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Anderson Cooper's Stunt Journalism

Anderson Cooper is a fine journalist, which is all the more reason for CNN to stop trying to feed him to sharks.

Last night CNN ran its program "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines," which careened from continent to continent, crisis to crisis, anxiety to anxiety, in what can only be called porn for paranoiacs. Some of it was very well done, but the overall product, I fear, felt like stunt journalism, ranging from Lisa Ling braving the Nigerian backwaters to meet with gun-blazing militants to, most prominently, Cooper swimming with great white sharks.

First he swam inside a shark cage. Then -- Cooper in peril!!! -- he swam without the cage, among those mindless monsters, clinging to a rock at the sea bottom while they circled hungrily. You could almost hear Sean Hannity in the distance screaming "EAT HIM! EAT HIM!"

I found myself impressed more than anything by the CNN expense account. Cooper, Sanjay Gupta and Lisa Ling were zooming all over the planet, to remote deserts, an island in the Pacific, deepest jungle, the Andes, and so on, and documenting all manner of horrors and injustices. But it felt scatterbrained, showy and entirely driven by the visuals. Yes, it's neat to look at great white sharks up close, and to wonder if they'll devour the anchorman (to a cry of "Anchor away!!!), but what does that have to do with anything?

Here's the CNN Planet in Peril website.

And here's an exhaustive summary of all the amazing things that Cooper & Co. did to document the planet in peril.


--

Future of Journalism, part 139:

The march of technology and the shrinking economy are beginning to take a toll on the traditional means of television news-gathering: the TV news crew. Under a new agreement reached this week with its labor unions, WUSA, Channel 9, will become the first station in Washington to replace its crews with one-person "multimedia journalists" who will shoot and edit news stories single-handedly. -- Paul Farhi

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 12, 2008; 12:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

no comments? guess the boodle is over at Starbucks... not sure about the one-person 'multimedia journalists'... sounds like a disaster waiting for Anderson Cooper to report on :)

Posted by: MissToronto | December 12, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, those shark photos of Cooper look more like a photo shoot for GQ... Zoolander all over again!

Posted by: MissToronto | December 12, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

... I think I found them...

Posted by: MissToronto | December 12, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

... the boodlers I mean...

Posted by: MissToronto | December 12, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Miss T.

I'm reminded of Al Franken with the satellite antenna strapped to his head doing the live feed...

Interesting paradigm, Joel. When I dabbled with public access TV we had "crews." Now the producer only wants finished edited video. He figures with computers, any actor/director/writer can put it together themselves.

A while back I described my homemade paprika. Since I'm making some now, I thought I'd document it a little bit on the blog:
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2008/12/most-delicious.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 12, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Stunt is right, of course. This isn't journalism, it is voyeurism. But one must admit there is something oddly compelling about that expense report.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 12, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Joel, given that you already take your own pictures, I would say you are way ahead of that whole new-journalism business.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 12, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yoki,
When I talked about oversharing, I was referring more to me than anyone else.

Stunt journalism also has its perks. Anderson Cooper did get to strip down in front of Michael Phelps.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

CityTV in Toronto has been using 1-videographer teams for at least 10 years. Since good portable video equipment has been available really. Results are highly variable, it works for cultural and police blotter stuff but don't expect the next Watergate or Adscam scandal to be discovered by one of them videographer.
"Citytv also pioneered the concept of videojournalism, where reporters often carry their own cameras and report and videotape their own stories. Citytv calls its videojournalists "videographers", but unlike many American television markets that try to conceal the fact that reporters are so-called "one-man bands"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citytv

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Reposting


I'm sorry that I can't make it to the BPH today. Bad day all around. Missed an appointment this morning because the car wouldn't start, then this afternoon I locked myself out of the house and discovered that my outside hidden key was not where I hit it. Remembered that my nephew had a key, which he couldn't find for the longest time, making him late to pick up his kids from daycare. All that plus a low grade case of dysthymia has made me unable to face the horrible traffic getting through DC. Plus if I leave now, it means I'll get there late, just as everyone is leaving.

So, sorry Windy, let's hope that there'll be a next time.

Some days...

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 12, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. The market ended positive. We get Boxing Day off. Two big pics of Amy Adams are in the Style section.

I've had worst starts to a weekend.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 12, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

A fitting end to Dubya's Administration?

"GM To Close Most Plants In North America For The Month Of January"
http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_30051.aspx

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Hee hee, Joel.

When's the heavyweight boxing match between Andersen Cooper and Gerald Riveria begin?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Waay off kit, this is for you, Wilbrod and Martooni:

http://icanhascheezburger.com/2008/12/06/funny-pictures-put-up-a-good-fight/

Posted by: slyness | December 12, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, flamingos ain't too tall to kick inna crotch.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Wrote this at work and mailed it home to myself for later posting. It's finally quiet here after what seems like weeks of intensity. Everyone's just waiting for one o'clock so we can go to our Holiday lunch.

I only had two living grandparents and I just called them Grandma and Grandpa. My parents were called "Gramma (first name)" and "Poppa." The Poppa came from #1's obsession with that push toy that pops up the balls and makes a pop pop sound. It was easy for her to say and eventually "Pop Pop" evolved into Poppa. The ex in-laws were called Gramma (first name) and Grampy. I am called Granny (first name diminutive) because it rhymes. "S" actually came up with it 'cause he thought it sounded cute. My ex is called Grandpa (first name), his wife is just called by her first name, usually accompanied by a roll of the eyes (kidding - sort of). My granddaughters call "S" by his first name, but he decided before his grandchildren were born that he wanted to be called "Dude" so they call him Grandpa Dude.

The holiday lunch was quite fun. We played trivia and I won $40. I can’t believe how many beers some of our guys can put away. Of course, they’re big fellows (as in tall and solid) and no one seemed out of control. I may never eat again tho.’ We went to a Japanese hibachi/sushi place and did the whole bit around the grill. Hope everyone has fun at the BPH tonight.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Awwww:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/?hpid=news-col-blog

http://www.dailylocal.com/articles/2008/12/11/news/srv0000004236018.txt
"It seems President-elect Barack Obama's children were not the only ones promised a dog after the presidential election. Biden's wife, Jill, made the same assurance to her husband if he and Obama, his running mate, won the election.

Jill Biden had taped pictures of different dogs on the back of the seat in front of Biden on his campaign plane to inspire the candidate as he crisscrossed the country in the final sprint to election day, according to published reports during the campaign."

Posted by: seasea | December 12, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I am very grateful to live in southern MA tonight. A large portion of the state northwest of Boston has had a tremendous ice storm and there are about 500,000 homes in MA, NH and ME without power and won’t have it back for a few days at least.The temps have plummeted and it’s going to be a very cold weekend for many. They are using snowplows to move the tree limbs and branches out of the roadways. One report said that it looks like a tornado hit because the tree tops have broken off. Apparently it was colder above ground and the ice formed on the tops of trees first. The roads weren’t icy at all.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the clouds are clearing some and I got a few peeks at the full moon.

Bc,I guess you'll be out and about tonight,and Please No Cats!!!

When I left for work the river had just started to overflow it's banks,so I guess I will be taKING THE BACK MOUNTIAN WAY HOME. Damn caps lock.

Hope everyone at the bph is having fun,back to work for me.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 12, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

A couple of years ago, I got a box of plastic flamingos for a colleague. Not long after, the US manufacturer stopped making them. The box is now a collectible.

Someone here in Florida ran swim-with-the-sharks cruises. An Austrian client was eaten.

On the other hand, the south side of Sebastian Inlet is known as Monster Hole, after its denizens. It is more or less, a safe place to surf, though one should be aware that getting nibbled is a possibility.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 12, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad I mustered the courage and attended my first-ever BPH. I was late due the...how could I forget...horrible traffic, just even traveling from Arlington to K Street.

I was able to meet live and in person Mudge, bc, TBG and MO. As has been said before they are true to their online persona...but even more so. I love the boodle! Pictures to follow...TBG gave me a URL to use. May have to wait til I return to CO on Sunday.

Thanks to Joel for attracting such a wonderful group of people. I can't wait to meet many more of the boodle clan. We suggested maybe going to Oklahoma City...to Ivansmom's hometown. Then, maybe just maybe...out to Colorado. I could give everyone a grand tour. Even out to LA land at some point to see LA Lurker. Or...deinfitely!!!!

And, small world that it has become, I learned that Raysmom lives NEXT-DOOR to my brother!!!

I'm here in a local hotel since my evil step-mother won't let me stay with her. I have never seen where my dad has resided these last 12 years. I think she is afraid of what she has bought/sold/messed up, etc.

But no problem. At least I can see my dad in the hospital.

Later all.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 12, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

SCC..or CANADA...definitely (drinks are sneaking up on me).

Posted by: Windy3 | December 12, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Windy3 - I am so glad that a quorum of boodlers could make it! Yes, that Achenbach fellow has managed to attract some pretty high-quality folks. And me too!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 12, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Small world, Windy! I just hope your brother is a good neighbor.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Windy,
That stepmother sounds worthy of a Disney villain. You can't keep a dad for his kid.

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

Top dogs, too, hang out
here at the Achenblog-- why?
To give this joint class.

-Wilbrodog-

(Speaking on behalf of all Achendogs).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Windy, Sorry I couldn't make it, but after the day I had, it was better that I stayed at home, keeping the world safe for yet another day.

You had the best of the best tonight at the BPH!

(Not excluding ScottyNuke, Omni, Raysmom, Don, Brag, and Others To Be Named Later).

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 12, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Next time, fellow boodlers who couldn't make the BPH. Totally understand. RD, where do you live?

Yellowjkt...I can't repeat my step-mother's real name of course cause she would try and sue me (truly) but let's just say her given first name has actually been used as an evil character in Disney films.

Wilbrod...well, my brother has owned and lived (when not overseas) his home for more than 20 years. I beleive he has passed the mustard. But only Raysmom knows for sure.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 12, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Had a great time at the BPH with Windy3, bc, Mudge and Mo! Windy3 is a very nice person... I can vouch for her now!

We are enjoying this video right now via Tivo's access to The Onion's videos... it's hilarious...

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/president_to_face_down_monster

Posted by: -TBG- | December 12, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Windy3 - I live in Fairfax, just outside of DC. I'm about spittin' distance from both TBG and Raysmom. Although, naturally, none of us do much recreational spitting.

TBG - didja notice the other Onion feature that you know made me chuckle?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 12, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Gee, RD_Padouk, maybe your my brother's neighbor, too! :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | December 12, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Onion would transcript those videos.

By the way, Slyness, can you discuss the usefulness of this fire alarm?

http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/8054/Red+Neck+Fire+Alarm/429142/

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I for one am getting really tired of TV news grandstanding. Too often it feels like the play by play from 'The Running Man'.

I'm finding that with the ease of access to good newspapers around the world, I'm getting better quality news with none of the papaer overload in my home. But to keep it up (ie. so you can pay quality people), you are going to have to start charging. When that happens, I'll pay, just like I do for better quality tv programming.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Why Wilbrod, that is just like the kind I use!

Does anybody remember the little glass containers filled with red or purple liquid that used to show up over interior doorways old homes and were supposed to be for fires? (or was this a Canadian oddity) A couple of aunts and uncles had them in their houses, and I've always wondered how they worked. Did they work?

