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Washington Below the Scum

[Had fab time -- mega-fab in fact -- at the Mega-Poodle Scorching Hour or whatever the boodlers called that thing last night at Buffalo. Will post photo of prized Frazetta statuette when I get a chance. It will definitely be placed in a position of honor on either the mantle or the mantel, depending on the spelling. The fireplace thing, I'm talking about, not the molten depths of the Earth.]

For years I've wanted to write a book called Washington Below the Scum, which would look at how Washington really works beneath the much-hyped political layer. Because most Washingtonians aren't senators or White House officials, they're not political appointees, they don't get their names in the paper very often. Now comes a piece in Outlook by our erstwhile exec-editor Leonard Downie Jr., where he defends the city and points out that it's a great place to live.


' Federal workers throughout Washington put in long hours in virtual anonymity to combat terrorism, fight wars, enforce laws, seek cures for diseases, and administer billions and billions of dollars worth of federal programs that benefit nearly all Americans in one way or another. Among the most recent winners of Service to America Medals were civil servants who improved surgery performed on wounded soldiers, reduced infections in veterans' hospitals, uncovered fraud in defense contracting in Iraq and increased the use of renewable energy. We have published occasional stories in this newspaper about their good works, but we probably should have put them on the front page, where Washington scandals usually appear.

'The dirty secret is that Washington usually works the way most Americans want it to work, even though they don't want to acknowledge it. Entitlements, farm subsidies, military spending, pork-barrel projects, research and development grants, regulations of all kinds, and even provisions of the complicated tax code all have constituencies across the country clamoring for help from Washington.

'The nation's financial system is only the latest distressed sector to depend on the capital for emergency assistance. Banks, savings and loans, and homeowners have been rescued in the past. Farmers have been given decades of subsidies. Chrysler was bailed out. Amtrak was created to save passenger railroads, and the Transportation Security Administration took over airport security after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

'Now it is left to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and Congress to try to save an economy in the worst crisis since the Great Depression, even as many Americans -- including McCain and Obama -- continue to blame Washington for how difficult it is to do. '


And here's Weingarten on old dogs:

' Puppies are incomparably cute and incomparably entertaining, and, best of all, they smell exactly like puppies. At middle age, a dog has settled into the knuckleheaded matrix of behavior we find so appealing -- his unquestioning loyalty, his irrepressible willingness to please, his infectious happiness. His unequivocal love. But it is not until a dog gets old that his most important virtues ripen and coalesce. Old dogs can be cloudy-eyed and grouchy, gray of muzzle, graceless of gait, odd of habit, hard of hearing, pimply, wheezy, lazy and lumpy. But to anyone who has ever known an old dog, these flaws are of little consequence. Old dogs are vulnerable. They show exorbitant gratitude and limitless trust. They are without artifice. They are funny in new and unexpected ways. But, above all, they seem at peace.'

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 5, 2008; 8:41 AM ET
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What me first?

Posted by: Brag | October 5, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I had an old dog. While they are all those thing Weingarten extols, they are also not long for this world, which means they are bound to, through no fault of their own, break your heart when they are gone.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Just a few random thoughts about the MBPH.

If not for the mercy of that DC cop I would have had to explain to my wife, and my employer, exactly what I was doing making an illegal turn with two bags of bunny poop and a blind guy in my car. The latter, of course, doubtless thinking that it would have been much more prudent to just drive himself.

There are no finer individuals in existence than the heroic police force of the District of Columbia.

Although it was great to see the faces behind the names, it was also frustrating. I could have easily spent an hour chatting with each person there. That which I knew abut each of these fascinating and delightful people is swamped by that which I wanted to know.

Please let it be known that Joel Achenbach quickly squelched the efforts of kbertocci and I to fawn and simper well before we were even able to present the sacred relics for his consecration.

Joel's fans include some really, really, really delightful women whose charm and scintillating conversation can engross a man and cause him to come dangerously close to falling helplessly into a bottomless abyss of adoration.

Most of the guys are okay too I guess.

Whoever picked out the wine deserves high praise. (Not to be confused with praise while high.)

I am looking forward to seeing the pics Scottynuke pointed out. But he did agree to only show the ones where we all look really good. So don't expect many of me.

And speaking of pictures.

Scottynuke – look, like I said. As soon as you give me the negatives I'll wire you the cash.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 5, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Everyone may crawl out of the bunker.
Good morning to all those who did not get good morninged in the Runway Boodle and happy Sunday.

Yup, the MBPH was great
Dogs are great. Once upon a time, I had a mob of eight. Dogs are different when they live as a pack. My pack was a matriarchy. Only the matriarch allowed herself to hang out with the master and this was a sort of favor.

Posted by: Brag | October 5, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I think there are some great stories waiting to be told about the permanent bureaucracy of Washington. Some of these will annoy and disgust, but far greater more will show a legion of people just trying to do the best they can within the confines of a very imperfect system.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 5, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

SCC: "far greater more": Sheesh. More coffee please.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 5, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

oh, right. now I remember. ooops. Somebody said something about meeting at the Smithsonian, and that's all I remember. I should write these things down.

I'm there with you in Spirit Frosti.


Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The problem with the MBPH, you barely begin to know the people and enjoy their compnay and it's over. This is vexing for us shy people. Still, it was an extraordinary experience.

Thanks, Joel, for the new Kit (emergency weekend action). Now, the Boodle can go back to normal operation.

Posted by: Brag | October 5, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Goodmorning! It's another gorgeous day in the DC area. Sky report from littlest: Bright and Sunny.

And my father is recovering from heart surgery as well as can be expected, actually, better than expected.

Also reporting a great time at the mega-porcher. The guys were cool. (nevermind the pointy headed sciency type reputation) All the ladies were exceptionally beautiful too. (don't ask me how I know)

Posted by: DandyLion | October 5, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and special thanks to RD for safe and reliable transportation. The hour or more of conversation was well worth the ride!

Posted by: DandyLion | October 5, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Back in the dark days of the early '70's I quit my job at the Passport Office, External Affairs to follow a young lady from Buffalo hitch-hiking across the continent. We got a ride near Brooks Alberta from a guy who, when he discovered I was from Ottawa, started shoveling the usual guff about lazy civil servants and how awful Ottawa is. I told him that although Ottawa is a great place and the people are wonderful it suffers because every four years cities, towns, and police villages from across Canana deal with their 'village idiot problem' by sending them to sit in the House of Commons.

Posted by: Boko | October 5, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

morning, all. i'm laughing about the bunny poop. sound like village life to me.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 5, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Some things, I just realized, I simply cannot report in detail to the Boodle. Such as the hiring out of my truck yesterday, involving the gun, the transsexual, the grandmother, her will, and the former prostitute. Who was raised in a French convent. Who forced $20 into my hand as I prepared to drive home.

And yet my life seems mostly boring. I spent my morning learning how to make tofu and soy milk from Youtube.

Oh, yeah, there's an international spy operating in Russia involved. He wasn't there.

Posted by: Jumper | October 5, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Washington D.C. amounts to one big cowflop in a former swamp. No wonder it engenders reactions from folks such as POOP (People Out of Patience). *w at Garrison*

Posted by: Loomis | October 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I sincerely apologise for misleading the boodle. Only Ontario has police villages.
I couldn't bear the idea of you going about so horribly misinformed, hence my simpering, fawning, and generally obsequious confession.

Posted by: Boko | October 5, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to announce that DandyLion is the winner of the MBPH tomato contest!

