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[Popped into the office and clearly this is a day made for chair surfing in the aisles. Are they ticketing out there on the street, or is this a kinda-holiday? Normally I eat lunch alone, usually at the neighborhood Au Bon Pain or, if I need a more intense fix of Depresso Dining, to get in touch with my inner loser, I'll go to one of the nearby food courts (sadly, they closed the ultra-depresso one at the Metro), but today I took my usual ritual to another level. I not only ate alone, but did so as the only customer at the Au Bon Pain. So you wee, whereas I normally eat alone surrounded by other people, today I ate alone alone. And I liked it. One of these days I'd like to have a lunch in which even I am not there. That would be so cool.]

There's a writer at the Times called Thomas Friedman who I've been noticing lately. I think he has potential. He's good with the big picture stuff. Here's his latest column, the entirety of which is worth reading, the gist being that the U.S.A. is very much like G.M. I hope Obama read this on the treadmill:

' My fellow Americans, we can't continue in this mode of "Dumb as we wanna be." We've indulged ourselves for too long with tax cuts that we can't afford, bailouts of auto companies that have become giant wealth-destruction machines, energy prices that do not encourage investment in 21st-century renewable power systems or efficient cars, public schools with no national standards to prevent illiterates from graduating and immigration policies that have our colleges educating the world's best scientists and engineers and then, when these foreigners graduate, instead of stapling green cards to their diplomas, we order them to go home and start companies to compete against ours.'

And Friedman goes on to say we need to rebuilt from the ground up, invest in education, etc., echoing some of the stuff I said in my last kit. One point Friedman makes is that many of our brainiest people have gone into money engineering (building financial rockets that have since re-entered the atmosphere, exploded and rained upon the Earth in a billion flaming fragments -- or is that too much metaphor?).

More generally, we should recognize that a crisis always creates opportunities for creative and bold action. Yeah, it's a drag when people lose their jobs, but clever people find a way to "fail upward." The whole country can come out of this crisis stronger than before. But I'll stop there before I start chanting Yes We Can (that slogan's taken).

By Joel Achenbach  |  December 26, 2008; 1:21 PM ET
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Next: 2008 in Pictures


You all know I was first, don't you?

Posted by: nellie4 | December 26, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse


Love that Friedman graf--the one I would have chosen.

Posted by: laloomis | December 26, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

'Failing Upward' strikes me as a bit o' the old Peter Principle.

I think you're right, that Friedman guy's got potential.

But I'll tell you this - the fact that you went out to lunch by yourself does not indicate "total loser." Eating an egg salad on white sandwich by yourself at your desk - well...


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey bc! I resemble that remark! Except of course it would be wheat. I usually eat at my desk, alone. I really like Joel's idea of a solitary lunch where not even I am there. It is good to dream big.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I eat lunch alone every day at my desk -- reading the Boodle. Loser, or not? It's your call.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 26, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Joel, hope this New Year is a good one for you and all.

I have found that many of Friedman's "givens" weren't always so given, especially on his Flat Earth thing.

I always enjoy his discussions and writing, however. I also think that he is willing to let his ideas brew and evolve. I think the mention of Dave's Dillards closing in the last thread points out that there are so many new realities that America will be facing.

I basically think that there will be a return to local, covering banking, farming and merchandising. Just like Made in America will take on renewed significance, so will sold to you by a local. The increased cash in the local area's economy will more than pay back on marginal increases in item costs.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 26, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that means that you aren't really alone, but it doesn't guarantee that you won't be considered a bit teched by your office mates.

... all those little laughs coming from your desk and all people see is you eating a sandwich.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 26, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Eating lunch with the boodle is not a loser move, it's very sociable, AND there's no danger that someone will point at your food and say, "You gonna eat that??"

Posted by: joelache | December 26, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I like the way Friedman balances realism with optimism. I was feeling seriously depressed by his article until I got to the part where he states his continued confidence in America. Ultimately this is a very optimistic outlook.

Yes, we're in a world of hurt, but we have the tools to fix things. This, to me, is the kind of challenge the nation, as well as the world, should be able to meet. And I am optimistic we will. Because, you know, what exactly is the alternative?

Count me into the loser lunch crowd, Fer me it's usually cup-o-noodles-and-salt. (The last part's mostly implied.)

Sometimes, when I am feeling flush, I will wander up to the cafeteria for a soft taco. Or, if I am really feeling reckless, a Whopper Junior.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 26, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't have been a suckier holiday. Goes down in the history books as one of the three worst of all time.

Back in '97, when Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were dewy-skinned youth in the film "Titanic" and the blockbuster was opening around Christmas, my husband called to say he was going out with some of the guys from work for a drink. Fine, I thought--he'll be at the sports bar for 45 minutes to an hour, then come home. He came home more than three hours later, reeking of alcohol. No nice dinner, the hour was so late by then; no time spent together. So angry was I, I got in my car by myself and drove to the theater to see Titanic by myself. Popcorn was my Christmas Eve dinner. My husband sank Christmas for us that year, surer than an iceberg sank the Titanic.

Wednesday night, Christmas Eve, we went out to a new Japanese restaurant near us, Osaka. Bad food, with cold sauteed vegetables when they should have been hot, and horrendously bad service. We came home and my husband said that he was going to get on the computer for a little bit, which I took to mean 30 to 45 minutes. No companionship, no comaraderie. No watching the 10 p.m. newscast together, no nothing.

He came to bed at 12:30 in the morning. "What were you doing for so long?" I asked. His activity was all work-related, he said, including watching a diversity module and taking some follow-up-type quiz. Stuff he had to accomplish by x-and-x-a-date, but was too busy to do because he's actually been working--and long hours! So he has to do a hinky corporate training module on Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning? Screw diversity!

Posted by: laloomis | December 26, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

What woke us up? A call from Wachovia on my husband's pager on Christmas morning. I won't even begin to describe the day, since I was so angry at 12:30 at night, I got up and didn't go back to bed until after 3:30 a.m. Watching Ratzinger in the basilica in Rome in the wee hours was hardly cutting it for me and CBS news kept repeating, so the NYT was my friend early Christmas morn. Fascinating article, with three jumps, about how the Herb and Marion Sandler, founders and former CEOs of World Savings and Loan, have become the pariahs of the S&L industry.

To make matters worse, it appears that my husband didn't have to take vacation in November and December--that he would be paid for time carried over if he's laid off. So far, according to him, all the severance papers have been given out in North Carolina. Nothing like a week off when dense fog is dripping outside almost the whole week. Best time to get out and really enjoy oneself--when the skies are gun-metal gray, with the splishing, splashing sound of drip-drip-drip in one's ears.

The day was a loss. We went downtown and walked the Riverwalk after our afternoon brunch of Indian food. Downtown was more depressing than just driving home. The beautiful fir tree in front of San Fernando Cathedral was wrapped in what appeared to be vivid turquoise trash bags with silver ornaments. The 55-foot fir tree from California in front of the Alamo (oh, it must have been a thing of beauty out in the woods) was adorned with ornaments even more butt-ugly than the ones on the tree in front of the cathedral. It's no Rockefeller Plaza, I'll tell you that. I think no one does tacky and tasteless better than Texans.

I went to bed at 5 p.m. with a migraine and never woke up. This morning my husband was up at 4:30 a.m., on his computer terminal doing what? Working!

Posted by: laloomis | December 26, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Shhhhhh....I'm sneaking out of here... Catch ya later ...

Posted by: joelache | December 26, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The gall bladder and the liver are, if not inseparable, certainly parts of the same system. If gall bladder trouble is indicated, stressing the liver with alcohol might not be called for.*

* -- The FDA has not reviewed these statements for accuracy (or even sanity).


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 26, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

A dad in my office had to go to his son's graduation at Princeton. He was kinda surprised that most of the graduating class seemed to be Financial Engineers (his kid is weird. Wants to make movies).

Florida is a state that pretends to have good schools, decent state universities, roads, low taxes, and so on. Not that Florida pretends to be anywhere near the best in the US. "Better than [choose a poor Latin American or Caribbean country]" suffices.

Exposure of Florida's schools (or much of anything else) to national standards would mess up the fantasy. Friedman isn't welcome here. Steve Forbes is more like it (at least in my resort town). I think he just proclaimed that the worst is over.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 26, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, I drink very little so I am safe there, but the Blue cheese mashed potatoes, beef tenderloin, pasta, and hazlenut buche noel might have been a contributor, especially after bacon and cinnamon bread french toast for breakfast.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 26, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, I saved the music business over the holiday. And I won't even patent the idea. It's open source. Nyah! Take that, people who want to patent ideas.

First take a popular music group. Since I'm unhip lately, I'll say Radiohead. Okay, Radiohead records a dynamite album but doesn't release it. A few music critics are played the album after they have been frisked, and they report it's great. The group starts a subscription drive on their website, and sets a goal of say, $10 million. When their fans have bumped the subscription drive total over the target figure, the album is released. From that point on, the paradigm already now employed by Radiohead is then put in place. Anyone can download the album for free, or pay what they think is fair. This will keep some revenues trickling in. As well, the CD and MP3 download will be in stores available for people who see it and want it NOW, or don't even have time to mess with a computer, etc. And it would be sold at the concerts also.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 26, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Joel - be sure to leave your coat on your chair. They always fall for that one. Unless they read the comments, and what's the chance of that?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 26, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'll race past Friedman's national standards right to what would really make a giant leap toward national equity in education- a national curriculum with national standards. DotC is correct, that Florida would sink to the bottom (or very near it, could Mississippi actually do better?) Minnesotan's could stop breaking their arms patting themselves on the back because we would fall too. I think NY might do well, and probably VA too once they got over losing VA History in 4th grade.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 26, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I must have a huge L on my forehead, because not only do I always bring my lunch and eat it at my desk, but I usually continue to work while I'm doing so.

I hope the cool kids will still invite me to their cafeteria table on the rare days I fail to plan ahead.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I believe education will never improve until more children are surrounded by role models who intrinsically love learning, as opposed to being surrounded by role models who consider learning something to deride, avoid or fake.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 26, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I will say that Friedman easily got the maglev thing right (amongst many other things) ...

It's so easy to get small minded on a system like that and he didn't.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 26, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

That comment was a bit of a self-referential joke - you may notice I'm frequently in the Boodle at lunchtime on weekdays.


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

psst, bc! Never explain a joke, remember?

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Driving by to wish everyone well, knowing that all were good the past year to the point that St. Nick took notice. My FIL came home yesterday, the best present of the season. My wife got me a large tool box. Now I need a workshop to put it in its place.

Posted by: -jack- | December 26, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Off to Macys to spend our extra $10 off card at their after Christmas sale. Looking for a new comforter since we found out it costs about as much to have the old one dry cleaned as to buy a new one. We will help Macys pay off their China import bill.
The temp went up to 40 here so the snow is melting fast. Forecast is probably rain here later and the snow level raising to 3500 feet. We are only 2200 here. The quail and birds went through the morning seed fast even though we put out three times as much. Just finished a refill.

Posted by: bh71 | December 26, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

jack, that's great news, I'm happy for you all.

Note, have workshop and toolbox, will purchase large power tools. This we know.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I think I have lunch with Yoki, Mudge, and bc every day. "Didn't we go to different lunchrooms together?"

Um, Joel, first paragraph, third line from the bottom: "So you wee......" typo or TMI?

Posted by: -pj- | December 26, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Boxing Day Frolic: True Story of Just Now

I road my bike from Bladensburg to the College Park Ikea and then some. My bikometer is off but I think I logged more than 10 miles in less than an hour. Upon returning home, I noted somewhat ruefully that CPDotII was in the shower. She, like her cohert, take long meditation showers that substitute for religious observations.

In a flash, I thought: my neighbor's hot tub. I have privileges, largely because I watch the doggie and fetch the newspaper, etc. They are (were) due home on Saturday.

In a fit of abandonment I pushed through the gate, peeled off my bike clothes, and slid into the 105% water. Those who know me will not believe this. I do not believe this.

About a half hour later, after I was completely pruned, I looked up to see that A. and R. had just driven up. A. and R. own this hot tub.


A. walked in the back and without a word, walked to the fridge and came back out with a frosted mug of beer. For me. She noted the situation, saying that they would not join me and that she would keep R. away.

Can you believe this!?

I have skinny dipped in very hot water for the first and last time; loved the beer service though.

Happy Boxing Day to all!

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 26, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

FiL home! Jack, the best of presents. I hope your get your workshop. Me, wishing for a greenhouse or sunroom.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 26, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse mean you're NOT supposed to eat lunch by yourself at your desk? That's what they told me at the Loser Training Workshop when I started working all those years ago. All these wasted years...

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 26, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I have nearly every large tool, hand and powered, that could be needed to restore a house. Or, to paraphrase Snagglepuss, build one, even. The outdoors is currently my workshop; the porch or foyer in inclement weather. The tool box only begins to meet my needs. At least I haven't an excuse for leaving tools hither and yon.

Posted by: -jack- | December 26, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I have eaten lunch at my desk, or alone for more than twenty years, there is a cool kids table?

Jack wonderful news.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 26, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Sticking with the loser them, this sums up why I am not on facebook.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 26, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Our Christmas this year was spent traveling from Miami, FL to Carmel, CA. Left Miami at 2:30 PM Eastern and got to bed in Carmel at 1 AM Pacific (4 AM my time). Crazy. Miami-Houston-San Jose then car from San Jose to Carmel. Very nice here, though. As I type I'm looking out over the porch on a clear blue day in sixty degree weather at the Pacific ocean in the distance. Dinner out and a fire in the fireplace on the strenuous schedule tonight.

Posted by: RealEstateFeast | December 26, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

dmd-just join me in being too cool for facebook.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 26, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I have decided that no matter where my physical person eats lunch, having a virtual picnic lunch at some beach or lakeside, with all that spectacular virtual food and virtual wine, with my invisble friends, is just waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy cooler than anything my real-people desk-eating loser colleagues do.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 26, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The key word is "self-indulgence." However, this is not a word to be applied lightly to the economy or the US alone. This self-indulgence comes from wanted to "be left alone," power at all costs, etc. It comes from an "advanced way of life" that I don’t think has any short term solutions. Mass behavior has to change and that will only happen with a very deep and prolonged crisis. Real Estate in Spain, for example has gone up 800% in many places over the last8 years. Neighborhoods similar to the South Bronx in Spain have apartments of 200 square feet going for 300,000 or 400,000 US$. WHY? Nobody pays Real Estate taxes and NOBODY pays anything for gains obtained with the "investments." EVERYTHING is BLACK MONEY. THAT IS WHY Al Qaeda moved freely in Spain before the 9/11 attacks, that is why it s a safe-heaven for the international terrorists, the Russian, Colombian, Italian, etc., MAFIA. So, the US is trying to "follow the trail" of $5,000 transfer hale the RICKS of Spain are not monitored at all.

Posted by: thinkbeforeyoutalk | December 26, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Doom & gloom, doom and gloom, both in kit and boodle. Where's Cassandra when you need her? Loomis! It's holiday time! Count the blessings! The sun'll come up tomorrow!

Well, maybe...

Posted by: Nebreklaw01 | December 26, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Are we on the home page? I looked but couldn't find anything.

In other matters: the weather forecast here says it'll go up to 60 here tomorrow, and 65 on Sunday. That's not unheard of here in mid-winter, but is always a little freaky when it happens.

We're all going to have to figure out some way to go virtual skinny-dipping with CqP in her neighbor's hot tub. *faxing her a big fluffy towel and some hard pretzels to go with the beer* The tough part is figuring out how to make sure everyone has the blindfolds on.

I noticed a curious pair of back-to-back stories on the NBC Today show this morning. The first reported that Christmas shopping was down (about 5%? Can't remember), that retailers were moaning, post-Christmas sales were concentrating on moving inventory no matter the loss, etc. Subtext: we should feel guilty for not spending more and boosting the economy.

This was followed immediately by a piece on people's Christmas over-spending, partocularly on credit cards, etc., how to reduce credit card debt, how not to spend so much every year. Subtext: we spent too much money, especially on credit, and we would be better off if we spent less.

D@amned if ya do, and d@mned if ya don't.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 26, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Wait, 'Mudge! If you figure out how to shield the young 'uns from The Horror That is the Future, I'll be first into the pool. Frolicking and gamboling are a great response to gloomy forecasts.

And then we'll all have a nice glass of wine.

I'm ready for a bit of frivolity.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I wit'cha, Yoki! I think first we need to know from CqP just how big this here hot tub is and how many it will hold.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 26, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the virtual tub will hold all the virtual friends who wish to attend.

I'm bringing some hors d'oeuvres as well as several bottles of wine.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Yoki is right about the infinite hot tub.

I will bring nothing but seltzer water to settle everybody's tummy. DMD had such rich food that she might be a bit queasy.

I will bring some Hank Williams' CDs and Leo Kottke,too, as these are what arrived from some kind soul. I cannot tell who left them on the porch or if they are for me or CPBoy. These tokens were on my porch with a ribbon today. Boodle Mojo?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 26, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse


Are the Hank Williams discs the new 3 DC set of unreleased recordings that just came out? If so, they are delightful.

Posted by: -pj- | December 26, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, PJ: twere the very same three. Cool.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 26, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of Friedman, the Hong Kong airport is efficient and pleasant in a non-flashy sort of way. The buildings, though sophisticated, don't call attention to themselves. The place doesn't in any way resemble a theme park.

There's plenty of good food, too.

The Washington metro area badly needs some hot springs with Japanese bathhouse resort facilities.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 26, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

CqP, Love your Boxing Day story. Wasn't it fun in the hot tub by yourself? Ahhh.