Posted by: --dr-- | December 12, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

http://www.donmarquis.com/readingroom/archybooks/moth.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 12, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, one look and I burst out laughing. That one might get your attention, but it sure won't suppress a fire!

dr, Mr. T and I are having the discussion. Grenades, they were called. They were filled with carbon tetrachloride, until it was determined that was hazardous, then soda water was used. Low tech solution that would work on small fires, I suppose.

Posted by: slyness | December 12, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, you're taking me way back to my childhood. My mother loved archie and mehitabel. You see, *I* know why the poetry is in lower case.

Great poem, too.

Posted by: slyness | December 12, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

everybody knows that! because archie had to hop on the typewriter keys, and couldn't hold down the shift key.

Posted by: Yoki | December 12, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

He was a cockroach
Who quoted poems when eaten?
Erhmm... I don't know him.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 12, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Carbon tet to extinguish a fire, how quaint. CT is very toxic in a number of different ways, it is one of the rare poison that can be use to we use to kill insects, most breathing invertebrate and mammals. I used it for insects, arachnids and on rats prior to experiments and dissection. Very effective vapour phase poison, it quietly puts mammals to sleep; no muss no fuss. Good stuff, but not something you should keep in the house in a glass ampoule.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

SCC used and delete some stuff too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 12, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I killed the boodle with carbon tet. It works too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

That you did, SD.

Looks like we have another closet biology-type around here, eh?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Yep, I converted to metals and nasty chemicals later. Someone's got to do it and it pays better.
Still love the fish and birds though.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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

Friends, good morning. I'm glad the folks that attended the BPH enjoyed themselves. It is a great event. And I think it is wonderful that JA has attracted such a diverse group. Sorry I missed it, Windy, but distance is a problem.

Mudge, Slyness, Martooni, Scotty, Yoki, and all the boodlers, good morning, and happy weekend.*waving*

I like Anderson Cooper in any slot he chooses. I didn't see the show, but have seen commercials of it. By the time Anderson is on television, I'm usually asleep. As for the format of the show, I suspect they're trying to get a big audience, so that perhaps explains some of the stuff. I like nature shows as long as they don't get too grisly.

The cold has returned, and I must go out in it. The warmth was nice for a few days, even if there was rain. Enjoy your weekend, folks. My daughter and the clan came by last night. The g-girl and I colored together. I fell asleep, and she kept asking me, are you sleep, grandma. My response, a little bit.

I'm a little sad this morning. The gentleman I went to visit last week passed away yesterday. I knew he was very sick, but it still feels bad. He was a fellow church member. I think sometimes it is harder to live in small towns because we know each other, at least in the big city, one doesn't have that knowledge about most of its citizens. But then, we don't really get away, do we?

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 13, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

For your Saturday morning reading, the finalists in the Bad Sex Writing Awards.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/25/bad-sex-award-shortlist

I'm not sure whether that means the sex is bad or just the writing. Either way, they are unintentionally hilarious.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 13, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

The Bad Sex writing is always a hoot. Moral of the story, if you're not James Salter, stay away from the details!

30 cm of snow, -21C (wind chill of -35). I'm not going anywhere I don't have to, today.

I will be doing some Christmas decorating (indoors only) and baking. Wrap some presents. Nice day.

Have a wonderful day and stay warm.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Goos morning, all.

Didn't get a chance to read this Kit or the Boodle for that matter, but wanted to say that I had a good, if too-brief, time at the BPH last night.

It's always a pleasure to see my friends, real and imaginary.

Gotta run, a busy day ahead of me.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 13, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It will be a good time for inside Christmas decoration as it is -24C/-10F with clear skies here.
Beautiful full moon last night, the snow was purple under the lunar light.
Local werewolves might find frostbites in embarrassing places this morning.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle!

Sorry I couldn't make the BPH last night Fridays are usually busy as I teach online.

Yesterday found an old friend online. Since the last time I've seen him, he climbed Mount Everest.

Today heading to a friend's house for our annual day of oyster glutony.

Posted by: Braguine | December 13, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Please fax me some oysters if you have any to spare, Braguine.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh! Today is the day the new tat gets finished! How exciting, but means I will be on the roads after all.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, rather late here. But that's okay as far as I'm concerned. I didn't get up till 7:45, that's almost unheard of.

I'm glad to hear you're happily socked in, Yoki. We're currently at 38 degrees F but we were definitely below freezing earlier. The water in the birdbath is still frozen.

Mr. T is outside getting up leaves. He promised to watch over the twins while Geek Dottir and Third Dottir and I go to a wedding shower this afternoon. We'll see how that goes! Especially as they are crawling and his personal Christmas tree is up in the den, with his toy farm equipment underneath it.

Posted by: slyness | December 13, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! It will be warm here but is very windy. There is ice skating in our future this afternoon. I just hope we're not blown over on the ice.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Cassandra.

I like this Kit. It reminds me of all the live "weather" shots. The local version is someone standing next to the slick roads in an ice storm or, in L.A., doomed to stand in a dry drainage ditch which rapidly floods in a storm (really happened!). The nationl version is poor hapless news anchors sent out to stand in hurricane wind and rain. Gosh, I guess Joel is speaking from experience.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 13, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Howdy, y'all. I've really got to start checking in more often. There was a porching hour? I'd SO have been there. Oh well.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, yello. Started the day with laughter; a good way to start.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 13, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Hi all... getting ready for a shopping expedition to the fabulous, huge Korean grocery store. Incredible produce department and any flavor of ramen noodle and snack crackers you can imagine. My daughter's favorite crackers are the ones shaped like chicken drumsticks.

Has anyone heard from Boko lately? You out there, Boko? Check in so we know you're OK.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

After no precip for over a month here in the Oregon banana belt the first shot out of the bag is snow.

After hearing from NASA that the moon would be appearing brighter and larger last night I was disappointed we wouldn't be able to see due the clouds. But at 10:OO last night the clouds broke up and everything was bright white. At first I thought the forecast snow had already fallen. But no. Then about one this morning it had snowed and the moon was out again. Lovely. Now it's snowing again. We have about two inches without any wind so all the tree limbs are decorated. Have go put out seed for the quail and birds. Expect they will be extra grateful this morning.

Posted by: bh71 | December 13, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I guess I should let the Obamas know they're welcome to stay at the G house if they want to...

Obamas Are Denied Early Move-In Date
Blair House Booked Up, Officials Say

The Bush administration has denied President-elect Barack Obama's request to move early into an official guesthouse across from the White House, citing previously scheduled but unannounced commitments, a transition official said yesterday.

The Obamas wanted to move into Blair House before Jan. 5 so their daughters, Malia and Sasha, could start classes on time at Sidwell Friends School in Washington...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/12/AR2008121203978.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Got lots of chores to do today, and then got my wife's company Xmas party tonight,

Food Lion has Smithfield spiral cut hams on sale for $1.57 a pound.My wife got two, one for Xmas, one for New Year's.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 13, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up on the hams, Mudge. We don't have Food Lions here, only their higher-end Bloom stores. Of course, Bloom's pricing the hams at $1.67 a pound instead.

Still a good deal since I'm the designated Bringer of Ham to the extended-family Christmas celebration next Saturday.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

What, please, is a spiral-cut ham?

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Mudge,you have always been quite a bit of a ham anyways Eh? Thanks for the tip though.

Hey Yoki!! A spiral cut ham is already sliced on the bone still,just saves time and it is Yummy!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 13, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, it's an already cooked ham, normally with sugar or honey so it's kinda sweet, and sliced on the spiral so that it's easy to get off. Quick, easy, good. They are popular here in the South, to the point that you have to look for fresh, uncooked ham if you want it.

Posted by: slyness | December 13, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if we have such things north of the 49th parallel? Sounds good and convenient, must easier than carving a whole ham.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I find sugary ham to be far too sugary... the sugar can add 1000 calories to an entire ham, or more.

Some spiral hams come with the sugar in a separate packet to glaze n cook-- those hams you can just not glaze.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

My mom was able to find spiral ham just across the border from Canada, Yoki.

Whether you can transport such items across the border (outside your stomach) is another story...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Imagine, if you will, starting at one end of a ham with a sharp knife and cutting into it around & around in a spiral down to the other end. Theoretically, you end up with one long spiral slice of ham.

That's the effect, although it's actually done with a rotisserie and a saw blade. If you have a propane torch or blast furnace handy, you can even recreate the standard glaze by rolling the ham in brown sugar (the two times I've actually done this, I played around with the glaze recipe, including cinnamon and small amounts of other spices) and hitting it with the fire until the sugar melts a bit.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Ham Brulee! Brilliant, and involves tools, so much the better.

With a fresh ham I often par-boil it with pickling spice and chilis to remove a lot of the salt and add heat. I think it's really good.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I have never had a spiral ham that matched the flavor of most other premium ham. Just sayin'. It's adequate for a tasty pea soup (Oh, boy, now I'm getting hungry for some, flavoring beans, greens, etc. and various casseroles. I'd say if you are looking for a knock-out fine roast ham, maybe go for something better.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 13, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - If you have (or know anyone with) a decent home workshop, you should be able to buy whatever ham you like, and do the spiral cutting and glazing yourself. All you need is a lathe, a slicer blade to attach to a circular saw, and a propane torch. Nothin' to it!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - I'm kidding, just a little. Buy the finest ham you can afford, stick it on a spinning stick of some sort, and cut it with whatever implement you have handy. I actually did use a slicer wheel on a circular saw, but (as long as the rotisserie is spinning fairly slowly) any really sharp knife would suffice, as would an electric knife, if you had such a device nearby.

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

Actually, just plop the hunk o' meat on a lazy susan-style turntable, and hack away.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

What you say about "better" ham might be true, Jumper, but there is such a thing as price, yanno. And the economy being what it is, my wife and I tend to economize wherever possible. So yes, there are indeed "better" hams out there. But not at $1.57 a pound -- and pre-cooked and pre-spiral-cut.

The Smithfields come with the glaze in a separate packet, Wilbrod, so one can control how much glaze (or none) one puts on them. You bake the ham to warm it up, and then about 5 or 10 minutes before removing from the oven you baste the glaze onto it.

On the other hand, our oldest daughter -- who married into lots of money -- goes to the special honey-glazed ham store here in town and gets one of those gigunda pre-glazed spiral cuts that are really to die for -- but yes, they do add lot of calories basically in the form of pure sugar. But oh, man, are they good.

I amazed you never had/saw a spiral-cut ham, Yoki. Warm up your fax machine on Christmas Day, woman.

I don't think these pre-cooked, pre-cut hams existed when I was a kid. My mother always baked a fresh ham the same way: first, score the fat/skin in a diamond-shaped pattern, making diamonds about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then in the center of each diamond she'd stick a clove. Then she'd have a big bowl of diced pineapple and a bunch of toothpicks. I got to skewer the pineapple and then stick then around the ham, so that when I was done there was barely any open surface area. Then she'd sprinkle brown sugar over it and bake it. Oh,, man. Good eats. To this day I think cloves have one and only one purpose in life: stuck into hams.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 13, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree with Jumper there. Too much glaze per ham for spiral hams, which ruins its use in various dishes, and it does seem the increased exposure to air affects the taste.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I think we had a Smithfield once, and you're right, it's nice to be able to control the glaze.

Those glazed-ham stores have been around for perhaps 20 years. I don't think they were around in the 60's, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

What, after all, is ham, but aged fatty meat?