Don't let the fact that he was the only entrant (except of course for the early-winner submission a few weeks ago from RD Padouk) bother you.

Thanks again, DandyLion!

Posted by: TBG | October 5, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Popping in briefly (first typed "pooping", which I *knew* was wrong -- really) to exult some more about last night's festivities.

I apologize to everyone for leaving with what S'nuke might have called a mere Grover wave (for beginners) as he escorted me up the &&&*(^% stairs and around the block to my car.

It was lovely meeting everyone, including the Boss and Joel (winking) and Mark Fisher, who looks amazingly like his picture (imagine that!). Having met TBG, Mudge, bc, pj and S'nuke before, I remembered them, certainly, and it was wonderful seeing them again. But I have a huge shout-out to a bea c, RD, CP, Raysmom (and dad), Kim, dBG, slyness and ESPECIALLY Cassandra -- and everyone else whose handle somehow escapes me at the moment (I'd get down on my knees to beg for forgiveness, but we all know that I'd never be able to get up again). And, well, you know who you are, even if I don't just this second.

The Boodle, in all its glory, is back -- wrested from the fangs of the snarling pack, and back to licking its wounds for a moment before engaging in appropriate intellectual discourse and peals of laughter (the latter being the most important).

I hope everyone from out of town has a wonderful time here in DC, and for your sake, we're thrilled that the weather is so gorgeous for you. We put in our requisition early.

Alas, I'm doing some work today, although I hope to be able to get out later.


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 5, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Also.. Tina Fey was fabulous last night on SNL in the VP debate.

"Are we not doing the talent portion?"

Posted by: TBG | October 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Downie's article was brilliant, and something that only an individual with his experience could credibly write.

The big conceptual problem people have with Washington is believing that it actually exists. By which, of course, I mean the notion that there exists some huge monolithic colossus straddling the Potomac and sneering at the Real America.

This thinking is, of course, not unique to perceptions of government. But, as Mr. Downie points out, it has always been an especially compelling conceit.

The best analogy I have for the government is as a really, really big high school. You have cliques and subcultures. You have hall monitors and slackers and teacher's pets. It is a complex amalgam of individuals who all have a fuzzy sort of group identity, but certainly never move in lock step. The term Government Conspiracy on anything but the most limited scale is an oxymoron.

Which makes working for the Government frustrating, exhilarating, depressing, and inspiring all at the same time.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 5, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Continuing Loomis' metaphor -- Washington (as in, the city of elected officialdom, the people with the power to make policy and direct regulatory agencies) may indeed be a big cowflop. If so, however, who put it there? Who is the cow that laid that puppy down? We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Posted by: PlainTim | October 5, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, TBG, I had to google and find out what Sarah Palin's Miss Alaska talent was:

I was going to speculate ventriloquism--playing both the part of the ventriloquist and the puppet.

MBPH was fab. So good to meet so many new faces in addition to the BPH regulars. Cassandra, I hope you had a good time, too, with a noisy room full of crazies. Raysdad seemed a bit bewildered at first, but soon got into the swing of things. LiT made him blush a bit, I think. Yeah, he's a keeper, all right.

Thanks to TBG, bc, Mudge, and whoever else was part of the prom committee. It was a memorable evening.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 5, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to Joel's presentation of the Frazetta statuesque statuary. I envision the alien princess (or is she a barbarian? I can't recall) draped -- festooned, even, because festoon is such a great word -- in tiny winking energy-efficient LED Christmas lights. Mighty, flaring, LED torches to either side of her bespeak her power over nature and over the torch carried by men in their heart. Yes, that's right, their heart. You were thinking of some other organ?

Posted by: ConceptualTim | October 5, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I finally figured out that it was Raysdad who posted in the Boodle yesterday. Very nice - glad he had a good time. I think it can be a bit overwhelming for non-Boodlers. Mr Ml doesn't get it at all - ha!

I read Len Downie's piece on Washington yesterday. I love DC and the surrounding area. To me it's very sad how neglected as a city DC is, and I hate the demonization of it both as a city and as short-hand for the government.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 5, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm watching the Phillies-Brewers playoff, which should give you an idea how the 'Skins are doing.



*holding back a sob*

I must report utter, abject failure at the Army 10-Miler this morning. Failure to properly estimate travel time, failure to locate any other Boodlers, and worst of all failure to spot frosti in her unmistakable MPBH t-shirt. :-(

But I AM working on the pics I do have. I'll provide the URL as soon as I have a few up, and I'll continue updating through the afternoon.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Good sentiments. I've rarely seen "Washington". I've seen D.C. and I've seen Washington, D.C.

The "Washington" as in "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" is indeed the scum on the top of a bustling city.

Loomis, blow it out your ear and any other orifices that aren't presently in use.

The Smithsonian ain't no cowflop, and I'd rather ride the metro in D.C. anyday compared to New York City.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 5, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

This is confusing... "a dog has settled into the knuckleheaded matrix of behavior we find so appealing -- his unquestioning loyalty, his irrepressible willingness to please, his infectious happiness."

Those dogs are all on drugs? Can't be. Wait. Maybe it's in the dog food or cat poop they eat...

Can I order some? I'd settle for a bagful of bunny poop, too. I hear they go good with poppy seeds.

I just hope they don't do urine testing for my job....

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 5, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog, they just follow you around and check the trees afterwards...

*back to the image editing software*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse


They're following me?

...Who're THEY?

*Orders some bear traps too*

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 5, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."
Jay Leno.

The atmosphere in Washington D.C. tends to lower people's intelligence. You've probably noticed this. You elect all these sharp people, full of brilliant ideas, and you send them to Washington and after a few months of breathing the atmosphere they start behaving like brain-damaged turnips.
Dave Barry

Posted by: Loomis | October 5, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm kind of sick and tired of idiots calling DC a former swamp.

So yeah, blow it out your ears, mix it with some of that texass CowFlop, and snort it up good and deep.

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Think how much worse it would be if they had to go to Houston and breathe the air there.

Just note the devotion to intellectual enrichment...

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 5, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow, just saw one of the most perfect fields golasa ever: Suisham nails for 3 points from 50yrds

Again - WOW. That was beautiful.

And Loomis, again BLOW IT OUT YOUR EAR, Folks in DC do not elect congresspersons, YOU do.

(OK maybe I need a valium and a nap)

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

SCCs all over that first sentence in my 2:31 post

Also, unfortunately for me Suisham plays for the Skins.

Must be no winds in Philly (They are in Philly, despite the white jersies right?)

OK, that's probably another SCC right there. What is the plural of jersey.

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi all.

Had I wonderful time at the M BPH last night. Just great to meet so many new friends and to see old ones again.

If there were anything I would have done differently last night, it would have been to toast all of the Boodlers -- those that were with us last night and those that weren't.

Last night wasn't about any of us, it was about all of us. Not one or two, *all.*

Somehow this community - this *family* - has sprung up and taken hold, enriching our lives and making us more than the sum of our parts.

And I am grateful to Joel and to all of you for allowing me to share this part of our human existence with you.



Posted by: bc | October 5, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm right there with you bc. Cheers, I say while holding up a nice cold Guinness. Cheers to all Boodlers.

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... just returned from a delightful impromptu lunch with Frosti, dbG and Son of G here in Fairfax. I didn't get a chance last night to spend much time with Frosti, so it was great to be able to relax at our local Greek diner to catch up with a real imaginary friend.

Funny moment from lunch... GF of Son of G called with a road report with Slyness and Cassandra and asked Son of G what he was doing.... "I'm out at lunch with Mom and some boodlers--you know... leftovers from last night."

