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2008 in Pictures

Today I'm sorting through my photo files. Some of these you've seen before, some are new. I took them all with a little Canon point and shoot camera, which would probably work much better if the person holding it had ever read the instructions.

IMG_3827.jpg

A Friday in September, at the seawall in Galveston: A big storm was blowing in and had already boosted the Gulf about a dozen feet higher than normal when i took this picture. It was pretty ominous out there. We got a direct hit. The news that morning had said that anyone on low land in Galveston faced "certain death." That was the phrase from someone at the National Weather Service. So I admit I did pause, briefly, when the editor called me up that morning at my hotel in Houston and said, "We need you to go to Galveston." I was like: "You mean The Place Of Certain Death?" Yep, that one. But it all worked out fine. Kinda windy, though. Wet.

IMG_3974.jpg

Battered and drowned.


IMG_3747.jpg


Emigrant Peak in the Paradise Valley. I spent a few days in Yellowstone, tagging along with a geologist and some wolf-watchers. At one point -- this is a fact -- I resolved to become the kind of man who routinely is on horseback. Not as a stunt, mind you, or as "recreation," but as part of the daily routine of life. Need gallon of milk from store, better saddle up. Not sure how that will impact my carbon footprint when you factor in the carbon emissions from the manufacturing of the fertilizer to grow the hay to feed the animal and whatnot.


IMG_3448.jpg

Like: Here's me getting ready to return a video.


IMG_3374.jpg

That fixer-upper in the background is going to be the Loudoun County bureau of the A-blog. This is near Middleburg, in horse country, which is convenient given my future lifestyle.

[More to come...]





By Joel Achenbach  |  December 30, 2008; 8:33 AM ET
 
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Comments

Joel, you have an eye for pictures. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. I say this not because I know much about photographic composition and f-stops (are there f-starts?) and the like, but because I can appreciate stories. And these pictures, like all great pictures, tell compelling stories. There is an implied narrative behind each that is the essence, to me, of photojournalism.

I hope that we see more of such pictures in the future.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm...

I seem to recall multiple trips to a certain New England state to see multiple political figures, with many wonderful photos resulting.

But yeah, Certain Death does take the top shelf.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Really like that picture of the seawall.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Joel,
That Canon A550 of yours takes very nice pictures. My old A540 had the camera/viewer switch break so for Christmas I bought myself the newer A590 (only $99 at Buy.com if you paid by PayPal) which is a little lighter and is now 8 megapixels or the same resolution as my dead Canon Kiss (aka Rebel XT) I ought to do some side by side comparisons between the A590 and my new (well, two years old) XTi.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Great, now even JA and yello make me feel like I should take more pictures.

Loved the top pic from Galveston the first time I saw it, and still do. It really says it all when a memorial to people washed away in a past storm is pounded by another.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

a donkey and cart would do well Joel!

Posted by: MissToronto | December 30, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Once, long ago, on a flight into Billings, Montana, I was between two college students who were coming home from the East and of course were comparing notes. One, from the same Wyoming town as me (I knew her father), commented that she'd been asked whether she rode a horse to school.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 30, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

My SoHo/Chinatown picutes were taken with my new Canon A590:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/sets/72157611650015037/

We didn't have any of the ducks in the window and my son didn't buy the fedora he was trying on. Instead, he got a khaki British racing cap with some sort of leather buckle on the top.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that the life led by ranchers and other people who do actually use horses as routine transportation would really appeal.

I worked on a ranch one summer, just south of here, and the staff who owned horses did indeed saddle up for most errands. But I quickly discovered that the concomitant to a horseperson's lifestyle is that, whenever you have nothing else to do, you need to dig post-holes. I never really understood why a never-ending supply of new negative space was required so urgently, but it was so.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Well, as usual, I no sooner start a post and Joel offers up a new kit. So now I have to repost from the bottom of the last kit:

'Morning, Boodle. Yes, I missed Dawn Patrol, but did manage to drag my butt into work. I'm recovered about 70%, I guess.

I have to say, Boodle, in all candor, I am deeply disappointed in your collective responses to the romantic dinner question. Now, I realized going in that I'm the apparent flaming 18th century Romantic here, but I was expecting many more candlelit dinners in intimate little restaurants, with strolling violinists coming by the table from time to time. (OK, it's a cliche -- but it happens to be one of my choices; so sue me. I failed the Sensitive New Age Guy test, above, with a possible all-time low score--but I'm also the guy who took my wife to the Waldorf-Astoria, Tiffany's, Tavern on the Green and Phantom of the Opera for our 25th anniversary; somebody's gotta set an example and benchmark around here fer you young whippersnappers, yanno, but I now fear my work has all been in vain).

Instead, you offer up cold pizza, a sandwich, or a bucket of KFC and a six-pack. I'm seriously thinking of hauling the lot of you to the bunker for a remedial class in pitching, wooing, courting and sparking.

Here are a few more options:

1) An intimate little bistro in Paris (Left Bank, of course, or Mountmartre, although I'd award points for reference to a little place of the Rue de la Whatever in the Xth Arrondissement, not really knowing where the hell the Xth Arrondissement is, but admiring your presumption);

2) A cozy New England clambake/lobster bake cooked around a bonfire on a beach in Maine, with everyone snuggled up around the fire;

3) A cozy inn on the cliffs at Big Sur overlooking the Pacific;

4) A mountain lodge, ski trails, all that kinda stuff;

5) A trattoria in Tuscany;

6) A thatched hut on a lagoon in Tahiti.

...and like that.

As for food choices, I'd have expected beef Wellington for two (we had a mention of chateaubriand, which is close enough); lobster, caviar, oysters, or something suitably French (possible choices include Parisienne, Provencal, or Normandy/Brittany).

*sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"she'd been asked whether she rode a horse to school"

So, what was her answer?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 30, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Okay, okay -- for our 10th anniversary, the ScienceSpouse and I went to St. Michael's, MD for two nights without the kids, who stayed home with the ScienceGrandparents taking turns watching them. We ate a lovely meal at a nice restaurant on the first night and drank champagne. We wandered antiques shops and nautical stuff, we ate appropriately, and reacquainted ourselves with each other. I gave her a ring to replace the cheap engagement ring that was all I could afford back when.

How's that? When cooking here at home, romance is achieved by delivering the ScienceKids to overnight events Somewhere Else.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 30, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Someone called your pictures of Yellowstone "sepia-toned." Don't think so. In the ones with great color saturation (the good ones), you're working with light and shadow, and color-wheel opposites--spectacularly so.

Did you ever post those additional pictures from the northwestern oil region of Pennsylvania, as you said at one time that you would?

Interesting that you should lead your photo gallery-in-review with the David W. Moore sculpture, around 50th Street, depicting the suffering of those lost in the Sept. 8, 1900 Galveston hurricane.

Posted by: laloomis | December 30, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

For the sake of stark contrast, here's a photo of Galveston's Moore statue on what would be a more typical day...

http://photohome.com/photos/texas-pictures/galveston/storm-of-1900-statue-1.html

Posted by: laloomis | December 30, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Dave, your 10:06 started off with SUCH promise...

SciTim, we have to have a little talk.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

mudge,

I did invite you by name to the new kit a full half hour before your romantic dinner post, so don't blame me for your being late to class.

Your 25th anniversary weekend is truly legendary. I've done all those things individually except for the Tiffany's gift. And we took the kid with us to Tavern On The Green, where he tried filet mignon for the first time. Boy, was that a huge tactical error. That steak has cost me dearly over the years. What was I thinking?

Most romantic dinner would have to be a tie between Nougatine at Jean-Georges and The Lark And Dove in Atlanta. I don't know if that place is still around, but they made Caesar salad right at our table. That was very impressive to a pair of twenty-something lovebirds like us.

My most romantic gesture was when I proposed to my wife at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. I even bought a rose from the classmate of ours that was selling them from a basket.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Alas, The Lark And The Dove closed in 1993 to make room for a Ruth's Chris. Another memory bulldozed.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

So. Joel is moving the Bureau of the A-Blog to live in LoCo. I've always liked that catchy phrase "living in LoCo".

That photo is a beauty, and that place could be near The British Pantry, shoppers' paradise for tea cozys & scones & clotted cream.

Too many thats in that sentence, but that is the way that goes....

Posted by: VintageLady | December 30, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Well, Mudge, I have 5.67 years left to work up to the big 25th Anniversary Event.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 30, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

FYI, Joel, the horses themselves take care of the fertilizing of the grass. If it makes you feel better. Which it should.

I was appalled yesterday to realize I might have sounded like one of the insanoids who are blaming Democrats for the current Depression. I see it as more like this half-arsed fable:

The first engineer was generally competent, but when he heard some warnings about the condition of the tracks 150 miles ahead, he didn't do anything. Later, the new engineer, barreling down the tracks, saw several switchmen waving frantically, but he didn't heed them. He approved of selling the tracks to private companies, laying off the track inspectors, and was in fact burning the woodwork on the cars for fuel. 10 miles out from the accident, he barred the door, ignored the frantic pounding on it by the more watchful passengers, and took a snooze. Barely awakened a few moments later, at the moment the tracks played out and the trainwreck began, he was explaining scornfully that the tracks were not his concern.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 30, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Two words, 'Mudge. Room Service.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Aw, geez, you're going to make me do the math. Two years, eight months, and seven days until the big 2-5. I used to jokingly promise her a 560SL for our 25th anniversary if we ever got married. I'm pretty sure she knew I was joking. Besides, I'm sure it's long forgotten by now.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Horses come with horse trailers, which in turn come with pickup trucks. Not to mention assorted equipment for riding the horse. And they need places to live. Plus, if you have a horse long enough, you will be kicked and/or bit.

On the other hand, an Appaloosa breeder not far from town had a problem of too many colts having too many spots (a distinctly Appaloosa concern). His horses were a happy bunch--they liked him and liked visitors. So if you bought one of his horses, you had a head start on training. Unless you messed up, it would actually come to you, so you wouldn't spend a lot of time playing catch-the-horse.

Horses of course go with ranching, not farming (our area produced lots of barley).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 30, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

You guys just aren't getting it. It has nothing to do with the 25th -- or any other -- anniversary. Nor was it about past events. The question was simply, what would be your ideal "romantic" (or capital-letter Romantic) dinner (presumably for two, although I suppose that is somewhat limiting for some people).

Yello, taking one's children with them to Tavern on the Green (or anyplace else) is automatically disqualifying.

I see we really ARE going to need some remedial work here. So far, only Yoki's answer of "room service" (which is a fine answer, since it implies a rather large series of probable assumptions, such as luxurious, upscale hotel, excellent food, dining in one's suite in big, comfy hotel-supplied bathrobes [or maybe not] before, during and/or after other activities, etc.)

We're talking about creating a memorable Capital-R Romantic event here, people, not a hot pastrami and some slap-and-tickle trysting at the Motel 6.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Mudge- you are right, of course. I think it's the unexpected romance of the more mundane dinners that made us mention them. There's a lot riding on fabulous celebrations such as your 25th. For real romance I'd offer up-

The Maine sailing cruise we took where crew and passengers totaled but 14. Great lobster cooked on the beach of a tiny island, much like your #2 above. Received the Captain's annual newsletter and sailing calendar last week...if there weren't so many other vacations we'd like to take.

One of my favorites for romance was the since demolished Lewers Street Fish in what was then the fringe of the most touristy part of Waikiki, where Mr. F said a few words that made me swoon. Overhearing two couples with Minnesota accents ask the server if "the tuna tastes 'fishy'" he said "Why don't they just order chicken if they don't want fish to taste like fish?"

Finally-we do try to take romantic horse drawn carriage rides where available. We have done in Colonial Williamsburg, NYC's Central Park, Honolulu (Waikiki) and Cairo.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Kate Winslet and Aishwarya Rai.

Having dinner and a glass of red wine or two in any nice restaurant.

Me at the next table over watching.

Posted by: omnigood | December 30, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

G'morning. I don't know if you guys knew or read the obituary of Quentin Aaneson in the Post this morning. I saw it in the printed version. I never knew him personally and was surprised to read that he lived in Bethesda, but because of the copious programs served up on PBS attendant to WWII (and in addition to the Ken Burns documentary on "The War" a year or so back), I "knew" him. I became very impressed with him and his view of that war and war in general. I think that those who are in the upper echelons -- and especially those who never experienced the what the lower echelons experienced -- haven't a clue about the deep-into-the-heart-and-guts reality of war. It seems that for the uppers it's all like a cool board game where you get to move soldiers around and bark out orders. Aaneson was one of the very, very good guys. He will, indeed, be missed by many -- by those who knew him along with those who only "knew" him.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 30, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Ok Mudge, now I understand the rules.

A weekend at the Millenium Seoul Hilton with dinner at an upscale traditional Korean restaurant where we would be one of the seldom seen non local couples. All other meals eaten from street stands or open air markets.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Amanita Muscaria sautéd in butter with black truffles, with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin?

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 30, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Now we're talkin'...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I am absurdly flattered by your shout-out, Curmudgeon.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

All right Mudge. You do realize this is challenging within the constraints of this blog.

Here goes:

The table is quiet, with just the far-off sounds of an operatic masterpiece to disturb the conversation. There is candlelight, of course, but low. The flickering of the lights accentuate the contours of her face. They reflect they colored flecks of her eyes.

The first course arrives. It is an antipasto dish in which tiny delicate pink shrimp swim with bits of sauteed mushroom in a rich red sauce. There is just the hint of spice. It tickles the tongue.

This is relieved with a few sips of cold champagne. The effervescent bubbles refract the light from the flame and form tiny rainbows in the glass. It is crisp and cleanses the palate for the next course.

This is soup. A concoction of rich broth accentuated with pieces of vegetables that still maintain just the suggestion of crunch. The complex flavors dance around the mouth.

Next is pasta, of course, in a rich pink sauce in which the tart flavor of tomato combines with the calmness of light cream. Rich sharp cheese forms accent notes of taste. Garlic suffuses the dish, but not overpowering, not too much. Just enough to make things interesting.

At this point there is light banter. Discussions of the events of the day. But not to much depth. The concentration is on the food, and each other.

Perhaps some red wine to accompany this course. Nothing too heavy. Or the continuation of the champagne as it goes well with anything.

Finally, after a restful pause, there is dessert. Simple and uncomplicated. Rich cold, creamy vanilla ice-cream drizzled with sweet liquor and covered with slices of dark chocolate. The cool feeling of the melting ice cream is a delight on the tongue after the richness of the entree.

And, of course, coffee. Rich, with cream and real sugar. This too refresh the taste buds and invigorate the senses.

Let us know draw the curtain of propriety upon this mythical meal and all that may follow.


There, ya happy?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Please mentally remove all the typos. Thank you.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

*fanning self*

Actually, RDP, no.

Now I'm hungry.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Much better, Padouk, much better. Where might this meal take place? Seaside? Mountainside? I'm thinking probably Italy...Rome? Florence? Venice? After dinner a cruise in a gondola down the canals...? Throwing a few coins in the fountain...? A horse-and-carriage ride back from the village through the Tuscan countryside to the little villa up on top of the ridge overlooking the vineyards...?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"At this point there is light banter. Discussions of the events of the day. But not to much depth. The concentration is on the food, and each other."