I think I qualify.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Today is the Eve of Saint Lucy.\\Here is Mario Lanza singing Santa Lucia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpP7heFjr0g

Contrast this with the Santa Lucia (lou cee a) in Uppsala, Sweden.

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

And this amazing thing: Elvis singing the very same in Italian:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsCBZxpoqIc&feature=related

----Celebrate the eve with very hot strong coffee, served with saffron buns called Lucia Katter; no saffron Gingersnaps will serve.

I do not suggest wearing the wreath of lit candles. Battery ones are available but not on short notice.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 13, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't going to post this here, because it's longer than I like to run, but I really hope that the following excerpt (ever-so-slightly edited by me) will whet your appetite. Both the Drexel website [ www.thesmartset.com ] and Jessa Crispin's site [ address available upon request ] will be interesting to several of you, I think:
- - - - - -

"Oh, the endless promise of the self-help book aisle. Cheaper than even 10 minutes of traditional psychotherapy, and carefully worded to be completely unhelpful without overtly appearing so, it's no wonder we get trapped by these shiny, happy books. Just follow these 10 steps, and you can turn your nervous breakdown into a breakthrough.
... I halfheartedly skimmed a few of them, saw that they wanted me to write uplifting statements on my bathroom mirror, and quickly took them to the dumpster outside, afraid that someone might come over to my apartment and see them in my trash can. I reported back to Laura that they didn't really help.
"What is it that you want in your life?" she asked. "I have no f'ing idea," I told her.
"Here, I want you to try one more," she said. ...

I wrote the uplifting statements on my bathroom mirror. ... I delved into Oprah territory and created a collage — oh, sorry, I mean a "vision board" — of items I desire in my life (the only magazines I had on hand were one Elle, one Gourmet, and one Esquire, so the photos were mostly shoes, a nice bottle of whiskey, and the actor who plays the coach on Friday Night Lights) and hung it where I would see it every day. I got to the part where I was supposed to write down what the person who knows me best will say when toasting me on my 100th birthday. I called Honeybee and asked her. She didn't humor me for a second.

"Dear, I am older than you, and I will be dead by then," she said.


http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article12020801.aspx

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't sure whether the repeated "held for review" blockade was due to length or content, so I adjusted both. Now I know!

Crispin's website is: www.book s lut.com

Remove extra spaces. She's a delight!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Feel free to reassure me that you're fascinated by the links I provided, or are busy doing other things, so that I don't spend too much time worrying that I've bored you all straight into coma.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

There's spiral ham, and then there's country ham. The food editor of the local paper had a couple of wonderful stories about getting her very own country ham made in the mountains. These are rather lengthy but fun to read:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/508/story/399418.html

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/104/story/405333.html

I'm glad to report that Mr. T and the twins had a good time while we were gone. They were all down on the floor together when we got back.

Posted by: slyness | December 13, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, were any of them awake? Bob, I bookmarked the sites you referenced and briefly scanned the first one. The comments about Anneli Rufus’s book rang true. I just don’t have much time to do anything these days but get ready for Christmas.

My dad was in the meat business and the company he worked for sold canned hams. I think we got them free as we seemed to eat a lot of ham, and prepared as Mudge said with the cloves and pineapple and brown sugar. I’m not a huge fan of ham anymore, maybe I just ate too much of it growing up. I do like it if someone else serves one and I can just eat it once and go home hamless!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 13, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I will suggest that any of you who intend to go whole-hog with this "making your own ham" thing should consider hiring a qualified veterinary surgeon to remove the leg. Otherwise, you may injure the poor pig!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"A pig like that you don't eat all at once."

You'll have to google that punchline if you don't already know the joke about the three-legged pig.

Mudge... to my pleasant surprise, Bloom is having an additional special sale over the weekend... the ham was $1.47 a pound. I got a big 'un for my Big Family Christmas next Saturday and it cost about 16 bucks.

This Big Family Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year for many reasons, but the best one is that it is held at my sister's house, which is four houses away from mine. So it's like having it at home but not having it at MY home.

I call it A Very Convenient Christmas.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, they were all awake but we bundled the boys into their carseats and I'll bet they were soundly asleep before they were half a mile away. Mr. T went back outside to finish getting up the leaves. He just came back in, and I'll bet he'll be asleep within a few minutes.

Posted by: slyness | December 13, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

TBG - That joke was, of course, the intended destination of the little mental excursion that I wished to initiate with my little remark!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

One of my dad's favorite jokes was to ask someone,,, "You know where that ham came from?"

They'd answer, "Safeway? Giant Food?" and he'd say...

"A pig's a$$!"

My husband, who is joke-challenged. always tries it, too, but he usually says something like "You know where I bought that ham?"

"Doh!"

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I know, Bob. Thanks for the memory! I love that joke.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Checking out for a while. I'm off in search of beer, inexpensive ham, and the proper tools with which to bore stencil holes through laminated cardboard (in the absence of the truly proper tool, which is a several-thousand-dollar paper drilling rig), in some order.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 13, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, it always amazes me how tired the little ones make me. Seems like Mr. T has earned a nice little nap!

More cookie dough made and chilling. Time to run out for stuff I forgot to get.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 13, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Ack! Finally back-boodled-up, ready to stop working and start baking cookies.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 13, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's a story that made me verklempt. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/12/AR2008121204106.html?hpid=topnews

Money graf: "Officials said yesterday that invitations were being extended [to Obama's inauguration] to the nine people who as teenagers desegregated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957. Invitations to the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed African American pilots and crews who fought during World War II, were announced earlier in the week."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 13, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm for the budget ham anyway. Slyness's links are to some really neat articles. I have wanted to know how the old-time ham curing was done, and the articles were great. I did note they don't use saltpeter.

That was sort of a joke.

I do know that lots of U.S. country hams get exported to Europe because they are appreciated there a lot more than here.

I explained to my sister-in-law about my buying the dried peppers in bulk and grinding them myself.
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2008/12/most-delicious.html

That was before I wrote the blog article, and she didn't quite grasp my meaning. So she got a whole lot of dried cayenne peppers and ground them. What she ended up with is certainly a fragrant hot pepper, but it's not what I meant. They love hot food so it won't go to waste. Also she made a homemade cayenne/habanero sauce that's to die for. And I almost did when I tasted it! Because I put a whole spoonful in my mouth even after getting warned. Jellied fire, it was. You know your hot salsa is strong when you add cayenne to tone it down.

In any case I think they are going to get some homemade savory pepper paprika for Christmas. Since I started using it, it is slowly creeping into more and more of my dishes... now before I toast my tortillas I put a little olive oil on them and sprinkle them with some of the paprika. Hmm. I have another blogpost in me.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 13, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to confirm that, indeed, Windy3's brother is a good neighbor. (I was already asleep last night when you were discussing him.) And his lovely wife is so kind as to sign for our wine shipments.

I must have been chanelling the ham discussion, because I made ham and bean soup for lunch. There's a Bloom nearby?

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah, thanks to the power of Google, I now know where Bloom is.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

This bit of reporting or blogging little more than a week ago at the NYT makes the Kit all the more relevant:

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/science-coverage-imploding-at-cnn-beyond/?scp=2&sq=Miles%20O'Brien%20CNN&st=cse

First graf:

CNN is firing science correspondent Miles O’Brien and six producers. (Credit: CNN)
CNN is eliminating its seven-person unit covering science, the environment, and technology, saying its “Planet in Peril” programs do the trick. Curtis Brainard, who assesses environmental coverage for the Columbia Journalism Review online, in a comprehensive piece on the move, said: “[T]he decision to eliminate the positions seems particularly misguided at a time when world events would seem to warrant expanding science and environmental staff.”

Posted by: laloomis | December 13, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I got out the box of toys to see what 8 month olds would enjoy, and I was appalled at how DIRTY they were! So I washed everything and all the pieces are drying in the dishrack. My poor Betsy Wetsy was sticky, she was so dirty. She looks much better now, but she's a little gritty from the Barkeeper's Friend I had to use. Maybe if I wipe her down with rubbing alcohol she'll be okay.

The puzzles and Etch-a-Sketch are a little beyond them right now, but they did enjoy the links and the stuffed animals. It's always good to have backup.

Mr. T is breathing like he's sound asleep.

Posted by: slyness | December 13, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

That is one of my favourite jokes, TBG.

You made me laugh, slyness, I can just feel that sticky-toy feeling. Ah well, gotta build their immune systems somehow.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm so excited! I just purchased my one-way ticket to L.A.

No... I'm not moving there. Son of G is driving across the country right after the New Year with a friend who is moving there.

I'm flying out Jan 13 and Son of G and I will drive back east, taking the southern route across the country. I've never driven all the way across before and we're taking 2 weeks to do it.

This is the planned itinerary, so far... if there's anyone we'll be getting close to along the way, we're both up for a Moveable BPH if you are...

http://tinyurl.com/TBGtrip

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm so frenvious of people who get a new job and immediately take a vacation! Watch out for snow in LA, though...

Posted by: seasea | December 13, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood how they pull it off, seasea.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I don't think Anderson Cooper strapped on a Saturn Rocket equals adequate NASA reporting.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Celebrating almost-end-of-semester by watching John Basinger recite Paradise Lost.
From memory.

Makes me thankful to have fallen to this wretched earth.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 13, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Especially since someone else apparently paid for my trip.
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3021

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 13, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, my brother was the subject some years ago of an independent documentary called "The Man who Loved Milton."

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Howdy DNA Girl! That sounds splendid.

It is extremely windy here. We lost half of a double-trunk tree; one side just cracked and fell off. Ah well, we lost four last year to ice in that yard. At least the other half of the trunk looks stable.

It was way too windy to ice skate. The Boy biked for a while, though it was really too windy for that too. Finally we went out instead. We loaded our Christmas gun and came back with lots of presents. Most of the people we know are getting books. Several of them have the same interests I do, and it was very hard not to just buy two copies (present for her, present for me. . .).

Baking, tree, etc., are still slated for later in the week. Our weather is supposed to deteriorate rapidly and unpleasantly Monday so if I have enough supplies cookies may yet be made.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 13, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

OK, perhaps that was a tad too savage...

Speaking of trips, TBG you have a new job!
Yay! What is it?
Anyway,
Welcome back to the world of water cooler chats:
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2666

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 13, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, thanks for the info on those things. You were safe from fire so long as you did not mind dying from a noxious poison and lived in a doorway.

I came near the butt end of the pre-hams many many times in my life. I like it/them best in the ham state. On a table, cooked the way my mom does them.

Yes Yoki, they do have them here, but they usually only show up at special occasions. My favourite hams are the old fashioned kind, on the bone, uncooked, simply brined and ready to go.

My favourite post ham meal? Scalloped potates, with ham. Truly a comfort food.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 13, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Checking in after a hectic 24 hours, spiral sliced ham - love them. Not sugared where I buy them (smoked) they come with a glaze package you can prepare but we always make our own. Yoki (available in most grocery stores here around the holidays but tend to be quite large - good for a big crowd and then we still have left overs - with my husbands crock pot scallop potatoes, so good.

Went to the Leafs/Sabres game in Buffalo last night, at the border (which was crowded due to the 8-10,000 leaf fans heading to the game - approximately 40% of the fans at the game were Leaf fans, it is cheaper than seeing a game in Toronto and unlike Toronto you can there are tickets available.

We thought we would take the fancy new gates at the border - turned out they were slower and I counted 8 cameras all taking pictures at different angles in the fifteen feet from the entrance to the gate to when we stopped to clear customs, plus the machine that photos the car - just a little intimidating.