Mr. T took me uptown this afternoon, to check out the street festival held in conjunction with the Meinike Bowl, which is tomorrow afternoon at BofA Stadium. There was a good crowd, which meant, of course, that I couldn't see anything at the pep rally. Oh well, at least I could hear. George Foreman was there, FWIW.

I'll bring cheese straws to virtual hot tub! And chardonney, I've got several bottles.

Posted by: slyness | December 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

RealEstateFeast -- How long will you be in Carmel? Looks like the weather will hold steady for several days. That is such a great place to visit, we were there last spring and enjoyed it!

Posted by: nellie4 | December 26, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Well just got back from the Macys sale. First we tried to call to see if the one we liked in the sale flyer was still available. After being put on hold several times and finally getting someone one the phone that said she didn't know how to transfer the call to the bedding department we decided to drive in the ten miles and take our chances. When we got to town it looked like most other people in Medford had the same idea. Cars were backed up on to the highway trying to get in the mall parking lot. Finally found a parking place within hiking distance to the mall entrance. Only to find Macys has two stores. We were near the upper level store that does not have the bedding dept. Anyway got down to the other store on the lower level on the other side of the mall. Lo and Behold there was one left of the one we wanted. Understand why no one answered the phone. One harried clerk lady at checkout with people standing in line five deep on both sides. Did our part for the economy. Got a supposedly $400-24 piece king set for the sale price of $169.99. Plus she gave us $15 off on our $10 sale card.
I wonder how long before the sales they mark the prices up before they mark them down for the sales?
I also wonder about the computer pricing models. Last week I went to Fred Meyers to get a replacement Mr Coffee as the other only six years old sprung a leak. A non-programable white as $19.99 on sale. A black programable was also $19.99. A white programable was $29.99? So now we have a black programable with a two hour automatic shut off. Though we don't program because we never know when we will get up. Kinda depends upon when the puppy needs to go out to do her business. Sometimes around 4 and if lucky she sleeps in until 6.

Posted by: bh71 | December 26, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

dmd and frosti, the Elderdottir refuses to be on Facebook. I suppose she understands the downside.

My upside for the day: I got my iPod Shuffle to work, for the first time in months. I don't know what the problem was, but I plugged it in and it synced properly. I was afraid new software had rendered it useless.

Posted by: slyness | December 26, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Dave of C, the Hong Kong airport doesn't need to look fancy. It's on an island where no one can see it. Landed there just after it opened. Really great to go over to the side where the glass wall opened and step right on the the fast train to downtown and be dropped off to a waiting fleet of busses with names of one's hotel on the front. No extra charge.

Posted by: bh71 | December 26, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. College"q"parkian, what a great story! I am laughing but with you, not at you, and with a little envy. That sounds so comfortable and worked out so well! I'll join the virtual hot tub. I'll bring my version of Yoki's olive balls: sorry Yoki, but it became clear yesterday that the olives were not going to be encased in neat wraps of tasty dough. Fortunately the recipe works well as olive baskets, too. They sustained me while the dinner cooked.

We drove to the Most Crowded Mall Here today and the Traffic was Insane, Inside and Out, Vehicular and By Foot. We were under the impression we had a Purpose, only to discover that the Garment in question was located at another store, several miles to the North. So we Drove There, near Another Crowded Mall, where traffic was only slightly less Chaotic. Upon our Happy Return I spent some calming time with the Rabbit and am enjoying the remains of the Christmas Burgundy. I'm almost recovered.

By the way, lagomorph lovers, Beatrice has illicitly nibbled off the tree several times with no Ill Effects. I didn't realize the occasional Fir was part of a balanced rabbit diet.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I've never been through the new airport in Hong Kong. It's predecessor was a nightmare (this may have been in part because I was on tight connections for Manila and schlepping a laptop circa 1992 and therefore heavy and a large litigation briefcase with a lot of paper). Do they do public boarding calls now? They did not in those days. If you didn't know your gate and boarding time, good luck.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - it is my experience that lagomorphs can nibble all manner of things with no ill effects. My bunnies seem to have a special love for hard plastic, as they keep attacking the plastic storage bins in the bunny room when I let them out.

The bunnies, that is, not the bins.

But don't mind me, I am suffering from caloric overload. Tomorrow the in-laws head back home, and although we had a very nice time, I simply cannot eat as do they and expect to live. I mean, the roast beef my father-in-law made alone is enough to bring my circulatory system to a standstill.

Starting tomorrow, it is nothing but organic water and imported air for me.

And, perhaps, the occasional glass of wine. For medicinal purposes.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 26, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Fat Man in The Bathtub.

Posted by: -jack- | December 26, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I've been waiting to taste your cheese straws and thought you'd never offer!

Ivansmom, you made me laugh out loud. Olive baskets sound just fine. So long as they tasted good, that's the thing.

The even, thin, completely encasing layer of pastry takes a little practice. When you visit me, I shall demonstrate. If I do say so myself, I am the fastest olive-pastry chef this side of the Rockies. The public stares in awe, the crowd goes wild.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Check the fax, Yoki, cheese straws on the way! I make them with the sharpest cheddar I can find and a good pinch of cayenne. Don't let anyone else know I've sent them, they disappear fast.

Posted by: slyness | December 26, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, you are a goddess. Thank you!

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yoki... "olive pastry chef" made me laugh.

I was in charge of making the traditional "green bean casserole" and snuck in a layer of sliced olives under the top layer of onion rings and crunched up corn flakes. I'm happy to say it was a hit. Sometimes when you bring a bit of Italy to Slovakia, you end up with good things.

I've just got a bit of Italy in me (thank you Grandpa), but sometimes that's all it takes.

Posted by: martooni | December 26, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Most everything is better with some sort of olive appended. Chez Yoki we consider olives to be a vegetable. So is hot sauce! Get five to seven servings a day, and you're better off than you would be without.

We range widely in the olive family, not just Bicks Stuffed Manzanilla.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, you're right - or perhaps, rather *I* was.

For whatever reason, I felt guilt over people thinking I believe they wore the Scarlet "L" alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of us bearing that letter.


Posted by: -bc- | December 26, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

tsk tsk, bc. For pity's sake, man, let go the guilt, the idea that you are *implicated* somehow. Hm? Hm!

We were all extending the joke.

Ack! I've just explained a joke! Time to retire.

Good night, Boodle.

Or, at least, good night for now until I come back.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Yoki. Thanks for the recipe - even as olive baskets they were very tasty. That "encasing" business was going to be much more tricky than I had patience for, and I gave it up at once. I look forward to lessons, there or here. Who knows, perhaps there'll be an Oklahoma BPH yet (remember folks, we have a nice regatta in the fall).

Thanks to yellojkt for the "Star Wars Holiday Special" link. We just had a long discussion of that in the Ivansclan recently.

And it has been lovely to see so many occasional Boodlers out this weekend. Howdy y'all. Also goodnight. Buenos noches. Vaya con Queso. Fondue!

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 26, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I am *totally* down with an Oklahoma BPH! I'll be there. And we'll make olive balls.

Posted by: Yoki | December 26, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm Catholic, Yoki.

Sometimes I wear guilt like a second head (yes, that *was* "A Canticle for Leibowitz" reference).

Fortunately, I can also party like it's 1999.


P.S. The idea that 1999 was a decade ago is a little disconcerting, like the idea that I'm not living on the Moon, or at least commuting to a job on a space station (seriously, if I commuted straight up instead of around Washington DC, I'd earn my Astronaut wings every day).

Posted by: -bc- | December 27, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Everybody asleep? too much triptifan?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the moon, i heard this on the way home.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Yo, green man, I'm here (duh!). How are you?

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm good young lady,happy to be home in my cool(not warm) house. How was Boxing day?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for asking, kind sir. We boxed up some stuff, and boxed. I won.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

LOL, i think i would have a better chance in the ring with a Kangeroo,then I would with you.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Isn't 'box' a very strange and funny word? Say it four times, quickly, and report back.

When I lived in a small town in the mountains of interior BC I was part-owner of a fine used-book store. It was called Boox.

Not my choice, obviously.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Definitely. You are going down, dude.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

if i say it like this box box box box it is really nothing.

But if I say it box BOX,box BOX with the empathsis on the 2nd and 4th word I sound like a chicken!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

That's just silly.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

no this is plain silly

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki. Hi greenwithenvy.

I eat lunch alone in the restaurant most weekdays. I like it best when I’m the only customer there. Most of my favourite restaurant’s customers order food to go, so the sit-in customers are usually me and maybe another one seated in another corner.

We don’t pay service or sales tax in normal restaurants (We also don’t pay sales tax when we shop. What you see is what you pay. It’s value-added). We don’t tip either. You can get a plate of fried noodles/rice for B$3 – B$4 in most restaurants. There are Chinese restaurants that serve economic lunch where for B$3, you get rice, 2 veg and 1 meat. You can sit down and eat or you can take away. In this region “Take Away = To Go.”

I like Joel’s term, “fail upward.”

Note to self: If you have to fail, make sure you “fail upward.”

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 27, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Hello rainforest. I'm very glad to see you, and even happier to be here at the same time. How are you?

I have been in many places like that. I confess, tipping is a hard habit to break. I usually leave a little something, just because I would feel bad if I didn't.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Olives? I got familiar with Mount Olive, North Carolina while a college student. Of course they don't grow or process olives there. They grow cucumbers and make pickles.

Aerosmith must have a fantastic physical training program. Could they do a video on rock fitness?

Still just enough of a cold left to make sleeping unattractive. So I was just rasping a toekick for the new kitchen cabinets. Seems we installed them very slightly too low, so the toekick strips had to be shortened a bit. Now to see whether the dishwasher fits.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 27, 2008 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes you hardly ever see any fat Rock stars, just a few come to mind,Leslie West,
Buchman Turner overdrive,That dude who plays Harp for blues traveller....not many though.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it is the music, more all the coffee and cocaine, gwe. Even EYE wouldn't be fat on such a diet.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

I doing okay, Yoki, considering ….

Our financial year-end is 31 Dec so we starting to get busy. Actually for the next 2 months I’m going to be busy trying to please the auditors and taxmen.

In the evening (which is your morning), I lurk. I don’t have the time to post because I try to put in some minutes practicing my taichi and then meditate. I’m hoping meditation will relieve my never ending headaches.

I'm going to bake soda crackers now.

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Just got back from our daytrip to New York. We walked up Broadway from Canal to Macy's, stopping to shop or eat whenever we felt like it. I could milk at least three blog posts out of the day if I cared to.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

I am up late again, fighting off a cold. But I wanted to mention that I have always loved the movie Toy Story and finally received as presents wonderful Woody and fearless (and very wordy) Buzz Lightyear. Having studied the figures who are each about a foot tall I have decided Woody could be Joel and Buzz Light Year, Mudge.

For me I might be Bo Peep but probably make a better Bullseye.

Regardless, they take me away from my boring old typical human problems, make me laugh and give me hope.

As Buzz would say, in his deep voice: "To infinity and beyond. Be alert...adventure can come from any direction. Alright ranger, which direction should we go."

And Woody would say, as the sheriff of course: "Howdy partner. Hee Haw, cowboy. You're my favorite deputy. There's a snake in my boot."

Okay, I am reduced to toys to make me happy during a difficult time but...why not?

Posted by: Windy3 | December 27, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a goodtime, yellojkt. Tell us more. But it's 12:39 AM here on MST and most of us should be in bed! At least, me. Night all.

Posted by: Windy3 | December 27, 2008 2:40 AM | Report abuse

You all know me by now. Infused with a bit of the holiday spirit, I just left the following note on the driver's window of a nearby car (parked in the same spot as the last one, but very definitely not the same vehicle):

"DEAR NEIGHBORS, I truly appreciate the fact that y'all left the spot by the sidewalk ramp (traditionally left free for passage by the wheelchair-bound) open for me to block when I parked my car. I almost parked somewhere else, but then I realized that you should all bite me. HAPPY HOLIDAYS, CHUMPS!!"

[It looks better in the original. There are colors, careful line spacing, and some seriously bold letters going on here.]

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

I'd say that I eat at my desk about three days a week. The company buys lunch two days a week and I tend to socialize on those days because the break room table is crowded. And I will go out to lunch one day a week "with the gang" when I don't have leftovers.

And I never have anything good enough to share for the Boodle Lunches. Every body is such a better cook than I am.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2008 2:49 AM | Report abuse

yjkt - This I refuse to believe. Cooking is just engineering wrought in flesh & liquid. Work it, man!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 2:55 AM | Report abuse

I do make a mean mac-n-cheese, but everybody else at these luncheons is so creative and original. I'm just intimidated.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2008 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Before the veg-heads start beating up on me, I meant "flesh" very-loosely figuratively, to include almost everything that is more solid than water, but not quite so solid as rock.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 3:09 AM | Report abuse

Not that there's anything wrong with a tasty stone soup!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Since we've just gotten past the twenty-four marathon of that "cute kid who wants an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock" movie, I'll mention that I am an entirely unreconstructed Jean Shepherd fan. I think it's silly to play that particular movie to death, but I'll never tire of his voice or humor.

A few relevant links:

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Just in case someone follows the '' link above: Yes, that IS the Donald Fagen from Steely Dan. Apparently, he's also a fan.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

I truly believe that I have followed Joan Jett's dictum to "Hit You With My Best Shot", and must leave you to fire away.

'nite, all.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

So, are the lights lit in Oahu?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

I actually meant, "on" Oahu. Or "in" Honolulu (by which I mean the entire vast county), whichever seems appropriate.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Bob, I hope you are asleep now. It looks like you were up all night.

G'morning, boodle sleepyheads. That includes me, I didn't get up till 7:45. Much to do today, the in-laws are coming. I'll check in when I can, but I expect to be scarce till New Year's Eve.

Posted by: slyness | December 27, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, managed a full night of sleep last night - amazing what happens when you are careful with what you eat.

Big melt going on here, already 5c, with the temps going to about 10 or 11, water, water, everywhere.

Windy3, Toy Story is a great movie, it was my oldest child's first video at our house, (we were late getting a VCR). She would watch that movie over and over and loved Woody. To my mind a great choice to watch if you need something to cheer you.

Myself I watch the chick flick marathon last night with my oldest, Sleepless in Seattle, You Got Mail, Bridget Jones and Love Actually. About part way through Love Actually I remembered a dicussion here about certain scenes in the movie that I had forgotten about - oops,

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.
Not late today, just back-boodling.
Happy Saturday, everyone.

Posted by: Braguine | December 27, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

My Jean Shepard memories predate "A Christmas Story" which I have rarely seen and am now forbidden to watch. One year my wife did a lot of substitute teaching at our alma mater high school. In December, the time filler movie of choice was "A Christmas Story", so she would see it five times a day a couple of times a week. She has developed a mental allergy to the movie that exhibits physical symptoms of nausea if it comes on. I suspect the movie's repeated showing by substitute teachers led to its cult popularity since it was a box-office dud.

Rather, an earlier made for TV movie called "The Phantom of the Hearth" was aired repeatedly on AFRTS. My friends and I fell in love with it and called "Wanda Hickey". In 1982, I also remember watching another TV adaptation starring a young Matt Dillon. My memory has mixed the two shows up but I recall a much sharper and slightly less sappy taste of nostalgia.

Shepard's old radio stories are available here:

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

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra. Nice to see you here, Brag.

We lost our internet service last night, right when I was in the middle of a conversation! That almost never happens, glad it's back now.

Things will finally start moving chez Yoki after two delightfully lazy days. There will be grocery shopping, and laundry, and the big tidy-up of the presents still strewn about.

I'm looking forward to the walk, as a Chinook is blowing, though if it really reaches a high of +4C it may be heavy going in the snow. The Bernese Mountain Dog will be fine, but the old Collie may struggle a bit.

The break from work has allowed me to do some writing for the first time in a long time. Crafted two short (very short) stories and find that the process itself is a sort of postitive feedback loop and now many more are gestating.

Have a wonderful day, don't work too hard as that would be a shock to the system.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Already hit the H* Depot to re-up my wood supply. It's so nice to get there early. No weekend warriors in the way and you can park right by the doors.

bob... that would be Pat Benatar, not Joan Jett (not to BOO... just a friendly reminder from the resident 80's music trivia gnome)

I think I slept last night, but I don't feel like I did. My bronchitis is acting up bad so I wake up about every hour to cough up all kinds of unholy and unmentionable things. And we're looking at a 60F+ day today. I normally wouldn't mind that one bit, but my lungs seem to do better in the cold.

Cassandra... I know I posted an "all-inclusive" wish to all for the holidays, but I'd like to personally (well, virtually) wish you a very merry rest of the Christmas season and a new year better than the last.

Peace out, my Boodle buds. I've got doors to make (and a nap to take, but later)...


Posted by: martooni | December 27, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Unseasonably warm for us. This means I will take a very, very, very long bike ride today, as if it were April. Will also see an art exhibit of a friend. She has a solo show here:

Dmd -- good news for you on the Spartan diet.

The holiday continues, both Hanukah and Christmas, which makes me so very happy. Candles! Bring them on.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 27, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
It is supposed to be warm here today too,but only 34 now.Right outside my office window is a tree and a red headed woodpecker just climbed up it.Now I usually see plenty of piliated woodpeckers and they are easily recognizable,but i am not really sure what this one was.Very foggy here now,waiting for the warmth to arrive.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for the boodle.I need to cut down a branch that contains a large hornets nest.Of course the plan was to do it in winter when they are not active.But it is supposed to warm up today,should I wait till it gets cold again? or take care of it now?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Happy Weekend, all! :-)

NukeSpouse and I had the opportunity to cacth some holiday "Spirit" with bc prior to a delightful dinner last night. Very interesting movie -- nobody chews scenery quite like Samuel L. Jackson, and it was nice to see Dan Lauria ("The Wonder Years") getting a prime supporting role.

