, back to wrapping things up.

Posted by: eidrib | September 9, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

That's "admiring blog", Nobody. Blog.

Thanks for the reminder, shreiking denizen. If Joel plans on Kitting on the Large Hadron Collider he'd better do it quick. Won't the world have ended by the weekend? I've been counting on that, you know. It is easy to commit to things when you know that actually we'll all be swallowed by a black hole very soon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 9, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Cutesy way of calling GOP liars:

They lost the truth somewhere when they said that...

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 9, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Name: Curmudgeon, also answers to Mudge, dinner bell, bosun’s hornpipe.
Age: Mid to upper 900s. Inside my head: late 30s, maybe 40. Wife’s perception: Age 14.
Incredibly, irretrievably married – 26 years to this one. No hope of remission of sentence.
Spawn: five children (two failure to launch), 10 grandchildren, more or less. (One estranged son, two grandchildren from same I’ve never met, likely never will.)
Pets: used to have three Westies and a beagle. Allergic to cats, but theoretically well disposed towards them (but dogs are better). Middle daughter brought home box turtles and any other disgusting creepy-crawlie things she could find (once including a former son-in-law).
Occupation: Got first newspaper job 46 years ago. First encountered a style manual 42 years ago this week. Writer, editor, novelist, warrior-poet (thank you, Stephen Colbert), numerous publications in saltwater venues; worked for private industry as well as the Dark Side (currently a contractor working for a large federal agency, aka living of the public teat) changing commas to semicolons on Tuesday and Thursday, changing semicolons to commas on Mondays and Wednesday. Friday is dress-down hyphenation day. Lot of experience in the graphics/production side as well. Worked on Apples back when they were fruit.
Military experience: ex-Merchant Marine, proud Vietnam draft dodger (jeez, where’d all the rest of you go? Cripes, it’s like I’m now the only one). Have a large but innocuous (and undeserved) FBI dossier in some archive somewhere, accusing me (largely correct, as it happens) of giving significant aid and comfort to various and sundry off-campus, pinko, bleeding-heart liberal persons of disreputable character and obvious lack of patriotism and right-thinking All-American values.
Religion: unrepentantly lapsed former Methodist convert to Judaism for the purpose of getting into pants of Jewish girl who wouldn’t…yanno…otherwise. Charter member of off-shoot Jewish cults/sects, “Jews for Bacon,” “Jews for Hardshell Seafood,” “Jews for the Propagation of Yiddish Slang,” "Jews for Chicken Soup It Couldn't Hurt."
--S.S. degree (Squire of Scribetology), Lincolnshire School of Scribes, Jesters and Tinkers, 1356 (Go, Mighty Fighting Ink-Stained Wretches!)
--Two semesters, Alchemy and Introduction to Lead-Based Transmutation of Metals, Sept., 1410--May, 1411. Flunked out for failure to memorize the periodic table of elements (earth, wind, fire and water; I kept forgetting wind). Also flunked Elements of Hermeticism and Introduction to Rosicruscianism. University of Gottingen, Lower Saxony. (Go, Mighty Fighting Lower Saxons!)
--B.S., Dick Cheney Fellow of Interrogation and Advanced Torture, Torquemada College, Palencia, Castile-Leon, Spain, 1480. Majored in Rack. Asked to leave master's program for suggesting "Iron Maiden" would make a good name for the school choir. (Go, Mighty Fighting Hammers of God!)
--A.A., Abacus Repair, DeVry University (correspondence program). Florence, Italy, 1621.
--B.A. Swashbuckling, Dread Pirate Roberts School of Buccaneering, College of the Spanish Main, Trinidad Campus, 1702. (Junior Year Abroad Program, Barbary Coast Community College, Tunisia.) (Go, Ye Mighty Fighting Heathen Swabbies!)
--B.S. Journalism, Temple University, 1969 (Go, Owls!) Classmate of Melanie (“I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates…”), Hall & Oates.
Hobbies, interests: Books, reading, writing; self-inflicted child-rearing (retired); pain management; all things nautical and boating related; baseball and baseball umpiring (17 years, retired), naval architecture, avoiding honey-dos (usually not successful), wine, military history; music; obsessive/compulsive disorders centering on nostalgia and the 60s; cooking (indoor) and grilling (outdoor); movies and theater/plays; politics.
Last book(s) read: “Drama City” by George Pelecanos; “The Far Field,” final volume of poems published by Theodore Roethke before he died (book sucked, FYI). "Anne Coulter for Dummies" (redundant title). (OK, that last one was a joke.)
Books currently being read: “Hell Hole” by Chris Grabenstein (New Jersey Shore-based murder mystery); Collected Poems of Robert Frost; “Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham (true! that's one of his latest, about football); “Regeneration” by Pat Barker; “Homecoming” by C. P. Snow (fifth read), “White Apples and the Taste of Stone” (collected poems of Donald Hall).
Waiting to Be Read/Sitting on Nightstand in Anticipation: The new James Lee Burke, “Tin-Roof Blowdown”; “Neon Rain” (old James Lee Burke), “The Ghost Road” (vol. 3 of the Pat Barker trilogy); “The Masters” and “Time of Hope” by C. P. Snow; various historical works concerning WWI, Assassination of Czar Nicholas/Family.
Scars, tats, piercings, distinguishing marks: No tats or intended piercings, but numerous scars, harpoon wounds, inadvertent puncturings, chest “zipper” from four-banger bypass. Uncanny likeness to Robert Redford.
Tool qualifications: band saw, table saw, router, power mitre saw, belt sander, drills, common hand tools; able to open jar of marmalade on occasion when asked. Can replace entire toilet flapper valve assembly, stop trickle, jiggle handle, etc. Can build house, if necessary. No wiring, however.
Bad habits, addictions: Achenaddict, gin, wine, tomatoes, crab chowder, puns, mint Girl Scout Cookies (recovering addict, am attending 12-step program, been “dry and crumb-free” for two years now), football, Jonathan Yardley, Jon Stewart.
Housebroken, twice sent flowers for no reason.

(Why does this feel like a “Date Lab” thing?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry too much, IM. Tomorrow is a test run, so we shouldn't lose much more than Europe if all goes well - and the supersonic wind outflows don't spit out the collider itself to live another day.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Shirley Evelyn Shioh.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 9, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets:
An Empirical Study

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Alas Alec Boko

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Been playing with some not so fuzzy creatures. The last time my mom was up and stayed in her newly decorated and rearranged room. She notticed an old toy pirate ship I had that had no occupants. After this past weekend visit to balmer,she sent me home with some of my favorite plastic toys. So now i have a pirate ship full of dinosaurs.Which makes me think of a sequel"Pirates of the Caribean land on Dinosaur Island"

Somebody slap me if I ever grow up!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 9, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

My net connection ate my last comment, wherein I thanked all for defining the minimalist "URL" block. As I am the same sort of blizog hizo, I will begin using such invitations forthwith. I also expressed delight at the poem and possibility to change bog to blog.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, Frosti. I have bookmarked the aluminum helmet study to show to the nephew's fishing buddy, who is so gullible that it will become a part of rural folklore, the town is too small for urban legend, in just a few days.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Only 10 days left 'till "Talk Like a Pirate Day"

Posted by: Boko999 | September 9, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the sink/counter top replies. My much longer comment just got eaten.
dmd and yello-love, love, love Silestone, it's what we have at Chez Frostbitten. Mr. F fell in love with a particular granite slab though so there we are for the HUL.

Shiloh-thanks for the info on the granite sink. If that's the only critique, from a plumber, it sounds good as smoking is not allowed at any frostresidence.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

For all Achenaddicts, backboodlers, or anybody who might want an index of all of Joel's kits since 2005, I've compiled a list of all 1136 links to the Archives conveniently on a single web page.

Interesting reading the kits and comments from a few years ago.

Posted by: DandyLion | September 9, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Heckuva job, DandyLion, and the blessings of the Boodle be upon your head. Also, your Boodlers' union dues will be waived for one fiscal year.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Using Dandylion's fabulous boodle archive, you should expect to find an earlier reference to the MIT paper that Frostie linked to!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | September 9, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Had my own bat incident back in July (
No flying bison yet.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | September 9, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Boko999 - thanks for the Pirate Day reminder. Just got time to find my eyepatches.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | September 9, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes Maggie, I have been flogging that foil hat study for a long time now. Call it a one boodler crusade to refute the powers of "tin foil" as an anti surveillance material.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

A prominent consumer magazine hasn't yet tested the new "granite" sinks. But I think they thought they should be really good. Certainly the synthetic "quartz" countertops are becoming hugely popular.

