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Ode to Late Autumn

Late autumn, as a season, gets no love. It is the least glorious time of year, widely decried as gloomy, drab, even pointless. The period right after Thanksgiving is known primarily for the retail shopping associated with the holidays, and technically one is not expected to set foot outside at all. At first glance, the late fall is betwixt and between, neither here nor there, neither dramatically autumnal (which requires colorful leaves) nor snow-blanketed and merry. The foliage websites show peak color long gone, as the land fades to brown.

The sun-worshippers flee south, the skiers head to the high country. Those left behind find the days short and dark, and getting shorter and darker still.

Those prone to the blues blame the season itself, and doctors declare it a disorder, as though the planet in its gyrations and subsequent failure to illuminate has become pathogenic.

So let us defend the late fall. Let us praise the brown season.

In the woods, the fallen leaves are still dry, not yet degraded into the wet mulch of winter. You rustle as you walk. On a good day, the air is clear to the edge of space; everything is in sharp focus, or HD as we now say. The sun at midday remains sulky in the south, but the effect is dramatic, putting everything in chiaroscuro, the tree trunks lit up so brightly you'd think the place staged for a photo shoot. Invariably, you find yourself discovering how big the trees are, how majestic, now that you can really see their bones.

The oaks, of course, never get the memo about fall; deep into December, they're still hanging onto those dead leaves, as though afraid to get undressed.

This is the season of stocks. Not the Wall Street kind, which we know to be toxic. [Who was it who kept declaring confidently for years that only an idjit would keep money in a money market account rather than invest in stocks? Oh, right, that was me. Never mind.] In late fall, you want to get all your stocks in order, and not just chicken stock and beef stock. You want to have some fish stock, made from scary fish heads. You can become a stock broker for the neighborhood. Or you can buy the stuff in a can, if you lack all self-respect.

The yard, the great domestic timesuck, has finally calmed down and gone to sleep. It's too late to plant bulbs. The leaves are raked; the city has come by and vacuumed them away. You goal is to feel that you've sufficiently battened down all of your hatches. To others, your yard will look like a rather bleak, sad, dormant patch of land, but you will perceive it as poised, prepared, ready to handle whatever winter throws at it.

In late fall, you want to keep your home fires burning, and your thoughts turn inevitably to firewood. Firewood can become an obsession, like food, football and (speaking for myself) dressing up in furry-animal costumes. Splitting wood has been more aspirational so far than I'd have liked -- which is to say, I haven't gotten around to it yet, and have been burning last year's split wood -- but we've got excellent wood-splitting weather and I can't wait to start flailing away with the wedge and sledge. The wedge so often careens lethally through the air that you should stand back merely reading these words.

So perhaps it is not the best time of year, what with such heavy competition from the more storied seasons. But late fall has its subtle beauties. There's good will and virtue in the air. Now who wants to go walk in the woods?

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 4, 2008; 8:44 AM ET
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An excellent suggestion, Joel.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 4, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Here is a copy of my comment on the pirate article in the Opinion section.

Interesting article. However, there is a big hole in Mr. Fromuth's strategy. The pirates need deep water only when they return to port aboard their prize and have hostages. The rest of the time they can scatter along the coasts.

The navies of the world are equipped to blow each other out of the water, not for chasing pirates. Lots of firepower concentrated in one vessel, which can be only in one location at a time.

Just imagine what could be done if investing the money wasted on one useless aircraft carrier was used to build and deploy a fleet of patrol boats and a few support ships.

Alexey Braguine is the author of Kingmaker and was shipwrecked off the East African Coast in 1982.

Posted by: Braguine | December 4, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Great kit Joel, spent much of last Saturday outside enjoying a rare sunny and wonderful late autumn day

However, even here bulbs can still be planted up until December if the ground is not frozen, as I am hoping a quick warm spell will warm the soil enough to get the last of my bulbs in. I have planted bulbs as late as the end of December, although late October early November is optimal here depending on the weather that year.

Walks in the woods through the fallen leaves - priceless.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Much woods-walking (or jogging) to be done over the coming days, for sure...

And a quick repost:

Paging Tom Clancy!!!

(and perhaps one or two Boodlers with more than passing interest in the item at the bottom)


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 4, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Just imagine what could be done if investing the money wasted on one useless aircraft carrier was used to build and deploy a fleet of patrol boats and a few support ships."

- - - -

This is what the pirates have done, yes?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 4, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I liked the Kit. Ummm, I wonder how long Joel mulled over his manuscript to come up with chiaroscuro. Great wordsmithing.

Posted by: Braguine | December 4, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

This was beautiful Joel. And educational as well because of that whole "chiaroscuro" bit. Not as life-changing a word as "fripperies," perhaps, but still a most welcome addition to my vocabulary.

I love the late fall for all the reasons Joel points out, as well as one other. This season always makes me nostalgic. For the weather this time of year is similar to the winters of my youth. Chilly but not bitterly cold. Gray and damp in the comforting way familiar to all those raised in the Pacific Northwest.

Sometimes when I wake up and look outside I wanna ditch work, put on my wool sweater, make a nice Thermos of hot coffee, and go find a beach full of driftwood.

Alas, this is not realistic. Them days is gone. But this charming kit helped bring a little of them back.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 4, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't rustle when I walk (unless I'm wearing corduroys, which I don't have any of at the moment). Rustling is the least of my problems.

A nice kit, very elegiac. But may I dissent? This part of autumn isn't "the least glorious" time of year; February is, and the most of January. Cold, bleak, raw, often wet not with Currier and Ives downy snowflakes, but with wicked ice storms out of the south, and sleet, and there's sure no pastoral romance in in that.

While the first half of autumn remains my favorite time of year, I don't mind this part so much: it is basically a month of pre-Christmas, and I like Christmas and all that leads up to it. There is not a damned thing nice about February, and it leads up to nothing; it just slowly and tediously become March, the first half of which (in this neck of the woods) is almost as dreary.

If you want your basic drear, I give you February.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

FYI, if anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas, a DVD of the 1995 classic "Die Strafe des Schweigens" would be highly appreciated.

Wonderful cast in that one.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

And for your drear Febuary, mudge, I give you the Florida Keys or perhaps a Caribbean Cruise from Miami, or perhaps a little while in Savannah, all things to look forward to.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 4, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

February has one redeeming feature, it is the month that at least once I will check my watch as I drive home, thinking I have left early because it is still light out - makes up for the cold and snow in my opinion. January on the other hand I dislike, cold and dark, without holidays.

Not that fond of March either just makes me think of mud.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

One of the multitude of ways in which I am a tiresome bore is that I like every time of year. I suppose there are times of which I am particularly fond -- the blue and silence of winter evening near the solstice, early Autumn for the color and the start of chill, late June evening when the Sun finally remembers which way to go to reach the horizon -- but truly, I like them all. The smell of leaves moldering in late Autumn. The smell of buckeyes on the ground in the Spring (recalling my childhood in Indiana). Winter cold, even February ice storms, when I have the perfect excuse to stay home, listen to music, read a book, and cook up a nice pot of vegetable soup and a loaf of fresh bread. Summer heat, dozing in the morning with the window open and cicadas in the trees.

My resentment is directed toward modern architecture and the way it separates us from the seasons, so we miss the smell and feel of the outside, so I have to think and remember which season we're in. By Gadfrey, if I must live in a hermetically-sealed and sterile box, why can't I do it on the Moon? This piece-meal trudge to the future doesn't meet my standards. Who's in charge around here?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 4, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

For the walk in the woods, I am putting on December by George Winston, with particular favorite Variations on the Kanon by Johann Pachelbel, wonderful, wonderful for your Ode, Joel.

Am inviting all to join me in the walk through our trails and footpaths to the little stream that joins Difficult Run. The trail runs alongside our house, across the street and downhill from there. Miles and miles of woods, now very different with only the green of the hollies and mountain laurel in the deep woods. Wear walking boots, to support your ankles against the rocky terrain, and bring along the hiking poles, they are very helpful.

The thing I miss about late fall is the smell of leaves burning. It was like no other fragrance and added so much. Of course, we have planted pines, so they fill a need, fragrancewise.

The dear deer have dined on our new foundation plants, large healthy azaleas, now looking incredibly sad until next spring when we will fill in the bed with laurel of some type, which the deer truly ignore. Ah, but they will not mind the laurel as they head straight for the hosta and the day lilies, a rite of spring for them.

Enjoy your walk, Joel, and cut some evergreens to decorate the front door and the mantle, bring that woodsy perfume inside your house....

Posted by: VintageLady | December 4, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Another good reason to appreciate February: The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) holds its Mid-Winter Festival (formerly the Mini-Fest) on the first Saturday of February, at Takoma Park Middle School. If I recall correctly, I volunteered this year to assemble the storytelling program. Guess I'd better get right on that project.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 4, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to be economic downer-man, but more layoffs headed our way according to our friendly illustrious paper. AT&T - one company, one shot of 12 thousand jobs.

It brings to mind that "maybe" AT&T isn't suffering that much, but just using this opportunity to improve their operating margins.

I might point out that, several years ago, the Bush administration and the FCC took some steps to basically put hundreds of competitive and growing small communications firms out of business blatantly favoring the big boys. I know, I had one.

That situation really rocked my world in a bad way. Now that the Bushies are gathering to spin the last two terms, I am wondering if they might include this one small 12 thousand job brick in the wall that they have built as a positive or a negative?

Sorry folks, again, I don't mean to be such a downer here, but it has been tough for a while and now, after we have reformed the oligopoly world of communications after having an interestingly vibrant dozen years of innovation it's big business again--it's all about the bottom line.

We should really speak up the next time that we worry about old money and old investment coming into competition with new money, effort and innovation and small developing companies.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Trapped in the gloaming,
sheep dream of electric zords
in bis, tris, tetris...

A long brown season
drawn in chiaroscuro screams
wake up! Save the Earth!

Posted by: Achaiku | December 4, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I add my plaudits to this evocative Kit. I note, however, that what Joel refers to as "late autumn" is what passes for the beginning of winter here. Our winter precipitation and low temperatures are so variable that ruined bare trees where late sweet choirs sang (sorry for the mangled poetry) is our default landscape. That is, we have lots of tree bones, to use Joel's wonderful image, and lots of fallen leaves, and dry brown grass and plants, and that is winter. Of course, instead of reliable snow we rejoice in vicious, ceaseless cold hard winds and a couple of ice storms.

What is this "city" picking up leaves of which you speak? I hope to get around to mulching the six inches to a foot of leaves currently gracing my main yard beore it rains, which may not be until January at this rate. Saw a deer right in the middle of that yard, almost next to the house, the other day. I suppose he could have designs on the pansies.

Thanks to RD for the "angel singing" sunrise report last Boodle. We had one of those today too. The sky was filled with those flat thin clouds which are fluffy and ruffled on the bottom, like a failry calm sea. There was just a faint straight line of blue at the horizon. The sun was lighting the clouds a wonderful garish pink-orange, with one thick ray of the same color light shot straight over the face of the clouds as it rose. Even the three mostly-teens in the car were moved by the sight.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The Economist recently reviewed a book on the Chinese economy. It put forward the idea that the big, State-run or State-related firms are nurtured at the expense of rural entrepreneurs. And it noted that companies based in Hong Kong and Taiwan are more transparent (and in general probably better-run) than the lumbering dinosaurs. But those dinosaurs dominate China more than ever.

Could the US be just the least bit like that?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 4, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

To continue, thanks to seasea (ml) for posting the yarnharlot explanation of the Canadian political shenanigans. It was fascinating and very well done. I don't know who yarnharlot is but she can both write well and explain a complicated situation.

I am also glad to see Achaiku in form. I like the handle but I admit I sometimes read it as a poetic sneeze.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 4, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

This is also my favorite time of year. Even in San Diego, the weather is crisp, the leaves have fallen (for the most part), and we have them underfoot. I can snuggle under a comforter after making turkey soup with the bird's carcass, and glory in the smells of the season. Best of all, no tourists!

Posted by: babsy1 | December 4, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind this time of year... if you wake early enough and get out on the roads, the sky can be spectacular. The month I hate most out of the year is April. After a long winter, April teases you with +5 temps but -20 windchill... up here anyway!... it's dreadful.

A walk in the woods? I'm a taker JA :)

Posted by: MissToronto | December 4, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

from The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot.

Posted by: -tao- | December 4, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Dave, hey, way back when, I studied the machinations of the old Chinese Economy ... several semesters. Families having smelting pots in their back yard... five year plans, the whole ball of wax.

I shamefully don't understand what's happening in China these days to know. I am sure that there are loads of Chinese companies that can't bear a downturn. Lumbering Govt business units, some how, manage to make it through.

The USA will always be troubled by our willingness to allow companies to get bigger and bigger and not even notice the loss. The larger the company, the more likely they will get help from Capitol Hill... for no reason (or for a reason). They lobby, they seem important to America.

The fact is that large companies care little for their employees. To be fair, they all have business units that often function like little companies and that's great.

Dave, right now, I know of dozens of folks who are running their small businesses and making no money. I know people who are paying payroll and not paying their mortgage. I am sure that we all know about people like that ... I just happen to know lots of small business folks because of my business).

The Bush administration literally killed a thriving business area that was perfect for smaller entreprenuers... communications, with the justification that, if they didn't act to save the Bells, they would get KILLED by the Cable companies.

Within a year, companies like Verizon are KILLING cable with their FIOS. Verizon has terrible service and they cherry pick, leaving large areas without service.

The kicker is that, in the past, smaller companies and start-ups would swing into an area and pick up the marginal areas, but, these days, who would back a plan with their dime to do this when we know the power that large companies have in Washington.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

A little tip for beating the winter blues... 7 minutes in a tanning bed twice a week. A little UV is beneficial, Vitamin D and you don't get burnt for such a short time. Does a lot to lift the spirits.

And, in the spring when you scale back your clothes, you don't burn so readily since the skin is accustomed to the sunshine.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 4, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Alternative views of April:

Whan that April with his showres soote
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veine in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr;

from The Canterbury Tales, G. Chaucer

Though April showers may come your way,
They bring the flowers that bloom in May.
So if it's raining, have no regrets,
Because it isn't raining rain, you know, (It's raining violets,)
And where you see clouds upon the hills,
You soon will see crowds of daffodils,
So keep on looking for a blue bird, And list'ning for his song,
Whenever April showers come along.

from April Showers, Al Jolson

Posted by: -tao- | December 4, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto please read the latest reseach on tanning beds - take care!

PM is about to emerge from Government House after 2 hours - would so love to have been a fly on the wall at that conversation.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Parliament prorogues, a brand new tradition, and scary precedent has been set in Canada, minority governments can now prorogue government whenever they get in trouble instead of falling or calling an election.

Thank you Stephen Harper - coward

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! Had a great time at the BPH last night. Much laughter was had by all. It will go down as a classic, that's for sure. Leave it to Yoki to bring out the best in us.

I'm very, very bummed about the Capital One purchase of Chevy Chase Bank. CCB has been a great local business (I've been a customer for about 25 years now), with customer service that goes consistently above and beyond. I hope we don't lose that. I absolutely hate banking with the behemoths. I may as well switch to an online bank, with the customer service the big boys provide so lacking.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 4, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 4, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, in our county there is weekly recycling pickup, which at this time of year includes leaves. They have to be bagged in big recycleable brown paper bags (which you buy at Lowe's or Home Depot), or else in trash cans-- in other words, NOT in plastic bags.

Just this morning, I put 15 bags out at the curb for pickup, since today is recycle day in our neighborhood. Had 8 bags and four trash cans last week, about the same the week before. (Fortunately, I have a 22-year-old son who does the raking/bagging.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

TBG - me too. CCB has always been so convenient. I certainly hope the number of ATM machines doesn't decrease.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 4, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

dmd... it does sound a bit Third World to suspend Parliament that way. I hope this all comes to a conclusion that works best for your country... (and ours).

Posted by: -TBG- | December 4, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

dmd2... no worries mate!... this from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services...

'The effects of sunlamps and tanning beds on the risk for melanoma are unclear due to limited study design and conflicting results from retrospective studies.

Observational studies indicate that intermittent or intense sun exposure is a greater risk factor for melanoma than chronic exposure.'

... in other words, everything in moderation.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 4, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I do, I do!

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Brown, browner, brownest. Dry, drier, driest.:

San Antonio is enduring its worst drought in recorded history, with rainfall over the past 15 months even sparser than that gauged during similar periods in the historic seven-year drought of the 1950s.

The 16.15 inches of rain measured since September 2007 is less than any 15-month September-through-November period since recordkeeping began in San Antonio in 1871, according to a San Antonio Express-News analysis of National Weather Service rainfall data.

An expanding swath of the area around San Antonio and Austin already is classified as in extreme drought — the next-to-worst category — and forecasters are predicting no end to the dry spell.

Contributes mightily to the grinchy mood. Who wants to put up a tree when it's just one more parched plant that needs watering? No, we decided not to spend $40-$50 this year on something we'll just toss out. Better to spend money on a litle gas to take a ride to the countryside, some wire to connect what we find, and string some lights and hang some ornaments on...tumbleweeds!

Posted by: laloomis | December 4, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, February is actually a good month for snowshoeing...if you have snow and big mountains nearby. It's free, too. And no lines.

It's snowing here again--very holiday appropriate.

February also has Valentine's Day.

It would get boring if every month were the same ya know.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually you only need snow for snowshoeing--mountains not required.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Joel, This is not the first time you've written something that reminds me of my Dad, who has been walking the "celestial" woods since 1997. We heated the house with a woodstove, which required honing of splitting skills for kids and adults. Somewhere I think I still have the sledge and wedge and love using it on the odd log now and then. He loved to walk in the woods on our farm, and it was then we worked out the problems of the world as the dog bounded ahead. When we returned to the house, we'd always say, "Thanks for the walk." So Joel, "Thanks for the walk." A nice way to spend my lunch break.

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

I love January, February and March because it's sunny sunny sunny here! Despite the frigid temps, it's cheerful and the days get longer... and it's a whole new year to get excited about. But I agree, it's more interesting when each month is unique... Australia was so dull that way.

Funny... Aussies go to the shopping malls to escape the heat as much as Canadians go to the mall to escape the cold. Go figure! Grass might be greener on the other side of the fence but the malls are all the same.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 4, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Linda L., Sorry that drought conditions hitting you hard. I hope that I and my namesakes can give you Christmas cheer and hold your pretty lights!

Here is something that you might like ...

A friend's art show from about 10 years ago...

I used to collect tumbleweeds back in the 70's as I drove across country in my VW Bus. They would make great piece of living room art for folks in this area ... great change from a dreary DC apartment setting.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I have the woodstove here, and the thrill of woodsplitting is gone. I'm also lazy
and don't like to whittle kindling or tinder, so I have started keeping
sticks in a bucket of kerosene outside. One stick will light the rest of the

I salvaged the tiny 12 volt fan from my computer power supply, and will use it to force-air into the convection riser in the stove. Efficiency.

I have heard that it's pollution that causes the rain to nucleate in such tiny drops around here. There's almost always a mist and never a simple large-drop rain unless it's a gulley washer. In consequence even under the eaves my firewood gets wet. There's always plastic, but I like to give my neighbors' eyes a break from added clutter.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Cdn parliament is prorogued 'til Jan 26. 7 weeks of Quebec/Easterm Ba@tards bashing ahead, oh joy. It went quickly from a power grab to a parliamentary struggle and now it's heading toward another constitutional crisis. At least there will be something to talk about around the Christmas tree.

As many have noted Stephen Harper is the most successful Canadian politico in a long time, he united the Right 5 years ago and united the Left this year.

Late fall isn't a good seaon here unless there is a lot of snow, and that is not the case this year. With all the rain, the cold weather followed by warm weather it's Mud Season. It was raining and +2C driving in this morning and now it's -3C and the wind is blowing some snow flakes around. Dreary.

I like the reference to the clair-obscur, but here it's a lot of obscur for only a little clair.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 4, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, late fall.

Holiday preparations; cooking, unboxing and hanging decorations/lights, the Ritual of the Tree, shopping, eating...

Winter preparations; car maintenance -- sand, blankets, water bottles and Power Bars in the trunk. Make sure the flashlight works. Mount the snow tires, do the oil changes, top off the fluids (going to the winter mix washer fluid), and do anything like brake changes and fuel filters (better to do it now than in the cold of January). Make sure the snow shovels are at the ready, and the bags of salt or de-icer are in a convenient location. Winter storm windows in place (summer screens out).

NFL football and cold & flu seasons in full swing - stock up on adult beverages (incl. mulled/spiced wine ingredients), chili and gravy ingredients, soups, teas, tissues (in case your team does not make the playoffs), dry-skin care products, humidifier filters and anti-mold additive, coffee, your favorite brands of cough and cold medicines, chemical hand and foot warmers, etc.