Crowd at the game was a lot of fun, a very friendly rivalry - the best of living near the border.

Also saw the moon last night as it was very clear - but cold after the game - so bright.

Spent today trying to get myself into Christmas shopping, a rarity this year as I just don't seem to be enjoying it.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 13, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Hi DNA Girl! I'll be the Communications Director for a small business only about 3 miles from my house. Nice folks, easy job, no commute to speak of... couldn't really ask for more.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

TBG, looks like a great trip! You're not passing particularly close to me, but if you wanted to add a couple of hours to your Alabama crossing and check out Birmingham, and it happened to be weekend, I'd be up for a southern BPH -- we've been meaning to get in a weekend in Birmingham sometime but haven't made it there yet. Let me know. I've got a boodle-accessible email -- biaboodler at gmail dot com -- for detailed planning purposes, if needed.

I see you've got Fredericksburg, TX, on the itinerary. That was the site of J's and my first little out of town trip together. Sigh... I can recommend Enchanted Rock as a good place to stretch your legs.

My sister and I made the cross-country drive, must be something like 15 years ago now, to get her to grad school in San Diego. We didn't dawdle enough, though. Mostly just drove the length of I-40, but at least we stopped for a day to hike down (a bit) and up the Grand Canyon.

Ivansmom, I can identify with the one-for-her, one-for-me urge, though I've resisted so far. Speaking of which, Brag, I ordered Kingmaker as a gift for my mom, and I plan to steal it back from her as soon as possible.

Posted by: -bia- | December 13, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to SD, too.

Its freakishly cold here. It was in the low teens yesterday and starting last evening began to drop, and is still dropping. We are at -27 C now, and it is still dropping. Everything below this is square tire territory.

A very nice girl came into the shop yesterday to get some yarn to braid into her hair. She is Bahamian and this is her very first winter in Canada. She ran out of yarn, and came in again this morning. She was appalled at how the cold air froze the little hairs inside your nostrils at this temperature.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 13, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

bia... I'll email you.. let's see if we can work something out. It would be great to meet you!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I just met Windy3! We heard fire sirens and knew that the local fire department was doing their annual Santa-through-the neighborhood thing. So we threw on coats and went took Ray out to see Santa. And who else came out? Our neighbor and his sister, Windy3! Woo hoo!

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Poor girl, she should learn how to use a scarf or ski mask ASAP. Once your nostril hairs freeze, your throat and lungs can't be doing none too well.

And I must say -27 C is also cold enough to freeze the other kind of little hairs off a monkey.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

slyness... you there? Tell Mr T that Dr G says "Biscuits!"

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow, bad enough to miss a BPH with Windy3, but to know that people are casually meeting her by happy chance! *frenvy in my black Irish heart*

Anybody watching the Habs/Caps game?

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I really think it's amazing that we have that Boodle Connection.. Windy3's brother living next door to Raysmom.

There are lots of connections here on the Boodle, but most seem to involve either Science Tim or Oklahoma.

It's a small, boodle-centric world out there.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Science Tim must be a strange attractor, TBG.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh Yoki I wish I were watching Habs/Caps. Dish Network let us see Hockey Night in Canada, but not the game. And it's not being carried elsewhere. Raysdad is borderline apoplectic, 'cuz he loves Coaches Corner. So we're watching Islanders/Blue Jackets. Poor substitute.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

And that is because, TBG, the Boodle contains multitudes. Remember your Terence, I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

You can watch it on cbc.ca, streamed. Click sports, look for What's Playing Now, Raysmom.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching it, sort of. Not a very impressive game until now. The Habs' offense inhale strongly, or maybe it's the Caps' defense that is that good. Ovechkin is scarily good. Keep those sticks on the ice boys, someone will lose an eye. Yes, 1-1.

I've done some reno this morning, followed by some shopping at the MEQ this afternoon. It's cold, not as cold as Edmonton for sure, but it's snowing flakes the size of clementines. Very Christmassy.


Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you are a goddess!. But I get "Sorry, this video is not available in your area." Ratzinfratzin....

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

It's for Canadian addresses only Raysmom. Welcome to my world of football watching.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I found the radio broadcast. They're between periods, but the commercials are pretty interesting.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

or non-watching, more specifically.

One good thing about the recession: lobsters have been the cheapest I've seen in years (6.99/lb). Restaurants don't order half as much as usual and the wholesale price fell through the floor. We will celebrate Witch no. 1 19th birthday in style with a much delayed lobster feast.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Ovechkin is music. The early fights are embarrassing; all the young hotblooded Habs overreacting.

When they come back onto the ice, it's going to get interesting.

Posted by: Yoki | December 13, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Watching one game (muted), listening to Habs/Caps, and boodling. Mercy, I love technology!

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

And you saw Santa Claus and Windy3, Raysmom. What a great night for you.

Hope you're feeling better, too, by the way.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 13, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes, technology can be nice...but I'm starting to get worried about my fax machine...I think it's starting to smoke. I've been faxing hot chocolate, magazines, a pinocle deck, bottled water, and a copy of Trivial Pursuit to Scotty; a 55-gallon drum of mojo to Ivansmom, a spiral cut ham and a hug (just becuz I wanna) to Yoki, kudos to Wilbrod, a giant milkbone to Wilbrodog (who I still think isn't getting near enough credit), a thank you note to Milton for allowing me to use his crayons all those years, lobster bibs to shriek, a tiny bag of snacks and a small pillow for TBG's airplane flight, and an electric nose hair warmer for the Bahamian chick.

I may need to let the fax cool down for a bit.

DNA_girl, TBG neglected to tell you her new job comes with a free lunch every day. True. I am so frenvious I can hardly see straight. (Everyone here now realizes, of course, that TBG's new job utterly ruins the notion that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Because there is. And now we all want one, impossible as it sounds, like a unicorn or a date with Evangeline Lilly.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 13, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

ah come on...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Forgot to mention the big tureen of chicken soup it couldn't hurt I faxed to Raysmom.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 13, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, feeling better TBG. After three days of sleeping and slothfulness, interrupted by 8 hours of work yesterday.

Free lunch at the FCC? Now *I'm* frenvious.

Faxing Mudge a gallon of Amway's secret formula fax machine cleaner.

Rangers/'Canes are in a shootout.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

The soup helped turn the corner for sure Mudge.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 13, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Electric nose hair warmer?? I would like to see that contraption.

Reminds me of a kid in 11th grade. He came from the Belgian Congo (Zaire back then, Republic of the Congo a.k.a. Big mess now) in mid-August. By October he was wearing a toque and a winter coat, telling us that it was true after all that Canada was very cold. He turned grey sometimes in December...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 13, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I'm doing a little Holiday related work around the house, and was trying to decide between "The Year Without a Santa Claus" and "It's a Wonderful Life" as my background TV noise. George Bailey and Clarence are great, but I find the Miser Brothers theme songs irresistable.

Decisions, decisions.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 13, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The milkbone express?!--
Thank you, Mudge! Bribes do it
For me, not credit.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I really feel for new immigrants. There is just no way to explain the winter till you have lived through one. I suspect that it is easier for we northern types to imagine extreme hot climates.

In fact, I would like to try an extreme hot climate right about now. If someone is going to invent a nose hair warmer, please allow me to be a test subject.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 13, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, the electric nose hair warmer's already been invented.

It also goes by the name "Bic lighter."
Handy for burning away said nosehairs, as well.

Should you not want to look as though a pair of longhaired mice are nesting in your proboscis, that is.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 13, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

To clarify my 10:37, by "you," I mean *me.*

And no, I don't, thank goodness.

Though I believe my brothers have hired help to deal with their nasal topairy.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 13, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Evening all
Beautiful moonlit night here in west by god.Nice and still when walking although just a bit nippy.

Seems like everyone is decorating for Christmas,me I procrastinate and wait for the last minute. Even the gargoyles at the local castle in town had santa hats on.

Congrats to the Caps,I couldn't get the game on the net either,except on the radio.I guess I won the bet with my friend.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 13, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Hi, greenwithenvy.
So, you have no santa hats
on you? Me neither.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 13, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I suggest Monument Valley, TBG. I wish I had known exactly about it when I drove across northern Arizona, I'd have detoured to go there for sure.

I don't follow many TV shows but this House has snagged me. they are running another House marathon tomorrow. Tonight's were pretty good.

I gave up on CNN midway through the OJ Simpson car chase. In fact I gave up on Simpson right then too, and refused to watch a second more of that circus, but that's another story. I remember when they had science on Discovery Channel, too, but it's all cop chases and junk now. There's supposedly a network called the Science Network but I have not seen it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 13, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog, I usually wear a reindeer on my head on Christmas day or at least a pair of antlers the light up and play jingle bells.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 13, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Sciency tests.
http://science.discovery.com/quizzes/quizzes.html

Maybe we should mess with those later. Like tomorrow. I'm a Tesla on the "What kind of scientist are you?"

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 13, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey TBG, Mr. T watched the first half of that game and then we had to leave to go to the annual Sunday School party, so he only got to see a little of the second half. Kinda sad, wasn't it?

We play a game we call Yankee swap; everybody brings silly and stupid stuff wrapped up and we take it away from each other. Biggest prize of the night: a stuffed, mounted real, honest-to-goodness skunk.

That was the contribution of a member who is an elementary school principal. He left the school where he had been for 15 years at the end of last year, to open a new school, and the skunk was a present they gave him.

I came home with a cool tool bag full of tools, and Mr. T got a car washing nozzle.

Posted by: slyness | December 13, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, we played that game for years at my in laws, always a lot of fun, we now attend a Christmas party at some friends and the same game is played. Last year I got a signing Montreal Canadians snowman - which interestingly I brought to the party to annoy the Leaf fans.

Jumper - House is great one of the few shows I watch that isn't on A&E or HGTV. I was a Telsa also.

Off to bed after a long day, about 20 or so young teens were in our house this evening, anyone have an idea how long our house will be permeated with the smell of Axe?

Posted by: dmd2 | December 13, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Something more than a week, and somewhat less than a month, in my experience.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that anyone was holding their breath(s?), but I'm back.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 14, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Yoki. Yoki, Yoki... You were obviously thinking of the scent of a woodcutting tool. It takes only moments for the pungent artificial musk of "AXE" to make its presence known for a long old while.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 14, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm up with a runny nose. Which provided an excuse for checking video of Kelly Slater's win at the Pipeline Masters on Oahu, the culmination of the pro surfing season. The NY Times provided coverage.

Slater is from near here and at age 36, seemingly far too old to be astonishing everyone on infamously hazardous waves.

Technical stuff from MagicSeaweed.com:
"Kelly Slater surprised everyone by riding a revolutionary, 5'11" Al Merrick with a wide nose, long rails, and a pulled-in tail, called The Deep Six. This allowed him to get forward on the board and pump the tube for speed using his front foot. He blitzed Backdoor and Pipe with some critical, deep, barrel riding; scoring one amazing 10 point tube in the semis, making sections on-one thought possible".

A partial translation is that the new board is small but extraordinarly fast (helped by that foot-pumping). It's a bit puzzling that the eminent Al Merrick came up with such a strikingly new design, or that Slater would give it a first public showing at the year's most presigious event. I suspect that Slater has skills no one else does, and the board is magic mainly when Slater's feet are on it. So our excellent Florida shapers will be left explaining to local teens that they really need somewhat longer, wider, thicker boards that are more forgiving. And that work in our choppy, underpowered waves (which can bash you and break your board, anyway).