We decided that it's true that leftovers are great the next day.

Posted by: TBG | October 5, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

crap, that was a nice play though, and the Skins take the lead

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Son of G is hoping this is another "Macacca moment"...

McCain's brother says N. Va. 'Communist country'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain's brother made an apparent joke at a campaign rally this weekend that might not play well in parts of newly competitive Virginia.

Joe McCain, speaking at an event in support of his brother, called two Democratic-leaning areas in Northern Virginia "communist country," according to a report on The Washington Post's Web site.

"I've lived here for at least 10 years and before that about every third duty I was in either Arlington or Alexandria, up in communist country," Joe McCain, a Navy veteran, said at an event in Loudoun County, Va.

Joe McCain then apologized, but the remark drew laughter at the event, according to the report.

Virginia has long been a Republican stronghold in presidential elections, but Democrat Barack Obama is running even or ahead of McCain in recent state polls. Obama is being helped by fast-growing communities in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Northern Virginia, which tend to vote more Democratic than other parts of the state.

One of those areas is Arlington, Va., where John McCain owns a condominium.

"This was Joe McCain's unsuccessful attempt at humor," said McCain campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho. "John McCain and Sarah Palin are committed to winning the support of voters in Northern Virginia and understand the region's importance to victory statewide."

Posted by: TBG | October 5, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Howdy again, and I'm glad we have a new Kit. It's a good one, too. Good for Len Downie, and good for Joel for quoting him. I liked the way RD put it. As one who worked as a faceless gummint cog (not quite up to bureaucrat level) in DC, I met a lat of smart, hardworking people who kept the country running, in ways large and small, every day. Folks who disparage "Washington" appear to be focused on their elected representatives but the reality of the city is quite different indeed. Also, it is physically lovely with pretty decent weather. I lived without air conditioning in DC, something I'd never be able to do (on purpose) in Oklahoma. Now, Houston was a swamp.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to all for the continued Mega Poodle reports. I'm so glad so many people could get together, and someday I swear I'll join you.

I managed to sing fine today. There was nothing wrong with my voice; I just didn't want to stand up or open my eyes. I must have looked pretty funny up there in the choir loft. I fear this thing is mutating into a sinus infection, my usual form of ending a respiratory ailment. Ah well, I have one more parent duty and a grocery store run to make, then perhaps I can rest.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Not only do we have another 'Skins touchdown, we also have pictures from the Friday night pre-MBPH!

I'll be adding more soon.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 5, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

g'day all. All that football going on on the only game on the tube is Chicago in Detroit. Spoiler alert: it ain't going well for the Lions. They've got guys turning left and touching bumper at 190mph on about 6 channels though. Nascar is SOOO popular in Ottawa. Sheesh

I loved the Weingarten story that is feature on the frontpage. I can relate as the Ancient Giant Black Lab is in final months, I'd be surprised if he gets through the winter. He may last a bit longer, he is not aging as fast since he's got a buddy with him all the time.

Off to make "oysters à la King". The oyster were good (there is the schuker's cut set at about 10%) but covered in that sticky Prince Edward Island red mud. Almost made me hum the theme song of Ann of Green Gables.

Come on with those pitchers Scotty.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 5, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Scotty. Memo to self: refresh before insulting fellow boodlers.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC There is an errant c in shucker.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 5, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, scottynuke!

And why did Weingarten write about that happy puppy smell, but not mention that old dogs are often fragrant, if not downright stinky?

Or so I've heard.

Our dogs always live outside.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to look at the pictures of the MBPH and am excited to do so. How weird is that?

Posted by: Boko | October 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the everyday Washington keeps its perspective and keeps its head on straight--as a mostly normal place that has the good fortune to have attracted a cross-section of people from all parts of the country, thanks to the presence of the federal government. Washington is a nice, medium-sized East Coast metro area, with its own history of ethnic neighborhoods, speech accents, and so on. Not to mention a long list of much-beloved local store chains that got swallowed up mercilessly in the 1980s and 1990s. The point is that most of the people who work in the government and keep the government working have suffered not the slightest diminution of either their intelligence or their humanity and take a lot of pride both in their jobs and in the region as a place to live. (The mindset of ordinary Washington is often captured well by John Kelly in his column.)

Posted by: Woofin | October 5, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Boodle, only time for a quickie drive-by posting. Just watched the entire Redskins VICTORY from the clubhouse here at our boat's new home at Solomons Yacht Club. We had an interesting morning getting the boat over here--had to adjust a wild-running carb on the port engine, starboard engine wouldn't start for two reasons (needed some ether and switched to different battary bank). Arrive here at 12:45, tied up the boat, ran like hell for the clubhouse, only missed two minutes.

OK, game's over, gotta run! See you tomorrow morning.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 5, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Woofin. Thanks.

People also forget there are lots of Washingtonians who don't work for the government. Except for Dr G's recent 7-month stint (now over) and two summers I spent as an intern for a House committee, mine is such a family--my extended family, included.

My grandparents settled here in the early part of the last century and a fourth generation is being raised here now. We've spread out to the suburbs since those early days in D.C., but we're still Washingtonians and proud to be.

Posted by: TBG | October 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

Enjoyed Washington's victory over Philly today, got a few things done this afternoon, too.

Looking forward to the rest of the pics, Scotty.

Except for those I happen to be in, of course.


Posted by: bc | October 5, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sure Mudge, rubit in. You know you misspelled battery!

Stoopid iggles

Guess I'll have to root for the Phillies

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Considering the Pentagon is right smack in Arlington-Alexandra, that was a very ill-advised remark.

As is painting Democrats as "communists."

I'm with Son of G. I don't know if this is going to be a macaca remark, but it won't win him votes in Northern Virginia.

After all, he's THE candidate who has been photographed hugging a communist who caused the death of dozens of captive American soldiers in Vietnam.

As I once said, you know a liar and an verbal abuser by how often he accuses other people of things they are not and didn't do.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 5, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Fri night pics, Scotty. Great, as usual.

I didn't realize Le Carre had another book out (tomorrow):
(The interview is AP, there is also a link to the Seattle Times book review.)

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 5, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures Scottynuke - the T-shirts look amazing.

bc, that was a very nice toast - I raise my coffee cup in your direction.

Boko your comment about being excited about seeing the pictures made me laugh - I feel the same way.

Posted by: dmd | October 5, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Great photos Scotty. Looking forward to the rest.

Posted by: dr | October 5, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Good pitchahs, Scotty--like the rest looking for the rest.

Posted by: Brag | October 5, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Thank heavens, a new kit I can relate to!

Cassandra is home safely, and so am I.

We had a wonderful, fabulous weekend! RD's right, the biggest problem was not getting to talk to everybody!

Thanks to TBG and bc and Scotty for all their work.

Thanks to Joel for showing five adoring fans around the WaPo newsroom. That was a lot of fun! (And I was grateful to notice sprinkler heads. The fire load of paper in those two rooms is all the way to scary.)

Now, gotta unpack the car.

Posted by: slyness | October 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I don't think it advances the conversation very effectively to pull out debunked claims that McCain was a sympathizer and collaborator with his captors. There's lots of reasons to oppose him. Slander is not an effective nor decent way to do so.

Posted by: PlainTim | October 5, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I can think of only one scenario where I'd vote for McCain. If I lived in Arizona and he was running for Senate.