Walks in the woods occasionally, and long long evenings of stargazing in those clear winter night skies. This reminds me that I need to rise out my flask, and perhaps fill it with something in case of a Last Second Jaunt.


Posted by: -bc- | December 4, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

This year's late fall sure is acting a lot like early winter.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 4, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Dmd, I respect you. I respect that you have the right to say what you feel, but you are missing the point.

The point is that not one of them behaved like good gentlemen, not one of them has fully acted with honour and not one of them has done what was neccessary to operate on the mandate WE Canadians, all Canadians gave in the last election.

By the numbers, first past the post, we want them to learn to work together equally. We want them to find balance between our left leaning selves, our right leaning selves and our selves who like to run right there along the top of the fence.

They are not. They are fighting like children in the sandbox over a 1.95 they should be able to raise themselves if they really have a fighting chance to operate as political parties here in Canada. If people have to tighten their belts why not the politicians and political parties?

In a lot of ways, this action is like pulling the fighting boys out of the sandbox to go sit in their corners for a while, till they can learn to behave.

TBG, it is not at all looking third world. It just isn't looking very Canadian right now, and that is the part that I am deeply, deeply concerned about.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 4, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

What a lovely Ode to a Dreary Month! Let me just say that late autumn in Virginia has a lot more going for it than the same time period in western New York. In Virginia there's hope of finding a day warm enough that you can put up Christmas lights without fear of frostbite. You can count on at least one day of the weekend being dry enough to go shopping without soaking yourself or your purchases. The sky will clear long enough for you to see that awesome moon/Jupiter/Venus combination. Heck, you might even have an entire *day* that's sunny. Sunrises like this morning's are just icing on the cake.

But February...that's another story.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 4, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Brown, more browndeder, most brownwdedest.

Windy, I foresee a couple of problems with snowshoeing, approximately as follows (and never mind that ridiculous "mountains" part of it. I don't do inclines, especially not "up"):

1) I don't do cold.
2) It is exercise. One needs good legs. I don't have legs. (Well, I do, but they aren't cooperative in this sort of thing. It's that whole standing up thing, combined with that whole one-after-the-other thing. Plus snowshoeing seems to require high leg lifts. I don't do high leg lifts.)
3) Snowshoeing implies the presence of snow, frequently deepish snow. I don't do snow. I especially don't do deepish snow. I used to do snow, up until about high school. Then snow got to be a hassle, so snow and I parted company. I like to think it was amicable, as these things go, and there are no hard feelings on my part. Nevertheless, I no longer do snow.
4) Snowshoeing in snow seems to imply lots of warm clothing, especially what the fashionistas call "layers." I am old. That means I am cold nearly all the time now. That means I ALREADY wear "layers." Right now I am working in a room where the thermostat says 71 degrees-- and I am wearing three layers, the top one of which is my winter coat. This is what happens when you get old. If I were to go "outside" into a place where there was snow, I'd need to wear seventeen layers. I would basically be a mummy -- and I'd still complain.

So no offense, but I plan on taking a pass on the whole snowshoeing in winter thing. If recreation doesn't involve a hammock, a Corona with a lime, and girls in bikinis, I'm having no parts of it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Damn you Mudge,

Give me back my daydream.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

It comes to mind that was saying something about the desirablitiy of bland politicians.

I was worng. Mea Culpa. These bland buggers are worse.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 4, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

This is actually a good time of year to make some wine. Cool enough for the wine and not too cold that you have to be in and out of your mucklucks during the grape stomping sessions.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm not averse to you putting up a second hammock, russianthistle. The girls don't seem to mind an audience, either.

Bring chips.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There is a patch of old growth forest in SNP, near Old Rag. I saw it in the late fall: the oaks were widely spaced and quite majestic. There isn't much of an understory, and the leaf litter acts like a snow drift when stepping into holes hidden by the spoils of fall.

Posted by: -jack- | December 4, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Echoing bluestilton above, and Miss Toronto and Windy3.

Thanks, Joel, and yes it does sound like a great idea.

I am not envious of your walks in the late-fall woods, because I have a perfectly beautiful environment of my own to appreciate. I'm going out momentarily (right now!) to walk along the Intracoastal Waterway, and perhaps view the gigantic iguana I recently espied there--I mean, it is about five feet long--sunning near the mangroves.

The virtual perambulation through the DC woods was actually better than being there in person, I think. Thanks again, Joel.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 4, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I never thought that nanoparticles could be so potentially dangerous to one's health. The darndest thing is that few people have even bothered to find discover the long term health effects of such exposure.

Posted by: -jack- | December 4, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

One of the unfortunate things about this time of year is that it is dark during my twice-daily dog walks, so I don't get to see the stunning light effects Joel describes. But some of the sounds and smells are memorable. Such as the startling caw and whoosh of a heron taking flight. Or the scratching rake of a diligent neighbor in the street. The out-of-place scent of grilling hamburgers. This time of year, almost no one else is out walking, and the rare solitude in the middle of suburbia is soothing.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 4, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I am laughing while thinking of you as a mummy in snowshoes.

You need an electric heater in your office/cube. My home office is cold too (it is a spare bedroom over the garage)thus I bought a nice portable heater from Costco (of course).

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci, I agree that your neck of the woods is always a treat. There are subtle changes from month to month and many cool critters to observe. One doesn't have to dress like a mummy, either.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Windy, believe it or not, in our state-of-the-art brand new gummint building, when they designed it they din't design in nearly enough electrical capacity. As a consequence, NO ONE in the building is allowed to have an electric heater, fan, microwave, coffee pot (although of course there are dozens of them around), or small refrigerator, or any other kind of "unauthorized" applicance. I actually did bring in a small heater -- and twice blew the circuit breaker for our room, wiping out (temporarily) five computers. Took an hour to get somebody from building maintenance to find the panel box and re-set the breaker. We had four or five computers and a printer all hooked up to a single 30-amp line. Absurd.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

DR, thanks for the laugh! "I was worng," sounds like something Elmer Fudd might say!

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Nice description, Raysmom!

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, how bout an electric blanket? Guess not. Maybe hand or foot warmers? What a hassle.

That's our government. God bless us one and all.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Packs Hammock. Picks up chips and a couple extra limes.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

dmd, thanks for clarifying that you feel biased, although I thought it unnessary after you said the PM was an arrogant swine.

Here's a mildly amusing and quite accurate summary by the CBC's Washington correspondent:

Posted by: engelmann | December 4, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

You're a good man, Tumbleweed.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

SCC unnecessary. Unnessary is a lake without a monster.

Posted by: engelmann | December 4, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

dr, I would say we come from different perspectives, Harper did not win the support of the country only a minority, no clear mandate, a mixed bag. With only 38% support far from overwhelming.

Unlike Alberta this province and others have been in recession for a while, the focus on the economy should and must be the governments first priority not political gamemanship - Harpers was arrogant with his actions and got called on it - it was the wrong action at the wrong time.

Many of his cast have previously done harm to this province, the PM is well none for his dislike for Ontario and Toronto in particular -spite is not a good way to govern.

Politics is rarely polite.

That said I enjoy reading your perspective and hold you opinions in high regard despite disagreeing.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I'll trade you my workshop temperature for your cubicle temperature any day. I went out there this morning and found all my paint stuff frozen, and today is paint day, so I had to haul it all in the house and am still waiting for it to thaw out.

I gotta say, though, that even with my thermals and sweatshirts and a very big jacket, I'm happy to sit inside with my paints right now as we all thaw out. And the temps are supposed to drop another 10F by 5:00pm, then another 5F or so overnight. Let's just say I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning.

In other news... I've been semi-following the Detroit 3 (formerly known as the "Big 3") begging Congress for money. And I keep screaming at the TV that giving the money to them will not fix what ails them. AGAIN, I propose an expansion of Medicare/Medicaid that will insure EVERYONE, thereby making a good chunk of the auto industry's and every business' operating costs go away.

And from what I'm hearing from the testimony being given, these guys were all D+ students at best, including the guy from the UAW. And why does the guy from GM blink and wince so much when he talks?

It's like watching stupid telling dumb what to do.

With a good bit of "buzzword bingo" thrown in.

(I still haven't heard "paradigm", but I have heard "synergy")

Gotta run now to get Little Bean from her bus... if you hear "paradigm", please mark my card.

Posted by: martooni | December 4, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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

Afternoon, friends. Yoki, I've been busy since early this morning, but thanks for thinking of me, and glad you enjoyed yourself, and everybody else.

Ivansmom, and RD, love the descriptions, just great. It was almost like being there.

Time to get on the road again. We have some new kids at the Center. I was late yesterday, but did manage to help one little boy with his math. Kids have a wonderful curiosity about stuff, if we just help them to cultivate that, and to keep it.

The kit is just lovely. I'm such a coward, I'll pass on the walk in the woods. When me and my sisters were kids, we stayed in the woods. And we knew the snakes and everything else lived there, but it didn't bother us. We would even take our lunch, so we didn't have to come back home to eat.

It's still cold here. I walked this morning. This walking thing is getting a little bit better. Have a great day, folks.

Time to go.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 4, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear. I'm sorry if I implied that I thought Canada looked Third World. Not at all... I was just saying that suspending Parliament *sounds* very Third World, but I understand it is the Way Things Work sometimes.

I in no way meant to insult your wonderful country and I apologize to anyone who thought I did.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 4, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

bummer, just realized I missed the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto this year!!! drats

Posted by: MissToronto | December 4, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

TBG.. you are hereby forgiven by the Canuckistans :)

Posted by: MissToronto | December 4, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

martooni... is watching paint thaw as exciting as watching it dry?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 4, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

TBG - didn't cross my mind that you were insulting us, sadly it is not the way things are here, proroging a Parliament in this manner under this situation has never been done before, it is very embarrassing and not the least helpful to the nation at this time.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

engelmann, thanks for the CBC link. It was dumbed down enough that even this American could understand it.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 4, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm aboard with Martooni today.

All I can figure out since I'm mostly ignorant of accounting rules and other things too, is that a "standard bankruptcy" probably would result in the auto companies' pension funds being bailed out, but that downstream creditors would get shafted, throwing out of work thousands of small shop suppliers (that most of America doesn't quite see, that wouldn't get paid except in percentage settlements,) in addition to the higher profile Union members or direct employees in general. The supply chain of much of industrial U.S.

So I just hope our leaders are intelligent. And I hope that's still okay to ask for.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 4, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Check out some of Sara's artwork.

If you buy anything, tell her I sent you

Posted by: omnigood | December 4, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Sara? Is that "our" Sara, who used to Boodle?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

engelmann just be glad I used my toned down version of my opinion of Harper :-)

My wish for Canadians for Christmas is an Obama like leader (don't care the party), I am sick of leaders creating regional tensions to promote themselves, we are one very large, very diverse, messed up disfunctional country - someone who panders to those strengths in my stocking will suffice.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

yes, "our" Sara...

Sounds like she and Jeremy are loving married life.

Posted by: omnigood | December 4, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Now we know why Sara has been too busy to boodle. That stuff is beautiful.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 4, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

No, no, TBG, Canada looks quite a bit like a Third World country, but with snow instead of dust and sleigh dogs rather than the standard Yellow Mangies. And women shuttle poutine jugs on their heads back and forth from the poutine well while wearing snowshoes. And we freeze our a@@es 6 months of the year instead of enjoying nice hot weather. The humourless wooden bully we currently have as a leader doesn't stack up either against Africa's finest dictator either. Altogether we're not much of a third world country finally, but we have a queen and her representative in Canada is a hottie.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 4, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

SD, I'll match our humorless wooden bully against you humorless wooden bully any day. (We've actually got two, if one includes Cheney. Which I try not to do, but can't he'p mase'f.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

OMG last nite's BPH was sooo much fun!!! so many hugs!! and son of g is indeed a charming young man!

hey tina - where's a road block when you need one?

yoki is the hotness - tina, isn't she precious?

tina - i'm texting you!!!!

Posted by: mortii | December 4, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

hey - my post didn't go through! helloooooo helllooooooooooo


Posted by: mortii | December 4, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

*wondering if we should tell mo about the one-way mirror*


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 4, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

trying this again - is da boodle broked?


Posted by: mortii | December 4, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked. Boodle broked. Boodle Broked.

Nope. Seems fine to meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep meep

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 4, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The Hotness. Mischeviously hoping it sticks. Because.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 4, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

There be roadrunners in the boodle. meep meep!

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

One never quite knows what one will meet on a walk in the Boodle woods.

Meep meep.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 4, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

TBG, no offense taken at all.

Dmd, our political perspectives are not so different as you assume. You seem to feel that I have strongly conservative leanings.

In the last two elections, I voted conservative. Previous to that, I voted once for the Reform Party because they were all about electoral reform, something I firmly believe is still badly needed. Previous to that I always voted liberal. Well there was that one time I voted for Joe Clark. I am a child of the Tudeau era, what can I say.

Provincially I voted NDP when the NDP guys looked best able to do something decent, and liberal when the NDP did not. I don't ever recall voting conservative till we came to Alberta. But then in Alberta, we keep things quite clearly focused with respect to provincial politics. The opposition here is the federal government. No body else even gets near the table.

I'm not staunchly anybody's supporter. I just look at the current crop and try to figure out who is going to be best. It isn't Mr. Dion, It sure as heck isn't Mr. Layton, and Mr. Duceppe's job is only to look to Quebec's interests, not Canada's. That leaves Mr. Harper, and I am not so happy with him right now either.

If I'd have had my druthers in the last election, choosing politicians in my usual way, quite honestly, for what they said in the campaign, I would have voted for Mr. Duceppe. I don't get the choice to do that, so there you have it.

In the next election, I have a strong feeling it will be sooner than we wish, I think I am going to vote Green (I quite liked Elizabeth May's performance in the debates, though I don't agree with all of her platform) or maybe Rhinoceros for all the good that will do me.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 4, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Watch out for them thar coyotes, Mudge.

And if you see any Acme trucks delivering stuff, you might want to check it out carefully.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 4, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I will now cease boodle hogging and sepaking of Canadian politics.

Canadian politics might have killed the boodle. This is very very bad.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 4, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for teaching us about Canooki Poly Sci. We need to know this.

Sick. Cannot stay. But lurking and glad to read.

DR, continue your rant. We owe the Canookis some rant time here.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 4, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Especially the ACME explosives & rockets. That's a brand I wouldn't trust.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 4, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

This time of year is only good to begin hibernation, but I can't find my bear suit.

Posted by: Braguine | December 4, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Da boodle broked but may be okayed now.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 4, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

CquaP, there is a provincial election here next Monday. The federal mayhem has thrown a big wrench in the process. The Libs are in a minority government now and they behave quite well. The question is, if they get a majority gunmint as they were expecting to do, are they going to go all Harper (i.e. arrogant hyper-partisans) on us?

dr, I voted H too, twice. Couldn't do it last time as he went all Reform on us (impose federally the young offenders system that doesn't work provincially, kill all cultural subsidies, start a pro-life program, be a general bully all around, kill the pay equity programs, etc). Being a bully usually brings a payback at one point. He's been a bully for the past 3 years, the payback is happening now.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 4, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me who is singing on the video playing now -- about the tree lighting. Very off key, or perhaps I am getting the flu.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 4, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Not broked for me tooday. It was molto broked for me two dais ago.

Posted by: Braguine | December 4, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

dr, I ment different perspectives on this issue, call it the weight we put on the issue.

I really like Elizabeth May, but not the platform, agree on Duceppe ditto on the platform and that whole separation thing.

I do not agree with proportional elections as they tend to lead to more minority/coalition situations.

In my opinion the GG just rendered her job pointless if it is merely to rubber stamp the will of the PM, and being a non-monarchist that is hardly a leap for me.

There are a great many politicians that I think should leave, from all parties, but cutting funding for politicians will not help attract a new generation of leaders. As important as public life is few are willing to bankrupt themselves to run. I just don't have a solution unfortunately.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Florida is dry from November until May. Flying to a cool, wet place like Portland, Oregon or London can be a lush, green surprise. Especially the daffodils in London.

In rememberance of Portland, I bought a winter-flowering camellia (a japonica) that the nurseryman said requires very little cool weather; it'll flower in Homestead. Two tiny sasanqua camellias are finally growing a bit and one's producing a few flowers. Despite the names, sasanquas are popular in Japan, just as they are in Tallahassee; they were something Red Barber would mention in his Friday conversations with Bob Edwards.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 4, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Feel better soon CP.

On a lighter note I have had experts wash the grey out of my hair, and had a cut, steam cleaned the family room furniture, polished silver, vacuumed all while boring the Americans silly and perhaps annoying a good number of Canucks.

Tonight is parent teacher interviews, this could be interesting.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 4, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

jumper, don't you mean "teh Hottness?"

Or not...

Please, don't talk Road Runners near me; I'll start waxing nostalgic over my old purple Plymouth again (which is better than waxing my legs, I suppose).

Hey, I buy ACME products. And I'm looking forward to trying out my new siege catapult once I'm healed up from that accident with the rocket-powered gladiator sandals and the anvils.

Posted by: -bc- | December 4, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I might add bc that ACME product don't usually comply to DOT regulations regarding labeling and packaging of hazardous materials, class 1, such as explosives and rockets. (DOT is slowly slipping toward "dangerous goods", but so slowly).

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 4, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The boodle is such a jolly place today.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

And may I add my 15 year old dog has recovered (yet again) from the flu. Awesome dog.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 4, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Meant to add to the Canadian Boodlers - I do appreciate the commentary on Canadian politics.

It's interesting and, somehow, refreshing.

And I meant to ask:

Joel, what kind of furry animal suits do you wear?

[Praying he does not answer "Birthday."]


Posted by: -bc- | December 4, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

You guys up in Haute Maine are having a provincial election today?

That's just what I've always said about you Canuckis: you're so provincial. (In the nicest possible way, of course.)

Ivansmom, I believe the Boodle is about due for a medical follow-up on The Foot That Would Not Heal.

CqP, get back in bed now! You heard me! I'll fax some chicken soup in a few minutes, after I fluff your pillow and get you a glass of ginger ale and some toast. The Vicks Vapo-Rub is on the night table.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 4, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

On formal ocassions I wear a bunny tea cozy with floppy ears. :o)

Posted by: Braguine | December 4, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

All Canuckistanis-Stunned, I tell you stunned, that prorogue was even an option. Reminds me of the kids who were even more irritating than playground bullies-"I'm taking my ball home."

Starting to see just a bit of light at the end of this horrible tunnel of a week. I'll have plenty of work to do over the weekend, but at least that can be done at home without getting into single digit temps. I don't share the late fall appreciation. It's already dark far too early and the days are still getting shorter.

Toodles boodle. Glad a good time was had by all BPHers. Hope to make one again some time, sooner rather than later.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 4, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

BC, do they supply product support. I don't know but I'd be checking the warranties.

The GG's job is essentially pointless. She could not have done anything different than what the prime minister asked without sparking a huge constitutional problem. Or maybe that should be legal challenge which would lead to a constitutional problem.

Truthfully that is the thing that bothers me most. Didn't we just spend the last 20 years of the 20th century hearing about the constiution. Are we ever going to put the thing to rest? Do we have a thing we can stand back and admire? Have we made something that can grow and change with our nation? No we have not. I'm tired of hearing about how Newfoundland or Quebec or Alberta is going to seperate and all of this is sending us right back there. It already has started in the papers in letters to the editors.

I don't know that I support proportional representation either, dmd. Too complicated, too Italian (not that there is anything wrong with that). I would like electoral equality based on population -constiutinally not going to happen in parliament, no disrespect intended, and very fond of this peculiar fact as it is a fundamental part of what makes Canada, Canada, but I am talking wishes here.

Could we just bring the senate into some sort of relevance? Senate elections would mean we all have to learn what they do (I mean who really knows). An elected senate based on population would mean an equally representative voice for each and every voter and would intefere in no way with parliament. Regions would feel their interests were being heard if somewhere in Hansard there was a record of our equal voices. If we had offset elections for senate seats, maybe people would be engaged with politics and government if they had to think about it more often.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 4, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I hear that after tomorrow we're going to have a weekend. Do we need Fridays to hold the weekend back?

Posted by: Braguine | December 4, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

CqP, Mudge told you to stay in bed! So do!

I'll check on you before bedtime, and bring you hot broth and maybe, just maybe if you're good, a nice warm scone.

Dave, my sasanquas didn't bloom this fall. I assume they didn't get enough sun, although they grew nicely and look healthy. Mr. T took down the limbs of the willow oak that were shading them, so I hope they will do better next year.

Oops, gotta go. Mr. T is trying to get the little artificial tree up and having problems...

Posted by: slyness | December 4, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Accepting all the goodies, including the
ACME Cold and Flue
(will work on chimblies, too)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 4, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm back. Got a chance to visit with my dad, and checked on my neighbor, so I'm in for the night. Time to hit the sack.