No, no, no my friend. This is where we depart from the events of the day to the things we never have time to discuss in full, like- are we in a multi-polar or non-polar world and what difference should it make in foreign policy? Is it still asymmetrical warfare if a state can wage "regular" war but chooses not to, with its own forces not proxies? What startling discovery will the PE discover upon his inauguration that he didn't anticipate from all those briefings before hand?

You know, romantic stuff like that.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Mudge couldn't romantic be sharing a pot of stew cooked over a campfire and a nice bottle of wine that has been chilling in the creek all day.Laying on a blanket and watching the stars.Then getting into the tent or teepee with the person you love?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 30, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I've never considered eating to be a particularly romantic activity. Not that it can't be salacious. But all most of the other ingredients of a romantic dinner (atmosphere, good conversation) seem to me to be even more enjoyable when not accompanied by mastication.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 30, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm thinking what better place for romance than our own back yard? Besides, I've never been to those places and would just be fakin' it.

I think more like a day in which our happy couple explore the National Gallery of Art, reveling in the beauty of the images. I mean paintings. The rich colors and intricate brush strokes bring imagination to life. They note the salience of these long-ago moments, which are a reminder that life can be short. Special moments need to be fought for, and remembered.

Then perhaps our young (or comfortably middle-aged, or heck, downright old if you prefer) lovers might check out the Arboretum. The plants and flowers there are forever in bloom, and fill the warm air with the rich scent of life.

By this point the light is going, so our pair might step outside, to watch the fading sun illuminate the buildings with golden light. The shadows slowly emerge, until the lights come on and the monuments leap forward in a brilliant glow.

The fountain, perhaps, is flowing,adding a soft sound of running water to the scene. Our lucky pair gently lean upon each other and enjoy the arrival of the night.

And, after all that walking, they have most surely built up quite a healthy appetite.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Strawberry Social vs Tomato Orgy.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

That was lovely, RD. The middle-aged and old are delighted to be included in the romance.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I like to think romance never grows old. It just requires more naps.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

And sometimes reality intrudes on our best attempts at pleasant fantasy...

The Chicago Circus continues:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/12/30/reports_blagojevich_to_appoint.html

Why anyone would want anything from Blago's hands at this point is beyond me. *rolling my eyes*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Some of these menus, I'm going to end up more romantically involved with the food than the company...

But here's a recipe for success: sauted scallops and bacon crumbles, atop sauted spinach and a few fine-julliened scallions , w/cream added at the last moment, atop pasta. (all the sauteing is done in bacon fat) Whole deal dollopped with Hollandaise, topped w/parmesan sprinkled. Accordion player far away but audible. White wine. Spumoni, etc., espresso. Pears in brandy, or a tart...

In any case, the parts about "end up" and "tart" sound good.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 30, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

For those that question what the younger generations will do, or not do.

http://www.thestar.com/article/559485

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

For the romantic evening (when you're having people come around sometime in the next week to finish this off). It's so rich, there's no problem serving 12-18 people. And easy--a pot, a whisk, an oven and ingredients.

I'd promised this recipe to NukeSpouse and Mrs. Mudge, so please pass it on.

Mocha Fudge Cake (flourless chocolate torte)

12 oz semisweet chocolate
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 lb unsalted butter
1 cup freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee
2 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs, beaten

Directions
Preheat oven to 250F; line bottom and sides of a 9" spring-form pan with foil or parchment paper. I spray the foil so it releases the cake easily.

In heavy saucepan melt butter, sugar, and espresso together, stirring to dissolve sugar; once melted and blended, add all chocolate over very low heat, stirring often while the chocolate melts. When it's about the temperature of hot bath water (130 degrees), remove from heat.

Beat eggs together, add egg mixture into the chocolate mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.

Pour batter into spring-form pan.

Bake for approximately one and a half hours. The center will firm up as it chills. Chill for at least 8 hours (keeps for up to a week). I serve this with dollops of whipped cream, sprinkled with pecans.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Consider it passed, dbG, and thanks! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome!

Did I emphasize that the center will still look undone when you take it out? It will, not to worry. :-)

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to that obit:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/29/AR2008122902407.html

Posted by: omnigood | December 30, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

This is how you sweep a woman off her feet? This is how you dazzle her, seduce her, convince her she's more desireable than Cleopatra, more beautiful than than Venus? Make her feel more special and sexy than any other woman on earth? This is how you get her heartbeat racing, make her catch her breathe with an arch of your eyebrow, bring a dab of perspiration to her quivering upper lip? Make her want to forget desert and make a run for the elevator? You guys are sooooooooooo damn lucky I'm not 30 years old and single. I'd soooooooooooo steal your lunch money AND your women so fast your heads would spin.

You just don't get it. Utterly clueless.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This is kind of on the "pictures" topic. One of my tiresome complaints is that I work in a windowless office. Recently I discovered this webcam, and I'm trying to use it as a substitute window. It is aimed at a nearby beach--I used to walk to this beach when I had longer lunch breaks. Nowadays, I go the other direction (around the golf course) instead.

Since it's just a *virtual* window, no reason you can't use it no matter where you are:

http://evsboca.netfirms.com/default.htm


Posted by: kbertocci | December 30, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm really surprised at all the boodlers that are confusing fine dining with successful romancing. All that food sounds great, but a lot of it is mighty rich and perhaps a bit gassy. Talk about a mood killer an hour or two later.

The fancy dinner is a means to an end. It's all about convincing a woman that you are willing to blow ridiculous amounts of money in exchange for her company with no tangible or practical side benefit. See also Flowers, Chocolate, and Jewelry.

I've often thought the ultimate romantic gesture would be to just stand in front of your object of desire and with great flourish burn twenty dollar bills while professing your love to her.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I think what we have here is a philosophical problem. The right woman has been known to make me weak in the knees simply by smiling. Nothing more is needed. And I know that there is no bag 'o tricks that any other woman can pull out to "steal" me away.

When the person is right, the rest of the world fades away and is nothing but background noise. When this happens, the food, the wine, the scenario, the fancy words, well, none of that much matters. The world just becomes her, and that is enough.

And I can only assume that for a woman it is the same.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kb. That will either help me when we're having typical Pacific NW weather, or make me want to commit suicide. (kidding)

Mudge, the original romantic dinner question came from frostbitten - she needed real, doable suggestions for an at-home romantic dinner. As for me, a walk on the beach or gazing at mountains somewhere, with some good simple food and a nice bottle of wine is as romantic as I get. And flowers, wild or from a florist. Chocolate! Maybe I've just never had the budget to be able to do much more than that, or develop more elegant desires.

A friend of mine is from Vietnam, and he wondered once about why people think candles are romantic. To him, they were a necessity, and a reminder of hardship.

Posted by: seasea | December 30, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Both the women in my scenario have red hair...oops

RD_P just fell out of his chair

sorry RD

Posted by: omnigood | December 30, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

For an in-home romantic dinner I suggest something baked because that can be prepared beforehand and all it needs is to be pulled out of the oven. Too much running around and working over a hot stove is counter-productive. I know a lasagna has been the way to my heart on more than one occasion.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I beleive a grilled Kraft cheese food on Wonderbread sandwich washed down with a little Ripple meets the basic requirements of a romantic dinner. Just need to scare up a thou.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 30, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Now, I would say that for capital-R Romantic occasions, what is needed is an understanding first of the objective, and second, of the role each element of the encounter plays in its achievement.

If the objective is to get somebody into bed (or anywhere else your mutual fancy takes you), that can easily be achieved without Romance. Sometimes better without, even.

But if the objective is to display utter devotion to the Beloved, his or her comfort, delight, pleasure, in order to bind that person to you with all of his or her heart and spirit and mind and body, then only Romance will do.

And thus, creating a rounded sensual experience for the Beloved is a clever plan. This is why cultural tropes for romantic gestures still work. Delicious food and wine, beautiful lighting, lovely music, sparkling jewels, the scent of flowers and perfume, soft texture of silk, rainbow colours, good conversation, laughter, compliments, these are the elements that create that sensual joy.

And those are just examples. gwe is quite correct that so long as the Beloved is the focus, a walk in the woods and a simple picnic will do as much as all the luxury in the world.

I think that 'Mudge, RD, and gwe have captured this better than the rest of us, and we should be *studying* their words, if we wish to be students of this discipline.

And if we don't, why the heck not?!

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

yello, it doesn't have to be about money at all -- a cozy beach bonfire scenario isn't expensive, and a candlelit dinner in a romantic little restaurant or bistro doesn't have to be out-of-hand or otherwise unreasonable. And it isn't just about the food--it's about the atmosphere, the mood, creating a sense of anticipation of things to come.

Padouk, I think the worst mistake you can make is to assume a woman thinks pretty much the same as you do--and that all the details-- food, wine, mood, words --don't matter. I'm not saying it can't sometimes be like that. But I think you miss the point that although the specific things "don't matter," one of the things a woman wants to see is you making the effort: putting on your best suit, thinking about and selecting the restaurant or venue she'd like (or be impressed by), buying her a single perfect rose, tipping the gypsy violinist to stroll by and play her song, etc. The details are important because they represent thought and effort that you put into thinking about what would woo her. And to some extent the money matters, too, not to brag that you have it to spend, but because it is a measure of what you think of her: baby, you're worth it.

If a woman tells you she doesn't need or want those little presents and gestures, doesn't want to be wined and dined and treated like a queen, you're dating a transvestite, dude. We're talking Romance here. It's not about what you want; it's about what you do, all the effort you go to, to make the evening not just special but memorable, maybe even mind-blowing. Boffing her in the Ted Williams tent in the back yard or under the stars ain't gonna do it, fun though it might be. It doesn't make it special; it only makes you Randy Ranger Rick and the Lost Camp Counselor.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I am swooning at the dueling boodle men: what doth stitch the lustrous damask of romance?


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

You can share my fainting-couch, CP!

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Well romantic to me, is someone doing something that means the most to me, for example most romantic gift I ever received was a framed collection of the people who mean the most to me, my kids, husband, parents, grandfather, brothers and sisters and the dog. The photos all existed previously only the frame was new, but the thought and effort to prepare a gift I would love meant so much.

Of course I am pretty easy to please.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I think mudge made my case admirably. It's all about the effort you do that you normally wouldn't. Guys don't buy flowers, line the bedroom with votive candles, shave more than once a day, or buy a fresh stick of Axe unless they are trying to impress a lady.

It's all about the peacock with the prettiest feathers, the bird with shiniest pebbles and the the elephant seal with the longest trunk. Women like attention to be paid. The key word there is paid. In time, money, effort, and ridiculous gestures that only serve to make the guy look foolish.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Boko. Except with a tbsp of condensed milk on the side. And I don't think they make Ripple anymore. Perhaps a shot or two of Hardy Red instead?

Also, I might appreciate a romantic poem, but it's not essential:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2003

And, RD_P, sweetie, this (very long) series is for you:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=938

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 30, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Gentlemen, gentlemen. The food and the ambiance have only a peripheral relationship to the romantic mood. It is the conveying of the message that you know *her* and what is important to her that sets the mood. Flowers? Only if she finds them special. Poetry? Only if it's your own; quality of writing counts for little. Food? Eh--who can feel romantic with a bloated belly? (Unless it's freshly-steamed lobster; then all bets are off.)

Forgive if I have mentioned this before, but the most romantic gesture for me was when Raysdad and I were courting and he presented me one evening with a bottle of contact lens cleaner. Knowing full well that I had run out, but knowing me as he did, was certain I would not think to go buy another bottle.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 30, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Let me just say a couple of things here; I believe a romantic dinner - or even a romantic encounter - can be different things to different people, and can be different things to the same people depending on time, place, and context.

It's the people involved that matter the most - time, place, food, etc. can all help set the mood, but what the Romanced see when they look into each others' eyes and faces, the thought and consideration as well as the spontaneity and reaction.

For me, romance is what you make of it - it cannot be purchased and it cannot be given away. It cannot be derived from a project plan or a budget spreadsheet, and just because it's in the pages of a travel or gourmet magazine does not guarantee that it will have real meaning to the people involed.

Sure, I buy gifts to indicate that I'm thinking of someone, but they're manifestations of emotion, thought and care.

Romance of emotional thought and action.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, achievable romantic dinner at home was my quest, but I like how we've boodled on.

As for wining, dining, jewelry, flattery etc. I think the real key is knowing and remembering the things that make a person's heart flutter. If Mr. F gave me jewelry I'd be wondering when I could anticipate a call from his lawyer's secretary to set up the depositions. I rarely wear any, and don't appreciate it at all. Help me work off my life list of cheesy things to do, by surprising me with tickets to see Tom Jones or Wayne Newton, now that's romantic. Say "no, it's your turn to get a new car, how about a green Miata?" in reply to "I think you need a new vehicle." That's romantic.

Alas, New Year's Eve is too contrived for real romance. I do know Mr. F will appreciate the filets mignon and dbg's cake. As for the crusty bread, I just answered a frantic call from the dott who stopped by the hip urban loft on her lunch hour. Mr. F's much anticipated bread dough has exploded on the counter. I'm sure he'll have it at least semi-mastered by tomorrow evening.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

And he bought the correct brand.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 30, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom,
He does sound like a keeper.

The gesture that has been getting me the "Aww, aren't you sweet!" lately has been remembering to give her her chewable vitamin pills.

It's always good to set expectations low early in a relationship.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Oddly Frosti, the exploding bread works for me, making me laugh is as important to me as sparkly jewels is to some women.

My favorite dinner was when my husband confused flour for icing sugar (a long time ago, and the first meal he cooked from scratch - learning as he went).

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

What frosti said.

And Mudge, I had the ultimate double take--in your 10:19 I thought you said "courting and spanking."

Posted by: Raysmom | December 30, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

My parents gave each other, intermittently over 37 years of marriage, small compasses. Why? On their third date, they were lost for ten hours in a horrific snow storm in South Dakota (between Yankton and Mitchell, Frosti).

Whenever I see a compass, I remember this gesture. (we only understood this when my mother died too soon ten years ago. My dad placed one of the compasses in her coffin.)

My grandfather would start bread dough early in the morning for my grandmother, so she could sleep in til 6 AM. They giggled about this through years of boughten bread. I believe that the word kneading was a touch bawdy for them: kneading and needing.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Mudge that it is the act of showing your special someone that you are thinking of him/her that is the romance. Simple gestures that show much thought is what makes me swoon.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 30, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not touching that one, Raysmom.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

As we grow older i think remembering what was said or done in the slightest conversation about likes and dislike goes a long way in the desire for romance.I think I surprised my last date with the little things I did or remembered when we spoke and we just shooting the breeze.

But enough of this romance talk.There is a football game starting in an hour.Maryland vs Nevada in the humanitarian Bowl in Boise Idaho.For those casual fans of football.Check it out,I think you will get a kick out of the Blue field.Maryland has look hot and cold throughout the year so who knows which team will show up.But for the senoirs playing in their last college game,I am sure it is a big deal. But Humanitarian Bowl in Idaho? Couldn't it just be the spud bowl?

redandwhitewithenvy

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 30, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Now dear boodle I am truly frostbitten. We are working today, as the building is under demolition and doors are wide open to accommodate removal of debris, and my office is chilled beyond description. Even with an electric space heater cranked all the way up my finger nails are blue. I bid you fondue, while I try to find a warmer dust free spot for computers.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The name Humanitarian Bowl strikes me as a bit ironic. To name an event where human beings hit, tackle, and charge each other on purpose as humanitarian just seems wrong to me.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 30, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

DNA girl, you make me want to be a better man.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 30, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing with you, MotP: "Humanitarian Bowl" is just about the worst possible name for a football game. It'd be like the Ike Turner Women's Shelter, or the Ann Coulter Prize for Literature.