At least I could think of one scenario. Not no more

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought of a scenario to vote for McCain and I almost did. But it was back in 2000 and by the time the primaries rolled around to California George W. Bush had already locked up the Republican nomination.

Oh well, no point crossing party lines then.

Posted by: Fifty | October 5, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from a most fabulous time in DC. It was just a lot of fun and also heartwarming to see all those people, who are so important to me in one place. I guess we should rent a small stadium somewhere in the middle of the country next time and get everybody there.

Most heartfelt thanks to TBG, 'Mudge, BC, Scotty, Joel and everyone else who had a hand in bringing it all together.

I don't wish to offend anybody else when I make special mention of how overwhelmingly delightful it was to meet Cassandra, Slyness, Frosti, greenwithenvy, RD and ScienceTim (and ScienceSpouse) and ftb. I always think that one way or another I'll meet all the other dear Boodlers, but this bunch are particularly elusive, to my mind. They really exist! And they are more wonderful in person than even I expected (a very high bar, may I add).

StorytellerTim also showed up later on and had me *hooting* with a tale involving flensing, a lethal combination of bases and acids and rat soap. Had to be there, and I'm glad I was.

To each Boodler, there and not, thank you for this community. I'm richer for it.

Also, one of the regulars said something that made my day, and possibly the next month and longer. Thank you!

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Finally home after a wonderful weekend,It sure was nice meeting everyone and putting a face to everyone's name.Although i did find myself calling a lot of people by their boodle handles instead of their real names....sorry for that yaw.....I had so much fun,it will probably take some time to settle back into my normal life....

I also had a lovely visit with Mom and we got almost everything we needed done.Congrats to the Skins and sorry to see my boys lose in the closing minutes.

My ride home this evening was lovely as well,beautiful sunset and I watched 2 ultralites gliding along 70 for about 20 minutes.

Again a thanks to all who arranged the gettogether and it was so much fun. I look forward to the 2nd annual mega BPH.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 5, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, boko. When we BPH in Canada will post pictures of all four of us having a really good time and the rest of the Boodle can enjoy the slideshow.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

PlainTim, I don't remember the debunking.

Those was simply the only sites still up that had that particular picture, although that picture was widely reported at the time.

It's just very bad idea to drag communism into the national debate as only one is a proven communist hugger.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 5, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Well (and this is truly not directed at you, Wilbrod, and is only an incidental thought sparked off the Wilbrod/ScienceTim correspondence), this is the problem with negative ads, isn't it? Even when they're blatantly, patently untrue, people remember the negative message more than any subsequent debunking. They certainly serve the political purpose, but do nothing to move us away from rabid partisanship.

I'm getting cynical in my old age (from being in the trenches of Canadian politics), and I resent it. I remember when "ideological" meant something closer to "idealistic and naive" and not "hideboundly doctrinaire." So sad.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly it, Yoki. I read recently about a study which suggested that, along partisan lines, if people were given untrue negative information about an opponent then presented with the correct story, this reinforced the negative information which had hardened into a belief. I suppose this is why negative campaigning works so well. Also, of course, negative ads often have more going on in them than positive ones, which can lead to the perception that they are more interesting. People always object to negative campaining, but get very nervous when it doesn't happen.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse


There are so many immediate arguments to be made to vote for or against McCain that does not involve those long ago allegations--whether they were even partially true.

I feel that such rationale sullies the very process that our nation needs to address. Likewise, using ridiculous lies or half truths about Obama doesn't improve the process either.

More often than not, I have had to live my life under a President for whom I didn't vote. What I would ask is that we all agree that we let the process work and be more than willing to accept the votes of as many Americans as possible. I think, right now, as we face a huge financial/credit crisis worldwide, that we all stand firm that all Americans should vote and their votes counted and the states make their selections and the winner wins and we go about improving the situation in this country ASAP.

I agree with Tim, that McCain's actions in Hanoi Hilton need not to be questioned. They are absolutely immaterial to the process at hand.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 5, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

And I'd like to add that my last post shows why I'm so fond of the Boodle. I'm exhausted, losing my voice, and on the edge of having drowsy cold medication kick in. I could not have made that remark, or feel as if I were engaging in an intelligent conversation, in person. But, at the moment, my brain still works and is connected to my fingers, which can still type, so I can continue with discourse on some level. And know you'll all forgive me if not everything I type makes sense (you should have seen what almost came after "discourse" - had a "which" and "on" and "of" and I don't know what all).

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

In that case, Ivansmom, I admire you even more for singing your dear heart out tonight when it mattered. Go to bed. Your beautiful voice and soaring musician-ship will return when you are well.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Yoki. Bed is my goal. I was glad to be able to sing when it counted. I think perhaps I'll let the laundry fairies finish the chores and hie myself to sleep. Buenos gnocchis, Boodlers, vaya con queso and fondue.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 5, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I linked to that for the picture, not the text.

As for not remembering the debunking, I didn't even remember the flap over McCain 2000 to start with as I wasn't interested in the Republican primaries.

His own words are best for the actual Hanoi hilton stuff.

If you can provide some information that directly debunks the picture of him hugging his previous captor and torturer, let me know.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 5, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I guess we're all hard-wired cynics.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 5, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

While I'm pretty sure that I'm a "skeptic" rather than a "cynic", I'm not sure that I'm qualified to expound learnedly upon the differences.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 5, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm cynic!

Although this definition doesn't seem to fit the taunt of "liar, liar pants on fire", does it?

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 5, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

A sceptic demands evidence, a cynic has seen it.
Glad everyone got home safe and sound.

I thought the photos were great, Scotty I won't rush you on the others so you'll have time for the clever captions and I'll have something to look forward to tomorrow.

G'night all.

Posted by: Boko | October 5, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Random on-kit comment: I made my decision to vote for Obama when I heard him say one of his goals is to ensure that federal employees have the direction and support they need to be effective in their jobs. I was a local government employee, and I know how critical that support and direction are.

Goodnight, everybody.

Posted by: slyness | October 5, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Glad you all got home safe and sound, folks. I'll be looking forward to hearing from Frosti, Kim, a bea c, kbertocci and aroc that they are all home safely, too. (OK.. who did I forget?)

Posted by: TBG | October 5, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

'Night Boko. 'Night TBG, Kim, Vintage Lady, Dandylion, dbG, gwe, bc, 'mudge. G'night kim, ftb, kbert, aroc. 'Night lit, and dmd and scotty and 'snukespouce. 'Night all.

Posted by: Yoki | October 5, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Goodnight John-Boy! :-)

Enjoying hearing peoples posts from the weekend.

Posted by: dmd | October 5, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

'night mama.

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

Great pictures, S'nuke. Lots of great faces. Love the shirts. Error in '08.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm home safely too!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 5, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm skeptical when warranted. Rarely cynical. Often naive.

But I agree, Wilbrod, with the others.

That third paragraph would be better placed in the bad Boodle.

And so hopefully we all know that the next time there is a *storm, the Bunker is the previous Boodle.

g'nite Yoki and dmd.

goodnight Mary Ellen.

I'll leave the 'Goodight Erin' to RD Padouk.

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Brag does look mighty distinguished and Mo always looks mysteriously enticing. Good night.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

In case you don't know what I'm typing about:

Erin is the cute Redhead in the bottom right. I'm sure RD P had a crush on this girl more so than I. Mary Ellen is bottom left.

Posted by: omni | October 5, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that I'm giving up some of my "night owl" street cred here, but I think even I am going to call it quits for the night. Some of you (you know who you are!) kept me up late this weekend.