I read the Dems are getting upset with President-elect Obama because he will not do more on the financial crisis, and they're saying his explanation of just one President at a time is wearing thin. All I'm going to say is, ALREADY! Has President Bush left the White House yet?

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 4, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

First, let me say, "Nicely done" to Joel. I will have to re-read the Kit when I have more time to appreciate the finer points.

Second, my vote for worst month is January - holiday let-down, cold, miserable weather - yuk. February - now there's a month to love! Valentine's Day, my birthday(!), the Seattle Flower and Garden show - a bit lighter and warmer here. Seed starting time. Funny how everyone has their favorites.

Ivansmom, the Yarn Harlot is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, author and knitter extraordinaire, and a Canadian to boot. She's very funny - I've been to her talks twice and got books signed and chatted with her at one. She's a hoot, and her books and blog are worth checking out even if you're not into knitting, because she often veers into the human nature side of things, or writing, or nature, or very rarely, politics.

My sasanqua camellia has a few blossoms on it - so nice to see this time of year.

Posted by: seasea | December 4, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Watching the limited coverage of San Diego at Oakland on

San Diego's wearing their smashing 70's throwback powder blue jerseys. Nice.


Posted by: -bc- | December 4, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse


Do they have white numbers or yellow?

Posted by: russianthistle | December 4, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The numbers are white, but the lightning bolts on the shoulders are yellow, as are the 'bolts on the helms.

Both games I'm watching are blowouts at this point, the Chargers are all over the Raiders 24-0 in the second quarter, and Rutgers is crushing Louisville 45-0 just before the half on the ESPN Thursday night college game. Yikes.


Posted by: -bc- | December 4, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

My favorite fall blooming camellia is called Yuletide

I've seen them planted as hedges and they are a glorious color for this time of the year.

We have two spring blooming double flowered rose colored ones that are about 9 feet tall, a very satisfying bush.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 4, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

This should work...

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

I'm prorogue myself!

See this image...

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 4, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that link was kinda spooky for me, Maggie. It was almost like...well...looking in the mirror.

G'Night, Boodle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 4, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Evening All
Spent the first day of my mini vacation and it was wonderful.Too bad everyday can't be this great.

I am a little leary aboit a walk in the woods now,too many men with too many guns.Deer season lasts another week or so,and although i always wear bright Purple while walking,just too many tired and cold hunters out there.

Well back to relaxing some more.Vacation,this mini vacation is the nicest one i have been on yet.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 4, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Good night Boodlers.

Gotta say, spending time at a BPH is time extremely well wasted. So many genuinely warm and kind and smart people. Thank you, all.

Glad to hear, gwe, that your mini-vacation is pleasing you. Well deserved, I should say.

Have a happy Friday if I'm not on Dawn Patrol, all.

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

bc, I'm thinking those are mid-60s Chargers kits. More towards Lowe and Lincoln and Lance. At least you didn't have to watch a team try to play NFL football in a NY Titan uniform.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 5, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

What is the Mui connection? Credit crunch, card maxout, LBOM? (Living Beyond Our Means) Guilt is persuasive.

Posted by: -tao- | December 5, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

AHA, aka Eureka, "Let us praise the brown season."

Posted by: -tao- | December 5, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

I trade your weather with mind. Our trees are green all year round. We’ve got sunshine in the morning until early afternoon, and then it gets cloudy and rains in the evening. Oh, wait. On second thought, I don’t want to trade now. I trade when you have 4” of snow.

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 5, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

SCC : I’ll ……. mine.

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 5, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. One would think that after the busy day I had yesterday, I would certainly be sleeping now. Not the case, I've been up since three, with a slight headache.

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

I read Eugene Robinson this morning, and he does a good job of writing about President Bush taking the Fifth. That's what it sounds like to me. Sort of laying the blame somewhere else. I suspect it's hard to come out and say what needs to be said. You know, like, hey, the buck stops with me. Perhaps there is a certain amount of sincerity in all that, but then it begs ten thousands questions, and my head hurts too bad this morning to even focus in that direction.

I have a cousin that lives in your neck of the woods, Slyness, and she's done an ancestry trace of my dad's family. When I stopped over last night, he gave me a copy of this information. It seems my dad's great grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee Indian. When I read this information, I said to myself, this explains a lot. And I don't say that in an ugly way, just kind of sheds light on his personality a bit. There was a trace of the Blackfoot Indians too. This cousin did a serious investigation, and I must say she did a good job. She even had copies of relatives listed by owners of slaves, and their value. Alas, we're all a bunch of mutts. America, the great melting pot.

I don't want to walk this morning, just don't feel like it, but that's nothing new. I probably will. Enjoy your day. I hope it's not too cold where you are.

I found a recipe for spinach quiche. I'm going to try and make that today. I need more vegetables. Yeah, I know, I could eat the spinach and avoid the cheese and milk, but what would be the fun in that?

JA, this kit takes me back to a time when I was a child, playing with my sisters in the woods, and completely unaware of the world in so many ways. I still am, but that time with my sisters is a precious memory. Thank you for bringing it to front.

That's what good writing does. It almost like cake, you take as much a you want, a slice here, a slice there. A little piece or hunk. Your choice.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 5, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. The Cold is back. Brrrrrr...
It's a 2 scarves morning for the dawn patrol.

Somebody working on a contract for the dept. of Public Works discovered major defects on a 170 years bridge earlier this week. The dept own inspection in 2007 found nothing. So now those twits closed one of the 6 bridges (one of the 2 allowing commercial vehicles) over the Ottawa river. I figure the federal gunmint should have the resources to take care of a bridge located about 1 mile from the Parliament.
It took Mrs D 1.5 hours to get back from work yesterday. And now they say in the local paper this morning the bridge is closed indefinitely. Oh joy.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday, all, especially you, Cassandra. Good luck with your quiche. It will be excellent, I'm sure!

I've been awake since 4 myself. Last night we had country ham for dinner. Obviously the salt in the ham caused me to retain more fluid than usual, so that the carpal tunnel kicked in and my hands ache like crazy. It's been two weeks since I saw the doctor and still no report on the tests, so I'll have to call and throw a fit this morning. Sometimes I understand why people get frustrated enough to go postal.

Posted by: slyness | December 5, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse


I hope your report is good, and no problems whatsoever. Please save the postal. We don't want to read about you in the Observer. I haven't got my results back either. I'm out the door.


Stay warm. And you might not want to hear this, but it could be worse with the bridge thing. I hope your day gets better or at least warmer. Now I'm getting ready to take on the joy of these aching legs.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 5, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

"Credit crunch forces Honda into shock pullout from Formula One"

I wonder if GM will pull out of NASCAR...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, after yesterdays political rants, I give you this morning 3 degrees of happiness. Doesn't see this study included virtual friends for the happiness factor. Interesting study though.

Back to work today then our annual holiday party at our house with friends.

Have a great friday everyone.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 5, 2008 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I love the Kit, Joel. Almost any time of year would be good for a walk in the woods, except in deep snow of course. But I still don’t find much to like about this grey season. February is pretty much the worst month, but short thank heavens.

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. I still have tons to do at work before the weekend hits. I’m feeling the crunch of Christmas now. There’s baking to be done and decorating the house. I have been wrapping presents, so that part is under control. The granddaughters are coming tomorrow and we will decorate cookies.

Cassandra, you have the right idea, just walk whether you want to or not, it will become a habit after a while. Happy Friday everyone.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 5, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, dmd. I'm going to go stand beside the Prime Minister for a bit. If that study's theory works for sharing happiness, it must work for sharing the feeling of "Thank Gawd we got through the week," yes? (Anyone who needs to feel like they've dodged a bullet might benefit from a few hours beside the Rt. Hon. Mr. Harper, too.)

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 5, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Is it morning? I'm still dazed from the majestic sweep of the NukeHaus Online Holiday Session of Conspicuous Gift-Giving last night. All 10 minutes of it. :-)

*obviously-needing-much-more-caffeine-but-also-obviously-TGIF-laden Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

There was a beautiful sunrise over the Ottawa river this morning. I wonder if the Right Hon was up and watching it, pondering his future, from his privileged perch over the river at 24 Sussex. The house at 24 may be falling apart (the tenants never want to vacate the place for much needed renovations) but what a great location.

Why I don't like late Autumn: we just slipped below 9 hours of daylight. Sunrise at 07:26 and sunset at 16:20. Yuck.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Pres. Nixon did away with daylight savings time on this side of the border when I was in high school. Upstate NY was dark by something silly like 4 pm.

Posted by: -jack- | December 5, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I killed it, but I've acquired a ten cent word: teraflop. I wonder if the processing speed of the human CNS is measured in teraflops. If so, my processor is in low gear this a.m..

Posted by: -jack- | December 5, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Psst! Scotty! Check out Escapes in today's NYT (apologies to WAPO).

Good morning Cassandra, Boodle.

Cold wind blowing today but the sun is shining and things are clear, so a set to be good day.

Later, friends.

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure, Yoki, wave the red flag in front of the bull... :-P

hehehehehehehe! *calling in sick* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Good oped on pirates in NYT.
Cassandra, that quiche sounds goog. Happy TGIF, everyone.

Posted by: Braguine | December 5, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

sd, I'm hardly surprised by Honda's pullout of F1, particularly in light of their disappointing results since coming back into F1 about a decade ago with BAR and Jacques Villenueve (and Craig Pollock, unfortunately). I am disappointed, though, since next season marked the first year with the new hybrid-style energy recovery and deployment systems for F1 cars, and former Ferrari tech and strategic guru Ross Brawn's first chance to really influence a season for the team.

Still, from a finanical perspective, it is diffcult to see any auto manufacturer staying involved with motorsports at that financial and resource level.

The money that the Det 3 spend on NASCAR is only a fraction of what Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, Renault, and FIAT/Ferrari spend on F1 each year, but I expect that there will be at least 50% cuts across the board for the F1 teams still in, and I expect that one if not all of the Det 3 to pull direct factory support for NASCAR. There have been huge layoffs in and around Charlotte and Indianapolis since the NASCAR and IndyCar seasons ended, and I expect that to continue through next year.

russianthistle, I *like* the throwback unis, though I will grant you the NY Titans/Jets are amongst the worst. I wonder if the NY Jets will wear Titans uins to play Tennessee, the Tenn Titans will ever wear Oilers unis to play the Texans, if the Cowboys will wear Dallas Texan unis to play Houston, the Ravens will wear Colts unis to play Indy, or the Ravens will ever wear Browns throwback unis when they play Cleveland? I doubt those last two will *ever* happen.


Posted by: -bc- | December 5, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid you're right bc. The development of the new cars will not progress as fast as it could have.

Le Massif (Petite-Rivière-St-François), near Québec city (and 20 minutes away from my parent's place) opens for skiing this weekend. This ain't late fall anymore, it's Winter.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

You know things are bad when a storied name in NASCAR like Petty is denying that they are closing shop:

Posted by: slyness | December 5, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

A video on why defense spending on basic science is good:

Posted by: jimward21 | December 5, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse


Latest Minn. recount results:

98.88% recounted, with Franken ahead by about 4,600 votes, although total challenges are about 6,300.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

mrdr was busy uploading photos yesterday. Late summer asters.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! It is nice and brisk here, and I hope to accomplish something tangible at work this morning before an afternoon of meetings.

Funny you speak of ACME. We drove past an industrial and warehouse section yesterday and the Boy looked at a building and said, "ACME!" I told him yes, it is the same one used in the cartoons, and the coyote was probably in there right now. He looked skeptical.

Ivansdad update, and thanks for asking: The Foot that Would Not Heal is better. As the swelling subsided over the course of a week or so, it hurt more. Naturally once the swelling subsided prospects for a doctor's visit receded. He promises that if it isn't all better by the time his current show closes he'll seek professional medical advice. He opened last night, in a version of "Christmas Carol" where he has easily the most interesting stage hair I've seen on him. It is all straight up around his head. He must use a can of hairspray per show.

Cassandra, I also wonder about all these people talking about Obama saving the economy. I know nobody actually expects Bush to do anything like run the country, but we should at least pretend like he's in charge and might do something until the Inauguration.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I think the hair spray is affecting Ivansdad's judgement... Should I fax the Anaesti-Dart gun?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Rt, thanks for the Russian Thistle Crisis exhibit pictures. They indeed made me laugh. But tell me this, according to the link, how did the Russian Thistle accidentally ??? get introduced into South Dakota ??? in the late 19th century?

The local weather story made the front page today, A1, below the banner and above the fold. Seems there is a bubble of sorts forming to our northwest, containing Austin and New Braunfels, not far from here, that is the worst drought category possible--exceptional, and puts that area that is so close to us in league with the western Carolinas and north Georgia:

An area centered over Hays County and reaching to Austin and New Braunfels was classified by federal weather-watchers Thursday as in “exceptional” drought — the worst category.

With a large part of South-Central Texas in extreme drought — the next-to-worst category — and little prospect for significant rainfall, forecasters say they expect to see an expansion of the areas hit with the exceptional label.

“When I saw the area that came out, I was kind of surprised that [our] Bexar County was not included in it,” said Marianne Sutton, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's forecast office in New Braunfels. “I wouldn't be surprised if in the next couple of weeks it expands even further.”

And the outlook for rain?

“Dry,” she was quick to reply. “Rain? What is that? We are heading into the driest time of year, and it doesn't help that we're well below half of normal.”

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center is calling for below-normal rainfall for Central and South Texas through at least February.

Posted by: laloomis | December 5, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Here's the story of the Tartar Thistle...

Around Odessa, in southern Russia, the tumbleweed was called the "Tartar Thistle". It was introduced into Bon Homme County in South Dakota by Russian immigrants around 1877. The tumbleweed seeds had probably been accidentally mixed in with some imported flax seed. Within twenty years it covered more than a dozen states. Tumbleweed drove many farmers from their homes. It was so frightening, that a legislator from North Dakota suggested that a wire fence should be built around the whole state, to stop the advance of the tumbleweed.

Posted by: laloomis | December 5, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Not that the newspaper was without good news yesterday--it appears that the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Lab will be headed to Manhattan, Kansas. Manhattan Mercury editor and acquaintance Bill Felber has the story:

There are so many humorous sidebars to this locally, here's an example--and there are others--the local braggadoccio, and the private Biolevel 4 lab in town, with connections to the existing lab on Plum Island, having numerous security concerns, partially detailed in a recent NYT op-ed:

The local consortium said it lost ground last spring when the Homeland Security Department invited the five finalists for the lab to modify their bids and add financial incentives. The Texas Legislature was not in session and San Antonio was unable to meet the March deadline.

The San Antonio consortium initially offered $44 million in incentives to build the lab at the Texas Research Park. Gov. Rick Perry offered another $56 million Oct. 9, but it missed a March deadline, a spokesman said.

The Kansas bid was $105 million, for infrastructure and improvements of the site where the lab would be housed.

Posted by: laloomis | December 5, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Those are some gorgeous sunset pictures, dr.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 5, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes they were nice pitchers. But they are taken early. By sheer curiosity I looked at current sunrise (08:33) and sunset (16:15) for Edmonton. They are down to 7hr 42 mn of daylight.

States throwing money at DHS to get level 4 labs? Are they mad?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Woke to a glorious white frost covering everything including the tree branches and even the power lines. And a bright clear sky. For over two weeks we have had a stagnete air condition that resulted a morbid cold wet fog all day, even at out 22oo foot elevation. Very depressing. The sun will be coming over the ridge in a little while and I will have to give up the computer for an hour because I won't be able to see the screen. Seems the jet stream has abandoned the west coast. November was one of the driest on record. No snow for the skiers. Shasta Lake is at its second lowest in history.
Another bright spot is the crab season open good on the first and we are going get a couple of nice ones to crack for dinner tonight.
We got a new puppy three weeks ago, Welsh Terrier, just before our old airedale passed. Lots of mood swings around here.

Posted by: bh71 | December 5, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I went outside on this crisp late-autumn day and saw that several contrails had formed in the upper atmosphere. To me they looked like comets as illustrated in ancient texts. I enjoyed the subtle irony in this until I remembered that comets were considered bad omens.

So I decided to come back in and get to work.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

According to Shakespeare, whether comets are bad luck depends on whom you are, RD.

"When beggars die there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes."

Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

And thank you for the sky report, RD style. It must be blue there.

Here it is an uniform gleaming grey, almost as pale as mother-of-pearl, and the wind is blowing some stray brown leaves in upward spirals before letting go to pick up more for aborted take-offs. I'm not terribly keen on going outside and being tossed like a leaf in balmy 12-degree weather.

But Wilbrodog refuses to learn how to use indoors plumbing, so we're off to embrace the spirit of the steppes.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

not fire and ice after all
not a snowball head
tail of dust and charged gas
substance of primordial matter
from 4.6 billion years ago
maybe an apparition of orbit
dark muscular traveler through space
cradling your languid cold body
stretched out on his supine heat
dusty moonlit dress trailing
two hundred million miles
evading a pursuing star
falling from the oort cloud
you gave in to his embrace
before you burned
now he protects you
from the scylla
of gamma rays
and the
of black holes
now you’re a bird
in his gilded cage
but you’ll never
go home again
thousands of miles
beyond the planets
your only hope now
is eventual death
from the bits and pieces
you leave behind
every time
you go
the sun

--Tree Riesener, from her recently published collection, "the hubble cantos" [sic, lowercase, which drives me nuts], which are pomes about astronomical topics

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Really, I love looking at jets generating fresh contrails at sunrise or sunset with the sun over the horizon. Beautiful holiday ribbons of swirling icy vortices flaring yellow, orange, pink and lavender unrolling, unfurling in a dark blue sky.

The sky is a gift I am fortunate to enjoy.

Slyness, I didn't read that article yet, but I know that R. Petty sold much of his team last year, and the new management fired Richard's son Kyle.


Posted by: -bc- | December 5, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

What about Tom? I don't think he's racing cars either.

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 5, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Who knew that a lame Tom Petty joke would kill the boodle?

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 5, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Whoa -- OJ gets 15 years, and the judge rejected his apology to boot.

And I thought I was having a bad day.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Die mutha-boodle, die mutha-boodle, die!

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 5, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

OJ gets 15 years!!! *Doing Snoopy Dance With Bum Knees, Even*

There is a Goddess!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 5, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Gomer, the Earth-Mother Boodle will never die. She is immortal. She just likes an afternoon snooze sometimes.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hot cocoa for gnome,
Plain water and bed for me;
Afternoon break's nice.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for the afternnon siesta.
Our beautiful sun is gone and it's snowing now.
It's a pretty subdued way to enter the weeekend; 3 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, 70 000 laid off in Canada last month and half a million of the same in the US, the father and husband of the tot and mother killed in Oshawa earlier this week also dies from his wounds...
The only good news are OJ and this crackpot Steinke in AB who are getting their dues. Hardly good news at all, really.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

SCC afternoon. Almost wrote afternun. Bad me.
For those of us still having nightmares about catholic nuns, I read in a critique of the movie "Doubt" that Meryl Streep's sister Beauvier will refresh those memories to frightening levels. That's one movie I'll watch with the lights on, if at all.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 5, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The OJ karma finally kicked in. I was about to lose my faith in the metaphysical theological underpinnings of 'My Name Is Earl'.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 5, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

did someone mention 'My Name is Earl'... best show. Looking forward to renting over the holidays and watching 'Long Way Down' on that 100 inch screen of mine :)

Gotta run, and get my fishnet stockings out for tonight's Christmas party... time to go fishing...

Posted by: MissToronto | December 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh Lordy, Lordy. Miss Toronto has a hundred-inch TV and wears fishnet stockings. Be still my heart.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I have a Christmas party tonight with hundreds of engineers and plumbers and AC mechanics and Miss Toronto comes in talking about fishnets. Very, very cruel.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 5, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know...we men are such shallow, superficial pigs.

*trying desperately to work up some semblance of guilt or shame, and not doing very well at it*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto's going to wrap a 100-inch TV in fishnets? What?

*somewhat more distracted and confused than usual*


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

OJ Simpson was on trial for the murder of his wife and Goldman under the charge of armed robbery, and he got fifteen years.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 5, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

gee... hope santa doesn't bring me coal for taunting 'the boodling boys' :)

Posted by: MissToronto | December 5, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

No, Cassandra, he got the 15 years for the armed robbery of his own sports memorabilia in that weird deal. Had nothing to do with the murders.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse


"The Boodling Boys" could be a boffo Broadway show, doncha think 'Mudge?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

As long as he drops the coal into the fishnets... Oooooh, yeah that really does it for the geology buffs among us.

Posted by: Gomer144 | December 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

How to find Miss Toronto: A one-hundred-inch tv screen should be visible from the CN Tower. Go to the restaurant, sit facing the windows, order a meal (bring a couple hundred bucks) and watch as the city revolves below. When you can pick out the biggest darned picture of George Strombopolous you've ever seen, that will be her house.