The sink lurking in the Coontie enclosed porch is a 48" long stainless steel contrivance that will simply sit on the cabinets (so no countertop cutouts). One primary sink with overflow drain and a smaller prep sink that drains a vast expanse of drainboard that holds a big chopping block. I could afford it only because there's a couple of prominent dents in the front. Of course some future prospective buyer might be offended by the dents and fail to appreciate what a Great Bargain such an aircraft carrier of a sink was.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

DotC-your resourcefulness and home improvement acumen never ceases to amaze. I'm drooling with frenvy over such a sink.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, my $0.02 worth on composite sinks. No matter what the manufacturer claims, they all will scratch, to a greater or lesser degree. The usual fix is to sand the scratch out with fine (1000 grit or finer) sandpaper. Fair enough, IF the finish is deep enough.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 9, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the gnome really copped out.

Species: Fuzzy, occasionally terrifying, especially when I do opera.

Age: Entering the middle ages of dogdom. I may invent the horsecollar any day now, soon as I find myself a horse to invent it on.

Family: never calls, never writes. They're a group of crotch-licking jerks, anyway.

Infestions: gnomes, occasional mosquito clouds. I deny fleas even exist for the faithfully self-groomed.

Hobbies aka obsessions: Trees, pretty deer, horsies, bunnies, walks, interesting smells, gourmet eating.

Favorite color: I see "yellow" and blue. Green is bright grey to me. I like stuff that the gnome calls yellow-orange-pinky-lime green. It's all sunshine to me!

Most terrifying furry animal: Tigers. Whoever bred cats that big shoulda be shot.

Most cuddly furry animal: Bunnies! Bunnies! Guiena pigs are pretty wheeksome, too.

Children: As many as I can collect while off duty; on duty, usually zero.

Career tracking: deaf-end job alerting to sounds and gnome trouble, but it earns my kibble and other perks.

Boodle tracking: lost gnomes; GPS locaton of RD's bunny bunker; any good food a-cooking.

I ran out of big facts, so Sayonara, folks. Beauty nap time!

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 9, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to read the comments.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Granite counter-tops: maybe that tingly feeling isn't just excitement about home cooking.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Another LHC story with a few comments. The first was my favorite.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

SoC: Has New Hampshire been tested?

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, been to the farmers market, now I'll tell you that we have Corian knockoff counters and an undermount stainless steel double sink. Mr. T sprang for a really nice faucet. I like the setup quite a lot. The people who made the counters offered molded sinks, but we wanted the undermount. We gave it to them, and they attached it to the counters when they made them. After almost eight years, counters and sink still look new, provided I keep them clean.

Posted by: slyness | September 9, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Don-that's why we're willing to take a chance on this relatively new product, it's solid like a Corian sink. We had Corian in NoVA and I hate to admit my excitement at being able to buff out any little imperfection and sand off one honking big blueberry juice ring in the sink.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Purely by accident, I found out a comment using the name of a popular pharmaceutical starting with V, used to encourage connubial vigor in men, was held up by the comment bot! I was talking about diamond countertops!

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Slyness-getting the undermounted sink is why we're leaning toward the composite granite. The stainless sink we used in FL has tripled in price since '05, the cast iron we have at Chez Frostbitten is 2X. Who's buying these things these days? (And I'm house proud spare no expense kind of gal.)

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Aww, I was going to post something tomorrow about starting up the LHC.

Still might.

I've mentioned previously that a black hole's x-ray jets follow the axis of rotation, which tends to be the weakest point of a bodies' magnetic field (like the Earth).

A couple of pieces I wrote some time back about the LHC and about black holes (and a guest kit from Cailtin Gibson...)


Posted by: bc | September 9, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Well they are sling stuff already in our election (I may have to take back some comments about it being dull).

How often do you get to reference Puffin P**P

Posted by: dmd | September 9, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The V-word will trigger The Filter every time. don't ask me how I know.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

frosti, we've had a composite sink for over a year in the country house and love it. Granted, it doesn't get vigorous use, but it hasn't chipped and is easy to clean.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 9, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I am embarrassed to admit that an adorable little grey mouse scuttled across the floor whilst I was removing clothes from the drier and my reaction to this was????...

To jump up on a chair and scream! I can't believe I reacted that way. After growing up on Beatrix Potter and absolutely loving her little mice. Oh well, so much for being an animal lover. I guess I failed the true test!!!

nice blurry photos Joel... you need a Canon EOS 5D... will improve your photo quality quite significantly.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | September 9, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

As I've never seen a nabbed comment resurface, I'll just rephrase. I proposed artificial diamond countertops, then proposed artificial diamond knives, and artificial diamond sandpaper. The point was that no matter how hard the countertop, something will scratch it, and that we may be on a chimerical quest.

I also brought up for the second time my pair of spare glasses with only one photograyed lens, noting them appropriate for upcoming Pirate Day.

I then add a section noting ruefully how when the first spontaneously written comment must be re-written, the loss of spontanaeity, and ability to spell, often affects the quality of the rewrite.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

BC thanks for the sci-tangents. Lovely and such balm in these interesting times.

Miss Toronto -- have done that too. Many times. EEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK, despite having once shot and hit a huge, coiled timber rattlesnake. Me, lil ole me.

Posted by: College Parkian | September 9, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Then I added a comment, the only one vaguely on topic, about once describing the subtle difference between "fluffy" and "fuzzy" to a native French speaker.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Brouillé, pelucheux, and also poilleux, according to Babelfish.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

YJ -- I have original 50s formica in my teeny, tiny kitchen. The grey pattern is part of an atomic or sciencey look ushered in after WWII and the space race. I.LOVE.IT! And I love the metal edges and my metal roiling pin surface. Retro. Real. And cool. See here:

And, underneath the 70s peel and press is green/grey spatter linoleum. Come on over and help me uncover it. We can share the fame on some DIY program.

Atomic style: surely a boodle-thingie if ever there were...and you, an engineer!

Posted by: College Parkian | September 9, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm mostly a lousy do-it-yourselfer. Exhibit 1 is the pavers (mostly 20 x 20) forming a walk circling the house, with gravel inside. The whole thing could have been done in poured concrete, cheaper.

The kitchen (no contractor yet) is turning into something of a disaster because I went ahead and bought the cabinets at a big blue-and-yellow place before it became apparent that the roof needs to be released. The roofer snuck by and left a couple of metal roofing samples this morning. Even the cheap stuff is expensive. In our climate:

-shingles really hold up well in wind, provided they're replaced about every 10 years (mine are lasting only 9).

-tile is brittle. Some improved installation methods may make them less vulnerable, but for now, you'd better have a firewood-sized stack of extra tiles in the garage.

-if you can take advantage of metal roofs' longevity, they seem to be the best deal. That is, the crimped sheetmetal roofs hold up well. Only now did I realize that metal shingles are available. Somehow, I visualize those flying around like Ninja weapons during an actual storm.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | September 9, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Oooo, CP, can I come and play, too? I love demolition. Got jack hammers, and everything.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 9, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

This long-haired leaping gnome is in pain and hoping one of the Boodle medics might be able to offer up some clue as to what malady I'm afflicted with.

(I've already Googled and WebMD'ed and came up with nuttin')

Symptoms: Very sharp, very localized pain in the back, just under the left shoulder blade. Feels like somebody jammed a hot knife in there and every once in a while decides to twist it. The weird part is that it itches like a bug bite, but there is no bite mark (or any other mark). It's always in the same spot. At first I thought I pulled a muscle or something, but this has been going on for almost three months now. It doesn't hurt all the time, but does flare up a couple of times an hour all day and slightly less at night. I'm thinking it might be a pinched nerve, but I've never had a pinched nerve before, so I can't say for sure.

Let's just say it's severe enough that I'm considering seeing a doctor -- and I don't have insurance or abundant cash, so that gives you an idea just how serious the pain is.

Seriously... if anyone has experienced anything similar or has an idea what could be causing this or how I might treat it, *please* let me know. I've already tried sleeping on the floor, using a back massager, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, glaucoma meds, whiskey and Doan's pills, singly and all at once to no avail.


Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse


May I say that, if a certain NY Times reporter had been a little more forthright in revealing the topic of a certain article as it was being written, certain oft-misquoted people (ahem) would have disabused the reporter of the notion that the topic was newsworthy. The fact that a certain reporter steadfastly refused to discuss what the article was about could lead one to the conclusion that the reporter did not wish to be dissuaded.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This time of year, in our fair state, I'd guess bat bite Martooni. Apparently most people thus bitten don't even realize it at first. However, considering the long time since symptom onset I'd say if it is a bat bite at least it wasn't rabid 'cause you'd be dead by now. Other than that I got nothin' but a renewed thankfulness for health insurance. Hope whatever it is goes away soon and cheaply.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

DotC-if you can manage it go for the metal. So appropriate for your area. Chez Frostbitten is roofed and sided in standing rib steel, like a typical farm outbuilding. Maintenance free and I believe it yields cleaner water in the rain barrel.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, my first thought was about a 95-percent certainty it was shingles. My wife had an attack of it in one spot almost exactly where yours is. Thre is antivral treatment if cought soon. Is there a rash? Even what looks like a single dark freckle?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, one guess could be a muscle spasm, also known as a "trigger point". Ask your wife to feel for a knot under the skin at the site. Alternating ice rubbed directly on the skin (for as long as you can stand it), heat, and deep pressure massage might help.

*insert usual disclaimer verbage here*

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 9, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

So s'nuke and SoC,

Let me get this right. If I were to own radioactive countertops and were having hours of hot Fatal Attraction levels of sex on them for years at a time, the accumulated radiation could affect my chromosomes, leading to an increased chance of having mutant babies that would grow up and terrorize the world.

In the meantime I would have had hundreds of hours of hot Fatal Attraction levels of sex.

Just putting the risks into perspective.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I pretend to be many things on the internet, but a doctor is not one of them. (Not to be confused with 'playing doctor' which I don't do on the internet). In my history of medical maladies, the number of times I've regretted not going to the emergency room far outweigh the times I wish I hadn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to DandyLion for the index! Pulled this out of the first boodle:

The comment thing is just a phase. There is no way Joel keeps this going.

Posted by: Nikos | April 11, 2005 11:02 AM

Apparently it is Nikos that has failed to keep going.


Posted by: DLD | September 9, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Martooni -

I would echo yellojkt's second comment (won't touch his first!). I have had similar pains twice in the past five years. On the second occasion, after suffering for more than a week, I went to my doc and he hooked up his heart monitor thingy. He then left the room for a couple of seconds. When he returned he said: "Just relax, the ambulance will be here in two minutes."

I know it's tough without insurance, but have it checked out, soon. The world has not reached its full quotient of fairy doors.


Posted by: DLD | September 9, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

...and my second thought, Martooni, was the same as Don's: a "trigger point" caused by chronic myofascial pain (CMP).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Something like that, yello...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll do a modified DLD. Ensure potassium levels okay via eating bananas a couple times, ditto calcium with pill or milk, drink water, try ice even though it's never an attractive idea. Continue aspirin. Go to doctor soon. Not indefinitely later. Soon.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse


You could always have Bean walk on your back. She'd enjoy it, anyway.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, I think you have a pinched nerve. You said it started several months ago, was it mild, just irritating at first? Then, worse & worse? Do you have that tingily sensation from your thumb, up your arm, but doesn't really hurt there? Hurts on your shoulder & neck? Feel like screaming with pain sometimes? But it feels better when you stand up or correct your posture?

Go to your doctor. Doctor will say have x-rays, to rule out some things. Mine was osti arthritis in neck & left shoulder. Will be referred to PT, stretching exercises and such. Makes a BIG difference. He/she will also give you prescription, anti-inflammatory stuff, that helps with the pain. Also, will give you prescript. for pain, but that will put you in la la land, so I didn't fill that one.

Therapist will correct your posture, give you exercises to do to help you remember what needs correcting.

Do a chin tuck: nod your head slightly, press chin back towards neck, hold for ten seconds, do ten times, does that help at all?

The PT will strengthen your back muscles to support the nerve that hurts.

I know it hurts, call the doctor today.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 9, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure that bat's sleeping?
Looks like an ex-bat to me.
Someone should give it a poke.

Posted by: Boko999 | September 9, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

A new blog post on secret lingos and argots. I'm not finished but the links are the real meat and they are done.

Posted by: Jumper | September 9, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I've thought this before, but I can't believe we don't have a doctor on the Boodle. I guess we're not the font of *all* knowledge (even though we do have a dr).

Here, doctor, doctor, doctor!

Posted by: dbG | September 9, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Knock it off. I'm working the unqualified medical diagnoses side of the street.

Posted by: Gene Weingarten | September 9, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

yizellizo, izif yizour hizead hizurts tizoo mizuch, jizust tizake izan isaspizirizen.

Posted by: Jizumper | September 9, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, by not newsworthy do you mean that the information in the article was already public knowledge or that you think the amounts quoted are not significant?

martooni, middle-aged men should not ignore persistent upper torso pain.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 9, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Methinks *Tim is confusing "prominent" with "conspicuous".

Posted by: The ScienceSpouse | September 9, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The reason we don't have any doctors here is all our lawyers skeert them off. Just learned yesterday even KPage is a lawyer.

The trouble with all our Boodle lawyers is: I like 'em all. (You guys are really dragging down your profession.) And that means I'm gonna have to change my view of lawyers. Won't be able to make many lawyer jokes either.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 9, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Joel, as always your photos are wonderful, and that is one BIG BEAR. We often see the little black bears in Shenandoah Nat'l. Park, usually digging and chewing a tree stump, eating termites and stuff. They flee from the crazy tourists, who are advancing with cameras at the ready. But I definitely do not like squirrels and chipmunks, as others have said. We have a hawk or two who hang 'round our yard, swooping down to snatch up a chipmunk for dinner, with my blessings. We have a bumper crop of those rodents. Nasty they are.

CP I love the link to retro kitchen stuff, will study in detail. I'm in charge of "Aunt Alice's Attic" for our fall bazaar this year, and we get all kinds of '50s & '60s donations. Never know how to price them, so I price them too cheap just to get a little money for our Woman's Club scholarship fund. Saw a manual potato masher on that web site, brings back vintage memories. I may donate my iron meat grinder this year, but I'm keeping my ricer for a while longer, need it for making potato yeast rolls.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 9, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I think what Scotty was saying was that the article was a typical example of a hysterical claim not being backed up the scientific facts. Expect to see this story on the 11 o'clock news during the next ratings sweep?


Part of the implied draw of the story is that it is a luxury product that is being touted as being unsafe.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the tips, peeps.

scotty... Bean's already danced on my back and it helped, but the pain was back within an hour. Of course, the *new* pain in my ribs from her jumping around may have just distracted my attention from the back pain.

I'm leaning toward the "trigger point" and pinched nerve theories. Both make sense considering I spend several hours a day hunched over my workbench doing repetitive tasks. I've been trying to break up my work routine so that I don't spend so much time in one position, which seems to help a little. It's just that burning knife sensation that's been freaking me out.

I'm going to see if I can get an appointment at the free clinic to have it checked out. They probably won't see me until sometime in 2012, but who knows... maybe they'll have a cancellation in 2010 and I'll just happen to be home when the phone rings.

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

yello... I think I already saw that promo for the evening news. I always thought the best Sweeps Week promo would be...


Posted by: TBG | September 9, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Martooni: Don't rule out allergic reactions. About a quarter-century ago a similar malady struck me, episodic pain in the scapular region of my back - often with muscle tension that could only be relieved by acupressure. Numerous tests couldn't pin it down. Then a doctor asked me if I smoked a certain herb. And after experimenting with long periods of abstinence from potential allergens, then taking a hit, I discovered that I had indeed developed an allergy. My friends scoffed, but to this day if I walk into an herbal smoke filled room I will experience a recurrence of the back pain several hours later. Allergies do develop from prolonged exposure to certain substances over time and you should consider a process of elimination, it might only be an allergy to sawdust or chipmunk fur. In any event, a trip to the doctor describing your chronic and recurring pain is in order. Certain tests, an EKG for example, may or may not tell him much, but it will establish a baseline for the future.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I used to get a sharp pain in my side when I smoked a certain herb as well. Turned out I was passing out on the water pipe.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 9, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I had the chance to pop into the Way Forward machine and listen to the closing address to the jury in some granite litigation:

Now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it’s been a long trial and I’d like to thank you for your service.


The evidence from the Smith family was that this countertop was the center of the household. This is where Ashley and Kaden would make puzzles for hours on end when they were pre-schoolers. This is where they learned and practiced cursive writing. This is where they built dioramas for the science fair.

Let’s talk now about what the experts had to say. Mr. Jones’ evidence was that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends “taking action” if radon gas exceeds, and let me get this right, 4 picocuries per liter of air. Now I know, I thought a picocurie was a kind of dog as well, but apparently it’s a measure of radiation. And anyway, that’s the amount that the EPA sets as the safe amount.

All the experts agree that in the Smith kitchen, the center of their home life, the readings were 100 picocuries.