Oh, you wanted a plot summary? Didn't really notice one, actually. :-)

Pssst, Bob -- 'Twas Ms. Benatar that wanted your best shot, not Ms. Jett. Although Joan did make an appearance during yesterday's "Highlander" marathon on SciFi.


With "Cherry Bomb" blaring as she came on-screen in case you weren't really sure.

*off-to-prepare-for-a-little-shindig-this-evening-and-of-course-a-nice-jog-to-get-the-blood-pumping Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

gwe, I'd wait for freezing temps again, just to be sure.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 27, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I have thoughts on hornets.

Wait until it's below freezing. It may be too much insurance. But why risk it?

Where's Wilbrodog? Speaking of things doggie, my dog received a nice dog bed from her Aunt Mary. She (dog) normally does not smile in her sleep. Now she does. Now we are as happy as clams. Clams in gourmet ale.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 27, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

GWE, isn't the queen one of the few that overwinters? I did a quick check and it seems correct. That could just be in our area?

Up here it generally takes a few warm days for the bees to lose get aclimatized to the warmer weather, but waiting for colder temps is definitely a safe route.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

A little damp and misty for my tastes, CqP, so I think I will go do some yoga instead. I put together mini-reviews of places we ate in New York yesterday, all of which were rather inexpensive and amazingly tasty.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

gwe... you should be safe. It takes a while for those buggers to warm up enough to cause damage.

Make your first cut of the limb on the outside of the nest, then the second on the trunkside. Make sure you have a big garbage can ready with a heavy duty garbage bag (to immediately dump the nest in). To protect your garbage man, dump some insecticide into the bag and shake well.

Posted by: martooni | December 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks all
I figure i will wait for colder temps.And I don't want to destroy it,it is beautiful with great craftsbeeship.Just cut the branch and take it away from the house and down into the woods.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This is way off topic, but funny, an article today titled, A Hearing into the case of Rudolph, a Reindeer.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Y'know... considering my fondness for alcohol and mind altering/numbing substances, you'd think I'd be out in the shop sniffing the lacquer fumes as the the latest batch of doors is drying, but no... I'm Boodling.

Not that there's anything wrong with Boodling, but I *could* be getting a buzz on right now.

Or taking a nap.

Posted by: martooni | December 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

although I think it would make a great pinata and a really interesting party favour

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Boodle Bees wax

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

'Bordig, Boodle.

Sick. Sicker, even. I thought I was headed into remission yesterday but in the late afternooin my remission re-mished back. Worst is the sore throat, and the coughing.

Made two runs to the landfill this morning and a run to Safeway, and I'm beat. That's it. I'm spending the rest of the day in my big chair under a blanket reading the bio of Edna SV Millay and snoozing, and eating chicken soup.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 27, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Faxing Mudgikins Yoki's chicken soup. Don't let RD know that Edna was russet-haired.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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

A late good morning, friends. Martooni...thanks for remembering me in your holiday wishes. I think because I do what I do, there will always be some sadness, but there is joy, and cause for celebration also. I do hope your holiday and new year is the best, and that of your family too.

Mudge, hope you're still on the mend. And Slyness, try to get a moment if you can, the weekend will go much better.

I finally got up with my grandsons on Christmas Eve. I asked them what did they want for Christmas. The one that looks so much like my son said he didn't really want anything. The other grandson, and this one favors his mother, but acts like my son, said he wanted money. I told my daughter-in-law I was sending them some money. They were staying in the eastern part of the state with their other grandparents. They're growing up so fast.

It is still cold here, and cloudy. It rained yesterday, and looks like we might have more of the same today. My front door is broken, and I put a chair to it last night. I've called the maintenance folks. I hope they show up soon. I didn't want to call them, but I have a meeting at four, and not sure I can lock the door.

Loomis, I hope you get to do something you enjoy for the New Year. And may the New Year be prosperous and joyful for you and family.

Scotty, Yoki, and all, have a great rest of the weekend. I'm still in cleaning mode. This is taking much too long.*sigh*

Best of the best, Joel Achenbach, to you, and family for the New Year.

Time to get busy.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse


Just saw your post, and decided I would give you a little food for thought. When one feels a tad better, there's a tendency to get up and start doing a lot of stuff. This my friend, is not the answer. It's a "lure", and when one pulls on this lure, one gets slap down. When you start feeling a little bit better, just sit, and wait it out. See if it's the "real deal", and then move. I hope you get to feeling better soon. I'll keep the chicken soup coming and the virtual hugs, too.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 27, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

LOL, CP. We should certainly not put redheads into RD's mind.

Love workbeescraft, gwe.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Benatar (nee Patricia Mae Andrzejewski)not Jett (nee Joan Marie Larkin), got it!

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

Cassandra - I think that the secret to contentment in life is to fight the tendency to get up and start doing a lot of stuff, especially at this time of year.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Bob! You're up already! Why?

Sixteen for family lunch tomorrow, so we made the required trip to both grocery stores. I hope I have enough food now. I'll be cooking after lunch, also baking brownies for brownie trifle and banana bread to use up the overripe three.

The house is clean! There is an upside to having houseguests.

Posted by: slyness | December 27, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

strange pinging sensation run through my body.

I knew that someone, somewhere,was using the term "redhead" in a sentence with my name in it.

Okay, it's not much of a superpower.

I am pleased to announce that for breakfast I had a nice portion-controlled bowl of Life cereal and a banana. For lunch I am planning a healthy sandwich of low-fat turkey on whole wheat bread.

If I keep this up for a few more weeks I might actually average out my caloric consumption to something less than "sumo-like."

Hope everyone is having a great day. Special good thoughts to those of you enduring bitter cold weather.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 27, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Weird, the first part of my post got lost. I was saying that "I was vacuuming and doing other sundry home-cleaning activities when a strange..."

Hmm. Perhaps that sentence is still floating about cyberspace...

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 27, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Bob... I saw Pat on one of those VH1 "Where are they now" shows and I gotta say she's still as hot as she was in the 80's. Don't know if she's still got the voice, but she looked pretty darn good.

I had the hugest crush on her when I was in high school (her and Valerie Bertinelli). Being a guitar player with a wee bit of talent, I dreamed of Pat kicking Neil out of the band and me taking over and the two of us living happily ever after.

As for Valerie... what she ever saw in that Van Halen boy is beyond me. Really... he's all show and no boat. Double-hammering is a useful technique, but nothing to build a career on. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | December 27, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. It is my goal to finally read the Friedman article (yes, he's got potential) but I haven't got there yet. Little though it interests me I must go to the grocery for bread, etc., and consider what food I might inflict on my family in the coming days.

This afternoon, however, will be a different story, as the Boy and I attend a most Boodle-worthy event: the annual Pirate Party. Yar, mateys! He often dresses appropriately. One year he even had a stuffed parrot for his shoulder. As Ivansdad says, "We three kings of Orient ARRRRGGH."

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 27, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone. We now have freezing fog, after a few hours of freezing rain and freezing drizzle. Interesting stuff that freezing fog. Very pretty.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 27, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

As I continue doing very little today, I discovered the Webcams of the year site - Hadron collider is on the list.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

My sympathies, Mudge. I hate having a sore throat! Gargle with warm salt water. It does horrible things to your breath, but it always seems to help. I hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: -pj- | December 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Best description of the last week in weather I have heard,

"You can almost see her, if you squint hard enough: Mother Nature passed out in a snowbank with lipstick smeared across her cheek and a half-empty bottle of whiskey by her side"

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The boodle knows all and also contains all the role models we need -- what I need to do now is follow RD's dieting example and CqP's bicycling example, and Cassandra's/Slyness's housecleaning examples. Alas, I am instead imitating a slug--I did take a walk this morning but since then have been mostly immobile. Watched "Truman" and surfed the internet and soon will be watching "Baby Mama." It has been so long since I had a day off with no activities scheduled that I am paralyzed by all the things I might do, and can actually not remember all the things I've been waiting to do until I "had time." I know there were a lot of them. But all I seem to want to do is sit, eat, and take naps.

I listened to the second half of "A Christmas Carol" this morning, and have also been reading Roy Blount's book "Alphabet Juice," just so you know, I haven't forsaken literature altogether. We somehow skipped the "tradition" (that word is slung around loosely at our house; we really don't have any) of reading "The Gift of the Magi" on Christmas day, but the book was under the tree and my daughter ended up reading it over the phone to one of her friends in the evening.

Here's wishing good health and happiness to all!! *raising a glass of that organic water RD was mentioning*

Posted by: kbertocci | December 27, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The comestibles have been purchased, the laundry is in process, the dogs are walked and snoozing under the kitchen table (strategy is obviously not beyond animal intelligence) and now I am sitting on one side of that self-same table, Boodling, while #1 and physics-boy sit across from me playing Spore and #2 plays DS beside me. As we are all also online, I suggested that we instant message each other if we have anything to say, but they rejected the idea as rather impersonal. What's with kids these days? When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I did everything possible to avoid actually speaking to my parents.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

This one has been bouncing around in my head a few days. I thought I'd better go ahead and write it before it wandered off somewhere.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 27, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

dmd - What a great line. In a twisted, disrespectful kinda way.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

dmd, glad to hear your gall bladder is behaving. Mudge, sorry you are sick but isn’t it nice to be able to give in to it and just nap in your favorite napping place?

I’m not having a productive time off either, except for cleaning the kitchen yesterday. I did go to the mall a while ago. I needed bras and they were on sale. I also can’t find my ankle high snow boots so bought a new pair on sale and with coupons, $20, can’t beat it. Of course all our snow is gone and it’s raining so no trying them out or taking a walk today.

We drove around last night looking at Christmas lights and I believe we have found the most hideously tacky ones we’ve ever seen. Lights of all shapes and sizes hanging from every place there was room to hang them, and the colors on the lights kept changing from pink to orange or blue to aqua, nice holiday colors, just not this holiday! We’re going back tonight with the camera ‘cause we want to remember this one.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 27, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Bertooch, you were merely following the Mudge role model. Congratulations.

Yoki, I think "Boox" is an inspired name for a bookstore, especially since that is exactly how you pronounce it. Perhaps even "Bawkx of Boox."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 27, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Hidey-ho Boodlers.

Woke up to find no Comcast working for either the Internet or the television. Terribly disconcerting without my email or you guys.

But I'm back in business now. Over the past too-many-months, I've been stacking various catalogs and newsletters up on the cocktail table in front of the sofa in my bedroom (where the TV is), knowing that "eventually" I'd get to them. So when all electronic was out this morning, I'm (1) separating those which I want to keep from those I don't; (2) of those I want to toss out, I'm removing all name & address labels for the shredder (which "maybe" I'll do tomorrow) and I can finally see the table top. Very cool, actually. I won't miss the avalanche of catalogs onto the floor, that's fer sure.

Awwwwwww, poor Mudgekins. I am faxing "authentic" chicken soup to ya, along with some spinach-feta cheese latkes for variety. If you're congested, you might want to spike the chicken soup with Tabasco or one of its cousins. Clears ya right up, mister!

The farmers market took the day off (the only day of the year when they're not around), and I doubled up on Fuji apples last week, so I'd have enough. I'm thinking of putting together a red lentil stew tomorrow with sweet potatoes and celery root, carrots and parsnips, and maybe a regular potato or two. And onions -- don't forget the onions! I like to put thyme and ground ginger in, too. And maybe even a touch of turmeric, to tantalize the immune system.

And on that tune. . . .cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ack! Don't start with the Bawkx of Boox!

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Heh heh

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 27, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

You, sir, are incorrigible.

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

Congrats to the west by god mountaineers for thier crushing of those nasty tar heels!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I like Boox for the bookstore name, too. I'm pronouncing it in my head like a Scot, with the long "u" sound for the "oo" - boooooox. Can you tell I've been penned up in my house for awhile?

We ventured to the library today. Without 4-wheel drive, never would have gotten out of our driveway, or the library parking lot, or back in the driveway. But the melt is on, thank goodness.

Posted by: seasea | December 27, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I think it works best in a Canadian accent. Just ask Mo.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I did my part cheering by napping and snoring on the couch during the second half.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, GWE, by one stinking point. Mr. T, UNC Class of '73, is not a happy camper.

In-laws are close, so I have to do the last minute tasks...

Posted by: slyness | December 27, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey slyness at least the heels are still #1 in hoops.......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 27, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm making pizza from scratch and not wearing heels, tarred or untarred (but I *am* wearing pants).

It's a "poor man's" pizza... basically garlic bread with olives scattered around -- just waiting for the dough to rise, then I get to punch it and wait again.

I *so* hope the yeast is feeling frisky.

Posted by: martooni | December 27, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

In this part of the world, GWE, that's what counts!

Posted by: slyness | December 27, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the West-By-God fandom. Of course, that cost me the doughnuts that one of my coworkers would have brought in on Monday had North Carolina been victorious.

On the other hand, they look pretty good against Rutgers in basketball tomorrow, and Maryland (the alma mater of the other coworker most likely to bring celebratory pastry) handled Bryant fairly convincingly on the boards today. So maybe there's hope.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and it may not last, but when I recently checked, West Virginia was leading #15 Ohio State on the court!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 27, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi all... twenty years ago today my name was changed.... to "Mom." It's been all uphill since then! So today we are celebrating Son of G's birthday and Daughter is now the only teenager in the house.

I sat at my desk alone eating lunch for the past 16 years (and boodling for the past 3 1/2 years), but I don't any more. New job means new perks.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 27, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Son of G.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Just think. In one short year, SoG can legally drink adult beverages. Hold out one more year. You'd had to become a lawless drunkard when legal drunkenness is just around the corner.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 27, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, SonofG! You are very high on my list of favourite young men, and I hope you are spoiled and praised as you deserve.

And my heartfelt congratulations, TBG. You did good.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, happy birthday to SonofG, and happy 20th anniversary of successful Momdom to TBG.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 27, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I just is my brother's birthday. Maybe I should call him.


Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 27, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Ah, go ahead, 'Mudge. We all have our roles, my friend.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, friends... I was thinking of giving him a box of books.

He's leaving for his cross-country trip on Jan 3, so much of Christmas and birthday was road-trip-themed. (I'm flying out to L.A. on Jan 13 and we'll be driving back together, heading to San Diego our first night.)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 27, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to Son of G. A road trip sounds like fun, if the weather cooperates, that is.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 27, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday to Son of G and congratulations to Mom and Dad of Son of G! You have done well. Enjoy your cross-country trip. You will visit most of the states I haven't had the pleasure of seeing yet. Eventually I'll cross them off my list.

Posted by: -pj- | December 27, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Aren't we a quiet retiring lot?

I'm ready to stretch my legs a bit. Herewith, a true story of Christmas Eve. Not up to CP's standard, but for what it's worth.

I have a corporate cleaning service that sends a team into my house every two weeks of a Wednesday to help keep the bacteria-count under red-line levels. They do a pretty good job and, because they have fungible team, are reliable even during 'flu outbreaks, Marburg pandemics and missile crises.

The team generally arrives between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, spends 90 minutes in the house, and then departs as though it were no more than the memory of a dream whilst we are all at work or school.

Only, this last Wednesday was Christmas Eve and was also 'our week.' It never occurred to me that the crew would be in! 'Round about 8:30 am #1 and physics-boy were slumbering in the basement, #2 nodding over coffee and the paper in the kitchen and Yoki, having had her shower, was in her bathroom, not fully dressed, putting on her makeup.

Well! Apparently they do work Christmas Eve, early, because I heard the dogs bark announcing an imminent visitor, and then the next thing I knew my bedroom door was opening. That is not unusual since the girls and I walk around here at will and make no never mind about it, but all of a sudden an unfamiliar voice said, "Oh! We'll do the other bathrooms first!" I turned to see a very nice woman with a bucket and mop, and *blushed* to the roots of my hair, kept my voice steady as I replied (very slick!), "Thank you."

Thank goodness I already had my jeans and boots on, and she only caught me in my bra at ma toilette, or otherwise neither of us would have known *where* to put ourselves.

Nonetheless, I'm sure the brief glimpse that poor woman got gave her the horrors; I'm only glad it was no more traumatic than it needed to be.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Son of G!

Yoki, CP, I have dreams like that. So far, no actual life experience...or at least, not recently, that I can remember...

Posted by: seasea | December 27, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Wild puppy from he11
kept me pinned upstairs with cat
While gnome laughed with friends

Old salty dog had
His nose in my business
(yes, THAT) all the time

Baby gates save lives
And also peaceful dog naps
Unmolested's good.

Gnome owes me big time.
Tuna salad, seafood rice, all-
doesn't even suffice.

Hate to poop parties
But nature, sweet quiet nature
calls me to relief...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 27, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Ach, yer young yet, Seasea, are ye not? [insert Irish accent at will]

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

From boxers to worse
Last time I visit THESE friends
sans body armor...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 27, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Hi All!

In case you didn't hear, we blew a huge fuse on Oahu last night. Big thunder storm blew out our power and the whole island went dark. The last time that happened was the earthquake we had in 2006. Anyway, I have power again, finally! One of the hazards of living on an island, we're not part of a multi-city power grid so we're all we've got. I'm thinking all the Christmas leftovers need to be tossed now :o(. I was looking forward to turkey and stuffing sandwiches with cranberry sauce. Sniff. The fridge is likely to have warmed up too much as it was 20 hours w/o power. Although, we never did open the doors...

Seems the Obama family fared well during the power outage at their vacation retreat in Kailua. The reports say they all just went to bed early. Must have been an interesting night for the Secret Service guys.

All in all though, Honolulu did well in the emergency situation. I think the '06 outage really helped us get our act together and all the systems worked well.