And yes, Slater goes through a lot of boards in a year.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 14, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

So, was this overkill? [Don't bother, I already know the answer.] I just taped the following note on the driver's window of a nearby vehicle:

DEAR NEIGHBORS:
Thank you for accepting my decision to park on top of the sidewalk ramp. I briefly considered parking elsewhere, in order to leave the ramp available for those of you who are wheelchair-bound. But ultimately I decided that you should all:
Kiss My Meaty Butt-Cheeks!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 14, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

DotC,
Thanks for the translation. Otherwise I would have thought it was another entry in the Bad Sex Writing Contest.

bobs,
A-holes that pull stunts like that are notoriously sarcasm resistant.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Looks sunny outside, but thermometer says 34 degrees here. Still, it could be worse-- we could have to send the sled dogs and a rescue patrol out after Scotty and his family, ice-bound in the Bates Motel up there in New Hampshah. Hang in there, Scotty.

A bunch of interesting stuff I have to read on the front page, but nothing earth-shaking. It looks like our DC charter schools are gonna be undergoing some scandalizing.

The Redskins should have a relatively easy day for a change. Should. Read "should have" here, folks. Not necessarily "will have." The Skins of late have a penchant for only narrowly squeeking by people they ought to beat handily.

OK, onward and upward, Dawn Patrol!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Casssandra.

Tarnation! I always miss bobsewell.

Still arctic here, I really don't plan on going anywhere.

Sending safe thoughts for Scotty and his family.

Who else is flying this morning, 'Mudge? I'll being hot coffee and muffins when you land.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I am Edison on the quiz.

Greetings to all. Hoping to make chocolate crinkle cookies this evening. We cut the sugar by 1/4:

http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChocolateCrinkles.html

Let the dough chill, chill, chill.

Enjoy the day. The no-present Christmas that a few of us committed to feels fine. We are planning, though, to play games and have a clothes mending party and make things of Sculpey and Shrink a Dinks that morning.

Must get the sewing machine tuned up this week. After about 25 years of no-hitch service to us, the aging Viking is balky. I shall not begrudge the machine a visit to the repair shop.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 14, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Did I kill the Boodle?

C'mon peeps! RD, we could use one of your trenchant comments on Matters of Deep Import, like whether cinnamon or chocolate is the quintessential flavour/aroma of Christmas.

bobsewell could post a link.

Ivansmom could be both witty and insightful.

CollegequaParkian could pop in to remind us of our better selves.

TBG could bring her joie de vivre.

gwe could give a nature report from west by god.

And instead I'm doing all the heavy lifting.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Complete and utter hedonism for me so far today: went grocery shopping, then home for a leisurely breakfast and reading the hadcopy newspaper and drinking coffee (and maybe something else later this AM).

I'll miss most of the Washington NFL game today, but I will record it for later (it might be the last game they win this year...). Taking my oldest to see a matinee and out to dinner in DC today, I'm looking forward to it.

Allight folks, the Dawn Patrol flight hardware's warmed up and ready to go -- I'm blasting over to the hangar in my hotrodded electric ground service jeep for coffee, muffins, and whatever other goodies are over there...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 14, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh, clearly cinnamon. Chocolate is just the delivery system.

I mean, a steaming mug of hot chocolate is the universal cold weather treat. But hot chocolate adorned with a festive cinnamon stick says Christmas.


Feeling under the weather today. Suffice it to say that I finally lost those two pounds I have been fighting since Thanksgiving.

So gonna spend the morning sitting on a comfy couch wrapped up in a comfy blanket and sipping some nice clear broth. And dreaming of cinnamon.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 14, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

*faxing RD some of Yoki's Superior Chicken Broth™*

Sorry you are unwell, RD.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why, but the scent of unpeeled oranges is the smell of Christmas to me. Is it because the scent resembles the smell of a freshly cut pine tree?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Or because it is traditional to have an orange in your stocking, so that smell is the armona of first-thing-on-Christmas-morning, forever?

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Another great piece by T.M. Shine today in the Post Magazine...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/05/AR2008120501806.html

*faxing RD some hot chocolate with a cinnamon stick*

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Oranges with clove. Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon, (as has been previously referenced.) The aromatic blend of peppermint candy and freshly-cut pine. Hot Spiced Wine. All of these are Christmas smells to me.

But, speaking of odor, it is time for me to go take a nice hot shower, and wash away the stench of death. For I am feeling sufficiently recovered to push away the sensual allure of the bright light of eternal bliss and maintain a firm hold on the world of the living.

My wife says I get melodramatic whenever I get sick. And that the floors need to be vacuumed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 14, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Awright! I believe we have hit upion today's most excellent theme/thread: favorite Christmas smells, odors and fragrances.

In no particuklar order we have:

Hollyberry (in our house for years this has been the predominant candle smell)

Orange(s)-- excellent

Cinnamom

Vanilla

Mulled/spiced wine/cider (hot)

Turkey roasting in the oven

The smell of ppermint anything, but mostly candy canes

Apple pie ala mode dessert?

Christmas morning breakfast: when I was a kid was always pancakes and link sausages.

Ok, what others? I'm thinking cookies, but I can't associate any one particular cookie smell.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ach! Yes, pine needles, and the Christmas tree (real) itself. How could I forget?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget the excellent plasticky smell of New Barbie.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I do hope Frosti checks in today to let us know how the robotics tournament went yesterday.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Yes indeed. Do you remember when Alan Alda used to go around MIT and likewise smart-people schools and document engineering competitions (robots, fast mini-cars, etc.)? Always found it fascinating, without in the least understanding the concepts behind the designs.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The tree is the smell. Plus sugar cookies. Roasted almonds. Nutmeg in the eggnog.

Maybe go see Earth Stood Still today. If so, must rouse neighbor/friend and also bathe myself. Perhaps a ham today. Look what you all have done.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 14, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge already named all my good ones. Being Yoki, I would add the smell of fresh coffee and warm cinnamon buns (a traditional part of Christmas morning breakfast Chez Yoki, originated by Yokismum back in the day).

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

RD, glad to hear you're feeling better, sir.

The smell of hot chocolate, warm spiced wine and pine remind me of trimming the tree.

Christmas eve - garlic and lemon from my stuffed mussels baking in the oven, the hot oil and fried seafood scent of my Mom's calamari just as it's being drenched with lemon, the buttery lemon and rockfish Oscar main course browning in the broiler, poaching in a bit of white wine. Hmmmm. Christmas eve in the House of c smells like garlic, fish, butter, and wine but mostly it smells like lemon, not orange.

Christmas morning's particular smells are those of chocolate, plastic and metal (that wonderful New Hot Wheel smell), coffee, eggs and cheese, and hot homemade coffee cake.

And through all of it, the wonderful sounds of my family; talking and laughing a little too loudly, clanking and clanging in the kitchen, kids just being kids. We're not a quiet bunch and sometimes we seem to measure our love for each other in decibels. I suspect gwe, TBG, LiT, and a few other Boodlers know what I'm talking about.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 14, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

good morning all
Yoki,I saw a big woodpecker fly by my window,but that is about it for the wildlife so far.

busy day ahead,need to do wood,bring my kayak back up(although they are calling for 50 tomorrow) might like to paddle one last time.

then later to watch Ravens/Steelers at 4 with dinner and friends.

I understand Maryland plays UNC for the college soccer championship at noon GO TERPS!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Love love love cinnamon buns, Yoki (not that it matters, but which kind? The kind with white frosting that the Cinnabun stores in the malls sell, or the "sticky bub" kind with raisins and clear/honey-colored frosting? I can go either way on this one). And love the smell of a fresh-brewed pot of coffee. So sure, let's add 'em to the list.

Not familiar with the smell of a new Barbie. Or even an old one. But I'll take your word for it, TBG.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday, all.

I've been drowning between work and the Christmas party the hubby and I threw last night. Lots of work, but we had lots of peeps and got lots of compliments on the food, so that was nice. Now, I can relax a little.

Guess what? We're officially Hokies now! My son got his early decision offer on Thursday, so we're really happy. It was his first choice and he has done very well in HS and we thought he had a good shot, but not a sure thing. Tech used to be a safety school, but it's gotten fairly difficult to get in to these days.

Anyway, after the initial high fiving and frolicking, I had to run upstairs so he wouldn't see me sniffling. Couldn't help myself. I think it's going to be like there is a hole in my home when he goes.

But he won't catch me snifflin' and mewlin'.

Posted by: Kim1 | December 14, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

BC -- give broad outlines of your stuffed mussels, please, unless this mean you violate codes of cookery.

Decibels in the CPHousianOriginalian but mostly the derring-do of my four brothers who one year, dangled all the toddler over the stair landing to the arms of other brothers.

The children mostly laughed. I nearly fainted dead away and swore at CPBroOne like a sailor (shocked everybody, me too). However, CPBoy was two months away from the last radiation treatment for a proto-tumor. Did I mention that CPBroOne is a doctors and felt he had license and standing for this?

Must I also admit that CPBoy LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF THE DANGLING over and the drop to be caught by uncles?

Smell: cardamon, which I inherited from Scandihovian in-laws.

Taste: metallic (good way) under-taste of saffron in brioche-style buns known as Lucia katter (Lucy's kittens)

Favorite smell, really, is that of cold clothes in the breeze way, and the under-note of of wet wool and mink oil on the leather boots....

and all the other smells mentioned.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 14, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Kim - congrats for your boy! 'tis indeed a nice feeling.

CP - I keep envisioning a "Michael Jackson" moment there. Yes, when a child is felt to be endangered a mother can summon up previously unsuspected stores of profanity.

One day I will have to describe the "precision toddler drill team."

Anyway, am indeed feeling better. Looking forward to some nice lime Jello for lunch.

I guess I am blessed, or cursed, with an unusually intense immune response. When I fall ill I seldom find myself feeling "blah" for days. Instead, I typically experience a few hours of intense discomfort as my body enthusiastically uses all available means to clear the pathogen from my body. During which time I routinely call out for the sweet release of death. (Did I mention the melodramatic bit?)

But afterwards I get much better real fast.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 14, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

TBG - When my daughter was younger I got to know that "new Barbie smell" quite well. It was a bit like the new car smell, but more disturbingly anthropomorphic.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 14, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Very glad to hear it, RD. Those intense hours must really be something.

Mudge, I go both ways. Easy to vary, since the basic bread dough (egg and milk for that soft, rich crumb) is the same. Sometimes do the white drizzle version, sometimes the Eccles cake. The main thing is to get that fresh bread/yeast/cinnamon smell rising throughout the house to roust the sleepers. I love love love Christmas morning, and think everybody should rise with me! (Very Annoying Woman).

CP, once when we were skiing in the Alps, my little brother (about 4 years old at the time) slipped out of the chairlift in mid-air, hanging onto the foot-rest bar with about 9 feet to fall. Without hesitation, a bunch of young men below took off their skis and made a pyramid just ahead, anticipating where he would arrive as they were ready, and caught him, handed him man to man until he was safe on the ground. We bought them a meal and beer as soon as we skiied down to retrieve the wee boy.

Dangling is sometimes fun, and sometimes not.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

TBG pointed this out earlier -- it is great!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/05/AR2008120501806.html

Posted by: nellie4 | December 14, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

dysthymia?