Good night, all. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 5, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Another mini-pilgrimage ends well.

Thinking of a traditional pilgrimage, a local small businessman is making the trek to be interviewed by a patent examiner. I'm surprised at the amount of time and effort that's gone into the application.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 5, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

good evening boodle

A roller coaster day for me. Rejoiced at making it to the 5 mile mark of the 10 miler fast enough to be allowed to stay on the course to finish (I was in the porta pottie when the starting gun for my wave went off so it was close, and truth be told I was as prepared for this as Sarah Palin is to be VP). My run came to an ignominious end as I twisted my ankle at mile 6+ and left the course crying like a little girl. Had a fabulous time at lunch with TBG, dbg, and Son of G and drove "home" to Newport News without incident, though probably faster than even Son of G would have tried. Frostsis #2 (the nurse) has diagnosed my now swollen and colorful ankle as sprained so I have a bag of frozen peas on it and had to listen to a lecture about seeing a doctor tomorrow -from someone whose diaper I used to change.

Have today's dead tree WaPo saved for morning coffee tomorrow. Looking forward to Downie's piece as I was thinking all weekend about what a great city Washington is.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 5, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about the injury, fb. But take solace that you were the impetus for the MBPH. Let us know when you are in town again.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 5, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the ankle Frost - hope it heals quickly - klutz that I am I am familiar with the sprained ankle. Though none acquired in such a heroic attempt as yours, mine was pretty much a result of attempting to walk :-)

Thought of you this morning - the Run for the Cure (Breast Cancer) run was here this morning - not that I ran but was out doing some errands and happened upon the course - not far from my home.

Posted by: dmd | October 5, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey you all,

Yes, it is very late for me to be posting, but it is on kit. The link I will add below is written by a former WaPo reporter, Peter Baker, still based in DC, but now working for the NYT. It's entitled Tom Davis Gives Up. Now that name doesn't mean squat for most of you all, but here in VA, Tom has been a career politician, BOS, Chair. of BOS and finally US Congressman.

This article gives a 6 page account of why he has given up on the current GOP. It's very candid and I doubt you'll read anything like it from another Republican politician. Along the way, he gives a small tutoral on the sausage making process he has adhered to over the years.

He wanted the GOP nomination to run for John Warner's job. In their infinite stupidity the GOP bosses decided to hold a convention instead of a primary and thus, annointed Gilmore. (Gilmore has no chance of winning against Mark Warner, Democratic nominee). Tom would have had a chance. Even tho I know Tom and some of the better work that he has done, I would still vote for Mark Warner. Anyway, I'm glad to see him speak up.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 5, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

So enough about me. The Mega BPH was truly mega and I wish I'd done a better job of getting to really talk to everyone. I have to say, everyone is exactly as they are on the boodle-and I mean that in a good way. There's so much out there about people creating totally different personas for social networking. Not so here, to a person they are as you read them here.

A few thoughts-
Mo's hugs are a force of nature. There's no point in resisting, and who would want to?
A Bea C could make me excited about voting, even if we had the same "no real choice" election people have complained of in years past.
CP is full of grace and kindness.
Tim tolerates science clods like me quite well.
I can think of no one I'd like to walk a few blocks with on a warm DC evening than Omni. He's a gem.
You have to watch Vintage Lady, she adds years to her age like a Chinese gymnast.

Time to take the peas off, get a glass of wine, and watch Tina play Sarah.

Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 5, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to add how much I enjoyed meeting you all. My husband laughed because two boodlers kept asking, "and, you really don't think we are weird?" He enjoyed meeting such a light hearted group of folks.


Posted by: VintageLady | October 5, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

VL-thanks for that link. I'll read it before the wine and Tina. I feel much the same way about Davis as you do, and still can't fathom why the reps thought Gilmore made a better candidate.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 5, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wilbrod, I didn't mean to complain about the picture -- I was troubled by the assertions in the text that went with the picture, which made some scurrilous claims about McCain supposedly collaborating with his captors in exchange for preferential treatment. The picture is what it is -- it shows two former enemies, after the end of hostilities, making a public show of putting war aside. I suspect it took every ounce of guts McCain ever had, to permit that picture to be taken. It's a pesky thing, but peace is something we make with our enemies, not our friends. He should be honored for the strength of will it takes to put aside well-justified personal animosity to seek an agreement to recover remains of POWs and MIAs who hadn't made it home. But I'm still going to vote for Obama.

Posted by: PlainTim | October 5, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

frostbitten, it was a valiant effort, and we who merely spectate salute you. I hope your ankle heals quickly.

I just got home and am tired and happy. I can't really formulate a coherent response to the MBPH just yet but I will just say that it fulfilled all my hopes and none of my fears.

a bea c was the surprise bonus; since we shared a hotel room--arranged at the 11th hour--we got to spend time chatting and sightseeing. She's a delightful person and we discovered some surprising things we have in common. I'll never forget her whirlwind tour of the National Gallery--all the highlights in record time, no wasted motion, no dawdling.

We also breezed through the Sant Ocean Hall. Very nice.

Then over to the WWII memorial which neither of us had seen before. I couldn't stay there too long; war memorials get me emotional. We had a lot of great views of the Washington Monument. As I commented to a bea c, I know I shouldn't love it so much because it's so patriarchal and phallic, but I really like the clean lines and the fact that you can look at it and see nothing but sky behind it--beautiful. I can remember what the inside of it looks like, because on several occasions when I was a child I took the elevator up and walked down the stairs. And of course the original George W. really was a great American, "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." It's possible that they just don't make 'em like that anymore.

I think the Washington Monument compares favorably to the Eiffel Tower; it's a similar thrill look up and think, "I'm in Washington D.C.!" "I'm in Paris!"

As I said at the beginning of this way too long run-on ramble, I'm not capable of coherence right now. Just meant to check in, now I shall check out.

Posted by: kbertocci | October 5, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Thank all of you for a wonderful, memorable weekend.

frosti, I'm sorry to hear about your ankle, I hope you're feeling better soon. But I'm glad you got a good lunch out of it.

More later, after I sleep.


Posted by: bc | October 6, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

So nice to hear Boodlers returning home safe and sound. Well, except for the sprained ankle, frostbitten! Ouch. I too once sprained my ankle badly - just walking, as dmd noted, although I was holding up one end of a heavy dresser while Mr Ml and I were moving - about a week before our wedding.

I agree, VL, the Boodlers I have met are just as I expected - only better. Nice to hear that CP was there, and mo (I keep missing mo!), and aroc from a long way away, and so many others. I think we'd need a week together so everyone could talk to everyone! I'm glad kb and a bea c had a good time together, seeing the sights.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 6, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

VintageLady - I read that article with great interest. He was certainly pretty candid. I just felt more frustrated and sad at the end of that article. Best line for me in that piece:

"If you're solving a big problem, whether it's welfare reform or Social Security, you want every perspective at the table - not so they can veto it, but so you can get everyone involved."

Posted by: AZBlueHen | October 6, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the pictures, Scotty. Looking forward to see the rest.

Frostbitten, hope your painful ankle heal soon.

There are about 10 dogs down my street. I think they are all strays. There’s a particular one that would have looked much prettier had he been looked after. He’s got a black head and white body coat. He behaves like a mafia head. He bullied all the other dogs up and down the street into submission. When I first moved to this place, I didn't know the whole street was his territory. I let my dogs out in the evenings for a few minutes everyday. One evening when they were on the street in front of my neighbour’s house, the bully dog came charging at them. When I heard them cry, I went running with a twig in my hand. I’m glad he didn’t charge at me cuz that twig won’t have helped very much. I was able to save my dogs from him. He’s got scary red eyes. After that incident, we kind of got into an understanding. When I’m around, I’m the alpha. He can be the alpha when I’m not around.