Am I right, Miss T?

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 5, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Boffo, with very outre outfits, because it's Broadway and it has to be eye-candy, and with very little resemblence to reality.

I'm thinking 60's type costuming with bouffant Elvis wigs, upturned collars and giant horn-rimmed glasses for one of the ensemble cast, and of course a buzz-cut Paul Newman-type for another.

And of course, somebody in a large dog outfit...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

As long as it stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and not Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 5, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Absoluetly, Scotty. I think we need to get Neil Simon to write the script. Who's right for the music and lyrics?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Sondheim of course, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 5, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto is going fishin'. I think she has already hooked some of us. Can I come over New Year's Eve, Ms. T.? I for one find big screen TVs very enticing.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 5, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

think you will need binoculars from the CN Tower... but head eastwards :)... gotta run, really... FYI, Yello... I also have another bash tomorrow night... all engineers... fishnets should go over well with this crowd... will let you know if there are any cardiac arrests :)

Posted by: MissToronto | December 5, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Still feeling blechkkkkky.

Who is BhNumbers, with a new puppy-Weslshish and a dear-departed Airedale?

New or new handle?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 5, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure use of both a 100" television and fishnet stockings constitutes baiting and is prohibited.

T.O.'ers will appreciate this: I just heard that the Red Wings are going to be stripped of the Stanley Cup and it will be given to the Maple Leafs along with their coalition of the Canadiens and the Senators.

Posted by: engelmann | December 5, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

... FYI... love my big screen... makes the short cold winter days very worthwhile... and got an electric fire place insert with glowing logs... sorry Joel, no log splitting for me... I'm a hardware kinda girl... except at the cottage.

okay, gotta run. By to the boodlers, happy holiday partying :) drive safely.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 5, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I just heard that the Red Wings are going to be stripped of the Stanley Cup and it will be given to the Maple Leafs along with their coalition of the Canadiens and the Senators.

Posted by: engelmann | December 5, 2008 3:49 PM


Much like what happened after the Gov-Gen thought about the idea of Stephane Dion becoming Prime Minister, the idea of the Leafs getting their hands on the Cup would prompt Gary Bettman to postpone league play until after the all-star break.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 5, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Now the hard part: casting.

Scotty: Mandy Patinkin
Mudge: Jack Lemon, understudy: Stubby Kaye
bc: Tim Curry
Miss Tornoto: Ann Hathaway? Scarlet Johannson?
Padouk: Patrick Dempsey


Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 5, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Tim Curry?

As long as it's "Rocky Horror"-era Tim Curry I'm OK with it. Won't take much of a costume change to the gladiator outfit.

Plus, the guy can *sing.*
And, The Hair.

Er, Jeff Goldblum as omni?


Posted by: -bc- | December 5, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

yello: Matthew Broderick, David Hyde Pierce or Clay Aiken
mrs yellojkt: Lea Salonga
TBG: Patti Lupone
LiT: Idina Menzel or Kristin Chenoweth
omni: Patrick Stewart
RD: John Lithgow

Posted by: yellojkt | December 5, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto and the boodle boys. Hmmmm. Could be a rock group.

Hey, I just found out my brother and sister-in-law have neighbors who are boodle fans. They live in Burke. Very small world. So who are you?

If I didn't mention it before, I loved the kit, Joel….so refreshing and wonderfully written. It's a keeper.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 5, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

yello: Ralph Finnes?


Posted by: -bc- | December 5, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, mudge, mudge. Just so wrong in so many ways.

'Mudge: Brad Pitt

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Engelmann! Yeah, YOU! Keep your cotton-pickin' hands offa my Red Wings' Stanley Cup!!! And tell the Maple Leafs, too. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. . . .

Ah, that felt good.

Hmmm, Mudge, I wonder. . .

firsttimeblogger -- Merle Streep, maybe?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 5, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

CP, bh71 is bh - lives in Oregon, has been a Boodler for a long time. Often talks about the birds at his place - or, at least I know I've had conversations with him about hummingbirds...

Posted by: seasea | December 5, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

CP: Nicole Kidman

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

bc: Johnny Depp

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

gwe: Gérard Depardieu

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge: my ex-husband


Just KIDDING! :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | December 5, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I still am friends with my "former" husband, so there.

Think it's time to run errands.

Bye all!

Posted by: Windy3 | December 5, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea: Helen Mirren

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Mortifera: Christina Ricci

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey, no casting for me?


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

The gnome and I are wrestling over who gets to be vocally casted by Jeremy Irons.

I'm trying to figure a risposte to this from the gnome:

"Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion's share. But, when it comes to brute strength... I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Dunno about the Boodledog, but Wilbrod should be played by Renee Zelwegger (I like RZ!).

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, Bridget Jones, Gnome?

I could do worse, she's a funny actress, although Janine Garfalo stoops low.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

You distracted the gnome-- thanks, Yoki.

Dibs on Jeremy Irons' voice!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Janine Garafalo stoops low ENOUGH to play a gnome.

What did we discuss before about interrupting, Wilbrodog?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Somebody throw that dog another voice to obsess with-- he's driving me crazy.

I'm suggesting John Goodman, Frank Welker (the current voice of Scooby-Doo).

But he says that he owns THE voice, man, and he wants THE voice.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

*quietly leaves the smoking corpse of the boodle*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm struggling with casting dbG. We need someone beautiful and wise, and they are few and far between among the usual suspects.

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry if I offend, Wilbrodog, but I've been crushing on Jeremy Irons for 25 years, so clearly, with those dark good looks, his high intelligence, fine manners and dark humour, he's just got to appear as more than a voice, and self-evidently as RD_Padouk.

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Bill Farmer > Wilbrodog

Posted by: -tao- | December 5, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but think there was a little bias in all that. I mean, a lot of the people in this country hate OJ Simpson. I mean, truly hate this man. How does one keep from falling into that bias? Even a judge and a jury? The murder trial of OJ Simpson's wife and her friend, Ron Goldman, was on television every day, and it was all the talk. Every eye, well practically every eye was glued to the set. And on the day of the verdict, one could have heard a pin drop, but instead it was a bomb. How does one avoid such a thing? Only a saint could pass that test with flying colors, and speaking for myself, I fail miserably.

Simpson loves the media and being in the camera's eye. And he's still under the delusion that people care for him. I guess he's still living in that time frame when it was good for him. When he felt that he had been accepted, and the world was his oyster. When he was sitting high, and the money was flowing. When he had out ran where he came from, and moved into a new world, completely different world. And that he could play by the same rules as the people he was swinging with.

I wonder why OJ Simpson touches us in that place where we draw lines in the sands? We all know that murder isn't right. The taking of a life is not something to be taken lightly. That's why we have laws. And judges and courts. To convict those that committ such crimes. To remove them from society. Yet OJ Simpson was not convicted of murder. He was found not guilty.

I think it's the flip side of the coin. People wanted justice. That's always the sticking point, justice. And I think that's why we draw those lines in the sand. And so much of that comes from our history here in this country. That history of slavery and injustices practiced during that time. But that goes to show we can't go back to those times, not that way. We can go back, but we have to do it through apology and doing the right thing. Until we do, it will always flair and rear its ugly head in some form or other. It's like a simmering pot waiting to boil over with its ugliness and hate.

My neighbor that I helped this week has not been kind to me. I don't know if you're aware of this, but when people have a disability, many times they're made fun of and teased unmercifully. Yet when she asked for my help, I gave it, and I did it with a joyful heart. And I'm not a saint, and not trying to be one. I put myself in her place, and did what I would want someone to do for me if I was in those shoes.

And the only way I could do that, not under my own steam, but because of the one that loves me and keeps me, and taught me how to love. And it is loving, loving when it hurts to love. But He did it for us, so to please Him, I do it too. Jesus.

In this forum, I feel I can speak freely, and not offend. It is not my intention to offend, just telling my thoughts. You are my friends, and as friends you hold a special place in my heart. No matter what.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 5, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you do not offend me, and your sharing of your thoughts and feelings is of inestimable value to me. I hesitate to speak for anyone else, but I'm feeling confident that more Boodlers than I feel the same way.

I guess we all interpret the world and ourselves through the lens we wear, and so there are going to be times when we look at the same reality and see different scenes. And I do believe that OJ Simpson, for no reason I can account for, is merely the occasion of our lenses becoming particurly accutely ground, and se we see very sharp and high-coloured, but completely different pictures.

I would remind you, gently, though, that all our optics are ground by a multitude of grades, and not all of them are ethnicity, communalism or race.

And that's OK with me.

Posted by: Yoki | December 5, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - you are far too kind. Let's face it, the logical person to play me would be Paul Giamatti on a bad day.

Cassandra, I understand that you view the whole OJ saga through lenses that I cannot begin to comprehend.

I would like to think that today's conviction had nothing to do with what happened a decade ago. But I cannot guarantee that it did not. Nobody knows what goes on in the mind of another. Perhaps it was justice. Perhaps it was payback.

I simply have to put my trust in the legal system and accept the decision of the courts today, much as you encourage us to accept the decision of the courts back then.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 5, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

No to Bill Farmer!
I do not sound like Goofy,
but Baskerville hound.

(Mel Blanc, alas
Has gone to the funny voice
up high in the sky.)


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I think OJ got convicted for this crime because much of the evidence was on tape (tape of the actual crime while it happened - why it was taped, I'm not exactly sure). The sentencing seems fair to me, based on what I know. I don't think the judge let the murder trial influence her - but I have nothing to base that on, just that I figure she's a professional and must know that this is a high visibility case.

I don't rejoice in it - it's sad, what he's come to. But I think he brought it all on himself.

Posted by: seasea | December 5, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Hi all.. got up early and spent the day with my favorite 3 1/2-week old girl. I'm exhausted and happy to be Great Aunt TBG.

Maggie O'D and I went to the Liz Kelly/Kim O'Donnell meet and greet last night in DC. It was fun! We met Kim and she called Liz over by yelling... "Hey Liz! We've got some Boodlers here!"

Liz had lots of good things to say about our group ("sometimes what you guys write is as interesting as what Joel writes!") and thinks Byoolin is funny, clever and creative (she's correct on all counts, I'd say!).

Posted by: -TBG- | December 5, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Brad Pitt? *smacks forehead* Of course! Why didn't I see it?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 5, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

What a perfectly balanced compliment, TBG. "Sometimes."

Glad you had fun meeting the other WaPo people. (*mild envy here*)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

That's so cool TBG! I think Liz is great and am very envious that you got to meet her.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 5, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be nice, sometimes, if we could be in two places at the same time? I'm frenvious of Maggie and TBG getting to go to the party last night, and still Mr. T and I had a good day in the high country.

This afternoon we went from the cottage to one of our favorite places via a fun back way. At one point, Mr. T slammed on the brakes and exclaimed, "Did you see that?!" I hadn't, so he backed up and we spent several minutes watching a flock of wild turkeys in a yard. By our independent counts, there were 24, all full grown and happily going about their turkey business. So cool to see them, and dammit we didn't have the camera.

We've seen turkeys before, but never such a large group. It's good to know they are coming back in large numbers.

Posted by: slyness | December 5, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

good evening boodle! Soooooo glad it's finally Friday. I don't know when I've looked forward this much to a working weekend, but at least I can sleep in and do most of the work from home.

With 99.93% of the MN vote recounted Coleman is leading by 687 votes. Still have over 6,000 challenges but lawyers for both Coleman and Franken say they will confer and drop frivolous challenges.

Off to back boodle while some peanut butter cookies bake. Nothing like cookies hot out of the oven on a snowy evening.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 5, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

So, now that D.O.T. has hung the Mineta portrait, may I assume that somewhere an artist is slaving away on some preliminary studies of Mary Peters? My vote is for a tasteful nude, perhaps stretched out on one of her Harley-Davidsons.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 5, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Fresh out of the oven peanut butter cookies sting when they come out your nose. Thanks, bob.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 5, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

mrdr says thanks for the compliments on the photos. He does have a special way with sunsets. We have some decorating our guest bath. The pink and orange and purpley grey sets off the soft grey blue spruce of the walls. Next time the bunker is empty we may want to consider painting the...we'll talk.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 5, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The Voice, Wilbrod? The Voice? Wilbrodog obviously wants James Earl Jones. Maybe Morgan Freeman, but I think his voice would be too laid back. Wilbrodog just doesn't look like a David McCullough type though, I am sorry to say. Wait a minute, I have a thought.

The part of Joel, the narrator (there will be a narrator giving some back sotry, right?) should be played/voiced by David McCullough. I can just hear him now.

Be still my beating heart. For some its red hair, or Evangaline Lily, but for me, its just a gentlemanly writer/historian blessed with a delicious voice.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 5, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This Slate article kinda explains the silliness going on in Canada.

A bunch of smaller kids joined up to beat up the big bully, but he just threatened to take his ball and go home. Just as punches were about to be thrown, somebody's mother came out and sent everybody to their rooms. Now nobody knows what the score is or even if the game still counts.

Am I right Canuckis? This type of stuff wasn't covered on Schoolhouse Rock.

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

Wilbrod... I am your dog...
You will walk me.... now.

Yep, works for me.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 5, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Johnny Depp playing, er, me?

Hmmm. For some reason, that makes sense to me.

We're both somewhat off-kilter.

Now, on to OJ Simpson for a minute: he was found not guilty - at least, criminally - for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. Some believe that the state's investigation and prosecution was simply not up to the level of Simpson's cost-no-object defense team and that he *is* a trained actor. I can't say, personally. I think Simpson was convicted in a civil case brought by the Brown and Goldman families, for what it's worth.

In any case, he's been convicted of the charges stemming from the robberies in the hotel, and I guess he will be serving some time for them. I don't feel any joy or satisfaction about that. Seems to me that the events don't have anything to do with each other, and that for those who feel they do, throwing the book at him for the robberies isn't going to bring those people who were murdered back.

Justice? Karma? Payback?

I don't know. Some people believe things happen for Reasons -- I wish I had that level of confidence in Everything.

I do know that - as others have said - things look different to everyone depending on their own relative perspectives, and that one person's justice might be another's travesty.

Lord knows I'm not one to judge.
I don't have a level of Understanding of everything to feel like I have enough of the answers to be a fair judge of very much.

You should see what I go through trying to decide what to wear sometimes, much less being empowered to make binding Judgements about events and people I have not Witnessed.

TBG, did you ask Liz about that Mooney Suzuki concert at the Rock 'n Roll Hotel summer before last...?


Posted by: -bc- | December 5, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Er... The Voice didn't really work the way I hoped, but I'm still tanka-ful...

Snow drifting like veils
Fluttering across night sky,
Slipping like satin
as I pause in running fields,
Nebulas form on my fur.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 6, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends.

Thanks Yoki, RD, and BC.

We all view life, surroundings, events, everything through our own lens, and from our own perspective. It is hard for me to see anything through where you are, and I suspect the same applies to you. Perhaps I am the only one that perceive such a bias exist, for perhaps I am the only one that will say it out loud. I think it's best to remember that we are the folks that bury our dead in different cemetaries(?). That kind of speaks for itself, wouldn't you say?

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

Today I have a quarterly meeting of the missionary circle here in my neck of the woods. It's the Christmas meeting and we're asked to bring a covered dish. I'm going to the grocery store and see if I can find some Christmas cookies. I don't have the energy to cook.

Enjoy your weekend. It is still cold here. Yesterday wasn't so bad. A little warmth did creep in, I even ditched the coat for awhile.

I went to Wal-Mart to pick up the prescriptions yesterday, and they have like an hour or two hour wait before people can get their meds. And there are a lot of people. The pharmacists was nice though. She told me she would see what she could do to hurry up the process. It didn't take quite that long. Anyway I got a chance to talk to people, and see some old friends.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 6, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - My point is that you can't have it both ways. You cannot rejoice in the acquittal of OJ a decade ago as proof that justice has trumped racism and then condemn his recent conviction as proof of the opposite.

Further, I think imposing a racial narrative on a specific criminal case is extraordinarily dangerous. Remember the Duke case? Remember how easy it was to interpret those events through the lens of racism? And remember how tragically wrong that interpretation turned out to be?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 6, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

And thanks again to you, Cassandra for raising important points about all of our perspectives on events and how we can see things so differently.

When I considered the Brown/Goldman murder case all those years ago, I, perhaps naively, thought of it as a case of overzealous public servants believing they had landed a Big Fish, and saw opportunites to achieve something that would make their careers bigger and better.

Some of them did things to belittle and dehumanize Simpson, and did not realize that they were facing his power and resources -- far beyond what those public servants could summon to convict him in the courts and juries of the state and public opinion.

For me, the issues then were less about evidence and motive than about money and the wielding of power and influence. Race seemed to me to have a peripheral role - I still look at Simpson and see a man of prestige and power and has lived a life of significant wealth and privilage, not so much as a man of color.

Cassandra, RD, all - thanks for the reminders that I will always have a lot to learn.


Posted by: -bc- | December 6, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Good morning 'Broadway boodling boys' AND girls (of course)... like your discourse on who will play who... but if Mudge is played by Brad Pitt then Angelina Jolie would have to play my role :)... wow, Ralph Fiennes (Yello)??? I will be sure to be back stage for this one with or without fishnets... he is delicious.

As per OJ... maybe he'll get out one day like Martha and have his own 'home makers' show on Television... just to prove that the American Justice System does indeed rehab it's inmates and turn them into gregarious showbiz types!

Posted by: MissToronto | December 6, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle. I will need to get the snow shovel working this morning, but not until I've had some coffee and finish reading about Michelle Rhee and the DC schools in Time. I wish her well. When Gen. Becton took the superintendent's job in '96 I told Mr. F it would be 10 years or more before anyone saw any change for the better, and then only if Becton and his next three successors left their reputations in tatters over the effort. It never occurred to me there'd be 6 new school chiefs in the 10 years after Becton. I wonder if this year's seniors have seen any improvement since their kindergarten days.

Better get moving, the wind drove snow through the screens on the front porch so I need to add sweeping to the morning chore list.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 6, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

When I think of the O.J. Simpson trial 13 years-plus ago, I think of the blood evidence and DNA testing of 45 samples from the following: the Rockingham property, the Bundy crime scene, the Rockingham glove, the Rockingham socks, and Simpson's Bronco. Remember the RFLPs and PCRs?

Posted by: laloomis | December 6, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

AND, my sympathies are not with O.J. Simpson, but with the more than half a million people who lost their jobs in November alone, plus the more than 600,000 people who have given up looking for work, as reported in the NYT yesterday.

Posted by: laloomis | December 6, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Just finished backboodling - I missed a very amusing day on the boodle. Had a wonderful evening with friends last night,

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow... quiet night last night here on the Boodle, no? Looks like a lot of folks went to bed early like I did. I'm too old to go out nearly every night of the week. But it was well worth it. Funny to think that three of the nights were with A-blog friends. Imaginary no more.

So... good morning all! What's on the schedule for you today?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 6, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Who is the real "Dumbest Generation?" Not today's kids.
Quite a critique of Generation Jones, but from my clearly personal and anecdotal observation I have to agree.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 6, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle! Extremely late morning for me. I put it down to the fabulous time I had a DC. Thank you to all the friends who turned out.

Another very cold day, but pretty and will be filled with the purest fun; a visit to a museum, a good meal, beloved people. What could be more pleasant?

Have a wonderful Saturday.

Posted by: Yoki | December 6, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse


Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell on a topic near and dear to our hearts: Science Reporting.

Interesting in the context of the fact that many news outlets have been cutting back on their Science and Technology news staff and resources lately.


Posted by: -bc- | December 6, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

martooni.... looks like you need to find one of the sessions and present your healthcare proposal...

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

Today we enter the Christmas Zone around the Padouk house. The outdoor lights, the decorations, and, of course, the tree.

Because of allergies we long ago abandoned a "real" tree in favor of one made from space-age plastics. Besides, these new polymer-based creations have the tensile strength needed to support nearly two-decades of accumulated ornamentation. Including, of course, a plethora of artifacts created by the children that form an archeological record of their burgeoning creativity with clay, crayon, and paper mache.

The only downside to this accumulation of decorative wonder is that my wife has very narrow tolerances regarding ornament positioning. One cannot place similar epochs, colors, or themes too close. And to do so is to invite naught but derision and scorn.

But with careful supervision we usually end up with a tree that is appropriately Epic. It is one of those stress-tinged cherished traditions that define the Holiday Season.

And tomorrow we start the cookies.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 6, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

a few days too late, but quite interesting anyway. MIT is working on stackable, electric cars that you could rent at kiosks around cities.

Posted by: jlm5 | December 6, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Coookies! Can I put silver sprinkles on some?

Posted by: Yoki | December 6, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Feeling better somewhat.