And notwithstanding the irony, it's just one clunky name all by itself. GWE's right: Spud Bowl is much better.

Leaving work early to go join extended family clan in a bacchanal at our favorite local Chinese restaurant, which has relocated into brand new, beautiful digs next to the mall. I predict my fortune cookie will say there are two mai-tai's in my immediate future.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 30, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my point is that, to me, the true purpose of romance and romantic gestures is not to fundamentally change how a woman feels. I do not view romance as a form of coercion, no matter how subtle or lovely. I view romance as a celebration of that which already is.

I don't want to treat a woman I do not love to extreme romance. Her, I would take for a nice walk, or go bowling, or talk with about movies over coffee, to see if the feeling will naturally grow.

I want to shower romance upon a woman I already love. Just because it's fun.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I thought the shower came after...

Never mind.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Just because it's fun."

That's why half the boodle women have crushes on you, RD.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 30, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

RDP, I appreciate the noting of coercion as a risk element in what would appear to be romantic gestures. We are awfully mixed up about what romance is, with many of our conceptions muddled in romanticism (excess of feeling) and modern irony.

Authentic romance would proceed from a stance of dignity and clarity about the specialness -- and exclusivity -- of the Beloveds to each other.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Touchdown Terps......but they missed the extra point D'oh!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 30, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah TBG. That's sweet. Thank you.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

This, to me, is romantic...

My dad had been in one hospital after another after his first major stroke, in 2000. After several weeks of rehab, they said he was ready to go home.

I asked Mom is she was ready for that... if she could handle taking care of him. She touched my arm and said quietly, "Honey, I've already wiped him and it wasn't so bad."

Posted by: -TBG- | December 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Ah Scotty, you crack me up!

Mudge and GWE, I will refer to the Humanitarian Bowl as the Spud Bowl from now on. So fitting.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 30, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

You're right, he would have had me at contact lens cleaner, Raysmom.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately when I was courting my wife, the concept of stalking wasn't particular widespread and my overtures were much more frequently interpreted as misguided attempts at romance.

Be honest. Which of you ladies wouldn't have slapped Lloyd Dobbler with a restraining order the minute he hit play on that boombox?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yello! What are you saying! That's one of the 5 most romantic moments in movie history. I know lots of women who cite that as their favorite song because of the 2 scenes in the movie that use it.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: 'Cause I'm a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You're not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, you're one hot cook and have already won the 'person-I'd-most-like-to-have-at-home-the-morning-after-to-make-all-my-dreams-come-true' category:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2172

Uh, you are tied with Yoki though.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 30, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

If Lloyd Dobbler looked like John Cusack, I would have invited him to climb in through my window! Of course, that was back then. Today, I'd probably call the cops.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 30, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Allways watching the Boodle's six o'clock.

While JA pasted nice pitchahs and Mudge campaigned romance, Brag lurked in the less savory environment of the world's back alleys, looking for the goods that are best traded in dingy, smoke filled rooms with loud music to neutralize listening devices.

(How's that for a long sentence)

I did find some nasty goods and a #2 problem for Obama to tackle.


http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewarticle.asp?AuthorID=79124

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Truly, any occasion that doesn't involve the kids, the dogs, me cooking or cleaning, the in-laws or out-laws could be considered romantic. Back in the days, Nov 11 was our day. The daycares were open yet we were off. Smoke meat at Nickel's after a trip to toysareus was actually quite romantic.
Gawd, comes October we will have been living in sin for 25 years...

I like your menu RD Padouk. I like a woman who doesn't mind messy food. Frisée aux Lardons may not be the stuff of first date (specially if braces are involved) but it's good if vanity doesn't trump appetite.

Long day at the non-office. Everything I did turned to carp. The snowblower manual said the auger belt was 44". It was actually 42", as measured on the broken one. The measure should have been taken before procurement though, that would have been one less trip to the belt store. Then I broke off the head of a bolt in a blind hole. Got the screw extractor (one more trip to the screw extractor store) but not the will to use it, yet. There is always tomorrow and it's not snowing right now.

I think I managed to make a decent chicken pot pie from last Sunday's roasted chicken. The family has a robust immunity system, they should survive it if something goes wrong.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 30, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

dbG,

You find it romantic only because Jon Cusack did it in a movie. Which of your ex-boyfriends would you appreciate showing up on a rainy night and treating you like General Noriega when we invaded Panama?

There is a movie double standard at work here. In the 80s I used to assert that if stubble-faced Don Johnson weren't on TV every week, most women would cross the street to avoid him. Instead the mere mention of his name brought on the same sighed reaction that 'George Clooney' does to my wife.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey, RD, please add me to your crush list (pleeeeze, pleeeeze). I'm getting all soppy just reading what you posted. *sigh*

Exceptionally good call on that, TBG.

I'm feeling lazy, although I know there are things (like billable things) I could (should?) be doing. Got good news today that a registered trademark which was cited against my client's mark (please nod your heads and pretend that you understand what I'm saying) has lost its registration for failure to file a required affidavit of continued use. I was just *waiting* for the Trademark Office database to catch up with itself. This means that now I can respond to the Office Action for our mark in a much, much more positive way and we will be shot forward out of cannons to get our own registration. Well, I'm just plain pleased with all this, so do forgive the pendanticism.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 30, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Kids CAN help with romance. Us kids sent our parents to Hawaii for their 30th anniversary. Two weeks in a condo. They loved it so much they came back only because they knew they'd go broke if they stayed. My mom talked about Hawaii for two years after that.

I see your bid and raise you, Mudge. N'Yawk, pretenious French food, and jewelry? Pfft.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Brag -- I got my husband "Kingmaker" for Christmas, and he enjoyed it. Said it was very well written.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 30, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Don't know who Lloyd Dobber is, but Colin Firth buying the diary for Bridget Jones - works for me.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, everyone who is in darkness. Rush outside and look at that moon and Venus alignment. And if you have someone to watch it with you, well, thank your lucky stars.

Or planetary bodies. Whatever.

GO!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Nellie,
Many thanks. It is always great to hear someone enjoyed the work. For a writer that's the only payoff that counts.

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Padouk,

Thanks for the heads' up.

Wowie kazoombies--what a spectacular sight!

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I think RD is just *dreamy.*

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

And, gosh darn it Yoki. I think you 're just swell.

Thank you ladies for your kindness. But I realize it is just the words that you enjoy. I have heard that women like it when you write things. I mean, how else can you explain why Joel and Gene have such wonderful wives?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who Lloyd D is but Roberto Begnigni is a lovely suitor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBfjzzAVjWo&feature=related

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

RD, I suspect your wife is equally wonderful, and very lucky!

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I think we're getting a little confused between romantic and seductive. Anybody care to clarify the difference?

Bob S. doesn't find food particularly sexy, but it can be part of an overall excellent memory of a day that went really right with the right person.

And that's what I call romantic... forming great memories of time well-spent with the right person, enjoyment in sync.

People have so many differences in personalities even before you factor in sex, responsibilities, etc. it's worth taking the time to remember all over again what you do have in common and have fun again, instead of the daily grind.

I submit this as my definition of romantic. Of course, I'm not saying I wouldn't mind a little earnest seduction from a very attractive other, but I don't confuse it with romance.

By the way, Brag, I was thinking of you at lunch at the Vienna Inn, which is a real dive attracting the odd spook or two over the decades.

Why do spies gravitate to such dirty places, anyhow? The food wasn't bad, mind you, although Wilbrodog wasn't overly impressed with the chili dogs.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I should also say as someone who received a poem written by my husband for Christmas - I do appreciate the written word.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

RD, that's because once you write all that mushiness down, women have evidence of what you said that can be reread anytime to relive that special moment all over again, especially when a day is going badly.

It's gold in the bank.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Love isn't mushy, Wilbrod. It may well be the hardest substance known to humankind. It may even be as hard as clouds.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Someone has misspelled the Boodleheimer March.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUtzk7TmjVI&feature=related

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

But it sure can make you feel mushed up...Ah I see what you mean, Yoki.

I had a good visit with an old friend today. I think I'd trade a BPH for that visit about anyday.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

what is happening that the planets are so bright lately over a city sky?

Any way, walking home i saw the moon and I'm pretty sure Jupiter a few degrees away. The moon is a waxing crescent, but you could see the full disk. Very cool.

Posted by: omnigood | December 30, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I posted without reading and see that RD_P already gave a heads up, and he is correct about it being the planet Venus and not Jupiter. Fitting after all the romancing of the Boodle today.

Posted by: omnigood | December 30, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Lloyd Dobler is the character John Cusack plays in Say Anything - Cameron Crowe's first movie, I think - filmed in Seattle. Ione Skye (Donovan Leitch's daughter) plays the female character. I had forgotten that the song Cusack plays is In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel - great song.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=M_J-lxK8uCY

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iXRPm7faABo&feature=related


Posted by: seasea | December 30, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

RD, you're the MAN!

Mudge, I simply adore your comment on romance. You would steal their lunch money, and take their women. Tough dude.

Boko, many memories with Ripple, not all of them happy.

TBG, love the comment about your mom.

Scotty, the governor must believe he's not going to be around to appoint someone later, so he's doing it now. Wonder how the person feels that he appointed? Perhaps a little tainted?

I'm so sleepy. I can hardly hold the eyes open. Have a good evening my friends. Good night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 30, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Not really a romantic figure but I am watching Anne of Green Gables (again), I fall in love with Richard Farnsworth as Matthew each time I watch this movie, Colleen Dewhurst was great as Marilla as well.

http://www.anneofgreengables.com/anneClassicmovies/anne1/index.php

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I’ve been lurking all day enjoying the comments about what’s romantic. Mudge, RD, you guys are good! But it still comes down to individual preferences. To me, a gift given for no reason ranks right up there and it doesn’t have to be expensive. The one that still gives me the warm fuzzies is the story “S” wrote for me years ago. I was in the story, but I was a bear (he writes a lot of bear stories). It involved paper airplanes and had a line about meeting again the next day, which was a Wednesday (the day of our first ‘date’). It was so sweet and the fact that he sat down and wrote it for me, giving me a part of himself, is what makes it so important. Sure spending money on me is great too, but I lived for years with someone who spent plenty but never learned how to give his heart away.

I still like the idea of lobster for a meal. It has Tom Jonesian overtones what with the mess and all, which is part of its appeal to me.

We’re in for a big snow storm tomorrow. Ought to make for an interesting day. Maybe we’ll be able to make a snowman, or have a snowball fight. That’s sort of romantic to me too.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 30, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

The story, badsneaks, bears his love to you.

Thanks. Makes my day.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Well said, CP, and the play on words is one that "S" will appreciate. The other big component for me in romance is humor. He says his favorite thing to do is to make me laugh. Coincidentally, my favorite thing to do is laugh.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 30, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Harder, Yoki. Much harder.

My fortune cookie at the restaurant tonight said: "Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow." Think about it.

Padouk, we seem to be at serious cross purposes. Where did the notionof "coercion" come from? Coercion is about the very last thing Romance is about. And of course you would practice Romance and the big Romantic gesture on someone you love; who else? Certainly not on a casual relationship.

Wilbrod, I would agree one has to tailor the big Romantic Gesture/event to the tastes of the woman in question. And yes, not all would appreciate New York/pretentious French food and a bit of bling. But I would aver that about 75 or 80 percent of women *would* go for it. Maybe 10 or 15 percent would not, and that's fine too: we switch to plan B. The remainder play for the other team, and so are not candidates.

I think I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that capital-R Romance is like a joke: if you have to explain it to somebody, they just ain't gonna get it and are lost causes. I also think that, for myself, I would not be much interested in a woman who was truly not susceptible to and appreciative of the Big Romantic Moment. It would be like being indifferent to the last scene of Casablanca.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 30, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't see that you, 'Mudge, and RD are so far apart. You are just using different words to express that true Romance comes from true love and a concentration on the Beloved.

Is this Romantic? Yes, it is.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

And now, a guest post from my granddaughter, Kiarra. Kiarra, take it away:

Hi, everbody. My name is Nana {nickname]. I am 6 years old. I am haveing fun here. We went to a chinese restaurant. Was it good.I think it,s good.I am in 1,st grade. I love Zayzay [brother Xavier] and Sequoia [sister]. I am happy to be here.We are going home on thursday. I love my granddad and grandma to. good bye.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 30, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, some people practice the ars romantica for less than blue ribbon motives. The coercion -- whiff at the beginning -- is a subtle undernote of spoilage.

(blue and pink can practice selfish ars romantica for selfish purposes)

Just saying...

and the innocent way people can wound each other in testing ars romantica comes from the sound and beautify fury of sexuality......we don't always know if lust drives us or the important difference of sublimation of the self's wants for the other....even saying this is not quite right because there is also the miracle of union.....searching for Rollo May and Erick Erickson.......help....like poetry, we can be too prose-aic about this all....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Just when I was blubbering away over the death of Matthew in Anne of Green Gables, Mudge's granddaughter posts such a wonderful post, now I am a goner.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

What is this with mudge getting all sappy and writing poetry and drinking wine under trees while making lovey-dovey talk?

And then he puts super-adorable grandkids on the boodle. I can't compete with that.

It seems like I am the One True Curmudgeon today.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Awwwww. Our youngest Boodler! Kiarra, welcome! Come back soon, talk to us.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think it is quite important that both parties agree to or have a shared sense of what is romantic. I would completely agree with you that if a woman can't get your sense of romance, you either need serious communication work OR she's a philistine.

The important thing is that you *also* please your sense of romance in the process.

That said, I *still* think snorkeling in Hawaii or whatever for two weeks beats two days in NYC.

It doesn't mean your moment was bad, just that we chose to plan something that they would never have done for themselves. We made it a progressive surprise with clues, which gave them 6 months of guessing once they knew they were supposed to take 2 weeks off for a mystery vacation.

My mom hates flying, so they had never done a plane trip except under duress. My dad got to go somewhere exotic, my mom loved being in Hawaii, and they came back with great memories and a new sense of themselves as a couple-- at that time their nest wasn't quite empty.

We haven't been able to afford anything remotely close to that since. It was a lot of fun, not just chipping in, but in the build-up.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi Kiarra, if you're still online -- what did you have for dinner? Thanks for writing that, it reminded me a lot of your grandad's work. Make sure you tell him you're supposed to get paid 10 cents a word, OK?

dmd, I'm blubbering over Maryland's winning the Humanitarian Bowl. And no, that's not a swipe at MD's head coach.

That alignment of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon in the western sky occurred last month, too. And yes, Jupiter is the star above and to the left of Venus (from most of the Northern Hemisphere, anyway).

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

There are as many shades to roamance as there are people in the world. If everybody thought it was the same thing, wouldn't that be sad?

RD, Curmudgeon, you are both out romanti(k)ing Romantic Tim.

CP's story beats all though. That one made me cry.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 30, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Kiara,
It was nice hearing from you. Do write again!

