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Playing the Dull Card

Missing from the excellent Harris-Vandehei screed on the stultifying nature of Tuesday's debate was an acknowledgment that Obama has a strategic reason for playing the dull card. When ahead, and on the verge of running away with an election, you don't need to become more exciting. You're Ohio State running out the clock against Michigan. Keep it on the ground, right up the middle.

Obama's strategy for the past five months has been to find a way to become more conventional in the eyes of nervous voters who think any black man is going to insist on taking the oath in a Dashiki. Thus he wins simply by lulling the swing electorate into a stupor. (His supporters are sufficiently ramped that they don't need further inspiration.)

McCain is the guy throwing the Hail Mary passes once a week. His latest, vowing to turn the Treasury into a mortgage clearing house for individual homeowners, may have been the most ambitious socialist proposal since the days of Norman Thomas. Conservatives abominated the idea, and liberals didn't understand it. Obama said it would cost too much, though fiscal prudence is not exactly the flavor of the month. (In recessions, it's good to run a deficit, we're told, but maybe someone should point out that this Keynesian response to an economic crisis is much easier to pull off when you aren't ALREADY $10 trillion in the red.)

For the record, I don't worry about money. Not having any money, nor any prospects of ever having any, makes this economic crash much easier to handle. I keep telling my wife: "Don't worry, we're poor! It doesn't affect us!" We can scrimp and save and somehow get by, particularly when the kids realize that college is now out of the question.

Note that Krauthammer conceded the election last week and George Will conceded it this week. The emerging story of the second week of October is what you might call the Secretariat Scenario: A runaway.

I doubt that'll happen -- and the cautious observer would never underestimate the unpredictability of the American people. A Bradley Effect should keep it close if nothing else -- and there are still endgames to be played. But you'd be disingenuous if you didn't at least countenance the thought that this thing is starting to look like it's over.

If so, that raises an interesting question: At what point would John McCain start thinking about his legacy rather than a victory? Calling Obama a terrorist sympathizer won't work -- the guy's too dull to be any such thing! He's Ward Cleaver!

McCain is extremely image-conscious. My guess (and this is worth about as much as one share of GM stock) is that at some point he will decide that talking about Bill Ayers will neither win him votes nor the approbation of history.


Von Drehle on The Moment:

"...[D]rivers in the Southeast are creeping around town with their gas gauges on empty, searching for a pump that isn't dry. And while oil companies said supply would improve by Columbus Day, the long lines aren't the only thing giving us déjà vu. We've got an unpopular President in the White House, trouble with Iran and economists raising the specter of stagflation. Russia has invaded a neighboring country. The Yankees couldn't make the playoffs. Breaker 1-9: Was that a purple Gremlin that just rolled by?

"The credit crisis has commentators dusting off comparisons to the 1930s, but so far, this feels more like a '70s flashback. It's not just that Zac Efron's hair is almost as shaggy as Shaun Cassidy's or that jeans are once again worn tight enough to read Braille through the back pocket. It's the whole feckless, zipless, helpless vibe that has settled across the land, from the factories of Motor City to the gas lines of Charlotte, from the boardrooms of New York to the subdivisions of California. What's that word again? Oh, yes: malaise."


Here's a break from financial crisis and politics: A Titanic story!

"...the problem was not just one of incompetence and poor construction. It was negligence: the ship's builders suspected that the ship's hull was too flimsy, but they overrode the concerns of their engineer in a bid to get the Titanic on the seas in time."

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 9, 2008; 7:57 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama vs. McCain Round 2
Next: Achenbach Update


Third? I want to answer Maggie O'D's questions from the last kit.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Second! I second that, Yoki, please tell. I had no idea Dirda's chat was going away too - it's a doggone shame, dagnabbit.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 9, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I've palmed a Titanic rivet once and held a tiny piece of her hull (a micro Charpy) as well between my fingers. Good old times.
The steel of the Titanic wasn't very good, even for the time.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 9, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I see in the Titanic article that the disaster had a common thread with our problems today,"There was all this money being thrown at an industry that was virtually unregulated.” Why do we never learn that without some rules in place, people in power will sooner or later cause a catastrophe.

I enjoyed the fun this afternoon and was sorry, as usual, that I could not participate. But you are all too quick for me anyway. I do hope in four weeks time to be singing Another One Bites the Dust as McCain sings I Got Plenty of Nothin.’

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 9, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

>>Is anyone else as sad as I am that Adrian Higgins and Michael Dirda's Chat have gone? I learned so much from both of them. Why did the Post close them down, or did they do it? I missed whatever explanations they gave.<<

I am, Maggie. I didn't read Higgins (es's) chat, thought I popped in late once or twice to appreciate his style. I am *bereft* at the loss of Dirda. He published and answered many of my comments. I was devoted to the Dirda book-chat. I feel it as a great loss, that he's gone. In fact, I think a few Kits back I expressed just this. Sorrow.

My comfort is that he shut it down himself (or maybe took a buy-out [no, that can't be right, because he'd already resigned from the Post's Book World, a couple of years ago] and then accepted that the Online Discussion went with it, but at least he said he'd decided on it). And that he's starting a discussion group sometime soon, so that we can talk books there.

I was secretly in love with him. He knew every piece of European Literature ever published (and many others, and read French in the original!), and could call up the names of authors, titles, editions... in a heartbeat. An awesome reader.

And he was very funny. Melancholic, often depressed, often manic. Erudite. Good looking. Sigh.

I miss the Dirda book chat.

I'm looking forward to the Discussion Group.

I saw an announcement that the chats were being streamlined (another loss) (probably for revenue reasons). There will be always fewer of them. A mistake to my mind, except that I'm sure the real journalists find them a distraction from their real jobs. The variety and wit of the chats is one of the things that hooked me on (and thus led me to the Boodle), however, and losing any of them, however imperative, is a sad thing for the

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Just turned on the TV.
Some kind of SNL special going on on NBC?

On the last debate. Funny.

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 9, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I've been kinda keeping up, and I don't think there was a real reason given. My guess is that the decision was financial in origin: not enough eyes on those two chats to make them solvent. IIRC, the hosts receive payment ($100 was what Bob Levey got, I think he said). So, though millions of us loved and read the two regularly, they're off to another venue. Discussions like Hax Philes and Weingartens, I believe.

Nobody better mess with Achenblog, though. We'll storm the building.

Posted by: slyness | October 9, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I think I knew that Adrian's chat was going away, and now I vaguely remember you mentioning Dirda's (I'm so frazzled I can't keep up with anything). I admired him and enjoyed his discussions, even though I haven't actually read of the books he talked about. Occasionally though, he'd mention a favorite of mine (Ruth Rendell, for example) and it would make me feel good. Let us know where he winds up online.

DNA Girl, I just saw this about Joe Biden reacting to the SNL skit lampooning him:

Oh, and this is nice (not) -

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 9, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

SCC - most of - haven't read most of

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 9, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea what the chats were till I heard them mentioned in the Boodle. I started reading GeneW's, then branched off to Dirda and Higgins and J Freedom du Lac, Lisa de Mornaes, Liz - when I had time. I think they're great, and it's a shame to see them cut back on something that gives readers connections to the Post, for a small amount of time. Maybe they've let all the chat "producers" go...

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 9, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I did not SECRETLY love Dirda. I publicly adore him. He's all that you said, plus more. I've never learned as much about European literature as I've learned from him. I hope to continue.

As for Professor Higgins, I haven't seen anything about his continuing anything like his very informative chats.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 9, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Dirda and Higgins are both supposed to have discussions, I think.

I don't particularly care for the discussion format. I find it not-so-easy to follow, with none of the continuity, wit, and community of the blogs. It doesn't help that the type is very small on my browser. I guess I should try to change that.

Those of you who follow the discussions, what do you think?

Posted by: slyness | October 9, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear from you Joel! Fascinating Titanic story. Kinda like the Challenger.

You know, at one point I really felt that a McCain presidency wouldn't be that bad. But I think the true nature of a candidate comes out when he, or she, is behind. Now he scares me.

Loved the Von Drehle piece. But the sick twisted thing is that I kinda liked the 70s. On some level I wouldn't mind doing it again. Except without the acne.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 9, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Great line, Joel.

"Obama's strategy for the past five months has been to find a way to become more conventional in the eyes of nervous voters who think any black man is going to insist on taking the oath in a Dashiki"

Mind you, it'd be a tasteful, subdued Dashiki. None of that lurid orange.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 9, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Dare To Be Dull

It's got a ring to it.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 9, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I like the Dashiki line too. But then, I like Dashikis - very 70s.

Maggie, you linked to the review of Sarah Vowell's new book the other day, I think. She was on the Daily Show (Tue night?) and mentioned that she was reading FDR's fireside chats to cope with the financial crisis - as the contemporary politicians aren't helping much.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 9, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

slyness - Are there really still gas shortages down by you?

I was just wondering that today, cause I've noticed that our prices are quite a bit down. It seems weird to think that only a few hours away people are having a hard time finding gas.

Posted by: astromom | October 9, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, you can change the font size on your 'puter. If you need help to do that, just call. There are many people more qualified than me (like, your average 6-year-old) to elicit your precise browser, version, computer serial number, IP address, OS, etc. than I, but I usually manage to find the right button to push ("button" to click on or dialogue box to cancel) to cause the change without infecting the OS with a virus (or worm, or self-replicating programimg error or whatever the newest version of malware might be).

I *love* the discussion format. I think is making a serious mistake in having fewer of them. They aren't that easy to follow in real time, but when I got good at it, I was addicted.

Just want to say this. I expect that Joel will shut down the kit-and-boodle blog in good time; don't know what that time is, but maintaining a blog is a full-time job, and I expect as there are fewer good reporters who are good writers (Joel is both, and very funny too) on staff, he'll be required to focus on the "real" job of being a reporter and writer and he'll (not only very reluctantly, but with pain) be forced to make a choice between the paying work and us. (I'm Henry James v.2.0!). We'll find another venue to continue this continuous tea-party/salon/bar/billiard hall conversation as regulars when that happens.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I did. I think she's amazing. A hipster view of America and American history.

As a townie in Harvard Square in the sixties, I was amazed at the men in native African dress. They were so exotic and amazing to me. So, if Obama were to wear one at his inauguration, I'd be happy.

(I don't recall any women in African dress.)

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 9, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

All truth be told, those big liners weren't "damage resistant". A couple of years after the Titanic disaster the Empress of Ireland got cut in two by a mid-sized collier (coal carrying ship). She was a bit older than the Titanic but still, these ships were built without much thought toward damage resistance and over 1000 people died in the cold water of the St-Lawrence. They were built assuming "normal conditions of transport". accidents were considered acts of god(s) or something.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 9, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I've linked to this maritime museum before but I really like it. Three things: the Empress of Ireland, the Bras d'Or, and now poor old tired Onondaga. And the fishing isn't bad on the quay. I caught a wolfish once out there. A tiny one but still.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 9, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

No one told me there'd be evenning work. I want to talk to the shop steward.

Yoki, I've found that yawning at cats seems to put them at ease. Stretching out in the sun let's them know that you're one of them. Just try to stay awake.

Posted by: Boko | October 9, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know about the Empress of Ireland, but my parent sailed to England when they were first married on the Empress of {Something) and then sailed back to Canada a few years later with young Peter on the Empress of (Something else). The CP ships have a proud history but not on account of my family having sailed in 'em.

The lake freighter Onondaga is now permanently moored in Kingston Harbour, and is used as a B&B. I have dreams of taking over the whole ship for a family or friends reunion and holding a murder mystery night aboard 'er.

With the way my RRSP is responding today, though, that dream is on an infinitely receding horizon.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see Alanis Morrisette and Def Leopard on CBC to-night? Anyone, say, in Detroit?

Posted by: Boko | October 9, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I do all that kitty-talk. I scrinch my eyes in a kitty-smile (he likes that) and stretch out with my front down and my rear up, and I sit quietly.

He still doesn't like me!

He'll get there, though, since he's resident in my room and the weather is getting colder. One of these late nights he'll jump up onto our bed and I'll invite him into the warm without any talk, and he'll then be entranced with me.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

The SNL was a special election primetime episode that was a debate parody and an extended Weekend Update segment. I think there is another one next week.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 9, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Boko my husband came up to tell me Alanis was on some sort of NHL opening night show.

Posted by: dmd | October 9, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHA! Love dmd's husband.

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

G'night all. Gotta go see how the Flames are doing. Flames against Canucks. How Canadian is that?

Posted by: Yoki | October 9, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

About 91% in the past 11 post.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 9, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

SCC please add an s somewhere, cripes.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 9, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Hate to break up the Canucki Hockey Hour, but this rant about McCain's problem with bear genes is pretty good:

Once again, you read about it on the Achenblog first.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 9, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Muricans, we are all hot and heavvy because of Thanksgivings this next Sunday. We'll calm down. We just love to worship our Canadian God, the Big Canoe.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 9, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Hockey Night in Canada. With a case of Brador, and little else to do. "we stand on guard for theeeeeeee!"

Posted by: jack | October 9, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

The first thing I noticed as a high school student visiting the main Penn State campus, circa 1967, was that there seemed to be a fair number of Indians around (not the Native American variety) but hardly anyone who looked the least bit African. Turned out it was a big problem for the university.

Gas is $3.50 in town. A truck stop at the next town is advertising $3.25. No shortages.

Stocks are already plummeting in east Asia. Can't someone shut down the American markets until Tuesday?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 9, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 9, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh jack. You've just attacked my national anthem and my national sport. Seriously consider how it would feel, reverse-wise.

Boko, excellent and funny.

Score between Flames and Canucks - 0-0. First game of the regular season. Hope it's better than the last three (one missed).

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Hello? Hello? Maggie, is that you?

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Bacik from work after a pretty moonlit ride,work was...well work and I am so ready for the weekend. It can't be anywhere close to as much fun as I had last weekend.But still it will be fun.

Speaking of Alanis Morrisette.Did anyone ever see the movie "dogma".I just loved it at the end, her being god and trying to do handstands.....Whenever I hear her music,I think of that and just start giggling.

Congrats to the Phillies tonight.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 10, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. My condolences to you and your family.

The Japan’s stock market is down 10% and the country is on the brink of a recession. It would take them more then a couple of years to get out of the recession. There goes my Japanese fund.

The retirement age of both Bn and M’sia is 55 years. In 2 years, I won’t be able to renew my work permit anymore. In Bn, there are no retirement programmes for expats. You are on your own. With all the markets doing so badly, I’m not going to look up to see how my investments are doing. I’ll worry about them in 2 years. In the meantime, I’m just going to eat, drink and be merry. You can’t get alcoholic drinks here, but you can get bubbly grape juice. You can get high with all the sugar and bubbles in you stomach.

Posted by: rainforest | October 10, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

It is incredibly naïve of Greenspan to believe that Wall Street could self-regulate effectively and not be greedy.

“The problem is not that the contracts failed, he says. Rather, the people using them got greedy. A lack of integrity spawned the crisis…”

Posted by: rainforest | October 10, 2008 3:47 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. You know, Yoki, I'm thinking the same thing about the Achenblog, and it does not feel good. With so much going on with finances here in this country, I'm thinking maybe some tightening of the belt. I hope not for the Achenblog. What a mess!

As for the kit, I don't have any money either. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm hoping, along with other recipients that our Social Security doesn't come into play with this mess. I've never seen anything like this in my life. It's as if we don't have a President. It's as if he's already clearing bush in Texas, and everything is running on auto pilot.

I don't pretend to understand the depth of this financial crisis, but if confidence and enthusiasm have anything to do with this, I suspect we're in dead water. The perception for most people is that this is not good even without total understanding. This in itself does not brode well because then people kind of hunker down. And let us not leave out fear. Add fear to the mix of anything and it's like losing electricity, all bets are off. It seems someone should be on television telling us something instead of just letting the sky fall? I don't know if that would help or not. Consideration of the person talking would have to play into that, and I'm not sure the one that should be doing that, has any clout in that area.*sigh*

Mudge, Martooni(where are you?)Slyness, Scotty, and all, good morning.*waving*

Have a great day, folks, and add some prayer in there. It was dreary yesterday, but warm and humid. Don't know what it will look like today.

Fingers looking like twinkes this morning. Today is FRIDAY, a good day to rest. Time for the weekend. Have fun, kids.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 10, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse


I saw the pictures, and you do great work. I don't like taking pictures(can you tell), but they only show what is there.

Almost forgot.........

A small article this morning in the local paper concerning a larger piece in the New York Time about voting here in North Carolina. It seems the story in the Times accuses the state of North Carolina of disenfrancising voters. Of course, the small article refutes that story with lines about what they do here in North Carolina concerning voting. There's even a plug in there about them going through the Justice Department, and I'm thinking, surely this does not help your cause. Why is the Justice Department needed if the State doesn't have a problem?

Posted by: cassandra s | October 10, 2008 4:33 AM | Report abuse

'morning all.
Mudge, don't go near the Krautster. Is he on the GOP payroll?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 10, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning and happy Friday to all!

It's my day to go sit at the fire museum and wait for people who never come. Oh well, I have to do my part.

Astromom, the gas shortage is easing in this region. It was worst in the southern mountains, around Asheville. Stations now have regular, although not everybody has all grades. I filled up Wednesday at the Exxon closest to me, for $3.499. That compares favorably to the $3.95 I paid in Asheboro on my way home Sunday afternoon. We couldn't help but notice that gas prices rose the further south we came from D.C.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

The nice utility company came by at 2 am and jackhammered up my driveway to fix my electrical outage. The foreman warned me that my neighbors wouldn't be too happy, but since their power was out too, nobody came over to complain.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Norton has quarantined 329 cookies from my laptop this morning. Husband said, that's not so many. I looked at them, they were from old pop up ads, mostly.

SNL skit of the second debate was funny. News update desk was pretty good, loved the "fix it" guy.

You all were so good yesterday with the light hearted books and songs boodle puns.

Kim, I'm leaving in a little while to go to the beach to help my mother discard stuff in anticipation to her move next month to independent/assisted living. I'll be away from my computer this weekend, but sometime when we are down there would be nice to meet with you and others who may be in Southeastern VA/NC. Anybody, actually, from the boodle.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 10, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Morning everyone! We down here in 'merica have a three day weekend coming up too, of course. This is Columbus Day, or, as it is more commonly known, Guilt Day.

rainforest - have I mentioned that I think your posts are absolutely brilliant? I must add you to the long list of people I could easily sit and chat with for hours.

VL - good luck with that task. Not a fun one, I know.

Time to fire up a couple of them electronic difference engines and get them crankin. Sometimes when its cold you have to kick em a few times before they will work right.

Kinda like me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Hard to believe that just a week ago we were in DC, time flys. Busy three day weekend coming. Must finish hemming #2’s wedding dress, make her a little white drawstring bag, and get her over here to try the dress on again. Plus try to get some chores done in the yard and change over my clothes for winter.

The young woman I work with who is going on maternity leave soon has decided to get married the day before my daughter. She mentioned that her dress is a bit long. You know the rest. At least all this keeps my mind off my shrinking investments.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 10, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I never for a moment worry about my money lost in this market meltdown...I have none, and if I did have some, I would accept its fleeting and ethereal nature and know it could all be gone in an instant. It is just numbers after all. I am not going to worry if I lose everything. Been there before, came through ok, maybe even better than ok. This last 18 years has been the gravy years of my lifetime, with good jobs and solid steady pay cheques.

What I do think about is how long it will take for this market kerfuffle to hit the street and cause job losses. That is when it really gets grim. That is when the ripples begin to hurt not just our investments but our daily bread.

Posted by: dr | October 10, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Rushing off to the flight line.

Posted by: Brag | October 10, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Blog spam alert at 7:03

And something far more troubling here:

Particularly because the candidates aren't doing much of anything to dissuade the disturbingness... *SIGHHHH*

Hi rainforest!!

Didn't have the bestest of Dawn Patrols this morning -- lost track of the battery level on my MP3 player so it shut down, and I had to give up on the book I was reading. Oh well, a long weekend awaits!

*making-the-best-of-it-and-not-having-to-try-too-hard-while-the-Boodle's-around Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

The "college fund" I alluded to yesterday was a UGMA account my father had set up for my son that only just got recently transferred to my son. While not enormous, it was nothing to sneeze at either. Not knowing what to do with it, I just rolled it over. The third quarter statement showed that it had lost 15% as of 9/30. FSM only knows how little there is left of it now. That horse is gone, so there is little reason to lock the barn door.

The only question for people with money in the market is "Where's the floor?"

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Front page alert! You all be careful while I'm gone.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady - yes, please let me know when you're down here. I'd love to get together for lunch or whatever...we could go to the new McCormick and Schmicks here to really make it a miniBPH. I think I'm the only boodler in this neck of the woods. If you and TBG have ever been in touch, she knows my number.

Posted by: Kim | October 10, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Yoki: I apologize for offending you regarding hockey and the Canadian National Amthem. When my family has retired for the evening, I often watch sports, and am especially fond of hockey. When I was younger, it was a treat to have a case of Brador to accompany the game. I lament the passing of the Stanley Cup playoff from the airwaves on this side of the border. I also take the time to participate in the singing of the National Anthems, not out of a desire to be rude, but respectful. I have taken the time to teach my children the words to the Canadian National Anthem, so they are able to sing it when we attend a hockey match. Again, I apologize. I had no intentin of being disrespectful.

Posted by: jack | October 10, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to say "dull" describes this analysis of Obama's debate performance. Not as in "boring", but as in "obtuse, lacking keenness of perception".

Obama understands perfectly what a presidential debate is: it is an audition, a job interview if you will, before the American public for the job as U.S. President. And he conducted himself in a precisely appropriate way - showing that he has the qualities we need and expect for the person to whom that job is entrusted.

Posted by: Carey | October 10, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Yea Jack!!

Interesting article on Ayers, I have been curious about the fuss over this issue.

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Very wise words dr. Very wise words indeed.

I anticipate another bloody day. But, as has been commented on at length, it is only a loss if you sell.

I am hopeful that over the long weekend some kind of unified global approach will be worked out.

And who knows. In some poorly-defined way perhaps in the long term this economic downturn will be good for the planet and the people who live here. I like to be optimistic. I'm kinda stupid that way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Thanks jack. Have a great Friday everyone. Anybody up for an early out before the long weekend?

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Someone linked to an article on the fire on the USS Forrestal (aka the Forest Fire) and McCain's actions during it. I mentioned it to Raysdad, and he offered to discuss it here. They used it as an extensive case study when he attended Damage Control Officer's school (or whatever they call it) in the late 70's. Anyone interested?

Posted by: Raysmom | October 10, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Maybe so. All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. I'd appreciate it if someone would bring a spelling primer, as I still have trouble negotiatiating words like intentin.

Posted by: jack | October 10, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Yup, I'm up for it, but it ain't gonna happen for me, Yoki. But I've got 3 glorious days off as of approx. 4 pm, so it's all good. I think the hubby and I are going to go see "Appaloosa" tonight. Viggo and Ed Harris seems like a killer combo to me.

Good night, rainforest. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: Kim | October 10, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I am already out for the weekend Yoki!

Beautiful clear morning here, looking at the sunshine on the golden yellow leaves of the locust out my window.

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that would be interesting Raysmom. A friend of mine's father was on the Forrestal when the conflagration occurred. She really didn't know much about it, because he never talked about it but she told me that during the last few days of his life as he went in and out of consciousness, he was clearly re-living it; crying out for help, screaming orders, etc. Awful.

Posted by: Kim | October 10, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Be sure to read the "where they are now" at the end and let your friends have an opportunity to read this !!

Here is a quick look into 3 former Fannie Mae executives who have brought down Wall Street.

Franklin Raines was a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Fannie Mae. Raines was forced to retire from his position with Fannie Mae when auditing discovered severe irregularities in Fannie Mae's accounting activities. At the time of his departure The Wall Street Journal noted, " Raines, who long defended the company's accounting despite mounting evidence that it wasn't proper , issued a statement late Tuesday conceding that "mistakes were made" and saying he would assume responsibility as he had earlier promised. News reports indicate the company was under growing pres sure from regulators to shake up its management in the wake of findings that the company's books ran afoul of generally accepted accounting principles for four years." Fannie Mae had to reduce its surplus by $9 billion.