About OJ, I think of this lens;

some children by virtue of a gift, grow up with positive feedback on their performance. They -- to develop and refine the talent -- are not required to do ordinary tasks like chores, school home work, etc. Be required, I mean, they are often let off the hook.

This creates an atmosphere of specialness or exceptionalness. The piper is seldom paid, because the stakes get higher. People relied on OJ to win games, from say junior high on. Others in power -- college officials, coaches, etc. -- benefit from the achievement and do not require ordinary tasks.

The person comes to believe -- because of sustained experience -- that they are special. That the rules do not apply to them.

(I am imagining the details here).

Anyway, the look on his face in both trials about being required to 1) be ordinary and 2) accept consequences reminds me of what happens to the development of some exceptional children.

Narcissism fits some of this character problem.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 6, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a wonderful day RD, I regrettably had to go to an artificial tree due to my allergies but people think it is real so I guess it works. Our tree is like a photo album each ornament represents a year (40+ years of ornaments for my husband) and a least one new one each year for the kids, plus some home made ones and inherited ornaments from my parents and gifts from friends. Decorating the tree each year is a trip down memory lane I look forward to.

I have made much of our decorations, tree skirt stockings, stocking hangers, advent calendars, figurines, arrangements of greens, plus plants, plus christmas decorations made by the kids and more gifts from friends and family - four large tubs of stuff, that would never been shown in a decorator magazine but I cherish anyways.

House has been decorated for a while in anticipation of our annual christmas party.

Off to a winery open house today with my husbands cousin - can't wait she will soon be relocating to Boston and we will miss our visits with her (she just finished a MSc at a university close by).

Yoki so glad you and the others had such great get togethers - enjoy the day.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

That stackable car is cool, jim5... but I'd look awful in the spandex suits I'd apparently have to wear to drive one.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 6, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

RD-I see a bit of the frostfam in your holiday prep. We skipped the traditional trimming of the giant pre-lit artificial tree Thanksgiving weekend (I didn't have a key to the storage unit up here in our fair city, at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)but normally I supervise it so closely that we are on the edge of revolt the whole day. Last year Mr. F and frostdottir did their best to duplicate the design that has been etched in stone since '96 and it warmed my heart when I arrived in Tampa to find I had trained them so well, except for the bow fluffing deficiency which shall not be mentioned again. Our second tree is either cut or purchased the day after Thanksgiving and trimmed however Mr. F and the Dott, and Frostson if he's about, feel is appropriate. I cannot watch, the pain from biting my tongue is so intense by the time the tree is somewhat straight in the stand that I retreat to another room, or city, and return only when the trimming is complete. It is never tasteful, and always magical, with Frostson's kool-aid mustache picture ornament from 1st grade hung prominently.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 6, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Our tree won't go up yet. I insist on a live one, the better to create excitement with potential fire hazards. We call this "Christmas magic". We decorate it with a hodgepodge of ornaments from my infancy and youth, ones acquired during our marriage, ones given to or thrust upon us, and ones cunningly crafted by the Boy. Some years the tree is too small and many are forced to remain boxed and hidden. This guarantees that the next time they emerge we view them as new. If they hide long enough and nobody misses them, they might be culled. One constant, and a constant source of pain to the Boy, is the paper-cone angel with a picture of his grinning toddler face and a gold pipe-cleaner halo. This adorns the tree tip top. Each year he protests and each year I tell him to make me a different one. Ah, the joys of the season.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 6, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I have just finished decorating the house, with the exception of the tree, which will be done tomorrow. It also has all the ornaments of years past from children, trips, gifts, etc. Each year I think I will do one of those designer type trees and then I come to my senses and realize that the ornaments are what Christmas is about - children, love, memories. No amount of Decorator chic can warm my heart the way my homey tree does.

We do have another tree that goes out on the porch. “S” decorates it and his collection of teddy bears sit under it, wearing their Santa hats. I think he will decorate this tree today with the granddaughters who are coming to stay overnight. I have made gingerbread cookies and two small gingerbread houses (the components), which the girls and #2 are going to decorate later on today.

Tomorrow I start baking. The Swedish bread, cookies both filled and frosted, fudge and toffee. I’d always rather bake than cook, so this is my fun time of year.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 6, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I love a tacky tree... as my mom used to say "we like lots of action." blinking lights... spinning ornaments... we also turn plenty of things into ornaments, like the dreidel eraser and the Santa Pez dispenser ... the bowling medal... and the old car keys we have no clue to what car they belong.

There's also my precious Hanging Nancy ornaments made for me years ago by a dear friend...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 6, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Finally the weather has warmed again here and we also intend to put up outdoor lights AND paint a small bathroom. The gecko green paint looks good--very cheerful. But not Geico gecko cheerful.

Have a good day everyone!

Posted by: Windy3 | December 6, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Slackers. You all are slackers, you lucky folks. The decorations went up last Saturday at my house, but I protested and didn't decorate the real tree (a beauty, I must admit) until Tuesday evening.

Eclectic is the theme of our decorations. We don't do glass balls much because they tend not to survive. But I have several collections that I love: the different crosses, in gold; the cross-stitched penguins in little circle frames; the white glitter seashells; the crocheted snowflakes; the brass designs; the fire service ornaments in fire trucks and fire Santas. Yes, it is a beautiful tree, in spite of my dislike of the overwhelming nature of it all.

Posted by: slyness | December 6, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Lights on the tree in the dark cover all sorts of flaws:

ticky tacky eccess, equally, the
carefully regulated Martha-escue


No mistakes possible people. None 'tall.

We wait until the week before, however, I keep the tree up until mid January because of concerted laziness and for the sheer joy of it all.

Here is the bestest tree ever reminder:

Warning: 3:25 minutes but all of it worth weight in silver candy sprinkles.

Warning: Charlie Brown backed by Vince Guaraldi makes me cry.

Warning; excerpt from the Gospel of Luke about the meaning of Christmas.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 6, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

(calibrate your monitor for true-ish color)
Windy: I like it. Enjoy.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 6, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Bush has been busy this morning. Installed a new regulation dear to the hearts of the NRA allowing concealed carry of loaded weapons in national parks.
On the good side he named the old Japanese internment camp (what's left of it) at Tule Lake, CA a national monument.

Posted by: bh71 | December 6, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

That article on Generation Jones could have been done better.

1) The mid 60's saw massive rubella epidemics. A lot of infants, depending on age of exposure in utero, were born severely retarded, deaf-blind, deaf, or mildly learning disabled (I'd look at data through 1968 to be sure).

2) Tracking by year, rather than generation, may yield more information.

If there is indeed an effect that does not change much from year to year over the years studied, we may blame "New Math" or other failed pedagogical innovations for the "dumber" kids.

3) I would be interested to see if performance scores had a statistically significant rise after 1970 (1969 was when a rubella vaccine was first available).

4) I would like to see some references to evaluate the data myself.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 6, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

This years version of the tree.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Love the tree, dmd. It's just like you... beautiful, warm and friendly!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Hallo Boodlers,

After serious grumbling and vituperating at the WaPo for not letting me in, figured out it was my browser.

here is my public, GRRRR.

Now off to make myself a chicken sammich.

P.S. Danish Navy rescued some adrift Somali pirates--nice chaps, the Danes.

Posted by: Braguine | December 6, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TBG, loved the Nancy ornament, my eldest and spent a lot of time watching the Nancy cartoons loved that show.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Your tree is wonderful, dmd!

When my kids grew up and left home, I divided the Christmas ornaments and sent them with the kids. So I don't "do" a Christmas tree anymore.

I used to buy three of any new ornament, one for each child.

If any of you use this method --- get one each year for yourself!

Posted by: nellie4 | December 6, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

One thing I need to do today is clear off the small end table which we're going to put a tiny tree on. It has books, knitting in progress, papers. I've tried going the no tree route, but Mr seasea has to have one. But he's fine with it being very small and lightly decorated.

I was taught as a child to smooth out each strand of icicle, then place it carefully on the tree, just so, making sure it drapes well and reflects any lights. Mr seasea would grab handfulls and throw them on the tree in clumps. As an adult, I found the icicles so messy during and in the aftermath of the holiday, that I stopped buying them, and mostly he didn't notice.

dmd, love the tree skirt, and what you've done with the outside arrangements.

Posted by: seasea | December 6, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

We do a version of that nellie but now the kids select their own ornament each year, it makes for an interesting collection - everything from Swarski stars purchased by me to my little pony and green sparkle purses selected by the kids. Someday when they decorate their own trees they will be able to remember what interested them at the various points in their childhood. Each ornament is marked with initials and the year in gold or silver pen.

I still purchase a new ornament for my husband each year and one for myself - but more recently the kids have been helping select mine and my husbands, this year my husbands ornament is a pair of hockey skates (since he is coaching for the kids hockey teams this year just makes sense).

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Dear Sir Wilbrodog:
I think my boyfriend's cheating.
How can I be sure?"

-A woman-

Simple, dear woman;
Hire beagles to investigate,
Or sniff him yourself.


Man, people get paid for answering dumb questions like that? I want in. I know I'd be good!

Dear Mr. Wilbrodog:
My dog marks my Christmas tree!

From Deeply worried--
(my chihuahua's anxiety
may ruin our Christmas)

Dear Worried, housebreak.
Male dogs are made to mark trees,
not to pee in homes.



Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 6, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse


My dog won't do trees. What's wrong?

Posted by: Braguine | December 6, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr. F and I married on December 21st after a heated discussion about his imminent departure for Somalia (again) and my distaste for being saddled with multiple houses, one in mid renovation while I was in grad school, and nothing to give me authority to act for him but a power of attorney. The justice of the peace who married us was under indictment for financial shenanigans a few days later, and our witnesses have long since divorced. But, the formerly stable couple gave us an engraved silver bell ornament as a wedding present. In an enormous leap of faith, given our previous track records in relationships, we planned then and there to buy the same bell each year. We have, and I must say 17 of them look rather fine all massed on the tree. Frostdottir took on the task of polishing them about 10 years ago, but she is getting a bell of her own this year for her first apartment tree. My first great-nephew (named for Frostdaddy) is having his first Christmas so he'll get one, as will an old friend I worked with in NoVA. I wish I'd thought to give more of them years ago. Would have saved much fretting over what to get Bro and Sis Frost-in-law.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 6, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, allergic to Christmas trees. What a bummer!

I'm a lucky, lucky man. I can sniff nearly all trees without fear of physical discomfort; I can intentionally antagonize police officers without much fear that they'll overreact, 'cuz I'm small (vertically, anyway) & white & relatively non-threatening; I can lose a job without worrying overmuch that I'll starve to death because I'm reasonably bright, tolerably well-spoken, widely experienced, & have friends/family to fall back on if it comes to that (and because I've been there, done that, and learned that while it truly sucks to be broke & essentially homeless, it's just one more part of life); I can view most racial/gender/cultural conflicts through a lens that is shaped by past experience that informs me that the differences are much smaller than most people think; AND with minimal equipment and ingredients, I can bake my own bread and brew my own beer!

I'm a happy Bob!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 6, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Happy Bob... that is a great post!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 6, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

An angel atop
a hodgepodge tree brims with life
magically grown

Posted by: Achaiku | December 6, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* The season's first snow flurries are falling here. And tonight is my company's xmass party over in Alexandria, and for the first time ever, my entire team is going, so Mrs. Curmudgeon and I are going, too.

Now, there's a story on the WaPo home page I am seriously trying not to go apes--- ballstic over. This is the kind of story that makes me totally crazy. The headline is "Intellectual tilt [of Obama's appointees] worries critics."

Ya see, so far Obama's appointees have all been widely praised. A diverse group--got women, minorities of several flavors. Very experienced. Lotsa talent. No extremists. What's not to like?

Um...they might be "too smart." Seems Obama, that silly, impetuous boy, has appointed a bunch of well-educated smart people. What the HELL was he thinking? Seems 22 out of 35 have Ivy league educations.

And after 8 years of the Bush administration, God knows Murika don't want no smart people in office. We likes 'em dumb, see. Cuz that turned out so well over the past kuple of yeers. And "the critics" of course are worried about all the potential problems having smart, well-educated people in office, for a change, might bring. I mean, who knows what sort of crazy things they might do? Fix the economy? End a war or two. Find bin Laden. Fix global warming. Stop the flashing "12:00, 12:00, 12:00" on my VCR.

I mean, *&^%#@ *&^ ratzafrattin' *(^%$#@&^. Sweet Jayzus. Hate thumbsuckers like that thing. Hate 'em. Hat 'em. Not least because "the critics" by definition exist to do nothing but criticize and create doubt. Some day I expect to see a story (and not in The Onion, either) that says something like "Critics Fear 0rgasm Too Much Fun," or "Angels Receive Insufficient Flight Safety Training, Need Parachutes, Critics Say."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 6, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

CollegequaParkian, I've been around a few years. Lurk most morning here on the left coast. You guys are usually up and at'em a few hours before I'm on line. I used to be just plain bh until WaPo required at least four characters so I added my age. Was gone yesterday buying some fencing wire to repair our neighbors fifty year old fence to keep the puppy out of the hitch hiking burrs growing on her side. A dollar a foot for 200 feet. Got the places fixed she was getting under.
$200 was cheap compared the the hunks she was taking out of my arms pulling out the burrs.
We don't decorate or put up a tree. We have lots of firs and pines growing all around the house and mcdrone trees that have bright green leaves and red berries so we are decorated by nature. In the house we have a couple of nice jasmine plants with white blossoms so we are all set.
Nice blue sky and no fog again today but still a stagnant air warning so no burning of fireplaces that aren't EPA approved. People were really bummed that they could not have a crackling fire for Thanksgiving. We won't be able to burn our debris piles now until next spring.

Posted by: bh71 | December 6, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm with 'mudge. It's not just infuriating, but I think it's actually dangerous to act as if deep thought and extensive education are somehow undesirable on a policy-making team.

Should on-the-ground experience (in whatever the field of endeavor) carry heavy suasion? Of course. But I've got no particular desire to have anyone in charge of ANY organization whose go-to position is: "I know how things work, because that's the way we've always done it, and I don't want any pointy-heads telling me different." That's not any better than misguided naivete, and (to the extent that it represents unwillingness to consider radical change as a possible solution to problems) is probably considerably worse.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 6, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I note that in the Ombudsman column, Deborah Howell refers to Jonathon Weiner, "[who] wrote "The Beak of the Finch," a book about evolutionary biology that won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1995."

It's a fine book for an evolution freak like me, but it also worth noting that he wrote "The Next Hundred Years", which (in my opinion) covered most of Al Gore's "Earth in the Balance" ground earlier & better.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 6, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Ooops - Actually, I meant Gore's "Inconvenient Truth". He actually glossed some science in that one, right? If memory serves correctly, I think that "In the Balance" is more "poetry & policy" oriented, than factual.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 6, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I also have just developed a great fondness for David Brown because of the following line quoted in Deborah Howell's piece:

"In science, there is a natural tension between evidence and opinion, and evidence always wins. What authority figures have to say about anything in science is ultimately irrelevant. Unfortunately, in a lot of science reporting, as in a lot of reporting in general, that isn't the case.''

Posted by: bobsewell | December 6, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Your Happy Bob post was fabulous, and now you're on a roll, Happy Bob.

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

Evening all

I am really enjoying my little vacation,although the weather has gotten a lot colder,nice to just turn on the heat rather then starting a fire and huddle by it.I had my first ever pedicure and why did I wait so long.perhaps one of the finer luxeries in life and Oh My,it sure felt nice.

Going to catch the end of Bama/gators.Sorry Joel but i am rooting for Alabama,hoping it is the year of Bama,all around.

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

To bring a completely different perspective to OJ Simpson case, I find myself wondering if Cassandra realizes what a podunk little 'burg Las Vegas is? This is the largest city in a state whose unemployment rate is significantly affected if a fire shuts down one large hotel for a few weeks. If all of the hotels in Los Angeles, or Washington DC, or New York City shut down tomorrow for two months, it would be really, really disruptive. But those cities would get by. If all of the hotels in Las Vegas shut down tomorrow for two months, it would be a disaster of New Orleans hurricane-style consequences.

The possibility may exist that the community just frowns upon that sort of wild-west shenanigans taking place in the hotels upon which most of its economy is based.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 6, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Ah, it's getting dark and the lights from the places across the way are starting to glow through the trees. Only one house this year (the one with the two adopted kids) has outdoor lights so far.
The lonesome dove is still pecking away out on gravel carbo loading for the night. The quail were probably here earlier but I fell asleep during the fourth quarter of the ball game. Did Florida beat the spread?

Posted by: bh71 | December 6, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Thank you, Achaiku. That was a wonderful Christmas haiku.

Thank you also to frostbitten for your silver bells story. As usual, you're an inspiration to me.

I am SO excited - the Boy and I bought presents today for two cousins and Ivansdad!! I am slowly but surely coming around to the idea that Christmas will be here very soon.

It is odd what will make your heart race as you get older. I am deeply pleased because we bought a toilet today (which will be installed Monday) to replace one which is a constant problem. It is only 58 years old, you'd think there'd be no problem. This is a great present as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 6, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you very much for giving me a new set of connotations to "Happy Bob", Bob S.


Wilbrodog writes Brag:

Girl dogs rarely do trees
Klutzy dudes are squatters, too--
Balance's hard on three.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 6, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Freudian slip on that first line;

should be "girl dogs rarely tree"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 6, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I went out for my morning jog/walk and since I was already hot and sweaty I figured I might as well put up the outdoor lights. The neighbors on either side already had theirs up so I was the laggard.

Good thing too because the blizzard blew through this afternoon coating the area in a serious dusting.

My wife bought a very small fake tree that barely rises above the level of the mantle. It just seems the right size for our downsized holiday. I'll post pictures as soon as we get some ornaments on it.

That danged Generation Jones phrase showed up again. I hate it. Nobody but Jonathon Pontell uses and it irritates me.

The article uses "early X-er" but I prefer "tail boomer". Whatever it's called I have to concur with the article about some of the root causes. Kids born in the 60s were subjected to some of the most ridiculous educational theories and approaches ever. Open classrooms, SRA packets, Roberts English, independent learning. It's a wonder any of us can read and write at all. My own mangled prose is presented as prima facia evidence.

I will proudly wear the mantle of Dumbest Generation. Maybe that's why Obama needs so many smart fellas around him.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 6, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The gecko bathroom is finished save for a few touchups after removing the painter's tape (always an irritating surprise). This upstairs hall bathroom has been christened The Green Room. One will not fall asleep in this room. But it looks great with reds and golds and black and whites, etc. Perfect for the holiday season. And in towels.

Mudge, you sleigh me...methinks you may be from another planet.

BH71--I had a lonesome dove for awhile too...but now he/she is a love bird.

Ivansmom...there is little better in the home than a smooth running commode. have found nirvana perhaps?

I must now rest my weary bones.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 6, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

A most excellent tree. It looks so cozy and inviting.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 6, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Cozy is good right now Yello, cold and snowy, and thanks.

Had fun visiting two wineries today - purchased four wines, two Gamay, one Pinot Gris, one Savingnon Blanc plus tried Compte cheese for the first time - so good. It was lovely going through the wineries in the snow.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

If you'd like some happier articles to read, I found the "10 best books" a good one -
I had heard of only about half of them, haven't read any, but some are on my library list now.

The Kennedy Center honors interviews are good too - and Robin Givhan has one about the blues:

I have some Pinot Gris here that I got for Thanksgiving but never opened...hmmmm...

Posted by: seasea | December 6, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

What a busy day, but the house is officially Christmasized. (That is a word isn't it?) The tree looks beautiful. I don't know what it is about strands of colored lights, but it is hard not to look at them and smile. You know, my grandfather used to decorate his house each Christmas with blue and white lights because he liked them. I don't think he ever realized that he was actually decorating for Hanukkah.

We finished the day by watching "Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day," a most delightful film. Funny, fast paced, and well constructed. Which reminds me, Amy Adams is in the film. Although I tried hard to convince my wife that I really liked it because of Frances McDormand.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 6, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Bob, what a great post and how good it is that you feel that way!

I went out to get a wreath for the door this morning. There was one on display that had seashells glued on and I thought, I can do that! So I bought two wreaths and glued shells to them and they look good. Granddaughters came in the middle of it so I had them put the gumdrops on the gumdrop tree. #2 arrived with her dog and just as we started to decorate cookies, the power went out. So we lit candles and began in the semi-dark. Power came back and they all kept at it. Granddaughters assembled and decorated their gingerbread houses with an abundance on frosting and candies.

In talking with the granddaughters, “S” and I realized that they weren’t very familiar with “A Christmas Carol” which horrified me. “S” has a tape of Orson Wells and Lionel Barrymore doing a radio broadcast of it from 1939, so we played it for them tonight.