Learned a new word here

That's what I got

losing job in a few months isn't helping

Training idiot offshore replacement idiots also isn't helping

did I say idiot twice

Yeah, well I meant it!

Posted by: omnigood | December 14, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Know the feeling, omnigood.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

That sucks, omni. Sorry to hear it.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hello all. Spent the last hour backboodling and drinking an enormous mug of Chez Frostbitten Mocha (the cheap espresso machine just keeps chugging along). That TM Shine piece is worthy of being linked twice. Not a quibble except for the difficulty in making doughnut choices-cannot relate. First of all you don't go to Dunkin, you don't buy them at all if you can't go to Granny's in West St. Paul. 4 lemon Bismarcks, 4 Raspberry Bismarcks, 4 glazed, and a couple apple fritters (for Mr. F). When I have preferences they are very strong and I will not waver, when I don't, a stranger's choice is as good as any and it would be nice to be relieved of the burden. Ham-Smithfield soaked overnight in a cooler then cooked according to instructions from Camille Glen's Heritage of Southern Cooking, or spiral sliced from specialty ham store (preferably not a chain). Mr. F and Frostdottir get to choose.

Congrats Kim!!!!!!!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Robotics Tournament report (and many thanks for asking!)

Last year a group from Minnesota FIRST Lego League in the Twin Cities came up and ran everything for us, this year we had just 2 judges from the metro and everything else was up to our little nonprofit to run. We were awesome (she says modestly).

Had some weather concerns, but told all the coaches Thursday night we would neither postpone nor cancel unless MN DOT closed the roads. As it happened, snow let up Friday night and roads were clear until a couple hours after the awards ceremony. We are now in the middle of a blizzard, I can't see my neighbor's place across the river and at times can't see the river.

On kit tournament detail-I'll post some video to YouTube as soon as our videographer gets it to me. The camera she uses is on loan from the local public television station. Periodically they encourage applications from people/organizations who have stories to tell. Successful applicants get the use of the equipment, and some training, then are expected to send video to the station for use on the nightly 10:00PM newscast. In this case Beltrami County 4-H (headquartered in Bemidji) was selected and assigned a 4-H member to cover our tournament. I don't know if they ever reveal that "this report was brought to you by a 13 year old citizen journalist."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

more bird sightings yaw, flock of geese at the river,herd of turkeys in the woods,1 owl and 1 hawk,surprisingly the owl and the hawk were real close to each other,must have been scoping out the same prey.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Be care, GentlemanGWE. When a herd of turkeys stampedes, it is terrifying.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Scc: 'ful'

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

As is typical we had some last minute cancellations from teams who couldn't get it together in time to compete, but, we saw 10 teams- up from 5 last year. By comparison, the metro area tournaments draw 40-45 teams. We had scores high enough to send 3 teams on to state competition at the end of January. However, realistically we'll probably see just 1 compete. One of the reasons we started our regional tournament was because teams can't afford to travel to St. Paul.

Best moments- The judge who came up to handle evaluation of the kids' robot programming made a point of saying how the level of programming was on a par with any he's seen statewide and on top of that our kids were more personable and did a better job communicating with adults!

Teams running out of the gym screaming excitedly when an adjustment to their programming worked (imagine a team of students cheering during a math class as excitedly as they would at a football game).

Best of all-rookie teams who arrived with robots programmed to just one or two things were able to learn on the spot from other teams to write new programs or build new robot attachments. By the end of the day some had doubled their scores on the competition table.

Here's a video from last year's "Worlds" for you to get a look at what our kids in the middle of nowhere are aiming for.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQqFjWYMZtY

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

A quick drive by, between the end of the meeting after church and the start of the afternoon drop-in. This will all be over soon! It's Christmas!

Congrats, Kim! Getting the acceptance letter is an unforgettable milestone.

Frosti, sounds like the tournament was a great success and I look forward to the video.

Omni, sorry to hear that and hope everything works out.

Later, folks!

Posted by: slyness | December 14, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

is that what they have up yonder in Calgary?

The calgary turkey stampede!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely. Regulations call for turkey barrel racing, bucking turkey, calf-roping from turkey-back, even turkey-chick events.

And on the streets of course, turkeys are everywhere, carousing and making an awful mess.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Forgot the chickwagon races.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

LOL Yoki I just lost my sip of beer.....

"And on the streets of course, turkeys are everywhere, carousing and making an awful mess" That could be said about any big event involving people too.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the well wishes fellow boodlers (Sure there are more to come).

I'll probably just end up with a better job like TBG.

I'll get a six month severance to add to my six month rainy day savings account. But it still sacks cause I really like this job and my boss and my colleagues.

And so far my football pool picks are four up five down. Maybe I shouldn't check on this till game over...


O...cough,,,fat lady ain't singing yet.........


Watch a movie I rented...or a movie I own

Decisions. I Hate Decisions!!!

Posted by: omnigood | December 14, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. Just wanted to drop in and say hello. I have the g-girl, so any coherent conversation is out the window. Not much better when she isn't here.

Mudge, Scotty(I hope you're okay)Martooni, Slyness, Yoki, and all the gang, good afternoon. *waving*

Time to go. Too quiet in the other room.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 14, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra! *Waving*

I know the 'too quiet' syndrome well. Once grabbed half an hour of peace, only to find that two little children had taken my 20 pound bag of pearl onions and pulled all the dry paper off them; the large kitchen was about 3 inches deep in a perfectly even layer of onion-skin.

You just have to laugh, you know? And then you have to pickle 20 pounds of onions before they go bad, impromtu.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Back in '84...four games into the season I picked the 49s over Miami in the Super Bowl.

Not one of my friends remembered me making that prediction.

next year after game six I predicted the Bears against all comers.

I wrote it down and tacked it on the wall above the TV.

They still didn't believe the 84 prediction.

Posted by: omnigood | December 14, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

somebody has to say it....


Arthur 'Big Guy' Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Posted by: omnigood | December 14, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

let's talk about monkeys

Posted by: omnigood | December 14, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Maryland Terrapins soccer team 2008 National champions!!! Also Congrats to the Terps field hockey team also National champions.

Off to watch Ravens/Steelers should be good fun,low scoring with plenty of hitting.With first place on the line in the AFC north Unitas Stadium should be rocking.

Have a great day everyone

purpleandredandwhitewithenvy

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Omni-adding my wishes for an even better job for you.

Think I'm going to take a nap. It was 17F when I got up this morning, now it's -1 and the snow just keeps blowing. No use shoveling for the third time.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge - got notice of this 36 hour sale at Radio Shack in my email box today. http://www.radioshack.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3416629&EDID=WUDODZ-C5FI-YHZYR7-SZMN-BWSL-v1

Olympus FE-370 for $129.99 w/ free shipping. Not sure if you already bought a camera but thought I'd share this.

Hopes for a better job Omni - one door closes another one will open, right?

No snow here but hot and humid high 70s after four days of stormy rain. Our winters can be sticky!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 14, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Hi Aloha, thanks

this is a bad week for poolers

Back to movie

I decided on Dukes of Hazard, the second remake

Posted by: omnigood | December 14, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Late to join in as we were celebrating two birthday today.

Omni sorry about the job - hope the new Year brings a wonderful new opportunity for you, we were joking with a friend who has made several job changes in the last decade - he viewpoint - "I am just two severances away from retirement".

Christmas for me is the smell of a packaged potporrui that I have bought for about 10 years (for Canucks from Bowrings), it is called the Smell of Christmas, a combination on balsam, cinnamon, alspice, juniper, cloves and a few mystery aromas. Never fails to improve my mood. This year I sometimes put on a pot of water cinnamon, nutmeg, alspice, vanilla and pine simmering on the stove - a lovely scent. Also really like cranberry scented fragrances.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 14, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/bush

This has triggered a great fundraiser idea for the U.S. deficit.

Visualize a giant dunking booth, with people buying lottery tickets to be one of the select thousand to throw shoes...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The smell of balsam fir, the smell of cookies baking does it for me.

The lobster meal is shaping up right, they are small but hard shelled.

I haven't watched a minute of football yet, so busy was I (sincere condolences Mudge and bc, but the skins are out and by the bengals to boot).

Work tomorrow. BLEEEECHT. Long commute to discussions on funeral and other unpleasant business.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 14, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Hard shells, aye, shriek.

*faxing good luck/best wishes/mojo to omni*

The smell of Christmas I remember most from my childhood is the smell of defeat at my father's latest attempt at a gift for my mother (most notable: the salad shooter).

Posted by: Raysmom | December 14, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Swim meet today. Chilly but finally in for the day.

Faxing soup to anyone who wishes:

mussels in white wine, poured upon caramelized-coated pearl onions. Very simple. Very lovely.

Oh yes, the mussels skillet steamed in a roux of roasted garlic with a dash of rock salt.....


About Christmas smells, I do not like to sniff some varieties of boxwood clippings: redolent of cat.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 14, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Where did the salad get shot?

Posted by: dmd2 | December 14, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Through the artichoke hearts, dmd. Or so I hear.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom and RD_Padouk share Yoki's Comment of the Day Award.

the smell of defeat at my father's latest attempt at a gift for my mother (Raysmom)

shares the glory with

push away the sensual allure of the bright light of eternal bliss (RD_Padouk)

Well done, wits and word-bashers.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Through the heart of the palm.

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 14, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

In Mianus?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

RickoDay -- was thinking that or through celery hearts. Your idea is better.

Did you have a good adventure today? Worked out did it?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 14, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Surely hearts of romaine?

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. I misread the question.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

*snort*

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Mr seasea always claims to be perplexed about what to get me. He usually does fine - no salad shooters - and I'm not picky about gifts. Candles, books, blankets, socks, CD's - I like them all. I also tend to get myself things when I'm shopping for someone else, so at this point I've had my Christmas several times over. On the other hand, I have no idea what to get him.

Posted by: seasea | December 14, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate the smell of boxwood. It reminds me of old Southern mansions, which have it planted as hedges. I've never known it to be used indoors, luckily.

Posted by: seasea | December 14, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

In the head of lettuce?

If the wound isn't too serious all you need to do is apply a dressing. (Ya gotta watch those deadly capers, though.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I picture when I hear Salad shooter is something similar to the T-shirt cannons they had at the hockey game the other night. A strange contraption that would shoot the the salad across the room into the salad bowl - obviously a novelty item that would have been popular in my family - something about it raining lettuce amuses me. If it were used for Ambrosia though the results might be down right ugly.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 14, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

No sky report, It's blizzarding out there; you feel the sky far more than you can see the sky.

So instead...

Early christmas gift:
Tennis ball, shaped like huge egg
But with squeaks, not peeps.

Purple laces on ball
Means one, two, hike, intercept!
And dodge gnomes for GOAALLLL.

Bounce and squeak, bounce and...
Hey! Where'd it go? You dastard!
Nobody steals from me.

Hypnosis with pants,
Then grab ball with playful jaws--
There. All mine again.

Cabin fever spent;
Time to curl up on my bed
Dream of glory days...

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Never received a salad shooter but I did get a cookie shooter one Christmas. Think power tool meets cookie press. Alas, it was under engineered for refrigerated dough. Replacing a cracked barrel was as expensive as getting a new shooter so back to the tried and true Mirro press, at least while I still made cheese straws and spritz at Christmas time.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

omni, sorry to hear about the job - good luck.