Raines left with a "golden parachute valued at $240 Million in benefits. The Government filed suit against Raines when the depth of the accounting scandal became clear. . The Government noted, " The 101 c harges reveal how the individuals improperly manipulated earnings to maximize their bonuses, while knowingly neglecting accounting systems and internal controls, misapplying over twenty accounting principles and misleading the regulator and the public. The Notice explains how they submitted six years of misleading and inaccurate accounting statements and inaccurate capital reports that enabled them to grow Fannie Mae in an unsafe and unsou nd manner." These charges were made in 2006. The Court ordered Raines to return $50 Million Dollars he received in bonuses based on the miss-stated Fannie Mae profits.

Net windfall . . . $190 million!

Ti m Howard - Was the Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae. Howard "was a strong internal proponent of using accounting strategies that would ensure a "stable pattern of earnings" at Fannie. In everyday English - he was cooking the books . The Government Investigation determined that, "Chief Financial Officer, Tim Howard, failed to prov ide adequate oversight to key control and reporting functions within Fannie Mae,"

On June 16, 2006, Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., asked the Justice Department to investigate his allegations that two former Fannie Mae executives lied to Congress in October 2004 when they denied manipulating the mortgage-finance giant's income statement to achieve management pay bonuses . Investigations by federal regulators and the company's board of directors since concluded that management did manipulate 1998 earnings to trigger bonuses. Raines and Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004.

Howard's Golden Parachute was estimated at $20 Million!

Jim Johnson - A former executive at Lehman Brothers and who was later forced from his position as Fannie Mae CEO . A look at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's May 2006 report on mismanagement and corruption inside Fannie Mae, and you'll see some interesting things about Johnson. Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson's 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million." Johnson is currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving as CEO of Fannie Mae.

Johnson's Golden Parachute was estimated at $28 Million.


FRANKLIN RAINES? Raines works for the Obama Campaign as Chief Economic Advisor

TIM HOWARD? Howard is also a Chief Economic Advisor to Obama

JIM JOHNSON? Johnson hired as a Senior Obama Finance Advisor and was selected to run Obama's Vice Presidential Search Committee


Would you trust the men who played major roles in tearing Wall Street down to build the New Wall Street ?

What is wrong with our media, Not reporting the facts ??

Posted by: NOOBAMA2008 | October 10, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Trying to return Snukie's Grover waves, but my lower back (left hip flexor, I think) has decided to cramp up and allow me to scream out every few moments (ow! ow! ow!). Oh, Gawd, I need a massage. . . .

Hope all and sundry (well, maybe not them) have a wunnerful day and extended weekend.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 10, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

we are collectively stoopid when it comes to election.

Posted by: jafar | October 10, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

On a personal note, today would have been my parents 55th aniversary, as I look outside I am reminded of the weekend we celebrated their 45th. The weather is almost identical, we was a small just immediate family celebration and my uncle who married them (and has since buried them).

The celebration was in part a fear on moms part that one of them would not be around for their 50th - fortunately they both were.

As you head off to your long weekends give your loved ones an extra hug.


Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' ftb some Advil and instructions on pre-Grover-wave stretching* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I do not have a three-day weekend. We gave up Columbus Day for Martin Luther King day, which is fine with me. In a state with such a high Native American population Columbus Day was becoming more and more problematic, in the same way 89er Day, celebrating the Land Run, has become a two-edged sword in some places.

I guess since we're on the front page I should note that I think Joel's Kit is very sensible. Of course Obama is trying to stay the course, appear presidential and assuage fears that he's some kind of angry, temperamental nut. I find it odd that McCain has apparently chosen the opposite road.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I see on Amazon that Achenbach has six books for sale, just on the first page that comes up -- and he doesn't have money? They don't look like bestsellers I'll see everyone on the metro reading, but still -- his statement is either inaccurate (since the royalties will pay for at least a couple semesters for kids) or depressing (since one can write "The Grand Idea" and apparently not see much financial reward).

Posted by: gringo | October 10, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, in Central Asia, our foreign policy is secerely backfiring. When the name of the game is oil--tsk,tsk,tsk.

Excellent analysis:
U.S. Standing in the Caspian Drips Away.

Posted by: Brag | October 10, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Above post should be--Severely backfiring.

Posted by: Brag | October 10, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Great googly moogly! Dow was down another 500 right after opening, but now it's *only* 366. I heard Bush is planning to address the country again this morning. Yeah, right, that'll settle things down. Maybe we need Liz Kelly to do the address: "yo! carm down!!!"

Posted by: Raysmom | October 10, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Depressing, gringo, depressing. I recommend the books, though - I have four so far and they're good stuff.

You may have missed the humor lurking beneath the surface of this Kit (that's the thing Achenbach wrote up at the top). Partly that sense may be shortened for effect - that is, like most of us reading this, Achenbach is not affected by the crisis in the short term, because he has no significant investments on which he'd counted for income. That is, like most of us here, he doesn't have Money. Some regular readers don't have much money either.

Gas prices here are around $2.71. They haven't been this low in a long time, but nobody is real happy about it. For one thing we don't expect it to last. For another, they're low because of the general financial mess, the credit crunch, and the collective move towards less energy use as a result. As an energy-producing state, there's a point at which lower gas prices mean lower state revenue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I found this interesting, mainly cause I didn't realize that there were multiple definitions of "billion". I guess I should be glad we use the American definition and not the European one.

Posted by: astromom | October 10, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Raysmom. This is clearly a panic.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Any sightings of Mudge and Martooni?

And I believe there is someone else missing, dare I say the name?

Ivansmom, you make a good point concerning Obama. And I agree with Carey's point too. As for John McCain, desperation = McCain.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 10, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I'd wish everyone a good morning, but it looks like everyone on Wall Street's still riding NASA's Zero-G weightless training aircraft (aka, the Vomit Comet).

Oy vey.

Back on Kit, I agree that Obama's running a solid ground game right now, but isn't he more of a roundball guy?

I'm thinking of the old Four Corners to run out the clock...

More later, kids.


PS I'm avoiding looking at the current value of my 401k just as I'm avoiding slamming my head in a car door.

Posted by: bc | October 10, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

i don't need to know your salary, but you've got to be one of the highest paid writers at the post. why do you say you're poor? is this just a joke?

Posted by: fyodorovich | October 10, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Joel is rich in every way that matters.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 10, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Yoki... I was going to come to jack's defense, but I see he got to it first. He's always made clear his love of hockey and shows the utmost respect for your lovely country and national anthem.

dmd... I wish you lovely memories on your parents' anniversary. I fully appreciate--and second--your sentiments about hugging a loved one today.

My sister and I have recently scheduled a weekly walk together around our neighborhood lake. It's nice for the fitness aspect, but even better to have a solid hour of time between the two of us with no distractions. Even though she lives down the street from me, that time alone together seems very elusive. We've had some splendid mornings together now and I look forward to many more (now that her youngest gets on the school bus every morning).

VintageLady... if you're still online.. contact me at boodler [at] mac [dot] com and I'll pass along Kim's contact info.

Posted by: TBG | October 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

In all fairness, after assigning the Beer song to McCain I now nominate The Ketchup Song for John Kerry.

Yoki, do you know anybody on McGill’s Muggle Quiddish Team? I saw a short piece on TV last night about it. The hula hoop, the big plastic “bludgeons”, the guy in gold; it’s so lame that it is funny.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 10, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Gringo, you apparently don't know much about the book publishing business. The notion that authors make lots of money is a myth. The 20 or 30 at the top of the food chain make millions; everybody else, just about zip. Making money isn't why people write.

Scotty, it's beginning to look like my ol' Fuldullfya Phillies might be going mano a mano 'gainst your ol' BoSox in the Big Enchilada. Wouldn't that be great? (You must be a bit nettled at the loss of Manny Ramirez, though. I was ready to strangle him after that first inning last night.) Good luck tonight.

Dow only down 48 points at the moment. But yes, this is just plain nuts. "Fear" and "Panic" shouldn't be factors in the nation's economic future, and any system that lets them operate is by definition dysfunctional.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

AnonyMudge, I don't miss Manny for a minute, and thanks. Fingers will be crossed, hats will be worn, various cats will scamper for cover repeatedly due to high-volume outbursts.

Looks like someone managed to jam a few pitons into the face of the Dow and get the team under control. For now.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

SCC Quidditch

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 10, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

No doubt there will still be a Bradley effect, but generations have changed. Many hardliners are dead, many new young voters think differently. There may also be the opposite of a Bradley effect: White voters in the South may be scared to admit to pollsters that they are NOT voting for McCain. Palin will not help McCain since she only rouses people who would have voted for him anyway but attracts no additional voters.

Posted by: bodo | October 10, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that was me, if you couldn't tell. Name box had disappeared again.

fyodorovich, you don't know (a) what newspaper people get paid, and (b) what it costs to live in Washington and environs. (And that's considering that Posties get paid better than most, because it is both a big paper and a union paper.)

I have mixed feelings about the Dirda book chat. I used to follow it for a while, but lost interest. I didn't mind that Dirda was pretty high-brow---but it got kinda wearisome after a while dwelling in those rarified airs, I thought. And yes, he's moody and depressed and depressing. And just didn't seem interesting in firing up or engaging his chatters very much, IMHO. Would much rather Yardley did a chat, but I guess he won't. Always loved Yardley's non-book columns.

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

One of G. Gordon Liddy's stylistic tics is that he never uses the word billion or trillion, instead using "thousand million" or "million million". And I have now confessed to having heard Liddy's radio show.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Bush made his speech and the Dow is down 300.

I just need to stop watching. It changes nothing except my stress level.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 10, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

*faxin' Raysmom one of those little squeezie things for stress relief* :-)

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

The market's open on Columbus Day, so I'm working too.

Can't decide whether it would have been a good or bad thing if it wouldn't be open. :-) :-(

Posted by: dbG | October 10, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Y'all mised this one:

Tevye the Boodler

Which was adapted to the Tony award winning musical:

Boodler on the Roof

And later made into an Academy Award winning movie.

Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom - you and I both. And about a billion others. Intellectually I know that this is just temporary. I know that as long as I don't touch my savings everything will be okay. I know that we are all in this together and that in bad times the best in people can come out. I know that the world isn't ending. But there is still that primal part in my brain that doesn't accept this.

Interesting times. Interesting times.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm a living example and warning to others that few writers make money. One writes because one has to.

Posted by: Brag | October 10, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

BTW, e'en as we speak, the adjacent (to me) Washington Navy Yard is celebrating Navy Day, the Navy's 233rd birthday, as are many other Navy stations across the country and overseas.

No, today isn't Navy Day; that would be Monday, the 13th. But it is being celebrated today because Monday is Columbus Day, a national holiday, even though Monday isn't, actually, Columbus Day (which is actually Sunday). So we're celebrating Navy Day today because Monday is a holiday of a day that is really not on Monday. Is this all perfectly clear? Good.

Now, in honor of Don from I-270, Raysdad, Kim's friend's dad, and various and sundry other nautical persons attendent to or affiliated with this here Boodle, here's a trivia question for you:

Multiple Choice.

The Navy's first four ships:

a) Were named Black Prince, Defiance, Katy, and two ships were named Sally (yes, that's five names. You counted correctly)

b) Were named after a Saxon king and three Italians (though two had anglicized names)

c) Hannah, Speedwell (renamed Franklin), Eliza (renamed Hancock), Lee and Warren (yup, that's five, again)

d) Never had more than 10 guns each

e) All of the above

Uh-huh. You guessed it. Here's why:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

To second Mudge's answer to fyodorovitch, and at risk of tediously repeating myself, let me remind folks new to Achenblog that it is at least in part a humor column. Joel tries (and, I believe, succeeds) to comment on a topic with both wit and insight, often using humor to carry the point but sometimes allowing it to lurk just beneath the surface, ready to grab the reader like a giant squid. Or something. So, in part, the assertion that Joel has no money was something of a joke, truth in exaggeration's clothing. I hope that is clearer now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Zackly, Brag.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I think that someone should try to append a gag order to the Bailout package which specifically prevents anyone in the Administration or the Cabinet from speaking on the Economy during business hours.

Every time Bush, Paulsen, or Bernanke speaks into a microphone in front of cameras these days, people feel worse and I lose money.

I think Jon Stewart put it best when he said, "Shut the $*&% up!"



Posted by: bc | October 10, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

You're faxing *me* to Raysmon, Scotty?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The wonders of fax technology know no bounds, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

as a student of socialism, i hear quiet talk about the subject from the media and other pundits.
The definition of socialism is: In a socialist community, a neighbour owns a cow, and i own a bull, we mate the two and extend the family,in the meanwhile my family has milk, cheese and butter. THE CAPITALIST will sell the bull for an immediate profit and complain about the price of milk.
AMERICA'S moralty meter is judged by the stock market meter, who's real level is 7500 not 14000. TO SUCCEED THE GREAT CAPITALIST SOCIATY MUST START FROM '0' BASE BUDGETING.

Posted by: walt | October 10, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Liddy must be trying to sound like an old-style Brit.

I missed a chance to get some baby Seminole pumpkin plants last night. Perhaps just as well--erecting the Ikea trellis is on hold until winter. Pumpkins and squashes make lots of healthy food for relatively little effort and of course squashes grow happily with maize and beans.

Given Joel's thrifty-of-necessity mentality, I suspect there's some squashes near the Porch. Me, I'm hoping that two young avocado trees will yield guacamole next year.

One of the better bits of the recent movie "Bottle Shock" involved the wine seller from Paris visiting someone's Napa vineyard, greeted with wine and a molcajete (lava-rock mortar) full of guacamole. The perfect presentation, of course, and something that would have been exotic to a Paris resident back in the 1970s. Not to mention the notion of wine with squashed avocados.

Then again.... the French word for avocado is "avocat", which also means lawyer, and in Spain they're called "abogados"--also meaning lawyer.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 10, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I hope to share a case of Brador with Jack while watching a hockey game. We can belch each others national anthems at each other. Hey jack! Can you make those underarm fart noises? You must. You're a teacher fer crying out loud.

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse
A friend has written a book, a thriller about voting machines.

Raysmom, by all means add more to your knowledge of the Forrestal thing. I used to be a forensic failure analyst, which is not a loss prevention thing per se, but I still have the mindset for risk control.

Boko, I didn't mean to dis all who correctly analyzed the power company's lies. I know you figured it out.

TBG, you are everywhere. I checked out Nsenga Burton's column today ("The 'N' Word") and while stalking her stalker, saw you had chimed in after me. I think that troll dude has a secret crush on her. This is probably more common than we want to think about.

I really don't remember making it clear here that I got laid off about 6 weeks ago. I'm no longer in the land-raping business, thank goodness. I hated it. Only part of it involved putting faroff developments on former farmland. I did enjoy working in the inner city infill developments. Sort of. Mostly my feelings were reflected in this article, though:

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

May things improve for you soon, Jumper.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

mornin all
Now I am totally confused about this weekend Mudge,thanks buddy!!

The market is open on Monday? Good cause I need eggs,milk,bread,butter and cheese.

Oh dbG that market!! The one that takes your milk money,your bread n butter,and your nest eggs and leaves you feeling cheesy about the whole situation.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

A short History of Time and Boodling.

The earliest evidence that Boodling was practiced in ancient Egypt was found in Aswan while digging in the grave of Tutankaboodle.

Later, Alexander the Boodler marched through Central Asia and founded the city of Kaboodle.

After the fall of the Roman Empire. The Ottomans ruled from Constantaboodle.

In the 17th. Century, Ivan the Boodler defeated the non-boodling not kiting Mongols.

At the end of the 15th. Century C. Columbus boodled his way in the Spanish court and got three ships. He Sailed westward and arrived in the New World on Columbus day.

In 1812, Napoleon Bonaboodle invaded Russia and Occupied Moscow by mistake.
The non-boodling Czar Alexander dud not boodle that the capital had moved to Saint Petersburg. Faxing not being perfect then, Napoleon ran out of avocados and had to baakbuddle to Paris.

Posted by: Brag | October 10, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I think they will improve in about 30 seconds. Sierra Nevada is calling my name. 98% of the time, I'm still a 4:00 guy. But Columbus day looms: here's to the last guy to discover America.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Brag - brilliant

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Sure, avocado is a cognate to "advocate", a common term for lawyers.

Avocado originally comes from from Nahuatl āhuacatl, meaning "testicle", a reference to their shape. It sounded like the then-spanish term for lawyer (avocado).

The modern spanish term for lawyer is now abogado.

The faint lewdness and the similarity in sound probably led to the hobson-jobson into the lawyer names.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

While everyone frets about the US election and the global economic crisis up here we anxiously awaiting a decision that will affect millions of Canadians.

The selection of the new Hockey Night in Canada anthem.

It is just too nice a day here to think about anything negative - I will save that for another day.

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed The title of this kit is "Playing the Dull Card", but the html file that renders the web page is named "republicans_concede_defeat.html".

Part of Joel's discrete, but not so subtle humor.

Posted by: moderate alien | October 10, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, interesting word origin stuff; if you add in the connection between testicle and testify, it all kind of circles around to where it started...

Posted by: kbertocci | October 10, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Maybe "The Bare Necessities" will cheer you up.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

*Btw, click on the video, mod alien*

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Precisely, although I don't know if testifying on your testicles was still a tradition in mediveal-renaissance Spain. I think that was replaced by swearing on the bible, but Could be.

(Wondering if any boodlers are legal historians.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, ya lost me there, Wilbrod. Are you telling me the name for "lawyer" comes from a word meaning "testicle"?

Interesting they weren't named after the adjoining anatomy.

And it's weird that going back through the Latin, "testimony," "testament," etc., and similar words come from the same root word.

No wonder the law is nuts.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Like you Joel, my partner and I stand to lose not so much. It's the little things we cut out, though, that I end up missing most. We had the big gas shortage here in Nashville, so I'm making sure the tank is always full now and not driving just because it's fun to get out of the house. But as long as there's a dollar menu at Mickey D's, we'll have a meal! (Play the "Gone With the Wind" music here.)

Posted by: Jay in Nashville | October 10, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

*pulling Mudge out of the fax machine*

Sorry to leave you in there so long, buddy.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 10, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

howdy boodle, just coming up for air after my return to our fair city. Looks like a working weekend for me but my how I enjoyed a week off with both the MBPH and registering new voters in the soon to be blue VA as exciting diversions.

I have a box full of mail waiting for me and I am sure there is at least one statement I don't want to see.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 10, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Fun fact: Venezuela just closed all the MacDonald's restaurants for two days. Something about taxes.

No, Mudge, the word for lawyer does not come from the word meaning testicle. Different language roots. Nice try, y'all.

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

Aw, C'mon folks, cheer up. It's only money!

Posted by: moderate alien | October 10, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, no, ahuchatl comes from a word meaning testicle. It got hobson-jobsoned into a pre-existing word in the spanish language "avocado", meaning lawyer.

Hobson-jobson-- come on, your flunkies invented it back in your day, when they rewrote the "Infanta della castilia" sector of London as "Elephant and Castle."

Avocado, advocate, etc. come from ad+ (to) vocatus (having been called, called), from the verb vocare (to call out).

Thus, an advocate is called to speak for you, whether he has a law degree or not.

Testis used to mean witness, and later came to mean testicles too.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Ivansmom for a POLITE reply to my comment about income.

Anonymous, what I do know about the publishing business is that the wife of a friend was able to make decent income by writing okay-selling books for teens. Apparently she stressed vampires. We could discuss the merits of those books vs. those of Achenbach . . . or we could insult each other like children.

So long, I'm going outside for lunch.

Posted by: gringo | October 10, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Uffda. Watching the Dow has given me a headache.

Where is McCain, now? Shouldn't he be addressing the nation, saying, "We're all poor people now."

Posted by: KPage | October 10, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Boodler on the Roof" got me to thinking about a parody of "If I Were a Rich Man"

Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

So, if I get kicked in the crotch, the words I say are a testimonial?

BTW, is the 9:18 true? If so, I am annoyed.

To contrast, Jay came by and seemed like a good sort.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Come back.

My understanding is that the advance for a non-fiction book like Joel writes is in the mid-four figures to very low five figures and that they rarely if ever pay-out past the advance on royalties.

That wouldn't even cover the application fees at some of the colleges Joel has been touring.

Vampires are hot and if you can crank them out frequently enough, I assume you could make a living at it. In the late 1980s I overheard Piers Anthony bragging that he made over a hundred grand a year. For a guy as famous and prolific as he was, that sounded astonishingly low.

I, of course, have never published anything and am talking completely out of my posterior. But I throw the above out so that I can be rudely corrected and reprimanded.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I, of course, have never published anything and am talking completely out of my posterior. But I throw the above out so that I can be rudely corrected and reprimanded.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 12:46 PM

Pathetic, really pathetic.

Posted by: Here you go, loser | October 10, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

We've got maggots!

Posted by: moderate alien | October 10, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The real issue: Does Sarah Palin advocate shooting trolls from airplanes? I know of a very big bridge in Alaska they congregate under.

Posted by: Pseudonymous | October 10, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I expect Blogger to send me a check for two cents or something soon. Frankly I think I'm a better writer than painter, but I sold some art once... or twice. $100 for one of my photomicrographs of alloy crystals, which money one of the gallery owners promptly fled the scene with, and then once for a 4' X 5' piece I worked on for maybe 10 manhours which sold for $280. I did a lot of trading among fellow artists. So I have lots of neat stuff on my walls.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Lonemule the Second back to feed the hand that bites him.

Posted by: Vinegar | October 10, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Jennifer | October 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

You asked for it, yello :-)

Posted by: DNa Girl | October 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008"

...are not Democrats, one can assume.

Posted by: Tautonymous | October 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

When in doubt, go to Snopes.

All three men were big honchos at Fannie Mae. Their involvement with the Obama campaign is slight to non-existent.

Of the three Jim Johnson is the biggest fish, having also sat on the Goldman Sachs board. And we all know where our current Republican appointed Treasury Secretary came from.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Poster child: please follow the Department's policy on insults.
1. all insults must be submitted in triplicate and signed by your Department Chairman and the Assistant Provost
2. all insults must contain new or original material
3. your grade will be credited an additional 2 percentage points if posts employ at least two of the following: irony, puns, poetry, ennui, recursion, self-deprecation, or quantum physics

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Bah, that was meant to be "Antonymous", but my mind was all mixed up.

Posted by: Ananymous, or is that "Suomynana"? | October 10, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, yello! I should have known. Snopes has been overloaded lately, working overtime. I see they fielded this one.

Didja catch my new meme the other day? Religion Hijackers. Works for me.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget this:

Insults containing poop humor, references to losing items, etc. are clearly incorrectly submitted and will be forwarded to the Weingarten chat.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I rather liked Tautonymous, actually.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is acting like an addict of some kind, being prevented from obtaining his next fix.

There is no low, no bottom at which he'll say "here and no further." After having sold his soul to Jerry Falwell and the agents of intolerance, after having sold his pride to Karl Rove and Phil Gramm and the other RNC thugs now out of work because Bush is going ... all he has left is his shame.

And he's keeping that to himself.

Posted by: garffcked | October 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Dang, DNA Girl. Our spamfilter has caught onto Sinfest being quarantined material. Remind me to hunt it down later.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert. I'm going to the bunker to clean the potato chip crumbs from the couch.

Posted by: jack | October 10, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about the "gaze" recently, suddenly reminded me of: long ago, two young women I heard talking about a little boy about eight years old. They were admiring his totally honest approach, where he would stare at their faces and look right at them and say "I LIKE you! You're PRETTY!"

I think he was a Zen Master, myself.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

4/11 on that quiz and I feel no remorse. Neither I nor my father were alive in 1930, so knowledge of obscure demographic facts from that era don't seem particularly relevant.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Frankly I think I'm a better writer than painter, but I sold some art once...