Some of you in the jury that I’ll call a bit older, if you’ll excuse me, will remember the days when people used to smoke a lot of cigarettes. As Dr. Simpson agreed with me, they used to call them cancer sticks. The Environmental Protection Agency says that 100 picocuries is about the same as smoking half a pack of cigarettes. And let me check this. Yes, that’s right, and that’s half a pack of cigarettes per day. That’s every single day that Ashley and Kaden were exposed to this.

So the question is, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, does Granite International’s excuse that radiation is perfectly normal cut it with you? Not my family, I think you would say.

Now let’s talk about damages.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 9, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I got a serious case of the giggles. Had to go to the ER.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | September 9, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse


I really like your introduction. So much to read, but I guess when a person has been around 900 years there's a lot to show. Of course, I laughed through some of it.

And Martooni, get checked out, soon, please?

Forgot to add to my introduction, I'm a widow.


It's seems to me that the Repubs are trying to draw Obama into being angry, then they're going to use that against him. And the media seems to be joining in this ploy. They want him to bite, yet when he does, that New Yorker photo will show up. And yes, I was joking when I suggested the media pick our President. For the media, it's a case of monitoring self. Not good in any enterprise, especially one that makes and breaks people.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 9, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Then, a dreaded complication. A serious case of the Munchies. Had to go to Weight Watchers.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | September 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Accupuncture always works well for my various ailments.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

A radon emitting mantle piece was a central plot element of Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

martooni - I know you've gotten bombarded with advice, so why stop now? I had a similar problem with my shoulder. It was caused by poor posture while at the keyboard.

Clearly, it would be good to have an X-ray to exclude skeletal involvement. But odds are that you have a nerve pinch, for which they can do little but send you to PT. And while PT is great, it isn't essential. You can get most of the stretching moves and the like from the internet.

It wouldn't surprise me if you are aggravating things with your work. I know that stopping work is not an option, but try to do things differently. Also try Naprosyn. (Generic "Aleve") It is pretty cheap and works well.

And be patient. Even with PT pinched nerves can take up to a year to really heal.

Welcome to middle age my friend. And good luck.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 9, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I was going to say something,but forgot what it was.

Oh no it happened again

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 9, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

middle age is a killer

Posted by: eidrib | September 9, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey gwe... was it about the whatchacallit?

Posted by: TBG | September 9, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

but what are the alternatives?

Posted by: eidrib | September 9, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi TBG...I was just gonna go make a big batch of the munchies. :-)

Posted by: eidrib | September 9, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Martooni: I'm inclined to agree with Vintage Lady about the pinched nerve. Had one two years ago. This was one of the symptoms (do your thumb and forefinger feel like you've got high voltages running through them?) I had an operation and PT. Didn't do squat.

I'm thinking of getting a granite countertop and lying down on it. Couldn't be LESS effective.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | September 9, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse



SoC, it's a case of much ado about nothing. It's not the picocuries, it's the potential dose:

"A 'hot' granite countertop like Dr. Sugarman’s might add a fraction of a millirem per hour and that is if you were a few inches from it or touching it the entire time."

As the story states, the average annual U.S. dose is about 360 millirem per year. As an exercise for the reader, compute how many hours you'd have to be in very close proximity to the countertop in order for it to contribute even a small fraction of the average annual dose. When you consider "upscale" kitchens often also have vent hoods, exhaust fans and such, you've automatically cut down on any radon buildup.

If the granite in question had anywhere near enough uranium to be of interest, it'd be considered an ore body and someone would hold mining rights to it instead of slicing it up for countertops.

And no, I wouldn't even be concerned by a "hot spot" that *might* produce an extremity dose of 100 millirem over an extended period of close contact.

*stepping off soapbox* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to stop in and say goodnight, folks. Enjoy your evening. I saw the g-girl today, and she and her mom went to the library. The g-girl has a library card, and she loves the computer that reads the Cat in the Hat.

Ivansmom, tell the Boy I hope he's feeling better real soon. And give my best to Ivansdad. When coming in contact with kids a lot, one develops an immunity, but sometimes the body can't resist those viruses.

It's looking like rain here, Slyness. Hope we don't get real bad storms.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | September 9, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a doctor, but I'll offer some not really medical advice anyhow. Or not really medical advice, but ergonomic thoughts.

How high is your work bench? If possible raise the work surface or lower the height of whatever you sit on. The pain might be eased by working at a different angle.

In the everything but the kitchen sink file, when we redid the kitchen a few years ago, I choose formica over granite because I like to lean on my counters. Granite is freaking cold. There was that whole budget thing to consider too.

I never did mention that kitchen design stuff is one of my favourite things. Don't get me started.

Posted by: dr | September 9, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

But what about the Yellojkt scenario that would directly put the most mutable parts in close proximity, S'nuke? Don't tell me research's been done in THAT regard...

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to go politics here, but I just heard about how Palin is has pulled over so many white female votes to McCain. And while this isn't good news for the Dems, what has me all bent out of shape is the assumption that these results mean that silly white women are being suckered in by the gender card.

And maybe that's exactly what is happening But it's hard to interpret data without understanding all of the variables. For example, here's just one of many potential alternative interpretations:

Maybe white women are going for Palin because said white women happen to be socially conservative and are attracted by her views. And let's hypothesize that a lot of socially conservative men object to the fact that she is a women and so are withholding their support. So take away the fact that Palin is socially conservative and it is entirely possible that this gender gap would become greatly diminished.

See what I mean? The data doesn't necessarily imply that white women are going for Palin just because she is also a white women. There are other, more complicated explanations.

The way to deal with such ambiguities is to gather more data to exclude all other possible explanations. I mean, did the pollsters control for social conservatism? Did they control for age and education? It's only through controlling for all the variables that truth can be extracted from data.

Thank you. I feel much better now.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 9, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

We did the countertop in quartz as a certain consumer magazine reported that is was an excellent surface. A friend of mine with a larger budget did her sink in quartz as well as her counters. She loves it. I have gotten used to the coldness of the surface but never put any food that I want to remain hot on the countertop without a potholder or something under it. We use very thick placemats when we eat at the counter. As for being dangerous in any way - you’ve got to die of something.

Martooni, I have no advice but it seems you’ve had plenty, so I’ll just wish a speedy recovery for you. I do like dr’s idea about ergonomics. As we age, certain parts just can’t take repetitive motion without complaining. My right index finger was numb for a day after I cut out the fabric for the granddaughters’ dresses. Which reminds me, I gotta go sew.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 9, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

All this talk of black holes reminded me that I used to fancy those black spots that flicker on/off the screen during old black and white movies were portals into the movie.

Does anyone know what causes those black spots?

Martooni, please see a doc asap. If they're muscle spasms or a pinched nerve, a massage chair pad might help (they seem to run ~ 100-200 bucks). My uncle swears by his.

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 9, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Just returned from a town council budget hearing. After the meeting, the three women on the council said they were voting for "that white woman," "the white-haired guy" and "McCain and the woman from Alaska." None of the 3 could remember Palin's name, but they are voting for her; or more specifically, all three are voting on the basis of race and/or gender, not issues. The two males members of the council were silent on the subject. I fully expect the Republican ticket to carry this precinct, even though only 3 of the 107 registered voters are registered Republicans vs. 96 registered Democrats.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Good point, dr... unfortunately (or fortunately) my workbench is actually at the ideal height for me for most of the work I do. I've thought about raising it, but then I suppose I'd just end up with pains in different parts.

In the meantime I'm just gonna put up with it. What else can you do? I really am going to try to get in to the clinic to make sure it isn't anything serious, but I have a feeling this is just what comes with being a 40-something doing work more suited for a 20-something (or a 400-something elf).

Anyway... managed to knock out five more orders today and got a brand new five-pound tin of coffee to help fire me up tomorrow morning.

Right now there's a hot bath waiting for me with my name all over it...

Peace out, my friends... see ya on the Dawn Patrol :-)

Posted by: martooni | September 9, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, talking about aches, ailments and operations is so middle-aged I feel young again. Let me tell you about MY pinched nerve.

Located by x-ray between 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae, compression probably caused by sitting at PC too long each day and having monitor at an angle to keyboard. Rx: Neck stretching by a simple over-the-door counterweight device and Gabapentin (Neurotonin) PRN; relocating monitor, taking stretch breaks and changing chairs regularly.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link to the live webcast of the LHC being switched on

I have a feeling it's going to take a lot of luck and page reloading to get anything worth seeing.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

It's official, I paid my $2.00 and swore I was eligible to hold the office of mayor so I'm running for reelection. I'm unopposed but do hope to win over the 4 voters who didn't choose me last time. If it's not too late where you live, file to run for something. It's going to be cool to see my name on the same ballot as Obama, but others may feel the thrill with McCain.