Back to boodling!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 27, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Ah, c'mon, Wilbrodog. We're just goofing around. Join us!

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Peace or cheeseburgers
Would be most welcome this week
..January 30?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 27, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Aloha, MotP!

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 27, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Just came in from outside current temp at 9:27 - 58F - very strange for this time of year, it is a clear night as well. Normally a clear night in December is cold.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 27, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It's 50 degrees here, dmd and pretty clear except for the groundfog in places from the snow melting. Half watching 'West Side Story' on tv. The music is still good and the dancing is great but the story is a bit sappy in spots.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 27, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I need a second job cleaning bath rooms and serving beer in spas. Sounds like fun.

I's above zero, like +2C or something and raining. A sheen of water over ice is VERY slippery. The Very Large Puppy took a fall. The Very Small Tsunami was fun to watch.

The in-laws are coming tomorrow. For onion sauce pasta, sage-braised pork chops and qumquats poached pears. We'll see. The chops are huge, just short of a pound each. Hogzilla has been slain.

I can't raise my employee who lost a sister. Worries me a bit. I might drop by soon. The father might still be trouble.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 27, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

You are a good man, shrieking_denizon.

Posted by: Yoki | December 27, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Long day. Good, but long. Very tired. Sentences too hard. Like reading. Nice story, Yoki. You too, Alohaetc. Sleep well all. Me too, soon I hope.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 27, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Since my fridge is now empty, we're going out to a buffet with Aloha-in-laws. I was supposed to make a ham and mashed potatoes for a family dinner with the in-laws but with no power for most of the day, they canceled and said they wanted to go out instead. I was looking forward to seeing Alohaspouse's old homestead where sis-in-law now lives. She doesn't normally like people coming over (strange bird that one) so this was to be a treat for Alohaspouse. Too bad, we get to see the inside of the Willows Restaurant instead. At least there will be poke (pronounced po-kay), chicken long rice and haupia!

Nite Ivansmom, sleep well!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 27, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse


Woody Allen (paraphrased) : I have nothing against dying; I just don't want to be there when it happens.

I am trying to make the connection to your lunch habits but am having trouble. Maybe the novel slated to come out in 2013, Food and Death, will explain it all. Or was that a research paper? Will be a research paper?? Oh well.

Thanks for the laughs and insights over the years. Best wishes.

Posted by: ACounter | December 27, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The dishwasher is in. No leaks. This is a first with regards to my numerous plumbing jobs. Thus, a little ditty commemorating the Festival Express that made its way through Canada, with much revelry.

Posted by: -jack- | December 28, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Whew! Got back this afternoon to chilly Philadelphia and it's taken me this long to read my e-mail and back-Boodle.

I had a good time in the Lauderdale, a few drizzly days, but warm, and sunny for the past 2. The planes were packed both ways, the beach was gorgeous, and my sister's meal responses to her vegetarian daughter (and fam) was very welcome--lobster, crab, lobster. I could get used to this. We saw _Slumdog Millionaire_, absolutely fabulous. Made a few batches of cookies with my great-niece, which was a lot of fun.

DbG's dogz greeted me with a yawn, they really do like the house/petsitter. I think by tomorrow I'll have readjusted to the upper-right-coast weather.

It's felt good to read about all your holidays. Happy holidays back. :-)

Friedman? Well, I believe there are always opportunities for creative and bold action, crisis or not. Not everyone has the wherewithal or energy to do more than just survive, so I think we need to recognize that failing upward isn't always an option, nice as that sounds.

So what's Boxing Day +1 called?

Posted by: -dbG- | December 28, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

No leaks tonight, jack, but watch out... we discovered when we got new floors that our dishwasher had been slowly leaking for years. The plywood under it was completely black with mold. It had been professionally installed and we had no idea where the drips were coming from.

Another case of new floor leading to new dishwasher!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 28, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, son of G. And I hope the road trip is fun, and not a lot of bad weather.

Love the story, Yoki. Ivansmom, you sound like I felt Christmas day.

Mudge(hope you're on the mend), Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, Yoki, and all the gang, good morning.*waving*

Hopefully I can attend Sunday school and services this morning. I think we're still getting rain. It doesn't feel cold at all.

The event I attended yesterday was a high school class reunion meeting. I could not understand one word of the meeting. It wasn't a big turn out. I asked a friend to fill me in on the details later. It was nice to see those that attended, and see the changes that have taken place over the years. And someone brought our old high school annual. I got a chance to look at that. And that hurt. I was short and petite, and not fat. Still short.

Have a great day, folks. The weekend is coming to an end, and pretty soon it will be back to work. I do hope all of you get a chance to give God some of your time today.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 28, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' Boodle...

Couldn't sleep, so I've been out in the shop since 4-O-early trying not to wake the neighbors and decided to pop in for a coffee and quick driveby here. It's a good thing my jigsaw is only slightly louder than a sewing machine or I'd have the cops at my door.

And I can't believe it is 63F at this time of year. This is Ohio, not Florida. We should be in the twenties at best. What's next? Cats sleeping with dogs? Paris Hilton becoming a nun? Joel getting his parking space?

Better get back to work now. This weather won't last and it's *very* nice to not have to dress like Nanook of the North or deal with frozen paints (and other frozen things, if ya know what I mean).

Peace out... :-)

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Almost forgot...

What's with the "Magic Negro"? From what I read, and I'm not clear about this, this is something that Rush is playing on the radio? Is it a song? I think it has reference to President-elect Obama?

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 28, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea, Cassandra, but then I don't listen to Rush and don't wanna.

But I do know quite a few "Magical Negroes". You being one of them, bringing your little bit of magic to our little corner of the 'net and brightening our days.

Another would be "Stage" -- a black man three days older than dirt who played the holy bejeezus out of a Hammond B-3 at a local blues club (among many other venues). I remember the first time we met. I showed up with an acoustic guitar (it was wired up for sound) and he gave me a funny look. I think I was the only white guy in the bar. But anyway, I sat down next to him and plugged in. We played "Saint James Infirmary Blues", him on the Hammond and singing, me on guitar, and another magical black man who's name I can't remember on the drums. The crowd went nuts and when we were through, Stage turned to me and said "When did your momma die?" He didn't know me from Adam, but it had been two years since she passed and I guess it showed. Then he said "Because son, you got the blues," which coming from him, really meant something. We played together off-and-on for a few years, but I think he went on to the Big Stage in the Sky a few years ago. Probably drinking Crown Royal with God and playing old blues and jazz tunes for the angels.

Yeah... old Stage was a magic man.

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

good morning boodle
I thought i would watch the sunrise today,since that is something I never get to do anymore.Pink,yellow,blue and green are gracing the morning sky.I'm not sure when the sun actually rises but it sure is beautiful. A busy day ahead with family friends and football.Much needed after a very tough day yesterday.It sure is beautiful outside my window.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

Righteous, martooni, absolutely, lovely, righteous story....hope Casandra catches it this morning, before she is out of the door.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 28, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse


a bee kept me company yesterday, outside on the deck. Funny weather, huh? Nice, tho.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 28, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

SCC: no k, GWE stands alone.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 28, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Happy Sunday Morning Boodle!

When I took our dog outside this morning, as his her custom, I noticed that the moist morning air was much warmer than it has been. A good day to remove all the large branches that are littering our yard, and, perhaps, open up the garage and engage the clutter that there resides in epic battle.

Chores are much more entertaining if you can introduce the appropriate dramatic narrative.

Time too, to triage the leftovers, freeze what we can and toss what we must.

Enjoy the day everyone, especially those who must (as do I) return to work tomorrow.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

There she is coming up over the mountain.The giver of life,light and warmth.

Hello old friend,sure is nice to see you once again.

note to self:the sun is still very bright in the morning,do not look into it:

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

THis is where I read about "Barack THe Magic Negro."

Posted by: mm_donovan | December 28, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. We have strange weather in the Other Federal Capital too, all that rain yesterday and now it's 9C/48F and sunny outside! More commonly we get our first cold snap in the week between Christmas and new year.

It's so slippery in the driveway the dogs decided on their own to walk on the snow banks. Clever little beasts but it's hard on the old dog's hind legs.

We get the in-laws for supper tonight. I'm thinking Eyetalian. Onion sauce pasta and pork chops braised in wine with sage. Onion sauce is the simplest thing in the world, about 5 lbs of onions sweated down into 2 cups of onion goodness and olive oil but it's heaven on earth for the onion lover.
It's all simple stuff, I might be able to watch a wee bit of football throughout the day. Have a good summer-day-in-winter youse all.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 28, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, still warm here but the winds have moved in ahead of the colder weather. Very strong gusts, that are freaking the dog and my young child.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 28, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

dmd... you're not alone with the winds. I've got the garage door shut, but the wind is blowing in through all the cracks and around the edges making for one heck of a sawdust storm. At one point I thought the dang door was going to blow in on me. I'm guessing the gusts are in the 60MPH+ range.

We've got sporadic sideways rain too. And the temp is dropping -- down to 48F from 63F just a couple hours ago. I wish this weather would make up its mind. Of course, this is Ohio, so if you don't like the weather all you have to do is wait five minutes for it to change.

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Still hacking and snuffling and breathing through my rales. My chest sounds like a creaky old house in a wind storm.

Cassandra, here's a CNN story about the "Magic Negro" thing, It's a song paraody to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. Apparently there's some Republicans think it's a hoot. This tells you quite a lot about where there heads are. And there's more than one parody; the other don't get any better. When one thinks of Republicans, the phrase "laff riot" doesn't spring to mind. Here's why:

"RNC chairman candidate defends 'Barack the Magic Negro' song

* Story Highlights
* Chip Saltsman sent out the CD to committee members for Christmas
* Saltsman: "I think most people recognize political satire when they see it"
* Song to tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon" first played on Rush Limbaugh's show
* Saltsman said song is satire of a Los Angeles Times article

By Rebecca Sinderbrand

(CNN) -- A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas -- which included a song titled "Barack the Magic Negro" -- was clearly intended as a joke.

"I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members understand that."

The song, set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was first played on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007.

Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested President-elect Barack Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation's history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by his longtime friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.

The CD sent to RNC members, first reported by The Hill on Friday, is titled "We Hate the USA" and also includes songs referencing former presidential candidate John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among other targets.

According to The Hill, other song titles, some of which were in bold font, were: "John Edwards' Poverty Tour," "Wright place, wrong pastor," "Love Client #9," "Ivory and Ebony" and "The Star Spanglish Banner."

Saltsman was national campaign manager for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential bid in 2007 and 2008. Before that, he held a variety of posts, including a number of positions under former Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee."

And here's a Post story about some lame GOP reaction:

In a perverse sort of way, I'm not very outraged about this thing: it's kind of just what one expects, glassbowls being glassbowls. And of course no one can explain it to them, because they just don't see it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 28, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

That is probably accurate on the wind gusts Martooni, just read about the winds in Windsor earlier and the gusts were up over 100 km/60 m/hr

Posted by: dmd2 | December 28, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Today is the 50th anniversary of what is known to many as "The Greatest Game Ever Played" the 1958 NFL championship between The Baltimore Colts and the New Yorks Giants.Won by the colts in the first ever sudden death overtime game in NFL history.

A very nice article is linked below,0,1527250.story

I am off the Baltimore to watch today's game between my beloved Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Unitas Stadium.If we win we secure the last playoff spot in the AFC,if we lose,I don't want to even think about that.Seems like temps will be in the 60's at game time,not bad for the end of december.

It is also the last tailgate of the year,today's menu includes Steaks on the grill,crab soup and a whole mess of burgers,dogs,brats and fixins, our contribution will be steamed shrimp.Plus many adult beverages.

It has clouded up in west by god and I think the rain gear will be in order.

But what a fun day we will have.Thanks to all those old players in that 58 game.there will be some sort of ceremony at halftime and I am sure there will be a few Cheers of the C.O.L.T.S. along with the usual R.A.V.E.N.S.

What a Glorious day for Football!!!

Go Ravens!!!


Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chinook means snow-eater. All warm January-winds are eerie a bit with the astonishing sweep of warmth in a cold time. In Germany, the winds are called foehn.
(clip from Wikipee, complete with umlaut!)
The name föhn (from the German Föhn, pronounced [ˈføːn]) originated in the alpine region. From Latin (ventus) favonius, a mild west wind of which Favonius was the Roman personification.

The warm weather means another long bike ride, which I shall not object too. Yesterday, KB, your appropriate resting reminds me that we need rest and recreation in many measures.

Enjoy, GWE, and fax me a small bowl of crab soup, either he or she, tomato or cream. Thankee, much, kind sir.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 28, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

When I was a boy in the Pacific Northwest, we used the term "Chinook" to refer to the warm humid winds that came in from the Northern Pacific. Since then, I have learned that the term also refers to warm inland winds caused by mountains. When I lived in Southern California, they referred to similar winds as "Santa Ana" winds.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I think I worked off the insomnia. Sheesh. Five hours in the shop and it's only 9:30am. Got a lot done, though, which is good because I am *so* behind.

Of course, now that I want a nap, everyone else in the house is waking up and starting to make noise. Maybe I can find a mind-numbingly dull documentary on the History channel or something.

At least the winds here have died down so I won't have to listen to the wreaths we hung on the windows scraping and bouncing off the glass. Temp dropped another 3F in the last 45 minutes. I'm thinking we'll have snow by this afternoon.

GWE... Y'know that your Ravens are actually Browns, right? Cleveland was robbed -- the city of the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame, flaming rivers and stolen football franchises. We get no respect. No respect, I tell ya.

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle. Cassandra.

gwe, have a great day of football.

CP is quite right. When I was a kid in Switzerland (mid-sixties) there were still a lot of myths around the foehn. When it blew, in addition to causing migraine it was said to account for fleeting madness. The foehn was a legitimate defence in criminal trials, especially for crimes of passion.

I think that's putting a bit much on the shoulders of an air current, but hey, you can't blame a fellow for trying, eh?

It is snowing hard here and the wind is low, it is not too cold, so it is picture perfect with an even layer of sparkling white atop the existing foot or so on the ground. I love new snow under streetlights.

Though the pace of the fall has me just a wee bit concerned about tomorrow's commute. Will need to play with extra intensity today to keep my mind off the cares of the office. Sufficient unto the day, and all that.

Have a good day, friends.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

A roaring schnook has sucked up all the the snow around here.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 28, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!

Yeah, weirdly warm here, too.

On the Adriatic, the Yugo Wind is supposed to be an evil one. All sorts of nasty things happen when this wind blows.

Have a good Sunday, everyone. :o)

Posted by: Braguine | December 28, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Boko!! And in fine form. How nice.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Chinook and no snow
Means today feels tropical
Ahh, this is the stuff!


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

...and might I recommend Dave Barry's annual Year in Review, which, as he himself points out, only some of which is made up.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 28, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Chinooks give me odd dreams, so this explains why I dreamed I went out in the garden, and everything was sere and dead except for lemongrass mint which had somehow thought it was springtime an d had grown two feet overnight. I picked it and brought it in, whole, with it fullest lemony smell.

And now I'm all hungry for lemongrass soup and lemongrass mint-flavored vingarette potato salads...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Boko999 | December 28, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Here on Hannukah day seven, it's also Rosh Chodesh - The beginning of the new month. For various reasons, beginning with the traditional non-participation by women in the creation of the Golden Calf, Rosh Chodesh is a special day of celebration for many Jewish women.

It's the third day of Kwanzaa: celebrating Ujima - collective work and responsibility.

Also, for various Christians: The Feast of the Holy Family, of the Holy Innocents, AND of St. Anthony the Hermit.

Don't forget that tomorrow is Al Hajira - Islamic New Year's Day!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse


Buddy had puppy problems this Christmas with my friend's new Bernese Mountain Dog pup. All the puppy wanted to do was play and Buddy thinks it's beneath his dignity to roll around on the floor with a baby (not me!). His tactic of lying on the little one when it gets too rambunctious is only going to work for another week or so as she'll probably outweigh him in three.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 28, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Very enlightening, Boko. Unfortunately I wasn't quite sure how the old salt would take such assertive discipline from me, and I had no desire to take two dogs on at the same time... or try and discipline one with the other's nose up my chinook nook.

Memo to the gnome:
If you must, easy-squash pups
with girly side, please.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Bernese Mountain Dog puppy! And you have not posted a photo?

Poor Buddy. He'll need to master the look to protect himself.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Or a baby gate
To hide behind when puppies
come charging; that rocks.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.

Interesting etymology CqP. In Swedish the equivalent word is used in this way: "att föna håret" means "to blow-dry the hair". Or one could stand on top of an Alp and let the winds do it for you.

Me, I've done two loads of laundry and the only typically "Sunday" errand left on my list is to water the indoor plants. They are longing to see the sun, I might add, but that I somehow can't deliver.

I've seen Bernese Mountain puppies, and they are entirely too adorable to fathom. And then they turn into differently adorable huge, drooly doggies.

I think I might need a Great Dane fix soon.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 28, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey! This is in our Standard:

"The Bernese is a dry-mouthed dog."

EYE never drool. Well, only when my dish is being prepared.


Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh oh
The schnook has blown the power out.

Switch to battery power!! Dive! Dive!

Posted by: Boko999 | December 28, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. After a night's sleep I can now write complete sentences. Ah, the accomplishment. I have awakened two boys and they are almost ready for church, which about counts as a day's work.

Thanks to Mudge for the Dave Barry link. The past year certainly provided lots of opportunity for mordant humor. We are about 18 months behind the coasts, and folks here still believe that the economic crisis (beyond their 401ks) is something happening to other folks. Hah. It is coming. A legislator told me recently that so far we're looking at something like a $350 million shortfall, and that won't get any better while oil & gas prices continue to fall. Given the way voting patterns run here, that's a lot of sick, old and poor people about to be further disadvantaged. Considering our already-high rate of poverty and uninsured citizens, one way or another this is going to trickle up, not down. Well, there's my cheerful prediction for 2009.