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 1:02 PM


Posted by: Jump! Now! | October 10, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

for those who missed dirda, here's a great poetry blog:

Posted by: fyodorovich | October 10, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt - thanks for the link. My fave line:

"...Jes' Folks butt-ignorance of simple reality..."

Posted by: AZBlueHen | October 10, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a day outside. Walked down to the Subway for lunch. 76 degrees, sunny, hardly a cloud in the sky but a few wispy things. I often think that, pound for pound and day for day, October is really the best month in Washington.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Posted by: Jump! Now! | October 10, 2008 1:39 PM"

The internet doesn't like you.

Posted by: Metonymous | October 10, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a day outside. Walked down to the Subway for lunch. 76 degrees, sunny, hardly a cloud in the sky but a few wispy things. I often think that, pound for pound and day for day, October is really the best month in Washington.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 1:43 PM


Posted by: You often think this, huh? | October 10, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Can we have a smart person to lead our country please, not like the guy with the 6-pack who Palin talks so much about? McCain and Palin - can you feel the desperation oozing from their heads? You can tell a lot about a person's character when they are backed in a corner. Here are some Palin facts with references in case you're still not sure if you like her or not like a few people I know. Be informed. Add some of your own if you want:

Posted by: Boraxx | October 10, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Why do you need excitement from Obama when McCain provides twice as much? My guess is, if Obama becomes POTUS, nobody will notice the White House exists. The government will for all practical purposes be invisible to the American people and quietly do its job-which is how it should be. His campaign is known for 'No Drama'

Posted by: Hobbs | October 10, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Welcome Gringo. Maybe in Joel's case the hourly wage doesn't work out too well? :-)

But, as Jay in Nashville said, there's always Mickey D's

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I often think that. Your reading comprehension skills seem to be improving slightly.

You realize, of course, that you are a pretty sick puppy, don't you?

Posted by: Curmdgeon | October 10, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl, I think that's why Joel invented CarBucks.

Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd argue that October is the best month many places I've been. I'd take all my vacations during it if I could.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

May and October run neck-and-neck for the best months, IMHO, yello. I'd be delighted if we could skip February and August and have two Mays and two Octobers.

But then we wouldn't appreciate them nearly enough.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

7/11 on the quiz.

Mudge I think October and November are out best months here as well.

As I was driving home from the grocery store, I was admiring the beauty of the day, leaves are striking today and on the radio was Green Day's Time of Your Life (very loud). Windows were open, sun roof open, temps in the upper sixties - just does not get any better.

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not very artsy-fartsy and "visual" (as I think Wilbrod might say), but the quality of the light in October always seems a bit different from other months, and somehow "better." Soothing? Tranquil? I may need CP to decipher what's in my head; I can't do it.

The air seems different, too.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh sure, Mudge gets to play with the trolls but when I do it everyone is, like, all weepy and, "O, we wish Boko wouldn't do that, it only encourages them."

Well, maybe not everyone, but you know who you are.


Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The Bradley effect is gone, if it ever existed:

Posted by: Man about time | October 10, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Carbucks deserves a relink:

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 10, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the dmd camp re OctNov being the best months.

You know the saying April Showers bring May Flowers? Well, May is actually the wetter month here in DC.

Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. Despite, as seen here, its obvious dangers:

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Joe Six-Pack may be a bit more sophisticated than pundits allow. The local Wal-Mart sells Widmer beer (from New Hampshire, not Portland) and ice wine (from New York State, but still expensive).

Guacamole with tortillas is a nearly Mexica (Aztec) meal. I doubt that fresh graduates of the University of Florida law school conduct ceremonies under the giant avocado tree in the McCarty Hall courtyard. It seems to have fed generations of UF students and likely has descendents all over the state. It even survived the horrific freezes of the 1980s.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Find your city here:

Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh my dahling, it's out of concern for your safety.

When things get out of control, Mr. Mudge can make a quick getaway to the bunker via the fax machine. What's your plan?

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 10, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, gringo, and thanks for staying. You too, fyodorovich. It is a lovely October day here as well, a little windy but that just reminds us to breathe.

My friend Jim Chastain ( spoke at a lunch today. I've mentioned Jim before; he wrote "I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de France". The bitter irony, of course, being that he now is fighting a different and worse type of cancer. He spoke about his life, and creativity, and read some poems, then answered some very blunt questions about how he and his family have dealt with these illnesses.

I mention this thinking of moderate alien's reminder that it's only money. Hanging out with Jim, who handles this situation with determination and grace, can really make you rethink priorities, check your goals, and generally reexamine your life. In a terrible way his willingness to share his own joys and struggles is a gift to those who hear or read him. On such a beautiful day it was nice to once again have this gentle reminder. The Dow's way down, but by other measures life is good.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

And Mayflowers bring Pilgrims.

Or take away Colts. I didn't even live in Maryland back then and I'm bitter.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm aware I'm breaking all the rules, boko, but I was hoping to engage this particular troll to see what makes him/her tick, find out what kind of jollies the troll gets, what is the source of this person's highly ambivalent need to be so antisocial and alienated from us, yet obviously craving our attention.

Usually when we ignore trolls, they get tired and disappear after a day or two. We've pretty much ignored this one, but he/she keeps coming back. The Lone Mule was a bit anomalous, in that he'd appear, then disappear for months at a time. And he seldom egaged anyone specifically. This one obviously feels quite superior to all of us, yet displays virtually no signs of creativity or humor; I find this disconnect pretty interesting. And unlike most trolls, this one zeroes in on specific people. And he/she has been here before, then went away.

It's got the same fascination as those serial murder movies, where the psycho has some sort of pattern the detectives are trying to figure out: where does the SK go when he disappears, what kind of cycle is he (they are almost but not quite always males) on, why, etc. Of course, this troll isn't a psycho serial killer, of course, but otherwise does exhibit a lot of curious pathological behavior.

If you want to take a shot at him, boko, be my guest. I'd really like this person to open up, but I have no idea if this is even doable.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

And I'd just like to agree with Froomkin and everyone else who has noticed that W should just stop talking. He didn't talk about the crisis for weeks, and we're used to not hearing from him. He just makes things worse.

In fact, I think we should just allow a few spokespersons. I nominate Warren Buffet, whom everyone likes and trusts, to deliver some of the messages. I think to read messages that Paulson, Bernanke etc. would like to deliver, they should get James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman - people with reassuring voices who know how to deliver messages convincingly, who have no connection to the problem and therefore carry no hidden emotional charges. I'm sure there are more candidates but these two come immediately to mind.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Have a great weekend friends. Disconnect from things and go enjoy that great autumnal weather I've heard tell of.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

OK, Boodle, anybody here got some expertise in psychopathology (other than normal childrearing, I mean)? Here's a question I've always wanted to know the answer to:

Does a psycho like (the admittedly fictional) Hannibal Lecter, or the real Ted Bundy, BTK killer, Scorpio, Hillside Strangler, Jeffrey Dahmer, et al. understand that at some level they are seriously wacko? Do they have any self-awareness of their pathology? Or do they see themselves in some way as "normal"? (A lot of thieves and other, lesser 'snae" criminals rationalize their behavior by thinking they are "the same" as everybody else, or everybody else is just as bad or dishonest as they are. But obviously serial killers and serial rapists don't have the luxury of this "I'm just the same as you" rationalization.) I've never known the answer to this.

Ivansmom, you've dealt with a lot of crazoids; do you have any insight into this?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

No, no, Mudge you do your little investigation and find out how this one ticks, I'll just be here in the corner.
But don't you come running to me when it all goes bad, ticking trolls are the most dangerous kind, you know.

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought I perceived some clues, but I could be wrong. First was the appearance and then disappearance of atlmom, I think the name was. Then, there was a someone taunting who gave a name that stayed the same for a while, then went away. I suspected a link, but, again, I could be wrong (I posited a browbeating hubby, interloping to keep spouse in line.)

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, we have a darn fine spokesperson in our midst. And he'd do a *much* better job of reassuring the great unwashed that the sky isn't falling. If he can staunch worries about fallout, he should be more than capable of handling a falling stock market.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - the classes I took in college were mostly normal psychology, but one instructor did describe the psychopathic mind as being characterized by an absolute freedom. Calligula was held up as an example of what happens when a brain truly internalizes the notion that there are no moral constraints. There are lots and lots of reasons for this, but in the final analysis they know that what they are doing is abnormal, but they really don't care. The ultimate example is when you call someone a complete and total monster and they respond. "I know I am. So what"?

These are the scary ones.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Nah, I think they're harmless, Boko. The high water mark of their courage is the anonymous snarky comment. Pretty toothless, I think. It would take some guts to come out in the open and open up, talk, engage, say what's truly on their minds. They aren't at all like normal lurkers who just enjoy hanging out and reading. (Those kind of lurkers, virtually by defuinition, *like* us, and like what we do, and so we naturally like them back, and welcome them when they speak up; we even encourage them. The difference is, the trolls claim *not* to like us. Two vastly different psychologies going on.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

A song for us all

Posted by: nellie | October 10, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I understand the joke DNAGirl, I just think the premise and punch line are silly.

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point, Yoki. Perhaps he could be detailed over to handle this crisis.

Jumper, I believe atlmom is a real person, not the troll. She'd been over at the mommy blog before. I think we just moved on from things that interested her.

Mudge, the most common mental illness causing violent crime I've seen is adult-onset schizophrenia. Those folks do, at least initially, appear to realize they are not like "normal" people. In my experience they come to believe their differences make them superior to normal folk, but they see the difference. I'm not sure about psychopaths and sociopaths. I had a sociopath client once. He was the only one who ever truly scared me. We got along fine and I helped him out but if he'd thought I'd inconvenienced him in some way - well, I'm just glad it didn't happen. Again, he clearly felt superior to everyone. However, I don't know whether he recognized there was a qualitative, substantive difference in his makeup from the rest of society.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I think I've detected at least three diferent trolls the last few days, jumper. The one today, and who I'm addressing, has the characteristic of always changing his handle, and using the handle to make a statement, such "You often think this, huh?" This person was here a few months ago, and is now back.

I think there was a second one, who posted once as OY, and who also went after Wilbrod, and had an antisemitic tinge. That one has disappeared.

I think the troll who we engaged briefly and called Mr. T was a third person, and a newcomer.

Of course, I'm just theorizing, so I could be way off.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, I'm just hoping that atlmom isn't lurking right now and feeling hurt -- she seemed to me completely the kind of likes-us lurker that that Mudge is talking about. Not every lurker who posts a few times becomes a regular, so I wouldn't read anything into stopping in for a while and going away again. It would be a shame if silly insult-troll led us to lose our welcoming stance to new boodlers.

Posted by: bia | October 10, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I dunno 'Mudge. I agree that this person craves attention, but I'm not so sure it doesn't like us. I think it's just jealous and pathetic and lame. Maybe we could teach it some Shakespearean-type insults that would at least make the frequent posts more amusing for us to read?

In fact, anyone might enjoy this:

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the psychology of terrorism is written large, and it's written small. The incredible outpouring of hatred and venom by the (censored) lately is the philosophy of revenge, and destruction for its own sake. I believe the sense of powerlessness is at the core, and I know lots of pros agree with that.

In any case, anyone here who is boring, including me, is on topic anyway today.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

As usual RD got there first and better. At least some of these guys know they're different and they just don't care - except that it makes them better than those of us who are fettered by conscience, society and a concept of ethical behavior beyond the self.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

By "these guys" I refer to the sociopaths, psychopaths and other grandiose criminals, not to the trolls. As so often happens, the conversation took a different turn while I was typing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree. As soon as I saw Jumper's post I thought (and should have said) that I do not for minute think there is any relationship between atlmom and the trolls.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I could look it up, but why, when the boodle's right here?

What's the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?

Posted by: bia | October 10, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

dmd, thanks for the link to the Slate article about Ayers. I'm hoping that the whole thing will blow over, except of course for the people who already think Obama is a terrorist. The name William Ayers would not have rung a bell with me, and I was around in those days. I was anti-war but non-violent, so I disagreed with SDS and the Weathermen, when they advocated bombs and such. I do remember Bernadine Dorhn - but I was surprised that she and Ayers are married. So it wouldn't surprise me that Obama would not have known about Ayers' radical connections. Or maybe not have cared about sitting on a charity board with him.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 10, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, no, I like atlmom. Don't get me wrong. If you knew my best friend was EastCoastKid (yes, THAT one) you'd know. For crying out loud, Randy Burke (Nick Randberg) emails me with insane Ron Paul rants, and he's a great friend. Of course, he makes music, and videos like this one:

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly from so long ago, psychopathy and sociopathy are both considered personality disorders, and similar, but sociopaths are disorganized and act rashly, whereas psychopaths iare strictly organized, secretive and manipulative. My prof used to say that psychopath harder to catch since they leave less evidence evidence behind.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, the superiority - is that a symptom of the disease? And if it is from the disease, how do you place that in assessing if they are in a mental state to truly understand their actions, or in fact have any control over their actions.

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

SCC: heck, just scratch the whole post. Doing too many things at once.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Now I just feel stupid. Nevermind. Sorry.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Waiting a bit more before I head off to the pharmacy for some muscle relaxant, after which, as we *all* know, I won't be able to drive or operate heavy machinery. Which means, of course, that heavy machinery will not be thrown by me, at least, in the direction of various and sundry trolls. I'll try to do it in my mind, tho.

Pain beyond belief, and yet. . . .*sigh*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 10, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hmm,I think the terms overlap a lot. As I recall a psychopath is one with any mental illness that makes him or her dangerous to others. A sociopath is one whose destructive mental illness is specifically geared towards the destruction of social order in general.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I agree altmom is/wasn't a troll.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

SCC: isn't/wasn't. Sheesh. That ("is/wasn't") is almost a shizophrenia joke.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yokis definitions are better, methinks.

Well, I really am outta here.

Happy Thanksgiving all you Canadian-type persons! And happy Politically Incorrect Holiday to you 'mericans. I'm gonna spend the weekend getting the yard ready for winter. Especially since I might find it prudent to tear up the turf come spring and plant naught but corn and soybeans.

Posted by: RD PAdouk | October 10, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. This is interesting Wikipedia starts off saying the two terms tend to be interchangeable, but then starts hedging:

"The psychopath is defined by a psychological gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes. Using Freudian terminology, the psychopathic personality occurs when the ego can't mediate between the id and the super-ego, thus allowing the id to run off the pleasure principle, and the super-ego has no control over the actions of the ego. In other words, individuals with this disorder gain satisfaction through their antisocial behavior as well as lacking a conscience.

"Psychopathy is frequently co-morbid with other psychological disorders (particularly narcissistic personality disorder). The psychopath differs slightly from the sociopath, and may differ even more so from an individual with an antisocial personality disorder diagnosis. Nevertheless, the three terms are frequently used interchangeably. While nearly all psychopaths have antisocial personality disorder, only some individuals with antisocial personality disorder are psychopaths. Many psychologists believe that psychopathy falls on a spectrum of pathological narcissism, ranging from narcissistic personality disorder on the low end, malignant narcissism in the middle, and psychopathy on the high end.

"An almost all-pervasive misconception is that psychopaths are doomed to a life of violence and crime; however, it is possible for psychopaths to become successful in many lines of work. Psychopathy is frequently mistaken with other similar personality disorders, such as dissocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder (as well as others).

"It is also important to note that psychopathy is a syndrome or a psychological construct, while antisocial personality disorder is a diagnosis." [whatever that caveat means or is worth]

Wiki also says: "They [psychopaths] are overrepresented in prison systems, politics, law enforcement agencies, law firms, and in the media."

Bwahahahahahahahaha. Yoki and Ivansmom, that puts you and me all at risk!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, dmd, whether the superiority is a symptom or what. I just observed that it exists. Of course, you can feel superior to others without being mentally ill and predisposed to upset the social order. I'm referring to an extreme subset.

RD, I'm also thinking along the lines of a giant garden. Since I now have a yield of about one vegetable for every three plants, I probably need to plant the whole yard if I hope to keep us even at starvation level.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps that's it, Mudge. Maybe I'm just too close to the issue to correctly describe it. Bwahahahaha.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Roit!!! Wot's all this bwa-ha-ha-ing, then?


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

At risk?

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

My, my, look at the ol' clock on the wall. Already after 4 p.m. on a gloriously beautiful Friday right before a three-day weekend. And all the feds have left the building, leaving only us poor benighted contractors here all alone to do the lonely work of gummint.

Nobody here to watch us. Nobody here to make sure we don't sneak out early. Nobody here to ensure that we don't say "Happy Thanksgiving" to anyone living in a foreign country (even if visible through binoculars from certain parts of the northern United States) before filling out the ol' timesheet and heading for the bus.

No one at all here to wa

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Home computer still on the fritz; but if I don't get it fixed soon I truly will go mad. Don't think I can stand three days without the Boodle. But if you don't hear from me until Tuesday morning, that's why. (In addition to which, I got stuff to write. *sigh*)

Must. Fix. Machine. Must. Find. Geek. Must Write. Must.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 10, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to y'all Haute Mainers.

Scottynuke, think you're up to being the face of gummint in our economic crisis? C'mon, it's for the good of the country.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, don't feel stupid... It seems you were pinpointing time and actions and not necessarily connecting either.

This troll makes me smile, much like the Lonemule did. I feel, somehow, that we're doing our job if he/she feels so compelled to point out our lack of having a life.

Posted by: TBG | October 10, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Long weekends all 'round! Happy us, Happy you!

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I asked my daughter the psycholgist to answer Mudge's question and she wrote:

"Interestingly, the true sociopath like those persons mentioned does not think that he is "just like everyone else." He thinks that he is better than everyone else. He takes pride in manipulating and killing people that he views as lesser than himself. So, the answer to the question is that the sociopath does not see himself as "wacko" but as superior. This arrogance is one factor that supports the continued killing; it can be rationalized that these peons deserve the treatment that they are receiving from a superior being. The sociopath is really helping society by ridding it of prostitutes or other lesser creatures.

I hope that this helps."

Posted by: nellie | October 10, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Happy Canadian Tgiving. What is the usual and classic fare? Do the Francophone families set a different table? Do tell. No calories but such sumptuousness.

So, Jumper, about the job. I hope it settles out soon, with the cards in your favor.

Martooni is missing. Hope he is healthy and well.

FTBlogger, did you through out your back?

A useful book on the Psycho-Socio pathics is the scary book:

The Sociopath Next Door
by Martha Stout

In the wake of the Va Tech shootings, we have spent time on campus thinking about the range of students we encounter, with some needing help and others, some sort of anticipatory intervention.

Hi DR, just waving in your general direction. Imaging you knitting solo and with others. Glad you are out there.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 10, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG (snff). I really meant I thought meanies were chasing our new friend who visited here. You know, to take her back to the bad place.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Everything I know about psycopaths and sociopaths I learned from reading John D. MacDonald. Particularly 'The Executioners' aka 'Cape Fear'.

Oh, and 'Crime and Punishment' is a good insight into those that think they are above the law.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Happy holidays of all varieties to those that kid them. I don't get Genocidal European Day off, so I'll be right here.

Gotta go home and check out all the SinFest links.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, about fall air as particularly lovely. We can all opine this, and I agree. But, I expect photographers and painters might wax poetically and technically about the quality of light.

Flowers are lovely on an overcast day, to look at AND photograph.

About trolls in the wild. Several WaPo blogs now require registration: MommmyBlogggg, aka On Parenting. The level of malicious trollness over there is now quite low. So, perhaps the trolls, who want to be free to ply wares of dissension, is flinging troll poo our way.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 10, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Here, Columbus Day is referred to as Discoverer's Day. Although in recent years it's become less and less popular to celebrate it. Especially in light of the fact that the Native Hawaiians think being discovered by Capt. Cook wasn't necessarily a good thing for them. I will be working on Monday as well...

Posted by: Aloha | October 10, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, sorry on those sentences, but I shall blame the very thought of trolls:

Posted by: College Parkian | October 10, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Put a new power supply in it, Mudge. They are cheap, they screw up oftener than people know, and servse as a great diagnostic if it's another problem. It's very easy, just pay attention and reconnect the plugs like last time.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Yikes "...those that get them..."

Just to check it out I went to Mommyblog and the comments were rational and nearly respectful. And the topic was breastfeeding, on of the known holy war topics. I don't know what's come over them over there.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 10, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, have a good weekend, and we hope you get your computer to work. I hope we hear from Martooni pretty soon too.

I'm thinking that perhaps we just might know this person that drops in and talks the way they talk. I could be wrong. I hope so.

Have a good weekend, and enjoy the extra day. It has been a rough week. Perhaps over the weekend things will settle down. The kind of week most of you have experienced is a regular week for me. I don't see any difference. My bottom line is always in the red. I'm always trying to manipulate this or that in order to do this or that. I doubt it is that bad for many here. I pray and ask Christ to help me endure whatever the situation because the Scriptures tell me, this too will past.
And after all is said and done, it is a journey. We are all traveling, this is not our home. We are moving forward regardless of what the situation is on this end. We can't change that.

It is good to try and remember the beautiful, the joy, family, and the best times with the ones we love. Scripture describes our life as a vapor, so the time is short. Why spend it agonizing? And I know this is a hard thing, not to agonize. I suffer badly at times, but I just keep praying, and trusting, and keeping my eye on the preciousness of the Messiah, Christ Jesus.

Enjoy your weekend, your family, those you love and hold dear. And thank God in your heart.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 10, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

This just in: Nobel for peace to Martti Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president. Heard him speak once. He has an understated charisma, not unlike of JPII or the current Dalai Lama. Fine person. Good choice in a field of many worthy people.

Blessed are the peacemakers, indeed. All of them.

Cassandra, take care. Hard times, yes. And so hard when the margins of safety are razor thin or completely threadbare.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 10, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking, CP. I'm finally back from the Giant pharmacy up the street (newly remodeled and all). They made me wait, even though my wonderful Doc called it in a few hours ago. I had to pick up my thyroid medicine anyway, but I gave them several wincing, cringing looks and they took care of it mostly right away. Getting into and out of the car was not fun. Reading about all the side effects of this wonder drug is a bit discouraging, but I think I'll be alright.

I have no idea what triggered it, either. Hope to be better enuf tomorrow to go to the farmers market to load up on veggies. They've had parsnips over the past couple of weeks, which I just simply adore, so I'm bound and determined to make it there. I'll just make sure not to take the drug after breakfast, so I can drive.

And happiest of all happy T'giving to our Canistukian neighbors, even if the Toronto Maple Leafs beat my (Champion) Detroit Red Wings in the season premier last night in Detroit. Hey, the season just began, eh? We've got plenty of time to settle in and beat everyone and win the Stanley Cup again.

And to frostbitten -- have a lovely Leif Ericsson Day on Monday.

Toodle-oodle (ouch!)

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 10, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Joe Six-Pack nods in agreement.

Posted by: Joe Six-Pack | October 10, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Wellm I'll just repost from a few days ago:

The voyeur, the peeper, the Peeping Tom, is a dark comedian.
He is repulsive in his dark anonymity, in his secret invasion.
He is pitifully alone.
But, strangely, he is able through this same silence and concealment
to make unknowing partner of anyone within his eye's range.
This is his threat and power.

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The Titanic SANK? When did that happen? Why didn't someone inform me? What does it take to get real information around here?


Posted by: MedallionOfFerret | October 10, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that SIK link Yoki. Now all I need is a ROM implant so I can download it into my brain. I'd also need auto links to definitions.

Posted by: omni | October 10, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Hi, MofF!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 10, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

You can thank me later, omni

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, I get it, Jumper. Sorry for getting the wrong end of the stick there. (I don't know that I've ever used that expression before. Did I get it from someone here?)

Posted by: bia | October 10, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Going to pick up #1 at the airport, home for a long weekend! *Clapping hands and jumping for joy*

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, thanks for asking your daughter. I have read "The sociopath next door" and it's certainly terrifying.