We never got to the ‘bear tree’ because we had to have a wedding for two of their webkins. There was a lot of singing with piano and three ‘moments of silence.’ Two of them involved looking at the floor while remembering happy times and one had us looking at the ceiling while remembering our sins. I would have thought the opposite more appropriate, but no one asked my opinion. I think the bear tree will get done after breakfast tomorrow. I do believe the little darlings have finally fallen asleep, yes!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 6, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers what a fantastic day you had - those are some very lucky grandchildren - memories they will hold for a lifetime.

Frosti I will think of you and your bells on the 21st, also a special day in our house as someone will be turning 8.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 6, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

My daughters and I went over to my Mom's to set up her tree, put up lights, wreaths, and other decorations. We all pitched in to make a nice baked ziti first, so we could have some olifactory motivation while we worked.

Mom's house looks great, but we had some weather this evening. Freezing rain, to be precise. The combination of very icy roads, accidents, and traffic (preventing a turnaround, as the worst of it was at the halfway point) turned our usual 20-minute jaunt into a two-hour odyssey punctuated by shocks of fright, excitement, thrills, tears and cursing.

And that was just my 8-year old in the back seat trying to work her older sister's iPod during the ride.

We're all home safe, but I'm definitely going to have a glass of port before I go to sleep. That ride was no fun, and certainly made a bit more stressful by the Precious Cargo I was conveying.

Hope everyone's home safe and healthy tonight.


Posted by: -bc- | December 6, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, your g-girls are very young, aren't they? Not sure when I would have become aware of A Christmas Carol. I do love it. I bought the book with the intent of reading it aloud with my son when he was young - not sure we ever did that, certainly not the entire thing. I bet Lionel and Orson are a treat to listen to. Sounds like a lovely day.

Posted by: seasea | December 6, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

bc, so glad you got home safe. I’ve had a few rides like you described and remember the silent prayer of thanks I always said as well pulled into the garage. Just looked outside, there’s nothing happening here but #2 did report snow squals on her way home and they are promising something overnight or in the morning.

I forgot that I also walked #2’s dog today. He is truly a hunter, nose to the ground the whole time. He is a fun dog but nearly impossible to wear out. It was fun to walk around the neighborhood, something I don’t do often as it’s a dead end street with a cul de sac attached. The smell of wood stoves burning and the cold air made it feel very Christmas-y.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 6, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom and dmd-thanks for reading my bell story.

bc-good to read you and yours made it home safely.

-6F here, headed down to -10 tonight. Is it too early to be tired of winter?

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 6, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, bells make everything all right, Frostbitten. Nice story-- rituals do so help.

Frostbitten, you have no idea how much I'm lusting for Christmas back in the DC area.

It's not too early, Frostbitten. The count-down to the winter solistice is always hard.

I think Minnesota winters are "best" AFTER the new year and the days start getting longer again. December, not so much.

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

bc - I LOVE the stories which start out, "My evening was terrible..." and end with, "now we're home safe."


Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I've got a number of (true, really, they're all true!) stories which involve my apparent indifference to death, but (alas) the outcome is never in doubt. Perhaps I should hire a good professional story-teller to share them, while I skulk in the background. Does anyone know such a bard?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 3:55 AM | Report abuse

- Don't anyone bother suggesting such tired old hacks as Achenbach, Barry, Livengood, or Weingarten. Sure, they were all good in their day, but I need ....

Sorry, I can't keep straight fingers here, let alone a straight face!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Bobsea, you are correct, I had not thought about OJ's behavior crippling the hotel business in Las Vegas or the impact such businesses have on their economy. Thanks for enlightening me.

I agree with you, Bob, just don't think it's based on just "one" thing.

We have quite a few lawyers on the blog. Sometimes if a criminal can't be brought to justice on one crime, the law can do it under some other crime? Case in point, some high reaching criminals are dragged in court under a simple(perhaps not that simple) thing like mail fraud, if that criminal has been slippery under a another crime? Perhaps I've been watching too much television, but I perceive there are a lot of ways to skin a rabbit. I'm not trying to justify OJ Simpson in any way. He committed the crime, he does the time. All I'm saying is that it's a diverse kind of thing. And I know I'm not putting it well, but I think everyone here understands pretty much what I'm trying to say. And that is the end.

I'm getting ready for Sunday school and church this morning. I hope I can partake in the service this morning. It's still cold here. I will wrap up as much as possible and head out the door. I do hope your weekend is going well.

Mudge, as always, I enjoyed your rant. And you're right. I fall in the dummy category, but enjoy smart people. That's why I hang around here.

Slyness, Martoon, Scotty, Yoki, and all, good morning to you.*waving*

Ivansmom, glad you got the commode. And that you're happy with it. Bobse, enjoyed your other post too. I'm not putting up a tree. Don't have one, nor the ornaments to put on a tree, and I will not worry about it. I will look at the other trees in my neighborhood and enjoy them. And I'm not upset one bit. I can see and enjoy Christmas so I'm ahead of the game.

Have a great day, folks. Try to give God some of your time, and today would be good day to tell your family how much you love them.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 7, 2008 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Somehow I missed a day of Boodling... I chalk it up to pre-vacation trip prep. Yeah, that'll work! :-)

I'm listening to the Led Zeppelin channel on Sirius satellite radio, and was just treated to a banjo-and-fiddle version of "The Song Remains the Same." I liked it!

The NukeHaus will have to settle for a colorful-through-the-magic-of-fiber-optics but otherwise unadorned Xmas tree this year. The ornaments are in a box. Somewhere around here. :-)

*listening-to-the-furnace-take-a-short-break-before-firing-up-again-on-a-chilly-Sunday Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 7, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

*finishing BackBoodle activities*

Eeeeeeep, bc!!! We shoulda called and given you fair notice of the conditions!! Saw at least a half-dozen overturned and otherwise discombobulated vehicles on a drive down 15/340 late yesterday afternoon. I'm VERY glad to hear you're all home safe!

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 7, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Enough of this winter thing. Most likely it has to stop soon and the temps will return to the high 60's ... no doubt.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 7, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

And of course, a moment of silence for the course of events on this day, 67 years ago...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 7, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. All that Christmas decoration talk is causing me some serious guilt. I should set an hour aside to do the outside lights. It's been too cold or I was busy with something else so the lights still wait in their boxes. There is a couple of inches of fresh snow on the ground and REALLY cold weather is coming. This ain't late fall anymore.
We make a natural tree in the same style as dmd. We have had no heirloom glass decorations since the two-cat incident. We had a big kitten (to be named Peasoup a few weeks later, as it fell in it) running around crazily enough to excite the slightly older, huge orange cat we ended having for the next 13 years. The small cat climbed to the top of the fully decorated tree, closely followed by the heavyweight. That sealed the deal. Everything went crashing down. There was glass everywhere. The big cat developed a lifelong phobia afraid of Christmas that day (noellasylviphobia?).
I had one of those long ride Friday bc. I wasn't driving but those 75 minutes in the bus felt like a long day. The conditions were just right, a snow squall just at the beginning of rush hour was turned into ice by the passing vehicles. No way the salt trucks could do their job in the stalled traffic so everyone was skidding and slipping around.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 7, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC there is an extra afraid somewhere.

I was the cause of an incident at the bookstore last Friday, related to a signing event. I'll try to summarize it soon. I think that'll make Brag laugh. I'm such a klutz.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 7, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

The casualt: 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, and 1,178 wounded. Over a thousand crewmen aboard the USS Arizona battleship were killed.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 7, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! There's so much frost on the ground this morning, it looks like a young snow. I think I'll skip breakfast at church this morning and just show up for Sunday School.

Russianthistle, I've been to the Arizona memorial, early on a June Sunday morning. It is truly a spiritual experience. To look at all the names on the marble wall and to see the seeping oil - it brings the enormity of the event into focus. All the tourists walk softly and speak in whispers because it is hallowed space.

The National Park Service is responsible for the site, and they do a wonderful job. There's no cost, but one has to go to the visitors center and watch the film about the attack before getting on the shuttle to go across the bay to the memorial. The US Navy runs the shuttle, 150 people at a time, and only a certain number each day. We arrived around 7:15 that Sunday morning and were in the second shuttle of the day.

Seeing the Arizona memorial is a good reason to visit Hawaii.

Posted by: slyness | December 7, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Boodle. Yet another long-haul flight for me today; I may be getting too old for this sort of nonsense.

Looking forward to getting home (48 cm base and 20 cm of new powder at Sunshine Village!!!) and settling in.

Cassandra, the best of all possible Sundays to you, ma'am.

Posted by: Yoki | December 7, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Congrats on the Webkins nuptials. So how did the honeymoon go? Is there a video of it online? My boss's eleven year old wants a gecko for Christmas. She bought him a Webkins gecko instead. I'm predicting some disappointment Christmas morning.

Frank Rich is jumping on the "these smart-@ss kids" bandwagon, comparing Obama's picks to Kennedy's Whiz Kids and predicting it will go poorly with so many eggheads in charge.

What is the proper way to celebrate Pearl Harbor Day? Play A PS3 WWII fighter simulator on your Toshiba TV perhaps? Me? I always drink kamikazees until I'm bombed.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 7, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Thanks for all the good wishes on getting home safe last night folks. Curiously, I never considered that I wouldn't make it home - I think I can drive pretty well in bad conditions. Driving race cars in rain and other stuff taught me a lot about car control in low traction conditions. I'm fine in a car if it slides, though I never do it intentionally with kids in the car. Anyway, there were a lot of pretty bad wrecks in the 10 miles between Mom's house and home last night, and I'm not surprised to hear about bad stuff between my place and Scottynuke's neighborhood to the west. I'm glad ye and NukeSpouse were home safe, too.

I think it appropriate to take a few minutes to discuss the events of Dec. 7, 1941 with my kids; to tell them of the people who gave their lives in Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent effects on our family, our country, and the world.

Like many Boodlers, I'm of the type that prefers the smartest possible people in the Government.

I've heard the arguments of others for many years, and like the other Boodlers, am more than happy to point to the past 8 and say (heavily seasoned with sarcasm), "Do you think the the smartest and most intelligent people in the country can do any *worse?*"

More later.


Posted by: -bc- | December 7, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

There are times I'm very happy to not be near the District for big events...

This will not end well, methinks... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 7, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Obama has selected Eric Shinseki to lead Veterans Affairs. Another master stroke in repudiating the "tell us what we want to hear" MO of the last 8 years and a great choice for that Dept. Perhaps MotP, formerly Aloha, can weigh in on whether she thinks this will prep Shinseki to run for Inouye's Senate seat one day.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the Shinseki choice, frostbitten, but will even he be able to do anything with the VA? Let's hope the incoming folks set aside enough of the budget to give Shinseki something to work with... *SIGHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 7, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

SCC- that should be Inoue.

sd-we share the experience of a "two cat incident." Frostcat #1 (Clancy) joined the very large cat Clyde in our family just a few weeks before Christmas. They toppled the tree one morning with just one ornament broken. I righted it and went back about my business. Later that day they sent it crashing, with a few more ornaments broken but this time I was on my way out the door to meet Mr. F for a big Christmas social. I righted the tree, swept up the mess and locked the cats in a bathroom with all their necessities and some toys. As I backed out of the driveway I realized I'd left the hostess gift behind and opened the door to find the two cats had already liberated themselves (I found out later one had made a statement by walking past the litter box to pee in the bathtub). Before I could do anything two twenty pound cats became one roiling mass of fur entangled in light strings and dragging the tree across the living room floor. I don't know if it was being tangled in the lights, my screaming, or acquired noellasylviphobia but they didn't bother with trees much after that.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The boodle's full of wonderful stories this morning and I've enjoyed them all.

bc... it's not *your* driving we worry about... it's those "dummies" on the road with you... but you know that.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Rejoining the land of the living.

Lovely story Frosti on the miracle of luck an chance, coupled with hard work and common sense.

Bc -- safe. Good for that. I want you at the wheel of automobile Alamos.

High school swim meet last night. Brave team of five souls, comported themselves well against mega teams of 50 souls. Can we wave a wand to ensure that no child graduates high school without learning to swim? Mr. Obama, you got that? Thankee.

Very strange to be in the sauna of indoor pool, with a dusting of snow outside. The moist air did my chest a world of good. Would like to say that with my two fellow timers, we were consistent in our precision. I was nearly always the middle time of three clocks, so my number entered most of the stats. We take the middle time of three per lane. The quick-draw dad finally took pride with his speedy clicks, and stopped trying to match my times.

BH, thanks for the reminder.

Our tree goes up on the 18th, to strains of the nutcracker. About the cat stories, I shall reveal a silly but serious case of cat phobia.....really. Concerns a Siamese, which I understand are not yer typish cat.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 7, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I'll be talking to the Boy about Pearl Harbor today too. We visited it when I was in high school. My dad was stationed in the Pacific in WWII.

I'm with TBG, bc; I always am fairly confident about my skills but worry about the other drivers. Here, lots of people have big big pickups and SUVs and think they are invicible. When it ices or snows, they tend to drive faster. oops.

Cassandra, sometimes criminals commit more than one crime at a time and wind up with charges you wouldn't expect. In the federal system, mail fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to commit a particular crime may be easier to prove than the underlying crimes (these days, usually having to do with drug dealing or complicated financial stuff). States don't have many similar options. You can't have someone charged with a crime who then gets acquitted, and charge them with something else later (even if they commit a second crime) basically as payback for the first time. So speaking very technically, OJ's robbery conviction was not connected to his acquittal for murder. However, psychologically, I think there is a connection in many people's minds. Some people think of it more as payback. Others look at it as someone with a strong sense of entitlement finally bearing the consequences of his action.

Ice skating today after church, while it is still a little warm here.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 7, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

S'nuke-underfunding is certainly the biggest problem with VA, but the most urgent is lack of attention at the highest levels. I doubt Shinseki would have accepted if he didn't have some compelling reasons to believe he'll have that attention from the Obama administration.

Twice I've been able to attend reenlistment ceremonies at the Arizona Memorial. The soldier and his or her invited guests go directly to the boats while the first film of the day is being shown. The quiet of having just a few people around makes a visit even more powerful-compelling and terribly sad.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom-I was reading Mr. F's alumni mag from OCU and saw the spectacular design for the Devon Boathouse on the Oklahoma river. All I can say is WOW!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm really liking the word "noellasylviphobia". It's not likely that I'll drop it into conversation very often, but nice to have it available if I need it.

So, will there be a three A.M. BPH somewhere around January 20th? You know, just because we can?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Slyness!

Yes, it is. (to visit Hawaii. I would have to say that I had the good fortune to grow up in Honolulu. My father was a professor at UH.

I remember that there were occasional reports of unexploded ordinance being discovered.

Looking back, I think what I failed to appreciate was the reaction of the government considering that there was a large segment of the population of Hawaii that was Japanese decent. Only later did I start to appreciate the complexity of the situation.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 7, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Granddaughters have gone after decorating the bear tree on the porch and watching an old video tape of #2 bungy jumping in Australia. It’s been snowing here all morning, big fat flakes coming down fairly hard. We must have about an inch or two sticking to everything. I don’t know much about the Webkins honeymoon, yello, and unfortunately there was no video. ;-(

Now to put up the main tree and get some baking done. I really need a nap!

Posted by: badsneakers | December 7, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Company Xmas party went very well last night. Fortunately the flurries had stopped well before the end, so driving home here from Arlington was no problem. Even caught the statrt of SNL, with Amy Poehler back as Hillary -- good to see. I'm gonna miss her (Amy).

I, too, am happy with Shinsecki's nomination. And yes, VA is vastly underfunded. But even so, there are at least three major things Shinsecki can accomplish irrespective of funding:

1) He can kick some a$$, which badly needs it.

2) He can show he actually cares (which I'm sure he does). A major part of the problem is morale, and proper morale-building doesn't cost a dime. All it is, is hands-on caring, going around to the various facilities, talking to the troops, etc. It makes a tremendous difference if you know the head of your outfit gives a damn, and isn't just punching a ticket like the last handful of VA incumbents.

3) He can cut red tape and streamline that godawful bureacracy-- and that doesn't cost money, either. In fact, it saves it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Much has been made of Steve Kroft's recent interview with Barack and Michelle Obama and how the sit-down chat boosted the long-running show's ratings, the biggest spike in some years. There's been very little chatter about the scholarship and long hours Kroft's wife Jennet Conant put in writing her recent book, "The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington." "The Irregulars" was selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 best books for 2008. Conant spoke about her writing effort on the Sunday of Austin's Texas Book Festival.

In her book, on page 205, is an interesting passage about William Stephenson, the wealthy Canadian industrialist who directed the American headquarters, with offices in the Rockefeller Center in New York City, of the covert British Security Coordination, and who was dispatched to America by Churchill in late 1940:

"Stephenson always seemed several steps ahead of everyone. Legend had it that a few days before Peal Harbor, he sent a coded telegram to the London office that a Japanese attack was imminent. As the Foreign Office was not in possession of any corroborating reports from the embassy, they queried his source. Stephenson telegraphed his trademark terse reply: "The President of the United States."

Another take on Pearl Harbor, in a few sentences on page 312, who several pages earlier delves into the U.S.-imposed oil embargo against the Japanese in great detail:

"In the second half of July 1940, virtually simultaneous developments in Tokyo and Washington pointed the Japan and the United States more directly on their collision course. Oil was the linchpin."

Shall we talk about the business interests of Stanvac in the Far East?

Posted by: laloomis | December 7, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Pots of fresh coffee will not overcome the deep fatigue of both of us this morning after the all-day project of trimming branches from our giant oaks and the ensuing, massive clean-up effort of limbs, lawn, and patios, and a system of organizing all the potted plants in the backyard against future freezes...:

Another take on Pearl Harbor, in a few sentences on page 312, by Daniel Yergin, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power," who ...

Posted by: laloomis | December 7, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Baking day around here. Perhaps a bit earlier than some years, but Yuletide scheduling is a tricky process.

Around our house there are certain cookies that *must* be made lest the season be considered incomplete. These include, "Grandma Cookies," which are soft cake-like sugar cookie known in some circles as "Lepp Cookies." Then there are the Snickerdoodles, without which I should surely perish.

Next are the rich dark chocolate cookies known as "nothin' naughty" cookies. These are so called because of an anecdote involving my son when he was but a wee lad. (Let's just say that as a master thief he committed the cardinal sin of forgetting to wipe his mouth.)

Finally there are the egg-free chocolate chip cookies, and the raspberry-jam bar cookies that are the only ones, alas, that my daughter can eat. But she does so with great glee.

I do love them Christmas cookies. In fact, I have been known to carry a bit of the Christmas Cheer so generated around my mid-section all the year round.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 7, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

My mother never baked at Christmas and it's a tradition I'm happily handing down to my daughter.

My favorite Christmas cookies were the box of Keebler Holiday Jingles my co-worker Rob brought into the office one year... the box was marked, "Now! With Anise!" so we, of course, in our great maturity called them Anu$ Jingles.

Another co-worker picked one out of the box, took a bite and as he walked away looked behind him and very matter-of-factly said, "I don't hear anything."

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

And just in case any of you gummint workers are wishing somehow that you were at work today... this is for your viewing pleasure...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Padouk, I believe your assertion regarding the life-sustaining properties of the Snickerdoodle is quite astute. I have long thought that biology textbooks that discuss the necessary constituents of life (as we know it) have all been remiss in failing to mention the role of the Snickerdoodle in DNA function. I believe you may be onto something.

As it happens, my wife made several batches of Snickerdoodles just yesterday. I was brought in to the process to handle testing and quality control.

I have three favorite Xmas cookies. The first goes by various names, usually starting with "Mexican Wedding Cookies." It is basically a crescent moon-shaped piece of dough about 2 inches long that is rolled in powdered sugar.

The second are ordinary garden-variety butter cookies you buy in those big round tins. They are often sprinkled with red or gree sprinkles, but I don't much care about that.

The third -- and most lethal, addictive -- type is the pfeffernusse. O be still my heart, behave, my blood sugar level. Pfeffernusse are soooo good that I can eat only one or two, and even then, being diabetic, I shouldn't even have that many. But I am a slave to the pfeffernusse gods. Just a single pack of Archway pfeffernusse last me all holiday season, but oh, my.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Pfeffernusse is fantastic, we had a client who shipped a whole package direct from a German bakery, several different types of pfeffernusse, about half dipped in chocolate, milk and dark. So So good.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 7, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

*Looking up snickerdoodles-- Wilbrodog says that sounds like a gaggle of French poodles poking fun at mutts.*

Gingerbread cookies can be made without milk or eggs, and I've done so and had great fun cutting out shapes with a knife (no cookie-cutter creativity for me). And there's the artful frosting, too. You can't go wrong using any kind of frosting you like.