My heater made that "clunk" noise after cycling off again. Perhaps I'll have to hae a professional explore this further.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oops -- sorry Yoki and Libby. Somehow I thought they were drooly critters. My abject apologies (and I'm faxing treats to atone).

It might be time to go water those plants, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 28, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, did you or seasea or somebody fax us Easterners a couple of them there chinooks? Cuz its already 68 degrees here -- but windy as all git out. Blowing like crazy out there.

Not that I mind a little chinookie every now and then.

Uh oh. Dottir#2 and the grandkids are arriving! Everyone to the bunkers! Run for your lives!

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 28, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Photos of new pup will be acquired and posted.

Rosie, the BMD pup, is as dry of mouth as her predessesor , Maggie the Newf, was sloppy. After playing kissy-face with Maggilywags you'd need a scraper. Washing wouldn't cut it, the great darling seemed to exude super-glue.
The newfie before her, Max, had a dry mouth as did the St. Bernard, Detour, although I've met some extemely wet St. Bs.
The most viscous drool I ever slid on came from a bloodhound. Remarkble stuff, you didn't need a towel you could just roll it up.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 28, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Boko! That is vivid indeed.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

For those who have a fondness for D.C.-area sports, or sports writing in general, George Solomon's farewell piece has lots of nice memory-joggers.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

I'll try to backboodle later, just wanted to let you know I'm still alive despite Scottynuke and Nukespouse's best efforts to wine and dine me into oblivion over the course of the weekend.

Still standing, and ready for lunch.
And 1:00 kickoffs!


Posted by: -bc- | December 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Puppy pix. Wild bunch.

Posted by: -jack- | December 28, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to keep all the warm air here, Mudge, believe me. 40 degrees! The snow is melting, it's melting! Hahahahaha!

Posted by: seasea | December 28, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes... had me a nap and now feel like a new gnome. I would almost say "spritely", but I'm no sprite and I wouldn't want to offend any.

Looks like the temps headed a few degrees south while I was snoozing and the winds have picked up again. The wreaths are banging against the windows like a bunch of angry spurned lovers. "Let me in, you bastage! I know you're in there! We need to talk!"

Anyway... one more crick to get out of my neck (and maybe a shot or three of hootch for the bronchitis) then it's back to the shop for a bit of finish sanding. I'm hoping the local rock station's "Sunday Morning Over Easy" show is over. One can take only so many Styx and Journey ballads at one sitting before breakfast comes up.

I need some George Thorogood -- "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" would do. Or some Sex Pistols (which even the "hard" rock station won't play... wussies). A little "Anarchy in the UK" would make my ears happy right about now.

I wonder what "Sex Pistols" will do to the Google adbot... (or if it'll pass The Filter of Doom)

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Yoki - that snowstorm sounds wonderful! I hear from my family back West that the Pacific Northwest still has a lot of snow.

Alas, we have nothing but mud.

Still, the relative warmth of the day is nice. One can open up the windows and let in a bit of fresh air.

And yet, I still look forward to some snow. Not only is snow falling through the light breathtaking, there is also a quiet associated with fresh snowfall that nothing else can match.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

For taiko fans (me :-), Tatsuya has a little christmas story:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I almost forgot...

Regarding dog drool... Try living with a Shar Pei. All those folds are actually slingshots. The Former Mrs. M had one of them (and a Great Dane, too) and that wrinkly little bugger would fling snot and dog food and God knows what else onto the walls and ceilings whenever it shook its big head. Of course, this was back in the day when I wore suits to work and it never failed that he would wait until I was all dressed up and ready for the commute to launch his spray of slobber bombs.

The only thing worse is a Mastiff (Bull, I think). When I moved back from Florida I stayed at my boss's house and he had two of them. Part of my rent was to feed those monsters. I don't know what it was that was coming from their mouths, but three rounds in the washing machine couldn't get it out of your clothes. I probably still have some in my hair and it's been almost ten years.

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, as I understand it the term "magic negro" comes from the African American community regarding movie roles. Not quite enough normal leading roles, and a few too many in one type of plot. Will Smith's character in The Legend of Bagger Vance was a sort of wise, magical man. There was a role in The Green Mile with a magical black man, I forget the actor's name.

The point was, I think, that more movie roles of regular people need to be filled by black people, and maybe fewer as the vaguely uncle-tom-y "magical" characters.

I have a suspicion Republicans shouldn't be mocking this idea.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - That's about right, although Bagger Vance and Michael Clarke Duncan's character John Coffey in "The Green Mile" are rather extreme cases . Think Morgan Freeman's Hoke Colburn in "Driving Miss Daisy", or any number of Sidney Poitier roles.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

By the way, he's "Sir Sidney".

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I think Morgan Freeman makes about all his roles magic, Bob S... even the earthy, cynical roles... (Like in "Kiss the Girls"). It's just the LOOKS he gives like he's one step ahead of everybody else.

And of course, I liked him as God in "Bruce Almighty." He made it work.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm doomed without Wikipedia. Anyone else unable to access it? I can't.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I still haven't heard the song (or "parody", as the RNC guy calls it) and hope not to. For the same reason I don't drink dirty dishwater or old milk that someone hands you and asks "Does this taste okay?"

I'm sure that the intent of the "parody" was not to just poke fun, but to hurt and to emphasize race in a not-so-thinly-veiled way.

As for the "magic" side of it... As a maker of fairy doors, I know magic when I see it and real magic is colorblind and everywhere and a Good Thing and has a tendency to turn on those who abuse it (so stick it, RNC).

The kind of magic that Obama brought to public office, the kind of magic that Cassandra brings us, the kind of magic that so many people of all colors bring us with their words and music and art and helping hands... that's what makes waking up worthwhile.

That's also what I love about the Christmas season. It seems that this time of year, ordinary people do extraordinary things. Call it selflessness or charity or daring-do or whatever you want, but I call it magic.

I'd be proud to be called a "Magic White-O".

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I just checked - No problem reaching Wiki here. In fact, I checked by looking up "magical Negro". Most of the examples they give are more in line with (and included) the examples you gave, but the (not very flattering) term is traditionally used a little more broadly.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I also have managed not to see/hear the song in question. I suppose that curiosity may eventually lead me to it, just as I sometimes read the comments under various stories/columns that I know full well will attract the vicious crazies. Sometimes, I figure I'd better keep myself aware of what these nutjobs are up to.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Your wish is granted O magic blanco...

Don't abuse your carte blanche to be magic.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Bob S. I agree with Martooni on the racial jeer inherent in that term. Not that I've ever used it or seen it used in conversation, but I'm familiar with the concept since I saw it bandied about a year ago in reference to Obama's rising prospects, attributing it to that concept.
I disagreed strongly myself.

People are people, and you have to admire the one who has the best organized, most talented campaign no matter what race, gender, or mixture thereof he may be.

As for any magic, well, his win in Iowa really made a lot of people take him seriously as a candidate.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

DNA Girl - I'm with you on taiko. Love it!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

A boodler asked me how I liked the Megabus up to New York. Here is my review:

I'll be answering questions in my comments section.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, my fellow Gnome.

And don't worry... I only use my magic for Good. I just wish I had more of it to spread around.

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bob. Lets me know I think I diagnosed the problem. Stupid Java update. Now uninstalled, thank you.

Well said, Martooni.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Taiko is good, but bhangra gets me groovin' faster.

Cute retelling of "the Drummer Boy", DNAgirl.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, how come Buddha's little idea-light bulb isn't a compact fluorescent?

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

yello - I think that even the "megabus" folks would say that you were quite fair in your comparison.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Warm and windy here also. We took down the big tree as it was getting very dry.Rest of the decorations will stay up til New Year’s day. At the risk of making myself nauseous I’ll add my thoughts to the drool debate. The Mastiff has the most incredibly disgusting drool I’ve ever seen, the elastic quality combined with the difficulty of removal flips my stomach. The Great Dane was almost as bad but not quite so elastic. Agree the BMD puppies may be the cutest things in the whole world.

I don’t know how I’m going to go back to work tomorrow without the expectation of an afternoon nap. I have never spent so much time asleep on the sofa as this long weekend. The Pats game is pretty amusing for the wind factor. Glad you’re feeling better Mudge. Loved the Dave Barry piece.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 28, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Belated birthday greetings, Son of G. Don't say those things about latent leaks, TBG. I have enough on my honey do list.

Posted by: -jack- | December 28, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse


Here's an op-ed column by William Gildea, a former Post sports writer, about the Colts/Giants game of 50 years ago. It's a very nice reminiscence, especially the bit about them wearing coat and tie to the game!

Posted by: -pj- | December 28, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I think that the weather change just started in this part of the D.C. 'burbs. The temperature has dropped about five degrees in the past half hour, and it's supposed to drop by thirty degrees tonight, although that will still leave it around 40 F.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, jack... didn't mean to harsh your buzz. Those puppies are adorable... total cuteness overload.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 28, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

No offense taken. The area under the sink is what I'm worried about. My plumbing skills stink. I owe the lack of leaks to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Based on my limited carpentry experience, a bathroom or kitchen job is good for 15-20 years because water is insidious. Thanks for the compliments about the pups. They think I'm food.

Posted by: -jack- | December 28, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse
Go ahead, touch it!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I don't want you to get too worked up, but I was just at your Safeway, and -get this- they have a huge price discount on Kale!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

They have some other stuff too.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't this make you want to buy a puppy?

Posted by: nellie4 | December 28, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm going out for a bit. Perhaps I'll touch base (much) later.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 28, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Dear Nellie: No.


(Gnome is now barred from viewing all puppy pictures, BTW).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for answering my question, and for the commentary also. I think it's a shot at President-elect Obama, and race, but mostly race, considering the source.

Nice story, Martooni, about your experience with the blues.

The state of North Carolina is already making cuts to programs that help poor and elderly folks. And they're talking about a serious shortfall. I read in the Post this morning that some hospitals in rural areas are merging with larger hospitals or closing their doors altogether.

When one lives in a tier one county(poorest of the poor) as I do, can it get any worse? I mean, if you're on the bottom already, shouldn't one look up? If we go down further, the dirt will cover us. My contention the past several years has been that we're already buried, just needed covering up.

The sun has come out, but the wind has picked up. So far, no rain.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 28, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Cute puppies. The BMD pup looks just like Rosie, black nose and all. When Don and Nik brought the pup home they named her for her adorable pink nose. Apparently it's common for a pup's nose to darken as it ages.
Oh well.

Posted by: Boko999 | December 28, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Just to add a little context to the "magic Negro" discussion: The phrase as commonly used for film roles was coined disparagingly by Spike Lee. It refers to any African American character that is preternaturally virtuous and exists solely to give advice to and solve the problems of the white main character.

An LA Times columnist wrote a column comparing Barack Obama to these stereotypes.,0,5335087.story?coll=la-opinion-center

The column is thoughtful and clever. Maureen Dowd also wrote an entire column on Barack's "magic." In my analysis of it I touched on the movie magic aspects of that:

The 'Puff the Magic Dragon' parody takes the conceit and turns it into a racist shrill satire ridiculing Obama using a black-ccented baritone singer to imply that Obama is not "authentic."

It barely passes muster as a Rush bit, but for a national politician to be passing it around as a Christmas gift is beyond the pale. How you can be so tone deaf and expect to hold a national leadership position is beyond me.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | December 28, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

My wife keeps threatening me that if I take too many business trips, I might come home one time to find a Bernese Mountain Dog on my side of the bed.

It was during a camping trip with my son that my wife taught our old dog to jump on the bed, and he slept there ever since. We saw two gorgeous Great Pyrenees being walked outside of Forbidden Planet Comics on Broadway in New York. She thinks those might make great bed dogs as well.

When she is really, really feeling mean, she starts surfing bulldog rescue sites and showing me the exceptionally ugly ones.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you're in the doghouse, Yello. Consider renting a doggy costume.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Aw, Wilbrodog, you would have sooo much fun with a little brother!

Posted by: nellie4 | December 28, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Another Irish coffee break while the stain dries on the latest batch of doors...

Cassandra... glad you liked the story. Every bit true (at least as true as my memory).

Stage was a real character, as they say. The girls (from young to old) all loved him and all the guys held the highest respect for him. The young ladies fawned all over him, though the older ones knew to beware of his charms. One he11 of a musician. I miss playing with him. He wore a suit and tie to every gig -- pre-Blues Brothers -- and was a joker and a gentleman.

We had another magic man here who passed several years ago: "Big Boogie D". Another black man older than dirt (and wearing a pacemaker, no less), but holy carp could he sing. Somewhere between Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters with a lot of James Cotton thrown in. His signature bit was to get the crowd to shout "Oh yeah?" and he'd reply "Oh he11 yeah!" and then the roof would come down.

I dragged my parents and grandparents out one night to one of his shows and Grandpa just happened to have his sax in the trunk of his car and I just happened to have my guitar in mine... needless to say, we had one amazing jam session.

I miss those days. But between Little Bean and Mrs. M and business, my chances of getting loose at night with a stringed instrument are about zero. But there *is* a chance. I just have to be patient.

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, me. No, I don't live there anymore (and haven't for too many decades to count), but it really, really does set those pangs off when your hometown football team actually has a perfect season . . . . and it's not the kind one cheers for. *sigh*

Condolences gratefully accepted.

On the other hand, SF in its first run, goes all the way in for a touchdown against the Redskins.

The biggest similarity between the Lions and the Redskins is that they both have exceptionally carppy owners (as Toons might say).

Gonna go back to the Post and continue to nod off. Thanks for the idea, Bad Sneakers. Lotsa napping does a body good, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 28, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

As long as we’re doing puppy pics, here’s a link to a friend of #2’s who raises BMDs.

If, and I do mean ‘IF’ we are ever able to retire, we will be calling her for a puppy.

ftb, you just reminded me that I haven’t had my daily nap yet. Gotta go.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 28, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

And the "House" marathon continues...

On Yoki's suggestion, I have cauliflower and taters in the house. I forget the name of the dish I'm going to make, but I'll find the name and make it soon. But not now! House!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 28, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

To save you the trouble, Jumper, two words: aloo gobi.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Sad news - Delaney Bramlett passed away -
That article has a picture of him with Jerry Garcia during the Festival Express, which jack mentioned the other day. If you haven't seen the movie, it's very good. Much outrage at the high ticket prices ($14) - music should be free, no?

My sister and I saw Delaney and Bonnie and Friends open for Frank Zappa. Except that Bonnie was not there. We didn't know if she was sick, or fighting with Delaney (probably the latter). He never mentioned her, which was a bit distracting...

Posted by: seasea | December 28, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I saw that article about Delaney Bramlett while I perused the LAT earlier today. Let It Rain is one of my favourite songs from Clapton's D&TD days. I believe that Duane Allman trades leads with Clapton.

Posted by: -jack- | December 28, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ho everbody. Seems I missed some things, like Son of G's birthday and CP in the hot tub, and Mudge's sore throat (faxing some lemon tea)

We've just returned from the days of feasting that is known as Christmas at mom and dad's. My mom's brother was there this year, and despite our advice about how to survive moms table, he took second helpings of almost everything. When mom passed the cookie traySSSSS down the table, his eyes got big. When she started passing out apple pie with ice cream and strawberries he started laughing. While we were all sitting there in glorious stupefaction, she just kept refilling trays and pouring coffee. Our job in the holday is to eat. This is her gift from us since she gets a upset if we try to make her sit down and put us out of our misery. We did dishes (maybe 20 minutes), we opened gifts (maybe 45 minutes) and then mom looked at her watch and said, let me put out some lunch.

My uncle is coming back next year.

Then we went to mrdr's folks for a break. But not for long. It is a very small town but is blessed with a pretty good western style chinese food place. Being a small town, the prices are low and the quantity high. He bought what he thought should be food for 6 but could have fed double that, easily.

I am stuffed, fed, wined and dined and am ready for some sloth and knitting.

And then as soon as we go out to the hottub, I am going to tell mrdr, all about Cp's adventures in tubbing.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 28, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse


Sorry about your Redskins. It is about time the SF 49'ers won a game of importance. Even if it is only ....

Posted by: Pacifica | December 28, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I haven't finished backboodling, but trust that everyone had a satisfactory early winter holiday of their choosing.

Just got everyone in the car and on their way to the airport. By an act of excellent accidental planning, Raysdad's flight up to his mom's is the same time as mom and bro's back home. Their visit was a good time, and they definitely appreciated the warm weather. Christmas was a good time, too, and my sister managed to keep it down to one truly snarky comment to me in 24 hours.

Mudge, are you awash in chicken soup, or could you use more?

CqP, your hot tub story had me chuckling and admiring your neighbor's aplomb in bringing you a frosty lager.

Off tomorrow. The plan was to partake in some shopping, but there is much laundry and cleaning to be done, and we have dinner guests Wednesday.

Posted by: Raysmom | December 28, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Welcome home dr and Raysmom! The circle is nearly complete (at least until we all head off to work tomorrow).

Saw that GentlemanGWE's Ravens murdelized their opponents, so that's a good thing.

Had a great day of organizing myself and the household in anticipation of the coming week.

And I weighed myself. *Sigh* Here's hoping RD_Padouk will fax me a little of his water-and-air combo, even chicken soup is too rich at this point.

'Tis an early to bed early to rise day. See you all here Boodle-side before work. Dawn Patrol is back on duty bright and early, sans doubt.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

good evening boodle! Spent the afternoon at the Vikings/Giants game. Very exciting, but not so fun for true Vikes fans who didn't appreciate having to wait until the last second to see it wrapped up with a field goal. The Iggles will be in town next week for the first round of the play offs.