Basically as I read it, sociopathy arises from a lack of ability to feel punished by others' disapproval-- not necessarily by being unable to understand the social cues (as in autism), but by poorly developed or broken mental machinery. Abuse is often part of the history, but not always.

Some leading psychologists believe that a common cause is traumatic brain injury-- which would certainly account for those who have poor impulse control as well.

And here's the thing, if you are sociopathic and can't understand why other people don't do the most logical things for their own self-interest, they naturally form the hypothesis that other people must be stupid. After all, they can "see" how things should be done, like a chess game, or so they think.

They learn the social rules, sure, but it's always superfical and intended to charm and manipulate other people. And they find other people's being tricked by them as further evidence of their inferiority.

So yeah, I'd say an innate sense of superiority leading to anger and comtempt towards others for being inferior is diagnostic of a sociopath.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Me, Ivansmom? Talkin 'bout high finance and credit default swaps and all that???

I'll stick to the easy stuff... ;-)

ftb, check yer in-box! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 10, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I hope you're feeling better today.

FTB, I hope you feel better too! Back pain will keep you down for sure.

Jumper, sorry to hear about your troubles. I think you did say something about it earlier. If there's anything I can to do to help, holler.

There's a holiday Monday? Never got the day off. All it means to me is no mail. Best wishes to all our friends north of the border for a pleasant Thanksgiving!

Geekdaughter is home! She came by and went to dinner with us, then bought ice cream for all. It's nice to see and hug her. I've missed her smiling face.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse


Take care with the medications. I had a shot Wednesday night, and I still feel the effects. I'm almost walking on tippy toes, the legs and back do ache. And walking slowly. Hope your weekend is pain free.

Have a good weekend, CP. And yes, we need the peacemakers.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 10, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Parsnips! Yum. You just don't find that many people who like parsnips (like the rest of the Ivansclan, alas). The Boodle is a true home for all. Firsttimeblogger and Cassandra, I hope you both continue to feel better and better.

Regarding sociopaths, criminals etc: I know this isn't a popular or correct opinion, but here goes. I have spent most of my career, one way or the other, in criminal law, and I've come to a conclusion. Some people are just evil. Not many. Most people have some underlying reason for their behavior (it is startling how many death row inmates had some kind of head injury). However, some folks are truly just evil people. No underlying pathology, nothing wrong with their childhood, no extenuating circumstances. Believe it. If nothing else, this has reinforced my belief in good - opposites, you know.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I hope you feel better soon. I used to have a very bad back and remember the pain of any movement at all as being quite severe. Cassandra, I hope you are on the mend as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all those north of the border.

I have decided to revel in the little things, as I assume our parents and/or grandparents did during the depression. Both daughters went to a food tasting for #2’s wedding today, they got the seating chart figured out and some other small details. I am happy they were doing this together and apparently had a good time. I am happy that #1 doesn’t appear to be angry with me right now, it’s been iffy for a couple of months. I am grateful for three days off even tho’ I’ll be very busy, it’s all good things that I’ll be doing.

I share the Boodle’s love of October but can’t say the same for November. Here, it is a grey, dreary and usually wet and cold month, my least favorite except for February. I prefer summer to any other time, I don’t care how hot it gets. Of course I don’t live in DC, so I might feel differently if I did.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 10, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

And so it begins, ScottyN and Bad Sneakers!

Baseball in October!!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 10, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Committee finds fault with Palin in Troopergate v3.0

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 10, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Interesting guest piece on about a possible "October Surprise" by Bin Laden...

Posted by: TBG | October 10, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Go Rays!!!

Posted by: frostbitten | October 10, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse news services
updated 1 minute ago
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A legislative committee investigating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has found she unlawfully abused her authority in firing the state's public safety commissioner

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, have you noticed that you have a striking similarity to Mike Lowell?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 10, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my.
The McCain/Palin campaign's not going to get much sleep tonight...

"Alaska Legislative Probe Finds Palin Misused Power
By James V, Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) abused her executive power when she fired her public safety commissioner this year in the midst of an intense effort to oust her former brother-in-law from the state police force, a special prosecutor has concluded..."


Posted by: bc | October 10, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The Olbermann show tonight showed clips of McCain forced to defend Obama with lots of boos from the audience. Reverse of strategery?

Go Sox!!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 10, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Something tells me that the gloves are going to come off of these campaigns up until the elections.


Posted by: bc | October 10, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Maggie look for Obama's clips from today, what I saw was very good, very very good in my opinion.

Very sad McCain had to be forced to do what he should have done all along.

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, ma'am, this one's for you-

I went to a hockey game and a Presidential election broke out.

Ay carrumba.


Posted by: bc | October 10, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy to hear it, Bad Sneakers. My #1 is the house and lovely, too. And making #2 very happy that they're together again.

I have to say, I'm awfully glad the MBPH was last weekend, as had it been after all the markets crashed, I probably wouldn't have felt comfortable attending (though the emotional revenue more than made up for that!).

I remember my Gramma saying (she who not only married but had children during the Great Depression) that, as Bad Sneaks says, the trick was to be happy with what she had. Her funny/ironic way of expressing it was, "If I had $70 in my pocket, I would have paid the rent and bought the groceries with it, and been happy. When I had $30 in my pocket, I paid the rent on a different apartment and bought different groceries, and was happy with it." Great attitude.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks bc. It *will* be ugly for the next three weeks, won't it? Fascinating, in a sort of car-crash way. I still think both P candidates are being genuine (except in their tactics) and that a real choice is before you fine Americans.

I saw that report on Palin's Troopergate. Will it make any difference? I expect not. The people who wouldn't have voted that ticket anyway are confirmed in their views, and the people who would, won't consider it.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

OK Boodle, have a great night. I'm not going to be at 91% tonight, as I'm off to dinner with the re-unioned family and then bed. Prolly check in tomorrow. Can somebody please fax Curmudgeon a working computer as he'll have the shakes by 10:00 am tomorrow without it?

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

G'night, Yoki.

Enjoy your time w/#1, ma'am.

FTB, I hope you're feeling better soon.


Posted by: bc | October 10, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

So tired of all the excrement being thrown in the prez campaign, truly enjoyed this from Slate-
Excerpts from The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters

Posted by: frostbitten | October 10, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

SCC: not so much "enjoyed" as "found really interesting."

Posted by: frostbitten | October 10, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Baseball played in doors: it just feels so wrong.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 10, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

“S” is watching the game. I wander back and forth as I still have some stuff on my list for tonight. I just finished making a drawstring bag out of white satin for #2. I was watching tv while sewing and saw the McCain backpeddle and the troopergate story. I wonder if the Secret Service contacted the McCain campaign about the hate that has been aroused there.

I can’t deny that the troubles for McCain and Palin make me happy. Nice to see the chickens come home to roost. Okay, laundry and cleaning the bathroom are next on the list.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 10, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that Troopergate will directly change any minds. What it will do, I suspect, is encourage McCain Palin to tone back the character attacks on Obama. Which doesn't bother me at all.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 10, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if hoards of rage-fueled maniacs will storm the cities with pitchforks and torches election day?

Today I read this because I probably needed to, also.
Ephesians 4:31-32

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I went to a presidential election and a hockey game broke out.

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, easy to say, not so easy to do. But so necessary for personal peace.

Frosti, I've been reading that Slate series with interest. We don't know how to be grateful for modern sanitation. I hope we will find ways to be more earth-friendly about it.

Posted by: slyness | October 10, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

A little perspective on the difference between our two elections. I went out today to purchase a bouquet of flowers for the house and take my younger daugther and her friend for ice cream.

My house is one block from a major road in our city. At the intersection is a small strip mall, one of the stores that was vacant is being used as the campaign office for the local Liberal candidate.

As I drove by a noticed people milling outside and thought something must be going on - it was only a group of abot 15-20 but they were well dressed for the area - especially on a warm day - when many people had taken the day of for a 4 day weekend.

Sure enough just read one of the election blogs about the Liberal leaders campaign stop in town - at the office.

So while your leaders fill stadiums and halls - ours speak to small crowds in strip malls. Best part for me - no security or traffic issues!

Posted by: dmd | October 10, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I'd be inclined to agree on some people simply choosing to be evil over good. Simply having a conscience doesn't stop enough people.

Mark Twain did two great stories on that theme: "The Man who Corrupted Hadleyburg" and "The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut."

Worth reading. Skoal to you, Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 10, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking of this Twilight Zone episode all day. "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street"

Fragments here:

“ The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosives and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own; for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone. ”

Posted by: Jumper | October 10, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad McCain is finally trying in some measure to rein in the hatred of his supporters. It is telling that he has to ask them to respect the opposing candidate. Respect is a very low threshold, basic really. We teach children to respect others, whether or not they like them. I'm just afraid his "base" has become too base to hear that message, particularly if his running mate doesn't second it.

I don't know that I'd say this small set of people choose to be evil, Wilbrod (though of course some do). I think the ones I'm talking about just are evil.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 10, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I think George W. espouses a more progressive view by calling someone an evil-doer instead of declaring a person evil.

Posted by: Boko | October 10, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

RD, that would only happen if the McCain-Palin campaign had integrity. Which it doesn't. Maybe they'll surprise me - but I doubt it. CNN is reporting that the McCain response is that Obama's behind the investigation (WTF?).

Jumper, that's a great Twilight Zone.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 10, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Current front Web-page headline at Wash-Post: "Alaska Probe Finds Palin Abused Executive Power" (I won't bother linking, it's easy to find.)
- - -
Ummm... I think this ranks up with a few others under the "duh" category. [Note to the squeamish: Shield your eyes. This is terrible and/or infuriating stuff stuff.]

"Tentative IDs Are Made Of 2 Girls Found in Freezer"

"Pr. George's Prisoner Was Strangled, Autopsy Finds"

"Edwards Admits He Had An Affair"

ad infinitum...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that was me.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 10, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

My point here isn't that Sarah Palin did anything that was horrific, but that the evidence was (and has been for a good while, but only of interest to most of us for a couple of months) pretty overwhelming that she (and hubby) leaned on various officials in a way that a less-personally connected governor might not have done.

It doesn't particularly hurt my feelings that a creepy dude had people in high places trying to take him down, but let's not pretend that there was any question that those people were, in fact, trying to take him down, y'know?

Hey, somewhere about the time of the third story that the National Enquirer ran about Bill Clinton's dalliances, I fully understood that they weren't making it up anymore. To many people were being quoted who had too much to lose if they were proved to be liars, and had nothing to gain if they were proved to be truthful, and knew full well that the story would probably linger forever in that space in between the two.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 10, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

But that's not what I came to talk about. Fair warning here: I've spent years thinking about "health care", and several months now trying to think about it deeply.

In general, I think I've decided that I'm in favor of it.

But, that having been said, and having been mildly castigated by some of the regulars here for pointing out some (of what I considered to be) fundamental truths about the economics of health care delivery, I think that it's a big enough issue that I'll probably bring it up from time to time.

If I had a big, bold answer, I'd be sharing it now. If it was simple, we'd have all answered it by now. But I'm not convinced that impossible to grope our way toward a better solution that has been offered to date.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 10, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

"than" has been offered to date.

me r idiot!

Posted by: BS | October 10, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

No sir, I won't have it!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's a defensible position. Evolution, and all that, what?

Posted by: Bob S. | October 10, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous - Presumably you were not arguing against my assertion that I am an idiot. The evidence is overwhelming in that regard!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 10, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Living out in California, I've never seen the Boodle Bunkter. Is it something like this?,2933,436062,00.html

Posted by: nellie | October 10, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

no, no, BUNKER

Posted by: nellie | October 10, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

nellie - I'm only a semi-accepted kinda-regular contributor here, so I'll leave the bunker descriptions to others who've got superior familiarity with the layout of the joint. When the storms get really bad, I have to knock on the door and ask for permission to enter, just like you.

I think that it started out like that, but has been fixed up a little!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 10, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so not, Bob S. You can come on into the Bunker at will.

Posted by: Yoki | October 10, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'd probably still knock, but it's nice to know!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

And that is the sign of a gentleman.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Boston wins!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 11, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Maggie - I've got no real horse in that race, but my buddy from Southie is almost certainly celebrating as we speak.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I never had any clue to what the hell the bunker was. Except in the Nixonian / Thompsonesque metaphor. And no ruby slippers to click. One day I said it was the last kaboodle, and everyone went there. I didn't let on I still had no idea.

Posted by: Jumper | October 11, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Speak of the devil and he appears.... The call just came - My buddy from Southie is... pleased? excited?

"Inebriatedly exuberant" just about covers it, I think.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Jumper - Actually, I think it was initially used in a more metaphorical sense. But that particular meaning has been concretely helpful more than once, from time to time.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I loved this line from nellie's "bunker" link:
- - - -
"In case of emergency, the hotel could be converted back into a nuclear bunker within 24 hours in line with a Swiss law that says all civil defense buildings have to be ready for use within one day."
- - - -

If I was a bettin' man, I'd bet that they've got plans to do it a darned sight quicker than 24 hours, if need be. Maybe not perfectly, but at least rough-cut.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Here is a real picture of The Bunker complete with the Shop Steward resting up for Dawn Patrol duty and bc on gladiator guard duty.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

The bunker is a metaphorical place we all run to hide and cower in when the Trolls and Orcs and Goblins are let loose. The Wildmen of the west we can deal with, sometimes. (Been reading LoTR, can you tell). There are are few intrepid Knights amongst us and you and they know who they are who call arms to battle (need a grammar check here). Some with Finesse, and some with Trudgeons (not a word, but I think you know what I mean, yeah), and some with something somewhere in between.

Boko, that ROM you linked too had a pretty picture that I don't want floating around in my brain pan. Or maybe it was just an advertisement... (yeah, don't want that either)

#2 and #1
#1 and #2

Smiles to my face...

Tell them the Boodle loves them, as the Boodle loves...and, and...oh, weddings and reunions make me weepy


And me call a naive conspiracy theorist, but I still have the feeling McCain is purposely trying to lose this election

Left ear, Right ear
My pillow knows my name
In the Morn' Dear
Wake up and play a Game

Just came to me, sorry, got nothing else

Posted by: omni | October 11, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Very nicely done, yello! I wasn't aware that you'd been able to sneak that photo out past the guards.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Excellent, yellojkt. If that engineering job goes away, you have a future in Photoshop. Srsly. Thanks, nellie, for finding that.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Sweet dreams, omni, everyone.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Up too late but now off to bed,
let the boodle sleep for a few hours
people will wake,always plenty to be said
wake up full of life,wisdom and powers

the silence is here,enjoy this fall day
the moonlight is bright and still overhead
please find time,to get out and play
everyone is asleep and the cat has been fed

such is my life,up most hours of the night
I have a smile on my face,a sheepish grin
the fog in these mountains is now in sight
today is a saturday and I can sleep in

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 11, 2008 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians and Happy Columbus Day to the ‘mericans.

RD, thank you for your very kind words. I hope I’ll be able to attend a BPH one day, and it would be super great to meet you.

Jumper, hope things work our favourably for you.

Posted by: rainforest | October 11, 2008 4:07 AM | Report abuse

When this economic crisis is over, you are going to have a lot of corporations that are too big to fail.

“General Motors is in preliminary talks about a possible merger with Chrysler, a deal that could drastically remake the landscape of the auto industry by reducing the Big Three of Detroit automakers to the Big Two.”

Posted by: rainforest | October 11, 2008 4:23 AM | Report abuse

Me? Mike Lowell???

NukeSpouse sez she can see it, but...

It's the sideburns, right?

And with Dice-K having won 18, with one of the lowest ERAs in the AL, I'm not terribly surprised that he had a no-hitter through 6.

*very-very-very-very-happy-and-off-to-a-long-weekend-with-numerous-activities-in-preparation-for-Game-2 Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2008 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour les Boodleurs!

Yello --good pitchah.

What financial crisis?
Has the ammount of cash increased, decreased, stayed about the same?
Has real wealth decreased?
The hard currencies stashed away in off-shore accounts are waiting to pounce on cheap deals.

Too bad drugs are not legal, the drug lords' money could be used to stabilize the markets.

Posted by: Brag | October 11, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour, les Boodleurs!

Sumptin's weird, my post nonposted

Posted by: Brag | October 11, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

More Einstein letters go on sale:

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 11, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse


I have only glanced back at what I've missed since Wednesday pm.

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. My fast was easy this year, and for the first time in many many years, I did not cry. I may be a terribly sarcastic and cynical person most of the time, but the liturgy during YK always gets to me.

I'd better go catch up before I go on today's canvassing mission. I don't know how much good it will do this close to the election, but if I sit at home and then things go south, I'll never forgive myself.

Did anyone else read Khaled Hosseini's condemnation of the Reps' attitude? Playing with fire, indeed!

Posted by: a bea c | October 11, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh and I forgot to welcome the less savoury visitors yesterday:

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 11, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

What crisis?
Has cash in the world decreased?
Has real wealth decreased?
Lots of cash stashed away in off-shore accounts waiting for shark attacks on cheap deals.

Too bad we can't use drug-lord's cash to stabilize markets.

Just random thoughts on an empty stomach.

Getting a free lunch today, paid by a Chicago Journalist. For writers free lunches are important, though rare milestones.

Suggested activity for next Saturday. Brag has a book signing event at Silver Springs. 2PM

Posted by: Brag | October 11, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Just wanted to stop in and say good morning. I'm on my way to the food bank this morning. My daughter is going to pick me up. I hope to get a chance to visit with her, and hoping the food bank doesn't run out of food. I'm sure I won't be the only one.

I'm doing okay, as long as I go slow. The shot did help. Thanks for your concern.

Ivansmom, you are so right. There are just some evil people in the world. In many cases there is an underlying cause, but for some, it is just evil. I don't know if I've met anybody of that sort, but then, I'm not anxious to do that.

I read the Post opinion piece about the magazine coverage of Michelle Obama. The Post received much criticism for this piece, and mostly from Conservatives that cry the paper is bias. I don't believe Conservatives would be pleased if the Post ran John McCain everyday, and they do that in some form or other. I think they're screaming about content also. I guess they want the Post to fix it up, you know, make the guy look good, but that's not their job. It is what it is. And that is exactly what the Post is suppose to tell. For. everybody.

Hope your weekend is starting off good. Enjoy your holiday to our friends in Canada.

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

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 11, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I'm LOL over here at your picture of the bunker. I'm on a laptop, and can't tell if there are doilies anywhere.

I'd ask if that article of clothing on the floor in front of Mudge's bed is his or not, but I honestly don't want to know.

gwe, thanks for that poem.

There's been plenty of question and comment as to how much the Democrats had to do with the findings against Palin. I think the investigators are admitting that they released the findings now rather than closer to to General Election so as to lessen the effect of the results on said election.

From my perspective, it sounds like both sides had some influence on the investigations and how and when these findings were released. At a glance, it sounds as fair as such a thing could be.

And, of course, both sides now have more ammunition for partisan pumpkin chunkin'.


Posted by: bc | October 11, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' boodlers...

Back from the infirmary...

Sorry I missed so many dawn patrols, but I've been laid up for over a week. Without going into all the gory details, let's just say my back went out completely, my abdominal muscles got twisted (literally... had a very large, hard painful "protrusion" on my belly) and picked up a bad cold to top it all off. In any case, much better now. The doc prescribed a muscle relaxant that seems to be doing the trick, so I'm back on my feet and trying to get back into the swing of things.

Slowly, of course. I can't afford another down week and *really* don't want to go through that pain again.

I still have to go for chest x-rays and a possible MRI or whatever. They think there may be a problem with my left lung that's causing the back/muscle spasms and want to make sure it isn't a "mass" that isn't supposed to be there. I don't even want to think about it.

Looks like I've missed some good kits, not to mention a few waves of trolls. But I see the bunker has withstood the onslaught. You've all done a very fine job. ;-)

Time to get to it. Peace out...

Posted by: martooni | October 11, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

rest at ease bc, those are Mudge's white mule slippers.

Posted by: omni | October 11, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh jeez martooni. Hope all goes well. Cassandra has been asking about you.

Posted by: moni | October 11, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, boodle.

martooni - I'm glad to hear from you. I hope everything is ok, take care of yourself.

I've been wondering where Don from I-270 has been?

Beautiful fall weekend here and the hubby has a long garden honeydo list that he wants us to spend quality time together completing. I foresee an aching back myself. I hope cassandra and ftb are feeling better with their awful back problems.

Loved the bunker pic, yello.

Happy Saturday to all.

Posted by: Kim | October 11, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, ftb, martooni, hope health improves.

It is a beautiful fall day here; coldish, sunny, a breeze, right now the temperature is about 24F, on its way to 41. A big black dog and a big red dog are keeping my feet warm as I Boodle.

This is my favourite day of the Thanksgiving weekend; we'll tear breadcrumbs for dressing, bake a pumpkin pie, probably polish the sterling. All the fun of D-day (D is dinner) with none of the pressure.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Hope you repair yourself. Lots of fairies are going to get stuck in the cold otherwise.

No doilies, bc, but I did add an important piece of sculpture for my blogpost about trolls.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Martoony--get well!

Happy thanksgiving to all Kanukistanis!

Posted by: Brag | October 11, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Hello All!

Martooni and all other Boodlers under the weather, I hope you are feeling better soon.

DbG, I forgot to say thanks on behalf of Mr. Moose for the pretzels. He really enjoyed them. In fact, he started in on them Friday night.

I also wanted to say thanks to everyone for your well-wishes for my MIL. She's out of the hospital. Unfortunately, there's not much they can do for her. I guess she is at the point of maintenance and passed recovery. She's a little better, anyway.

I haven't been able to Boodle this week as I've been buried under a mound of financial statements. I managed to escape yesterday, but I'll have to go in again Monday. No holidays that close to a tax deadline. Ha!

Yellowjkt, loved the Bunker pitchah (as Brag says).

I'll check in later!

Posted by: Moose | October 11, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Feel better, Martooni!

Yello, words fail me.

On the political front, well, let's just hope that the troopergate report, negative ratings and upcoming investigation into not claiming those family per diems on taxes effectively kills Gov. Palin's chances for 2012.

Off to the Poconos for the day! Tomorrow, all work. Have a great day, everyone!

Posted by: dbG | October 11, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

SCC: yellojkt

Sorry about that!

Oh, Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by: Moose | October 11, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Take it easy and get well, Martooni.
That goes for rest of you who aren't feeling up to snuff, don'tcha know. You betch'a.

And no snuff!

Posted by: Boko | October 11, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Moose.

Well, that was easy.
Where's the beer?

Posted by: Boko999 | October 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni!

Don't lift anything heavier than our spirits, man!

Hope that back will loosen up soon.

Been there.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 11, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canuckistani friends. Here's a link you may enjoy, that I forgot to post on Canada Day

Back to the grindstone, as I pay, pay, pay for my week of fun.

Martooni and Cassandra-hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 11, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh, thank you, Brag.
It just gets easier.

Just kidding about the beer. Besides being ridiculously early for beering I have to drive to my Aunt's and Uncle's for Thanksgiving dinner. I can never repay them for how they helped my sister and me during my parents final illness. We won't see them during Christmas as they'll be leaving for theri place in Florida come Monday so I'd best suck it up and mosey on over to their northern abode. These family get togethers always turn out better than I've dreaded and if I can wangle a seat at the kid's table, where at least I can find someone who appreciates 'spoon hanging off your nose' and 'fork in the eye' gags, I'll be happy. I think I'll take a roll of foil for hats.
Thank YOU boodle, and remember to be nice to an Italian.

Posted by: Boko | October 11, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
Well i did sleep in a bit,but with a busy day ahead,i needed to get up. Nice to have a cup of real coffee this morning.I have been doing half/caff,but decided to treat myself this weekend.

Hey Yoki,Happy Thanksgiving,sounds like a great way to warm the tootsies.

Today and tomorrow is our Apple Butter festival here in west by god.Arts and crafts,festival food and loads of people.Live music from a friends band"The Critton Owl Hollow String Band"

I just love the hog calling contest and turtle race.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 11, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. I've been up a long time, but Mr. T and I have been cutting ligustrum and bagging the clippings. Curses upon the person who planted that awful shrub down both sides of the lot!