Posted by: candidatefrostbitten | September 9, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

CERN WEBCAST connection said huge interest in live feed may make video stream not available, so guess I'll miss the beginning of the Last Days.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I'm not sure that hot kitchen countertop stuff you're doing counts as "sex" if no one else is involved.

But it might account for back pain.

The Glaucoma Test Pilots' airfield resturant and lounge (aka 'The Flight Club')is typically of good quality and copious servings (especially the desserts), but is always in a precarious financial situation, as the GTPs tend to forget how to find it and need to be reminded to pay the tab and leave tips.

And there *is* a First Rule of Flight Club, which is, er... Let's Light This Candle?


Posted by: bc | September 9, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

candidatefrostbitten, I'd vote for you, if I could vote. Being unAmerican and not having lived in Canada during the last five years renders me able to vote only in Weingarten's polls.

Democracy, by youknowwhat.

Posted by: byoolin voted YES on the sink issue. | September 9, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Also acceptable: "Democracy, *my* youknowwhat."

Posted by: byoolin has trouble with the machine. | September 9, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh and here are my vit. stats:

Age: about to turn 40, haven't been carded for a long time, but still get asked if mom is home when I answer marketing calls.

Education: Ph.D. from Ohio State (go buckeyes! but not to any championship games for a while please...let's take a break from embarrassments on the national stage).

Hobbies: anything to do with DNA and proteins that work on DNA--specially experiments, torturing students in biochem/mol bio/enzyme kinetics classes, walking in big cities.

Lit. likes: short stories (S and SF), comics.

Loves: DNA guy, a bunch of other people, sunrise, sunset, sunflowers, storms, stars n stuff.

Hates: some other stuff.

Etc.: No kids; no pets (although there is a 50 gal fish tank in the lab); no spouse most days; no watch; love the quiet.

Lucky breaks: landing a job working with smart, motivated teens/twenty somethings and nice colleagues; 20 min walk to work; steady stream of nieces and nephews going through the lab one by one, all wanting to be pointy headed sciency types; loving, still fairly healthy, parents who taught me to need very little; DNA guy who also needs very little and loves walking in big cities.

Current location: Within a short car drive + train ride to a big city.

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 9, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Two bucks, Frosti! It takes 1% of annual salary of council member to run for office here, so it's $3. That's 50% higher than your town. Town election isn't until December, so no luck on being listed with Obama or McCain. Our voter turnout for town elections is about 50 people and the nonpartisan selection process is two seats open (even years) or three seats (odd years) to vote into office. Number of votes determines winners. We had 5 candidates for three seats last year and the final tally was 17, 12, 8, 7, 6. We had to count the ballots (by hand with 4 pollworkers tallying) 4 times to satisfy that the third seat was accurate and won by only 1 and 2 vote margins. Candidate with most votes becomes Mayor, but the new council can confirm or override the vote for Mayor.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 9, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

//yellojkt, I'm not sure that hot kitchen countertop stuff you're doing counts as "sex" if no one else is involved.//

I thought that the proper determination of sex is what your definition of 'is' is.

BTW, did anyone watch the pilot for 'Fringe' tonight? It was so bad that it was good. Favorite quote: "Something tells me I've got to get out of Boston."

Posted by: Maggie O'D | September 9, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh-Because I have all those CEO type responsibilities I get the big bucks- $420 a year. Really does make $2 look like a bargain. The mayor serves 2 years here, and the 4 council member seats are usually staggered but because we removed the drunken poacher from office, for missing meetings, and his appointed replacement has chosen not to run, we're having one "special election" for a 2 year term and 2 regulars for 4 year terms. I fear we're only going to have 2 people file for 3 seats so I've floated a write-in name and hope he'll serve if he gets any votes.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Just heard a commercial on the radio and it said "Tatoos, Artwork for Life" Aint that the truth.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 9, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

It appears the spontaneous dryer repair was a sign of good things to come. Frostdottir just call to say she has been offered full time employment at the YMCA a half block from the Hip Urban Loft! She will do general desk duty to start but the aquatics director is ready to get her in the lifeguard chair and certified to teach swimming. This could actually turn into a grown up career move for my beloved, but woefully goal deficient, dott.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

That's great news, frosti. Elderdottir worked at the local Y summers during her college years as the entrance nazi to the outdoor pool. She enjoyed it.

She's not enjoying the installation process for Pergo in her living/dining room. She and her dad have worked for four days; tonight we put down the first couple of boards. Getting the carpet up and preparing the subfloor has been a royal pain. She's more than ready for it to be done, so she can sleep in her own bed. Since Sunday, she's been sleeping in my guest room. Thursday, she and I will work to put most of it down.

Posted by: slyness | September 9, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

slyness-frostdottir's first volunteer job was as entrance nazi at an outdoor pool at Schofield Barracks Hawaii. She was 12 and had no trouble telling soldiers they couldn't bring their beer in the pool area.
Good luck with the Pergo, it sounds like you've got the hardest part done.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

*Former* lawyer, Mudge, former!

Fave lawyer joke from my scrapbook of humorous things: NYorker cartoon picturing two old white-guy lawyers talking to a old white-guy potential client. Caption: "And, if by chance we lose your case, we specialize in sentence reduction, parole eligibility, and locating community service that isn't too onerous."

Heh. Onerous.

Scrapbook also contains over-the-top pleadings I rec'd when I practiced, but they're too long to post here.

Posted by: KPage | September 9, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to frostdottir! And good luck with the floor-laying, slyness.

I went back to that first boodle that DLD mentioned, and the only handle I recognized was wiredog. There was a Pat, but I don't know if it was our Pat. I'm tempted to go back and see when everybody first showed up. Hours of entertainment!

Posted by: bia | September 9, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Al Franken has won the primary. He sure knows how to pet a dog, as well as getting troops helmets and such.

Al for Senate '08!

I'm Wilbrodog and I approve this message.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | September 9, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, you are so good to do this floor laying thing. You’ll have a wonderful bonding experience with your dottir, or you’ll be using the boards as weapons ;-)

Frosty, congrats to your daughter. My #2 has been working 9-5 since she broke her knee. It’s the first time she’s ever had a ‘normal’ job and she hates the regimentation. I find her attitude amusing. But your daughter’s job sounds like something even my #2 would enjoy.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 9, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

My scenario was completely hypothetical and does not reflect any actual experience of mine solo, in duet, or with domesticated animals. Speaking of which, my latest blog post could really drive down my neighborhood's housing values. Or maybe up if you are into that scene.

Potentially NSFW. Depends on how with-it your boss is.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 9, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog- you lucky dog!

Posted by: frostcat#2 | September 9, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

sneaks-Frostdottir has never worked a 40 hour week before. This is going to be interesting, and possibly quite amusing. How's #2's knee doing?

Posted by: frostbitten | September 9, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to see the boodle is giving appropriate concern to all the important matters. I will throw in an answer for the black spots in old movies for DNA. The ones in the upper right corner are there to warn the projectionist that the end of the reel is at hand and it is time to fire up the next reel of the film.

Posted by: Out I-81 | September 9, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Woo hoo, Al Franken! And vote for frostbitten! Today, Minnesota, tomorrow, the world!

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 9, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad Franken won. You can have a sense of humor and succeed. Even if you did mountains of blow in the 70s. I was a charter member of the Al Franken Fan Club, but it looks this is going to be his decade instead.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 10, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"What a long strange trip it's been", my ride home and I didn't even see one fuzzy creature. it is the first time in a long time I haven't seen any deer. It was a pretty half moon and i was looking at that a bit,but no deer, amazing.

Heard 3 great songs back to back to back too
"the weight"- the band
"red skies"- the fixx
"other side"- red hot chili peppers

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 10, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

No blow on him now, Yellowjkt. Wilbrodog would know.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey Wilbrod, whatcha doing up so late?

I just heard a big crash outside,but didn't see anything. i guess i won't worry about it til the morning.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 10, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

gwe, it's probably just the bear. No worries.

martooni, my guess is bursitis.

Posted by: mostlylurking | September 10, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

yea maybe your right,the birdfeeders are in, all the doors are closed and I don't think he could climb thru a window or would want to for that matter. Plus I got my cat to protect me

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 10, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I seriously considered dissolving the Canadian parliament a couple of years ago. But, on that particular night, I felt that I needed the solvent more urgently than did the 'nucks.

Posted by: Bob S. | September 10, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Joel, you went chasing a mother bear that has a cup with her? You are adventurous.