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Good night, les Boodleurs

Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Ok, most of the NFL head coaches fired this week, I understand (though I think dumping Mangini was a bit premature), but the Broncos firing Shanahan?

Wow. I see *lots* of money in Bill Cowher's future - a bidding war between Denver and the JetsJetsJets, perhaps?

Don't get me wrong - I don't see him doing very well in either situation if he angles for complete control of the team (it's simply too much work for any one person to do well anymore, I think), but he can ask for a *lot* of money if he becomes a VP with GM and Head Coaching responsibilities.

But I'm willing to believe that I could be wrong about this.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge - I believe we are simply using the words differently. Your point is that a loving man needs to take the romantic needs of a woman seriously. I understand and agree. But I don't view romance as a means to an end. (That would be, as I believe Wilbrod mentioned, seduction - quite a different concept.)

To me romance is an end in itself. It is a celebration of love between two who are in love with no other agenda.

Recall that I was reacting to your assertion that through romantic excess one man could "steal" another man's "woman." I know this was said mostly in jest, but it bugged me.

I am sure you understand *that* feeling.

I just hate the idea that romance is somehow a tool of conquest, or a means "to steal" something. Or that it is a part of a subtle exchange of goods for services, or a way to manipulate a woman (Probably a better word than coerce.)

And on the flip side the notion that romance is something that is demanded from a man by a woman, whether he enjoys it or not, as if love were some kind of extortion racket also leaves me cold.

I don't mean to sound dogmatic about this. I really don't. But, too me, romance is about mutual fun between two people who love each other for other reasons. I dislike seeing it characterized in any other way.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be fun if Joel really did buy a horse or two? I think it would be. He'd be following in George Washington's footsteps, after all. I think a quarter horse would be a good fit for him.

Posted by: seasea | December 30, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Finally, thanks to seasea I can make my on-kit comment:

my cousins in Chicago -- citified mice, as it were -- always imagined up riding horses to and fro. Actually, we rode more cows than horses. Cows have boney backs and bottoms.

However, seasea, I see the laconic, fly-away hair Joel riding a saddlebred. For fun, we could try him in a pacer.

I did enjoy, weekly, touching the velvet nose of a gentled and grizzled paint pony who lived over and down two streets and one alley. Same house had a chicken cook. The hot manure of the chickens made the paint pony piles seem fragrant by comparison.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that men and women's emotional needs are different and while I can be as 'romantic' as the next guy it is difficult and unnatural for me to live up to the Romantic Ideals that have promulgated through pop culture.

My wife found this book the other day that is hilarious called "Pr0n For Women" and it features hunky guys doing housework and saying things like "Ooh, look, the NFL playoffs are today. I bet we'll have no trouble parking at the crafts fair."

I dare one of you True Romantics to try that line out this Sunday.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

How is this for a romantic trip, historic fortress overlooking the sea, combined with culinary and history lessons. Not to mention a very beautiful scenery.

And there is wine as well.

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/12/30/louisbourg-food.html

Posted by: dmd2 | December 30, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

DR, glad that my stories touched you: bread or compass? You are the tenderest of boodlers.

Frosti, thawed yet?

Here is a very good Diana Krall --- and, yes, lassies and laddies she is CANADIAN:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU_BBNeumLI

New Year's Eve is what she is singing. Let's hear it for smokey alto voices!

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, a man doing housework is surprisingly sexy.

And guys that do not like football *DO* exist, complete with all other masculine equipment. Unfortunately they probably are addicted to other sports instead.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

*Would die for an hunky curling fanatic.*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I mean, think of all the housework we could get done while he practices his curling technique...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Or a Missouri Foxtrotter:
http://www.mfthba.com/

Or a Tennessee Walker:
http://www.twhbea.com/

Posted by: seasea | December 30, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

CP-Thawing out nicely at home now, thanks. And thanks for the Diana Krall link.

Have transmitted the shopping list to Mr. F, so dinner won't be much of a surprise. What will be a surprise is me getting enough work done so I can be back in St. Paul before dark. That will take rising early, so toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 30, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Nah, a thinkin' dude like Joel needs a mount with more than plain horse sense.

http://www.nortexinfo.net/BarredMRanch/Donkey.html

George Washington thought a lot about mules. He knew the value of a good Jack, and this breed is directly descended from his effort to find good breeding stock to make great mules.

http://www.amjr.us/characteristics.htm

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 30, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I never got the Don Johnson thing, but I think the key point in Say Anything is that her father makes her dump Lloyd, she doesn't want to. So when he shows up on her lawn, she's touched.

It's a movie that some women like the way, perhaps, you like Bring it On. It doesn't mean you'd agree that every line is an example of mental health, but there's a mood it invokes (work with me here).

Agreed. If someone I'd broken up with of my own free will, made it perfectly clear that was it, showed up, that would be weird.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 31, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Some years ago, I checked out vegetation restoration at the Deering Estate on Biscayne Bay south of Miami (The Charles Deering place, not younger brother James Deering's Vizcaya mansion). The house was still unrestored after serious damage from Andrew and a number of the royal palms had been toppled, ruining one of the clips from the opening of Miami Vice.

In the tropical hammock (broad-leaved forest) behind the house, crews had been clearing vines, including lots of Golden Pothos, the ubiquitous office "philodendron" vine. I carried a handful back to the office, where it grew into a thriving vine named "Don Johnson".

By the way, Matheson Hammock Park farther north on Biscayne Bay, adjacent to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, has an old WPA-era coral-rock bathhouse facility for the Atoll Pool converted to a lovely restaurant. A few years ago, at least, the food was wonderful and the after-dark atmosphere unbeatable.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 31, 2008 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Is it safe to come out? Is everybody done preening in front of the distaff boodlers? Okay, you all are great big romantic slobs, I get it. Like none of you have ever missed the hamper with your socks or farted in bed and then fanned the sheets. If you really want to impress the ladies, the Lladros need dusting and let's throw all the doilies in the wash before the big New Year's Eve Party.

I don't know about all you red hot lovers with your fancy wines and candlelit white tablecloths, but tonight I'm going to crack a brew and watch the Ramblin' Wrecks kick some @ss on the gridiron. I'm also going to brew up some buffalo chicken chip dip strong enough to keep the sails flying until the next year.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle, Dave. Happy Last Day of an Otherwise Pretty Miserable Year. Goodbye, 2008, and good riddance; don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. Take your scythe with you, please -- and somebody count the silverware drawer, please. I don't trust 2008 worth a lick.

Pretty grim day on the op-ed page: it's Conservative Wack Job Day here on the Mickey Mouse Club, Mousketeers, with columns by Parker, Gerson and Amity Shales. 'Nuff said right there. However, there are decent columns by Ruth Marcus on war crimes trials, and Harold Meyerson on economics (with this very nice pun: "Laissez faire be damned, the ideologues concluded: When handed a Lehman, make Lehman aid").

All right, Dawn Patrol, one last time (in 2008): Let's get 'em airborne.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 31, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

CqP,
Your video clip made me watch three more Krall tunes. Elvis Costello is one lucky man.

dbG,
I can buy that interpretation. I have a whole theory on what makes a romantic comedy work or not. The wife and I watched 'Definitely, Maybe' and we were so disappointed with one of the plot twists that there was no happy ending for me, so to speak.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I do love Diana Krall. When “Peel Me a Grape” was mentioned the other night it reminded me that as a child, whenever I got snooty, my mom would ask if I wanted her to peel me a grape. I never understood the reference until I heard Krall sing that song. She does have quite a way with phrasing. I love her version of ‘Popsicle Toes.’

I wonder how long I’ll be at work today with all the snow we have coming. Almost better to stay until the worst of it is over but who knows. I will be in a major funk for a while soon. #2 and husband are leaving for Costa Rica on Friday and will be gone for three months. I am going to miss her terribly.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

And dbG,
Bring It On works as a rom-com because it has an opposites-attract plot with real conflict. And a killer bikini car wash sequence. More chick flicks should have them.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Brag on the flight line reporting for duty. Awaaay with the last of 2008.

On patrol to make the world safe for festivities.

Posted by: Braguine | December 31, 2008 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Krall did a cover of "Popsicle Toes"? I so gotta find that. And whatever happened to Michael Franks? I thought he was going to hit it big.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Yello, it's on the album 'When I Look in Your Eyes.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Hello, K, Mudge's granddaughter. Come back and visit, it was good to hear from you.

I've really enjoyed the talk about romance, although I haven't added much to the conversation, it's nice to know how so many feel about the subject.

I'm getting ready for the walk this morning. My chest feels like it doesn't want to cooperate, but I'm hoping that it's just indigestion. A lot of wind today in the forecast, plus I have the radio show today.

JA, I forgot to mention that the pictures are very good, and as RD pointed out, they do tell a story.

Mudge, Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, Yoki, and all the gang, good morning. *waving*

Today is the last day of the year. What a tough year this has been, and still is to some extent. If it is God's plan that I am allowed to be here for 2009, I hope I can realize God's gift to me. That gift that pleases my Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus. And my hope for all of you is that, you too, come to know the love of the Lord Jesus, and the blessing of that love. May God bless and keep all of you, and your families.

Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 31, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

A very quick and sedate Dawn Patrol, complete with a sunrise burning through the clouds.

Let us hope the day shall be so quick, the better to move on to a glorious 2009.

*keeping-all-the-pointy-party-hat-and-confetti-with-horn-tooting-stuff-at-the-ready-and-hoping-everyone-has-a-marvelous-evening Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Joel!

Good morning, all.

More later, but just wanted to get that out as a way explaining why the Dawn Patrol's skywriting 'HFB, JA' over Washington DC.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - "burning through the clouds," indeed. It looked like a massive bonfire on the horizon.

The last day of the year, is, I believe, officially known as the Feast Day of Saint Saverio the Compulsive Procrastinator.

It honors folks who wait until the very last day of the year to get stuff done.

You might not have heard of it because, you know, nobody ever got around to ever actually putting in on the ecclesiastical calendar.

But it is celebrated by many.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 31, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

bc - I wasn't going to bring it up, (He did it, Joel! He did it!) but let me add my birthday greetings to Joel as well.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 31, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey Joel, a very happy birthday to you!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

RD, as Joel has pointed out on many occasions, this here Boodle is *not* about him.

On a related note, I would think that the MBPH would rate as a highlight of 2008, and rate a pic...

And Scottynuke, if you're experiencing any 'sunrise burning' through your clouds, I think you can get some free antibiotic cream at a local Giant Food...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123002834.html

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Happy F. Birthday... wasn't she married to a Rockefeller?

anyway.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOEL!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 31, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Joel! I do feel sorry for folks with December and January birthdays. They just have to get cheated on the presents and celebrations. I wonder if his folks ever called him their little tax deduction.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Buzzing Joel's porch and dropping a cake.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Joel.

Sorry for the mess on the porch.

Posted by: Braguine | December 31, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

mudge,
I was very disappointed with the quality of Red Meat Wednesday. Gerson and Shlaes are very poor substitutes for Will and Chuckie K. Shlaes is just going to flog that "FDR didn't do jack" dead horse until its hamburger. She needs a new schtick, pronto.

The biggest wtf? was Ruth Marcus who wants to give all the junior Torquemadas in the Dubya Administration an absolution and a "Go and sin no more." She is buying into the "The lawyers told me it was okay" argument bigtime. Money quote:

"As appalling as waterboarding is, for example, it was pursued with the analysis and approval of lawyers who concluded, however wrongly, that it did not rise to the level of torture. If government officials cannot safely rely on legal advice, they will err on the side of excessive timidity. "

Yeah, so? You say that like it's a bad thing. Maybe somebody will think twice about using naked Iraqis as tinkertoys next time. I say try the lawyers first and get them at least disbarred for being disingenuous lying tools. Then go after the idjits that figured resorting to Stalinist era practices would look good on our permanent record.

///end rant

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Marcus's column in case you think I'm being too tough on her:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123002396_2.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday indeed, and many more, Joel!! *extra confetti Grover waves* :-)

bc, I'd seen that, but my burning is more the internal, constant sort of thing... And there's only one source for the remedy to that. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

All this talk about burning sensations makes me want to break out into song:

Well, I'm hot blooded, check it and see
I got a fever of a hundred and three
Come on baby, do you do more than dance?
I'm hot blooded, I'm hot blooded!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npIvWNheSeo

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

*faxing Scotty some Preparation H and a donut pillow*

yello, I think Marcus has it essentially correct. I think her overall point -- though she doesn't quite get around to saying it -- is that if we put the lawyers on trial, we'll never get convictions; there's just not enough "smoking gun" evidence of their knowledge of willful law-breaking.

And as reluctant as I am to agree (because I've wanted blood, and rolled heads, from Day One), I think she's right that show trials would exact a very high cost to Obama's political capital, and he's got plenty of other stuff to do. I don't like it, not one bit,... but she's right.

The major difference, I think, is that in the Nuremburg cases, they were tried not by juries of their peers (Germans), but by judges (and Allied judges, not "peer" German ones, at that). I believe it would be impossible to find 12 American jurors who would unanimously agree that the lawyers, though misguided, weren't doing what they believed to be "best" for the country, whether it might have been "somewhat" illegal. Remember, the test here is 12 people agreeing "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Just because you and I are utterly convinced doesn't mean everyone else would be. On that jury are going to be a couple of nice, patriotic soccer moms and VFW guys who just aren't going to vote to convict, no matter what.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Joel. Many happy returns.

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

It is a quiet slow morning chez Yoki as I will ditch the commute and do minimal work from home.

It is a glorious day, worth celebrating. And so I shall.

yello, I have to confess that I always liked that song.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, re. your 8:49 -- got it.

Benadryl cream and raw aloe suppositories.

Say no more, my friend.
Your secret is safe with me.

bc

PS I love ya, brother, but please don't ask me to help you with that treatment.

At least without a 10 1/2 foot pole.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

2008 may have been a miserable year, but it was good for Dave Barry...

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/dave-barry/v-fullstory/story/826965.html

One of his best year in review columns ever

Posted by: omnigood | December 31, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and yes, Happy Birthday, Joel.

Upon further consideration and analysis by the judges up in the Instant Replay Booth, it has been determined that the winner of this past week's tiara is bc, with a documented 13-3 record, narrowly edging out the other three by but a single game.

This ruling almost --but not quite -- propelled bc into second place in the regular-season-ending standings, but omni managed to hang on in second place by a very narrow .15 of a single percent. It was that close.

We enter now into the Playoff Round, with an escalating point system: 2 points for each of the Wildcard games, then three points for each of the division championships, then four points for the two conference championships, and finally 5 points for the Super Bowl itself.

So anything could happen, and any of the four prognosticators can still walk off with the 2008 season tiara.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

et tu, mudge?

I want congressional hearings, presidential truth commissions, show trials, public floggings, the works.

To sweep it all under the rug sets a very bad precedent for when the political tides turn and the conservatives are back in power. We need a strong deterrent that says malfeasance in office in the name of patriotism is no defense. Only some true cautionary tales will work. I've got a list if you want one.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I get no respect, I tellya... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Why, Scotty! Just trying to be helpful and compassionate...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

And S'nuke, you better come clean to the NukeSpouse on how you picked it up. I don't think she's gonna buy the toilet seats and doorknobs tale.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Prehistoric Bowling Ball Found in Nearby Park

To make a long story short: One of Santa Anna's cannonballs was on loan for a display at the historic Fairmount Hotel (old brick facade, near historic La Villita on the Riverwalk). It's suspected that an inebriated party-goer lifted the ball during a soiree at the hotel on Dec. 21. Reward was offered, newspaper covered the story of the missing cannonball.