Yello, you stayed up way too late last night. LOL, I nearly fell of my chair.

Martooni, I hope you recover quickly, please take care of yourself. With you, FTB, and Cassandra, sick bay in the bunker is full, so nobody else needs to think about being under the weather.

Posted by: slyness | October 11, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Well Yoki you and the family can always head this way for a pool party, so nice here we decided to warm the pool and swim this weekend. It pays to procrastinate and not close the pool early. Temps supposed to be 24-26C over the next few days.

No clouds in the blue blue sky.

Sorry about our big footprint here this weekend (pool heater) but weather this good cannot be wasted.

Swimming outdoors for Canadian Thanksgiving - for that I am very thankkful.

Martooni hope you heal quickly.

Jumper I neglected to wish you well, hope you find something you enjoy - I suggest taking up your painting again.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: omni | October 11, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Boko, you don't need to be at the kids' table for that!

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, everybody.

Just finished two doors without incident, so I'm cautiously starting #3. It's weird to work pain-free -- I could really get used to this.

Posted by: martooni | October 11, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Martooni, I wish you a speedy recovery and echo Slyness is cautioning the rest of the boodlers to take care of their backs and the rest of themselves too. Getting down to the nitty gritty with the bridal gown and am determined to finish it today. Gotta run to the fabric store for something but waiting for “S” to finish washing his car. Beautiful here too. Clear blue sky and in the 60’s.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 11, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

omni goes all "Calvin Coolidge on us.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 11, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The Apple Butter Festival. That thing is a blast. I haven't been in years. Enjoy.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

yello, who is that in the photo on the wall? It looks like Joan Crawford or Ava Gardner or someone, but I can't quite make her out. Very nice.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I have video of my rather inebriated dad hanging spoons at my grandbother's 80th birthday party. I do not have the courage to post it on the web. I still hope to inherit that Miata some day.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

happy thanksgiving to the canadians! i almost said northern friends, but that sounded like mccain. or should i have said northern prisoners? just kidding.

martooni, go easy. my sister just had surgery this week to repair a ruptured disk. not fun.

yello, loved the bunker pic. i hope mudge didn't break the kinkade snowglobe i gave him.

the weather here is also sunny but fall-like. windy, too.

happy weekend, all.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 11, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Got it, yello. In my family, you'd be more likely to be disinherited for not hanging a spoon.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

SCC: grandmother (RIP). I have no idea what a grandbother is.

Think flyaway hair.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 11, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

*remote Boodling from a not-terribly-secret automotive service location*

martooni, you get better right now!!! *donning a nun's habit a couple weeks early and brandishing a ruler*

Actually, most Boodlers could do quite well under today's weather. Stunning sky, dry crisp air warming up nicely, leaves starting to turn... Nice start to the weekend! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 11, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Thanks for the Twilight Zone quote. It will be posted on my bulletin board, right next to the Jerry Brown quote "We are not disorganized. We just have a type of organization that transcends understanding."

Posted by: km2b | October 11, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Off to the Festival,the Festival,Festival!!!

Wasn't that a star Trek episode? With Landrew?

Everyone have a Great Day!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 11, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

yello, while Mudge and bc look stunning in your picture, it is the Kincaide on the wall that makes it perfect. I can't stop smiling.

Posted by: nellie | October 11, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm such an idiot! A thousand apologies, Joel. I've got to get new glasses. Obviously.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful day here too - blue sky, sun - and too dang cold.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 11, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I was just on the Foxnews website looking for their polling info. I find it, but it's showing the 2004 election with a big star over Geo Bush. Weird. So I click on 2008 election and hit refresh, and it goes back to 2004 results. Seems odd....

Posted by: sir ohm | October 11, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Trudgeon. I like it. A truncheon, with which to trudge over and whack trolls, while being curmudgeonly and in high dudgeon.

Posted by: Jumper | October 11, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I think "off to the festival" comes from that movie with the blonde English guy who escapes a city to meet Peter Ustinov.

I could be wrong.

Posted by: Boko | October 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

If the new guy shouts, "Resistence is futile!" I suggest a liberal application of the trudgeons.

Posted by: Boko | October 11, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, what is Mudge doing in the darling antique sleigh bed that I so carefully refinished? (Spent hours repairing and gluing the dowel-pins. Stripped it down to it's maple core and polished with seven layers of French polish, EACH BY HAND!.)

Tis a FAINTING couch, and not meant for full bore napping. I would have thought that the proximity of the Kinkade reproduction Paint-by-the-Numbers (Thank you, DR, for painstaking care on this.) and the lithe and proportionate Lladro statue on the side table would SIGNAL the gents away. Maggie O'Day picked that one out special for us. It is imported from Spain.

Mudge, get thee back to the cracked but survivable naugahyde overstuffed, extra-long/ extra- wide couch. Yes, the oxblood brown one directly under the Poker-playing doggies. I replaced the black-light bulb so you have have the full velvet-Elvis effect. I hear the BC installed a magic fingers option but you will need to earn slugs from him somehow. About the remote control, you simply must wrestle that away from BC. Share, boys, share. Taking turns is nice, isn't it?

IN OTHER NEWS of the bleedin' obvious:
We have several napping set-ups, principally the three hammocks out back in the enclosed courtyard out back by the delivery truck pad. Sheesh! The spittoons need emptying but it will be a blue moon before I sign up for that rotation duty.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 11, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is a lovely day here, though warmer than usual for October. The groveries are put away,the roasted chilies are peeled, the eggss are boiled, the Boy has a friend over, and I'm off soon for errands.

Martooni, it is good to hear from you. Take care.

Same for all you other ill Boodlers.

I enjoy reading the plans for these wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations.

Brag, I like the idea of using drug dealer money to help out the bailout.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Why haven't I heard of this guy before?

A Radio Serialist’s Next Episode: Running for Canada’s Parliament

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 11, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Odd to be on organizing a funeral. Good thing there's a lot of hands on deck here at least for the job.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, Tom King is a genius.

Arguing with Gracie over whether "'tis better to..." was from the Bible or not.

"No, it's Milton."
"How do you know that?"
"Residential school wasn't just about sexual abuse and cultural genocide. We also got a first class English education."

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Rejoicing (but not too loudly or vigorously) that I can stand up straight (sorta) and not scream too loudly when I have to get up out of bed, off the sofa or out of the car. Martooni, I can *definitely* identify with you in regard to the back, as mine exploded yesterday morning. Advil and a wee bit of muscle relaxant has helped, but the real deal was that my massage therapist had an opening at 9 o'clock this morning and I hied myself over there toute suite. Tough getting out of the car and off of the table, but it was *exactly* what I needed for body and soul. She checked her records and it's been six loooooong months since my last massage. Gotta fix that. Right after I fix the global economy (writing that down in my notepad).

So, my back is mostly on the mend, but a day too late, as I was compelled to cancel a dinner engagement (elegant, even) for last night. And I had planned to wear the MBPH t-shirt, too. . . Dang!

Just finished a lovely spot of raspberry tea -- first time for that flavor, and I was surprised at how good it was. Gotta get me some more of that.

Thanks to all my fellow boodlers for your good wishes. Dontcha know it really helped. And, again, best to ya, toons, for your complete recuperation. We need ya back full time.

Hoping Mudge gets electronically mobile soon. And Scotty -- thanks for the pic (you know which one).

Going now (still slowly and carefully).

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod... I hope your family finds some much-needed joy as you all gather to celebrate your grandmother's life.

ftb.... glad to hear you're up and about and not in screaming pain anymore, although it will be nice when you're not in pain--period.

martooni.... wow... take care of yourself. Do what the doctor tells you and make sure you let us know what we can do to help.

Canadians... enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend. Nice to know dmd will be in her pool. I remember the year my neice was born we declared, "We'll remember the year the baby was born we ate Thanksgiving dinner outside on the deck!" That baby is now expecting her first baby (*our* first baby) this November.

To everyone else... have a great weekend!

Posted by: TBG | October 11, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching the Animal Planet Dog Show with the family. One of the announcers keeps referring to female dogs by their correct technical name. I am afraid to me it is unintentionally hilarious.

"I live with a smooth b***"

"I love that b***"

Language is not constant.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Breaking through all the barbed wire at the door of the bunker to revive the boodlers (except for those in the corner nursing their drinks) to tell you all that today in the mail came something incredibly wonderful from a friend in Stockholm -- the CD of Mamma Mia in Swedish!!! Very cool. Not the original ABBA members singing, but the singing is good anyway (so who cares, really) and it's a lot of fun to listen to and read the lyrics.

Jätteroligt är det.

Okay, carry on with what you were doing. Sorry to disturb.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 11, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

RD, I could never get over that when showing our dog. I was supposed to be flattered when I heard "What a cute little b***." And to be pleased with our first success: Winners B***.


Question for the many civic-minded folks here. We received absentee ballots this week. I've received terabytes of info on the national contests so I know how to vote there. But where do you get good info for local races for judges, school board, hospital board, and town council?

Posted by: Fifty | October 11, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Fifty, that's one of the hardest things in voting. I'll give you my take on it for what it's worth.
Depending on how hard you want to work at it, read your local paper's recommendations. They at least have people outside the various bureaucracies who know about this stuff, and their advice is worth considering. I write them down. Unless you distrust your local paper on everything. There's always asking your own doctor about local hospital board, or asking your friends if they know someone in the local justice system who had anything to say about it. Then all you can do is consider the source. I have never asked a local librarian for help but I suspect it might help.

It's not like we have a time machine and can go back and attend more city council meetings.

I have finally come to realize that there are some things I just have not kept up with. I leave those portions of my ballot blank, and that way don't contribute my own ignorance to the process. I'm comfortable with that. I don't like my own ignorance but I no longer panic in the booth. It gives me some serenity to admit my shortcomings and say "I don't know" while in the booth when I leave those things blank.

Posted by: Jumper | October 11, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

FTB, the only Swedish I know is: Min skol, din skol ala vaka fliken skol.

I'm sure the spelling is wrong.

*repairing razor wire entaglements, Joining the watch at the bar*

Posted by: Brag | October 11, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni, welcome back to the boodle. Hope your back is all better soon. We missed ya!

ftb - take care too!

Wilbrod - our thoughts are with you and your family.

Posted by: Aloha | October 11, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, nobody listens to me when I say this kind of thing, so I was glad to come across a quote from John Steinbeck:

"[America] can stand anything God and Nature throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick."


And in what I consider a related news story, the Miami Herald reports that Cuba is experiencing food shortages due to the recent hurricanes. The government has instituted rationing, with this result:

"Cubans who initially worried about getting enough to eat now seem confident they won't go hungry despite the destruction of 30 percent of the island's crops by hurricanes Gustav and Ike last month.

"'Of the little there is, there is some for everyone,' 65-year-old Mercedes Grimau said as queued up behind more than 50 people to buy lettuce, limited to two pounds per person."

That same article says that Cuba is not much affected by the global economic "crisis" because they've been required to pay cash for their U.S. imports all along. So, no big credit crunch for them.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 11, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Spent the day at the MD Renaissance Festival with family. 'twas an enjoyable way to be separated from my money, and I'm happy to support local artists. martooni, I think your fairy doors would be a hit at such a gig.

The weather was great (sunny and mid-70s), and we saw some really fun outfits, fun shows (hey, who doesn't like a good joust?), and heard some good music. [I dig vigorous Scottish drumming with bagpipe accompaniment. Very primal. Danceable, too. And yes, I did - thanks for asking)].

It's an interesting weekend for the GOP - what are Paulsen and Bernanke up to now? What's the McCain/Palin campaign team working on to mitigate the findings of the Alaskan Legislative Council's special investigation? How's Our President doing at the G-7 meetings? [Hopefully, he hasn't tried to give anyone an unsoilicited back rub]

Ah, got a few things to do this evening, I'll check in later. Raysmom enjoy the fun from Charlotte this evening. I do like night races (you should have seen the Shanghai F1 race through the city streets at night - it was spectacular).

Have a good evening, all.


Posted by: bc | October 11, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Question for the NOVA boodlers. Anyone in VA-11th? And any idea how the race is going? I just saw a anti-Fimian commercial (I live in VA-8). Kind of surprised by that, thought Connolly was the favorite.

Posted by: astromom | October 11, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi all, back from away.

1. Paraphrasing counter-quote for kb: Tevye: "I wish for such a curse to inflicted upon me"

2. Voluminous back-boodle that I think will be impossible. A few quickies:

(a) jack, I knew you wuz foolin. We're holding your spot on left wing any time you want it.

(b) I think Freudian slip of the month goes to "grandbother".

(c) nice poem, gwe.

(d) Thanks for the shout-outs for T-Day.

3. Local radio station is having Grunge long weekend, so thinking of RD and ml. RD, was there a special Pullayup Sound?

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 11, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

astromom - I live in VA 11th. Connolly is indeed the favorite last I checked. But I really haven't seen many commercials yet. If TBG checks in I have no doubt she will be able to explain the subtleties of the race with exquisite detail.

SonofCarl, when I lived in Puyallup (a happy little town 35 miles south of Seattle) Grunge was still a decade away. We kids listened to whatever was on the radio. And given that I attended High School from 1977 to 1980, the nature of said music is probably best left unmentioned.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Thought I'd share this local political poster we saw today:

"Vote for ***. Like all politicians, he's an idiot. But he's an honest one."

Posted by: km2b | October 11, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Canvassing report: Bad idea to do it in your own neighborhood. Now I know who I MUST keep my kids away from at the pool. Yikes!!!

Democrats put people first.
Republicans seem to put their portfolios first.

And I had one man argue vehemently that Obama will let people like Ayers take over stuff and bomb it. I wonder who sent him that chain email.

Had an interesting discussion with a fellow volunteer about the lack of restraint shown by crowds calling for Obama to be offed. What will those people do when he's elected? (Please note the optimism) Is that kind of talk considered criminal? When I was sworn in as a citizen, I clearly remember swearing something to the effect of not killing the president, overthrow the gummint, etc.

Posted by: a bea c | October 11, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse


Glad to hear from you, and I hope your back gets better. I also hope you get a good report for everything else.

It rained here most of the day. I did get to the food bank and met some friends that I hadn't seen in awhile. I did not stand in the line, could not do that, but sat in the car. The weather really was dreary and miserable today. A little chilly tonight. The g-girl went with us, and she and I read Curious George. We didn't get a chance to finish it, but maybe mom will.

I've slept most of the afternoon, so what to do tonight. Sleep some more. It is lonesome without Mudge, Yoki.

I think the Mega Boodle Porching Hour was great, and I enjoyed myself tremendously. I wonder though, does meeting everyone change the relationships to some extent? Because we know what the faces look like, does anything change, and if so, what exactly? I'm just curious. I know before our meeting, we imagined what the person looked like by their conversations, now we actually know. What do you guys think?

I'm going to read a little, and back to "la la" land. Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 11, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

a bea c - you are one brave lady. And yes, making threats against the President's is extremely illegal.

I had to laugh ruefully when I read this article. Cutting just a little too close to home for me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse


I've used this website from The League of Women Voters to look up information for local elections:

It has statements from the candidates, and lists of endorsements, etc.

Posted by: ac in sj | October 11, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hi Kbertocci! Thanks for that Steinbeck quote, it certainly fits the situation. I won’t go on a rant about all the people and businesses who ‘overfed’ at the credit trough but I am very glad I wasn’t one of them. Of course, my investments are just as worthless as theirs, so where’s the justice? (Rhetorical question only.)

I keep thinking of you kber every time I drive into the garage and see my bike staring at me. I’m hoping for good weather in November, as this month seems to be consumed with wedding related chores and activities. But the dress is finished, thank heavens. Tomorrow “S” will be enlisted to hold it while I iron the skirt. I also found the lace hankerchief that my mom had put aside for #2 to use on her wedding day. I thought I had lost it so I am relieved that it was in the last place I looked (duh!).

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 11, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - some of us were discussing this very issue. I was, in fact, worried that seeing people in "real-life" might do something to destroy the boodle. But I sure don't think so. If anything, for me at least, it makes the boodle all the more vibrant.

For example, having seen "a bea c," and knowing that she is a very slender young woman, the idea of her engaging some hostile bigot just makes me admire her bravery even more.

And, of course, Cassandra, now we all know that you are way more beautiful than you ever let on.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The Festival was awesome,great music,funnel cakes and wonderful weather. I have a bonfire burning outside,maybe I'll roast a dog or 2.Lovely moon up tonight.Back to the fire.......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 11, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

RD, I agree too. And I'm with you about a bea c, she is so small and slim, but fiesty(?) just does not do her credit. She is so much more for her size. I'd hate to get on her wrong side.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 11, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl! So great to hear from you.

greenwithenvy, the Festival sounds like so much fun. Glad you had a good day.

The pies are baked, the dressing ready to put in the bird, we'll do the potatoes tonight too, probably. And we're having a Thai-type supper tonight, for contrast. Life is good! Love having #1 and #2 together, and physics-boy is really part of the family.

Won't Boodle much tomorrow except first thing in the morning, but I wish all my Canadian friends a splendid Thanksgiving Sunday and the rest of you, a fine Sunday.

Cassandra, take care of yourself. You are too important to all of us to take yourself for granted.

Posted by: Yoki | October 11, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

RD, you make it sound as if the wind will lift me up any minute now...Not so tiny, and with a gigantic mouth to yell louder than any bigot.

Cassandra, I tell you I expected you to be almost exactly as you are. And I really enjoyed meeting you. I wish we'd had more time to chat.

Ummm...I'm going to close the lid on my laptop before the profanity coming out of my husband's mouth somehow makes it into the boodle. LSU's not having a good start to tonight's game.

Posted by: a bea c | October 11, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

a bea c - I have no doubt that you can easily hold your own! The point is, I can imagine the scene so much more clearly now than when you were just this amorphous presence. Having seen so many different boodlers just makes us all seem, so, you know, real.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 11, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Hi Cassandra. At work I speak to customers or vendors on the phone and occasionally I’ll get to meet some of them. It gives me a better connection with them that makes subsequent phone calls more pleasant. I think it’s sort of like that here.It just adds another dimension to my knowledge and I enjoy it. Now when I read what you write, I can hear your voice too. I think it’s a definite plus.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 11, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I agree with Sneaks, it's nice to have a face with a boodle name. It helped that I had seen Scotty's photos of the local boodlers. I don't know that I had many preconceived notions about appearances, but the one who surprised me was Frosti. This petite person with the angelic face, a helicopter pilot? Wow!

Hey SonofCarl! We've missed you, good to hear from you.

Carolina beat Notre Dame, so life is good in my corner of the world.

Posted by: slyness | October 11, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Fifty, I second ac in sj (thanks to you!). Check your local or state League of Women Voters. They try to collect as much information as possible, and it is all objective - they don't endorse candidates. The League does great work nationwide and I wish more people would remember them and participate. For judges, you might also try your state and local bar associations and see whether they have any fact sheets (some do).

Howdy and welcome back SonofCarl.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

And thanks, a bea c, for your canvassing. There are a lot of people here who parrot those chain emails too. The interesting thing is, they don't want to hear the facts. They're not interested in having their misinformation corrected. I think they are more comfortable having these poor excuses for their vote.

Lots of the McCain-sign people around here are happy to tell you why they'll vote against Obama - often based on incorrect rumors - but can't or won't explain why they'll vote for McCain. I guess he's the anti-Obama.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Slyness-you would not in any way use the word angelic in a description if you had heard me swearing like a sailor this afternoon. An enormous ill-mannered dog found his way onto our screened porch, overturning furniture and leaving muddy paw prints on the floor.

Checked in at five thirty eight and this is the first I've seen of a supposedly big dust-up over remarks by John Lewis- This from Politico-
"Lewis didn't accuse McCain of imitating Wallace, but suggested there were similarities.

"George Wallace never threw a bomb," Lewis noted. "He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama."

Lewis's sharp words may be dismissed as those of a partisan Democrat in a campaign season. But the former head of SNCC and hero of Selma is somebody who McCain has lavished praise upon over the years, including admiring him in a book on courage and bravery and repeatedly invoking Lewis's name in public appearances."

read the rest at Jonathan Martin's Blog with reaction from both the McCain and Obama campaigns

Posted by: frostbitten | October 11, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

cassandra, when i first started reading the boodle a couple of years ago, i was really impressed that people socialized offline as well. i think it's great and adds to the sense of community. i feel very lucky that i've gotten to meet a number of boodlers in person.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 11, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

a bea c- I second what Ivansmom said.

fifty- if you can't find enough info from the League of Women Voters, and your local paper doesn't cover those more obscure races, try giving each of the candidates a call and do a little job interview. They should each have a contact number on file with your local board of elections (or equivalent)and will want to talk to you-or at least realize they need to.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 11, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, frostbitten, thanks for sharing that. I hope a lot more people - of all races - start calling the McCain/Palin campaign on the dangerous rhetoric and encouragement of anger and hate. Y'know, the Oklahoma City bombing was motivated by Tim McVeigh's hatred of the government, which he felt, and had been told by leaders he respected, was perfectly legitimate. Now, those were fringe leaders. However, the principle holds true.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 11, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

thanks, ac, for the reminder about the league of women voters. they are good.

i can't believe the election is only three weeks away. will it finally be over?
will obama actually win? it seems too good to be true.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 11, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Just saw a video of Palin being introduced at the hockey game in Philly. The crowd booed her. What great idea will the McCain-Palin team come up with next? It’s hard to get my head around the fact that the Repubs are running such a terrible campaign. Have they become inept or has the public (well most of it anyway) becoming smarter?

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 11, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, I infer from your comments that the dog doesn't belong to you. ;-) picked up the story on Lewis, saying that Obama can take the high road and make it tough for McCain to keep up the negative comments.

November 6 CANNOT come fast enough. I am so over all this crap.

Posted by: slyness | October 11, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

In this time of national and international crisis, the question that every one must ask of him or herself is: where has ScienceTim been lately? What is he doing?

Go to 23:27 (or so).

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 11, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Let me add my appreciation for a bea c's work for Obama. I've been volunteering for the Obama campaign here but I chickened out of canvassing.

RD - I had to laugh at your 8:04 link to the article about info overload. Definitely hit close to home for me.

I am second to none in my disgust with the fear and hatred that the McCain camp is inciting with their rallies. Really scary. It's definitely had me worried. My instant reaction to the Lewis/McCain dustup is that I'm just not sure the George Wallace comparison made by John Lewis is helpful to Obama or particularly accurate. That's just me and I'm open to arguments that I'm wrong. But I'm definitely with Slyness on the can't-wait-til-it's-over feeling. I don't think that the next few weeks are going to be very edifying, to say the least.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends! I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Posted by: Kim | October 11, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I was so nervous at my first BPH, but it was a blast, and so were the BPHs after that. It turns out TBG and I have a few acquaintances in common off-boodle (which might be true for her and almost every boodler, who knows).

I think a BPH makes you believe those people are actually the way they sound on the boodle.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 11, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Slyness-The dog lives down the road, and I wouldn't be completely mad at him if I hadn't been trying to lure a young kitty out of the woods and into regular visits to Chez Frostbitten. I'd like to at least get her spayed and perhaps accustomed to indoor living with Mr. F and Frostcat #2 in St. Paul.

Isn't Andrew Sullivan a fave of many boodlers? Here he describes Obama as the Road Runner, blithely beeping along while McCain's Wile E. Coyote explodes.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 11, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Having said that about Mr. Lewis' assertions, I do have to say that I find these comments made by McCain advisor Mark Salter (quoted in a NYT article) to be laughable,

“I think there have been quite a few reporters recently who have sort of implied, or made more than implications, that somehow we’re responsible for the occasional nut who shows up and yells something about Barack Obama,” said Mr. McCain’s closest adviser, Mark Salter.

Yeah, right. Stick with that one, that'll work.