It was in the papers today. A herd of buffaloes escaped their enclosure, wandered onto the main road and caused traffic to back up a mile in the morning. A lot of people were late for work yesterday. Also in the papers, firemen capture an 18’ python in the storeroom of a house. The 66 lb python was accused of having swallowed a cat. There goes its nap time.

Martooni, sounds like pinched nerve to me. If it is pinched nerve, like RD said, it’ll take a year to heal mainly because you didn’t have it looked at immediately. I had my sciatica nerve pinched 3 times and each time waited too long to go for PT. It took a little over a year for it to be completely healed.

Posted by: rainforest | September 10, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

It's gotten dark in here
So am I in a black hole?
I am gettin' so scared
(uh uh uh uh)
I wanna call my mom now

Oh it's awful dark in here (so dark)
And tho I see that 'dog
I am gettin' to think
(uh uh uh uh)
I've come to a parallel blog
(Yeah who's Out I-81?!)

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 10, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. What's up, DNA girl? You're here mighty early, and all with a poem. I've been up so long, but just sitting down at the computer. I know the day will be long because I haven't slept much.

Martooni,hope you're feeling better, Scotty, Slyness, Mudge, morning to you, and to all.*waving*

This is Wednesday, the busy day. I have a cake to bake this morning, the reason for being up so early. I want to get my refreshment out the way, so I'm not rushed later. And I think the after-school program starts at the Center today, so I hope to be checking in there later.

And it's going to be raining all day long. Wet, wet, and more wet. I'm not complaining, we need it.

RD, I heard that on the news all day yesterday, and last night, about White women voting for McCain because of Palin. If that is the case it is sad. I don't think this country can continue with two sets of values. A set of values for those in charge, and another set of values for others. And when I say this, I mean Palin's history is not squeaky clean by any chance, none of us have that, yet we do expect certain behaviors from those that lead. If going into office, one's behavior is suspect, why is anyone going to listen to that person? I mean it gives the impression that it is okay to do whatever if you're the personal choice of those in charge. And I know we all have family issues to deal with, and sometimes it is not pretty, but for me, it's almost like we're glorifying bad behavior. And that should not be. It doesn't matter what is going on in your life, it doesn't make any difference, hey, you're building up my campaign and bringing in the numbers, so it's all good.

If the shoe was on the other foot, every one from here to Utah would be crying foul, and saying how loose the Dems are with family values. Now it's the thing. It's great. I think it's a cover for something else, but, hey, that's me. I'm suspect, and have years, and years, of reasons to be so.

Have a great day, folks. I hope the sun is shining where you are, and if you can, send some this way.

Loomis, take cover in Texas if you're anywhere near the hurricane zone. And keep in touch so we don't worry.

Time to bake.

Posted by: cassanddra s | September 10, 2008 4:35 AM | Report abuse

'morning Ms. Cassandra!
I fell asleep on my book last night and am now prepping furiously for a class. Kinda feel like Sarah Palin (ah where's that mind bleach!).
Do fax me some of that yummy cake when it's done, I'm feeling peckish.

This is for you:

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 10, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

It's ON!!!

Protons are going around in circles.

Just like everyone else.


Posted by: DNA Girl | September 10, 2008 5:07 AM | Report abuse

CERN fired one-way so Europe is still there, granting a black hole reprieve until an actual head-on collision is attempted, probably sometime next year. It will be interesting to see if the popular perception of the potential for a doomsday scenario engenders any increase in apocalyptic expectations similar to those of the middle ages. It will certainly be fodder for the Last Days and Rapture adherent crazies of today. I'm keeping my sign board ("Repent. The
End is Coming") out of sight for now.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 5:16 AM | Report abuse

We've now reached the part of the most-important-project-in-the-world where big mahof panic has set in and they're willing to throw money at problems. It makes me happy because SME consultants will pick up some of the work we haven't had time to do yet and I may get a day off this weekend. Our client is undergoing a front-page, severe financial crisis, so it makes me wonder whether they'll really care if we're a few weeks late on this. One would think they have bigger things to worry about.

KPage, let me know when you're planning a Philly trip again.

Posted by: dbG | September 10, 2008 5:27 AM | Report abuse

"mahof" is a new term for me. what does it mean?

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 5:34 AM | Report abuse

knock knock
who's there?
mahof who?
mahof killed the boodle

Posted by: DNA Girl | September 10, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Shiloh, a mahoff is a big shot. It's a Philadelphia-ism, and maybe further out than that. Usually the term is "a big mahoof," which is somewhat redundant. See

Its origins are obscure, but one line of thought is that it derives from the Hindu "mahiip," meaning king. Being a native Fuldullphyan, I've heard the term all my life. (Note the spelling: two F's.)

Moving on to other matters: well, the "L" word has finally entered into the news, big time, and not a moment too soon. And lots of op-eds to work on, too.

Glad to see Cassandra's up--but we've got all these other Boodlers up for the Dawn Patrol, too--not used to seeing your faces at muster, folks. But you're welcome--help yourselves to the croissants and coffee.

Gotta run.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

SCC: mahoff, not mahoof.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

SCC: mahoff, not mahoof.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

The emergence of the "L" word recommends to Barack Obama,
this favorite of Adlai Stevenson :

"...I would make a proposition to my Republican friends...That if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."

-Adlai Stevenson, campaign remarks, Fresno, CA, September 10, 1952

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

I see McCain & Co are having a rally in a park this morning too near the building I must go to for my doctor's appointment

Wonder if there are enough attendees to make my little commute a mess? A friend called last night to offer me a ticket to the rally and she did not know it was no longer to be held at Fairfax HS. Lots of phone calls in the area, trying to drum up attendees, so I'm wondering if they will actually fill that park.

Interesting that Obama is having his town hall meeting today for teachers and parents to discuss education at Granby HS, which was our traditional rival in sports at Maury HS, both are city schools.

OK, I'll bite, what is the "L" word?

Martooni, you have all of our concerns, take care.

Posted by: VintageLady | September 10, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I am going to guess the "L" word is Liberal?

Morning all.

Posted by: dmd | September 10, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

That's a lie!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

It's a wee bit chilly here in the land of Swing Votes -- 46F -- but it's supposed to warm up nicely.

And thanks again, everybody, for the back pain advice. I'm a tough little gnome, so no worries. Grin and bear it. I *could* grin and bare it, but somehow I don't think that would be appropriate behavior for the A-blog. At least not this early in the morning.

I see Obama used some descriptions of the McCain/Palin ticket yesterday that caused some umbrage. "Lipstick on a pig" was the biggie, but he also referred to them as smelly old fish wrapped up in fresh newspaper. I'd say those are fairly accurate descriptions.

Busy day lined up so I better get a move on it. Time for coffee and some zenful puttering in the shop before the sawdust starts a-flyin'...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | September 10, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm not the most reliable narrator, but today's Maureen Dowd column is actually pretty good. She has a laundry list of issues Gibson should bring up with Palin. Here's the direct link:

But if you go through my blog, you get to see my rendition of Sarah as Eliza Doolittle and enjoy a classic Enjoli commercial:

Posted by: Mo MoDo | September 10, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Ah! Is it that old but wonderful children's shout "liar, liar, pants on fire"?

Must turn on TV....

Posted by: VintageLady | September 10, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Funny you should mention it. Dowd also uses the "lipstick on a pig" metaphor. Is that sexist, or is it a common enough phrase to be gender neutral?

Posted by: Mo MoDo | September 10, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama used the expression “lipstick on a pig” when describing McCain’s philosophy of change and the repubs got all upset charging it’s a slur on Palin. This campaign, thanks to the repubs, has gone downhill much faster than I thought it would. When is this country going to stop buying into all these Rovian dirty tricks!

Frosti, #2’s knee is coming along. She’s walking with a cane while wearing her brace, but she’s still a ways from walking normally as she still has a lot of pain. She’s still getting PT and is now working out at the gym too, which has helped her emotional outlook. The wedding is six weeks away and our fingers are crossed.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | September 10, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. This election is getting personal; I dreamed that I was working on the Obama campaign and got to meet and work closely with the candidate. Scary, how personal it's becoming for me.

Thanks for the kind words on Pergo-laying. Elderdottir is still asleep, so I don't know yet how it went after Mr. T and I came home.

Posted by: slyness | September 10, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

VintageLady... The McCain campaign claims they moved the rally because they were expecting too many people than would fit in Fairfax HS's 6,000-capacity field house. That contradicts the fact of the outcry in Fairfax over the superintendent breaking the rule over allowing political rallies during school hours.