In the park less than a mile from our home, two brothers were out mountain biking and one came across the cannonball in a black garbage bag, with a note attached explaining that there was a reward offered for the historic artifact.

Only problem is that these local lads never visited the downtown Alamo. And what did they think they had discovered? A prehistoric bowling ball!

Perhaps one day I can show them the prehistoric bowling alley not far from here?

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Alamo_ammo_recovered_returned.html

Only to be equaled by:

I went into Great Clips in early December with my husband, who wanted to get his hair cut. I knew my hair had grown and was pretty close to the eight-week time period I use as a general guide between cuts. I asked the stylist who had come to the computer/register to put my husband's name in the queue.

"When was the last time I had my hair cut?" I asked.

"In November," the young Hispanic woman replied.

"What was the date?" I inquired further.

"On 10/27," she explained. "In November," she added--for emphasis.


Or, the problems with live TV--there was one laugh on Christmas eve, before we headed out to Japanese food. We were watching the ABC affiliate station, with weatherman Steve Browne (originally from Plymouth, Mass.) doing his nightly forecasting gig. He had used that night some footage of a Santa in costume and faux beard, leaving a rustic shed in the snow and preparing to head off in a sled pulled by a number of harnessed reindeer--in likelihood, footage taken in Lapland.

As Santa was about to give the heave-ho and hoist himself into his sleigh with his bag of goodies slung across his back, Browne commented, "There's Santa, about to mount his reindeer.

At which point, my husband remarked,
"Santa's mounting his reindeer? Oh, my! DIRTY old man!"

Then my spouse added, "No wonder Rudolph has such a red nose!"

I asked, "And just why does Rudolph have such a red nose?"

"From blushing," he answered.

Posted by: laloomis | December 31, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

Cassandra, I'm with you. I got nothing.

This has been a difficult year for me personally, and hopefully, I've taken some steps to see to it that 2009 is better. If nothing else, it sure is going to be different.

Thanks to Joel and all the boodlers for giving me food for thought, things to laugh about, and things to worry about outside of my own little world. (There's something very grounding and soul-feeding when praying for help for someone else.)

Because of you all, I now know a little about things I never thought I'd know anything about (a large collider that could open up a world of new possibilities or slam this one to pieces; Heisenberg's Theory that confirms for me that DC behaves well for others, but acts out when I'm there simply because I'm looking; etc.). I've had fun goofing on football games, enjoyed finding out what was important in a political candidate to fellow boodlers, and watched some pretty good recipes fly by. And I particularly liked watching RD blush when the Fan Club went public. The list goes on and on.

I wish each and every one of you (yes, you too Linda) a safe and happy holiday, with new joys in the coming year.

LiT

Posted by: LostInThought | December 31, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I don't think it was fair to bring Larry Craig into this conversation about Scottynuke's ailments.

I insist you desist.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

*SIGH*

Put on a party hat just a LITTLE early, and this is whatcha get...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Well thanks, S'nuke.
I now have a whole new interpretation and mental image of
Die sonne scheint mir aus dem arsch!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 31, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Joel!

Happy New Year to all Boodlers!

Posted by: Moose13 | December 31, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Bitte Schoen, DNA_Girl. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, the New Year has already arrived in Sydney & Tokyo. I think that Brunei is up next on the list!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 31, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

is it Joel's birthday? happy birthday Joel... looks like the boodling boys are still at it...

Posted by: MissToronto | December 31, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The yard, much neglected in favor of kitchen renovation, is perhaps too lively for its own good.
-The Satakentia palm (from the Ryuku Islands) is opening a new feather leaf.
-So is the Peach River palm from NE Australia.
-Panama "rose" is covered with pink flowers.
-Easter lilies (also from Ryuku Islands) are sprouting
-Red heliconias are flowering
-Yard orchids are flowering

Looks like the setup to a freeze (which isn't yet in sight).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 31, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I love the Winston Churchill line quoted by Sally Jenkins in her column about the Redskins' coach:

"Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

Posted by: bobsewell | December 31, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I apologize, bc (and to you too S'nuke, but you're the one that opened yourself up (so to speak) for this abuse). I jumped to some false conclusions. It could be that Scotty's GI troubles are due to too much Buffalo chicken dip:

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

2 – 3 pieces of chicken breast
1 cup of Frank's Hot Sauce
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
2 ½ cups shredded cheddar
1 15 oz. jar of Martzetti's Bleu Cheese Dressing

Boil Chicken 15 to 20 minutes, slightly cool and shred (use fork). Mix together: cream cheese, hot sauce, cheddar cheese, and bleu cheese. Add mixture to shredded chicken.

Spread in a 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350º F for 30 – 45 minutes. Gets brown and bubbly on top. Serve with nacho chips, crackers, or celery sticks.

I think that is the first recipe I have ever shared on the boodle. My emasculation is complete. Just sign me up for the Antimacassar Tatting Committee.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

YJ, from my perspective, you haven't taken any steps backwards. If anything, you've gone forward a notch or two. Real men know how to cook.

And how to do laundry.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 31, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

And open themselves up to abuse...

Right?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Vicki Iseman, the lobbyist whom the NYT accused of having an affair with John McCain several years ago, has sued the NYT for $27 million. (In my semi-learned opinion of libel laws, she hasn't got a prayer. The stumbling block is she can never prove "reckless disregard for truth," nor can she prove any sort of malice. Rather, the central fact of the case is that several McCain aides believed the affair to be true, and acted accordingly to "protect" McCain from Iseman, well before the NYT printed anything. So it's just pretty much a PR job, methinks.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

OMG!! Even though it is 47 degrees here, we just had a sudden snow shower (with very high wind gusts) lasting about three or four minutes. Now the sun's back out (and it is still windy). Very weird -- though no weirder than the rest of 2008.

Sunrise was also a bit weird but very beautiful this morning. At about 7:30 to 7:45, there were a lot of very dark clouds, but the sun came out with a very strong low-on-the-horizon golden glow that made it look like a late autumn afternoon.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

LiT,
Oh, I do plenty of laundry. I draw the line at folding, though. A man has got to have some limits.

mudge,
I read that NYT article when it first came out and you could tell by reading between the lines that the lawyers had already eviscerated the really juicy stuff. Iseman's strategy is less than obvious unless she settles real quick. I don't thing anybody wants to be put under deposition here. What's the joke about the job of the lawyers being to bayonet the wounded?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

*desperately trying to formulate a "strong low-on-the-horizon golden glow" snappy comeback*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes, 2008 has been a difficult year in many ways. But also one of emerging new possibilities.

I am confident and hopeful that the New Year will bring many good things, and that we in the boodle will share our thoughts and feelings about them all. And that we shall get into silly pedantic arguments. Make dreadful puns. Share recipes. Share dreams.

Generally continue, as long as is possible, this bizarre and delightful online community.

But no more making RD blush, ok?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 31, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Padouk. This morning we're focused on Scotty's "burning tissues" of the day.

yello, I don't think Iseman has a prayer of "settling" anything. The NYT would be foolish to offer her anything, even just a paltry sum to make it go away. Whatever that sum would be, it wouldn't remotely cover her attorney's fees.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

See, when I hear the phrase 'burning sensation' it reminds me of the anti-VD (before they were STDs or STIs) commercials that ran on every AFRTS station break like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtOLLLbekec

And that was the tasteful one. The DoD produced spots frequently featured guys (and occasionally gals) in the shower or locker room complaining of 'burning' and 'painful urination'. Their buddies would immediately recommend a trip to the clinic. No subtlety in those. It's enough to almost (but not quite) frighten a middle-schooler onto the path of abstinence and virtue.

And never, never, never go to the student health center with a genital related problem unless you are willing to undergo some severe cross-examination concerning your sexual habits and those of your partner(s) before they will entertain any alternative diagnosis.

Don't ask me how I know.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

OK RD_P, no more mention of showers...

Or redheads...

Oooooopsie.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey, thanks for all the birthday greetings. Although 48 strikes me as appalling and fundamentally embarrassing I will count my many blessings.

I'm working on a science story and also trying to play two kids in chess AND make pancakes, so I've got my hands full this very second, but -- but -- I intend to post a kit this afternoon. See you then and there....and thanks again.

Posted by: joelache | December 31, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Iseman's chances of net remuneration are on par with that Hades-bound snowball.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Let's see... Vikki Iseman (whom the vast majority of us had quite forgotten about) is suing the Times for 27 large over a year-old story about a decade-old possible affair with a serial presidential also-ran.

Talk about striking while the iron is hot!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 31, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

That means you're a 1960 baby and a true child of the sixties, Joel.

48 isn't so bad. You have already completed the rubber-kneed panic stage, glided through the urge to buy a motorcycle, leather, and a gallon of bear grease, quit pleading with God to stop time, and now dedicate your days to wanton adrenaline-pumping.

After all, who needs a middle-aged crisis when you're facing down hurricane seawalls?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

bobs,
You have struck at the heart of the matter. This is Old News. She was probably advised to wait until after the election, which strikes me as a terrible tactical decision.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Pickled meat: healthier for you.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7804571.stm

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

A huge pine tree just came crashing down, missing this house by falling at around 10 o' clock instead of six, seven o' clock.

Brrr.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Joel! And, please -- you're *only* 48. That's a mere child, eh, Mudge??? Here we are, older than God, and feeling mostly none the worse for it, and you are just whingeing away over your sudden senior status. Just wait until you get to be double-nickels and then watch all hell break loose!

Do, however, continue to enjoy your day, with or without the whingeing.

Poor Snukie. You have my sympaki, indeed.

And may our entire Boodledom, real or imagined (as we say in the legal-sphere), have a wonderful year in 2009. It's bound to be better than the one we just went through and that alone should give hope to all.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 31, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

No, waiting until after the election was correct. Otherwise, this stuff would have been repeated all during the campaign, reminding voters every time it popped up that (1) McCain had allegedly had an affair (or been thought by his staff, etc., virtually the same thing), and (2), that whether he had an affair or not, he was again surrounded by lobbyists.

Iseman, a devout McCain fan, would know to keep quiet until after the election. (If she files during the campaign, she gets blamed for causing yet another distraction and contributing to the lose.)

The question isn't why she waited; it's why she filed at all. The answer is that failure to file is tantamount to an admission. Both she and McCain, separately and together, need to maintain the facade that there was no affair. Iseman (or her lawyer) can calculate the cost of filing, putting up a token offense, and then loosing (withdrawing quietly down the road), at, say X hundred thousand dollars. So, does she have $X large to spend as a cost of doing business? Yes.

Like the TV ads say, cost of attorney fee = $X. Cost of suing NYT for 27 million for libel: Priceless.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Joel-

Seems to me that the dread and lead-up to appallation (applallment? appallitude?) will begin a year from today.

And Scottynuke, I *know* you don't mind the attention, even when you're the butt of lousy-tasting jokes.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Bc, now you're just being a dingleberry.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday Joel. You are not getting older, you are getting better.

The nice thing about getting older is you stop caring much about unimportant stuff like fly away hair and are just delighted you have some!

Posted by: --dr-- | December 31, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Think of it like this, Joel: in two years, you'll be eligible to join AARP. I'm sure FTB would be happy to join me in sponsoring you, if you wish.

And then just think of all the wonderful benefits, such as Earlybird Specials at your favorite restaurants (make sure to be seated before 5:30), etc. And if you play your cards right, Wilford Brimley can get your diabetes supplies shipped right to your door! You have so much to look forward to! Frequent nighttime urination being only one of the many wonderful things you have to look forward to. Have I mentioned hair loss? Forgetting the names of your kids? Forgetting why you walked into the kitchen?

It just gets better and better.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Olfaction police
Here and present for rear-end
Inspections, no gloves!

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Once I picked a woman out of the crowd to flirt with, to prove a point of some sort (I can't remember what the point was). It wasn't totally random; but I sensed my lack of total transparency was detected. Oh, well, at least I didn't rush out of the room shouting "governing dynamics, gentlemen, governing dynamics!"

Today is Elie Wiesel's 100th birthday. yello's call for accountability resonates. Wiesel and his Foundation got burned by Madoff recently.

Good show, Loomis, you made me laugh today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year everyone! There really were some good things that happened in 2008...um, I got a great new job (so did TBG and Yoki) and Joel went to Australia, as a couple of reminders. The power of positive thinking can work wonders. (Prozac can help, too.) 3 cheers for an even better 2009.

Happy Birthday, Joel. I don't think Joel gets cheated on his birthday because there is always a party going on somewhere all day...complete with fireworks!

I have been lurking so as not to dampen the mood but I will report that my dad is incredibly strong and may make it into the new year which would please him greatly. He is a tough old bird and may also make it into the record books at this rate.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad your dad seems to be doing better, Windy. It is often difficult to keep an upbeat tone while worrying about your family.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Happy Old Year's Day to everybody and

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our patron / inspiration / boss / raison d'etre de boodle /

Joel, I'd say you'd be more than justified in taking a break from blogging today--I'm surprised you even stopped by, but glad you did. Many happy returns of the day to you.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 31, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday Joel, like you I have holiday following my birthday - I have always enjoyed it.

My attempts at eating healthier still needs some tweaking - note to self cross vegan chilli off the same to eat list. Doctors appointment was fine, I felt good and the gallbladder was not tender but I do have an appointment for an ultrasound. Of course last night I had an attack.

Hope everyone has an enjoyable New Years, teenage sleepover at our house, watching Canada vs. USA in World Jr. hockey are the highlights of our new years - plus a turkey dinner that we did not get at christmas.

Pretty crazy I know but we like to live on the edge! :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | December 31, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, agree. Not fun at all but we are making sure my dad stays comfortable.

And no matter what, my family will celebrate tonight. Please all have a toast to my dad (90 year old D-Day vet, etc.)!

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Windy3, I will indeed include a toast to your Dad.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 31, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I'm glad your house wasn't there when the tree fell down but if what you're living in is making scheduled stops I suspect your residence is a bus, not a house. See if there's a driver.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Gallbladder attacks are no fun, dmd.

I find that using oil and avoiding saturated fat seems to help-- used to have some gallbladder attacks until I swore off all saturated fat and butter except in very tiny doses, and used oils in cooking instead.

The last major attack I had was when I ate buttered spinach (oxalate and saturated fat= gall trouble for me)

Low-fat diets aren't always a surefire cure for those attacks-- bile still gets made, but not used, and that can cause further trouble over the long run.

I'm just hoping to not need gallbladder surgery until late age. It runs in the family, so I have no doubt I WILL need it eventually.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Can't remember (thanks, Mudge!) who posted that Elie Wiesel is 100, but I just checked up on that, and he's *only* 80, and good for him for reaching that esteemed number.

As for Madoff, I hope he gets "madoffed" if ya know what I mean!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 31, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Boko, that's pilot jargon for "fell at 270 degrees instead of 180 degrees, with 0 or 360 degrees being straight in front of me."

How else would you rephrase it, Sir Boko the Silly?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Runs in my family as well Wilbrod, working on getting rid of the saturated fats, in my case mostly from sweets or snacks (terrible sweet tooth).