Posted by: Kim | October 11, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

although dowd sometimes annoys me exceedingly, i have to give credit where credit is due. this column is really funny:

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 11, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

A glass of wine then off to bed for me. Do I dare risk jinxing the Rays by watching the rest of the game?

Toodles and fondue.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 11, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

L.A. Lurker - you're right, that is a scream. I find Dowd more annoying than not, but she has outdone herself with this column.

Tu betchas!

Posted by: Kim | October 11, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

A few randomly scattered thoughts on the way, here's the first one:

If there still exists a 'boodler who's been reluctant to attend a BPH gathering because they were afraid that they'd not fit into the mix, be assured... Such a thing isn't really possible. This is a group of folks who simply won't allow such a situation. If we know you (even slightly), or if you even claim falsely that we SHOULD know you even slightly, you're in. We'll take random walk-ins from the street who seem even slightly interested, as long as they want to have a good time, and our idea of a good time is fairly flexible. Do not, under any circumstances, shy away from a 'boodle affair because you're afraid that you'll be too shy to have a good time, or because you fear that the "regulars" won't find you interesting. Really. Truly. I crap you not. It just isn't possible.

There's a several-years long record of achievement here, and I don't think that anyone has EVER hinted that they attended a Porching Hour and felt out of place. Very, very few people have attended one without almost immediately making plans to attend another.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Could not get the video to play SciTim - will try tomorrow when I am less tired. Hope you and ScienceSpouse were able to combine an anniversary trip in that mix.

Posted by: dmd | October 11, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Frostie, Don't go to bed yet! Stay up and watch the Rays -- AND JINX THEM!!!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 11, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

A few observations about an outdoor fire
1.It is hot,don't fool yourself,all the flameage makes you want to go sit elsewhere
2. No matter where you sit,the smoke will find you.
3.Any 5 sided shaped piece of plywood (pentagon),will first look like a wing on fire,second, like a romulin war bird(original),third,like a heart with a little burning lizard head in the middle of the heart.
4.hotdogs only cook real well on the fire side of the stick.
5. And though it looks like it is out(looking out through my office window)It isn't

back in a bit

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 11, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

dmd - I've had the same problem with the video. Tim needs to get on the horn with Cornell & straighten things out, or explain to us which software tidbits we need to install to watch his stuff.

While looking around for another source for the video, I have enjoyed watching some of the sessions from the AAS (American Astronomical Society) meeting in Austin earlier this year. Fun stuff! (OK, not actually everyone's idea of fun, but I like it, darn it.)

This link leads to a presentation that I really enjoyed, but: sometimes I was following it, and sometimes I was left gape-jawed in ignorant wonder. The associated links lead to many wondrous things.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 11, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Like Bob S., when unable to play *Tim's video, I wandered around looking for something to read. Found, at Arts & Letters Daily, a review of two books on cleanliness through the ages. The second one looks like it would be a good Christmas gift for grandkids, painless history:

Posted by: nellie | October 11, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, are you SURE you have that fire out?

Go check again.

Posted by: nellie | October 12, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

*Tim, I couldn't get that video to play either, but I didn't install that other player.

Bob S. -- I try to keep up with AAS stuff too, thanks for that link. The exoplanetary observational stuff is amazing and has undergone a complete revolution over the past 20 years, hasn't it?

I've never attended a McCain rally, so I can't speak to the reports of racism and/or threats against Obama, but I do know that group dynamics, fear and high emotion can be a volitile mix.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I called the style Dowd used Lipstick-On-A-Pig-Latin. Here is my take:

For the dead language impaired, another blog has already translated the Latin parts.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 12, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It is out and so is the rest of the woods.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 12, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Romulan warbirds
in a smoking hot dogfight
engage fire at will

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Returning to the boodle after having my folks over for dinner, many thanks to Jumper, ac in sj, Ivansmom, and frostbitten for pointers to good and reliable information about local elections.

Also, ftb recommended the Wizard of the Crow back on September 20 and I just today managed to borrow a copy from the library. I thought I would have it last weekend, but now I really do.

Good night, all. I am in your debt!

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Talk about news overload. I went to sleep for a while, and now look at what I'm doing. My browser has 14 tabs open...

We got a call about a credit card being suspended from a bank I've never heard of. It wouldn't be so bad if the call had not come about 25 minutes ago. I doubt I'll be going back to sleep tonight.

Posted by: a bea c | October 12, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Anemone Mouse - I like that one. Nice visuals, cool & angry all at once. Got a lot done with 17 syllables, methinks. Thanks!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Hi Bob S! I thought everyone had gone to sleep.

Just saw this on Google News. Palin used taxpayer money to pay for airline tickets to attend religious services.

There is an interesting bit about the Bush Administration's faith-based initiative. It seems they handed out a whopping $2million in 2008. Doesn't that make up for the cuts they've justified with the program?

Posted by: a bea c | October 12, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

a bea c - I'm sure you're well aware of this, but any credit card-suspension call (from a bank with which you're not immediately familiar) that takes place long after sunset on a weekend... probably will wait until you get around to it, if not forever.

[This assumes, of course, that you weren't planning on using the credit card this weekend.]

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Bob, I don't even HAVE a credit card. I'm not worried about the call. I'm just awake and, for me, that is hard to over come.

Posted by: a bea c | October 12, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey, a couple million bucks here, a couple million bucks there, and pretty soon you're talking... well... chump change in the grand scheme of things, actually.

Yeah, I don't think that the "faith-based initiative" program ever manged to find its sea legs. It's probably better that way, 'cuz faith-based initiatives are at their best when they're not required to satisfy bureaucrats over there while trying to perform good works over here.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

I didn't have any trouble with Tim's video - except I didn't have time to watch all 97 minutes of it - just the intro till I confirmed that was Tim. I'm using Firefox, no idea why it worked for me.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking - hmmm... I'm also using Firefox, and I never received any error messages, but it (the video) never started playing. It might be time for me to make sure that I've got the latest updates to the browser and the associated media players.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Taunting the Gods Dept:

I think that my 1:55 AM post inadvertently contained properly wielded (and spelled) usages of "you're", "its", "it's", "there", "their", and "they're".

It wasn't intentional, and I'm probably incorrect, and even if it DID happen, it'll probably never pass this way again.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Just got in from the nightly feeding and romp with our Danes. I've been up since 7 ish yesterday morning, driving the bus and participating in the band competition, just outside of Columbia. We've been competing out of our class all season and finished fifth in 2A. We beat all of the other bands we have to face again in our proper class, 1A. The Upper State championship commences next Saturday. I gave up two tickets to the race in Charlotte, as I made the band commitment long ago. NBD. I haven't really followed NASCAR for the past few years. We won the best pit crew kudos in the competition, after I fell AOTK moving the props off the field. Hard to Handle.

Posted by: ace | October 12, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

One more ditty, and I'm off to rest.

Posted by: ace | October 12, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

ace - Congrats! I know that band work don't come easy (I don't think I've ever seen the initials AOTK used casually, but my father certainly drilled the expression into my head as a young'un!), and NASCAR tickets are very seldom given up lightly.

It's not extremely probable that I'll be able to join you, but where and when do the Upper State Championships commence next Saturday?

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

I think it's in Boiling Springs, SC, Bob. Look for me in a blue La Nouba shirt, and pack a lunch. It'll be quite a show.

Posted by: ace | October 12, 2008 2:33 AM | Report abuse

...and it would be quite a surprise and a pleasure to see you, sir. We could discuss, among other things, the folly of flying into the SVR airport in Weyers Cave on a foggy night.

Posted by: ace | October 12, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Just watched ScienceTim's presentation. I think I understood most of it. So, if other planets far, far away can be photographed and the same analysis done, and results are similar, there could be plant life out there. Very cool.

Just one gripe...Had to put Silverlight on my Mac. I had managed to stay MicroSoft free for a while. I'll remove it after I share the video with a couple of teachers at school.

It would be cool to model the orbiting diagram in Sketch-up and look at it in 3D.

Posted by: a bea c | October 12, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Hello ace, Bob S and a bea c.

Martooni, hope you feel better soon. Don’t over do the back. To ftb and boodlers who are not feeling well, hope you get well soon.

Bob S, thanks for your 10:50 post. I’m not able to attend a BPH in the near future. I’m counting on a miracle to happen that somehow I’ll be able to attend one.

There are many times I don’t understand the meaning of a post, because I’m not fluent enough in the English language. (Heck, I’m not fluent in any language or dialect.) If I had been spoken to, I would probably blink like an idiot. What would boodlers think of me?

Probably, “She’s an idiot!”

Posted by: rainforest | October 12, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

I’m not a monkey fan, but this is kind of cute.

Posted by: rainforest | October 12, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

rainforest - I was going to ask you, "Who's not a monkey fan?", but I'm well aware that familiarity with mischievous creatures can breed some contempt.

That IS a pretty cute vid. And you definitely get the idea that all of the anthropoids involved are having a good time.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Of course, I'm sure that the PETA folks would view it as just one more example of cruel exploitation of critters. And they wouldn't necessarily be wrong. Look at what we've done to the Clintons, the Bush's, and the Kennedy's, all of whom would have been just fine if they'd been left alone in their natural habitats.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 4:39 AM | Report abuse

So, has Cindy Sheehan started to find a place where strong beliefs aren't necessarily couched in hateful terms? One can only hope.

Perhaps others will wish to follow her down that path. (I know, I know. Just call me a silly dreamer.)

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 4:47 AM | Report abuse

Well, Bob S, I'll say most people who live near monkeys are not monkey fans. By that, I mean wild monkeys. As for myself, I'm not a fan, trained or untrained.

Posted by: rainforest | October 12, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I understood that immediately. When I visited Panama, I thought that the spider monkeys were real cute until one took my last beer. And raccoons are amazingly cute until they wreak serious havoc upon whatever's handy.

Critters don't always live their lives according to our plans. Oh well. I guess that's why we make so many different sauces to eat them with.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Oops, bad terminal preposition. Naughty, naughty terminal preposition!

"I guess that's why we make so many different sauces with which to eat them."

Posted by: Grammar Bob | October 12, 2008 5:09 AM | Report abuse

I've seen pictures of natives grill skinned monkeys. I feel faint looking at those pictures. The monkeys looked like babies. I don't think I could ever eat them. Unless, maybe, starving to death stranded up in the Andes... Are there monkeys up in the Andes?

Posted by: rainforest | October 12, 2008 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Dudley takes on Stokey the Bear

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, I know it's not quite right, but I enjoyed that immensely. I'm sure that many RCMP's are annoyed that clods like myself are having fun at their expense.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Of course, I'm sure that the only RCMP's who've ever taken notice of me at all enjoyed my company, and/or considered me (quite accurately) far beneath their contempt. Sometimes it's a nice place to be!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 5:46 AM | Report abuse

It's good to see that McCain was actively countering some of the worst crap at his rallies, but how sad is it that what really sticks out from those articles is the woman saying, in public and using a microphone, that she doesn't like Obama "because he's an Arab?" *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHH*

There was a baseball game last night? *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHH*

And I wouldn't bother reading the Opinion piece on "5 Myths..." Rambling reactionary ranting receding into mere babble. :-)

Well, lessee now... Re-caulk the shower, prep the concrete steps for repairs/painting, transplant flowerbed to make way for masonry work, wait for chimney sweep's verdict on Wednesday. Great long weekend, wouldn't you say? At least it's still great weather.

*kinda-enthusiastic-but-really-more-pro-forma Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Spinach, bacon, & mushroom quesadillas. Que bueno!

I went to Microsoft's site and installed Silverlight. It said to reboot. Looks like a good time to sleep some more.

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Scotty - I was pleased to read that as well. I fear that there's an unpleasant stench of "having one's cake and eating it, too", but every little bit helps, I guess. Heck, I'd be perfectly willing to vote for McCain if there wasn't an opponent who I honestly believe brings a better set of problem-solving tools to the table. I've got very little patience for folks who believe (or pretend to believe) that the opposing players are actively evil here. It's not just stupid, but even worse, it's incorrect.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Now that some of the respectable folk are starting to stir, I may go shut my eyes for a few minutes. Us vampires need our beauty sleep, y'know?

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 6:25 AM | Report abuse

The vast majority of us will never get around to trying this, but here are a couple of views of "speed riding" (small parachute, skis, big hill, you probably get the picture). Wicked cool!


Definitely not a beginner:

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Bob S, you are a hoot. Did you stay up all night? I consider you a very respectable person, and glad you're from my neck of the woods.

Slyness, Mudge, Martooni(hope you're better this morning)Scotty, and all, good morning.*waving*

Thanks for the information, ftb, and all. Here the newspaper sometimes has that information, but so far I haven't seen anything yet. It does help to at least know something about the candidates.

I read the story here at the Post about women and child birth in the African country of Sierre Leonne(?). It is sad to read and to know that such horrible conditions still exists for women. And this is happening to young women, teenagers practically. The Post always gives the family's background and that background consists of a husband with multiple wives, and many children. The story of this particular young woman ends on a sad note. She dies after the birth of a healthy child, and the women of the family are not allowed at the burial, but are the ones that tried to help during the birthing ordeal.

Have a great day, folks. I hope you can give God some of your time. Enjoy the food and the day, to our Canadian friends. I need coffee. Bad.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 12, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

As I recovering band parent, I admire your dedication. Playing out of class is pretty impressive since my informal analysis is that scores are roughly proportional to the number of people on the field.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that story of the African women was heartbreaking. It certainly puts our present economic worries in context.

Of course, then I see the article arguing that it could take 30 years for the market to come back. One could argue that this is not helpful.

But the Mrs. and I are doing our part to keep the wheels of finance grinding forward by going shopping. We are headed off to our favorite warehouse store to buy lots of non-perishable food products! My job, as always, is to carry stuff.

It's good to be useful.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday, Boodlers.

Six American ships are watching the pirates with the 33 tanks aboard. Meanwhile, other pirates hijack a a Panamanian flagged Greek tanker.

What is this, a high seas comedy hour?

Posted by: Brag | October 12, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Busy day ahead, I'll check in this evening. I hope everyone enjoys the nice weather!

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Silverlight is Microsoft's proprietary competitor to Adobe's similarly proprietary but far more popular Flash. All of NBC's online Olympic video was done in Silverlight otherwise you would probably have no reason to install it.

I cheated and fast-forwarded to SciTim's part (which really starts about 23 minutes in) and could only take away two piece of information that weren't beyond my technical understanding.

1. The Earth is blue.
2. I've been mentally mispronouncing SciTim's last name for years.

And finally, is that cool picture of The Moon in front of Earth available anywhere?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

I'm hoping for a politics and financial disaster news-free day today. Being laid up for as long as I was, I kinda overdosed on the coverage since there wasn't much else I could do. I definitely need a break from it all or I'll go nuts.

Today will be "simple" day. "Back to basics", if you will.

So far, so good... breakfast was green apple slices with a chunk of colby-jack cheese and a thick slice of fresh Italian bread smothered in butter, all washed down with some very tasty, very strong coffee.

Nice chill in the air this morning, too... perfect for working in the shop.

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 12, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. It's a lovely day here. About 70 and a crisp breeze. I'm going to take my book and park myself in a beach chair while the hubby goes surf fishing. Now I'm glad we went ahead and painted the railings yesterday and just got it out of the way, although there I did some grumbling about it after hours of yard work. We know where my son got his procrastination genes.

Wow, that 2nd video that Bob S linked to in his 7:02 is great. Thrilling to watch. But it's kind of lowering to watch stuff like that. It makes me think I'm just a weenie!


Posted by: Kim | October 12, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Horn of Africa Piracy

For once, we have a solvable problem. Are we doing anything besides looking stupid? No. Seemingly powerless to intervene, the most powerful navy in the world has six ships watching a hijacked freighter while a scruffy band of pirates negotiates to get millions in ransom money.

The only good thing about the situation, it gives me to opportunity to tell world leaders what to do. Taraaaa!

The solution:

Have the UN establish a quarantine zone starting twelve miles off the Somali coast and extending out two hundred miles. This will allow legitimate fishermen to operate near the coast.

All vessels found inside the quarantine zone would be subject to searches. Armed vessels would be sunk on sight.

Legitimate traffic transiting into or out of the Red Sea would be routed via a narrow sea lane patrolled by frigates.

A flotilla of approximately six to ten light patrol boats would be based in Djibouti and Lamu in Kenya together with a scuadron of small, slow flying reconnaissance aircraft (like Britten Norman Trilanders).

Identifying pirates is easy from the air. Once a suspect boat is spotted, it is ordered to stop, a patrol boat approaches and inspects it. If the crew is armed, they are taken off their vessel and tossed in Jail (in Djibouti). If they refuse to stop, the aircraft sends a few rockets.

It must be recognized that the pirate boats are as fast as the patrol boats, thus interception by surface craft is difficult.

I believe that in less than six months, the pirates would find that their trade has become unprofitable.

If we don't do something about it soon, piracy will spread and become a global asymmetrical warfare problem.

Alexey Braguine is the author of Kingmaker.

Posted by: Brag | October 12, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to be so self-centered -- not much time for Boodlin' for the next few days. You betcha!

Yes, you need to install the Microsoft Silverlight driver in order for the video to show. So far, no virus!

Today is a public event at the model solar system here in Ithaca (similar to the one in DC outside the NASM, I guess -- haven't seen it yet). I'll be volunteering at Jupiter. Bill Nye (yes, THAT guy) will be leading the tour.

See youse later...

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Bob s

That speed riding video--those guys are nutz, nutz--completely nutz :o)

Posted by: Brag | October 12, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Bob s--the speed riding guys are nutz!

Posted by: Brag | October 12, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to tell you how to get the picture of the Earth and Moon -- go to the EPOXI web site, . In the caption for the movie, click on the link for 'the single image.' Unfortunately, the resolution is quite poor -- this is only a subset from an image that is only 512X512 to begin with, and our camera is defocused due to a construction defect. Good images are not what this mission is about.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 12, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Here's a promising story in Troy, Ohio...

"The first thing that stands out about the Troy, Ohio, Obama field office is its placement. It's right in the heart of town. It catches everyone's attention -- you can't miss it.

"The next thing that caught our attention was that, since the office had first opened, 800 different people from Miami County had come through the office's doors to volunteer. There were only 51,760 voters in the entire county in 2004, and a mere 17,606 were Kerry voters.

"4.5% of the entire Miami County Kerry vote has already walked in the doors to volunteer.

"This is a brand new development. Ed White, a first-time volunteer who spoke to us in the Troy office, said he'd lived here 24 years and had long "felt the stultifying effect of speaking up in a community so Republican." Miami County went for Bush by 32 points in 2004. After that election, there were bitter feelings in an tight-knit area woven together by approximately 33 community organizations and dinner clubs. National issues had split ordinarily more connected people apart, and without Democratic organization, folks like Ed felt isolated.

"This year, Ed is volunteering along with everyone else... "

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. Rainy, but not too cold here this morning. Tomorrow promises more rain, but colder. I think we had 48 hours of peak leaf color before the rain and wind stripped the trees.

SciTim-would it be asking too much for you to tell Mr. Nye your imaginary friend is his most ardent fan? Watched your bit in the video, and was mostly lost, perhaps you can do a 5th grade level version.

Brag's solution to the piracy problem is right on.

The Rays won last night, but not until after midnight so I see my plan of going to sleep before the end of the game worked as well for them as it did for me.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Spend some time on the deck last night with my youngest and my Orion scope looking at Jupiter, the mountains of the Moon, etc. A nice evening.

I have some pics over my desk at the office; the Earth in the night sky from the surface of Mars, Earth and the Moon from one of the Mars imaging orbiters (can't remember which one off hand), one of the Hubble Deep Field images, and a large cosmological map of the universe, showing the structure of galactic clusters.

Like the Incredible Shrinking Man (see Matheson's wonderful soliloquy at the end), I feel smaller every day, but it's wonderful to feel more connected to the infinite.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I missed an all nighter, darn

Good Morning

As I watch the American Sunday morning gabfests I'm struck by how a guy with a southern accent gushing about Sarah Palin sounds like Gomer Pyle while one discussing Obama reminds me of Shelby Foot.

Posted by: Boko | October 12, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Great line about Gomer Pyle and Shelby Foot, Boko. That will be repeated in my house, I'm sure.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Brag, I like everything about the piracy solution, but for one small thing. The UN. Unless the UN is functioning differently these days, the efforts will be slow sluggish and ineffective. It's beauracracy is defeating itself. Still it is the best we have got.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Tim, give Bill Nye a high five for me!

Ah, yes, I remember now - I installed Silverlight to watch the Olympics videos. Will have to watch Tim's presentation when I have another cup of coffee.

rainforest, you sound quite fluent in English to me. I don't understand half the posts either.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like the smell of schadenfreude sizzling in the morning!

"Some weeks ago, the McCain team devised a plan to have Palin file an ethics complaint against herself with the State Personnel Board, arguing that it alone was capable of conducting a fair, nonpartisan inquiry into whether she fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten, who had been involved in a messy custody battle with her sister. Some Democrats ridiculed the move, noting that the personnel board answered to Palin. But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles. Palin is now scheduled to be questioned next week, and the counsel's report could be released soon after. "We took a gamble when we went to the personnel board," said a McCain aide who asked not to be identified discussing strategy. While the McCain camp still insists Palin "has nothing to hide," it acknowledges a critical finding by Petumenos would be even harder to dismiss."

Turning to the trivial, I've been looking for new flatware because all the old stuff has disappeared like socks in a washer. I told a friend who asked how that was possible--how do you *lose* flatware? I guessed I took some to work with lunches, some is hiding in old backpacks, some is in the sofa cushions. Who knows.

I was in the Poconos yesterday visiting my sister, who rents in the Poconos every summer and lives in Florida the rest of the year. She takes some things back and forth with her to make the rental seem more like home; I asked her if I could look at her flatware for the manufacturer, I'd always liked her set. She echoed, "How do you lose flatware?"

Lo and behold (you were expecting this, right?), 4 pieces of *my* flatware were snuggled in with hers. We laughed and she answered her question by saying "Your kleptomaniac sister takes it." May have to visit Florida this year to retrieve the rest of it.

Have a good day, all! I have a shopping bag full of ripe pears from my backyard, will probably make pear sauce and can it today.

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

TBG-thanks for that link to 538, those guys are updating so frequently I'd have missed that Ohio story.

dbG-There are people who don't lose flatware?

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

This morning, I read competing opinions about Palin's Troopergate troubles. Dahlia Lithwick thinks it will blow over and calls it Skategate. She contrasts Palin's wriggling out with the less successful approach of Alberto Gonzales.

Alternatively, David Steven speculates that Troopergate will power the next McCain campaign stunt.

The troubles of the McCain campaign remind me of Bill Russell's observation about basketball, "When things go bad, they really go bad."

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Fifty, for the David Stein article. He's wrong though, I've been reading for weeks of SP being replaced in such a scenario. It's hard to imagine even if she does resign how the whole thing wouldn't reflect badly on McCain.

frosti, I know. It befuddles me too. I guess not everyone lives in the same state of protracted adolescence that I do (including you here if you'd like. . . or not!).

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

too funny dbG.

Happy TGDay to you who know who you are (cryptic much omni)

rainforest, our first thought may be 'She's an idiot', but our second and stronger: 'She's one of us!'

Love and Cheers.

I hope all of us will be quoting Julian of Norwich on Nov. 7th

Although she lived in a time of turmoil, Her theology was optimistic, speaking of God's love in terms of joy and compassion..."All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"

And a day later we can celebrate her nativity

Posted by: omni | October 12, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

dr--I agree with you about the UN bureaucracy. But, the UN is the only legal body with jurisdiction on international waters.

Another thought. The piracy problem also shows that we have the wrong navy for the requirements of this century.

Posted by: Brag | October 12, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ben Bova!

Posted by: Boko | October 12, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I would say that without hostages, the piracy problem is trivial. With them, the present prudence is only to be expected.