Need to back boodle some more but see I missed happy birthday wishes to Son of G.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 28, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Iggles! Total KO. 44 to 6. Dallas cheer squeemers go home

I bet you're doubley happy with this one Mudge

so far I'm at 11-4.

I think.

I've got San Diego over Denver (starting in a few mins

If SD wins, I think this will be my best pool week ever.

Posted by: omnigood | December 28, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

You've developed a taste for the magnificent wearing-of-the-Tiara, omnigood!

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Glad for the laugh-miles on the hot tub lager story. Would prefer a sauna, myself. I check them on Craig's list occasionally. Frosti knows.

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

Yoki... speak for yourself regarding Dawn Patrol. This pilot plans on sleeping in if sleep is still happening and will allow it to continue for as long as possible. (today's 4am start in the workshop has pretty much wiped me out)

Peace out and pudding for everyone! :-)

Posted by: martooni | December 28, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki. I have about a week and a half of the backBoodle to catch up on

As to the Tiara, I'm still waiting to hear from the rest of the MOB

I picked four underdogs this week, kind of ironic (so far

The Iggles were favored, but WOW

Posted by: omnigood | December 28, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Good evening. So far I am not as exhausted as last night, so there is hope.

Indeed, happy belated birthday wishes to Son of TBG. Also big hugs to Jack, Windy3, Mudge, and everyone else feeling ill or with an ailing family member (someone had the cold? the gall bladder?).

Yoki, how about chicken and rice? I spent the afternoon making my version of Edna Lewis's and Scott Peacock's Grandmaw Peacock's Chicken and Rice: when I get to the "add the rice" part, in deference to my family's sensibilities, I take the skin, bones etc. off the whole chicken which has until then been stewing. "The Gift of Southern Cooking", it's a great cookbook.

And my advice: don't weigh yourself yet. Wait a week. That's my plan.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I'll just point out, for all you Iggles fans, that today is a Very Bad Day at Black Rock for the Ivansclan, as Ivansdad is a passionate Cowboys fan. Even comfort food apparently doesn't help.

I'll just note that I could be a member of the Dawn Patrol, as I'm normally up well before six am. However, I have no time to check the computer - that would make my waking time even earlier. This week, thanks to no school and Ivansdad's broken arm, I plan to sleep in somewhat. Hee hee.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, not only am I awash in chicken soup, there is a kind of bathtub ring around me somewhere around the ribcage, with some noodles and bits of chicken flotsam stuck around me. One could go beachcombing around my chest picking up stray bits of carrot and ...well, not exactly driftwood. Call it driftparsley.

Yes, pacifica, I am in mourning about the Skins. Those boneheads. But happy about the Iggles--that was said to be one of the worst buttkickings ever inflicted on the Cowboys. But alas, neither team will be in the playoffs, it appears. I must needs find a new team worthy of my adoration during the playoffs. I have no immediate candidates. Perhaps a period of abstinence and quiet reflection might be good for my soul.


BTW, I don't think I'm gonna make it to Dawn Patrol tomorrow. I'm still yucky, and I can't conceive I'll be significantly better in the morning. This is nuthin' but a bad cold-- but it's kicking my butt all around the house. I'm not gonna go to work feeling like this.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 28, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes I do know the sauna (sow-nuh) CP and miss it. Saturday evening family sauna at Aunti Ina's and Uncle Jack's-nekkid cousins steaming then the truly daring rolling in the snow, ah memories.

Back north for me tomorrow for two days of work, then I am taking the 31st-5th off to do as little as possible.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 28, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Last vacation day in this series is tomorrow, so I won't be patrolling anything at dawn.

jack, so beautiful! I met my first Havanese in Ft. Lauderdale a few days ago, a real charmer named Lucia (just like my old lab). Do they all have to be groomed at least half an hour a day? Her mom said to ask.

Love the BMD pictures, too. Yoki, given Cutter's advanced age and BMD/collie heritage, I have been checking out BMD mixes on Petfinder occasionally.

Have a good evening, everyone!

Posted by: -dbG- | December 28, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody, we've had quite the family day. It's been fun. The in-laws are here (Mr. T's brother, his wife, and their three kids who live in Fairfax County not far from TBG). Today the favorite aunt came, with her two daughters and the son of the younger, with his fiancee and her two kids. (Got that? If so, you are really, really good.) We sat 16 down to lunch, thank heavens for Costco spiral cut ham. A fun day, made even more interesting by the fabulous finish of the Panthers/Saints game.

Currently there is a 16-year-old reading a book on the sofa, Mr. T is watching UNC beat Rutgers, and a movie is playing in the next room, with the 14-year-old and the 9-year-old and their parents watching.

I think I will take a shower and start the dishwasher.

Posted by: slyness | December 28, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

bc? brag? Anybody? Bob? Cassandra? RD? Slyness? Scotty?

I don't usually do more than bring breakfast and fly wing, but I guess I'm gonna be on my own tomorrow.

Never fear, I shall keep the Western Tradition and Ecumenical Fellowship and Arab League safe until you all get back.

Good night, Boodle.

I'll probly send myself some early-morning cheer as well, greet me, wish me well.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

dbG! So happy to see you. Did you have a happy vacation? Did you leave your pager under the desk?

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Sleep tight, Yoki. Maybe if I don't go to work I'll join you for a civilized Dawn Patrol breakfast, which is to say, l;eisurely and not pressured by having to get the patrol into the air. We can linger over a second cup of coffee, and read the paper.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 28, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm here though not for long. Yoki, Mudge, RD, hold down the fort tomorrow. Brag, scottynuke, cassandra, I hope you sleep in. Same for all you other Dawn Patrollers. I'll be with you in spirit but, with any luck, not in the flesh. One thing about Ivansdad's broken arm: I'm so tired by the time I get to bed I sleep quite well.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 28, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the hugs, Ivansmom. Back atcha.

No, dbG, havanese don't need to be groomed for a half hour daily. We like to get ours on the table once a week to comb them out, a pedicure biweekly and washing once every few weeks. The latter occurs more often if we're showing. For a long haired dog, dirt cuts the coat and makes it less attractive in the ring.

Posted by: -jack- | December 28, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm out of vacation. The NY Boxing Day trip tapped me out, so I'll be on Dawn Patrol tomorrow. Tell CqP that I finally got in a bike ride this afternoon.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Luxurious day!
Restaurants and games after
Walks, naps, and peace-- bliss.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 28, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, jack, I'll tell her she's being way too fastidious.

yoki://dbG! So happy to see you. Did you have a happy vacation? Did you leave your pager under the desk?//

Of course not, that would have been irresponsible! I just didn't notice when the battery ran down.

My vacation's been good, although returning to friends, virtual and physical, has been more fun. I think I'll avoid travelling over the holidays next year, a fortnight before or after would be good.

I guess it's possible to be ambivalent about something even if it was good. Some thought is necessary before I write more, but it was a good vacation--just not what I'm looking for at (in) Christmas.

Thanks for asking, Yoki. How was yours?

Posted by: -dbG- | December 28, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Caroline Kennedy says "you know" twenty-two times in just over two minutes.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 28, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Playoffs? Playoffs,don't talk to me about Playoffs

Now we can talk about the Playoffs.Long long day but finally home,had a great time at the game,Good food,plenty of drinks and great company,muchly needed it was.

Yay Ravens after 5-11 last year 11-5 this year and the Playoffs......

Sorry Scotty,seems unfair your boys didn't make it,but I'm happy we don't have to go to Cold New England for the Playoffs,rather then warm Miami....

The Playoffs.......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Spent a good marathon day of consuming leftovers and watching the last Sunday of regular season NFL football with the 'nukes.

An interesting Sunday: crazy winds in the most entertaining (as Scottynuke put it) 13-0 game ever (for NE fans, certainly) at Wilson stadium in Buffalo, crazy points put up by the Chargers and the unbelieveable blowout of the Cowboys at the hands, er, *talons* of the Iggles, wins on last second field goals by SF, Minnesota, and Carolina, and - sadly - the first 0-16 regular season *ever*, by the Detroit Lions.

Goodnight, all.

More tomorrow, when I've had time to catch up on some sleep...


Posted by: -bc- | December 28, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Now the circle is complete, with the green man back among us.

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey Yoki!
I'm happy to be home and the house is slowly warming up.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 28, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Greenandpurpleandredandwhitewithenvy! I'm really delighted to see you here. Glad your team won!

Posted by: Yoki | December 28, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

goodnight Yoki my friend

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Good night, greenwithenvy. GentlemanGWE.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Still hacking and coughing, but the Mucinex is doing its job. Just took dottir#3 to the bus stop like I do every morning. Put the coffee on (germ-free) in the ready room for you. Going to try to go back to sleep now.

Carry on.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

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

What's up, friends? I'm moving slow this morning, and I think it's raining outside. I'll have to wait for the walk or perhaps cancel it altogether? I don't know. A little water never hurt anyone.

It feels like I've been up all night. Did not sleep well, and it took me a long time to nod off. I'm seriously going to try and finish this cleaning act. A lot of this junk will hit the curb.

The word "magic" implies that African-Americans have to be better or so good in order to forge a relationship with people of the White race. And some movies do reflect that kind of thinking. Often movies show African-Americans in comedy roles making people laugh, but doing stuff that many people would not do. I don't care much for movies like that, especially the ones that make fun of African-American women as being fat, smart mouth, or combinations of both. I guess what one has to remember in all of this is that these folks are playing to an audience, and at some point, some people like this stuff. They make money doing this.

As far as being nice to people, I think that should apply to everybody, not just me or the African-American race for that matter. I'm thinking it would make for a much better world. Over the weekend it seems some of us on planet Earth have decided that killing each other is the best sport. We, as in all of us, won't have to worry about global warming or any other warming, at the rate we're killing each other, by the time global warming is in full attack mode, there won't be anything to kill.

Mudge(I'm making chicken and dumplings today), Scotty, Slyness, Martooni, Yoki, and all the gang, good Monday morning.*waving*

Time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 29, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Looks like just me and Cassandra for Dawn Patrol this morning.

I work with a huge Chargers fan, so he is very happy this morning. Has a team without a winning record made it to the playoffs before?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Sleep tight, mudge. I have a scratchy throat this morning and if it turns into the flu, I'm blaming you.

***faxing more Theraflu-laced chicken soup over***

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

If you've got a scratchy throat, ZICAM yourself immediately, yello.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Chicken soup. The official cureall for the boodle. Maybe we should send vast quantities of chicken soup to all nations at war, about to be at war, even thinking about being at war, couldn't hurt. A chicken soup outreach. Personally, I would like to see chicken soup as required consumption before any Obama cabinet meeting. A cup of chicken soup alongside all makers of decisions, hot, steamy, sensible.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 29, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

*various uprintable comments at the Comment-Eating Monster*

Without backBoodling, I will hereby predict:

a) 'Mudge is over the moon about the Iggles' performance, and

b) gwe is over the moon about the Ravens' performance.

The Pats' game was perhaps the most entertaining 13-0 contest I've ever seen. It was certainly the windiest -- I can see them dubbing it the "Vortex Game" in years to come.

Apart from a prominent meteor, today's Dawn Patrol was rather subdued, but the sunrise is making up for that.

*feeling-rather-stuffed-for-some-reason-and-back-to-the-grind-even-on-a-short-work-week Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle, dear Cassandra.

Congrulations to those fans whose teams won, condolences to those whose didn't.

Only 669 emails to deal with after 2 weeks on vacation. That's nothing.

Among the communications, a lot of good news and a lot of talk of cutbacks. Only to be expected.

VintageLady, I like your idea of chicken soup as a panacea for what ails the world. I wonder if Scotty's fax has such reach?

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. It's well past down but the airfield if littered with branches and other crap blown in by the wind. Man it was windy. Enough to rip the horns off oxen as we say in French.
Just my luck, I was off-Boodle when the discussion turn to dog drool. The Dogue de Bordeaux is THE mastiff with skin folds. Just sayin. And don't lick the occasional icicle hanging off the chairs or table in this kennel...
I'm off to a day of sloth, to let my back rest a bit.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 29, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

SCC dawn...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 29, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all! Back at work again. Although the days between Christmas and New Year's is traditionally called "dead week" I find it shan't be this year. Tons of stuff to go through. The Machines demand my attention, and they have no mercy.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, scotty's fax would be an excellent conveyor, along with Cassandra's far reaching prayers.

Last night we watched that dark comedy, Dr Strangelove, made in 1964. How to stop worrying and learn to love the bomb, or the doomsday machine. No chicken soup in evidence. Black and white, full of fantastic acting, insanity/ineptness prevailed throughout the movie. The movie has held up well.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 29, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodlers.

Chicken soup with hot Vietnamese peppers, cures sore throat, crabbiness and other nasties.

Everyone, have a good day.

Posted by: Braguine | December 29, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick, a rare and fantastic team VL.

Stanley Fish is rarely funny, but he is in this column. He has an issue or two about
“With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 29, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

An interesting article - first of a series, apparrently - on how risk managment practices on Wall Street and minimal oversight in Washington contributed to the financial crisis we face now.

I just skimmed it, and not sure I agree with all of the premeses, but it's interesting, all the same.

More later, but I'm going to run...


Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Hi, everybody-- tipped me off to this great batch of photos at the Boston Globe website: the year in pictures, parts I, II, and III

I don't even have time to look at them now--gotta get to work. Later!

Posted by: kbertocci | December 29, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse


I don't remember the quote exactly, but I always loved the bit, "This is the War Room! There will be no fighting in here!"

Dr. Strangelove is one of my favorites.


Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Good one, bc!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The dishwasher plumbing is still intact. It has yet to be used. I still have this urge to hand wash the dishes. Today I will fabricate and tile the new counter top *note to self: measure twice, cut once*

Posted by: -jack- | December 29, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Morning all
Didn't Peter Sellers play a couple different roles in strangelove? Mandrake and the Nazi scientist. And who doesn't love Slim Pickens riding the bomb Wooohooo.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sellers also played President Merkin Muffley.

***giggling erupts from the back of the class**

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

They'll be 10, 20 millions dead. Tops!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 29, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I was watching football(go figure) over the weekend and there was an ad for Flomax.Frankly I would rather have the cigarette and liquor ads from the 70's as opposed to the drug ads of now.Well they kept talking about a BPH.So when might the next one be? I guess next year sometime.

Also I seem to get alot on inquiries about the BPH stickers on my car,thanks for those TBG.....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Strangelove is, like, The Best Movie Ever. Okay, I say that a lot, but this time I really mean it. Ever scene is rife with humor and deeper meaning. One can spend a long boozy evening discussing it.

In fact, I have.

Did anyone notice the little homage Stephan Pastis provided to the movie in his comic strip "Pearls Before Swine"? You know, the scene where Slim Pickens is riding the nuke as if it were a bucking bronco?

Genius. Sheer Genius.

The Pickens character is my favorite. If only for his comment after listing the contents of the Emergency Survival Kit:

"Shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

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

Scotty, regarding the Iggles glorious win, here's perhaps one of the most satisfying, soul-comforting paragraphs of sports journalism I have ever read in my entire 900 years:

"[Iggles] Defensive end Chris Clemons returned a Romo fumble 73 yards for a touchdown to end the first [drive of the second half]. On the next drive, cornerback Joselio Hanson ran untouched 96 yards after recovering a Marion Barber fumble for a 41-3 Eagles lead."

--from "Rout to Nowhere" by Todd Archer in the Dallas Morning News at

I may have that paragraph engraved on a bronze tablet so that 3,000 years from now, archeologists may find it clutched in the arms of a grinning skeleton in a tomb somewhere.

Back-to-back mega-yardage fumble recoveries for touchdowns. I mean, it simply doesn't get any sweeter than that. And the worst part is I missed it, since it was on the same time as the Redskins debacle, and wasn't even available here. I may have to buy a bootleg copy somewhere from a back-alley sportsporn distributor.

Uh, sorry, Ivansdad. Please avert your eyes. Although I guess it's too late to warn you off now.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I have the stomach to watch this show tonight:

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

That 'weekend in Vegas' quote is one of the best movie lines ever.

One of the best photoshops I did this year (IMHO) was Hillary Cllinton as Madame Strangelove:

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | December 29, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse


A Dubya Years retrospective sounds like an entire hour of America's Funniest Groin Kicks. Today's "No Duh" headline is:

Under Bush, OSHA Mired in Inaction

Now they tell us.

Also very high on my umbrage meter is the persistent use of "female circumcision" in this article:

The entire article tries muster high levels of outrage while dancing around the fact that "female circumcision' is a very clumsy euphemism for CUTTING OFF THE CLITORIS. I'm sorry for being so strident, but I would think that would be a very important detail to convey.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Good point, yello. Seeing as how "circum" means "around" it's not just a circumlocution but wrong in its meaning.

Well, Greyhound won't answer the phone but the website works. Amtrak can't even run a functional website today. Sigh. I have a sneaky suspicion that the law won't even allow privately owned railcars now. I haven't flown in 15 years. I didn't like being treated like a beeve then; I assume from what I hear that it's total submission to being treated like an animal nowadays. For a short period of time, at least.

I wonder when Bill Clinton's regulatory legacy will be properly addressed. I recall each loosening of restrictions on the financial markets during his tenure was protested as unwise by various worriers of the time, who turned out to be correct. I suppose he had to choose his battles, and I have the advantage of hindsight. But still.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, yello. There was a lot of discussion about that when I was in Africa (mostly, um, initiated by me). Many of the men I talked to really didn't like it, and a lot of the women I've talked to didn't like it either. In one of the visits to a Masaai village, there was one young girl I remember, who was very sweet and a little clingy. It occurred to me that she had undergone the process, but I cannot be sure.