It also makes you wonder why anyone can apparently print out a ticket to the event.

I believe the 'L' word is 'lie,' but according to this morning's reports, it could also be 'lipstick.'

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" she (Palin) asked.


"These are the same people who have been in power for the past eight years. You can give a pig some lipstick, but a pig it will remain. You can wrap an old fish in a newspaper and call it change, but after eight years it will, in any case, continue to stink. We have had enough!", he (Obama) exclaimed,...


1. putting lipstick on a pig

A term used by many, generally in reference to someone who may be trying to make something or someone look appealing or attractive when it quite clearly will not work, or will only deceive the dumbest of people.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Anon. at 7:27

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

(Daily Telegraph on John McCain)

“In his London hotel room, without the thick TV make-up that often masks the cancer scars on his face, he seems pale — utterly exhausted — almost frail.”

So, lipstick may not be limited to the only female in the race as claimed by Jane Swift.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Schoolyard insult time.

What do you call a litter of lipsticked animals lying all over the place?


Posted by: DNA Girl | September 10, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

John and Sarah will be in my backyard this morning. Literally. I'm going to the rally. If there are no objections, I'll give you a short update later this afternoon.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

"Although lipstick is not generally used on men, it is sometimes appropriate to add a touch of a natural-colored lipstick to smooth out a possible line between the lips and the beginning of the base makeup. A brown shade of lipstick applied with a brush is recommended."

Source: Makeup for Television and Film

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous at 7:45... We'll be looking forward to your report on the McCain rally.

Although I don't know your political leanings, I'm glad, at least, that they are not limiting participation to only supporters. I know a few people who will be there--none of them McCain supporters.

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Fed up, the Obama campaign broke a taboo on Monday and used the "L-word" of politics to say that the McCain campaign was lying about the Bridge to Nowhere.

The "L" word is Lie.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Clearly Obama wasn't using lipstick in a sexist way. But the GOP is so primed to exploit sexism that it was probably not a prudent word choice. Once a perception is out there, it's hard to undo.

My wife and I were just getting a good head of indignation worked up yesterday when we heard the speech had been moved to Van [Name omitted because of filter] Park. The spin control by the GOP is fairly absurd.

That wee little rodent in the last picture is starting to make me nervous.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour Boodle!

This fearless aviator is aloft and sniffing trouble in the murky air. Warily watching the Boodle's six o'clock.

Was it Ivansmom who read Kingmaker by some uknown, unmemorable scribbler heading for the trashbin of history?

Posted by: Brag | September 10, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I guess Obama could have said the Republicans were trying to sell "a pig in a poke," but that probably would have caused the same sense of outrage.

The fact is, no idiomatic expression will escape the PC censors adept at twisting tails or tales.

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

Consensus among the political pundits is that Sen. Obama should stick to issues and emphasize positional differences regarding the economy, health care and taxes. The public, however is showing their true stripes and taking nearly everything that appears in a sound bite as the truth. The McCain campaign has gone on the record repeating numerous falsohoods, including the beridge to nowhere and opining theat the Democratic tax plan would have all of us emptying our pockets into the Federal coffers. The deficit that the next President will have to deal with is projected to be 500 billion dollars. This article describe how lies become truths.
We've met the enemy and it's us. Harumph.

Posted by: jack | September 10, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Shiloh, this IS the season for idiotmatic statements, yanno...

Oh, you said "idiomatic," my apologies.

*reporting-all-quiet-along-the-Dawn-Patrol's-Brunswick-Line Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle.
Not to worry RD, I'm ready to bring the little marmot home and name him Jacques.

According to NPR, in '07 McCain used the "lipstick on a pig" line to describe Hillary's health care plan. Sorry, it's a phrase used too often to be a slam against Sarah. Is it self aggrandizing to think all insults are directed toward one's self?

Looks like Franken might have some problem with Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley. Appointed by Gov. Jesse Ventura, Barkley served in the senate briefly after Paul Wellstone's death. MN polls show Barkley draws more votes away from Al than Sen. Norm Coleman.

Slyness-good to read that your dott's knee is on the mend.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Dionne also has a bit on truth, reality, facts and the Republicans. We don't need no stinking reality-based arguments seems to have become an entrenched belief.
If McCain were a Democrat I think the campain would revolve around the exact stage of his dementia. Geez.

It was about 40F this morning, fall is upon us.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 10, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

G'day eh?
Here's your morning miracle.
"Creationists Flock To Darwin-Shaped Wall Stain"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Oops! My froodian slip is showing.

SCC- "Evolutionists Flock To Darwin-Shaped Wall Stain

Posted by: Boko999 | September 10, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Brag, I confess to being the "Kingmaker" reader.

Posted by: Raysmom | September 10, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I fired up my own commentary on the LHC this morning.

I hope you enjoy it.


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

After reading a lot of stuff in the wee hours this morning, I am starting to believe that I was grasping at straws in my earlier apologia for women who are rushing to Palin.

I asserted that there might be other reasons besides simple gender solidarity. (And I am sure that, in some cases, there are.) But I am reluctantly concluding that there really are a lot of women who support Palin just because she is a woman "Just like them."

Now, the "one of us" school of politics isn't limited to women. Some have argued that Bush was elected because of the perception that many saw in him a reflection of their own self perception as just plain folk.

Maybe I have such a visceral reaction against this mindset because whenever I envision a person "just like me" anywhere near the White House I begin to emit involuntary moans of despair.

Anyway, outside of supporting a candidate I find woefully unprepared and philosophical objectionable, I am concerned about a potential backlash against all women. For those women who are throwing their support to Palin simply because doing so increases their own sense of self affirmation gives credence to some unfortunate female stereotypes.

Stereotypes I think women could do without.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Heartily agreed, RD, and good morning to all. These women who will vote for the woman on the ticket for that reason alone give the rest of us a bad name.

Anonymous, I'm looking forward to the McCain rally report. I'm always grateful to those of you who are willing to sit through these things, which I wouldn't, and share your information.

Congratulations to frostbitten on deciding to run for reelection. You may have moments of regret but I bet your constituents won't.

Brag, it was Raysmom. I'm the one who couldn't buy "Kingmaker" at a BigBoxOBooks and have to order it online.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Hi Ivansmom... how's the boy today? Did he go to school?

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Repent. The End is Coming"?

I haven't even Pented yet.

Posted by: byoolin is way behind schedule. | September 10, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Funny, byoolin. Me neither.

Yes, TBG, the Boy is better and went to school today. This is his fairly easy day so he should be fine. I talked to 5 out of 8 teachers last night at Open House - sort of like speed dating - and will contact the rest. I like to check in at the beginning of the year.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

There are a lot of funny pig metaphors. I like "trying to teach a pig to sing." It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 10, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse


Thank you for reading the book. Should you feel like venting, I have a hate email address:

Posted by: Brag | September 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Would the pig sing better with lipstick on?


I sowwy. *sitting in corner*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"sort of like speed-dating" -- LOL! I remember those years, going to those *&%$#^@$ meetings, sitting in those *&%$#*%@# tiny kid-sized chairs, and trying in 30 seconds to explain what ADD is to teachers who somehow managed to get a teaching degree without ever learning about that or any other learning difficulty.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 10, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Amen, Curmudgeon, amen.

Hey did you notice the rise in the use of the word 'curmudgeon' lately? For years it was almost unheard, and I swear, it is everywhere these days.

You trend setter you.

Posted by: dr | September 10, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the confusion. I tend to get my moms mixed up. Hope you'll enjoy the read.

Posted by: Brag | September 10, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

BZ, Ivansmom, for caring enough to go to back-to-school night. Few parents can be bothered. Why, oh why, have only a very few parents realized that *their* child's education is *THEIR* responsibility, not the school's, nor the teacher's?

Back to school, in a way, for me and younger dottr. This semester, it's aircraft electronics and more calculus. I have already borrowed an ociloscope, and need to buy a fistfull of components from the BigBox o' Radio parts store. Soon, the dinning room table will look like Mr. Wizard's workshop.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 10, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I *always* go to back to school nights, and so do a lot of other parents I know.

I also made sure that my youngest did some school work every day possible over the summer, and this year's transition back to school has been the least traumatic yet.


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

If you haven't pented yet, byoolin and IM, vent your pent, don't keep it pent-up; that will only lead to more frustration and make it necessary to pent over and over again, i.e., repent.