But the cookie us kids really died for at christmas is what we call "grandma's cookies"-- it's a no-bake cookie made with peanut butter, ritz crackers, encased in a thick coat of chocolate. It can be frozen and eaten that way.

It's so much beter than reese candy that it's insulting to even compare the two together. It's a lot of work to prepare the melted chocolate mix for the chocolate shell, though (some wax, some baking chocolate, etc.)

These sound a little like RD's "nothin' naughty cookies."

We'll have to make some when we're at our aunt's house. Way too fattening, though, I was always careful not to eat more than 1 a day, or 1 a week, even though I was always tempted to eat as many as 3. Just divine, and they freeze for months.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I see TBG and I have been frequenting the same sites this morning (work avoidance on my part).
Making the Iraq War handicapped accessible-

Christmas baking is an on again off again proposition with the frostfam. I like to make spritz and shortbread, and if I'm really ambitious I do stained glass cookies to hang on the tree. It was an annual affair until the year my sister's dog ate every cookie that she could reach right off the tree. From 4 feet down there was nothing left but the little loops of yarn that once held the cookies. It just occurred to me, if we had no pets we'd have far fewer memorable holidays. Well, there is the year my uncle wrecked my grandmother's car so we don't mind the pet disasters so much.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... we Greeks call those sugar cookies Kourambiethes. Here's a basic recipe... you can add ground almonds too... The secret is beating the butter for a loooooong time. And make sure you don't breathe in while taking a bite (cough! cough!)...

1 lb. unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1 T vanilla extract
4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1-2 boxes powdered sugar

Melt the butter and pour into a large mixing bowl. Beat until thick like cream (this took us about 20 minutes of beating with a big electric mixer). Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

Sift flour, baking powder, and 2T of the powdered sugar together, and add to wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too soft to handle, chill in refrigerator for an hour or so.

Shape into small balls (about 1" diameter is good), place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly by making an indentation with your finger. Bake about 20 minutes at 350F until golden but not browned.

Cover a piece of waxed paper with a thick layer of sifted powdered sugar, and immediately place the hot cookies onto the sugar. Handle cookies carefully as they are very delicate and crumbly when warm. Sift more sugar over the top of the cookies to make a nice thick coating.

Put individual cookies into fluted paper or foil cups, and sift more sugar on them to cover any holes.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

TBG - The potato policy vid was priceless. Since they started delivering the dead-tree version of the Onion to a box just outside my office, I don't check into the website nearly as often as I used to. I'll have to get back into the habit.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Trees full of cookies,
cheese popcorn strings, and nut balls
Mmm, dog snack heaven.

Can I come over and admire your tree, Frostbitten? I promise to clean up all the crumbs on the floor after.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... your tree-ornament story reminds me of the year I got the Christmas decorations out of the basement and found a grocery bag full of glitter and pipe cleaners. After a puzzling moment I realized that when I had put it away it held a freshly made gingerbread house.

I just imagine the mice that entire year inviting their friends over for the all-you-can-eat dessert bar at the G house!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse


Mexican wedding cakes
Swedish wedding cakes
Russian teacakes
Danish Pecan meltaways

By other names....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 7, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The secret ingredient in good Snickerdoodles is Cream of Tartar, which is obtained as a byproduct in the production of Red Wine.

Which all leading scholars agree is good for you.

Ergo, one can conclude that Snickerdoodles are, you know, like, health food.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 7, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

CollegequaParkian - I don't know when this policy ended (actually, I guess I'm not absolutely certain that it HAS ended), but when I attended the North Avenue Trade School, one of the requirements to attain a diploma from the public colleges in Georgia was to pass a swimming/anti-drowning class. Perhaps yellojkt has some insight on this issue.

Didn't much matter to me, because I had been a high school/summer league swimmer for years, but it was pretty cruel to the seniors who had spent their entire lives avoiding swimming pools, and had to go through this torture to get their sheepskin(s).

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

A memory from my "drown-proofing" class at Georgia Tech:

A casting-central nerd type was one of the seniors who had put this class off as long as possible. Heavy-set guy, nearsighted, very bright but somewhat socially inept, I imagine you can picture it. Several of us (including a rather stunning lanky redheaded young lady) took him under our collective wings, and promised him that we'd get him through it. And we did. When he was scared, we physically held him up until he felt a bit more comfortable. (Did I mention the stunning redhead? I think that part helped him!)

He may not do much recreational swimming even unto this day, but I know darned well that he's not as terrified of the water as he was at the beginning of that class.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

That used to be a requirement at my college upon a time, too, Bob S.

I did a similar swimming test at camp, with all clothes on. While I like to swim okay, I'm not a strong swimmer to start with even before the insane drag added by my clothes.

I was glad to get out of that pool, let me tell you. I had to warn Wilbrodog away from an drainage pond because it wasn't completely frozen over, but had snow on top of it. He's already done a "oops, didn't realize there was water there" move before, and no way in hades I want to try and fish him out of freezing water and broken ice without my reel and rod.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. D is the cookie maven, she has 4 or 5 kinds made already and it ain't over. Today wasn't a cookie day, she made date squares. She's gone skiing with the witches and I should be outside blowing snow instead of being inside watching football (Atlanta in NO).

Temperature must have dropped 10 degrees C in the past couple of hours. Supposed to get to -18C/0F tonight. OK lets get this puppy outside for a walk then I'll fire up the snow eater.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 7, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

shriek - Is it windy? It may be time to do the practical experiment of the "which bowl of water freezes faster, the one exposed to the wind, or the one shielded" question.

Unfortunately, while it's windy & cool here, I don't think it's quite cold enough for a proper test set-up.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I am just about to start decorating and I have noticed a serious flaw in my plan. The household is dry of appropriate seasonal beverage.

There is also no baking happening here. I might do one or two little things but not just yet. The cookies would have to go into the freezer and as a child I was trained in the fine art of cookie theiving from the freezer by a master, my dad. He would disavow all knowledge of training us in the art and encouraging us to go get a handful, but mom knew better.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 7, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all

Putting the finishing touches on the best little vacation I have had in a long long time.Heading out tonight for Ravens/Skins gameI will be layered in many clothes,hat,gloves,scarfs,also I have some Purple long johns,that i will be wearing.Should be fun,but chilly.Last years gane against NE was the coldest game I have ever been too,but it was a lot of fun too.

What a glorious day for football.

Sorry skins fans I have to root for my boys tonight.

Purple with envy!!!!

probably a cold PWE

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 7, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Alas, bob, drown-proofing is no more. My class of '87 was the next to last where it was required for graduation. First developed during World War II to give Navy inductees basic skills to avoid drowning in the event of their ship being sunk.

The ten week class involved ten different skills including floating on inflated clothes after jumping off the high dive fully clothed, treading water while holding a brick over your head, and swimming the length of the pool completely underwater.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 7, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Hello Boodle!

My house is almost fully "Christmasized." We just need to get the tree.

I feel like baking today, but tomorrow the Christmas boxes from my parents arrive. They will be full of Mom's homemade chocolate-butterscotch cookies and Dad's homemade fudge.

Maybe I'll bake next weekend.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays warm!

Posted by: Moose13 | December 7, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse


I think I may have seen you on TV the other day.

I was watching a PBS special about Christmas activities. They were at Wolf Trap for a concert or sing-along getting people's thoughts about the season. One person sure did look like you.

Posted by: Moose13 | December 7, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, I've finished the meal. I had a salad and the rest of the spinach quiche. I'm ready for a nap.

Thanks for the information, Ivansmom. I can always count on you to put the straight on it.

I saw on television news where a dog was actually stuck to the pavement in Wisconsin. The owner put the dog outside, and it was really cold. The dog was stuck to the concrete or the drive. It was just awful. They showed some of the dog's hair still stuck to the pavement. They filed charges against the owner, and they should have. I hope that dog gets a new home, and a better home.

It's cold here. And windy, which makes it even colder.

President-elect Obama says things are going to get worse. That sounds so scary. And cars and SUV's are sitting at the ports here in the USA.

And one reporter asked President-elect Obama about the report that people were buying more guns because of him. I didn't get his answer on that one. I certainly hope that's not the case.

Every time I think about the mess we have here in our country, I feel really bad. I always thought Presidents were suppose to build up the country, not tear it down. Silly me.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 7, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Cheesestraws. I'm not welcome at any family Christmas gathering without them. Last year I managed to destroy my mother's cookie press, which was older than I and only had the star shape, but I was (thank God!) lucky enough to score a press still in its original box at the church attic sale. Those and ladyfingers, which are the sugar and butter cookies with chopped pecans rolled in powdered sugar. Yum.

This morning's service was the Hanging of the Green, in which all the choirs sing and the sanctuary is decorated. Oh, the preschoolers in their tiny purple and white robes, so very serious and singing while waving to their parents! No red poinsettas for once; instead, beautiful white orchids on the altar and the window ledges. With the Chrismon trees and the garland tied with bright gold bows, it is stunningly elegant.

Christmas has found me.

Posted by: slyness | December 7, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Ah Cassandra, welcome back. It didn't escape my notice that your were pulling my leg a little earlier! Of course, my "hotel industry" remark was at least slightly tongue-in-cheek. Just wanted to point out (as you're well aware) that many times, things aren't exactly - (wait, here it comes...) - black and white.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

YeeeHAH!!! Iggles beat the Giants.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Very seldom indeed do I root for a Philadelphia team (the fans there apparently think that the whole "brotherly love" concept is a bunch of hokum) but today's outcome is not entirely displeasing to me.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

And as one that has lived in the South for many years, and seen it(black and white) up close and personal, many times it is, Bob. Thanks, again.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 7, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Well answered, ma'am!


Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Well this day hasn’t turned out quite as I had hoped. We bought a new fake tree this year as the old one’s lights didn’t work. Took the new one out of the box and it was *small* as in teeny. It’s 4 feet tall but only about a foot wide. We decided it wouldn’t do at all, so we went out in the snow to the local farm stand and bought a tree. Of course we can’t put it up because it was covered with snow, so it’s in the cellar, drying out. I won't complain about the total cost of the fake plus the real tree, but it hurt me!

I baked some lemon-lime ginger cookies and have the Swedish bread rising. I still would like a nap.

I think my favorite cookies at Christmas would be anything with ginger. I used to love Mexican Wedding Cakes but I think I ate too many of them, this year I decided not to make them. My daughters’ favorite thing is fudge, the one made with Marshmallow Fluff, followed by the gingerbread cookies.

Snow has stopped and it is getting very cold. We had about 3 or 4 inches. Looked like a Christmas card on the road to the farm stand.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 7, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - Of course you know know, ole Orenthal ain't exactly your standard Southern fella. He weren't born there, he weren't raised there, and he never worked there (except possibly for an occasional football game against Atlanta or Miami).

Let's just keep the South out of the conversation, ya hear?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That last remark was intended to be humorous, but OJ Simpson is nothing like a southerner. His life (pre-murder trial, anyway) was lived almost entirely in San Francisco, L.A., & Buffalo.

I suppose there are less Southern places in the world. Oslo, Norway comes to mind. But he's pretty much a Yankee to my way of thinkin.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

All of yesterday's snow shoveling and sweeping has been covered by new flakes that started falling about 11:00AM CST. We must have enough of a breeze to test the water freezing in wind vs. shelter hypothesis as we've had horizontal snow winging by the windows for the past hour. However, I am not going to stand around watching water freeze and I don't have time to set up two video cameras-I'm out to shovel snow quickly before dark. Looks like we're topping out at 9F today.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Can't stay away from the cookies-in-powdered-sugar thing -- our "old family recipe" --

- Nut Cookies A Christmas tradition

275 degree oven

Mix together and shape into bite size balls:

2 sticks butter, softened
4 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 scant C. flour
2 C. ground walnuts (use blender or processor)
2 tsp. vanilla

Bake 30 minutes. Roll in additional powdered sugar while warm. Makes 60 cookies, fills two cookie sheets.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a little late for this season, but while watching TBG's earlier link, I ran across this very nice discussion about the true meaning of Hallowe'en:

[By the way, just note about how old I'm becoming: As a youngster, I actually remember seeing the name spelled with the apostrophe fairly regularly - "e'en" = "evening". I think that when I spelled it that way above, it may have been the first time I've seen it spelled that way in at least twenty years. Interesting.]

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

And another Christmas tradition, dating to a friend of my mother's in 1929. EASY!

Cinnamon Walnuts

1 C. sugar
5 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. walnut halves (or large pieces)
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients except nuts and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add nuts, stir until syrup looks cloudy. Dump out onto waxed paper and break apart.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 7, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

frosti - Science is often not a particularly glamorous (or even comfortable) endeavor. I'll forgive you your shirking that particular duty, because herding the cats in political office is at LEAST as unglamorous, I suspect.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

bob-I do want to do the experiment some time, but this was not the best day. As it happens I'm preparing for tomorrow night's city council meeting and it could be a difficult one. I'm fairly certain we'll have other cold days with wind before this winter is over, and they won't all be the Sunday before the second Monday of the month.

Snow shoveling goes very quickly when you have almost no moisture. At least 6", perhaps 8", and absolutely no weight on the end of the shovel. Worthless for making snowpeople.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Frosti... keep meaning to ask you... did any of the write-ins accept the City Council job?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

frosti - When I first moved to Colorado Springs, I was so PISSED OFF at the dry snow. Having never lived anywhere that regularly received significant amounts of snow, I was pretty sure that anything that couldn't easily be utilized to create forts & sculptures was useless.

At some point, I was enlisted to shovel the walks & driveways of at least half of the houses on our little cul-de-sac, and came to appreciate the properties of a nice dry snow.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I just ran across "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" on Turner Classics.

Gosh, James Mason got around, didn't he? "20,000 Leagues", "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "North by Northwest". I'm not sure if he ever did a sci-fi role that got him out of the atmosphere, but he certainly covered the earth pretty thoroughly.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of cookies... I just finished a tree decorating party and we baked up some delicious Shortbread cookies using dough from Whole Foods... it was awesome. Guests admitted they were the best shortbread they had ever tasted. Just a nice short-cut when time is limited.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 7, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Sounds great, Miss T... what kind of dough was it? Whole Foods brand? From the fridge section?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Two stars out, let one be the evening star and the other her attendant.

Someone else can name them, but now is the time to see them, in the mid Atlantic East.

Pewter sky, tree top scrim: nature's theater.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 7, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

hey TBG--they come in a long role in the fridge section--design of packaging... green on white plaid country style with hand written typeface... called Nut Free Gourmet Shortbread/Petite Beurre. They are totally amazing and all natural ingredients. My mom said they were best she ever tasted... and that is saying something.

Posted by: MissToronto | December 7, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, MissT! I'm going to have to try them. I won't use them for the cookie exchange... really, I won't. Will i?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm so freakin' lazy! As we speak (type?), I was preparing some pizza dough to make a pie, and I heard a scraping at my front door. It was a hard-working leafleteer dropping off an offer from Vocelli Pizza, with which I've previously been unacquainted. So I'm about to order a pizza from them, and freeze my dough for later use. What's really goofy is that I'll probably go ahead and make the sauce, since I've already set the ingredients out. Like the dough, it freezes just fine.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I went to the fridge to get the milk out and it was dated September 7. I asked my wife if it would still be good. They are a little conservative with those "use-by" dates. But when I opened the cartoon, it geysered all over the sink.

So as I was going out to the store to buy milk, my wife told me to pick up another tin of Pepperidge Farm Holiday Mini-Butter Cookies. Christmas cookies: Done.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 7, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

bob-don't know what I was grumbling about, wouldn't make anything with wetter snow anyway.

TBG-who to appoint as city council member will be discussed tomorrow night. The top write-in vote getter is the departing council member who didn't file because he doesn't want to serve any more. He's been in office for a long time so it's not like he hasn't done his bit. We cannot automatically seat the second highest vote getter, my neighbor across the river, but we discussed asking him to serve at the canvassing meeting. After tomorrow's regular council meeting we'll post the vacancy. Historically we've had to go out and recruit rather than wait for applicants to step forward so I do hope our 2nd place guy says yes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Frosti... when the citizens complain about the actions of the City Council, you surely remind them that no one was breaking down the door to gain a seat on it. Good luck!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

If I understand this correctly, if I show up tomorrow morning with decent haircut and a week-long reservation at a local motel, I could conceivably end up with an appointment to the city council, yes? (Do I actually have to pay for the honor, or is it strictly a "we won't cost you much money if you don't cost us much money" kind of deal?)

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure the haircut is necessary, Bob.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Quick, quick, gather the impressionable youngsters. "Old Yeller" is about to be aired on Turner Movie Classics (at least on this end of the continent).

The little buggers have to have their hearts broken eventually, this movie is probably as good an introduction to the experience as any.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

bob-you have to reside in the city for 20 days prior to being appointed. If you can get here by the 23rd, and stay until our January meeting I will put your name forward and we can swear you in then. You will have to reserve space at a motel or resort inside the city limits though. We have a 0% vacancy rate in long term rental housing. There is one single family house for sale right now, but I'll warn you off as it is way overpriced and much of the lot that is underwater in summer looks high and dry now. There is another house I think will be on the market soon, but it's been sided with Tyvek for 3 years so it will need some work in the spring. (Unless you like Tyvek as a finished look. It is the new tar paper, after all.)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

TBG is right about the haircut and if you own a tie it is best not to mention it, much less wear it.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

What's this stuff about an evening star? The sun is shining brightly here and the temp is about 40. Watching the Steelers and Cowboys give each other the football while chopping some really nice new crop California garlic to let it breath for some nice penne pasta and garlic chicken.

Posted by: bh71 | December 7, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

What would such an exodus to the north be called, Bob S.?

Is there a term for "carpetbagging in reverse?"

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Bh, you must be in the south. It's pitch dark here already except for the snow, which is 2 inch deep and more slippery than a greased eel. Great ski powder, no doubt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

CP, I thought I'd mentioned last week that the Evening Star's current companion in the sky is in fact, Jove. Personally, I think they make a lovely couple.

A nice day of Holiday decorating - a nice weekend of it, really. Got the tree up, lights, ornaments, knick knacks distributed, etc. Bathroom hand towels, too.

Things are not looking good for my wearing the Football Tiara as of Monday.

GWE, have a good time at the game tonight, I'll be watching on TV. As much as I want my beloved Washington NFL Franchise to win, I'm OK with Baltimore. In fact, I picked 'em.

I'm looking over some of the details of P-E Obama's big public works-based economic stimulus package, and very interested by the idea of a network for standardized medical data. I worked on one as a startup project several years ago, but realized we were in over our heads when we found that we'd be up against both the Insurance companies *and* the Bush Administration. A centrally managed database for health records would make an excellent foundation for a government Health Care system. Whoever manages that information has a *lot* of leverage...

The big issue will be security - that data will need to be very very secure.


Posted by: -bc- | December 7, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

What does Canada do about that sort of thing?

There are some centralized data gathering, such as medical studies... all pediatric cancer patients were automatically entered in a study back in the 1970's. It really helped track effectiveness of treatment and figuring how drugs approved in adults translated to kids, getting safe dosages worked out, etc.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Gosh, y'all have been industrious today. I have not yet done any baking but I shall, I shall. In addition to supplying the family desserts for Christmas day I like to bake cookies to give away. I'm still deciding what those will be; thanks for the recipes. One year, in extreme haste, I rounded out the bags with store-bought gingersnaps decorated with homemade royal icing and candied ginger. It's a winner, folks, and almost no work atall. Desserts will include some kind of cake with the dried fruit that's been marinating for about 13 months now in brandy, rum and sherry. It makes Ivansdad nervous.

Ice skating was lovely. It was almost too warm; the parts of the rink in the sun kept melting. As usual the Boy skated circles around me, but I didn't fall down. I count that a victory.

Frostbitten, the OCU Devon boathouse on the Oklahoma River will be amazing, but the Chesapeake boathouse, currently in operation, is already amazing. Y'all should come for a river BPH sometime. We hold a regatta every fall - we've even had Olympic trials. The Boy took a rowing class last summer.

Speaking of Christmas pet stories, the Boy and I are a little worried about the rabbit and the Christmas tree. We will have to curtail her peregrinations and watch her closely.

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

No Wilbrod_Gnome, almost as far north as you but almost to fall off the continent into the Pacific Ocean.

BWY, when I asked to post WaPo gave me my last so we will see what comes with the submit.

Cowboys and Steelers still not trying to win.

Posted by: bh71 | December 7, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

well, i picked one upset

yay iggles

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

Go Steelers!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping it would turn out different this time, but the wolf bit ole Yeller again. I'm crossing my fingers here.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The Cowboys must have done something bad because Ivansdad leapt up groaning. The Boy never really had a chance to be a football fan because he could not, from infancy, watch games with Ivansdad - too much inappropriate language - and I think football is silly. Truly, I can be relegated to helpless laughter. I taught the Boy to do play-by-play the way I do: The blue team and the bumblebees all ran together and all fell down.