Posted by: rainforest | October 6, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

frosti, I'm so sorry about your ankle!! :-(

OK, so I'm a little slow in updating the pics... I'm nearly cross-eyed from scanning through (and editing) the myriad possibilities!! I'll post more (including a glaring oversight that should have been in the first batch) this evening.

And of course, I should have said this long before now -- Unending thanks to all who traveled so far to make this weekend and all-time keeper!!! :-)

*wondering-how-I'll-get-through-the-workday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 6, 2008 5:06 AM | Report abuse

Nice article on Tom Davis, VL. Didn't he used to be Al Franken's writing partner?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2008 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Reporting to Dawn Patrol flight line. Frosty, take care of that ankle and get better soon. Glad to hear everyone made it back safely.

Posted by: Brag | October 6, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

It's not hard getting back to the Dawn Patrol as the days shorten, but sure do miss the bird song of the early morn summertime.

Frosty, that was tough luck with the ankle sprain, let us know what the doctor says. As to your question regarding convention vs primary, I think the GOP central committee just flat out wanted a conservative as a candidate, and they could control a convention, whereas a primary in Virginia would allow Davis (a moderate) and any others to declare and run. As you know, in Virginia, voters do not register by party, so anyone can vote.

Yello, I think you are thinking of another Tom Davis? The SNL Davis?

AZBlueHen, bless you for reading that long piece; it was well written.

Now to go back and read Downie's piece for the second time. It was late last night when I skimmed it, it deserves my full attention. Marc Fisher has a column on the two frozen children I want to read, also.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 6, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Morning Read: An article about Carol McCain and why she is the classiest jilted ex-wife of a presidential candidate I know of.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I remember the first time I saw the Mall. I got off at the Smithsonian Metro stop and went up the escalator to emerge into a crisp brilliant Fall day.

There's a strange mental process that occurs when you encounter something in real life that you have previously only seen in pictures. For until you see something first hand, part of your mind doesn't fully comprehend that it is actually real.

Well, at that moment my brain finally understood that those glorious white monuments and graceful historic buildings were actually real. The sight made me fully understand the phrase "takes your breath away." And, most shockingly of all, I was standing there among them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 6, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, all. I'm up but I refuse to shine! Today will be the recovery day. It was sooo worth the effort to make the journey.

Fact I'm proud of: by using cruise control and staying at the speed limit, I averaged a little over 30 miles per gallon, in a vehicle that's supposed to get 28 at best. Oh, and I inflated the tires to the (more or less) correct pressure all by myself!

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Pulling your leg, VL. Tom Davis the congressman also isn't the Tom Davis that composed the Flowers For Algernon Suite:

I imagine there are lots of Tom Davises out there.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if the Post has put anything up yet, but Stock Markets around the world have been crushed again. Some of this may be a reaction to The U.S. market close last Friday, but more has to do with all the National Bank actions over the weekend.

I am guessing down 200 to 500 today as a reaction. Governments around the globe are hunkered down behind their Wrought Iron Gates wondering what they can do.

"Unease" is what is going on.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Washingtonians also voted 90% for Kerry and 9% for Bush last time -- so not only are they on the front lines doing the nation's nitty-gritty, but they are also politically representative of America.

(Or at least I think Bush's ratings are now sub-10% -- I don't know any Bush supporters, does anyone?)

Posted by: rikken | October 6, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

OK, the articles are coming. Russian markets halted trade at down 12%. Asia down 4 to 5 percent. The problem? In my view, the governments can't seem to address the real problem which is the sliced credit lines.

If they are going to put billions into these financial institutions, there has to be a stipulation that they remain being loaning institutions. No loans, no deal. No Credit, no deal.

Why should the countries loan money to banks who won't turn around and loan it out.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

rikken, last week Froomkin was reporting poll that showed 23-24% approval for W. It's almoost an historical low (the recors of 22% is co-held by Truman at the start of the Korean war and Nixon in that fatefuk week) but these are the hardcore fans. Dang reality, I love the guy type of fans.

bc, pssst I read this last night.

Jay Leno speaking:
"Paul had some great cars but the one that made me smile was the VW Bug he had with a Porsche 911 engine in the back. It blew the doors off people at the lights and they could never work out why. "

Whose Paul is it anyway?

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 6, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

SCC almost, fateful, etc.
My bad. Need more coffee.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 6, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

With no clue, SD, maybe Paul Newman?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Yep DM, bc was regaling us last week with a story of Paul N. stuffing NASCAR-type engines in a plain looking Volvo station-wagon. He liked anonymity but loved speed. So the Porsche-powered Bug is very much typical for Newman.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 6, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The Mel Brooks film Silent Movie has a cameo where Paul Newman races wheelchairs.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 6, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

SD, at one point several years ago, after dinner with a casual friend, we were walking back to the parking garage and he started approaching a little British car, but not just any car, a Shelby AC Cobra.

I immediately demanded a ride sometime. He said, how about now! No problemo!!!

SD, picture an old 60's era MG with a V8 tuned to a racing trim. We drove out Old Georgetown Rd from Bethesda and came to a stop light just past Suburban Hospital and pulling up next to us at the light was a couple in a Caravan--wife at the wheel... she rev'ed her engine and laughed, after which, husband hid head.

Next thing I know, the light turned green and my friend passed the YMCA going about 60 in second gear.

Nice ride.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad the out-of-towners had such a great time here, and that the weather cooperated. Terribly sorry about your ankle, frosti. A friend of mine had exactly the same thing happen to her on Saturday evening at some kind of event downtown. Both ankles went on her. Goodness! Well, healing karma is being sent as we speak.

I suspect that the BPHs will continue ad infinitum. I certainly hope so.

And in that absolutely gorgeous yesterday, I ended up glued to my computer for more than 7 hours, doing a favor for some guys I work with (brief due tomorrow, and they needed a bunch of other stuff done -- hey, it pays the mortgage). The errands I was planning have been put on another list for another time. *sigh*

Palin is coming out against Obama on the "character" issue -- while she has instantaneously become a caricature. I suspect we'd all prefer Tina Fey.

Anyhow -- gotta go. cya later

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 6, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. WOW! What a weekend! I had a wonderful time. I was sooo happy to meet all of you. Everyone was so nice, and many thanks to all that made the trip possible.

Slyness, a special thanks to you for taking me along, and for your good care of me.

And bc, you are a gem. You're so easy going and just a lovely person.

All of you made feel quite happy and relaxed, and it was good to be with you all.

JA, and Mrs. JA, what a treat to meet you in person. JA and RD look like young men that are still living in college dorms and doing what young men do. Of course, I'm sure the wives have those hidden leashes that keep everything in check, guys. Mrs. Achenbach, is a very lovely person in appearance and personality.

CP, you are one kind-hearted person, and so lovely. Stop with the critique.
Yoki, I'm in love with all things Canadian if they're anything like you. And still want to visit Canada.
LiT, thanks for the gift.
TBG, I'm amazed by you, and getting the MBPH together was good, thanks to all that worked on that.

Thanks for the lovely earrings, the lady from Philly. Please forgive me, can't remember the handle, but remember our conversation together. And I took away from that hope and a lot of joy. Peace, joy, love, and all the best to you.

aroc, it was good to meet you and thank you for the kind words.