I opened up the Sunday paper to read the last article by the longtime rock music critic, who is retiring. And another by the art critic, whose job has been eliminated. Definitely depressing. Then I couldn't find the magazine section I usually read first (Mr seasea got to the paper before I did). Thought maybe it had been eliminated too, but I found it online. And it led me to this, which cheered me up:
http://www.goodnaturepublishing.com/
Art, nature, pomes...
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw/2008495712_pacificplife14.html

Posted by: seasea | December 14, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

A blizzard tanka:

Crackling false fire
Warms snow-soaked clothes and fur
Our sky was felt, not seen
As blizzards slash icy woods,
Blurring house, cloud, trees to white


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, we got a little bit of snow. Hardly enough to even be picturesque, and it's cold. May be below freezing for the next week, which is practically a record here. Not sure what I should do with my bonsai plants - probably need to bring them in the house. Brr. (A friend of mine pronounces that as "b r r" because of the way she read it when she was a kid - so now that's what I say too.)

Posted by: seasea | December 14, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Except for the snow-fall thing seasea, I think you must be one my long-lost twins.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh Frosti, I just used my mother’s Mirro cookie press yesterday to make spritz. I also had a cookie shooter which met a similar fate to yours. My ex used to give me at least one kitchen gadget every Christmas, pasta maker, peanut butter maker, the cookie shooter, an electric wok, I could go on. None of these, except the pasta maker, every got used more than once or twice.

Smells of Christmas would be the tree and anything with ginger and cinnamon. Of course all those spices, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon are holiday smells to me.

Omni, I am sorry about your circumstances but do agree that something better will come along, even tho’ it probably doesn’t seem so now.

Kim, great news, congratulations! Nice to have the pressure off for the holidays.

Was it TBG who mentioned the Mexican wedding cakes recipe where the butter was beaten for seven minutes? I made them today and they are superior to the quicker ones. Much more delicate and less heavy tasting.

Done with baking now until the final push next weekend, fudge, meringue cookies and more Swedish bread. Good thing too, my hands are tired and my carpal tunnel is acting up.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 14, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Have a great feeling of accomplishment today. Everybody wanted a warm, comforting meal.

So I looked through my Boodle email, and found a recipe for authentic bolognese and followed it to the letter. Most delicious!

I got a big ol' hunk of flavourful but tough beef, simmered it, exactly as written, in the sauce.

It is now melting-in-the-mouth tender, in shreds, so rich, the sauce is perfect.

There aren't many recipes that I can't improve, but this is one.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Kim... excellent news about the new Hokie family! So nice to have to done and decided this early. When his friends are fretting over applications and then acceptances and rejections, he can just sit back and hide his smile.

Just don't let him slack off... Tech is famous for sending "never mind" letters to seniors who hit the slump too hard.

Frosti... I love that excitement in "brain" competitions! My kids used to do Odyssey of the Mind and those meets were just as exciting and energetic as any sporting event. I'm glad that your competition went well and that the kids had fun--and learned stuff! Thanks for doing that... although I know it's probably just as much fun for you, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Omni, hang in there, and you can always vent with your virtual friends.

I like the smell of fruit at Christmas time. Oranges, apples, any fruit really. As a child, Christmas was the time that we had plenty of fruit. It was the only time, in fact, and the scent was heavenly. And I can't forget the bag of mixed nuts.

Slyness

That game between Richmond and Jack Britt was awesome. Richmond came from behind to win. My daughter went, that's why I had the g-girl. She's gone home. And everything she pulled out is in the middle of the floor. I'm leaving it there until tomorrow, hopefully I don't fall over it at some point tonight.

Time to rest. Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Yoki, I believe you need your own cooking show on Food Network. Some of that stuff you talk about sounds delicious. And you could bring along some of the boodlers with their prize receipes, Mudge, Sneakers, etc.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 14, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

*so* not going to happen, cmyth-lu. I'm slow and unskilled. I drink wine and talk to friends, family, listen to music.

The antithesis of a half-hour Food Network show. What those chefs do in 1 half-hour, I do in three full hours. Of course, if I had assitants and a production crew (and a time-clock) I might step up my game!

But my food is delicious and I am sorry I am not closer to you all, to invite you over to eat with me.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll vouch that the food is delicious at Chez Yoki, but it is the company of Himself and Yoki that is truly divine.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 14, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Yoki... they edit tapes for time. You can still live the full 3 hours ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, hope this bitter cold steers clear of you. and you Frosti. It usually heads your way barring some other low or high pressure system moving in.

It was a balmy -30 C here this morning and the airport in town had -32C. It has warmed up some though, and is now the almost reasonable sounding -26.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 14, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Good food, wine, talking and friends - Yoki that was the Galloping Gourmet - you would be the perfect host for the updated version of that show.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 14, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

-20 degrees C all day more or less, dr, with howling winds and snow hitting the ground at around a 45 degree angle or even more acute.

Wilbrodog seems *awfully* keen on being an indoors dog today.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

dr-it's not too bad at -6F here now, but the wind is picking up and if North Dakota conditions are any indication we'll have no one moving about tomorrow because of blowing and drifting snow. I'm ready to make the call now that our after school program will be closed tomorrow, but we're supposed to wait until at least one of the schools we serve announces. They've probably already decided to close but no one puts it up on their web sites so we have to wait until the 10:00 news. We have 4th graders building and programming autonomous robots and their schools can't get a snow closure posted on line.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

That explains your storm, Wilbrod. You are probably just where the two systems meet. We were there Friday.

Omni, So sorry to hear about your troubles. I have some spare mojo for finding good places and I am sending it all to you. And Martooni.

I spent the afternoon at the store staff Christmas function. It was lovely. Each of the ladies I worked for recived a Wee Fairy door from a certain fairy door maker. The doors were very very well received.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 14, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"We have 4th graders building and programming autonomous robots and their schools can't get a snow closure posted on line."

Makes me laugh! But it's so true, isn't it? I wonder why the high schools still teach any kind of computing classes... the kids know so much more than the teachers in that subject.

And one day a teacher told me that he was frustrated because the school has blocked Facebook and he uses it to keep in touch with the kids. I told him to just ask any of his students... they figure out how to bypass those blocks in no time. They're all Facebooking at school... he might as well, too.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh! I guess I didn't announce!

*Big News*

I have walked away from Himself. Within 4 months I shall live independently. Very very happily.

I have endured the unbearable for almost 30 years, and will not do it anymore.

Sorry to shock you all, but glad to be clear.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

What a great idea, dr! And I bet those wee folk up there have been waiting for some doors to duck into to get warm.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Yoki...gulp.

Been there, done that. Best decision I ever made in my whole life, for me, for him, for our children. Also the hardest.

But such great relief and freedom. The worst is now over.

Best wishes to you and yours. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: slyness | December 14, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Precisely, slyness. Thank you. Very much better, now.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow... George W Bush knows how to avoid getting hit by a flying shoe. Daughter says, "Looks like it's happened before."

G'night all. Yoki... sorry to hear your news, but happy you're doing what you need. We love you, you know... You're taking us with you, I hope.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

My annual reminder that I don't travel enough, or take very good pictures when I do.
http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/2009/01/photo-contest-winners-photography

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 14, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not leaving the Boodle, if you all can stand by me, TBG. I love you all, all, and all shall be well and all shall be well. And shall all be very well.

I'm feeling more hopeful and confident and optimistic than I have in 20 years. How wonderful is that?

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

It's wonderful, Yoki.

:-)

Now... g'night for reals.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 14, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

g'night, TBG

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Absolute evidence that the worst is behind you, Yoki. Independence is a wonderful feeling, worth all the changes you have undergone and will undergo.

From your comments, I gather you have a strong support system of friends, so I won't regret quite so much that I'm not there to provide the support of presence and womanpower for the logistical changes to come.

Goodnight, and sleep well.

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

Goodnight slyness. If ever you feel that you would like to, I'll accept. :)

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm always ready to be part of your support networks, Yoki, even if I'm floored.

Independence is far preferable to the unbearable, though. I can easily say that.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

"So can I."

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Howdy all
still bummed about the ravens game,oh well there is always next week and Dallass.

what a nice day here,warmer and now the moon is up and bright. calling for 50 tomorrow,almost sorry I brought my kayak up,still got a dozen Canadian Night crawlers left in the frig.

Yoki,good luck in your new life and please know that we and me are here for you whenever you need us.

13-9 what a bummer

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, good friend gwe, Gentleman. Gentle man. Appreciate it, you know?

Welcome to my world. Flames, down 5 on the road!

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not much into smells, but I sure do love nutmeg on a bourbon eggnog.

Those robot competitions are very cool. My son did a similar one called Bot-Ball. Here's the video of his team's entry from two years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxfjM9qtvJE

Frosti,
That is great that you have taken such a leadership role. These groups thrive on volunteers and there is always someone to coach the little league, but not always someone to work with the kids that need the mental challenge.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

where is my wine glass?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

GWE, I was thinking about you all during the review of that touchdown. I *still* don't know if they got the call right or not. Alas, LiT and I both had the Steelers. And it might have given me this week's tiara. As it now stands, if Dallas wins, I win the tiara by two games. If the Giants win, I'm tied with omni.

Yoki, Yoki, Yoki. *faxing hugs* Herself will be by herself, but happy, which is what counts.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 14, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

*running to the fax to pick up those hugs*

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

/faxing Yoki hugs
Some puppy kisses and sniffs;
Where are my treats now?/

-Wilbrodog-


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

sweet puppy kisses
innocent breath
here we are

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

You are!
Yum.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 14, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

It was a great game Mudge, me and my neighbor watched it and man there was some hitting going on. I bet all those boys will need some ice packs tonight!!

I just want another shot at them in the playoffs.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 14, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

omni,
A man of your talent will land on his feet. It's good that you have such a cushion to fall back on.

It's good to have my son back in town. He hadn't seen 'Wanted' with Angelina Jolie. I'd seen it already but he twisted my arm, so I rented it. The stunts are spectacular. AJ ain't bad either.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 14, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

You gonna get another shot at them playoffs, with them local sports teams, gwe?

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

The Flames may be down, but they need not worry. The Oilers are working at 100% cpacity to get to the absolute bottom of the league before Christmas. Once there, they will probably have a stranglehold on the basement to the seasons end.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 14, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Catching up on the Boodle...

As difficult as change can be, it is good to see our Boodlers facing them with optimism.

On a side note, I heard from Scottynuke by phone earlier this evening, it sounds like all is well at the Nukefamilyhouse now that power has been restored. Tales to follow, I think.

A strange weekend on the Pro gridiron, but it was certainly not boring, though it could have gone better for the local Balt-Wash teams.

Good night, all.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 14, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the upcoming kit will feature a fresh Achenstory on NASA.

People who work at the Cape are understandably jumpy.

My own uninformed, ignorant guess is that the incoming Administration will be up to its nose the Crisis, the failure of financial regulation, Afghanistan, health care, and the unpredictable but inevitable Challenge from Abroad.

I get the impression that short-term economic stimulus will be followed, as soon as the economy warms up a bit, by severe austerity. If USDA and DOD have to cut back, so will NASA. I see only VA and perhaps State getting larger budgets.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 14, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

wow, yoki. I've been more or less lurking for the past couple of weeks, while I've been trying to vanquish a depression of the sort I haven't experienced for quite some time. During a conversation among myself, my wife and some friends, the ethereal question of "what is joy?" came up. We collectively decided it's not jumping up and down, rather it's more the feeling one gets from the faith that things will work themselves out. Yesterday I felt like I had emerged on the other side, only to find out that my Aunt's cancer has overcome her bodies defences. Her time is short, and I'm likely headed to Philadelphia to see her at weeks end. This has caught everyone by surprise, including her children. Ironically, I find joy in the sense that she will soon be unbroken, yet I shed tears.