This is nothing like circumcision -- it really amounts to female castration. One of the people I safaried with was a midwife from the north of England. She told me how horrendous it was to see women from Africa who were now living where she was and coming to her for help in delivering a child. Not only was the clitoris excised, but the vaginal opening was sewn shut enough only to allow for menstruation. One can only imagine, cringingly, how sexual activity might occur.

This is a horrific, horrific method of controlling women. Whenever I hear men complaining about women who only want to castrate them, I *always* tell them that apart from a Lorena Bobbit episode (and that guy had it coming IMHO), what they're talking about is only a fantasy. If they are really serious about stopping castration, then they *MUST* begin by supporting organizations which are trying to fight female genital mutilation. Until such time, they clearly need the fantasy more to support their own "issues" with women.


Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 29, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Why are you singling out Bill Clinton, jumper? How about the 12 years of Reagan (who started it) and Bush who came before, and the 8 years of the other Bush whoi came after? Seems to me Clinton is only responsible for 8 out of 28 years of deregulation.

yello, I wondered why that story was being so delicate about it, too.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Pictures, lists, all that year-in-review stuff. The top 10 local stories as chosen by our local paper, although I've reranked them (and put how our paper ranked them in parens):

1. OIL prices push $150 a barrel, gasoline nudges $4 a gallon; but both plummet in the fall as the economy worsens. (8)

2. As demand for TOYOTA Tundras falls amid record gasoline prices, Toyota shuts down production here for three months. (5)

3. Spurred by historic PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, Bexar County set records for early voting and overall turnout. (10)

4. Gulf Coast hit by THREE HURRICANES--Dolly, Gustav, and Ike--that affect South Texas. (7)

5. DROUGHT continues as low rainfall total sets record, points to water restrictions as soon as January. (6)

6. Raid on POLYGAMIST sect's West Texas compound sparks largest child custody case in the state and nation. (3 tie)

7. AT&T moves corporate headquarters to Dallas, taking 700 jobs. (1)

8. S.A. voters approve four venue tax proposals in May and OK less restrictive TERM LIMITS for elected officials in November. (2)

9. Huge BLAZE guts historic Main Building at our Lady of the Lake University. (3 tie)

10. Famed restauranteur Viola Barrios slain in her home; troubled teenage neighbor charged with MURDER. (9)

Posted by: laloomis | December 29, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, ftb. Everything I was wanting to say, said much better than I could have.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The correct term is female genital mutilation. That is exactly what it is.

From a story I remembered in the Guardian:
"For those unfamiliar with it, there are several types of female genital mutilation (FGM) categorised according to their severity. Type I, known as a clitoridectomy, involves the removal or splitting of the clitoral hood. Type II, or excision, entails the additional partial or total removal of the inner lips of the vulva. Type III, infibulation or "pharaonic circumcision", is the most extreme form and involves extensive tissue removal of the external genitalia, leaving a raw open wound. Type II is the most common in Egypt."

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 29, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Lorena Bobbit used to work at the beauty shop in the shopping center by my old condo. On the rare occasions that I spoke to her, I was VERY polite!

Posted by: bobsewell | December 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Several years ago, when #2 was still quite young, we were dining at a steak house and the waitress asked me whether "the little girl should get one of these Bobbits?" as she dealt out steak knives.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, my good woman. Surely you must realize that there are sensitive and most exceedingly delicate man about who are deeply offended by such jokes.

Of course, they *are* all lurkers.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Cripes. Just one stinkin' post I wanna be able to pull off without a typo. Just one stinkin' post. I guess that will be my New Year's Resolution. No more typos. Either that or become independently wealthy. Which would probably be easier.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

LOL! My rather macabre and ribald sense of humour sometimes gets the best of me.

I apologize sincerely to any lurker whose refined feelings may have been wounded by my post.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Yikes Yoki I'm crawling back into my turtle shell

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anything nice ever happen in Texass

Oh that's right Bush is going back bad

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm safe, gwe. I wouldn't harm you, honestly.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

After spending the morning having a bi-annual bone density scan and an annual mamogram (all is well & all is well) I am reading a BRAVO post from ftb. Barbarians they are, these villians! As I read, I felt my thighs smack together, I clenched "down there", I squeezed "down there". I have read about the FGM before, but the reaction is always the same "down there". Always.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 29, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a bph with a Dr. Strangelove discussion, as RD has done, would be interesting. Must admit, George C. Scott was my favorite, primarily because I had never seen him do satire. Perhaps he has since that movie, but I must have missed it. Every time we watch the flick, my husband is laughing at the good doctor as soon as he sees him, before anything happens, then he completely falls apart with hilarity for the rest of the picture. It's one of those Peter Sellers impressions that will never leave you....the hand.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 29, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I get uncomfortable twinges down there when the subject comes up and I don't even have the parts in question.

My wife leads me to believe that amongst the employees and clientele of various salons she has patronized, Lorena is a bit of a folk hero. My wife speaks in slightly more admiring tones than I am comfortable with.

I'm much more in favor of doing whatever it takes to close the mine shaft gap, even if it means abandoning the traditional structures of monogamy.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Why, GWE, how quickly we forget! Something truly wonderful happened to Texas just yesterday afternoon! The Cowboys got their worse whupping in 20 years. It jes doan get much nicer than that, dude.

On behalf of all twice-circumcised men everywhere...can we change the subject?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the huzzahs, all. The subject will always elicit beaucoup snarls from me.

And, dearest Mudge, dahlink -- remember, circumcision (done once or twice) is *not* the same. We still luv you and wouldn't ever, *ever* think of interfering with your integrity. (Dontcha just love euphemisms?)

I was thrilled that the Cowboys got whupped. As for the Redskins and, *gulp*, the Lions (well, I do like them in the wild), waiting until next year is the only option around. Each team has crummy, narcissistic owners, who don't know *expletive* about football and football players, and so long as that's the case, the same thing will keep on happening.

Now I really do have to do some work, people. Honestly. Really. (Trying to head for the door with briefcase -- nah, not really)

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 29, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

To answer you, Mudge, it's because I expect more from the Left. Perhaps it's all just wishful thinking. I only omitted the B's and the Raygun because it take all their complicity for granted.

Unrelatedly, I'm looking for a pill that will make that certain part of a man

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

My ego.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

But Clinton isn't on the left, Jumper. He is and always was a centrist.

Sorry, FTB. It is just that the word "Bobbit" always makes me jittery -- either as a name OR a verb.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

You all have me laughing. Jumper wins.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I have to remind you that the second time you volunteered. These girls in Kurdish Iraq aren't given much choice and are subject to much more the ceremonial nip you received. To truly be the same, the cut would have to be about an inch further down and done with a meat cleaver. It's this false semantic equivalency that seems to be part of the problem for this issue.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

You'd make a lot more money with that other product sold on late night television. And boy did that commercial every break make for an awkward night of late night father-son movie watching.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Has Weingarten ever extolled the aptonymish quaility of the name Bobbit?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

He certainly hasn't done so in the past month (or however long he's been vaca... I mean, working on that big cover story).


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 29, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Gnome's boodling cross-legged
I snatched the laptop to say:
Less knife talks, more walks.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I understand, Mudge. But I suggest that you, um, hold on to your veritables, as the toon-cootie running through my head right now is that old Disney classic: "Bibbity Bobbity Boo".

And, again, you're right, yello. Although, as matters of choices go, the FGM issue is pretty complex in those societies. If a girl/woman refuses to be mutilated, she can then be viewed as an outcast and her family (immediate or village) will shun her and she will have to leave. That is very, very powerful and can be just as painful (and, perhaps, sometimes more) than the actual butchering itself. Indeed, it's enough to make older women (i.e., older than 6 or 7) submit to it.

Again, this is all exceedingly horrific and MUST be stopped. If, indeed, this is a "tradition" which must be followed (as traditions always seem to be, with or without conscious thought), then how about we all put our exceptionally intelligent heads together and come up with a tradition to export (even if it's just across the street or cross town) which might accomplish the same sense of whatever-it-is WITHOUT butchering girls and women!

Now I gotta go work some more. Do forgive. You *know* I'll be back.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 29, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

You made me chuckle. GW is clearly the hardest working Pulitzer Prize winner at WaPo. Just ask him.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Ftb, I agree with you that tradition is no excuse for this wholesale mutilation with crippling lifetime consequences.

That was kind of Yello's point, I think... that the euphenism didn't convey the reality.

And can we get off this subject? Even Wilbrodog's getting uncomfortable with the idea of castrating the fun bits, not just the hormonal bits.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Let's change the subject. How do I convince the government that I'm an Afghani warlord that needs some magic blue pills so that I can service my multiple wives?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Female mutilation is a horrible scourge in certain parts of the world, perpetrated - I believe - by awful, evil men who seem to simply be interested in control and domination through dehumanization. But that's just my opinion.

Jumper, some senseless men might be flip with you and tell you something like,

"That Pill to make your ego smaller exists, and it is called Woman,"

But I would suggest that the right Woman can also have wonderful inflationary effects as well - to that very ego, to the heart, to the mind, to the soul. And er, other areas, too.

For many of us, women are inspirational partners to help us be more than we are. They help us see ourselves and others with different perspectives, and can help us to be more than just the dumb bag of tools that we are by nature. Plus, they tend to smell pretty nice, too.

Please note that the word "magic" was not used in the construction of this comment.

Thank you.


Posted by: -bc- | December 29, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Interesting discussion this afternoon, ftb loved your post. There is currently a commerical/PSA airing here for CARE Canada, which is about the power of Women and how in most of the world that power is under utilized. A good commercial but my daughter noted that the narrator was a man (David Suzuki?), she thought that odd. Couldn't find a link but their website has some really powerful videos (

On a lighter topic, the title of this story made me giggle - no kidding! Premarital absitence pledges - they don't last.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 29, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

That headline "Premarital Abstinence Pledges Ineffective, Study Finds" came in a very close second for the No Duh Award this morning.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, yellojkt!

And bc's paean to true love gets my personal "Comment of the Day" award.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, bc's post is finely wrought; some posts might be vouchsafed for both the writer and the reader.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

just so, CP, and therefore twice lovely.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

And I got to use the word paean in a sentence, so all's right with the world.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The practice of fgm may have been started by men, but the article says it's the women perpetuating it now - tradition - they don't know why they do it, but they do. That was the most disturbing part of the article for me. Education is the answer.

Posted by: seasea | December 29, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

She can now strew petals of the lovely and full- scented spring flower:

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 29, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeppers, I'm back. Different topic, but also needing a rantalicious moment.

For we locals here in the DC metropolitan area, one of the time-honored sportscasters on our local NBC station has now been cut completely (I told you it was a *different* topic!) -- his name is George Michael and I always thought mostly kindly towards him, his ginormous ego notwithstanding. Leonard Shapiro wrote an article for the online version of today's Post (just down online block, ladies and gentlemen), which will probably end up in the written version tomorrow. It's very, very good, and I recommend it.

Well, okay, not much of a rant, but the feeling's still there anyway.

Gonna go warm up some lentil leftovers. Cya all tomorrow.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | December 29, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The single best way to delay sexual activity and pregnancy in teens is to increase the educational and career aspirations of girls-holds true across national borders, cultures, income levels, race, and type of (or lack of) sex ed. However, I'm not a "put all your eggs in one basket" sort so I hope the Obama administration gives up on the abstinence only drain on the budget.

Back at Chez Frostbitten for a few days of work and boy am I glad the big holiday rush is over.

Looking for suggestions for a romantic New Year's Eve dinner to make at home. Nothing is too ambitious, but no liver or things made of liver, and I don't eat oranges or anything orange flavored.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 29, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Hi all! Not much time for boodling at the new job... that's gonna have to change!

VintageLady, your chicken soup post this morning is like poetry. I love it. When Son of G was a day old, his dad sat in the chair in my hospital room with the little eeny boy sleeping on his chest. Dr G said, "If everyone could do this there would be world peace." It became his favorite way to spend time with a sleeping baby... he called it "boy nap."

I have a great George Michael story... my sister was an intern one summer at Channel 4 in DC. She had just finished her junior year at the University of North Carolina. On the day of the NBA Draft, she was joined on the elevator by George Michael. She asked him how the draft was going and said, "Where did Michael Jordan get drafted?"

He said, "Who?"

She told him that she went to school with Jordan and he was leaving UNC after his junior year. "Keep an eye on him," she said.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So duck a l'orange is out? Hee hee, I don't think that anyone has eaten that since 1963, when it was considered the height of elegance.

But, say, seared duck breast with sour-cherry sauce, some roast asparagus and a crispy potato pancake?

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Salmon fillets and filets mignon; green leafy salad with scallions and black olives.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 29, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Shrimp marinated in ginger and garlic (sorry Jumper) and a little oil, some dried chili flakes, sauteed just until they're done, served over mixed basmati and wild rice with a fennel salad.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

A bucket of fried chicken and a six-pack of Budweiser.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I am starting a bike ride now to Yoki's for New Years.....yumm.

Jumper, cook for me this evening, but I don't like fish. Off to walk doggies, but will leave the fax on.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 29, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

CP, I'm faxing you some of tonight's beef rib roast, winter veg and Yorkshire Pudding.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

But... liver and oranges
Are most romantic combos
Just give me your share?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse


Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has given birth, reports.

Palin, 18, and her boyfriend Levi Johnston, 18, are reportedly parents to a healthy 7 lb., 4 oz., baby boy in Palmer, Alaska. The baby's name is Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, according to Palin's aunt.

"We think it's wonderful," said Colleen Jones, the sister of Bristol's grandmother Sally Heath, who confirmed the news. "The baby is fine and Bristol is doing well. Everyone is excited."

Palin is currently residing in Wasilla and completing her high-school diploma through correspondence courses. The baby's father is an apprentice electrician and has been dating Bristol for three years.

The new parents previously told reporters this year they plan to wed in 2009 and raise the child together.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm not sure exactly what "basmati" is, but gosh darn it, I want me some.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

You probably shouldn't have worried about getting liver a la orange recipes, Frostbitten.

The most romantic dinner is what he really likes that you don't make often. Preferably you'd want it slowcooked so it would fill the house with its aroma for hours and increase the anticipation.

And for you, you'd prefer that once the inital prep is done, you don't have to do too much to it, and that it can stand a little overcooking if you get er... distracted.

Italian-type stuff is always good for that, and some recipes like chicken cacciatore can be put in a slow cooker and forgotten for hours. Indian isn't bad either.

That said, fried chicken and beer sounds pretty good after a long day out, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrodog-you are welcome to my share of liver, where ever it is served. Oranges too.

Hmmm, I think the filets mignon would be a big hit with Mr. F along with a nice salad. He's trying a new bread making technique we heard about on "The Splendid Table" on NPR Saturday (and featured in the latest issue of Mother Earth News) so I'm hoping we have the nice crusty loaf that was promised. Dessert?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 29, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Really? Basmati is a long-grain rice originally from the Himalayas (now mostly grown on the Indian side of that continental divide, and in California of course) that has a wonderful perfume to it. Properly prepared it is among the king of grains.

The first time I went to India I was traveling with my boss who also, it turned out, had never had a bite of this ambrosia in his mouth. He became ecstatic. I probed a bit, and learned that the only rice he'd ever eaten was what is known as "converted" which simply means denatured and strictly *not* rice as it really is. I was shocked, shocked I tell you.

I encourage adventure, RD. Try something new.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod-my first impulse was to go with lasagna or some other Italian dish I haven't had time for lately. But, we have eaten at two most excellent Italian restaurants recently.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 29, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

RD, a great place to try Basmati rice (and other assorted Indian dishes) is at the lunch buffet at Minerva in Fairfax City.

The weekend dishes tend to be spicy, but the food is delicious!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I think any true romantic dinner must include pasta. Preferably in some kind of cream sauce. There is something about the texture of such foods that is pleasing to the senses.

Of course, a nice wine needs to be included. I prefer Shiraz. But not too much lest the combination of carbs and alcohol put everyone to sleep. Which would kind of spoil things.

Naturally the proper dessert is essential. Something with dark chocolate perhaps? Or simply ice cream topped with amaretto. Again, small quantities.

Finally, a nice cup of espresso, or any fine coffee. Especially valuable if the pasta sauce includes garlic.

Such a meal, combined with the proper music, I feel confident will help create the proper mood for a delightful New Year's Celebration.

Of course, around the Padouk household we shall be having pizza and diet soda. But later we will probably split some nice domestic sparkling wine. A glass for me. A glass for my wife. And two very small glasses for the offspring.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that info about the Basmati! Honestly, I didn't know. I have led *such* a terribly sheltered life.

Thanks for that recommendation TBG! And in my book spicy is always good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Tonight's dinner was leftover sausage tortellini and macaroni and cheese for me and reheated take-out pork fried rice for my wife. Ah, the downside of once again being an empty nester. Too many leftovers.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I believe we may have hit upon a new thread: what constitutes a "romantic dinner"

for you:

for your spouse/sig.other/fantasy inamorata:

Include not only actual food, but locale, atmosphere, and any other acoutrement necessary.

Bonus points: have you ever actually had such a dinner/event? (Details, please)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 29, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Basmati is a very nice rice and wonderful in many dishes, and it has a very unique texture that no other rice matches.

But I admit, I find myself preferring jasmine rice by a large margin when I just want to cook rice to be rice.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

The right music might be high opera. Perhaps La bohème for passion and tragedy. Talk about Romantic!