I am also trying to see if it is any type of food intolerance(s) as I am already sensitive to some foods.

Outside I when I have the attacks I feel good though so I won't complain.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 31, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, it's New Year in Australia, Windy has called for a toast for Dad, it's after noon here and five o'clock somewhere in the Empire, I'm currently unemployed... and there's a Rogue Ale calling me.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Brain bubbles. And I haven't even gotten into the ale yet. It was Simon Weisenthal's birthday today. (1906 - 2005)

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

grumble 1908

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Something I forgot to mention earlier - I cook, I clean, I do laundry and fold it, and I always do the dishes.

What does this make me?

If you answered "Felix Unger in a Gladiator outfit," you'd be wrong.

I have curly hair.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

3 cheers, Jumper1, dmd2, Wilbrod, all A-Blog boodlers.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

bc...I'd say you'd make a very good catch.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Only when he has an outfield wall covered in ivy to crash into, Windy...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody, happy birthday Joel! You are a mere child, with many happy years in front of you, so enjoy!

Am backboodling madly as I work to get Christmas down and the laundry done. The in-laws left a couple of hours ago. We had a good time, but I'm not fond of working as hard as was necessary to keep everything together.

I'm in a fair amount of muscular discomfort from being so stupid as to handle the lawnmower yesterday at my mother-in-law's house, now owned by the brother-in-law. It's empty of tenants and the yard was a mess, so I helped get up the leaves and am paying for it.

The sixth load of laundry is in the washer, and there are two more to go before I get to the dirty clothes. All the sheets and towels in the house will be clean, though. It's the first time I ever remember having to wash all the linen I own at one fell swoop.

I greatly enjoyed the conversation about romanticism. It's good to know some men think about these things.

Posted by: slyness | December 31, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' bc to Slyness*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Bc, I only use one word to describe such a boyfriend who does all that with nothing on but boxers and a smile-- sexy.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

*faxin' bc to my wife*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Yay! I'm out, work is done 'til Monday. The festivities begin forthwith.

Happy New Year, dear Boodle. I leave 2008 behind without regret and with great anticipation for a stand-out 2009. Couldn't have done it without you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

To hell with you guys, I want bc for myself.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, but I will never promise not to make RD blush.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the White House butler article made the list, but not a SINGLE Kit???

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/23/AR2008122302152.html

Outrageous.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

You guys are so good. It's humor makes the world go round.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I saw that list the other day, Scotty, and thought it was a pretty crummy list, even notwithstanding the obvious oversight of the Achenblog.

And to lead with a Krauthammer rant. Jeez.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Scotty,
We wuz robbed. Besides, those first two articles make my skin crawl.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, they didn't say that the editors considered them the best content, only that they were statistically the most viewed, and therefore a Krauthammer rant is a very likely candidate for #1.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I predict a New Kit soon and I'll have to repost, but here goes.

First, a very Happy Birthday to Joel. Thanks for encouraging us to hang out here, and for writing all those good books (fortunately available on Amazon). Hey, I've been 48 for four whole months now. It ain't so bad.

I won't actually try to make RD blush. However, since I missed the entire Romance discussion I'll just note his 2.04 from yesterday, in which he initially defined his view of romance, is one of the most romantic things I've ever read. And DNA Girl, I loved the Sinfest "Call Me" series.

The Ivansclan saw Serious Romance over the last couple of days - we attended the rehearsal dinner & wedding of a lovely young couple. They had just the right mixture of formality and a little levity. The bride & groom had written the vows themselves (capably officiated by Ivansdad), with a bunch of Bible verses and phrases from standard vows. You could tell that the bride had no real idea how it would make her feel to hear, and repeat, these until they actually did it and it all hit her. It was wonderful to watch.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 31, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

3 cheers backatya, Windy. (takes sip)

See, what I didn't say is that today is my father's birthday also. He's been gone 10 years now and I still miss him.

He trained in Texas during WWII for desert combat. After that, they promptly dispatched him to Alaska. An Arkansas man, he still adapted quickly. He was promoted rapidly. The Japanese had been repelled from the Aleutians by the time he got there. The biggest scare he ever got, I think, was turning a corner on night patrol and coming face-to-face with a huge Arctic timber wolf.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Mega-props to your dad, Jumper.

*saluting*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

And on that note...

The Powers That Be have given us the rest of the year off, with pay!

If'n the clock strikes midnight (or would it be 12:01 this time?) afore ah sees y'all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 31, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

12:00:01, actually.

Governing dynamics, gentlemen!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Joel! Did you get a pony?

Happy New Year, boodlers. I'm glad to see 2008 go too, although personally it was ok. So looking forward to the new prez.

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hiya again. Jumper, please don't consider me to be an inexorable pedant, but I checked again, and Elie Wiesel was born on Sept. 30, 1928.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 31, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh Carpppp!!!!!!!! Jumper, I'm soooo sorry. I just reread your post and I mixed up the names in my ancient brain. Geezos-Peezos! We are both right, respectively.

*muttering expletives*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 31, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Jumper,

Are you telling us to go for the blond's friends? Did John Nash invent the concept of taking one for the team?

I'm sooooo confused.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I just drove home in a white out. Boy is it ever snowing and blowing. I am very happy to be inside safe and warm. dmd, I’m glad to hear you’re having an ultrasound. If it finds you have gall stones, my advice would be to have the surgery. It’s laproscopic, outpatient surgery and I was back at work in 3 days. I think it beats worrying about diet all the time and suffering those awful attacks. Just my two cents.

Jumper, I salute your dad on his birthday. And I still miss my dad who has been gone for 34 (!) years.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to your dad, Jumper!

My dad landed on Normandy Beach, on D-Day but not in the front line...a few hours later. He did get shot at and spent the night in a fox hole. He says it was pure luck that he made it that day. Later, mostly because he spoke French, he became an aide-de-camp to General Bradley. Came out of the war a Captain. There are many stories but not for today.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

No, it was more in the general spirit of self-confessed nerdishness, in that I corrected Scotty on the most trivial leap-second-geekspeak. However, if you are going for the blond's friends, I will find enough leeway to go for the blonde after all.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

We need white-out for the comments section, no doubt.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Agree, badsneakers, the lap-surgery for gallbladder removal is very routine now and much better than suffering recurring bouts of pain, etc.

Sorry your dad has been gone so long. Gone but not forgotten.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 31, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Windy, I'm gonna hold you to that promise: I wanna hear all those WWII stories.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Lap-surgery is permitted only in certain jurisdictions and requires a trained professional. This is why I am afraid to go to just any old place that offers lap-surgery. I'm afraid to go under the... knife.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 31, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, we are having your weather too!

Good thing I have no where to go, a couple bottles of wine and enough leftovers to last a lifetime. Well, not quite but you know what I mean.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 31, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't want any more people with scalpels messing about in my lap. I've already had more encounters of that sort than I care to remember.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Joel. 1960 is a fine year to be born in, although for you being a First Baby of 1961 was a real option.

Any more pictures?

I love the annual reviews in images; I must be on my 4th one. The Times has the best, yet. Short but good.

Happy New Year to all of you if I don't reconnect later. The discussions are always a pleasure.

Scotty, for burning tissue I recommend colloid oatmeal, after the suitable antibiotic or antifungic treatment of course. I've had one course of ointment containning antibiotics, fungicide and anti-inflammatory medicide in one tube. It worked but made me wonders about the doc's power of diagnosis. I won't say how and when I came to need this shock therapy.

There is a Mexican fiesta in the works for the Réveillon du Nouvel An. Ay ay ay!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 31, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Besides, I still need my lap! How will I dandle grandchildren without one?

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

And I want to have a long talk with the freako who invented angiograms. Now, don't get me wrong--I think taking pictures in and around the heart is a great idea. I've got a bunch of wallet-size of my own. But who's the sicko who said, "I know! Let's go in through the groin! Sure, it's only a foot and a half out of our way, but what the hell, it's fun giving him a Brazilian. And when we're all done, we can put a ten-pound sandbag on top of Old Smokey."

Not that I'm bitter, or anything. Either time.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I will definitely have the surgery if need, already have had two lap surgeries and one full cut, my poor belly button gets smaller each time.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 31, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JA!

Windy, glad to hear your dad is doing better.

Happy Birthday wishes to your dad, Jumper.

I've been at the hospital most of the day with my neighbor. And also tried to visit a relative, but she never came back up from her treatment. That means I will make another trip. I'm just a tad tired, but I'm going to sit down and do absolutely nothing.

Ivansmom, I'll bet that was special to hear the bride saying the words, and feeling them too. She probably realized right then the "bigness" of what she was doing. Happy New Year to you, and the family. Tell the Boy I bought duck tape yesterday. I'm trying to hold some stuff up for the inspections. And thanks a bunch.

Happy New Year boodlers, and thanks for the good times, and so much more. I can't imagine a day without talking to you guys.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 31, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Well dr, I don’t drink but I’m brewing my second cup of tea while waiting for “S” to get home. I think it will be a very long wait as his normal commute is about 1 1/2 hours, today I would bet it will be three or four hours. #2’s husband just got home from a trip that normally takes about 1 1/2 hours, and he left at noon. I’m glad I got groceries last night for tonight’s meal. Just sole, asparagus and a nice asiago focaccia. I made a diet trifle out of angel cake and chocolate and vanilla sugar-free puddings topped with lite cool whip. I’m easing back into my diet.

Happy New Year Cassandra!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, please avert your eyes.

"The Onion" has a special "Onion Sports" edition out; the frontpage headline is "Patriots' Season Perfect for Rest of Nation."

Cold. Very cold.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 31, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I just heard a bit ago that a dear colleague of mine up in Minnesota dropped dead on December 2nd. I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, but every once in awhile we'd be in touch. Very sad. There was a web site belonging to the funeral home, devoted to a "guest book" so I put my own entry in. Better late, you know, than, well, you know.

That being said, I do want to wish you all a lovely transition from the old to the new. May 2009 be better that we hope for, and we all know that our hopes are high.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! from your ftb.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 31, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It's aloo gobi time, although changed beyond recognition. Sweet potatoes are half of the potato equation. The coriander disappeared mostly, so there's some prepackaged "curry powder" added which has some coriander. I threw in some gratuitous garam masala. I actually found some ginger powder, and against my own prejudices added it. It does smell good as it perks along in there.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 31, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow, sounds great, Jumper. So long as you've got aloo and gobi, you can't go far wrong :)

The ginger *does* surprise me, I must say.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Ginger is OK as long as it's beaten into submission, Yoki.

Of course, I do like ginger in the dominatrix position in recipes, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I love ginger in things both sweet and savory. It was Jumper's use of the spice after his declaration the other day that surprised.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi All! Happy New Year's eve to all the boodlers and a very Happy B-Day to Joel! I'm hoping there's a lot more to enjoy in 2009 and while there is nothing but doom and gloom predicted for our economic future, I will keep hope alive but spend conservatively.

The Aloha State will be lit up with fireworks tonight. I've already got our fire crackers and other pyrotechnics to ring in the new year and bring us good luck in '09 ready to go. I am a pyro at heart, learned to light and throw my first fire cracker when I was 9. While it's dangerous, unhealthful and all that, it's still a very loved tradition in the islands. Of course, we do this safely in an empty area with lots of buckets of water and hose at the ready. And, lots of (sober) adult supervision. But, mostly, it's me that's setting these things off. I'll light a few fire crackers for the Boodle to have good luck!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 31, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I remember that as well, Yoki. I'm sure Jumper has chosen a very delicate sprinkling of ginger.

He really didn't have to, though. Aloo gobi can taste good with just turmeric, chili, and salt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi MotP, please light some off for me. I love fireworks of any kind but have always been a wimp about setting off anything more than a sparkler or the old rolls of caps with a hammer. Which reminds me of a funny story. A few weeks ago daughter #2 said she wanted to just relax in bed and read and she found a stick of incense in the closet to enhance her mood. When she lit it, it turned out to be a sparkler instead. Needless to say, instead of calming her, it sent her quickly to the sink to dowse it.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Send us pictures of the fireworks, MotP... but not the fireworks themselves.

No fireworks in the closet for me, thanks.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Will do Sneaks and Wilbrod!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 31, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Seattle has almost as many fireworks on New Year's Eve as on July 4 - not to mention Chinese New Year. There's an official fireworks event at the Space Needle, which I may watch on TV. Last year it fizzled, which was kind of funny. Have fun, MotP!

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Funny article on the dropping of various things to mark the new year:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123003279.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008123003357&s_pos=

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

None of those ideas jazz me.

Now, I would go and see a big Monty Python foot dropping on the number 2008, smashing it into powder. And then fireworks and cheering as a banner drops, saying "And for something completely different!" then a second banner dropping... 2009.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'd also go and see coconuts dropping from a faux tree on a giant inflatable Gilligan, too. Depends on how close I was to Miami.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Since I've already kilt the boodle, I'll soldier on, posting this column from the Seattle Times about the 20 most read articles (one is from 2005):
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2008575544_danny31.html

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm *tired* after being faxed around for home chores in my boxer briefs this afternoon. Even managed to stop by my Mom's to fix a leaky kitchen faucet on the way down to Northern Va for a Very Important Meeting (all this, and I can do moderat plumbing, too).

Thank goodness I could take care of it while Mom was out having a late lunch with friends. I don't need an earful about how I need to put on a few pounds or why I'm wearing boxers that bring out he blue in my eyes.

Come to think of it, is it really an earful when she's talking to my boxered butt as I'm under her kitchen sink?

And yes, I'm blushing a bit, but I'll blame it on the Cab Sav. And RD, who started the whole thing.

yello, ya made me chuckle, man.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

You have blue in your eyes, bc?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "moderate"

Of course, the rest of the comment is nearly as incomprehensible.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

seasea, that’s some list, I love the story of the woman whose bicycle was stolen but the story from 2005 was just bizarre. Only 33 states ban bestiality, what are the other 17 I wonder?

Wilbrod, love your idea with the Monty Python foot, I’d pay to see that.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm on my way with the Buffalo Chicken Dip to our News Year get-together. These people are feeding us lasagna. They know the way to my heart.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 31, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Just finished making kim chee dip and sweet onion dip (ala martha stewart) for tonight's festivities. Had a craving for dip so I went all out chopping onions and kim chee. My whole house smells! But in a good way.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 31, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Scotty.. I can't believe no one asked about the burning in Mianus. Gee.

So.. are we having a virtual New Year's Eve party here tonight? Dr G and I are snuggled in... the wind is really howling out there, making me doubly glad we decided to eschew going out.

I'll bring the hummus and roasted pita chips and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 31, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

We're having family over for a small party tonight, TBG.

I'll drop in virtually but don't expect to stay long.

Oh, and if you see all the hummus disappear, you know I was here. Delish stuff.

This is really bad news for smokers, by the way.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081231/ap_on_he_me/med_smoking_ban_heart

And so is this:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081229105037.htm

Soon smokers will be required to wear bells everywhere they go, like lepers.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Howdy and a Happy New Year to everyone! It looks like we'll wind up with an extra boy this year, but that will just add to the fun. Since I'm the only one who has no age or pain pill restriction against champagne, we'll be toasting the New Year with Martinelli's Sparkling Cider.