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Saw a great sight today... silver convertible, top down, driver with his gray comb-over flying high in the air, McCain-Palin sticker on the bumper... and the blinker on for miles and miles.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

dbG... remember eating at my house? "Uh... sorry... don't know where all the 'big' forks are!"

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree dbG. Replacing Palin would only provide more (much appreciated) theater.

If the election continues on its current path, I will read Republican reaction to it with interest. What conclusions will they draw? Will they reform their party? Nahhhh.

Our flatware went out of production and we could find only expensive copies. On the other hand, the silverware pattern favored by my mom's family was designed in 1895 and is still made!

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

So, um, TBG -- was that the "right wing" blinker which stayed on?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 12, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Yes, ftb! it was the right wing blinker!

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Pictures of the new counter tops in the hip urban loft:

I'm afraid we've stalled out on the back splash/wall. I'm thinking glass 1X1 tile all the way up to the cabinets, but a clean white subway tile is appealing too. Maybe some salvaged tin ceiling tiles...

DotC-How's the big blue box of mod store kitchen going?

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Great story about the convertible, TBG. Re: the forks, no wonder I felt right at home. Should I set aside the old stuff for SoTBG?

Why am I thinking so much about flatware? Beats looking at my 401(k) and the market has dampened my enthusiasm at spec'ing out the perfect pair of diamond studs.

Of course, the more I look at flatware, the more I want. I began by wanting iced-tea spoons with whatever set I bought, now I also want steak knives in the same pattern. Believe it or not, I have found 4 sets which meet the criteria.

Are we running low in the Bunker? Will we need boullion spoons, tiny forks and butter spreaders there?

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The pirate problem is a serious one.

It may be an opportunity, however. I've long resented "flags of convenience" and other means to get the benefit of the developed world while not sharing the burden. At the very least there should be a hefty "rescue" charge.

SonofCarl is the author of Ode to a Saskatoon Pie.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 12, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Butter knives. Yes. Pate knives, too. Thanks, dbG.

We could develop rituals and religion based on the irritating loses of items: into (where) the great beyond or black hole of dissapearing-ences.

gloves mittens

Entropy would be one of our universal laws. And, we would need dispensations or penances for the lapse-losses. Etc.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Where were all the talented boodlers when they had the Obama in 30 seconds contest?

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff, frosti. I've seen that "I've got hope" commercial on TV but hadn't seen the other one.

Here's something I just found... when is a typo not a typo?

"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's last name is spelled 'Osama' on some 300 absentee ballots mailed out this week to voters in Rensselaer County hilltowns..."

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I get what flatware is. But are there other wares a cultured individual should know about? You know, like, um, roundware or mebbe parabolicware or something?

All I know about this stuff is that the fork is supposed to go on the right.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

SCC: I meant the fork *isn't* supposed to go on the right.


That was a close one. Wouldn't want people to think I was, uncouth or something. 'cause I'm just as couth as the next guy.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Very fruitful link, frosti. Thankz.

I'm off on another tangent. It's the equivalent of getting mail that says "American business has total contempt for you." And I get such mail all the time.

The best was when I got the advertisement with the window in it where you can see inside: it looks like a check in there! Made out to me! Unfortunately, the addressee was "Occupant." Even the totally naive no longer has to open the envelope: if they don't know my name, there's no way my name is on the "check."

My weirdest came yesterday from my bank. Some coupons came with "scratch off the number to see your prize." However, somewhere in the chain of command it was decided that THE ACTUAL SCRATCH-OFF STUFF WAS TOO EXPENSIVE. So they printed A GRAY FIELD THAT ONLY LOOKED LIKE A SCRATCH OFF THING! That way, see, they lowered the cost of not awarding the non-existant prize. I'm sure someone is proud they saved the bank, and thereby me, this money.

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

dbG, my salvation is Replacements Limited:

I'm on their email list for obvious reasons...

I inherited my mother's sterling flatware, which fortunately is still in production, not that anyone can afford it. Mom found and bought me ONE salt spoon in the pattern. Now I have the salt cellar to go along with it (my dad's mother actually used them on the table!) but what do you do with one? I suppose I should check to see if I can get (afford) a couple more.

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Way not a typo, unless they're a bunch of collo-cerviciliaris illiteritibus ("collo-cerviciliaris" is clearly meant to be a creative translation of red-necks).

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 12, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

in fifteen years at here I'm only missing one spoon. And I know who.

On the other hand, I did pick up a really nice wine glass from same who, who accidently broke one of mine.

But the oddest strangest thing is I have three highball glasses I didn't buy and have no idea where they came from.

Back to the wine glass, reminds me of a great 'Shoe' comic: "The type of glass you use is very important when you're drinking wine. The bigger ones hold more."

Golly, I love who

Posted by: omni | October 12, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I am counting on Replacements Limited to save my reputation with the descendants. Ma Frostbitten asked why I would spend much $ and effort completing Mr. F's great grandmother's china service for 14 when we rarely use it. Because I don't want to be known as the Grandma Frostbitten who was so indifferent she couldn't hand down a full set. Never underestimate guilt as a motivator.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Argh! Stop, RD, you've confusing me! Which I don't need as I just found a set that includes a cheese knife in the same pattern. :-)

Would this were silver we were discussing, but it's just plain stainless steel.

Sad, but true, I never had even iced-tea spoons until we were moving my aunt into deep assisted-living and my cousin insisted I take our aunt's. I resisted, she asked how much room they were going to take up, and . . . here I am at the point where they're a necessity. I do not even sweeten my iced-tea!

When my mother passed away, I sent my niece a beautiful set of flatware that my stepfather had brought from his first marriage. Why didn't I see the time/money I would have saved if I kept them and pretended that a few dishwasher cycles would remove all the cooties?

Ya know, I guess I could just run the dishwasher more than once a week and that would take care of the whole flatware problem.

Sigh. Still looking, but boring even myself at this point! :-)

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What's the pattern, frosti? I may have some.

The great-aunts and dbG-grandmother had a thing for china. I inherited service for 36 (my aunt had a very funny story of a certain sale @ Lits and how they just started buying and couldn't stop. Maybe it's in the genes) as well as at least 2 service for 8's.

I'm wondering why my own china is taking up so much room in the kitchen when I could just, you know, sell it.

It's not like I'm gonna run out.

Posted by: dbG | October 12, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I finally got a set of flatware a couple of years ago. It was one of the choices for my 20-years-working-at-the-same-company award. Not even sure where the stuff we had been using before came from. I have one piece of china from my grandparents - a butterdish that I used to use (now it's tucked away in the corner cupboard). The dishes we use every day are from thrift stores.

My sister has the china my parents had, and the sterling silver, which probably needs to be polished. None of it ever gets used.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I slept through the morning; band hangover. My wife and I went out to the iris bed during the mid afternoon to divide the rhizomes for the first time in nearly a decade. We have more rhizomes than Carter has little pills.

Posted by: jack | October 12, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear. Dearie, dearie me. The Redskins lost (I can hear Mudge in the bunker railing at the team).

But at least the Detroit Lions, who were hell-bent on winning their first game of the season, ended up losing, thereby on their way to a "perfect season", bless their &(^%$&^ hearts.

*sigh* -- for both teams.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 12, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

dbG, here's my current strategy for dealing with disappearing flatware:

Combine remnants of all old sets that J and I have ever owned or "borrowed" (2-3 patterns each).

Register for a double set of a nice pattern. When someone bites and sends it as a wedding gift, put it safely in its own drawer.

Use only the old stuff; reserve the new for company.

So far, so good. Unfortunately, this strategy isn't easily repeatable, so eventually I'll have to come up with another. But I'll worry about that later.

Posted by: bia | October 12, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

See, this is why I avoid watching professional sports. It isn't that I don't care, but rather, on some primal level I end up caring too much. So the Redskins lost ugly to a team they should have beaten. And this affects my Yet it does. It takes the shine off of a beautiful Sunday.

I hate when I act like a stupid male.

Maybe I should go inventory our flatware.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hi Jack, I am going to re-purpose the iris rhizomes, too. They are only the huge purple german iris that everybody has, but I inherited them from a sweet old lady. Like sourdough starter neglected, bad luck comes to those who lose a line of blooms chaining back about 70 years.

I also have some Florentine white iris, which can yield orris root, which spelled of distilled violets. Someday! And someday, too chickens in my inner beltway yard, too. Bantam Orphingtons or bantam Wyandottes....I think about this often.

Omni, you were channeling me with the Julian of Norwich quote. She is one of my (mystic) heros.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I have boodle irises!

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

You have no idea how comforting it is to know other people who refer to little forks and big forks as little forks and big forks.

RD, its OK, you can let football go without a worry. It will be curling season in just a few weeks.

Posted by: dr | October 12, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

RD - I was thinking something similar myself. My housemate (a lifelong Northern VA resident and Redskins fan) was at the game today. he won't be amused. At least I had the consolation of seeing the old hometown team (the Falcons) sneak a last-second field goal in for the win.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I WANT BOODLE IRISES, TOO! I am putting them in a new raised bed, courtesy of the advice of dbG. If RD is saving seeds, I will go back to the tomato phase of say 1990.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Bob. That was me last night.

CP, our irises can be traced back some 50 years ofr so to my wife's Grandmother's garden in Charlotte. I wonder why iris and roses seem to be one of a few heirloom plants. I have a certain reverence for these rhizomes.

Posted by: jack | October 12, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I have a set of six porcelain salt cellars and I have the wee spoons to go with them. Very cool. I use them for formal dinners (that should be, when I used to hold formal dinner parties I used them).

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

An article about my hero. I hope this documentary makes it to BBC America:

Posted by: jack | October 12, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I use salt cellars for rock salt. Fingers, actually, but the spoons would be nice at the table. Dreaming of Yoki's emerging smorgasbord of post-Tday yummies.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 12, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I solved my flatware problem a long time ago. I use my cutlass for everything and call it a fish knife :o)

Posted by: Brag | October 12, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I think it's near the end for "Bwa-ha-ha!"

It's been a good run, and I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to ban it, because I've been loving it, and could stand a few more as far as I'm concerned.

But the tide is turning; I can sense it. "Bwa-ha-ha!" is getting kind of last-year. And somebody's going to get hurt before it ends. Some mass snub will occur when the last one to say it is confronted by everyone who by that time truly is sick of it. It will be embarrassing. And then that will be the end of it.

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

You're saying that "bwa-ha-ha" has jumped the shark?

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

(Holding... back... with all... my strength...)

Just about.

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry. That was mean of me!

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Not in the least, it's an excellent way to summarize it.

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

And I don't feel too good myself.

Posted by: Jump the Shark | October 12, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Where does that phrase come from? I shouldn't use it in public when I don't know what it truly means.

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Jumping the shark is a colloquialism used by TV critics and fans to denote that point in a TV show or movie series' history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations, undergoing too many changes to retain the original appeal of the series. Shows that have "jumped the shark" are typically deemed to have passed their peak as after this point critical fans can point to a noticeable decline in the show's overall quality."

Comes from Happy Days' Fonzie jumping a shark on water skis. The Wikipedia article quoted above includes a pic of said jumping.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Jump the shark?
"Jumping the shark is a colloquialism used by TV critics and fans to denote that point in a TV show or movie series' history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations, undergoing too many changes to retain the original appeal of the series. Shows that have 'jumped the shark' are typically deemed to have passed their peak as after this point critical fans can point to a noticeable decline in the show's overall quality." -Wikipedia

Posted by: Jumper | October 12, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!


Posted by: Dr Evil | October 12, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Darn! I should have looked it up first. It means something somewhat different than I thought.

Wired Magazine had (has? who reads it anymore?) a what's in / what's out feature adequately spoofed as:

Wired: tired
Tired: Wired

I thought jts = tired.

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

We recently watched a rerun of the most-excellent show, Arrested Development, in which the lawyer played by Henry Winkler jumps over a shark lying dead on a pier.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Unless I'm misunderstanding, and tired is a good thing, jts does = tired, with an added bit of desperation.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Would you settle for skates with wicked sharp blades?

Posted by: Mr. Unpleasant | October 12, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The phrase was coined by the founders of the Jump The Shark website:

And here is the titular video clip:

The very narrow meaning of the phrase means that something has been played out creatively and is now just going through the motions.

Ron Howard of Happy Days was one of the executive producers of Arrested Development and there are several in-jokes in that series. In addition to the scene TBG mentioned, when the lawyer played by Henry Winkler left the show, he was replaced by a character played by Scott Baio who had also been in Happy Days.

The Scott Baio character was named Bob Loblaw and he wrote a law blog.

Say that three times fast.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DNA Girl | October 12, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all! I have been the proud babysitter of a very tiny kitten this weekend, which has been a lot of fun. I need Boodle advice, though. Said kitten's favorite place to sleep is on the keyboard of my laptop. There have been a few minor problems caused by this, which I have been able to fix. One thing, though, my "home", "pgup", "end" and "pgdn" aren't working, which gets annoying, especially trying to get to the bottom of long boodles like this. Reboot doesn't do it.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance, and the kitten goes home tonight so he won't do it again.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 12, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

My buddy's toddler referred to the Loblaw's grocery store as Blawblaws. Cute, eh?

I said, 'Cute, eh?'

That's better.

Posted by: Boko | October 12, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse


Who knew caulking a shower and patching some concrete steps could lead to such soreness?

Oh wait, that's my brain trying to process all the last-second wins from the 1 p.m. games while waiting for the NLCS tilt this evening. And in the schadenfreude (or is it hoist on one's own petard) department, the Fish lose to the Texans on a last-second quarterback draw.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy-try turning your lap top to a vertical position and shaking gently while simultaneously blowing under the keys. When Frostcat#1 was still alive he practically lived on my laptop. I frequently had keys go sticky or totally non-functional from the build up of various feline detritus (lost claws, shedding hair, bits of shredded toilet paper).

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Boko. What's a Loblaw?

I should talk, we have a grocery chain here called "Schnucks." Much to the amusement of out-of-town visitors.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 12, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse


Vacuum all the fur out of the keyboard?

You're welcome.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"Jumping the shark" has jumped the shark.

Posted by: Meta-Shark | October 12, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Frosti and Scotty - I was thinking software problem when it may be mechanical. I'm going to go find the compressed air can in the garage and try blasting it out.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 12, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know a term (or wish to coin a term) for TV shows which are fresh & interesting for a while, and then, a season or two or three in, start focusing on character interplay complications to the detriment of providing the fun stuff which made them popular to begin with?

"Ellen" was a pretty good example. My parents enjoyed the show, and weren't particularly bothered by her introduction of lesbianism into the show. But they both bid the show adieu when it became clear that every other episode (or so) was going to be centered primarily upon lesbian soap opera, rather than, you know, funny.

"E.R.", "L.A. Law", "The Practice", many many others, have succumbed to this disease, in my opinion. I've always just called it "soaping", but I'm wondering if there's a more widely-accepted term for the phenomenon.

Posted by: Bob S, | October 12, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse


"Jumping INTO the shark," perhaps?


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Maybe, maybe.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

And in the "NOW you notice" department:


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 12, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"Designing Women" did that, Bob. It started out as a funny show but turned into a soap box for the "issue of the week."

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention one of my favorite examples: "Quantum Leap" started to get awfully fond of having Sam go back to run across himself, or his father, or other such self-involved stuff.

It was kinda cool a few times, but I thought that it started to drag on after a while. Soapy, soapy, soapy! Did they run out of history to explore or somethin'?

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Scotty - I'm in agreement with Hoyt's contention that more clarity and less anger would be a good thing. On the other hand (there's always another hand, isn't there?) John Geer makes a (slightly, but only slightly) tongue-in-cheek argument for more negativity:

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

By the way, am I the only one who noticed the illustration which took up a goodly portion of the front page of yesterday's (Saturday's) real estate section in the tree pulp edition?

Racy stuff. The artist was obviously amusing herself.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's the article, with picture:

Nothing breathtaking, but amusingly suggestive for the real estate section.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

To the point of the story referenced above, I did a good deed earlier this year. A friend and her husband were interested in purchasing a home (trying to trade in their townhouse for a stand-alone, with a yard & stuff) and came close to walking away from the deal over $7500.

I told her that she and her husband should give some serious consideration to whether they actually believed that there was another house around that they'd really want to purchase for the same money. If not, then getting emotionally wound up, and letting the deal die, over $7500 (just over 1% of the sale price) seemed counterproductive. I think I really made my point when I asked her if they'd feel really abused if a merchant told them that the shipping charge (on something that they had purchased) wouldn't be the $10.00 as originally promised, but would instead be $10.15.

Both she and her husband found peace with the deal shortly thereafter, and really, really like the new house.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow what a day - I am exhausted and have a sore back but it was worth it.

Went on a hike this morning in a parking in the north part of town on the edge of the escarpment. Lots of paths through the woods and around an old quarry. The leaves were stunning.

Followed that by about an hour or so in the pool with the kids and their friends, then putting mulch in the dog run, then relatives for supper.

The best part of the day for my younger daughter and her friends - the ice cream truck went down our street - first time this summer - several times this year we heard the truck but it never went down our street.

dbG I have lost quite a number of teaspoons - think your sister might have them?

I remember those salt containers - we had them when I was young complete with little tiny glass spoons - if I remember correctly the spoons had all been glued back together at some point.

Hope everyone had a great day, if you can go see the moon, it is cloudless here and very visible but there is some fog rolling is so it is somewhat hazy.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I call the degeneration of a previously excellent show into melodrama "goin' soapy", because the shows so affected become essentially soap operas. LA Law went soapy, in my opinion, when Gwen started being stalked. Chicago Hope the moment Christine Lahti showed up, and ER about the time John Carter developed his drug problem. I pretty much stopped watching after then.

CSI has come dangerously close to goin' soapy, but manages to pull back just in time.

I think this happens because the writers pretty much run out of interesting ideas associated with the original concept. Now, in an ideal world this is when the show should end while there is still some integrity. But then, of course, TV is a business designed to make money.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I remember what happened with Designing Women very well. It got so annoyingly preachy. Nothing but little political morality plays with Suzanne Sugerbaker explaining The Truth to everyone at the end. Even when I agreed with the politics, which was frequently, it all came across terribly heavy-handed and about as entertaining as watching "The Trial of Billy Jack" crossed with "Free to Be You and Me."

Man, am I ever showing my age.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

NIce work, Bob. When I was posting in the wee hours this morning I thought, for a moment, that you might just show up at the band competition next week. Then my mind raced even further, thinking that yello, a fellow band Dad, might even come along just for s's and g's. Wishful thinking. On the most outside of chances you find yourself wandering about these parts, the competition will be at Clinton H.S., Clinton, SC. Any resemblance, implied or otherwise, of the name of this town to the former President and Honourable Senator is purely coincidental. Ask for the goofiest looking bus driver from Richburg and you'll find me.

Posted by: jack | October 12, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

dmd - the joy of the ice cream truck never does fade, does it? A few weeks ago I was working in the front yard and heard the distinctive music of our local good-humor truck. I yelled inside and we all ran out like a bunch of little kids.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Boodle road trip! Let's go to Clinton, SC!

In other news... in typical Republican fashion, Sarah Palin has told reporteres she's "pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing ... any hint of any kind of unethical activity there."

I wonder if she said it with a wink.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

TBG - yeah, that interpretation by Palin left me kinda speechless.

Also, I suddenly realized that Julia Sugerbaker was the character who did the preaching on Designing Wamen. Suzanne was the Delta Burke character.

Also, in the kinda sorta interesting department, Julia was played by Dixie Carter, who was very conservative. She and the producers used to get into shouting matches over the shows content.

It scare me that I remember all this.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Designing Wamen? Clearly wrong, but still sorta works.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 12, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

TBG, were the reporters allowed to ask follow-up questions?

Posted by: Fifty | October 12, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Everyone I know complained about how horrible the last episode of Seinfeld was, but I thought it was a perfect ending, Jumping the Shark is a great way to go out

Think about it for a moment...they had run out of ideas. They knew it. We knew it.

Let's sign off with a crappy show.

But, I tell you, I'm no good at this conspiracy theory stuff.

Posted by: omni | October 12, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, RD, that was bad. Suzanne Sugarbaker would have been deeply offended by your intimation that she had some motivation larger than herself.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone in Virginia seen a McCain ad on TV? I see Obama ads during every show I watch, but haven't seen a McCain ad for weeks now.

Posted by: TBG | October 12, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I admit I had an ice cream cone too - even had the chocolate dip topping.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Other than, perhaps, upholding the grand tradition of beauty queens. I think I remember an episode where she was somewhat eloquent about that.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I saw one last week. If I remember correctly, it seemed to be implying that McCain would be a better choice as president than Obama. Vague hints of higher taxation and military incompetence were floated.

Hey, it convinced me. I sent McCain fifty bucks.

But then, the next day, I saw an Obama ad which convinced me that the McCain ad was based upon faulty premises. So I sent him a hundred bucks.

Now you know why I occasionally can't afford to attend the 'boodle gatherings!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Here in MN the Obama ads seem to be outpacing the McCain ads 2:1 (at least). Sen Norm Coleman has declared a moratorium on negative ads, but "can't control" the ad buys of groups that support him-but they seem to have backed off a bit too. Franken is running an ad suggesting Coleman "has lost his marbles" with real marbles rolling across the floor past the feet of voters behind the curtain in polling booths. Seems to be saying something about McCain really, but I'm predisposed to think that way. The Frostrents, still a lively pair, think anyone their age is too old to be president and both are younger than McCain (though Frostdaddy is only a year younger).

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

[Unlike Achenbach & Weingarten, I'm occasionally guilty of providing {for dramatic and/or humorous effect} anecdotal snippets which are not particularly well-grounded in actual events. The previous post was a good example. I think it's usually obvious when I've employed such devious tactics, but when I realize that there may be some doubt, I usually let y'all know. Like now!]

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Frosti - Well, we must be closing in upon an acceptable age range. Your folks think that anyone their age is too old, and I think that anyone my age is pretty close to being too young. But, even though I'm a bit older than Obama & Palin and a heck of a lot younger than McCain (& Joe Biden, and even Hillary Clinton, for that matter), I'm pretty sure that age should not be (all by itself) a disqualifying factor for any of the current players.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Jamie Moyer, former Mariner. Just sayin'.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 12, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of different categories way a show can jump a shark and the website puts them into broad categories. The number one choice for both LA Law and Designing Woman is the loss of major character.

The category that most closely resembles "soaping" (which is a great phrase) is "A Very Special..." when socially relevant plots take over the storylines. That category was voted third for Designing Woman.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The ice cream truck! It still makes me happy to hear it coming.

TBG - lots of McCain commercials down here. McCain/Palin are down here tomorrow a.m. Several folks from the hubby's office and 3 neighbor ladies are going. One of my neighbors said something like, "it's a good opportunity to see them together" or something like that. I was proud of myself for biting back a pithy comment about the McCain camp not allowing Palin to be out there by herself. Because, you know, some folks aren't deferential enough!

Whew, just got a vertigo thingie from the parallel universe I'm inhabiting.

I got a call from the Obama office today asking if I could possibly take more than two of the volunteers who are coming here to work for Obama in the last 10-14 days before the election. They would bring their own air mattresses! Apparently they have something like 500 folks coming here to the Tidewater area for that last push in VIRGINIA, a battleground state...wooohoo!! I hemmed and hawed for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is the faithful beagle takes a while to get used to strangers. But I bit the bullet and said I could take 3. The hubby is a little leery. He works in law enforcement and tends to be a little jaded, but he came around. I hope that none of the 3 are sociopaths. 'Cause that'll make him cranky!

Posted by: Kim | October 12, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Great Thanksgiving had and given by all.

I have to say that, to my ear, getting tireder than "bwahahaha" is the use of either the phrase "jumping the shark" or "drinking the koolaid." So I encourage everyone to express themselves as they see fit and to heck with the hindmost. Joel is the only arbiter here, and he hasn't requested anyone to change their signature phraseology yet, so long as it is civil and not a personal attack.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

yello - I love you like a brother and a fellow Techie, but this was a bit convoluted:

"There are a lot of different categories way a show can jump a shark and the website puts them into broad categories."