Posted by: Shiloh | September 10, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

We always try to do back-to-school, and so do most of the parents. Ivansdad would also have gone had the Boy not been ill. My son's school is huge and a specialty school, and it really helps to have some personal connection with each teacher. Also, each one has a wish list and there is usually something we can do. The Boy is a bright kid and a good student, but I've found that expressing support for the teacher early on diffuses any potential issues throughout the year. I made some friends among last year's teachers and expect I will again this year.

bc - you had your youngest do some work regularly this summer? and you still enjoy an amicable relationship? Wow! We did what we could and he read pretty much every day, but that was it. Pre-school math camp saved us this year. He liked the teacher so much he decided he liked algebra too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse


different day, same fish

You know what I mean

Posted by: omni | September 10, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Funny thing... when you go to Back-to-School nights, the Honors classrooms are so full you can't find a chair, but the other classes (my daughter has all Honors classes, except for a decidedly non-Honors math track) only have a smattering of parents attending.

Something tells me that's not a coincidence.

Posted by: TBG | September 10, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

between making your kid do school work every day of the summer and seeing you prancing around in high heeels, covered in olive oil, that kid will most certainly send you her/his therapy bills for years to come.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | September 10, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

For light reading during these end days, try Repenthouse Forum.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 10, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Ivansmom. I do still have a good relationship with my daugther. We'll see how that changes as she heads into teenagerhood.

sd, I think we're all human and make mistakes with our kids. A big thing in my book isn't trying to be perfect - no one is - but doing my best to avoid mistakes, and trying to do the right thing(s) for those I may have transgressed against when I *do* make them, and to forgive and help others when they do too.

If I can impart the capacity to be as thoughtful and smart as possible, but humble and willing to be responsible, then I think I've done a reasonably good job.

We shall see.


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

It fits the boodle profile that there would be a high percent of parents that assume ownership of their child's education, and associate with others of a like mind. My little snit wasn't directed at the boodle, just the rest of the world. I've been seeing some really alarming stats about the deplorable state our elementary and secondary education systems are in, nationwide. We can rail at politians until we're blue (or red) in the face, but until we as a nation step up to properly educating our young’ns, we will surely continue our steady decent into the dumper.

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get that off my chest.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | September 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Back-boodling, thanks for the reply Scotty. The millirem stats definitely present as much less dramatic. Interesting, though.

We all know you're just covering for your superhero identity that emerged after all that time in the Granite State followed by time in close proximity to DU.

Does anybody tell people living near nuclear plants they're "allowed" an extra 100 millirems?

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 10, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

One last one then work. Interesting bit in Other Big US Newspaper on schools. Palin's the only one whose kids go to public schools.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 10, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

One of the greatest values in attending back to school night, is simply meet the teachers and have them meet you. With my daughter, especially, how she does is tightly coupled to how nurturing her teachers are, so we can determine right away of there are problems in store. Even more importantly, sometimes, is communicating to the teachers that her parents are intelligent and capable individuals whose insights are to be respected.

Which is why my wife usually goes alone.

Posted by: RD Padouk | September 10, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

morning All
Well I couldn't find anything wrong this morning after last nights crash,not sure what it was. I will report that most of the fawns are or have lost their spots.

I don't have any kids so back to school doesn't mean much to me,just try to let friends and family know,if you need me to take your kid to that soccer game,rehersal,I'd be glad to help.

Much cooler here today,yesterdays rain hasn't shown up in the river yet,but I am about mile 90 of a 100 mile river so we will see what the paddling chances are by the weekend.

Off to make some special brownies,have a good day everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 10, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

A quick check of private school options in Wasilla yields a couple Christian schools, with 60 some and 170 students respectively I doubt they can muster a hockey team. There's also a Catholic school and a Mennonite school-don't seem like Palin's cup of tea.

I wish where candidates send their kids to school would die as an issue. Mr. F and I are big supporters of public education but have chosen everything from an all girls Catholic school, to boarding school, to regular old public school, to homeschooling as options for her. If McCain is elected I'm glad she's now done with k-12 education because most of the school searching and choosing was done since 2001, as a direct consequence of Mr. F's commander in chief's actions as the decider.

Speaking of which, another commercial opportunity for Obama. Frostdottir's 19th birthday is tomorrow. On 9/11/01 she turned 12. That we would still be involved in multiple wars now was inconceivable at that point. Someone needs to find a picture of the 12 year old Track to juxtapose with a picture of him in uniform. Then to a picture of a 7yo who was born on 9-11, and ask if we'll still be at war when she/he is old enough to be a soldier. BTW-now we hear Track will leave for Iraq "soon," but when Palin delivered her acceptance speech he was going to leave on 9/11.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I often re-read the 'articles' in my Penthouse collection.
Does that count?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Dangit, SoC, there's some sort of static on the line, I'll have to try and re-read your note later...

Say, after 5 p.m.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So, on Sunday, I finally got around to reading the Outlook section from the previous Sunday, in which there was a piece decrying the clueless smugness and meanness with which those wretched Eastern elites -- I think that is supposed to include many of us -- treat the good folks of middle America:

As a born Hoosier who has trafficked with Easterners for a few decades, I felt I had a relevant perspective on this issue. So, I fired off a note which, on Monday, received a terse and emotionless reply. I posted my note to Weingarten's chat, asking for the response from the side of Eastern elitism. No reply. So, in search of the trivial fame that is the best a Hoosier not named Bayh could expect, I now give you the entire text of my email:

Dear Ms. Langer,

I just got around to reading your editorial from the August 31 Outlook. Let me empathize with you for the harsh and brutish treatment that you have received at the hands of the smugly superior Eastern elites. Even worse, I feel for you because apparently you caught all the nastiness that somehow has completely escaped me. Thanks for taking the hit. My family moved from Indianapolis 36 years ago, and in that time I do not recall one single person ever sneering at me or acting condescending towards myself or any other Midwesterner as a result of our natal state, our proximity to corn, or the potential presence of cows in the childhood backyard. When I went to college, I left the East Coast and returned to the Midwest, Washington University in St. Louis. I mention the school because it also has been my experience that it is quite commonly recognized by the Eastern elites who are currently my neighbors and acquaintances, and they speak of it only with respect and ungrudging admiration. As an undergraduate, I remember a modest amount of good-natured inter-state teasing. The main targets of derision were the New Yorkers. We also had some fun with the sizable contingent of students from Hawaii who never had seen snow. I hope that we did not inspire lifelong grievances in these socially dominant groups that now have come back to bite our corn-fed Midwestern younger brothers and sisters. For any pain I may thus have inadvertently caused you, I apologize.


ScienceTim [actually, I used my IRL name]

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 10, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Langer is under the misapprehension that Ohio is not part of the "east." More identified with big cities and the glorious industrial age, Ohio just tries to be considered Midwestern, but we know better.

Posted by: frostbitten | September 10, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I also wish the public/private school discussion would go away. That decision is very personal and is affected by so much more than politics or even philosophical attitudes.

In rural Oklahoma by and large your kids go to public school whether you like it or not because there aren't any private schools or they are so small they don't offer team sports (the lifeblood of small towns and I bet the same is true for Wasilla). Folks there who don't like the public school home school their kids.

Our urban districts uniformly have low-rated public school systems. I am a big supporter of public school and am delighted that the Boy is finally there. However, the Boy attended private school for 5 1/2 years and would still be in one did we not have a couple of exceptional public specialty schools. Our community has finally got serious about our school problems, and our public schools generally are getting better. However, I had the resources to be able to decide whether to put my principles before the Boy's education and the principles went on the back burner. This keeps me in check whenever I want to get all virtuous about whose kids go where.

Irony check: his private elementary school was good for the early grades, but by 4th grade we discovered the homework was harder and testing more rigorous in the public school.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Naturally, after my long post, new Kit.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 10, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

For the record, my 10:49 comment is about work, not the boodle or anything like that....

Posted by: omni | September 10, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I read Ms. Langer's piece, and it struck me that she's only two years out of school.

At that age,
I was young and angry and
spoiling for a fight,
because I Knew Everything,
and dammit, I was right.

I think that given the perspective of a decade or so and perhaps some significant off-hours exposure to "regular" folks who live on the East Coast (rather than say, college students), Ms. Langer may have a different view of life in general and the people that live here in particular.

Could be that she might cringe when she thinks about what she's written in that Outlook piece.

Or, by then she'll have been assimilated into the East Coast Elite Collective.


Posted by: bc | September 10, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Resistance is futile.

You will be assimilated to Starbucks and listening to politics in your car or collective-provided public transit on the commutes from forever.

You shall service the urbanized economy and add your nattering nabob skills to our own.

Resistance is futile. Welcome to the Elite East Coast Collective.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

New kit, by the way.

Posted by: Wilbrod | September 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Um, is it just me, or does that bat have a mullet?!?!

Posted by: Tyler | September 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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