Thanks to Joel and the Boodle, lurkers too, for another entertaining and informative year, and for the genuine friendship even now humming through the DSL line. That's a rare and potent combination and my hat is off to you all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 31, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

TBG! I'll party with you.

I've just made possibly The Best Sauce ever for duck. Started with a gastrique, but used mixed Balsamic & Champagne vinegars. Then reduced red wine, demi-glace and sour cherries, with some shallots and garlic.

Two bottles of Prosecco are cooling.

And I have a video!

I lead a very exciting life, as you can see.

Anybody else want to join the fun?

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I will!!!! What's the video?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 31, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge.. you know the answer to that question... it's got to be Die Strafe des Schweigens!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 31, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

My dearest wish is that someday soon people who are certain they are without weakness will look deeply into their own spirits.

I'm quite sure that when that day comes, this judgement will be softened.

I think this certainty is a fault (only worth 2 points!) of youth.

In my world, those people will not point at people who eat fast food when they can afford to eat well (do not point at people who cannot), people who work under the wide sky, winter and summer-long and then find they suffer from pre-melanomas, people who have injured their own hearing with ear-buds and volume turned up too loud on personal entertainment devices (eww!), those who don't exercise and therefore get premature bone-loss, humans with any sort of weakness at all, any vice.

Reviling smokers is a failure to respond warmly to the human. It is fashionable now, but is also the thin edge of the wedge. If this takes hold, who is next? Be vewy vewy cayfu.

All of us, each one of us, works against our best self in some way. And that is fine.

Most of us treat ourselves pretty well but not perfectly well all the time. I've actually never met anyone, in my long life, who was free of weakness or susceptibility to less-than-perfect. Even susceptibility to harsh judging.

I prefer, much, to assume that everyone I meet is doing his or her best work to be the best s/he can be. And when he fails? Falls short? That makes me feel more tender toward him. Because it is familiar and human.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge!!!!

Ectuawly, I have the whole first two seasons of "Flight of the Conchords."

I see and hear TBG falling about, laughing.

Posted by: Yoki | December 31, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Um, the problem is that those articles are making it even more clear that smokers don't injure ONLY themselves; that there is a way to prove that smoking bans improve health measurably.

And that is bad news for all concerned. Smoking is a very difficult addiction to overcome. Many die before ever overcoming it, or overcome it only at the last stages of terminal illness.

I do not think smokers "deserve" what they get from smoking. But neither do bystanders, either.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm in! Coming up with virtual cheese straws and spiced pecans...

In reality, I'm home alone (ahhh, solitude!!) and sipping on a glass of champagne, the single serving bottle of which was in the back of the fridge. After the frantic activity of the last seven days, this is heavenly.

Yoki, you are right. I am for forgiveness and gentleness with our failings, when we try our best to do our best. When failings cause deliberate harm to others, not so much.

One reason for the in-laws coming our way this year was to take the niece around to area colleges. We walked over the campus at Davidson and went to a session at Wake Forest and her parents took her to Duke today. That's her father's alma mater, so he could guide her around. She's a junior and an A student. Some college will be lucky to get her. Her mom took her to Stanford and Berkeley earlier in the fall, when she had a trip to the left coast.

I don't recall all these visits being a big deal when I was getting ready to go to college. We applied to places likely to accept us, maybe visited if they did, and made a decision. Her parents are trying to be helpful, but I wonder if they are not exerting unnecessary pressure on her.

Factoid: Cost for the current year's study at Wake Forest is $47,778. But that includes a laptop and free washer and dryer.

Posted by: slyness | December 31, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll be here too for the boodle party. I have cheap champagne, Italian bread, gouda. I seem to have a hard time staying up till midnight on NYE, even though I often do that on regular nights, so I would welcome the opportunity to celebrate early.

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Happy New Year!

As a long time sojourner in Chicago I listened to The Midnight Special on New Year's Eve every year. It's a request program on WFMT that plays comedy, folk, bits from Broadway hits, and esoterica. It's a hits or miss event, but it is a beloved event by a certain segment of Chicago society.

So, I am especially happy to learn that I can hear it via the internet. Good times.

I wish us all ( the entire world) better times in 2009!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 31, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of paying more for college per year than you're likely to earn per year the first 3-4 years out of college.

So... yowzha!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Hi
Don't come too close, I'm sick. Lay down to a nap fatigued and with a touch of scritchy throat and have come to with some class of fatal feeling illness.
Time to self medicate

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

My sister and I were discussing how 2008 was NOT a horrible year...

a new baby was born in the family, same sister survived cancer, I got a new job I love, Dr G got TWO new jobs (one he loves now), Son of G is back at home, we elected an awesome Democratic president and have already regained some of our standing in the world.

All in all, a pretty good year for us here in the G house.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 31, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I think my best word for 2008 is "eventful."

Since bc worked so hard doing plumbing in blue boxers, here's a racing article for him.

The signed interview is better-- this website could use an real copyeditor to smack the writers on the head for writing such clunkers as "his racing was off" when he clearly signed "my racing was lousy." And the bit about everybody standing up in the stands waving their hands instead of clapping? Priceless.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

It occurred to me that I could have seen some of those things a much different way (and a much-less-happy person WOULD look at them this way)...

My sister got cancer, my husband hated his job and had to quit, I was laid off my job, my son dropped out of college...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 31, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Yep, I got to see Jack Bruce in concert *twice*, attended a BPH, went to the Miami Book Fair with kbertocci, saw Leon Russell 3 times with my sister. No major health problems in my immediate family, no big mishaps, kept my job. And I'm still jumping up and down about Obama getting elected. Hope 2009 will be much better for most folks.

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

*faxing Boko chicken soup and vitamin C cough drops*

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Baby Born On Trans-Atlantic Flight To Boston

BOSTON -- A flight from Europe arrived in Boston with an extra passenger on Wednesday after a woman on board gave birth somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

Northwest Airlines Flight 59 from Amsterdam landed safely at Boston's Logan Airport at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The mother, named Susan, is believed to be from Uganda. She was eight and a half months pregnant when she went into labor about six hours into the eight-hour flight.

"I examined her and the baby was coming out. So I pulled the head. And that is when more physicians came to help -- Dr. (Natarajan) Ramen from Minnesota. He was from radiation oncology, but he knew what to do," said Dr. Paresh Thakkai, a family practitioner from Methuen.

"The spirit of America is alive and everybody was there to help. People offered baby food, people brought things and people relocated their seats. All I need to let you know is despite the recession, they are still progressive in their thinking," said Ramen, of Minneapolis.

The passengers aboard the plane applauded after the 6 ½ pound baby girl let out her first cry and the captain said mother and baby were doing well.

The mother and baby were taken to a Boston hospital.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 31, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a baby without a country! Well, not really, but you know what I mean. I'm glad all went well.

Lessee...my year included: healthy baby boy twins (April), Geekdottir's graduation and employment (such as it is)(May and June), Elderdottir's full-time job (October), MBPH (October), work on important project at church (yearlong and continuing), success at home jobs (keeping fresh water in the birdbath and keeping the weeds down to a manageable level), election of awesome Democratic president.

Tough year in many ways, but rich in relationships I treasure. What's not to appreciate?

Posted by: slyness | December 31, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

On our local news TBG, it said that because the baby was born in Canadian airspace, it is a citizen of Canada! It is a great story!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

slyness,
I continue to wonder whether being an A student counts for much in the college admissions beauty pageants.

Having a Duke alum for a parent might be important. Princeton University Press has a series of serious data-based studies that go into race, athletics, legacies, the whole deal. My recollection is that affirmative action never amounted to much. At smaller non-public undergrad places, athletics meant a lot, as did family.

That said, a local friend of a friend's kid is happily attending UCSD, which combines haut academics, residential colleges, and surfing.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 31, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

TBG's list, with some editing, could be mine. Yay for a Democratic president-to-be.

This year has been long. I made some choices which seemed wishy-washy at first, but which I knew would be less stressful and happier for me. And I have no regrets in those. Life is truly too short for anything but the most optimistic approach possible.

Here's some scientific support for living life as a banquet rather than as a chore.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=as-luck-would-have-it

That said, I'm really looking forward to 2009.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 31, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

My year on the plus side, # 2 got married, “S” and I still have jobs, our health is good (after my pesky gall bladder was banished), I finally lost the weight that had been bugging me for 10 years, a dear friend seems to be winning her battle with cancer so far, we got to meet a great bunch of people at the MBPH and we finally have a president (in 20 days) who we can respect and who gives us hope of better years ahead for the country and maybe the world.

On the not quite so good side, #2’s knee is still troublesome. She had further surgery but now has ‘water on the knee’ but she had an xray tonight and her doctor is going to meet her at his office tomorrow (he is quite a guy!) and drain it. She’s leaving for Costa Rica on Friday and I hope she doesn’t have further problems.

The new year starts with me caring for her snake. I’m sure I’ll be telling you much more than you want to know about that, starting with the frozen rats.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 31, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Dave, college admissions do appear to be crapshoots, don't they? This kid will be successful wherever she goes, so I'm not worried about her. But I just hope her parents aren't helicoptering. She doesn't need that.

A snake, Sneaks? Hooboy, I think I'd pass on keeping that pet. Good luck to #2! I hope her 2009 is a fab year.

Posted by: slyness | December 31, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I think Error would have liked the the outcome of the '08 race.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Having delivered CPBoy to teen all night extravaganza, I am cozy with a doglet at my feet. Am half heartedly watching the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. (Don't do it, Lizzie! D'arcy is dark and glowering!) I am not a fan of the story arc of P and P.

My list of reliefs and pleasures:

CPBoy is well; CPdots moving ahead in life well, mostly that they are thoughtful in the balance of work and pleasure.

I have good work, albeit a low salary. I can bike in spiffy but casual garb. Working with young people is a privilege and a cause to ponder and re-ponder.

CPSEALBro is alive and well. Other CPSibs and families (Count = 29, with newest baby born at TDay) are hail.

Boodle companions are such fun and faithful. Thank you and thank you and then some.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 31, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, if you have not done so already, please avert your eyes from the Chick-fil-a Bowl on ESPN. Or at least cover them, man. For a GT guy like yourself, that game's like staring directly at the sun.

Ouch.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Eeeep, Sneaks, a snake! So glad my kid was never inclined to have one of those. I did try not to indoctrinate him with my unreasonable fear of them.

I think Error would have enjoyed the campaign - it was a wild one. And I think he would have liked the way it turned out.

I ran across P&P just now. Not my favorite version, but I can watch it again and again, nonetheless. And I like the very last scene in this one very much. I saw the last part of it several weeks ago, in fact, when there was a Keira Knightly marathon - Bend It Like Beckham, P&P, Love Actually (which I was too distracted to follow, especially when I figured Hugh Grant was the PM - unbelievable - or maybe I was confused).

Posted by: seasea | December 31, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Boko, I think Error would have been OK with the results of the '08 general elections since he wasn't around.

But I knew him well enough to know that he thought he should be in charge. And I think he'd have done a great job.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 31, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey... jamesmoylan... you lurking out there? What's 2009 like so far?

Posted by: TBG- | December 31, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to settle, bc.
Ha! I get to ring in the New Year with The Amazing Kreskin and Sarah Palin. More codeine.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Celine Dion on her appointment to the Order of Canada!

Just thought I'd get that out of the way and start the New Year fresh.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I checked in yesterday, 32 comments into the new kit. Nothing says romantic dinner to me like time with my wife in a quiet Italian restaurant. Unfortunately the place we used to frequent, Mangione's, closed years ago. I have yet to find a venue with an atmosphere equal to that establishment. Thus, Jumper and slyness, I seek your help: we lack any remotely romantic restaurant for at least 20 miles in any direction.

The New Year holds great promise. I'm thankful for my wife, my family and all of you for lending an ear and for your support.


Posted by: -jack- | December 31, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

So tired, but I think I can make stay awake the next 12 or so minutes.

I'm thankful for all of you in the coming year. I promise to answer all that e-mail!

Posted by: -dbG- | December 31, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

My Internet connection is acting a little hinky, so it may take the full eight minutes for this to show up...

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY BOODLE FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

[yeah... I'm yelling]

Posted by: TBG- | December 31, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Time for a roll call. Who's still here?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 31, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Seas -- agree with the last scene. But just before they were framed in sunrise, I wanted to wipe the goth raccoon eye make up off Lizzie-K.Knihgtly......oops, is not over yet.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 31, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah, my dear, could I interest you in a little.....
HAMBURGERHAMBURGERHAMBUGER NOCOKE PEPSI

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

CqP here...donald sutherland as papa bennet needs to shave.....no french shadows in the customs of the time...D'Arcyh walking in the chickens....baldaerdash

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 31, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh my seasea....a post lude scene! Lovely but not at all Jane Austenite...I am scandalized!

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 31, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Where's Mo?

Posted by: Boko999 | December 31, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Ta dah...is this post timed right?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 31, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

BOKO...in a yoki voice

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 31, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Meek and humble ta dah!??

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 1, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Hooray!

Posted by: Boko999 | January 1, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Pans clanging in the streets and two bottle rockets launched.....happy2009

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 1, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, everyone. *fireworks and revelry in the city streets...enough to wake the dogs and set them barking*

Posted by: -jack- | January 1, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I am trying really hard to stay awake to ring in the New Year. Just two more hours.

I'd knit, but my hands need a break and mrdr says one episode of Frefly is all he can do in one sitting. I might go and wind some yarn from hanks into balls, but only as a last resort.

I think i will cruise ARts and Letters Daily and maybe Project Gutenberg for something to keep me awake.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 1, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year everyone......still working but yeehaaa!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 1, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year to all the East Coast Boodlers! The glass of sparkling wine has been consumed, the children are all hyped up, and now it is time to go to sleep.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 1, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

It's 12:09 in Philadelphia, dr, so just pretend you're here and go to bed!

Posted by: -dbG- | January 1, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Huzzah!

Mr seasea keeps saying it won't be the new year till Jan 20. We had our champagne toast with Times Square - waiting till midnight here seems so anti-climactic...and I hate to drink right before going to bed.

Posted by: seasea | January 1, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Yoki? Did we lose Yoki? Happy New Year, my friend.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Everybody went to bed already? Sheesh.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I am here, dear friend. Thank you. Happy New Year,

Posted by: Yoki | January 1, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

When early supper drives one to nap, the only solution later is late supper. Here I'm researching modern hobo code symbols:
http://www.cockeyed.com/archive/hobo/modern_hobo.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 1, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

We toasted those who couldn't see 2009, and finally finished up the longest pinochle game ever.

Now to bed so I can see friends today.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 1, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Did I ever tell you kids about riding the freights back in the '60?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 1, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

happy new year, mudge, yoki, wilbrod, boko, seasea, jumper, dbG, RD, dr, gwe, Cp, et.al....bless all of you.

Posted by: -jack- | January 1, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, y'all.

Don't let 2008 hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

Again.

Joined in on the banging of pots and pans around the neighborhood, and couldn't help but smile as I was wailing away like Keith Moon-lighting as a medieval blacksmith.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 1, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I trust that you weren't in violation of the local noise ordinance, bc. Did you catch the Barrett-Jackson gig tonight? I thought that the 454/425/4-spd. Caprice was a nice piece. If I can ever afford a stable, I'd like a '70 Impala Sport Coupe with a 350 and a 4-spd. Red with a black vinyl top. And a console. A '67 mustang as well, any iteration as long as it has a console.