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"feline detritus (lost claws, shedding hair, bits of shredded toilet paper)"

cats use toilet paper?

Posted by: nellie | October 12, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Been a great football day, though both of the local pro Football teams lost. Sheesh.

At least it was pretty cool that so many games were settled in the last 10 seconds...

Speaking of which - Scotty, I hope you're really watching the NLCS tonight. Doubtless, if you're watching the Pats at San Diego, you're covering your eyes. Though I do love the Chargers retro powder blue unis.

As far as flatware goes - personally, I'm still looking for a set with phillips head table knives.

More later, kids.

Bob S. is the last ad you hear before you vote going to affect who you vote for?
I bet some of the active political Boodlers would like your cell phone number, and some idea of when you're going to voted...


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., if you're gonna send McCain money, better make it Monopoly money.

Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Posted by: omni | October 12, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Good luck with the volunteers, Kim. At least your spouse is of the same political party as yourself. I am not so fortunate myself.

I loved Andrew Sullivan's description of the McCain campaign as shambolic, a couple of weeks ago. Here's another report from across the pond:

Posted by: slyness | October 12, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Kim - Good for you and the hubby! Nice that he's supportive even when it isn't exactly the way that he'd choose to go about things.

Yoki - You probably shouldn't have done that. "And the Devil take the hindmost" has always been amongst my favorite expressions, but I've mostly held it in abeyance.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., that was a funny post.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I bow to the Boodle - my keys are working again! Kitten is back home and his effects cleared away. For a 6 ounce creature he had literally dozens of pounds of things out for his comfort, pleasure and safety.

And Nellie, as far as I can tell he used no toilet paper. Though we did sometimes have to clean him up with a tissue - he's a very young kitten.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 12, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that wasn't my best sentence. I have to quit boodling after a hard lemonade while watching Bill Maher.

Here are some of the ways a show can jump the shark.

Have the kid star hit puberty.
Have a musical episode.
Add a cute kid as a new character.
Destroy the sexual tension by having the main characters sleep with each other.
Replace a character with a different actor.
Hire Ted McGinley.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

nellie- "cats use toilet paper?"

Not so much use as get a roll spinning then shred it and scatter pieces all over.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

frosti - Echoes of Clintonian hair-splitting?

"It depends on which definition of 'use' you use."

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Kim-I can picture a glow coming from your house for the next couple weeks as you and the Obama volunteers work feverishly to knit the universes back together. Keep the faith!

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Oops. G'night Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | October 12, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Yoki. Thanks for staying up past your bedtime with us!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

frosti - I told the hubby about your comment about a "glow" coming from our house. He says he hopes it won't be because we've let an arsonist have the run of our home.

Posted by: Kim | October 12, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if everyone has heard this before I am just getting caught up on the news, and read this - Sarah Palin used her daughter to deflect boos as she dropped the puck at the hockey game. What a mom.

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten's variation on "jumping the shark" actually has its own Wikipedia entry.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 12, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, now, if her daughter wasn't otherwise gainfully employed and paying rent, I'm not sure that a little boo-deflection is an unreasonable chore to ask of one's offspring.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt - I remember that chat! Somehow, I've got a feeling that the Wiki entry was placed by interested parties.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Well except for a little thing called child labour laws :-)

Posted by: dmd | October 12, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Unless it's Josh Whedon putting on a Buffy musical.

That was a great episode

Posted by: omni | October 12, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

We'd have less teen angst if we had more child labour.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 12, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten - Yuk! Almost certainly true, but I doubt that it's gonna fly as a plank on any political party's platform.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 12, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Er, on a personal note, I think I'd rather have someone in the Secret Service take boo-lets for me, rather than my own daughter.

But that's just me.

omni, if you haven't seen Whedon's Dr. Horrible musical pieces, you should check them out. Amusing and clever on a low budget. [What did you say...?]

For those of you who just got a Kinks tune cootie, you're welcome.

G'night, all.


Posted by: bc | October 12, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

bc - I was being silly. I'd go a very, very long way to try to avoid having any child put in that situation. Life is full of crappy stuff. Whenever possible, parents should try to avoid creating additional crappy stuff for their kids.

I think that "crappy stuff" is a technical term within the Dr. Seuss (or was that Mr. Spock?) school of child rearin'.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

bob s., the only time you didn't post in the last 24 hours was between about 7am and 4pm - is that when you slept, i hope?

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 13, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, I was actually up and at it by about 10:00 A.M., but I did grab a few winks between seven and ten.

Trust me, I actually DO sleep from time to time, and I actually have a real job! It's a long weekend for me, though. In celebration of the Columbus Day holiday, I was thinking that I might want to ravish a Meso-American. Any volunteers?

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the devil taking the hindmost (we were, weren't we? At some point?), I may have to dig up this book, which seems to cover some of the ground which we're currently re-plowing:

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

For those who aren't inclined to go zipping off to follow links in these comments, I'll provide the first paragraph (or so) of the book review to which I'd linked:

- - - -

By Gary Krist - June 14, 1999 |

"I daily hear such reports of advantages to be gaind by one project or other in the Stocks, that my Spirit is Up with double Zeal, in the desire of our trying to enrich ourselves."

Sound familiar? It should, given the zealous high spirits of those enriched by "the Stocks" of Wall Street over the past few years. But the author of the above sentiment was Alexander Pope, the British poet, and he was writing about a different bull market -- that of South Sea Company stock in 1720. As Edward Chancellor points out in his fascinating and frightening new book, "Devil Take the Hindmost," all of London was caught up in the mania for South Sea stock, which was appreciating at a rate even early holders of would envy. Pope's contemporary Jonathan Swift probably described the era best: "I have enquired of some that have come from London, what is the religion there? They tell me it is South Sea stock."

Posted by: Bob S. | October 13, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

I'll tell you what can take the excitement out of the appearance of the ice cream truck: it's having one come by three times a day, every day, 365 days a year, for fifteen years or so.

(But I do remember the fun from childhood: popsicles six cents, bomb pops twelve cents--yum)

We planted our tomatoes yesterday, and a few pepper plants. The nursery didn't have any of the Heatwave variety, which was what grew best for us last year. I settled for Best Boy, Roma, and one cherry tomato variety.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 13, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

scc, Better Boy, I meant to say.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 13, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, Happy Columbus Day everybody! I guess all the teachers and government workers will get the day off but many of the rest of us will not.

There was a time early in our marriage when we used to celebrate Columbus Day as if it were the Italian version of St. Patricks Day or Cinco de Mayo. But I'm not sure ol' Chris was all THAT much Italian, by any definition we would recognize today. And if he is an ancestor of my descendents (I'm only Italian by marriage), I'm not really sure that's something to brag about. Although he had numerous admirable qualities, he was an agent of misfortune for many people.

I hope y'all get the leaves raked, if that's on your list today.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 13, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. I'm so sleepy, it is almost like I never went to bed, but I did. I know, it's the pain medication. That's why I don't like to take the stuff. Oh, well, couldn't be helped. I needed it by the time I got home yesterday. I could hardly walk.

We celebrated our pastor's 50th anniversary yesterday, so we had lots of people at church. It was good. It's rare to see a pastor at one church for fifty years now. They move about a little more now. Our pastor is close to a hundred years old. I was a child when he came to our church. He and his wife seemed to enjoy themselves. And all their children were there, plus grandchildren and great grandchildren. The church served dinner afterwards. A long day, but enjoyable.

I hope everyone's weekend is going great. I think I shall sleep some more. It is promising to be a beautiful day, and warm.

Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, Mudge, and all, have a great day.*waving*

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 13, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Cassandra. Kber, you're up early today. Happy Monday, all.

I was cheered by the top story on WaPo when I opened the browser this morning. May the polls continue to favor Obama!

The Geekdottir visited last night and let slip that her siser and the boyfriend are no longer together. I'm relieved but concerned for her. Will have to provide discreet support as needed.

Weather is supposed to be warm here till Friday. Hope everyone enjoys Columbus Day!

Posted by: slyness | October 13, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I have in-service all day.

This is the TED spread, an index that reflects the cost of overnight lending from band to bank, which indicates how tight credit is. When the world economy is functioning normally, this index is quite low. At this writing, it is around 5%, reflecting the fact that credit is very tight, thus banks aren't liquid, and the money-go-round is lurching about.

This link defines the TED spread:

The moves by the Fed and overseas banks to lend money directly to banks is compelling brokers to recover the losses experienced last week. Better news, and if the pattern holds, the NYSE should have at least one good day. Time will tell how effective all of these interventions are.

Posted by: jack | October 13, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

...and a litttle ditty to hum while pondering all things money, from my favourite Kinks album...

Robert owes half to Grenville
Who in turn gave half to Larry
Who adored my instrumentals
And so he gave half to a foreign publisher
She took half the money that was earned in some far distant land
Gave back half to Larry and I end up with half of goodness knows what
Oh can somebody explain why things go on this way
I thought they were my friends I can't believe it's me, I can't believe that I'm so green
Eyes down round and round let's all sit and watch the moneygoround
Everyone take a little bit here and a little bit there
Do they all deserve money from a song that they've never heard
They don't know the tune and they don't know the words
But they don't give a damn
There's no end to it I'm in a pit and I'm stuck in it
The money goes round and around and around
And it comes out here when they've all taken their share
I went to see a solicitor and my story was heard and the writs were served
On the verge of a nervous breakdown I decided to fight right to the end
But if I ever get my money I'll be too old and grey to spend it
Oh, but life goes on and on and no one ever wins
And time goes quickly by just like the moneygoround
I only hope that I'll survive

Posted by: jack | October 13, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Although the football yesterday was fun to watch (apart from the evening game that I somehow overlooked), the overriding adjective I'd have to apply is...


Penalties, crazy turnovers, odd coaching decisions, refs starting debating societies over calls...

With a BLOCKED PUNT in OT as the cherry on top. I do believe the 'Boys special teams linemen will be running wind sprints until about this time tomorrow.

And it's good to see the NLCS will be a little competitive, anyway. I'm very glad the ALCS schedulers are taking advantage of the holiday to start the game at a reasonable hour, too!

*off-for-a-jog-and-a-relaxing-day-of-flower-transplanting-and-other-great-joys Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 13, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckz da Boodle.

Celebrating the arrival to the New World of the famous boodler KITstophoro Colombo.

Or are we celebrating his birthday? Or his departure from Palos, or was it his return?

Enjoy the day, it's going to be another boodliful one.

Posted by: Brag | October 13, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

You'll have to excuse me, but this is a whole new world for me: I woke up about 5 this morning and guess what? Nothing hurt. Not even a twinge. Not a single ache or owie. Not a single complaint from joint or bone or muscle.

Man, I hope this lasts.

I'm also feeling pretty good about the news that Obama has basically closed the gap with McCain here in Ohio and is trending upward. I know he has my neighborhood wrapped up -- the ratio of Obama to McCain signs is something like 5:1. Of course, this area is primarily Dem territory. Where he needs to make inroads is Cincinatti and the southeast part of the state. Lots of "God and guns" voters in those parts, but the word is that even those folks are willing to set those issues aside because of the economy.

Ohio may just do me proud this election.

Off to the shop now for a day of sanding and finishing. Lots to do and only one of me...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 13, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

bc, if you ever find a set with phillips head table knives, please let me know where you got them. Our kitchen flatware knives have a decided "bent" to them. It has been one of our minor skirmishes, finally put to rest when I reminded my hero he had a whole garage full of tools and I was contemplating the purchase of an antique knife safe (with key). This seemed rather extreme for stainless steel, not to mention the price of said safe.

It's a glorous dry, very cool day here in the great state of Northern Virginia. We will begin our transplanting & bulb planting week this week, disturbing the big fat earthworms. The leaves have just begun to turn, dogwood, gum, not much has fallen.

Thanks TBG for the email address, will contact you when I want to get in touch with Kim. Speaking of Kim, I saw lots & lots of McCain commercials at The Beach. Some Obama ones, as well.

The oceanfront is loaded with tourists for the long weekend. Clearly they were focused on sun & fun and not the economy.

Among the many discards I brought back from my mother's place to be sold at our Harvest Bazaar's "Aunt Alice's Attic", I pulled out a tea cosy to donate to the bunker. It really is sweet, made of a tapastry material with drawstrings of corded silk, tassels on the end. Surely, the bunker has a teapot, if not, will rummage around and find one of those, too. Also, there is a large, vivid print, a framed hunt scene, circa 1979-80. :-) Maybe they got it with green stamps? A real treasure for a bunker wall, youbetcha!

I, too, was happy to see poll showing overall 10% lead by Obama. Husband & I plan to vote this week, as we will be out of town, come election day. Will miss boodle watch that evening. BTW, I must have missed something going on in Maryland, what's with Tole's political cartoon.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 13, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Kbert, I'm picking the last few Better Boys this year. They have tough skins, but otherwise are perfect tomatoes. Very sweet. I'll get some again next year.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 13, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman just won the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Sure ups the ante on Pearlstein's Pulitzer for bragging rights.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 13, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse


Try not to overdo, feeling good is so wonderful after having had much pain. Everyone was concerned when you were boodle absent.

Have a wonderful Monday/holiday/Italian Day, you all....

Posted by: VintageLady | October 13, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Vintage Lady--I could wear that tea cozy on my head while visitng the bunker. That would cover, and keep in place, the aluminum foil and make me look more elegant


Posted by: Brag | October 13, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

VintageLady, we *do* have a Brown Betty teapot, the cosy will be perfect to dress it up.

What's your favorite brew? I seem to alternate between English Breakfast and Earl Grey these days.

Posted by: slyness | October 13, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

An interesting article in Shankar Vedantam's "Dept. of Human Behavior" series this week, covering something I'd suggested last week about how people's unconscious biases influence their thinking and receptiveness to information -accurate or not - and to some degree, their behavior.

In this case, an unconscious association of "white" with "Amercian."

From the article:
"During the primary season, Devos, at San Diego State University, along with colleague Debbie Ma at the University of Chicago, found that on a subconscious level, people more easily associated Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton with being American than Sen. Barack Obama. Clinton is white; Obama is biracial.

Even more remarkably, the psychologists found that the volunteers were quicker to associate former British prime minister Tony Blair with being American than Obama. Blair is white.

On a conscious level, the participants had no trouble identifying Obama and Clinton as American, and Blair as a foreigner. But Devos and Ma found that the subconscious associations mattered: People who were slower to see Obama as American on a subconscious level were less likely to be willing to vote for the senator from Illinois than people who more easily associated him with American symbols. This was true of both Republicans and Democrats.

In a final set of experiments completed just last week, Thierry said the researchers had found an identical pattern when they compared people's subconscious associations with Obama and his Republican presidential opponent, Sen. John McCain. On a conscious level, volunteers said that both Obama and McCain were American, but on a subconscious level, volunteers were quicker to associate McCain with being American than Obama -- and the strength of these subconscious associations predicted people's voting intentions.

'The less you see Obama as American compared to McCain, the less likely you are to vote for him,' Devos said."

A subconscious fear of the Other is a tough thing to fight with a rational discussion of health care and economic policies.


Posted by: bc | October 13, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, like both your picks, plus am trying green tea. I used to like blueberry tea, until I knocked a half cup of it over onto my laptop keyboard and shorted it out, major surgery was required that time to set it right. Now, I take the safe route and eat the blueberries from a bowl.

Brag, cosy on head is good, there's the hole at the top for the pointy foil to stick out, slits for handle and spout accommodate ears. ;-)

Posted by: VintageLady | October 13, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, meant to tell you that I agree this past Sunday's NFL games were collectively some of the sloppiest I can remember seeing.

That Dallas/Arizona game was memorably sloppy, from the turnover-fest of a first quarter to that blocked punt for a game-winning TD in overtime.

I imagine saint Lombardi caused the heavens to tremble with his full-volume invective from the Heavenly sidelines.


Posted by: bc | October 13, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of a comfy tea cozy on my head, I'm gonna go shave.

No pirate news today. Maybe they are busy having a meal of rice and fish.

If I don't get bogged down with other stuff, may write about sailing with Bajun pirates (sort of poor cousins of the Somali variety).

Posted by: Brag | October 13, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Wow. If the international markets are any indication it could be a wild day on Wall Street. I just hope the predicted rally (if it actually materializes) doesn't divert attention from the larger systemic problems in the economy. I imagine it won't.

Cool news about Princeton's Krugman. I know that some people disparage the whole idea of a Nobel Prize in Economics, but I figure that if they can give one for such an amorphous category as "peace" they certainly can for economics.

I hope the big lead Obama has holds. To me Palin just gets scarier and scarier. And McCain just seems confused.

Gonna spend my day off straightening up the house and pruning some pesky branches. The latter activity involved ladders and chainsaws.

I count on your prayers.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 13, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

RD... you could try stilts. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | October 13, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I get such a smile on my face when I think of the bunker as a real place. I think we could all enjoy spending some quality bunker time together... especially in such a comfy spot.

Tea? I've been drinking PG Tips lately, often made with a modified version of the recipe DNA Girl shared...

In a thermal pot, I pour hot water over...

2 tea bags
4 or 5 black peppercorns
a couple of cloves
a bit of ginger (fresh or powdered)
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of fennel seeds
a pinch of ajowan seeds
2 cardamon pods

Let steep, pour yourself a cup and add Splenda and milk. What a great way to start the day. VintageLady's tea cosy is just the right thing to keep the pot hot as the dawn patrol hands the bunker over to the rest of us sleepyheads.

Posted by: TBG | October 13, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Nice to have a weekday off and at home. #2 has already been here to try on her dress and now am waiting for my co-worker to come with hers to see if I can hem it. I feel like I’m running bridal shop. I hope it’s an easy hemming job that I can do while she waits because I really would like to have the rest of the day for other things.

Didn’t watch any sports yesterday, I picked the right year to swear off football. I see the market is up 400 points. Wonder how long that will last. So happy to see Obama ahead and hope that continues. Nice day here again and the whole week looks good and warmer than normal. Glad Martooni is feeling so good. I miss Mudge, his computer problems must be pretty bad.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 13, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Cool about Paul Krugman. I enjoy his columns a lot, and I hope he and Obama have each other's ears -- well, you know what I mean. . . .

Just spoke to the friend in Sth, who sent me the Mamma Mia CD with all the songs in Swedish. Gave me a chance to practice my own brand of the language. I mean, I haven't lived there for more than 30 years, and I gotta practice from time to time, yanno.

Looking forward to hearing from Mudge, although considering how the Skins lost yesterday, we should just allow him to recuperate quietly. Or something.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 13, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to say "Good for you, Kim!" I guess they're not looking for housing for NoVa campaign workers. I'm glad to know you and the Frostrents are helping out where we can't.

"We can't?" Wait.... YES WE CAN!

Posted by: TBG | October 13, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

RD, no juggling those chainsaws while you're on the ladder, now. Remember what happened last time!

Dang, you're all off (or so it seems). Since so many in our building are off, the cafeteria is closed and they work on the elevators. I don't mind doing 4 flights, but I hate doing it with a laptop in tow.

The thought of seeing you all at imaginary lunch would probably make me feel better. I'll bring some crispy duck from Chinatown.
And dmd's spoons, recently liberated from my sister.

bc, vintagelady, I've found steak knives are a fine substitute for phillip's heads knives. One hates to have single-use items hanging around. :-)

Posted by: dbG | October 13, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

A. Cristoforo Colombo was from Genoa, "the boring republic". At least the Venetian Republic had streets of water.

B. On the subject of Whedon: Firefly should have had a musical episode. It probably would have, had Fox not canned it after 14 eps.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

dbG... lunch sounds great. I'll bring the chips and the salsa I made from DandyLion's tomatoes.

Posted by: TBG | October 13, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh goody, I can do lunch but I’ll have to bring my own diet food. Just two weeks to the wedding and my tummy needs to stay small for the dress I’m wearing. I could bring a nice blueberry cake with cinnamon sugar dusting on top.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 13, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Classy, that Krugman. His site says "Funny thing happened to me this morning." And a link.

Good ol' Wikipedia. Found the missing Douglas, the oldest son ("Michael")on "My Three Sons." People had told me I was insane & Robbie was the oldest.

Here in NC they've been flooding the TV with the Ayers= Obama= terrorist ads. Don't get me started.

Posted by: Jumper | October 13, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

VinatageLady, dBG et. al. - I'm on the lookout for torx and hex head table knives, too, BTW.

RD, good luck with that chainsaws and ladders mix. Er, do you think you fit into Mudge's old suit of armor? I don't think he's worn it in a couple hundred years, but I think I recall seeing him oil it not too long ago...


Posted by: bc | October 13, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

HuffPo can be all over the map, but here's a good clear story on the ACORN stuff:

Posted by: Jumper | October 13, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Happy Columbus Day!
Poor me, I have to go eat another Thanksgiving dinner. Buddy will be estactic, both his favourite 'food ladies' will be there.
I'll wear my 'impartial judge' face to best take advantage of the competition between the amateur wine rotters, beer brewers, and herb/veggie/fruit growers.
This is definitely my favourite time of year.

Posted by: Boko | October 13, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ok--here it is, a true pirate story.

Pirates in the Land of Sind.

I take advantage of the predictable Northeast Monsoon to land on a beach just north of the Tomb of the Seven Virgins, an ancient column near Ras Tenewe. Not far, there are the ruins of a 13th century Arab villa. You can still see the mosaic floor. The villa is now inhabited by a large colony of monitor lizards, the size of a small crocodiles. There is hardly any wind and only a light surge hisses on the beach. In a few minutes Saidi, the witch doctor takes me to what's left of Bunny Allen's camp. After the hunting ban, Bunny got chucked out and poachers moved in and massacred the elephant population with automatic weapons.

The poachers have moved out of the area and I hear an elephant trumpeting. Great, one of my big questions has been answered. Now, we have to hurry and rendezvous with Osman and his band of pirates.

My only navigation tool is a hand-held compass. The 30 horsepower outboard hums and the 11 foot Zodiak skims the nearly flat sea. Soon, we can no longer see the shore. At noon the wind picks up. It's not much of a bother as we are heading southwest. At one o'clock I spot a sail on the horizon. If I haven't screwed up, it would be Osman. If I did, I have a witch doctor as insurance.

The machua (small dhow) is the right one. We pull alongside and clamber aboard taking the inflatable dinghy in tow.

Osman is a dour Bajun nahoda (captain) who runs a tight ship. Tea is brewing on a brazier and I enjoy munching on some dried fish and washing it down with tea. Our destination is a secret harbor used by smugglers. Osman's day job is fishing. The boat smells of fish and the quilt patchwork of the huge, ancient lateen sail speaks of poverty and hardship.

At closer inspection, gunnysacks sown into the sail make it look ratty. The crew is much larger that that of a fishing boat. Osman never raises his voice and almost whispers his commands to the helmsman who does the shouting.

A few hours later, with the sun already low over the African continent, we approach a mangrove coast peninsula. On the charts it's called Mto Kilifi. Strange to call a peninsula a river.

"Now, get off my boat and follow me. Big danger ahead," Osman tells me in a simple Swahili I can understand.

Sure enough. We're heading straight for a beach with raging surf. In the dinghy, I start the engine, release the towline and follow Osman.

Waves grow in size. The machua rolls wildly enough to cause the sail to snap. We go through the foamy surfline. Osman makes a sharp turn to port and now parallels the beach. On my left, huge waves crash over an unseen bank. But we sail in a narrow deep channel. Soon we enter a tunnel of huge mangrove trees. The sound of furious waves fades and is replaced by the pinging song of kingfishers.

We are inside a narrow river. Several dhows stand tied to the steep, sandy banks. They are loading mangrove poles, a highly prized construction material in the Arab peninsula. Its export is prohibited here.

That night, with a full moon, the crews in the harbor get together for a feast of rice and fish cooked in coconut milk. After the sumptuous meal, they dance and sing.

It is Christmas eve.

Posted by: Brag | October 13, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

New kit?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 13, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Nice good blog!

Posted by: Sharon | October 15, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

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