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse


You are one sweetheart. Your comment was lovely, and just what I needed after the day I've had. My neighbor is off her meds, and she attempted to throw a drink at the g-girl, and her cousin at the laundry room this afternoon. She knocked on the door, and I told the children to open the door. When they opened the door, she threw the drink at them. I reported the incident to the housing complex, and the police. I felt I didn't have a choice because the child will certainly tell her mother, and I don't approve of grown-ups picking on kids, even when their minds are out to lunch. She's okay as long as she stays on the medicine, but she hasn't been on it for weeks now. Her neighbors have called the police several times, and she just gets worse. She stepped out on the porch one day with just her birthday suit on. I feel bad, but I just didn't see any other way to handle the situation.

Needless to say, I'm tired. I had the g-girl and her sisters, the whole crowd. I'm so ready for bed. Good night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 29, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Pasta for gluten-intolerant: not so romantic.

I believe I actually saw Kelly on Regis and Kelly recommend ordering light food such as salad for getting frisky later.

I can think of some really nice meals my ex cooked, but I'd rather asbstain from this discussion overall, going back to the basic point: taking care to make something a person loves is the most romantic gesture, rather than any preordained dish or dish combo.

Otherwise, we'd all be quaffing oyster sphagetti with spanish-fly wine and asparagus sides, and so on.

I personally find wild game dishes to be fairly romantic when done very well, just because wild game is most definitely NOT something you can pick up at a supermarket any day.

A touch of luxury always goes over well.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Nor is shellfish good for those with allergies. Got it.

Mudge - a true gentleman never dines and tells.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 29, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

To me... the romantic dinner is one whose dishes are not cleaned by me.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, I meant to say that comment you made about "magic" touched me; I know what you mean about having to be "better" somehow just to get a fair shake.

When the playing ground is uneven, those at a disadvantage have to compete hard, and somehow try and make people not feel threatened in the process.

It's a can't-win sometimes. Women get it too-- a man who is ruthless gets the "go getter" label, while a woman doing the same will get the "B**ch" label, even if they have overall the same level of social sensitivity and tact. Women just get judged harder than men because of traditional assumptions about what their behavior should be.

I'm rather glad I don't need to blaze too many trails in life. It's an uphill job.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, TBG! How could I have forgotten that part? Silly me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

You guys are killing me with the mentions of those great meals. Still on a bland, mostly vegetarian meal - a struggle as I am a basic meat and pototoes person. Have to throw away left over Pecan pie, as I am the only one in the house who eats it and was not going to risk it. House is full of chocolate and treats from the holidays - so tempting.

I see the doctor tomorrow so hopefully I will get a better idea of what foods I can tolerate.

Posted by: dmd2 | December 29, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh dmd2, I am sorry for you! Hope you feel better soon and can go back to eating what you like.

Most romantic dinner we have is rib-eye steak, baked potatoes, green salad, glass of red wine for Alohaspouse and ginger ale for me. Of course, what makes it romantic is the absence of Alohakids! Otherwise, it's just another dinner at the Alohashack.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 29, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I almost forgot dessert! Fudgy, decadent, chocolate cake...mmmmm.

So, anybody surprised at Bristol Palin's baby's name? Tripp???

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | December 29, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Aloha... I hope I don't offend anyone by saying I think it's a pretty dumb name... but look at whose baby it is. I AM surprised that there's no Palin in his name... I mean, he does have four names.

Right now my daughter's Facebook status right now says, "... might name her kid Tripp when she grows up."

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised she didn't name him Trigger.

Most romantic meal- leftovers when Mr. F and I have had people over for an "official" function. We have the best time while cleaning up after, and the food is always something we wouldn't normally have. Even better if someone has brought an exceptional bottle of wine as a gift.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 29, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Chocolate mousse for dessert. It's smooth and sensuous on the tongue. I like the idea of a simple fillet and maybe a baked stuffed potato and a nice salad. Simple to make, no real cleanup afterwards. I would have said lobster, but the cleanup is a b1tch.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Cook together, over two hours. Put these CDs on the player: Billie H, Louis A, Chuck Mangione, Diana Krall, Leon Redbone, Rosemary Clooney......

Mussels on a hot cast iron skillet, with nothing but fresh parsley, rock salt, cracked pepper.

(No butter, just let the mussels release their juices.)

sop up the juice with the fresh bread of your choice.

Chianti. The medium to fine stuff.

Pork tenderloin, roasted in milk, butter bath.

Cold asparagus dressed with almonds and gorgonzola.

Attend to the stars, etc.

Have truffles and strawberries and hot, hot coffee as a post-lude.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 29, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, a romantic dinner is one I neither cook nor clean up. But I'm easy to please.

Posted by: slyness | December 29, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

sneaks-unfortunately I have impossibly high standards for lobster. The only times I've eaten it on purpose were on a fishing trip off the coast of PEI, and on a sailing ship off the coast of Maine. Sure I've eaten the odd bit here and there when offered, but after having lobster hauled fresh from the water and cooked on the spot how could I enjoy it in St. Paul?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 29, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, I need to confess.

I find all of the Palin child/grandchild names totally stupid (both Sarah and Todd strike me as aging hippies, except they're too young to really be that. Imitating the Boomers, again. Well, it *is* Alaska), except one.

I have, for nearly 29 years, been a member of a group of four very dear friends. We've been together so long, and through so much together, that we barely need to speak. We talk a tremendous amount, just for fun.

Each of us has a nickname arrived at by long-term mindmeld. Mine is "Trig." (the others are Scheme, Bert and Min, but you don't need to know why). Mine comes from the mathematical discipline known as trigonometry (you also don't need to know why). Nobody but another member of The Four ever uses any of those names.

So I deeply protest all the names the Palins give their children, except I think there *is* one called Trig, and that's fine with me.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Ah, silly me, I forgot where you live. Or actually, I just have lobster on the brain, thinking of getting some for the weekend, I know, we're spoiled in New England.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 29, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

CP-Diana Krall is an inspired choice. We saw her in Honolulu shortly after we moved there and she remains one of our few shared musical faves. "Peel Me a Grape" is the closest thing we have to "our song.'
(lyrics too)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 29, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd have pegged you for an Alge type, Yoki. It just goes to show that you never truly know a person's most secret nickname.

As my personal inauguration gift to myself, I'm going to pretend Alaska doesn't exist as long as I'm able.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 29, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I'm with you on your 7:53. Dishes done by someone else means romance.

If I say that mrdr cleaned the kitchen today after he got home from town, well, don't mind me if I blush and constantly look at my watch to check the time.

Posted by: --dr-- | December 29, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

That "Peel me a grape" song is plenty steamy. Since I do the cooking, it takes a meal out to count as romantic.

And dr, quit boodling and make mrdr's night.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 29, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Far be it for me to comment on someone's choice of a name for their baby, since I gave my very own kid a hippie name...but the spelling of Tripp reminds me of the odious Linda Tripp. I'd much rather think they were honoring the Grateful Dead's "what a long, strange trip it's been"...

So now they've got Track, Trig, Tripp. What's next, Trug? Trek? Trap? Trick? Truck? Oh my.

Posted by: seasea | December 29, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Joe Biden's new puppy's name is Champ. Which is what his dad called Joe when he was a kid. Awwwww.

Posted by: seasea | December 29, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

As the ScienceCook, I feel it is not my place to comment in detail upon the wily devices that I employ for romantic cookery. The ScienceSpouse might comment, but she is, at present, trying to resurrect an older iPod that has begun to show signs of its age.

Romantic. That's us.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 29, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin's kids' names sound like puppy names, too.

"C'mere Track!"

"Keep up now, Bristol!"

"Pipe down, Piper!"

"Fetch me the paper, Willow!"

Posted by: -TBG- | December 29, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

My mentor in the world of BMDs has a pup (now 8) whom she named Dammit.

Sit, Dammit.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

hello boodle

I saw 2 shooting stars on my way home tonight,not one but two,must be my lucky night or something

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yo, gwe! You sound quite a bit better tonight than last. How you doin'?

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

i'm oaki doki yoki.......and i was doing fine last night bout you?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

You are a funny man.

Just fine, thank you.

Posted by: Yoki | December 29, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah that was a clever comment. do you and your crew have big plans for the new years celebration?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 29, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad some of you liked my 4:30 post.

Wish I'd had more time to compose it, but needed to get myself together to meet some friends.

I could get into stories about the romance of doing the dishes and that like anything else in a relationship, it can be taken for granted no matter *who's* doing them on a daily basis.

Having said that, I'm one of those people who tends to help clean up and do the dishes in social situations, too.

Sad to see pecan pie go out, dmd - a good southern pecan pie is a wonderful thing to me.

And I typically make no rice but basmati with meals these days; the kids prefer it, and I'm OK with that. And I find it less expensive than the jasmine...

I would add that at least to *me*, a romantic meal does not have any specific course or foodstuff, but the key to its romance is the consideration of its selection and preparation.

I've had a simple hot sandwich that was romantic enough to bring tears to my eyes, and been served multi-course gourmet meals that made me want to get up and leave.

As some have noted as well, for me, it's not only the *what* but the *how.*


Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Enough with the grandstanding, dude, we've already praised you to the skies (nearly typed skiis, but that would just be silly).

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey bc,did ya get a chance to watch the ravens game yesterday? I was quite pleased as you probably knew....the Playoffs!!!!

I was hoping for 6 wins at the seasons beginning.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | December 30, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I like Basmati rice, but Egyptian (or the similar Italian Arborio) may come out better in terms of glycemic index.

Basmati is sort of everything Japanese rice isn't. Not sticky, not shiny.

David Archer's book "The Long Thaw: How Humans are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate" arrived Saturday. It's brief (174 pages) and written for a broad audience. Princeton University Press has an astonishing knack for doing timely books in science and economics.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 30, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. Romantic dinner.

I'd make the chateaubriand section of a whole filet (freeze the tail), which will give you your filet mignon in a larger chunk, as well as leftovers for salad or sandwiches for later (making the next few days easier, very romantic). Quick and unfussy to roast.

Premade scalloped potatoes, baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon or an orzo casserole.

Fresh rolls and salad.

1 dozen freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. For the former, make the dough earlier, freeze, slice and bake when the beef comes out of the oven. You can do the strawberries a day ahead of time and refrigerate.

I read the Bidens will also be looking for a pound puppy companion to Champ. Good for them!

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 4:14 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. It has been so long since I've thought about a romantic dinner, and what's required for such a feat. I wouldn't know where to begin. It's as if that part of my life died with my husbands. I rarely entertain the idea(romantic dinners, and things romantic) now. My Sunday school teacher and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past Sunday. Now, for me, that's very interesting. I marvel at folks that can stay together that long. I guess there may be just a tad of envy there too.

Mudge, Scotty, Slyness, Martooni, Yoki, and everyone, good morning to you.*waving*

I missed the walk yesterday, will blaze the path today. I went to visit one of our deacons that is in the hospital. I didn't get a chance to visit with him, but talked with his wife.

Wilbrod, thank you.

Have a great day, folks. It is time to swim.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 30, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

You have been quite the smooth talker lately. Have you been hanging around under the mistletoe?

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

Good morning, Boodle, Cassandra.

Cold again here, but at least the snow is supposed to end some time this morning.

You may recall that I got a cat last summer? Well, he's been living upstairs since he arrived, avoiding the dogs and, to the extent possible, me too. I woke lasat night to find him on my bed, and pulled him in under the covers to keep him warm. He not only stayed, he purred continuously and relaxed. I was very happy to think that after a mere six months, we may develop a relationship.

Have a fine day.

Posted by: Yoki | December 30, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

TBG, you are very kind with your comment of yesterday. Peace defined as the gentleness of a man with a sleeping baby, what a wonderful picture you paint with your words.

Romantic food. Husband views all food as romantic, as long as he eats three squares a day. :-)

First light has crept up on me, must feed the birds, now.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 30, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

A meal of leftovers can be special...

All depends on those doing the dining. :-)

*another-day-of-an-oddly-crowded-Dawn-Patrol-juxtaposed-with-eerily-echoing-empty-halls-at-work Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Morning all... because of my easy commute (8 minutes!) I can actually have coffee with my friends before work (coffee shop is aorund the corner from the office, too!).

These are two women with whom I spent LOTS of time when our kids were little and we all worked part time. Now that we're all working full time again, we hardly see each other at all. Because they both work in the school system, they've got the whole week off. They say they're heading for the gym when we're finished, but I think I see a shopping spree in their future instead. I mean.. c'mon.

Hope y'all have a great day. I probably won't have time to boodle but if I do I'll stop in for a peek!

Posted by: -TBG- | December 30, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

And may I add that one of the most romantic dinners I've ever had was cold pizza in the morning.


Posted by: -TBG- | December 30, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Cool cats from Ottawa have high standards Yoki.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 30, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

From TbG to Christine Lavin's classic:

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle.

TBG, morning coffee with friends is very civilized.

Watching the Boodle's six o'cklock, will write article on what I see as Obama's (and Boodle's) main problem in 2009.


Posted by: Braguine | December 30, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The Boodle has no problems, Brag.

Only challenges.


Posted by: Scottynuke | December 30, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Morning all! I must admit I have always had trouble with designer names for kids because it seems unfair to them. I remember hearing the story (possibly apocryphal) about how David Bowie's son, who was named "Zowie," started insisting that he be called "Joey" instead.

I mean, kids aren't fashion accessories or lifestyle statements. They are little people you bring into this cold world and then spend years (sometimes more than you plan) keeping them warm. And this is hard enough without hanging some freakish moniker on them to be cool.

Which is just ones of the wise words of fatherly advice I hope to pass on to my own two children: Miochardial and his sister Effervescence.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 30, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Very nice CqP, but THE classic Christine Lavin Song is 'Sensitive New Age Guys', who do make romantic dinners for their partners, even if they don't know who plays in the Seattle Kingdome.

You are beng kinda insensitive to little Bronx Mowgli Wentz (Ashlee Simpson's little critter).

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

YJ, I thought of that song because the BoodleBoyz are very S.N.A.G.ey in a good way.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Sensitive New-Age Guys
from the Christine Lavin LP "Attainable Love"

Spoken: Sing along, it will help you with your male bonding kind-of-thing...

Who like to talk about their feelings?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who's into crystal, who's into healing?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who like to dress like Richard Simmons?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who are hard to tell from women?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who like to cry at weddings, who think "Rambo" is upsetting?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who tape "Thirty-Something" on their VCR's?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who's got child-on-board stickers on their cars?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)

Whose last names are hyphenated?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who loved "Three Men and a Baby", a movie I hated?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who's consciousness is constantly raising?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Whose tax-free income is amazing?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who think that red meat is disgusting?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who's into UFO's, channelling, and dusting?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who believes us when we say we have pre-menstrual syndrome?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who doesn't know who plays in the Seattle Kingdome?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)

Spoken: Let's ask these guys who plays in the Seattle Kingdome...
Hey, do you know who plays in the Seattle Kingdome?
Oh, good answer, good answer!

Who likes music that's repetitious?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who likes music that's repetitious?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who's concerned about your orgasm?
Spoken: ...Hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, you guys said you were sensitive?
(Well, Christine...we're sensitive -- but we're not *that* sensitive!)

I guess it's more important that they have 'em
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who carries the baby on his back?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who thinks that Shirley McLaine is on the inside track?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)
Who sings on singalongs even when they can't stand stupid singalong songs?
(Sensitive New-Age Guys)

(Spoken: Thank you for sharing.)

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | December 30, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Any dinner without kids constitutes a romantic dinner. In fact, I would go so far as to say that children, (when they aren't sleeping), and romance are mutually exclusive

Posted by: DandyLion | December 30, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Those of you who watch the night and morning skies have probably seen a lot of meteor activity lately - apparrently the Geminid showers have lead directly to the Quadtranids, which peak this coming Sat. nite/Sunday AM. I've seen a lot myself over the past couple of weeks, and am looking forward to the weekend.

I'm very happy for the Ravens - they're my AFC team, gwe. And they have Maryland flags as part of their logos - how could I *not* like them? I even liked the Colts when they were here... Washington, of course, is my #1 and my NFC team.

Cassandra, dear, perhaps there are parts of your life that are gone with your husbands, but I would suggest that the romantic dinners in your future would have to do with making new parts of your life, new relationships, new futures. We are all products of our pasts, but don't we *all* change over time, become new and different, every second of every day?

As Joel points out above, change can be opportunity and the chance to make things better. Carpe diem.

This may be my motto for New Year's.



PS Yellojkt, you know my Fortress of Solitude has mistletoe over the door, but the photos of PE Obama in his bathing suit and his upcoming inaugruation has me feeling ... hopeful. Well, that -- and isn't the Sports Illustrated Bathing Suit issue due out soon?

Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

So ironic, DL, since children are the byproduct of romance. A fact my wife keeps reminding me of.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Your new friend may think canned tuna a romantic dinner, Yoki.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 30, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

In high school Psychology class (where I first learned I was orally fixated), we had to write test questions that exhibit gender bias. My contribution was "What month is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue published?"

Surprisingly, many of the guys didn't know that. Their moms must have been intercepting that issue at the mailbox.

And while I am far from being a prude (in fact, kind of the opposite), I still wonder exactly when body paint became a suitable article of clothing for a magazine sold in the grocery store checkout line.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, I am convinced that women enjoy looking at other attractive women just as much as men do.

Posted by: DandyLion | December 30, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

perhaps... but mostly for comparison :)

Posted by: MissToronto | December 30, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I don't think all children are the byproduct of romance.


Posted by: -bc- | December 30, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

But they should be.

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

New Kit!

That means you too, mudge.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 30, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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

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

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

Here are a few more options:

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

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

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

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

5) A trattoria in Tuscany;

6) A thatched hut on a lagoon in Tahiti.

...and like that.

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


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

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