And to all that I did not mention, please don't feel left out, for you are not left out by a long shot. I enjoyed every minute of meeting all of you. Although I could not hear many of the words, the thought and the action spoke loud enough for me to hear and to love. I cannot express how much I love you folks, and meeting you is right there on the top of my list.

GWE, the beans are going to be supper tonight.

Mudge, Martooni, Scotty, good, good, morning to you. And to all.*waving*
Ivansmom, glad to hear you got a chance to sing. Take care of yourself, and prepare for the next outing with this group.

Wilbrod, prayers sent your way.

It looks like a lovely day here. I have much work to do. Time to get busy. And swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 6, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse


What a thrill it was to meet you finally at BB. It is so nice to be able to put a face to all your wonderful posts.


Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Paul was a real car guy, like Leno.

A friend of mine recently pulled off the massive trick (really combining the two that Newman did) of stuffing a small-block chevy v-8 into a VW Bug. If I can find some pics, I'll link 'em.

Car goes like stink, and sounds nothing like a Bug.

Having said that, I've modified Dodge Omnis, Dodge Shadows and a Plymouth Voyager minivan specifically as Q-ships (alert for Mudge and Brag) for racing (on legitimate certified operating race tracks, not streets).

It's a bit of an ego boost to beat a guy driving a Viper, Mustang, Z06 Corvette or a Porsche with a 25-year old domestic econobox or minivan. Sometimes brains, guile and skill salted with a bit of with experience and treachery can still beat deep pockets.

As Weingarten might say, every dog has his day - even old ones.



Posted by: bc | October 6, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I should add here that I've helped stuff a Ford V-8 into a Miata and a small-block chevy V-8 into a late-80's Honda CRX (there's wasn't much CRX left after we were done with it - it was mostly Corvette from the driver's seat forward and Mustang from the driver's seat back).

And the same guy who built the V-8 Bug put a small block Chevy V-8s into a '59 Fiat roadster and a Datsun 240Z.

Each one cost less than a set of new 22 in. wheels and tires for an Escalade, too.


Posted by: bc | October 6, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Random thoughts on our trip having nothing to do with the BPH or MBPH. Deleware has really ugly license plates. The Memorial bridge isn’t as pretty the third time you cross it in a ten minute span. GPS really loves the JFK center - it insisted on taking us there both coming into and leaving the city. GPS also isn’t good at finding restaurants in Maryland. There is a restaurant somewhere in MD that has what we think were pretty good crabcakes (having nothing to compare them to), but lists applesauce as a vegetable (the fact that the place was packed with really old people may have been a tip off). “S” thinks it might have been the local rest home’s Sunday dinner diner.

We came home a day early, altho’ we didn’t get in until after midnight. I think we just hit a wall both physically and psychologically. I’ll post more later when I finish backboodling and laundry.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 6, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Seems like everyone's gotten home safe and sound, yes? Frosti, am so sorry to hear about the ankle. You are my hero (OK, heroine) as well as my favorite chopper pilot AND small-town mayor.

I wish the MBPH planning committee could take credit for it, but we can't. Still, I gotta say, our Washington weather this past weekend could not have been more perfect for you guys. For some reason the first week of OCtober has always been outstanding on the East Coast, I don't know why. I've vacationed on Martha's Vineyard twice during the first week of OCtober, and always had outstanding weather.

I deeply regret not being able to spend Saturday during the day and Sunday with you out-of-towners, but we were committed to launching and moving the boat, a journey my wife described last night as the "shortest, happiest" trip she ever took. Maybe 300 to 400 yards, but an entire world of difference, and the first time the boat has been wet in 3 long, miserable years.

I've backboodled on this kit and the Kenley kit, but have no dared peek into the Palinstorm kit, and I don't think I will. For you regulars who had to deal with it, I hope you all made it into the bunker OK. (Is that when you decided to paint it pink?) Later today, maybe Slyness can go in and check it for me before I do an inspection and inventory. I'm old, yanno; I don't know how much shock my old system can handle.

One of the funny/weird (but good) things about the MBPH was talking to so many Boodlers and addressing them by their real names, and switching back-and-forth between their real names and their handles. What I'm deathly afraid of in my senility is that I will accidentally post something referring to one of you by your real names (I almost wrote slyness's real name a minute ago, as well as Frosti's). So it is back to Boodle handle names only.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 6, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"What I'm deathly afraid of in my senility is that I will accidentally post something referring to one of you by your real names (I almost wrote slyness's real name a minute ago, as well as Frosti's). So it is back to Boodle handle names only."

That's OK Paul. We'll understand if you do!

Posted by: TBG | October 6, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Babs.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 6, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, forgive me for not refreshing my browser and posting such nonsense after your lovely post.

You blessed all of us with your presence, and I am grateful to share conversation and laugh with you, and to finally be able to put my arms around you (I'm Italian - it's OK!).

And special thanks to Joel, TBG (and SonofTBG), Scottynuke and Mudge for their work to make this all happen. Thanks to Geoff and the folks at Buffalo Billiards for giving us such a great place to go, and for being such gracious hosts. To slyness for the drives and her fabulous speaking voice (I could listen to her talk all day). To NukeSpouse, DNA Girl, and everyone else who provided such great desserts.

For everyone who travelled near and far - Yoki, a bea c, kbertocci, frosti, Kim, aroc, greenie, and everyone else who joined our celebration in person or virtually.

Special thanks to Marc Fisher, Caitlin and the delightful Mrs. A for making a great evening even more wonderful.

More to say, but I'm getting all verklempt over here.


Posted by: bc | October 6, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Just announced a while ago, Bank of America just announced that it had reached agreement with several States Attorneys General that they will be offering renegotiated mortgage contracts to 10's of thousands of their recently acquired mortgages.

This is the sort of thing that can start to unwind the crisis. The cost to the bank to fix the problem for it's mortgage customers benefit is actually cheaper and much wiser than take the ride down the slippery slope of devalued properties everywhere.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Bad Sneaks and S, thanks for coming all this way down!


Posted by: bc | October 6, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

That said, we keep looking like we might head to our own trade halt due to broken systems and market collapse.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Toronto Stock Exchange down 845 points, 7.83% in the first hour.

Posted by: dmd | October 6, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Frosti, I wondered about you all day yesterday. So sorry to hear about the ankle, but way to go on getting that far. You are one amazing woman.

Posted by: dr | October 6, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

A Thriller Life
A chat with the author of Kingmaker, an espionage thriller.
October 18 2008, 2:00 PM.
Borders Books
8518 Fenton St. Downtown Silver Spring (short Walk from Silver Spring Metro).

As his publisher advertises, Alexey Braguine has led a life that rivals fictional works of espionage and adventure. The author will talk about his escapades in Europe, Middle East and Africa. How he evaded the security services of three countries, how he got jailed in Kenya. Don't forget to remind him to tell you how he slept next to a lion on the banks of the Tana River. Besides doing the blah-blah, Braguine will sign copies of Kingmaker.

Posted by: Brag's Moutpiece | October 6, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, you slept with a lion. My wife sleeps with a tiger, so there.

(OK, I just couldn't resist a set-up like that. When somebody floats such a giant softball out there, ya just gotta go after it, right?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 6, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Crisis overted. Market back on track. Play Golf.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 6, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse


(Hehe) read da book to prime yourself for the experience. (Taking cover in the back room of the bunker).

Posted by: Brag | October 6, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Dolphin Michael, thanks for keeping track of the disaster.