Posted by: -jack- | January 1, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year again, y'all. We called the son just after midnight. He seemed to be in high spirits. He said the first half of the game was horrible and the second half just boring. Looks like I can wipe it from the DVR with little guilt.

I got two new books in from Amazon today. The new Chris Buckley novel and some book about kingfishers or haymakers or something. It has diamonds on the cover so it must be like Breakfast At Tiffany's. Just an impulse purchase. Never heard of the author though.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 1, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Right back atcha, jack, bc, everyone.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sudlxUNj30I

Posted by: seasea | January 1, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

A Happy New Year to us all, every one!

The Ivansclan (plus extra boy) spent the Gala Evening in downtown OKC at the Flaming Lips 2nd Annual New Years Eve Concert, held in conjunction with our downtown First Night celebration (or something like that). It's a big party all over downtown and always lots of fun, and the Flaming Lips have joined in a big way. Their maestro, Wayne Coyne, wants to make this a Tradition. Best of all, all tickets are $20 each. So, if you want to see the Flaming Lips for $20, come to OKC for New Years Eve.

We very briefly toasted the New Year with sparkling cider. Then the Boys headed for the Simpsons and sleep, Ivansdad headed to bed, and I headed to Boodle. I confess it, I'm an Achenaddict.

Thanks Yoki, for your Kind Thought for the Year.

And now to start 2009 right by sleeping long and (I hope) late. Buenos gnocchis, vaya con queso, and fondue!

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 1, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

What CP said about working with young people.

On a related note, we celebrated with They Might Be Giants on South Street. WooHoo!
And they sang a new version of "Why does the sun shine" which has some important updates/corrections. It goes,
The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma...
...that's burning nuclear in Mianus!
Hehehe

Rodin museum tomorrow and then the Barnes. Life is good!

dbG, could you recommend a place to get butter cake in center city? Thanks.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 1, 2009 3:02 AM | Report abuse

D'oh!
Happy new year everyone:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=345

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 1, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Belated Happy Birthday to Joel. Hope you had an enjoyable day.

Happy New Year everyone. May 2009 bring happiness and health to all.

Christmas and New Year were quiet around here. I was in the supermarket earlier to get some lamp chop. Everyone who hasn’t left the country was in the supermarket. My lamp chop turned out to be so tough that I almost sought help from my feet.

What I really feel like having right now is a glass of wine, but I’m too lazy to run to the border. It’s only an hour away, to and fro but the queue at the border customs would take a couple of hours. Majority of the joints that sell alcohol right beside the border custom of the neighbouring country do not have liquor licence, but the authorities close one eye. All the bottles of alcohol are not on display. You approach a food stall and ask if they sell what you want. If they have, they just sell you whatever brand they have. You don’t really get to choose. I’ve only been there twice. Once I was sold Shiraz and another time Hardy, an Australian wine. I can bring limited amount of alcohol into the country at a time. The quantity is about the amount in 2 bottles of wine.

Posted by: rainforest1 | January 1, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

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

Happy New Year, friends. Boko, hope you're feeling better this first day of the New Year. I think Error would love how everything turned out, political wise.

I am so thankful for my family. My dad, my daughter, my grandchildren, my sister, daughter-in-law, and all the bunch. It has been a tough year for us all, but we're still hanging in there. I am also thankful for you guys. I thank you for your kindness to me and family, and for answering my many questions. I hope the New Year is a blessing for us all.

Mudge, Scotty(how's "it" going?)Martooni, Slyness, Yoki, and all, Happy New Year! *waving*

It is sooooo cold here. I want to walk this morning, but I don't know. I'll test the air, and move from that point. Getting started is the problem.

I smell smoke, and I don't smoke. I need to check that out.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 1, 2009 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Everything is good. Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 1, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, Boodle!

I like the quiet of New Year's dawn. I'll probably be doing a solo Dawn Patrol :o)

Posted by: Braguine | January 1, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

My God, what a mess! There are party favors and streamers and horns and those silly 2009 glasses where you look through the zeroes strewn everywhere. Who had clean up duty last night? Thank goodness none of the Lladros are broken but several have been posed in rather compromising positions.

And whoever owns the Jean Paul Gaultier bullet bra, I'm taking it off the chandelier and putting it in lost and found. At least I KNOW who the gladiator sword and scabbard belong to.

I'm gonna go out and have some mimosas and hope things are straightened up in here by the time I get back.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 1, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. 2009 is dawning cold and crisp, but full of great promise.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 1, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Happy First Dawn Patrol of the New year. I'm about to make a run to the store--visiting daughter wants creamed dried beef for breakfast. She and I are the only two who like it, so we don't get it very often. And she doesn't want the Stauffer's-- she wants it made from scratch. So I will.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

You are a good papa, mudge.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 1, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, fax me some of that creamed beef--it's the yummers.

Posted by: Braguine | January 1, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Yum, Mudge, may I invite myself to breakfast?

Yello is right, we left the bunker in shambles last night. *Sigh* But it was a great party!

I'd appreciate your bringing me a couple of mimosas back, Yello, to drink while I try to make the bunker presentable. I found a fisherman's sweater and deck shoes behind the sofa. Who let Mudge go out in the cold without those? LiT shouldn't leave those sparkly stilettos where the rest of us can find them. Why is Yoki's feather boa draped over the wing chair?

Obviously, my first order of business must be organizing lost and found. I'll (shudder) check the bathrooms later. Much later.

Posted by: slyness | January 1, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

As has been traditional ever since I turned 40, Hank Stuever's "The List" is leaving me mostly perplexed. Although I was delighted to hear that Steampunk is now in.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/features/2008/year-in-review/the_list_2009.html

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 1, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, you all.

The List is always fun. Creme de violette is IN (note, caps are also IN), but is scarce. Maybe spring violets from my backyard could be used? Maybe I can find the recipe. I could always substitute lavender, but that is so strong.

Need to backboodle and make sure everyone has power, we lost ours yesterday, but only for a few hours.

Posted by: VintageLady | January 1, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I had a few chuckles at The List this morning, and a few moments of dread.

Saw Kings of Leon at the 9:30 last year (with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and a guy who's name I can't remember but did an awesome MacBook-assisted solo show), so I guess I can forget them going forward.

I've wanted a Fiat 500 Abarth since I saw one about a year ago, couldn't help but think of the old Fiat 600s (and the Abarth 750-1000 TCs that used to race with the rear engine cover propped open), so I'm good there.

Wouldn't be so quick to jump on the Chevy Volt yet, personally I'm looking forward to to the all-electric 2010 Dodge TC sports car.

Steampunk - in? Where the he11 has Hank *been* for the past 25 years?

"Why We Suck," and "The Watchmen," it's all g- oops! It is what is is? [Is that *good?*]

Finally, I'm *glad* that Gladiator sandals are on the "Out" list - now I'll be able to pick them up on the cheap.

Speaking of which, I dreaded to see the new "Star Trek" on the "In" list. Now I *won't* be able to pick up next year's Hallmark Star Trek Christmas Ornaments on the cheap.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 1, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, everyone! With the weather around here yesterday, it certainly went out like a lion.

Enjoy that breakfast, Mudge. Sounds like a good way to start the new year.

Posted by: -pj- | January 1, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

As the local boodlers know, over the last few days we have had a mighty wind come tearing through the region. As a result, my back yard looks like the house of the second little pig after that whole "Wolf" incident. Nothing but piles of sticks.

So I started my new year year by gathering these all up. And I don't mind doing so. It is all part of my duty as a Good Citizen of the 'Burbs.

But here's the thing. I have also taken note of an alarmingly-large number of leaves that have blown into my yard.

These are not my leaves. These leaves come from elsewhere. These are undocumented alien leaves. Invasive leaves.

And what concerns me the most is that, my tremendous personal affection for our neighbors to the north aside, a suspiciously high proportion of these leaves are Maple.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 1, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

*faxing creamed dried beef to Brag, slyness, yello and PJ*

Not much left, enough for just one slice; who wants the last piece?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

If you don't have a leaf blower, RD, this is the time to acquire one so you can blow those leaves back where they belong?

What's with people who haven't gotten their leaves up yet? Especially maple, those leaves have been on the ground since the end of October. Slackers, all of them.

Our cold and rainy November had one salutary outcome: all the leaves were off the willow oaks by Christmas. One of our five normally doesn't shed all its leaves till the middle of January. Mr. T was surprised and happy to be finished with leaf season on December 22.

Posted by: slyness | January 1, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Someone's reading the Boodle... on that list as IN: Lloyd Dobler Overcoats, with this link...

http://www.scene-stealers.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/13135__say_anythiing_l.jpg

Posted by: -TBG- | January 1, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

This year I am not sure I understood any of Hank's List but I still found it amusing. If a joke falls in the forest and you're too old to understand it, can it still be funny? I think so.

I am getting organized and starting on my various resolutions, the gist of which is that this year I'm going to be a Completely Different Person.

Short-term resolution is to post a new kit.

Posted by: joelache | January 1, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle! Cassandra, 'mudge, jack, slyness, everybody!

Such a happy morning to celebrate all the gifts we are given, those we seek and those that just... come.

I'll take that last slice, 'Mudge, if you can fax it up here. I've never had creamed beef, and I've read about it all my life (the consensus seems to be that it is revolting, but that didn't stop me with Scrapple and it won't stop me now). I approve of taking these things from the literary to reality.

And afterward, I shall disrobe the Christmas tree.

Have a wonderful day 1, dear friends.

Posted by: Yoki | January 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, Sh!t on a Shingle, as my Dad used to say. The only curse word I ever heard Him say. It's one of the few meals I loved as a Child that I actually know how to make. Daggit, now I'm Hungry. One of my fave places for brunch opens in 20 Mins.

Happy Two Thousand Nine Everyone.

Posted by: omnigood | January 1, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morining JA, and Happy forty-eight plus a day.

Hey Yoki. I don't understand anybody not liking creamed beef (on toasted white bread). It's delish. You have to try the non-faxed variety.

Time for me to go get a Mimosa and a bite...tchau

Posted by: omnigood | January 1, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

good morning all
Finally home after a chaotic 2 days at work.A bunch of drunks running around having fun.It sure made me jealous.Back home to my cold house,48 inside when I got in,fire is going,but yet to put a dent in the temp.

Yoki,I am fighting you for the last piece that Mudge has,especially if it is hot.

Hope everyone has a great start to the New Year.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

*faxing the last piece of CDB to Yoki, and averting my eyes while she's disrobing*

Frankly, I've never understood more than half of Steuver's In/Out lists every year, and always disagree with half the parts I do understand. Michael Phelps' delts are out? Wasn't everybody going crazy just a week or two ago over Obama's pecs and abs? I sometimes think Steuver isn't hip, he's merely trying to be difficult and perverse. (He thinks $5k hookers are out? Bwahahahahahaha. Sure. Whatever you say, Hank.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Maybe 'Mudge should send me the recipe instead of the food. I don't think I've ever seen dried beef for sale, other than jerky. I wonder if it exists in Canada? Any of the other Canucks know?

Posted by: Yoki | January 1, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, not my section of the city for butter cake, but I'd head over to Reading Terminal Market. Someone @ RTM will surely have it. Termini's has excellent cannoli and German Apple Cake; if they have butter cake, it's got to be good (or ask them where to go). Have a great time at the museums! Check out Monk's Cafe (http://www.monkscafe.com/) if you like chimay on tap.

yello, I'm taking your buffalo chicken dip to a dinner today. I usually take dried beef dip, but new year, new things.

Yawning after my last night's test-taking orgy. I suspect if there were a big-money prize for serial test taking that everyone here would be in the running!

Have a great day, everyone!

Posted by: -dbG- | January 1, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Backboodling from 10:05 yesterday, LiT's comment about Heisenberg's Uncertainty regarding DC's behavior being dependent on the nature of Observation made me laugh.

I'm thinking of it as LiT's experiment in Schrodinger's Playroom, but instead of Erwin's experiment, it's probably a game of Pretty Pretty Princess (*everybody* wants the Tiara).

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 1, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure Mudge,pick a beautiful woman over me......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 1, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: -dbG- | January 1, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It's up to 56 in here,if i was a bat in a cave I would probably feel a lot more comfortable!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 1, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Here's the kind we have here, Yoki. http://www.esskaymeat.com/products_chipped_beef.html

The one in the middle, the low-sodium version, is relatively new, but it's what I now prefer, just to keep the salt down. The one on the right comes with the cream already mixed in. Since I'm a guy and somewhat lazy (redundant, I realize), and since I'm the usually the only one who eats it, I get the pre-mixed bag and add a bag of the dried beef to it to double up the meat to cream ratio, and then thin it with a wee bit of milk.

It is usually served on white bread toast, but I've been known to use whesat toast or whatever multigrain is on hand. I'm not picky that way, and usually prefer almost any kind of bread except basic white bread.

Now, making it from scratch: there are two general methods.

First, my mother's method: melt about a half stick of butter in a saucepan, and while it is melting, break up the dried beef (it comes in the packet in sheets, like prosciutto) into bits into the butter. (There is a difference of opinion whether it should be torn by hand, or chopped into 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch pices with a knife. I am agnostic on this point. It's like people who prefer hand-torn lettuce in a salad, versus knife-chopped.) Stir the dried beef so it is coated with melted butter. Gradually add flour a spoonful at a time, stirring it in until it begins to build up on the dried beef. Begin adding milk, and stir continually, until a cream is built. (Here is where the question of cream to beef ratio comes in. I like it with a high ratio of dried beef. A lot of restaurants, of course, thin it out to reduce costs, and it can be pretty yucky if it is too thinned out.) When hot, spoon over toast and serve.

My wife's method: melt the butter and add flour, making a roux. Add milk and make it into a cream. Then add the dried beef. When hot, spoon onto toast and serve. (Two slices is a normal serving; us guys will do three or four slices.)

end of part

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

part 2:

Some people call it chipped beef instead of dried beef, hence cream(ed) chipped beef. Same difference. In the Navy during WWII, it was a major breakfast staple, and was called Sh!t on a Shingle, abbreviated to S.O.S. My father told stories of being in boot camp at Great Lakes NAS (north of Chicago) in the middle of winter, walking to the mess hall at 5 a.m. in minus-20 degree weather and having steaming SOS for breakfast. Growing up, we also had it for dinner; I often do when I'm bacheloring it.

I don't know if you have Stauffer's frozen food up there; we have it here, and they have CDB in microwavable packets. http://www.stouffers.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=151 Once again, I put it in a saucepan and add dried beef to it, and a little milk.

Now, as to it being revolting: yes, it certainly can be if made badly. If the sauce is thin and watery like gruel, and if somebody has used oil instead of butter and there is a greasy, oily slick on top, it can be truly nauseating, yes.

The main reason my wife and other kids won't eat it is the same as why they won't eat hot roast beef sandwiches, or hot turkey sandwiches: they don't like gravy on bread, which makes the bread soggy. I guess it's a texture thing or something. (The irony is my wife will eat a Suthin' dish like gravy-and-biscuits, and she'll eat tomato gravy on biscuits for breakfast. And with a turkey dinner, all of them will eat stuffing smothered in gravy. She just says she doesn't like soggy bread. Go figure.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

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