Posted by: -jack- | December 14, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

bc, thanks for news from Scottfam. Glad to know they are safe and well.

Posted by: Yoki | December 14, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Yello-thanks to the link to your Bot Ball video. It's very similar to Lego League, particularly in the need for adult volunteers.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 15, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

jack, my own (what? feeling, definition, sureness?) about joy is that it is not happiness, not jumping up and down and clapping hands. It is, I think, being fully engaged with our lives; doing something that is meaningful and has a higher purpose. Not just spending killing time, but something that is really full of meaning for each of us.

Happiness, is a fleeting feeling (but lovely to know, for that moment!) that is gone before we can experience it. Meaningful engagement is deeper, and something we can hold on to.

I cared for my Grandmother as she was dying, and that is still joyful to remember, though not happy.

I think I agree with you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Bird Song
Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
Music By: Jerry Garcia
All I know is something like a bird within her sang
All I know she sang a little while and then flew on
Tell me all that you know
I'll show you
Snow and rain
If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why?
Anyone who sings a tune so sweet is passing by
Laugh in the sunshine
Sing, cry in the dark
Fly through the night
Don't cry now
Don't you cry
Don't you cry any more
La da da da
Sleep in the stars
Don't you cry
Dry your eyes on the wind
La da da da da da
All I know is something like a bird within her sang
All I know she sang a little while and then flew on
Tell me all that you know
I'll show you
Snow and rain

Posted by: -jack- | December 15, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

lovely

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

bird song, in colour. worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYA16z2-xFg

Posted by: -jack- | December 15, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Time for bed. Will be a miserable day of digging out tomorrow.

Yoki- in the immortal words of Dolly Parton
"I wish you joy and happiness,
but above all of this, I wish you love."

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 15, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

jack, thanks for that.

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

you're welcome. peace be with you.

Posted by: -jack- | December 15, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

frosti, many thanks.

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow Yoki! I wish you much happiness too. Sounds like you're doing what's best for you and that's what it's all about. If only I could be as strong!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 15, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

wow, yoki, 30 years is a long time. you sound very strong and positive. i hope these changes go as smoothely for you and others as possible.

omni, good luck with your job search.

christmas smells: pine needles and spiced coffee.

Posted by: LALurker | December 15, 2008 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Dogs with envy.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/14/AR2008121401911.html?hpid=topnews

I knew that just by looking at the face of the old lab when I was training the Very Large Puppy. The Ancient Fool insisted on obeying the come, sit and stay commands and getting the treats too. It was kintergarden for the elderly. That was last year, now he is getting pretty frail; I'm not sure he will see the Spring.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 15, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't sound so foolish to me, shrieking. I think it helps puppies, too, to see older dogs obeying the commands, and I've had more than one who learned by imitation. . . I also have one in the same situation, I'd be happy if he made it to Spring but wonder if he'll deliberately go while I'm away at Christmas so the petsitter will have to take care of the details instead of me.

Yoki, the best way out is always through. But you know that.

Grilled cookies for breakfast. Hot coffee and tea are on the backburners as I head back to bed.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 15, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

A sure sign that the End is near:
"Major League Baseball has authorized the use of team logos on a line of funeral caskets for people who want to carry their fandom unto eternity"

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/15/opinion/15mon3.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 15, 2008 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Planning is an exercise in describing possibilities and what to do when they happen. How can we trust a climate plan that does not even discuss an "ice age?" You might as well have a house that can cool and never heat - not even in winter.

Posted by: gary4books | December 15, 2008 5:33 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. WOW, Yoki! I read your comment, it floored me, and I'm sitting. Thirty years is a long time, and I'm sure you thought this over long and hard. I wish you happiness, love, peace, joy, all of the above, but always, no matter the situation, much love. I wanted to cry when I read your comment, and I've never met Himself, but then I remembered that beautiful spirit of yours, no tears.

Mudge, Scotty(glad you're okay),Martooni, Slyness, Yoki, and all the boodle gang, good Monday morning.*waving*

I have a date with the laundry room this morning, but first the walk. I dread this job, but it has to be done. I'm going to start with the cleaning, a little bit at the time. I don't understand why the inspections are so close to Christmas time.

Did anyone see the clip of the guy throwing the shoe at the President in Iraq? Well, both shoes, I think. And where was the Secret Service? They moved a little slow, did they not?

Can someone explain to me how President-elect Obama is going to keep K-Street out of his administration? Someone, somewhere, right now is figuring out a way to break that wall. And is it even possible, to keep these folks at bay? Do we need them? It sounds good, but can it be followed through?

Is the governor going away? You know the one from Illnois. Shriek, that's taking a ball just a tad bit to the extreme.

It was cold yesterday, now it feels warm, which can only mean rain. Have a great Monday folks.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 15, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Yes, it's Monday, the Ides of December. Only 9 more shopping days, etc.

Shriek, you been up all night? Or are you just the first one on the Dawn Patrol this morning? dbG, you're up early, too.

A lot of doom, gloom and negativity on the WaPo front page. I don't recommend going there if you can help it. If I were you guys, I'd read "The Onion" today instead. I think their all-time best story ever was in last week's issue: "Supreme Court Overturns Bush v. Gore."

OK, the smell of Yoki's cinnamon buns and coffee is wafting from the Ready Room. I can imagine no more welcome a fragrance.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 15, 2008 5:52 AM | Report abuse

We, here in the county of Richmond, in the state of North Carolina, are celebrating and have our chest out big time, for we are the State champions this morning of the game of FOOTBALL. Go, Raiders!

I could not resist.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 15, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, maybe this will improve that crazy situation the other day where it appeared as if you didn't realize you are great.

I wish I knew why I am awake now. I also went to Google News and searched "hackers" and the reason the internet is acting weird is explained. An unpatched Microsoft IE exploit still exists. I turned off active scripting, and as a side effect the WaPo page is not twitchy.

Went to see The Day the Earth Stood Still. It was big and boomy and dramatic. Nano nano.

Neighbor is apparently going to get a half Lab, half pitbull puppy again. As always, I caution against impetuous decisions. On the plus side, that will be the third bulldog on the street (neighbors have two pups) and I don't even have to own them, just enjoy the little rascals. Plus playmates for my dog.

I bought the ham. I will need cloves. I am tempted to experiment with a malted barley sugar glaze. But I may just use honey.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 15, 2008 5:57 AM | Report abuse

May as well be awake. Coffee now. Hi, Dawn Patrol.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 15, 2008 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Jumper

Honey is great, not too sweet. Of course, that's just my opinion. And I rarely cook, if I can get around it.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 15, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I am late with this as I started to feel unwell last evening and am now just starting to feel better after a restless night. The best to you on the next stage of your life,

Jack good thoughts your way.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 15, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Good for you, Yoki. Been there and done that. And although there were times of sadness and regret for what might have been, it was the best decision and led me to the much happier life I live now. I've no doubt it will be so for you.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 15, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, and happy Monday.

I had to arise a little early to assist Mr. T, who is taking cider to the annual Christmas lunch at the office today. He put ice in the big Thermos for cold, and I had to put a gallon on the stove to heat it for the hot. The trick is to scoop and pour into the Thermos with the pump without spilling it all.

Cassandra, check out Samuelson on lobbyists today. It's a column of infinite sense. Mr. T's brother is employed by the Alliance to Save Energy, which lobbies for better energy policy. So I am biased.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/14/AR2008121401811.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: slyness | December 15, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

I just went to bed too early Mudge. I woke up at 03:30 and started the day.

The frigging Ottawa bus system is still on strike. There was more traffic at 6:45 this morning than there usually is at 7:30.
And it's raining with more rain in the forecast. Rain in December is not good.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 15, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Saw the shoe-throwing and blogged about it already:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2008/12/wtfs.html

Those Iraqis have all the good freedoms.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 15, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra, friends.

You are very good friends, and very kind. I appreciate all your kind words. Everything is fine. All is well.

Still very cold, -29 was we speak. Will just hope the wee car holds up its end on the commute, and that the plows have been out.

"mudge, the cinnamon buns are ready, coffee too, head on over to the ready room. bc, you're doing good work under difficult circumstances.

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Dearest Yoki,

Like others here, I wish I were closer for a walk with the doggies or a cup of coffee. You have now, kindness and acceptance here. This means a great deal.

I believe our deepest human need is for acceptance of our authentic selves. I also know that your great strength to endure gives you courage to be fair and resolved as the family changes. God bless you all at the first holiday time, which may have awkwardness and grief amidst the cinnamon and tinsel.

Omni, be courageous, too. Glad your wisdom in savings will steady you nnow.

Kim: Huzzah Hokie Mokie, Techie Mojo Rah.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 15, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

AND, Jack,

Good job last night with the real milk of virtual but humane kindness.

Who knew that digital life would be so authentic.

AND, I hear that ScottyNuke and beloveds are warm again. Good for that.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 15, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

yello's shoe story got me on a Shoe story which got me on a Shumaker story.
http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A15441

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 15, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Thinking of buying a load or Iraqi shoes and sell them outside the White House. Discounts for members of the press. :o)

Posted by: Braguine | December 15, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Amen to all you say, CP.

Posted by: Yoki | December 15, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Cerberus Capital Management, Chrysler, and bailing out Dan Quayle:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-jenkins/bailing-out-dan-quayle_b_150889.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 15, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Life is short, and yet life is long. It's all about balance.

Another one of those crazy days around here. Meetings and briefings. Heck. I'm even wearing a tie. And new pants.

My wife decided that we needed to go through my wardrobe over the weekend. We ended up tossing about a third of my stuff. Including many beloved articles of clothing dating back to the Reagan Administration. (I love my comfy shirts.)

But, you know, Kohls was having a really great sale.

Have a great day everyone!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 15, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

Posted by: -tao- | December 15, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Great link, Jumper. I had no idea that Shoe the Unfunny Bird was based on a real person.

Best line from the HuffPo link about my beloved Quaylester:

"Quayle's own site proudly lists other current responsibilities: he is "President of Quayle & Associates, and serves on the boards of directors of IAP Worldewide [sic] Services, Inc., K2, Inc and Aozora Bank, Ltd in Tokyo."

I recently saw the tweener musical '13' and it is set at Danforth Quayle High School, home of the Fighting Quails.

The conventional wisdom on This Week with George Snuffleupagus was that GM is the weakest link in the automaker kerfuffle.

We also hit the Kohls sale. My son came home with a half-empty dufflebag and needed new shoes for my office Christmas party that night. I threw some dress shirts and socks in the basket when nobody was looking.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 15, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

let's talk about the Bill of Rights

Hi boodlers (thanks everyone again for the well wishes

Lovely Monday

Hang in there Yoki

more maybe later

Posted by: omnigood | December 15, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Braguine | December 15, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 15, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, add another "been there" to the list. *faxing more hugs your way*

Kim, so glad to hear the news about your son. And good for you for doing your whimpering in private.

I have learned that the key to frugal living is to stay away from sales at Kohl's. Things just seem to jump into my basket.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 15, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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