Welcome aboard!

Posted by: Brag | October 6, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

g'morning boodle. A sweet young doctor, in camouflage (that's important, I don't like doctors or nurse practitioners who wear whites) confirmed my 1st degree sprain. I almost didn't go but the Ft. Eustis clinic has same day appointments if you call during "sick call." I see why the Frostrents would never leave this area to go home to MN. For all the bad press about Walter Reed and other problems with military health care I think the boodle should know that I would not give it up for anything I've seen on the outside. If a government controlled health care system ran anything like what I've seen with military medicine most people would be trading up.

I'm still luxuriating in Sunday's dead tree WaPo and was in full nose blowing cry at the end of the old dog piece.

Note to powers that be-I will be taking your Oct. 5 paper to St. Paul to be read by at least 2 more adults, one in that coveted 18-35 demographic. By then it will be 4 days old, but they don't care!! In the name of all that is holy, go national like the NYT.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 6, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

But have you ever barked at a bear and lived to tell the tale, Brag, huh? I didn't think you had.

It's Monday all over again, and soggy to boot. Even the poetically fiery trees look more like damp redheads and blondes.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | October 6, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, bc, I don't have enough to say to talk all day long. If you want to hear Standard Southern Piedmont (that's my dialect) you are welcome to visit! I'll put you up, I've got a guestroom these days!

Frosti, hope the ankle mends quickly, and glad you got it looked at. That's the step I normally skip, and it's not always a good idea.

I came across this in the deadtree edition of the Charlotte Observer and was just blown away. The writer is regarded as godlike in these parts:

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

PlainTim, so the answer to the rebuttal of the picture is no. Personal spin doesn't count. I don't think the picture was staged. You can see it's McCain hugging Bai, not vice versa.

This is also the guy who refused to shake hands with Obama after the debate and wouldn't even look at Obama during the first debate.

The second debate's coming up, maybe it'll be less of a snooze.

Tom Davis, I do remember pulling the lever for him. He's fiscially conservative, which is why he earns votes. A lot of people in the GOP could take lessons from him.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 6, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Boko, just in case you missed it.

"Cubs far from alone in sports futility"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous at 11:59 was me, Fred.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 6, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Shriek I was all ready to feel smug at your link, being on of the few GTA residents who was never a Leafs fan (go Habs!), then scrolled down and saw two of my teams from childhood on there - Dolphins and the Irish - both were selections when I was young for personal reasons and then their greatness just happened :-).

While we are at it Habs haven't done that well lately either.

Posted by: dmd | October 6, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog -- I leave the fine art of bearbarking & bearpocking to the likes of Saakashvili :-)

Posted by: Brag | October 6, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow slyness, I didn't see that coming. Any reaction you'd like to report? (yours or others)

Posted by: frostbitten | October 6, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the NYT Web folks need a hedline editor:

Fed Will Provide as Much as $900 in Loans to Banks


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 6, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... that Hugh McColl opinion piece is great! I've passed it along to my fence-sitting bro in law and friends. I know McColl is loved down there by all classes of people and his is a hugely important endorsement for Obama. Wow.

I'm still drained from the weekend. I feel like I was part of a huge family wedding or something. A full weekend of visiting, partying and just being happy. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Posted by: TBG | October 6, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Trying to get caught up. Frosti I am so sorry to hear about your ankle, I was thinking of you yesterday and this news makes me sad.

We had a great time meeting everyone. It was overwhelming, especially the MBPH, but I feel so much more connected now that I have faces and personalities to go with the names. Don’t want to slight anyone but must say I truly was happy to meet Cassandra, she is certainly everything that I expected her to be - and more. Wish I was more like her.

We left yesterday but stopped at the Air and Space Museum out by the airport. “S” cannot get enough of this stuff. I actually liked it more than the one in Washington - less reading, more big stuff to look at. I know someone else mentioned this also, when there are too many exhibits that demand extended time spent reading the details, I get overloaded and just want to cruise around instead.

The trip was great but exhausting. We walked everywhere and had such long days that I dreaded coming home late today and trying to be rested enough to go to work tomorrow. So that’s mainly why we left yesterday. We know we’ll have to make another trip to see everything we missed and now, having experienced the layout and the logistics of it all, I think we’d try to do a bit less walking next time. The biggest mistake we made was doing too much the first day, but we were excited to see stuff and one thing led to another...

So thank you to everyone who organized the MBPH, you know who you are.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 6, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse


When I first peeked into the bunker, it looked like that room at Buffalo Billiards when we were done with it Saturday night. But the cleaning crew is almost done (I hope the budget will cover the expense, I didn't think I could do it all by myself), and it does look better. The mauve paint, well, not so much. I hope Scotty and Tim and bc will have a couple of hours later in the week to spend covering it up. I found a lovely Carolina blue I think everyone will like.

The anticamassars are in the dryer, I'll have them ready by the weekend. The curtains were a lost cause. CP, if you've got the time to pick out something that goes will Carolia blue, I'll be delighted to sew and put them up.

Whew! As if I weren't tired enough from the MBPH already!

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Slyness, a bunch of us owe you a ton of thanks for bringing Cassandra to the MBPH. So thank you a ton.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 6, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

White butterfly lace always goes with anything, Slyness.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 6, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi all! Came back from a lovely visit with other boodlers to home and work chaos! Water heaters bursting, teenagers everywhere at home and just plain craziness at work. What a comedown from my very fun MBPH experience and my drive back and forth from DC. The drive could not have been smoother and my newly set up iPod made it so fun. I had stuff from my daughter, (Michelle Branch, the Fray), stuff from my son, (AC/DC and Zeppelin)
stuff from the hubby (John Hiatt and the Finn Bros) and of course my own choices which ran the gamut from Earth, Wind and Fire, Carole King, the Eagles to Primitive Radio Gods and combined with the beautiful weather as perfect bookends to the MBPH, it was just a lovely weekend. (oops major run on sentence alert).

I'm sorry about your ankle, frosti, I hope you heal soon.

It was really lovely to meet everyone! Slyness has the BEST laugh! Raysmom is a dead ringer for a lady I work with, I mean DEAD RINGER! TBG's family is as warm and lovely as she is! RD is every bit the gentleman he seems to be in the boodle! cassandra's prayers for all of us make me so happy! Vintage Lady makes me dream of a blue Virginia! Mudge is ALMOST all knowing! dbG is the BEST, period. Yoki is really tall! I don't know why but I thought she was short like me! Nukespouse, "S", Raysdad, Mrs. Mudge and Vintage gentleman are the best of good sports! CP is the gentlest and sweetest of spirits! Joel is warm and gracious! OK, OK I'll stop!
Those are just a few of the wonderful impressions I left the MBPH with, but the bottom line is that everyone IS just as nice as they seem in the boodle. Good times. I'm glad to know you all.

Slyness - thanks for that Observer link! AWESOME!

Back to the salt mines.

Posted by: Kim | October 6, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok, reading back I see that more caffeine is not the answer to my problems here at work.

Posted by: Kim | October 6, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse


Yes, it was REALLY nice meeting everyone. Karen was such a treat!

Frosti, sorry about your ankle.

And everything else I'll save for when I read the rest of the comments and catch up w/ my chores at home.

Posted by: a bea c | October 6, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sport.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

new kit...

Posted by: ac in sj | October 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Good call, Wilbrod! If CP doesn't have a source, I'll look around here.

Posted by: slyness | October 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 7, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Cynthia | October 10, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

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