In college I had hepatitis over Christmas one year. Recovered, but under enforced rest, I baked every cookie recipe about which I had ever been curious. I counted up and it was about 900 cookies. The milkman, mailman, delivery people, family, dad's office: everyone got cookies every time they neared our door. Mom packed up the remainder in a box and sent them back to school with me in January. I've been much more temperate ever since.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 7, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me. I know I must have told the hepatitis Christmas cookie story to the Boodle before. Just think of it as a holiday tradition.

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

Under most circumstances, I'm not sure that I would consider "hepatitis Christmas cookies" to be a mood-lightening appetizer.

But they just shot that yaller dawg again, and anything's better'n that.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 7, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, have never heard the hepatitis Christmas story, Ivansmom. Even if I had, I love hearing the stories again anyway.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bc, Jove and Venus it is. Thank you for your boodleness.

Sad that the swimming test is not longer part of colleges. I was thinking that the high school threshold is very important. In Prince George's Co., well, so many young black and Hispanic children do not swim at all. Lots of reasons why, which could and should be addressed by a civil society. In high school, children should learn to

drive a car
*check/change the oil
*check/change a tire
balance a check book
read a credit card agreement (and BEWARE)
file a tax return

and, perhaps learn the phases of the moon and some wondrous star patterns...I will stop and return to grading papers.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 7, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The second half of that Cowboys/Steelers game was pretty great. Back and forth it went, with the Steelers Defense (it deserves a Capital D, I think) rising up and taking control of the game. The Pittsburgh D-backs seem to find ways to make some pretty spectacular interceptions in the last few minutes of games lately.


Posted by: -bc- | December 7, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I think I can safely say that the Steelers' Mike Tomlin is the best-looking head coach in the NFL...

Posted by: -TBG- | December 7, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

He is a cutie. Still not enough to make a football fan, but cute.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

SCC: make me a...

aw, I can't even put the two together in the same sentence. Sorry, guys.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh...back from meeting on spiritual practices for surviving the holidays, which included a back massage (heavenly1) and foot soak and massage (also wonderful). We'll have to keep these events to ourselves, or they will be overrrun.

I don't believe I had heard the hepatitis Christmas story, Ivansmom, thanks for sharing. I hope Ivansdad's foot is much better.

My shopping is now done: Geekdottir and I went to Lowe's this afternoon and purchased a screaming deal on a new refrigerator for her sister. Mr. T has contributed and we hope her dad will too. Sometimes, it's necessary to replace an appliance that's probably 20 years old and leaking cold air like a sieve.

Posted by: slyness | December 7, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Cutie? Cutie? We don't talk about "cuties" in football!! Sheesh.

Crap, Ravens just scored. *sigh*

In the race for this week's tiara, I am 12-2 and LiT, bc and omni are 10-4. However, I have two underdogs for the last two games, Skins and Bucs. Omni and bc have the Ravens and Panthers, while LiT has the Skins and Panthers. The odds are good I'll lose both those pics -- and we'll wind up in a 3-way tie, with LiT in second place.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, regarding that city council job, is that a job where somebody could, like, telecommute?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm boycotting the Redskins. Is there not enough pain and suffering in the world already?

I've started this book by a guy named "Peter Earlr" called "Treasure Hunt." It's about shipwreck diving in the 17th and 18th centuries. So far it is pretty dry, and has so many run-on sentences that I had to look to make sure it wasn't written by me. But I am hopeful it will pick up. I mean, we're talking treasure hunting for cryin' out loud.

Well, enough random babbling. Been a long and exhausting day of culinary achievement. Fortunately, tomorrow I get to go back to work and sit still.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 7, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

Terrible call.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Precisely my point, Mudge. Football cancels out the cutie factor to the max.

Just ask your wife how cute you are when you're watching football. But only if you're prepared to hate the answer...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

A piece in today's Post about Evangelical concerns over the lack of God in the new Capitol Visitor Center reminds me of visiting the Baptist Book Store in Jacksonville sometime in the mid 1990s. As I recollect it, they had a book exposing the systematic alteration of the Library's art to expunge references to the Almighty.

A canal north of us at Sebastian, has become a popular rowing venue. Assuming I can control an on-and-off problem with hand dermatitis, it might be worth joining a local rowing club. If I survived Jacksonville's Little Pottsburg Creek and its crazed power boaters, the local area should be nice.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 7, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Looks like everyone in the league has figured out the Washington offense. I think Zorn needs to keep developing it during the season - or at least disguising it - to keep defenses guessing.

Gotta give Ravens head coach John Harbaugh some credit for wearing a lavender jacket tonight.

Still, I see that Harbaugh's wearing a hat and a heavy winter jacket, versus Washington's Zorn, who's wearing a lighter jacket, no hat, no gloves. If the Tuesday Morning Quarterback theory of Cold Coach = Victory holds true, Washington should win. We'll see.


Posted by: -bc- | December 7, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

My wife is a Skins fan, and she watches and shouts as much as I do, Wilbrod. So I'm not sure she notices my lack iof cuteness. Which hasn't seemed to bother her much over the decades anyway.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 7, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Ivansdad came in saying bitter things about being a football fan and why did I let him watch football anyhoo . . . bad Cowboys. I don't care, you understand, except as it affects family harmony. Fortuately that was restored as we watch "Enchanted" together. That's a really good movie.

When I was at Hahvahd you couldn't graduate - even from graduate school - without passing a swimming test. Apparently someone had a relative die on the Titanic and left a bequest solely for this purpose. So sometime before graduation everyone hauls down to the school pool and shows you can swim its length. No grace required.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 7, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

SCC: The book is by "Peter Earle." I mean, he wrote a book so I should at least get the name right.

I keep hearing these shrieks of horror where my son and wife are watching the Redskins game. No good can come from this, I say. No good at all.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 7, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

This might not be good: the Tribune Co. filing for bankruptcy protection?

No wonder newspaper folks are making diamonds in their lower digestive tracts lately...


Posted by: -bc- | December 7, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Gotcha, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 7, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

SNL had a pretty funny opening last night and Barack "keeping it cool" -

Posted by: seasea | December 7, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Good evening Boodle (well, at least good to the Philadelphia and Baltimore fans in this company of adventurers).

I'm back home in God's Country, and glad of it, though regretful to leave behind friends and family in the east. The Boodlers I spent time with this past week are clearly both.

Must eat something and try to get back to my regular time zone.

Thank you to all of you who gave me so much of your company and time during my visit to DC. I am enriched by it.

Posted by: Yoki | December 7, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Whew! Tried to backboodle but I'm sure I missed a lot. I very much enjoyed frosti's silver bell story, RD's "nothin' naughty story, rabblerousin' happy Bob's post and badsneaker's lovely moments with her granddaughters. Like TBG, I do not bake, but nellie's nut cookies sound very intriguing. I am going to a cookie exchange in the 'hood on Tuesday and since I don't bake it's really stressing me out. nellie - or anyone - can you tell me what "scant C. of flour" means? I am not going to say what I think it means but I would appreciate any guidance about this. I think I'm going to give them a go.

CP - I hope you're feeling better.

I was in bc's and scotty's neck of the woods over the weekend for a surprise 40th birthday party for my little brother, the 6th out of 7 children. It was a lovely time, he was surprised and very touched that all of his remaining sibs made the journey. (I do think we deserve sibling merit badges...what a tough time of year to make the trip from Charlotte, Tidewater, Saratoga Springs and Gettysburg!) Several folks didn't make it to the party as planned because of the weather that Scotty and bc were talking about, really nasty.

As we were cleaning up at about 2 a.m. (We're Irish Catholics, a party goes on way longer than it should.) there was a terrible car collision on the street in front of my sister's house which is across from the town commons in Fredrock, MD (gwe, bc and Scotty know the place, I think). It was a wild one. It was a miracle that no one was badly hurt and there was lots of drama as we watched (from the safety of the turret window) a girl surreptitiously chuck a liquor bottle into the green and a couple of folks hauled off to the pokey and other dramatic happenings. I guess we should expect that at 2 a.m....I should add that my brother and I rushed out at the beginning to make sure that no one was hurt and then retreated to the turret. My son was still up and there were MANY teachable moments.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Ivansmom, I don't think a hepatitis Christmas story can ever be told too many times. My ruptured appendix on Christmas Eve story is a staple in my family.

Posted by: Kim1 | December 7, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

oooh, that was some boodlehoggin'. It didn't seem that long as I was typing!

Glad you're home safe and sound, Yoki.

Posted by: Kim1 | December 7, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

KIM -- just measure a cup of flour.

Lots of "old" recipes mention "scant" cups, for some reason. It just means a not completely full cup. Say a cup with a tablespoon of ingredient removed. No idea why, but the term was common when I was young.

There was also the "rounded" cup, with a little ingredient added. I think "rounded" survives today.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 7, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, nellie! I'll let you know how they turn out. I'm feeling optimistic, which is not the way I usually approach baking.

Posted by: Kim1 | December 7, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-I only wish telecommuting was allowed, I'd be working at a real job in St. Paul and living with Mr. F full time. Then again, even if allowed by statute the city doesn't own any computers so there'd be nothing to connect with from home.

Ivansmom-I've been trying to sell Mr. F on an Oklahoma vacation, without revealing I've learned about OKC's dramatic renewal from an imaginary friend. You'd think he'd at least want to return as a couple to romantic Lawton where we first met, but so far he's not interested since he gets to Ft. Sill on business about once a year.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 7, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

re Hepatitis Christmas

Hey, Ivansmom was Patient Zero!

Posted by: engelmann | December 7, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Kim I baked peanut butter cookies with my younger daughter today, from scratch, if I can bake anyone can - didn't even set off the smoke alarm.

Everyone's baking stories inspired me today.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 7, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

dmd - thanks for the support. I consider myself a good cook but I have some fatal flaw as far as baking goes. There are very few success stories. We'll see!

Also, thanks for all the updates on the Canadian politics. My husband is amazed at how much I know about Canadian politics! He thinks I'm reading Foreign Affairs, but I don't have to...I've got imaginary Canadian friends to keep me in the know.

Posted by: Kim1 | December 7, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I love cookies, but I'm not so good at baking them. I can pretty reliably make chocolate chip cookies (recipe from the chocolate chip bag, mixed by hand) and sugar cookies. I tried more exotic Christmas cookies, but they never quite turned out right, not sure why.

I laughed at the cat and Christmas tree incidents. I've had cats most of my life (although not for several years now), but I only remember one time when a cat climbed the tree and knocked it over. With my most recent cat, I learned to hang the ornaments high enough that he wasn't interested in playing with them - and of course, I don't have any that could break if he knocked them off. He liked to sleep under the tree - and he could find his presents, since they usually contained catnip.

Posted by: seasea | December 7, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Our cats never climbed or knocked over the tree, our dog knocked mom's tree over when I was little and all her vintage ornaments where broken.

Our cats did like to eat the tinsel though, just weird to see a cat running around the house with silver tinsel hanging from its' butt.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 7, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear, here come the holidays, and more talk of cats, tinsel, and multiple tails...

"When my cats perform string theory experiments it usually involves several inches of it protruding from their posteriors. They claim that it's a tracking mechanism for when they pinch off a loaf of spacetime.

Cassandra, I think that the show you saw featured the very same Brian Greene Joel's talking to in this Kit. Well, the Brian Greene that's on the same timeline Joel's on, anyway.

No idea if that cat Brian Greene's got any cosmic strings dangling anywhere.

Hmm. Who says string theories are untestable? Mudge, I'd like you to eat this tinsel...


Posted by: bc | August 2, 2006 1:39 PM"

Hey, Washington scored a TD, now they're only down by 7 with 9 minuted to go...

But Zorn's making a weird challenge here - but if he loses, he loses a timeout over 5 yards. Shaking my head over here...


Posted by: -bc- | December 7, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The Skins are officially toast now, I think. 2 scores in 2:00 is a bit rich for their offense. No disrespect, but we're not talking the Indy Colts of the good years here.

Peasoup the Horrible used to chase cats with multiple shiny tails. What a terror he was. I had a dog with a similar problem involving the elastic net the packers use to wrap hams for processing. Much hilarity ensued.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 7, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Next up for the Ravens: The Steelers.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 7, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

443 comments ago when Joel posted his ode to late Autumn it was still plausible to think ourselves as being in very late autumn. Now it'-20C/-4F outside and the wind is howling. Coincidence? I think not. Darn you Joel.

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

nellie, at our house we talk about "generous cups" and "not-so-generous cups..." of ingredients (can be translated to generous teaspoons, etc.).

Just depends on the recipe and the relative humidity that day, plus hand-feel of the dough.

Posted by: Yoki | December 7, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Busy weekend. Our two youngest children were in the annual christmas play put on by our town theatre company. It was a comedy and a good time was had by all. We cut our Christmas tree at the tree farm, jammed it, respectively, into the Ford, through the parlour door and into the corner of the parlour. I forget what species it is, but the smell resembles that of a fresh Molson Golden: kind of skunky. I trimmed a foot off it, enough to kind of wedge it against the bead board in the ceiling. It's a massive specimen, and will be decorated sometime this week. We've all drawn names for gift giving, and are in full holiday mode. I've enjoyed watching the stars this week. Venus and Jupiter are alright tonight.

Posted by: -jack- | December 7, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Not a coincidence, SD. But we already had snow over thanksgiving and some time before, it's been an exceptionally snowy November.

But oo, man, the sky today was surreal. If I had been on a plain, no trees, it'd have been utter white-out. As it was, the icy lake blended into the sky so well that over the rise, you might as well have been looking into one of those hollywood afterlifes-- where all is white and bright and you can't figure out why you're wearing 19th century jammies all of a sudden.

Except for the darker grey bits that showed the ice and snow wasn't completely solid where the current was strongest in the lake, and provided a broken horizon of sorts behind the trees.

Trees are good in that sort of landscape-- they help show you where it's land and give you a sense of direction.

And speaking of needing direction... New kit, Joel?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 8, 2008 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, "generous cups" sounds more ---
*generous* than "rounded."

A couple of years ago I gave a different recipe with "scant" in it to a friend, and she would not make the dish. "Scant" bothered her.

Posted by: nellie4 | December 8, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Hi All, I'm late getting to the boodle today, too much to do. I read about Shinseki's (no c Mudge) appointment this morning and thought it was a good pick. I've had the privilege of getting to know the General through the organization I work for. He's been a national spokesperson for our work in educating school kids about the WWII Japanese American soldiers. Now that the Gen. will be working for Obama's administration, we will see much less of him I fear. I had asked the Gen. if he was up for an appointment for the new administration and he told me no, he didn't want to get involved in politics and that he really wanted to devote his time to causes like ours. Guess that was before he got offered the VA job. Still, Obama couldn't have chosen better. In all the years I've known Gen. Shinseki his first and foremost commitment was to the soldiers, past and present. He knows what they need and will fight for it and I'm sure he had some conditions met before he accepted the job. General Shinseki is a smart guy, he wouldn't set himself up to fail. If anyone knows better, it's him.

As for taking Inouye's spot in Congress for Hawaii, that's another interesting speculation Frosti. I've asked the General the question and again, he said he didn't want to get involved in politics. However, under the right circumstances, he may be convinced though. There are many who think he's the likely successor but he's been gone from Hawaii for a very long time. And, as much time as the General spends here, I'm not sure how in tune he is with the State and it's wants and needs. At this point, however, there are no other likely candidates in the wings of the Democratic party so everyone is wondering who the successor will be. Inouye is not a young man (in spite of his recent wedding to a new wife) and we can't wait around trying to figure it out. When he dies, our state will be in political turmoil. Lot's at stake here, especially all the military funding we get.

Not sure anyone else is up to read this but I thought I'd respond anyway. Good Monday to you all!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 8, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Aloha, that is so cool that you know Shinseki! I think all this time I've been getting him mixed up with Shalikashvili (or something like that) so I wasn't aware Shinseki was of Japanese ancestry or from Hawaii. Doh! I'm glad to see him taking this - maybe he doesn't want to get into the elective office campaigning, which I can understand.

Posted by: seasea | December 8, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Where is everybody?

I'm about to go back to bed, but I decorated a 3" wire tree last night (think Smith & Hawken), have a few more to do today. Not big on ornaments, but they look nice with the lights on. I wrapped poinsettia garland around the stair railing, can't decide if it's festive or looks like something that should be leading a conga line.

After today, probably, I'll think about baking. I'd be happy to trade off baking with someone who doesn't have a problem doing some of the other tasks on my list!

Posted by: -dbG- | December 8, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle, dbG. Looks like just you and me on Dawn Patrol so far, but I'm sure Scotty, Cassandra and Brag will be along momentarily. I'll put the coffee on and slip some muffins into the microwave.

And SD is right: we're not in autumn any more, Toto. This here's winter. Mark me down as being firmly opposed to it.

Counting up my glad tidings: glad CP is feeling better, glad Yoki has returned safe and sound, glad everyone's Xmas preparations are proceeding apace. Not so glad about the Redskins, but it wasn't exactly unforeseen.

I am, however, indifferent to the fate of the Sooners and Gators in the BCS, but am glad bc has a football tournament named after him. It's about time.

Bought the first Xmas present yesterday (a doo-dad for my wife). I've got 16 more days to go, though, so I'm not worried. Plenty of time.

OK, gotta go ablute and find some chow. Let's get 'em airborne!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 8, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. This is a double scarves and mittens day for the dawn patrol. Brrrrrrr. Weren't we barbecuing outside recently?

Right, Mudge. 16 shopping days left if 15 too many.

I realized I should have done the early vote last Sunday with Mrs. D., competing commitments will make it a pain to get to the poll today. Oh well, that is the life of Mr. Moms (Mrs D's on the road all week).

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 8, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, and happy Monday.

Yes, autumn is gone here in the Carolinas. I know that for sure because Mr. T walked out of the house with a jacket on. It's 24 degrees now, and he's taking the little red truck in for PM this morning. He said that is a little cold to be walking back the block and a half to the office. Normally he doesn't bother with a coat.

Of course, when I go out for my walk, I'll be totally muffled in multiple layers all over, but that's just me.

Posted by: slyness | December 8, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Someone mentioned the Wolf Trap Sing-a-long earlier on the Boodle, a yearly tradition for the first Sunday afternoon in December. It was cold yesterday but hundreds of folks turned out with their candles and bells and all bundled up for the out of doors entertainment. For about 40 years our woman's club has served (back stage) homemake cookies & hot cider & chocolate & coffee to the US Marine Band and all the various choirs and local performers who volunteer to be on the holiday program. They are appreciative of our efforts before they gather to perform. We were out of the wind, but it was still cold in that room that resembles a great hanger.

The event is free, food donations for our area disadvantaged families is always welcomed.

As the program ends, the audience leave by candle light, caroling as they go. A very touching gathering for many of us.... right start for December celebrations.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 8, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I think I've finished backBoodling... I think.

And if I survive this no-boss-no-deputy-boss-and-a-whole-lotta-stuff-to-do-before-vacation-starts-tomorrow day with any hair left, I'll be happy.

*quick-Dawn-Patrol-reverse-Immelman-with-a-spilt-S-thrown-in-for-good-measure Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 8, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

That sounds like a great way to get into the Christmas spirit, VL.

It’s 14 degrees here this morning and with the snow it sure feels like Christmas . I left my parka at work on Friday so will have to warm up the car and drive to work coatless. I can’t see wearing another coat and then having two to worry about. I hope the tree is sufficiently defrosted and dry so we can decorate it tonight. Stay warm everybody.

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

Good morning Boodle!
Winter is doing its thing. Brrr!
The Dawn Patrol is a cold activity.

Did a total escape this weekend. Traveled in time to April -- May 1941, patrolling the Atlantic and attacking British convoys originating in Freetown.
Returned to Lorient with 86,000 tons of Allied shipping sunk.

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

This is comment no. 460. Just sayin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 8, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

We fired up the barbie yesteday afternoon to cook for a family gathering. It was 23F this a.m.. The number of consecutive nights below freezing may take care of some of the insects that are tree pests. I know that I welcome the absence of mosquitoes lately when we need to barbeque.

Posted by: -jack- | December 8, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Mudge speaks, and it appears.

New kit!

Posted by: -bia- | December 8, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

good morning boodle! Sneaks-thanks for reminding me to retrieve the two jackets I have hanging on the back of my chair at work. I'd probably have left a third by now but the chair won't hold another, they just keep sliding onto the floor.

Cold, gray morning, I'm getting a late start and have too much to do. Time to get some coffee. Toodles boodle.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 8, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

New kit. From now on it'll be all-football, all the time. What ya think.

Posted by: JoelAchenbach | December 8, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse


New Kit...

Posted by: omnigood | December 8, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

When Mudge speaks, I hear a voice in my head.

Posted by: JoelAchenbach | December 8, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

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